Unlikely Story

In the middle of January, we were shooting photos for my column in Lehigh Valley Style in a bookstore in Easton. I changed outfits next to the history books and me and Colin wandered into the alley. “Stand there, look happy”, he said when I crunched my way into a pile of ice-snow almost up to my knees and he took a few quick shots before the bitter biting winter air hurt too much to pretend it was Spring.

Unknown to either of us, one of those photos became the May 2015 cover of Style. It is Colin’s first cover (something he has wanted for two years), and mine too (something I didn’t think was possible?). Surprise!

lvstylemay2015 cover In a year of so much loss, of leaving behind or moving on from so many of the things that were a part of me for so long, I have spent the last six months remembering how to be alone; how to find community when you leave the town where you lived for a decade; how to take a break from creative projects and hold on to the truth that it doesn’t mean they will crumble or you will be forgotten; how to focus on love for those who mean the most to me – to allow love to change when the time for change has come, to find it in my friends and my family and my friends who have become my family, to be surprised back into passion; to remember that things change but our value doesn’t increase or lessen because of it.

It has not been easy. Important things never are.

But I have found, over and over, that just when we are about to give up on ourselves something happens that reminds us that we are enough. That we will be OK, and we are already OK.

lvstylemay2015

On Tuesday, May 12th, the magazine is having it’s monthly Insider Happy Hour, which is a FREE event and open to EVERYONE. You can wear a fancy outfit and bring a few dollars for drinks, and we can hug each other and get our pictures taken for the magazine. I hope to see you there!

You can get more information here: LV Style Insider Happy Hour

And find out more about Colin’s work: Colin Coleman Photography

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LINKS to LOVE: Also, Lehigh Valley Yoga Festival with NEW T-SHIRTS!

This week I saw Neutral Milk Hotel live with some of those dearest to me and it was a magical extended moment. Last weekend, I went to a lake with chickpea salad sandwiches and champagne and a stack of books. The water was so welcoming and warm. I bobbed around and noticed the odd sensation of being eye level with a moving canoe. I’ve met with friends and visionaries about collaborations, crafting a career from many small parts, and how darn good it feels to have someone to talk to about it.

summer collage

Saturday is a big day for the health + wellness community as Lehigh Valley Yoga Festival is finally here! Save the Kales! is a partner along with Natural Awakenings Magazine. It’ll be a full day of many forms of yoga, live music, vendors, and more yoga. Chef Wendy of Shankara will be there selling organic vegan food, and proceeds from the event to our pals at Pratyush Sinha Foundation, which you can learn more about by watching this.

And I’ll be there selling NEW SAVE THE KALES! T-SHIRTS, design unveiled at the festival! Follow along on social media to get a first look at the new shirt, then come here next week to order one.

instagram | twitter | facebook 

LINKS to LOVE savethekales

Artist recreates his childhood drawings 20 years later. The snail!

There is nothing pretentious about being a vegan. from Vice (*sarcasm and real talk!) “I’m not sure why my nutrition is such a big concern for people I don’t know. With the exception of vegans, Live Aid, or those people who eat couches on My Strange Addiction, I don’t remember ever seeing someone show concern for another person’s nourishment.”

Having one’s corn ground in the 1800’s was probably more fun than you think.

Ashlee being a babe and talking ethical FALL FASHION, GLORY BE!, come on September!

What are you reading? Subway Book Review is a blog based on stopping to ask strangers on the subway to review, on the spot, whatever book they are reading in that moment. This speaks to the book-snoop portion of my soul.

Thank you for being a friend. A breakdown of Blanche Devereaux’s best outfits.

Trans, but not like you think.  “Gender is part of everyone’s life, we’re all negotiating the line between what we’re expected to be and who we are.”

Who wants to take a day trip to Storybook Forest?

Bethlehem Vegfest 2014, Aug 23rd

… And Bethlehem Vegfest 2014 is less than a month away! We’ve got some great speakers, retail booths, and the food this year? Oh, you guys. Let me just say there MAY OR MAY NOT *ahem* be a vegan ice cream truck. Save the Kales! TV will also be there taping a live cooking show and chatting with Fest-goers, so come say hello! Final schedule updates will be on the website very soon.

