Catching Up!

Well, hello everyone!

 

I have been hesitant to write because I have not written a recap of my 31 Things post. So I am here to say—that’s coming! Scout’s honor!

In the meantime, here’s what’s been going on in my vida loca:

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(That’s me on the right, mugging for the camera with my best friend Abby, at my birthday bash in February.)

 

I am fast and furiously at work on Modified Style, a fashion show fundraiser I help organize every year.

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This is the third year. It takes place Sunday May 1 at Disjecta. It’s an awesome show for an awesome cause (we’re raising money for Sisters of the Road, Children’s Healing Art Project-CHAP, and Out to Pasture Sanctuary). To buy tickets, head here.

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Vida Vegan Con is also shaping up quite nicely. It’s the world’s first ever International Vegan Blogging Conference taking place in Portland this August and is going to be quite spectacular, in my humble opinion. We have AMAZING people involved—everyone from Isa Chandra Moskowitz to Colleen Patrick Goudreau to Mama Pea. I’m going to spend the whole conference in awe of the sheer amount of ridiculous talent that will be in Portland. Tickets are sold out, but we three organizers will do a few giveaways in the next few months (so keep an eye on Get Sconed and Vegtastic Voyage, hint hint).

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If you’re a reader and you’re planning on coming, say hi to me in the comments! I’d love to ‘meet’ you!

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And look for our ad in the next edition of Veg News!

My mom and little brother came to town recently, and along with my older brother, we headed out to the coast to visit Grandma. It was a beautiful sunny day. A bit windy, but absolutely gorgeous.

My mom and my older brother both write blogs, by the way! Check them out!)

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My grandma called ahead to her favorite lunch spot to ask about ‘vaygun’ options. Even though she thinks my older brother and I are crazy for being vegan, she tried to accommodate. As a Portlander, I’m used to fancy tempeh bacon and vegan cheese or chicken shenanigans every place I go; it’s not often I find myself somewhere where there’s nothing vegan on a menu and they have to customize something for me. It was kind of cool. Winking smile

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They made me a deliciously huge salad. The owner made the salad for me herself. She kept stepping out of the kitchen to ask questions like,

“Do you eat eggs?” (No)

“Do you eat cranberries?” (Yes)

“Can you eat almonds?” (Yes)

“What about a whole wheat roll?” (Yes)

“Do you eat oranges?” (Yes, but I don’t want them on my salad.)

She created a gorgeous beast, and I ate (almost) all of it. I left the cherry tomatoes b/c they weird me out.

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We then headed down to the beach and walked along the sand, spotting kites and birds and shells.

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My grandma’s dog Lacy! Isn’t she cute? She’s quite a handful. Smile

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There was this adorable book store run by an Irish lady. It was messy and disorganized and reminded me of what a bookstore would look like if I owned one. I’m not saying I’m messy, I’m just saying my nickname as a child wasn’t “Messy Nessy” for nothing.

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We had such a nice time. I love spending time with my family. My older brother is heading back to South Korea to teach within the month, so I’m trying to soak up all the time I can get with him.

 

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We’re goofballs.

I took a trip out to Multnomah Falls last weekend. It’s only a 45 minute drive from Portland. The falls are majestic and simply gorgeous.

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If you’re coming out for Vida Vegan Con this August, I highly recommend scheduling some time to drive out here. 

And of course, I’ve also been eating delicious food. Some recent eats:

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And I went for a run on the waterfront a few days ago. Lookit how pretty it is:

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And one more thing; I’ve been listening to a few songs on repeat recently. This song, by Langhorne Slim (a recent Portland transplant and a fellow vegan, I hear) is hauntingly and sweetly sad. Sorry for the downer, it’s just lovely.

Sweet yet Sad.

I did it!

Abby and I nailed the valentine fanconi anemia 5k!

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The weather was dry and actually kinda warm out. Perfect race weather! People got dressed up valentine-y, which was really cute. Abby and I will dress up next year if we run this race again.

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We finished in about 45 minutes, which is super rad for the amount of training we put into it.

My training plan worked really well. I’m planning on marketing it, but I’ll share with you the key points right now.

JANESSA’S TRAINING PLAN

1. Go for two runs the week before your race.

2. Drink anywhere from 2-4 glasses of wine the night before each training run.

3. Feel like poo in the morning of your training runs and have a hard time running.

4. On the night before your race, abstain from alcohol, drinks lots water, and go to sleep early.

5. Bam. On the day of your race, you’ll feel so much better and running will be so much easier when you’re properly prepared that the race itself will be a breeze.

