NEPA BlogCon: Pennsylvania’s Best Ever Blog Conference

It’s still dark on this Saturday morning, and I slipped out of bed, through the tunnel of limbs and paws and comforter, to get ready to head to Wilkes-Barre for the second annual NEPA BlogCon (Northeast Pennsylvania Blog Conference)!

I’ll be presenting along with Christina of It’s a Keeper as part of the marketing track. A week ago we called to chat on the phone about our presentation and talked for over two hours about blogging, writing, online perceptions, what we wish we’d known in the beginning, etc. It was a riot and I CAN’T WAIT for this conference to start!

Bonus! All proceeds benefit Blue Ridge Farms, a no-kill shelter/refuge in Dallas, PA.

People will be live tweeting and tweet-chatting and all sorts of things all day at #NEPABlogCon if you can’t make it but want to internet stalk us in real time!

Coming soon… 

A Vegfest re-cap (with video!), my experience at the Emmy Awards, my solo retreat into the woods, death & grief and how we heal, a somewhat cliché list of favorite Fall things, and saying GOODBYE FOREVER to my 20’s.

Until then, here is a photo of a sweet tiny pig:

jaimek and pig

 

“So long as you write it away regularly nothing can really hurt you.” 
― Shirley Jackson

xo Jaime K

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An Update on the Bethlehem Vegfest Explosion (and Why You Need to Eat at Jenny’s Kuali)

Vegfests are meant to be joyful celebrations of compassion for animals and people, healthy minds and bodies, good food and good vibes.

While the 2013 Bethlehem Vegfest was a positive experience for so many (more on that later), a dark cloud hung over the day when, about thirty minutes into the festival, a small explosion at Jenny’s Kuali food vendor booth sent three women to the hospital for first and second degree burns (Jenny herself was burned the most).

Thanks to @obsidianspider, Todd, for sharing your photo

Thanks to @obsidianspider, Todd, for sharing your photo

It was a unfortunate freak accident, quickly covered by local and Philadelphia media. No Vegfest patrons or other vendors were hurt, and the festival continued to run as planned.

Because we have such a wonderful and caring community, people have been asking about Jenny’s health, the state of the business (as they never got to sell any food at Vegfest and the restaurant closed for several days), and what they can do to help.

I just spoke to Jenny’s husband, and had a remarkable conversation that left me feeling even more grateful and even more proud that these wonderful people are in our community.

  • Jenny is still recovering in the hospital, and her husband happily anticipates she’ll be home early next week. They don’t want her to go back to work just yet, though she’ll be back when they feel she is well enough.
  • All expenses should be covered by their insurance company, so they not in dire financial trouble.
  • The restaurant has been opened regular hours since Wednesday, Sept. 11th!

 You Can Best Help by going to the restaurant, bringing your friends and family, and feasting on delicious Malaysian food until you have to be rolled out the door. 

 

I felt so helpless (as many of us did) and asked if donations would help cover any of their costs. Jenny’s husband, a man just as kindhearted and lovely as she is, said they do not need donations. They want business to run as usual and to serve people their food, cooked with love.

He added if people feel compelled to donate, send the money to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or a care center for burn victims (like this one locally) “for someone who needs it”.

I expressed my relief that they are financially stable, considering they should have done so well at Vegfest, and then they had to close their business for a few days. That’s when he said something so genuine:

“So I don’t have an extra ten dollars to spend, so what?

It’s just money. Life is more important.”

Where to Go:
 Jenny’s Kuali, Malaysian Cuisine
102 E. 4th Street, Bethlehem (Southside) PA, 18015
Open 11am-8pm Mon-Wed; 11am-9pm Thurs-Sat (Closed Sunday)
610-757-8088
www.JennysKuali.com
Jenny’s Kuali Facebook Page (for updates & specials)
Dine in or Take out
Very vegan + gluten-free friendly!
BYOB — and located right next door to a Wine & Spirits shop
Appetizers start at $2, and most entrees are just under $10
 
Delicous food at Jenny's Kuali
 

I wrote about them for Lehigh Valley Style as one of my Favorite Things in the Lehigh Valley (scroll to the bottom).

Jaime K’s tips: Jenny’s is easily one of the most vegan-friendly places in the area, and they are proud to serve so many options to the vegan community. Most of their desserts are made with coconut milk, and you can’t go wrong with the bok choy in any entree. It’s also extremely budget friendly – the last time I ate there with Ryan, we got two appetizers, two entrees, and a dessert and it was under $30 (after tax!). If you go on a weekend night, you may want to call ahead for reservations (not always necessary, but a good idea).

Food is love. Show your love for these wonderful people and this shining gem in our restaurant scene and community by supporting Jenny’s Kuali.