Happy weekend! xo

LINKS to LOVE: 4 July 2014

You may notice things are lookin’ a little different around here. I’ve wanted a redesign forever and in the name of DIY, personal empowerment, and a teeny tiny budget (and, um, all my designer friends are very busy) I am slowly redesigning things myself. It’s pretty liberating!

I’m also ready to bring back the ol’ Links to Love series, because one of my great joys in life is finding a blog from a writer who just “gets it”, and then being able to plop down on a Sunday morning with a coffee and click on every link they share because holy wow, they have impeccable taste in internet reads, you know? There are SO MANY talented, thought-provoking voices online and we’re better off for spending some time with them. And I believe in cooperation over competition, so I hope you’ll stay on some of these sites and look around.

LINKS to LOVE savethekales

Melanie so sincerely describes the feelings of being a silly, optimistic, girly + feminine woman who is growing older. “Will my loud outfits and glittery makeup seem desperate, pathetic even, as I age? Will be my light-hearded child-like enthusiasm be read as unintelligent and sad as I advance? “

The always-eloquent and achingly brilliant Lacy shares how learning to love her body changed her relationship. “The relationship I wanted to have with my partner gave me the courage to grab the relationship I wanted to have with my body. Deciding to have a better relationship with my body gave me the relationship I got with my partner.”

Art is so weird and wonderful. A Man Takes His Cabbage for a Walk  (video)

walking a cabbage

 

The most adorable weather forecast

Finally, a film about a young woman who has an abortion and she’s portrayed as a normal person.  Get to a theater and see Obvious Child (and if you’re in the Lehigh Valley, it’s playing at Steelstacks)

Buzzfeed nails it with this one, and shines some light on the exceptionality that sometimes comes from a community that touts the idea that everyone should be free to love whoever they want: 30 Bisexual Women Discuss Their Long-Term Relationships With Men

YES, THIS: Why You Shouldn’t Take People’s Facebook Lives Seriously (video)

Here is What You Do When You Are Grieving. “You remind yourself how breathing works, how sleeping works, how going to work works. You teach yourself basic lessons as if you were a child: It is time to clean up after yourself, time to take a shower, time to behave, time to leave the house today. ” (thanks Meridith)

… And to end on a positive note, next week starts Lehigh Valley Girls Rock! Camp which is going to empower young women to feel supported, creative and make music! I’ll be teaching a class on Positive Body Image and all week the girls will learn about healthy minds, bodies and self-expression. The week ends with a live rock show called Shine Like Diamonds and you can buy tickets for $10!  They are also selling the cutest merch, including these tote bags for $10. You can order online:

lvgirlsrocktotebag

 

I hope your weekend is beautiful! America!

xo Jaime K

 

 

Lehigh Valley Style Magazine Has a New Columnist (and She’s Vegan)

I am honored to share my new bi-monthly column for Lehigh Valley Style magazine, Fresh Perspectives with Jaime K.

JaimeK LV Style magazine

So much to say about the emotions of seeing this in print, but for now I’ll tell you: It’s the March issue and it’s on news stands now! Learn about my journey to become vegan and years later, to embrace the Lehigh Valley as my home for creative communities, young entrepreneurship, and vegan food (we keep getting luckier!). Going forward, the column will highlight people and businesses doing work I admire, be it art & design, mindful cooking, or making positive community and societal impacts.

Fresh Perspectives is meant to chronicle my love of the Lehigh Valley, seeking beauty in everything, living with true mindfulness to be kind in a world that makes it easy to post an Internet meme about kindness while forgetting to show it in our actions.

It’s about simple and unintimidating recipes, and inclusiveness, and honoring where we come from while striving to be better.” (pg. 100)

I hope you’ll love it, and if you have suggestions for future columns I’d love to connect and learn about them. Reach me at SavetheKales@gmail.com.

xo Jaime K

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Vegans & Valentine’s Day, Like Peas and Carrots (GET IT!?)

One of the most comforting things about being in the vegan community is that, when you’re lucky, it really is a community. Sure, we have the occasional naysayer, the “mean angry neighbor” type, yelling loudly that everyone is doing everything wrong, but most of us know that guy has just been through some hard things, so we embrace him with a knowing nod and continue to live in a way that expresses the infinite benefits of being vegan – especially the part of showing love.