You can modify this plan a bit, if you like. For example, drink a cocktail instead of a glass of wine, or go for more training runs than just two. This method is what worked for me though.

;P

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All kidding aside, I’m super stoked. I’ve tried the couch to 5k training plan a few times before, but just got bored. I like this new way better. I’ll run 3 miles repeatedly until I can run the whole way [Abby and I stopped to walk 3 times, for about a minute each, so I’m estimating that within the next month I will be able to run the whole 3 miles without stopping]. Then I’ll up mileage to 5 miles until I can run the whole way, and just keep adding mileage. Throw in some official races for motivation and fun, and pretty soon I’ll be running like a champ.

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[hee hee I love this picture. this girl does not look happy to be here!]

I had so much fun, and I’m proud of myself! I totally didn’t think I’d run in a 5k before my 31st birthday, and now look at me. Yay!

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Valentine Fanconi Anemia 5K

As part of my 31 things to do before my 31st birthday,  [February 28th, 2 weeks away, augh!!!] I’m running a 5K bright and early tomorrow morning.

ABBYMERUN [me and the gorgeous Abby on a training run earlier this week]

The course starts at the Morrison bridge in downtown Portland and snakes along the river to Moody Blvd. I’ve never ran with hundreds of people before. I have a feeling it’s going to be loads of fun. I stopped by foot traffic today to pick up my bib number and free race hoody.

I planned on taking a picture of the cool purple hoody to show you, but it’s too comfortable. I tried it on five hours ago and now will never take it off.

I don’t think I’d even know what a bib number is if it weren’t for the certain healthy living blogs I read every day. Thanks, ladies!

A bib number is a piece of paper with a number on it that you attach to an article of clothing you’re wearing before you start the race.

The race is a fundraiser for Fanconi Anemia research, which is a rare genetic disease that targets children and young adults. Many blood disorders, including leukemia [which my Dad was diagnosed with, though his leukemia didn’t come from anemia], often lead to bone marrow failure. A transplant may be the only cure. 

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I’m proud to support such a good cause and looking forward to running along the Willamette River with Abby.

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They’re also offering free testing to know if you’re a good match for the bone marrow registry. I’d like to get tested to see if I’d be a match.

If you have never been tested to be on the bone marrow registry, please decide to do so today.  It could be one of the best decisions you ever make. The decision to do what you can to try and save a life… It certainly doesn’t get any bigger than that.

The life of someone’s child…someone’s brother, sister, best friend or parent. Imagine it were your child, family member, or friend. And then imagine how much you’d be hoping for that life saving match…

Testing will be available at no cost the day of event.
You really can make a difference.

okay, off to bed for a good night’s sleep before the big 5K tomorrow!

—-

A spot of good news—My new laptop should arrive on Monday. This means that by next week, I’ll have a computer that has a working shift key, control key, and USB port. YES!

Checking in with my “31 things” list

On October 18th, I made a list of 31 things I hoped to do before my 31st birthday. Granted, this was an ambitious list as my 31st birthday is February 28th. I will give myself carte blanche to extend this little list til my half-birthday (August 28th, duhr) if I feel like it.

 

1. Drive a car. Legally.

I have a feeling this won’t be likely to happen by February 28th. ONE DAY THOUGH, MY FRIENDS. ONE DAY. And when I do drive, I certainly won’t have an excuse to have any drunken biking shenanigans. (Why didn’t someone tell me my helmet was backwards?!)

 

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2. Learn to like beets OR eggplant

This one is going pretty well. I’ve eaten beets a handful of times. Turns out I don’t mind them when they’re shredded and in salads. Less obvious to my palate, that way. Two occasions in particular stand out—in the delicious Garden Wrap from Blossoming Lotus and in my Caesar Salad from Proper Eats.

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My plans for eggplant include making an eggplant-bacon. If you add maple syrup and liquid smoke to cardboard it will taste good. Although it’s questionable whether eggplant tastes better than cardboard or not, I’m willing to give it a try.

3. Make my own amaretto

Urm, hmmm. I will do this one before I turn 31. Pinky Swear.

4. Start learning graphic design and mad Photoshop skillz

Oh, I had the loveliest reader volunteer to help me with Photoshop, but I haven’t had time yet to follow up. I will soon, Katharine!

5. See the Northern Lights in Iceland

I thought this one would be in the bag. I had my trip booked and everything. But then I received a call from Icelandic Air. They gave me the choice of either flying out of Seattle the day before I had bought my ticket or the day after. Or get a refund.

My first thought? “SEATTLE? I thought I was flying out of Portland!” My second thought: “Hells to the yeah on the refund. Ireland, here I come!”