Wishing Jenny a peaceful, restful recovery. xoxo

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

Sweet Relief + Forks Over Knives Giveaway!

After three days of a stomach bug, I’m finally feeling human again. Thank goodness, just in time for the Color Me Rad color run this weekend in Bethlehem – will you be there?

To celebrate eating food and feeling healthy (heck, just normal), I’m giving away a blu-ray copy of Forks Over Knives! Cause health feels good.

Grateful to have a morning full of banana ice cream.

Grateful to have a morning full of banana ice cream.

To win:

Leave a comment telling me what you’d like to see on an upcoming episodes of Save the Kales! TV show, and/or a written post here on the blog.

You can leave comments on –  Facebook or Twitter

I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner in June!

Being sick after such a wonderful few weeks was a drag, but I got to sleep for a hundred hours and catch up on goofy paranormal ghost reality shows. You know, the important things. Looking forward to getting back to work and filling you in on cooking for Joan Jett, being featured on Our Hen House, and writing an article for the next issue of a beautiful magazine. 

Be well. xo

Save the Kales TV: One Year Passed… and a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Last week we taped the cooking segments of our thirteenth episode, the first episode of the second year for the Save the Kales! TV show.

Wow.

With impeccable timing, Vance Lehmkuhl (writer of V for Veg column for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com) called to interview me for an article about Vegan TV shows. I love that the column is about multiple shows – plural, thankyouverymuch – because that many exist now (!!!), and it’s an absolute honor to be included among the much-anticipated Vegan Mashup, shows by Christina Pirello, and The Vegan Black Metal Chef (who, by the way, is the nicest guy ever, and before STK! aired it’s very first show he somehow found out about it and and found me online and wrote, “Just make it whatever YOU want it to be, and it will be a success”.)

You can read the article here: TV Dinners, the Vegan Way

And STK! has some exciting news, and since it’s officially in print I can finally share it:

stk-seattle-animation

It has been so hard to keep this a secret!

IT’S TRUE. Save the Kales! episodes will start to air in Seattle & parts of Canada, to a potential audience of over two million households. That number typed out looks like this: 2,000,000. *gulp*

I’ll give more info as everything unfolds, but if you live there or have any friends in Seattle, put in a good word for us, will you? I’m excited about it airing in Canada since I already sort of have the accent, eh?

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Our show, the Little Show That Could, has come a long way in the first year. I’ve had some chuckles with the crew about that first episode (parts of it cringe-worthy), the way creating each DIY episode completely on our own has been such a wonderful lesson in getting more comfortable talking on camera, slowing down, tightening the editing, bringing in more cameras, utilizing help of assistants and interns… and I’ve made some very, very good friends.

There's his name in the credits! Yay, Matt!

There’s his name in the credits! Yay, Matt!

Matt is my right-hand-man, and without his help the show would not exist. He’s a co-producer, the main camera man, the director, and editor. It’s a shame you don’t get to see him in every episode because he puts a tremendous amount of time and work into every single one.

A few days ago, I received this email from Matt (shared with permission):

“This past Wednesday I was reflecting on the fact that the STK! show was a year old.  I was thinking of how the quality keeps getting better, how it seems to be growing in popularity and all the positive things that have come out of it.   Then I realized something that came out of the show I hadn’t considered…it’s been slowly changing me too.
 
Obviously, since my daughter came along eight months ago, my whole role in life has been re-evaluated, re-organized and restructured.  All though it has all been wonderful it hasn’t always been easy.  Somehow, Save the Kales! became this goal…something positive, something that I felt needed to get out to the world…something that would make people more empowered about themselves and happy about who they are (or in my case, happy about who I was becoming).
 
I’m a pretty sure I’m a different person than I was a year ago.  I know a big part of that is my daughter, but I know it wouldn’t have been such a positive, empowering change if it wasn’t for Save the Kales!  My transition into fatherhood has been eased a little bit and I’m not as afraid moving forward….and I’m also finding myself eating a lot healthier then I did a year ago 🙂
 
So, as I was saying, this past Wednesday I was reflecting on all of that and and then suddenly the universe threw me a surprise, as it does from time to time.  The blog you wrote at the 10th anniversary of your father’s passing popped up on Facebook somewhere.  I only knew what you had told my wife and I in the past, but I had never read the post.  I was reminded of a lot of things…emotionally and spiritually…and was very touched.  It also reminded me of why we started the show in the first place.  You’re a very good, honest person that exudes positivity and somehow makes people comfortable with themselves at the same time.  I know we saw that spark in you and thought, “other people need to experience this.”
 
I know life isn’t always easy and we still have a ways to go with the show, but you should be very proud of yourself…you can and ARE changing peoples lives for the better.  There is far too little good in the world that gets exposed and I feel it is our mission to get more good out there to the public.
 