JaimeKSaveTheKales-V-day

When I was asked to spill my Valentine’s Day plans as part of Meet the Shannons’ annual “Vegans on Valentine’s Day” post,  oooh girl (in RuPaul voice), I was thrilled. Besides the fact that this year, for me, is a week-long romantic/celebratory extravaganza, and aside from having an admiration-crush on The Shannons (individually and collectively), this round-up includes vegan ladies who are Compassion Powerhouses, woman I admire and respect so much, and to be included among them is humbling and, frankly, made me squeal.

Pop on over to the Vegans on Valentine’s Day post, and get romantic holiday plans from:

And because we’re sharing the love, allow me a moment to gush about my oodles of respect for Annie Shannon. She is someone I had been following online forever, and when I finally got to meet her and husband Dan at an event in New Jersey (hosted by Montclair Vegans) a year or two ago, I was nervous and excited.

It can be hard to remember that the people you look up to are REAL people. Not only do they live and breathe among us, they are humble and smart and witty, and work damn hard to make their personal dreams happen. True activists at heart, Annie and Dan found their way into homes across the world with The Betty Crocker Project, in which they veganized nearly every recipe in the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook.

meettheshannonsbooksigning

Me, Dianne of VeggieGirl.com, Dan and Annie Shannon at their book signing at Watchung Booksellers in NJ

I am forever and always inspired by people who feel compelled to do work that helps others, human or animal, a selfless drive to make the world a little better, and you can’t help but admire someone even more for when their intentions are pure.  Annie is hilarious and wonderful, and I saved and still revisit a conversation we had about plowing past negative online commenters and doing the hard work.

Love love love, it’s in the air.

Reviews and follow-up posts will be made about each of my plans. How lucky that so many things are happening in and around the Lehigh Valley! Mwah. xo

 

Thankfulness, the Blues, and Links I Love

I’ve lived in this space about ten months now, but continue nesting. (I love and hate the word “nesting”.)  Two weeks ago a friend came over and we painted the dining room this vibrant blue, the sort of color that makes you feel something, makes everything else look better and more dignified somehow. Chubby dog wagged his tail against the still-wet wall and looked like a rebellious teen for an afternoon.

blue walls

The living room needs to be painted as well, but last weekend we brought the holiday decorations out of the basement and began to set up the tree. I absolutely LOVE the ambience of a home decorated with white lights at Christmas. Everything feels special – playing board games with friends, catching up after a long day, indulging in a Drag Race marathon, all of it. Better with lights.

It’s our first Christmas in this home and I feel like we’ve always been here.

christmas in bethlehem

Thanksgiving (both of them – one with my parents, one with Ryan’s) ended the way most do: ate to the point of gluttony, shared stories with family, took a long, if accidental, nap on the sofa. I am always so humbled by the efforts made to ensure there is vegan food at the table (and how they say, “it’s so easy! you just get vegan butter and everything is the same!”). I never expect anyone to go out of their way for me in any situation, but when effort and foresight is put into it, it means the world. That’s thoughtfulness.

While the days ended much the same, Thanksgiving began with waking up early to go to a special benefit bootcamp for a woman with cancer. She’s the mother of one of the athletes Barry trains at his academy where I take fitness bootcamps three times a week.

We were planking and push-upping and squatting (“think of all the pie!”) and she was right there with us, doing what she could, and it was the perfect way to start a day meant for a focus on gratitude. Perspective + clarity don’t always come at 9am with sweat running down your face. They did that day.

thanksgiving2013bootcamp

Posted to the Save the Kales! facebook page:

 For fluffy dogs/cats & fluffy slippers, for families we are born into and families we create, for second (third & fourth) chances, for books & avocados & real love & connecting to others who leave the world a bit better than they found it – thank you. ❤

On to things to read around the web…

LINKS I LOVE

Strong Really Isn’t the New Sexy/Skinny”  Perhaps the best piece I’ve read on fitness replacing being skinny as a body ideal. (thanks Olivia!) Full of gems like: Strong, sexy, skinny. These things can exist together in every combination, or completely independently from one another. There is no one right answer, and we don’t have to disparage one body type to celebrate another. When we recognize and internalize that, we will be free.”