I studied in Northern Ireland ten years ago and have been wanting to go back for SO LONG. So, I bought a ticket. I’m flying into Dublin on January 25th. OH YES.

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Look at this. I don’t care one bit that I won’t be crossing #5 off my list.

6. Revisit an old destination

To be honest, I don’t quite remember what I was thinking here. How strict do I want to be with myself? I revisited Cave Junction for Christmas. Does that count? I went out to the Gorge in November. Does that count? I have a feeling I was giving myself a little leeway with this one. I’ll take it!

Done!

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7. Find the best espresso shot in Portland

Done. It’s a tie—Heart, Stumptown, and Cloud 7.

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8. Donate to a farm sanctuary

I personally haven’t donated yet, but as part of the Vida Vegan Crew, we donated 5% of ticket sales in 2010 to Pigs Peace. I will personally donate to one before my 31st birthday.

9. Write a business plan

In progress!

10. Go on a night hike

Oh yeah! This one will be fun! I have no doubt I can finish this before February 28th.

11. Maybe look into possibly perhaps buying a fancy new SLR Camera

Still reallllllly want to, but with my broken computer keyboard and usb ports, and my jerk of a phone, a fancy camera unfortunately has got to be pushed lower on the list.

12. Write love notes to my friends and family

Done.

13. Grow my hair out

In Progress!

14. Make a lentil meatloaf

Done! I made a lentil meatloaf for our Christmas dinner. I looked up several recipes for inspiration, then just threw in a whole bunch of stuff. It turned out beautifully, and while I probably won’t end up sharing the recipe, I do have some advice for any would-be lentil loaf makers out there: use lots of binder. I used flax seeds, bread crumbs and walnut pieces. It held together beautifully.

15. Go sledding

Oh Man! Who wants to go?!!??!

16. Post a photo essay composed on the colors of Fall

Done! Twice!

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17. Visit the California redwoods for my dad

Done.

18. Spend a day volunteering

Urm, not yet! Though I spend a lot of time volunteering for Modified Style, which supports awesome local non-profits (like Sisters of the Road and Out to Pasture Sanctuary).

19. Run a 5k

Did someone feel over-ambitious while making this list?

20. Implement and throw an International Vegan Blogging Conference [Vida Vegan Con!]

In Progress!

21. Attend a Quaker meeting

Oh yeah. Quakerism is fascinating. I’d love to learn more. Any Quaker readers who want to take me a meeting with them?

22. Read a book for pleasure

Done! Well, mostly Agatha Christie murder mysteries (a good murder mystery is a great way to spend a bus ride) but I just purchased and started Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man. She is one big bundle of awe-inspiring talent, and I can’t wait to get into it. If you haven’t read any of her work yet, I highly suggest On Beauty.

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23. Paint a picture

Done! I walked into Muse (an awesome art store on Hawthorne Blvd here in Portland) a few days ago and told the very lovely gentleman working the counter that I wanted to paint a picture. He kindly steered me toward an acrylic set (on sale from Christmas, whoo-hoo!) that included a messenger bag, 3 brushes, 5 tubes of paint and some scraper-things. I bought some canvases, then proceeded home, feeling confident in my artistic masterpiece that was about to be created.

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Painting is hard.

My first draft is an eye-sore. But I have hope for my next piece! I think I will draw something lightly in pencil first, or at least get an idea of what I want to paint before I put paintbrush to canvas.

24. Get another tattoo

I can *almost* guarantee that I will get a tattoo either in Ireland this month or during Vida Vegan Con this August.

25. Pay for the person behind me in line’s movie ticket

I need to go to the movies more often!

26. Attend a bikram yoga class

This will happen.

27. Compliment every single person I talk to in a single day

Oh, this one will be fun! What day should I choose? Probably not a day I have to work, as I’d then have to compliment everyone who came in to the brewpub…. That’d leave me with complimenting over 300 people, for sure. I will wait for a day off.

28. Make homemade Christmas presents for everyone

Hmmmm. I made homemade vegan Baileys for some peeps. I will count it.

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29. Eat raw one day a week for a month

I will try it this month!

30. Start writing in a journal again

Done. I have begun the process. There’s something beautiful and capital-R-Romantic about writing in a small black journal at a bar, sitting quietly, sipping your wine, and ruminating on the state of your affairs. I had forgotten the amount of enjoyment I get out of journal writing.

31. Take time to smell the flowers

Always! I was obviously trying to be kind to myself by giving myself an easy one.

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What things do you want to accomplish before your next birthday?