With that all being said…thank you, thank you, thank you.  I’m glad there are people like you in the world and I’m very excited that we’re working with you to make it better.
 
  Happy 1 year STK!TV”
Me, Sarah and Matt thee Christmases ago because I can't find a more recent photo of the three of us together (!). THEY MAKE DREAMS HAPPEN.

Me, Sarah and Matt three Christmases ago because I can’t find a more recent photo of the three of us together (!). THEY MAKE DREAMS HAPPEN.

And it’s true. We make this show because we believe in it. 
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Listen, if I was a painter, I’d paint. If I was a musician, I’d make music. Or draw, or sculpt, or create whatever it is my abilities lent themselves to in order to do the work that expresses our mission: be kind to yourself, animals, and each other.
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…As it is, we have equipment and an outlet to make a show on TV and we do our best to make it welcoming and informative while being friendly and inclusive. We make a show because that’s what we can do. We recently got a new sponsor who reached out to us because “the show isn’t pretentious, and [they] like that”. What a compliment!
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At the end of the day, this isn’t about me, or Matt, or our crew. It really is about wanting to make some positive difference, in whatever way we can, however big or small that turns out to be. Doing something is better than doing nothing. And when I run into people at the supermarket who say “Excuse me, do you host that Kales show?” or get emails from people who are, at the very least, incorporating more vegan meals into their cooking, it’s proof that what we do matters. (“We”, as in, all of us. You too.)
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On the set of our third episode, performing the ritual of clearing kitties out of the kitchen.

On the set of our third episode, performing the ritual of clearing kitties out of the kitchen.

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Thank you for watching or reading or supporting Save the Kales! in your own way, and supporting what we stand for. Matt said, There is far too little good in the world that gets exposed, and I feel it is our mission to get more good out there to the public.” Yes, yes, a thousand times YES.
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We’re so happy to continue to do just that.  Cheers to Season Two and heading to the west coast! xo
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… and this outtake video of our second episode, because it makes me laugh every time I see it, and who couldn’t use a good, contagious laugh?

 

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COLOR ME RAD 5K in Bethlehem, PA: Become a Human Tie-Dye Project

Update: See photos and a video of the event HERE! 

You know those daydreams where the world is magically splashed in hues of fushia and turquoise, and everyone is getting along and rooting for each other, and hugging and cheering, and you think, “Why can’t this be real life?”

It will be, and it’s happening in Bethlehem on May 19, 2013.

Watch and see what I mean:

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Worried that you’re not the fastest runner, or a runner at all? Don’t be. No one cares if you win, how fast (or slow) you are, if you’re wearing the coolest gear or what your body looks like. This is about getting active, being involved in a big community event, and feeling like an awesome Warhol-esque gazelle high-fiving the rest of the pack.

Truth: So many of my friends who’ve never run a day in their lives have already signed up for this. You’re not in competition, darlin’. 

Image

The Bethlehem Food Co-op put together a team, open to any and everyone who wants to join! Register under team name “The Co-Operators” and team captain last name “Marsh”.

If running really isn’t your thing, you can become a volunteer and sling beautiful pixie-dust (colored cornstarch, but we can dream) at the runners.

Hey, just register. You’ll be bummed the next day when everyone’s uploading photos of their crayon-colored selves to Facebook.

Register and Learn more HERE!

color me rad bethlehem pa

MY PIEROGI DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE: All You Can Eat Pierogies at Slovak Night

Hello, my name is Jaime K and I’m obsessed with pierogi.

If I had to pick one “last dinner” food, I would choose pierogi.

One of my favorite childhood (um, adult) dreams is getting trapped inside a giant peirogi.

Remember when I found this Pierogi Parade bag?

I once almost broke up with a boy because he had never heard of pierogies and kept calling them “Pilates”.

In fact, come to my house and you can meet THIS Pierogi:

Pierogi Cat

So, MERRY FREAKIN’ CHRISTMAS to me, because I just found out our pals at The Honey Underground are having a Slovak night.

That’s right. All you can eat pierogi, cabbage & noodles,  halupkis, galubki, halushki, borscht and more! ALL VEGAN. As much as you can eat before you turn into a Pierogi.

Heaven on Earth.

… Be still my Polish heart.

DETAILS!:

The Honey Underground

Slovak Night, Saturday Dec. 1st

6pm-10pm

$15.95 per person

Reservations required

Click Here for address and phone number

Facebook Page

Pierogi kitchen towel. Fan art?

{Pierogi Kitchen Towel, $14 by Garbella}

Shall we take bets on who will have to roll the other out of there? Thank you WENDY for making my dreams come true.

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