Best twitter account discovery: Faces in Things

surprised coffee

Vegan recipes: cream of mushroom soup / the best damn vegan biscuits 

Lisa Congdon reminds us to mind our own business

“It’s just that it drives me completely insane if I can’t see what you’re reading.” Confessions of a public book snoop.

The Vegan Police are everywhere and nowhere. “My fear of the vegan police arises from my own criticisms of myself, even though I fully acknowledge that I am an imperfect vegan and will most certainly continue to make mistakes on occasion.”

Little kids wearing glasses is one of my favorite things ever. So is what these parents did for their newly bespectacled boy.

Oh, hello handsome. Bearded Men in Knitted Things (in the words of my boyfriend, “So, basically you’re looking at porn.”)

Books I’m Reading: This Book Will Save Your Life / 168 Hours / Food Over Medicine

“Why does everyone in America pretend to be blind? They practice not seeing.They get into the car and they call someone on the cell phone. They are afraid to be alone but they don’t see the people around them.”

  – A. M. Homes, This Book Will Save Your Life

Color Runs, Book Clubs, Farmer’s Markets and Links I Love

As it turned out, that weird stomach bug I thought was over when I made my last post hid itself away just long enough to trick me into thinking I was better, then woopsies I went out and got sick in a garbage can in a public place. New experiences happen all the time, right? Ew. I spent a few more days hunkered down in bed with peppermint tea and dog cuddles.

I was determined to make it to the Color Me Rad 5K, so I  laced up my sneakers and made it through feeling not just good, but strong and happy and oddly connected to the 7,000 people running along with me. It was beautiful! The Southside was  a stunning mosaic of galloping bodies and candy-colored clouds.

colormerad coop team.jpg

bethlehem food coop 5k.jpg

And take a gander at this video Matt (STK! co-producer) made while running:

Everyone got RAD temporary tattoos, that um, seemed not-so-temporary, at least for the few days immediately following the run. I grew to love mine and briefly considered adding it to my forearm permanently. You are rad. I am rad. Life is pretty rad.

rad tattoo.jpg

These hot, hot days have been perfect for unleashing a barrage of freckles, big ol’ salads every day for lunch, and fantasizing about the mint herbal tea from Horns. In my daydreams I am backstroking through a swimming pool of this stuff, laying across a raft with the World’s Longest Straw. Get yourself over there if you’re in the area. (*Horns had new owners take over within the last year, and they are super vegan-friendly, and friendly in general. And one of the STK! interns works there, so say hello!)

horns herbal tea.jpg

I’m now part of a feminist book club with some local ladies, and our first meeting involved a delicious array of vegan cheese spreads, fig + almond cake, fresh fruit, and some wonderful insight. Our first book was Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, and it listening to the personal stories of the group about how beauty, self-image, comparisons, weight, and family relationships have affected their lives really left me more aware of how I perceive others and myself.  (It’s awfully easy to make assumptions about folks and what their lives must be like, eh?) I am thankful for the openness and vulnerability of those in attendance who talked so candidly about deeply personal experiences, and the reinforced idea that we never really know what someone is going through, or has been through, especially when we only know them on a superficial level (or not at all).

This is a list of links I love gathered from ’round the internet:

Garden gnomes attend a fancy-schmancy Garden Show (and uppity vendors got mad)

What are the standards you’ve set to measure your worth and success?

Now you can smell like Sylvia Plath or Edgar Allen Poe

The best depiction of Depression I’ve ever read/seen (it’s illustrated!)

Do you feel the need to achieve Boho Perfectionism?

Trade debt for freedom and experience

Why the “Strong is the new Skinny”  trend is damaging to our self-esteem and body perceptions

Sometimes the vegan/health community can cause you to feel self-conscious

The Onion has some insight for those with anxiety (harhar)

emmaus farmers market.jpg

Farmer’s Market season is in full-swing, and I hope you can make it out to a farmer’s market and soak in the greens, the flowers, the straw hats and tote bags. If you’re in Bethlehem, check out the new market on Southside. Not to mention all the rest in the Lehigh Valley area.

… This weekend, me and Ryan take off for a vacation. I’m looking forward to the local walking ghost tours, days spent around a pool, days spent together obligation-free. Bring. It.

Til next time,

xo Jaime K