LifestyleAdventures

The weird beauty on the outskirts of Bakersfield, CA

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It sure is beautiful here when you see past the piles of tangled metal car parts, spilled oil on driveways, and dead dogs that run along the main road in and out of Bakersfield pre-dawn (for serious. Scary stumbling along these running pre-dawn along sidewalk-less roads).

My fingers are clotted with red, nearly too numb to type, but I can’t help wanting to record what I see…

Food

Giving Away Kombucha

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One of my favorite things about growing kombucha has been giving away the babies. Kombucha scobies reproduce quickly. While I had received my mother only three months ago, by the time I left NYC she had spawned into 25 new scobies. Initially I gave them away to friends, but since leaving NYC it became expedient that I list them on Craigslist and bartering site, Our Goods, to get them out the door more readily. Throughout the week, people have been filtering in and out of my husband’s office as they choose a baby to bring home with them to make … Read More

LifestyleFood

10 Billion Lives

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According to USDA reports, nearly 10 billion land animals are raised and killed every year for food in the U.S. alone. Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), is bringing this injustice to the country’s attention by showing the hard-hitting 10 Billion Lives video at college campuses, music festivals and street fairs.

Our dedicated staff and volunteers offer passersby $1 to watch the video – an outreach method known as “pay-per-view.” After watching, viewers are encouraged to decrease consumption of animals and work towards a vegan diet. The results speak for themselves – more than 80% of viewers commit to eating fewer animal products!

Lifestyle

Tutoring Barron Trump

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Have you Tutored Barron Trump?

Over the years I have tutored many students and managed a company, Bright Kids NYC, that tutors NYC students for admissions into private schools and gifted programs. Considering the high percentage of students that enroll in test prep to gain admissions into kindergarten programs in NYC, there is large likelihood that a student like Barron Trump, among many other celebrity children, has been one of the thousands of 4 year olds streaming through our doors to prepare for the IQ-like exam that determines admissions into one of NYC’s elite privates schools. While friends have asked, “Have you tutored Barron Trump?” my answer continues to stand that all student information is private and confidential.

Ok… So if you did tutor Barron Trump? Does it make you feel guilty?

No matter who the parents are of the children I work with, I never feel guilty about educating a child. Providing education to a child is one of the greatest gifts I can give. While I may not agree with every child’s parents that I work with, I would never deny a child a fair and equal education. In fact, I’m hoping in the next couple of seasons to generate a Kickstarter to launch either free or low-cost tutoring material that I would publish online, allowing many parents, including those that cannot afford tutoring or expensive tutoring books, to access test prep material to prepare for the private school and gifted and talented kindergarten admissions exams…

LifestyleAdventures

How to Pack for 4 Month Trip Living in a Van

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It is daunting packing for a 4 month trip living in a van – with the restriction of having one small cabinet in a Camper Van to hold my less-than-worldly belongings. This is not a trip for leisure – as evidenced by the lack of fun, feminine, colorful clothing in my wardrobe – but one of practicality.

LifestyleFood

Vegans and Environmentally Concerned Ought to Reconsider Blue Apron

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] I am often supportive of my friends transitioning from takeout to cooking in their home, as cooking makes one more aware and in control of what one is putting in his/her body. However, I have a bone to pick… with Blue Apron because for a company that has generated more than $193 million funding, they do not do enough to encourage environmentally and animal friendly eating. The packaging is wasteful…the carbon footprint is high considering everything ships from only two distribution centers…food is not local… and of course the lack of vegan options signals a lack of care for animal lives… … Read More

LifestyleAdventuresFood

My Grandpa Wrote Back – Supporting a Vegan Lifestyle, Even If You Do Not Follow

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“Dear Jen—-First of all—-thank you, thank you for your kind thoughts and writings regarding Poppy’s memorandum pertaining to his children and grandchildren. I had given some thought to expressing my admiration and pride for the next generation and as one gets older, we see the inner characteristics of our off spring in a different light than when I was younger and that is why I sat down with my thoughts and wrote from my inner heart felt view point. And now for the main purpose of this note. Jen, you revealed your inner most thoughts and soul with the way that you expressed yourself in answering my concerns and questions —Why go to California on the behalf of >Animal Rights” ? Your quick response to my concerns makes me realize that you have a plan for your life and that you are determined to live up to these plans and expectations. BRAVO Jen In any event, I will wish you the best with your endeavors and spirit to leave a footprint in the sands of our world. An old Navy command to the helmsman at the wheel—>Stay The Course”—meaning, your plans for the present and the future—will be as you want them to be. You have determination for living your life with he same compassion as your old great grandmother Liza Eglit Liepin So keep us informed about your travels and meeting up with people who have similar views as you—-or will have them after listening to your views. Lots of Luck and “Fair Winds” with you travels.
Love as Always. Joan and Poppy.”

It felt so good to read this last night. As much as my grandpa is proud of me and some of my differences from him, I am proud of him for over time becoming a more open person. He has slowly come to terms with my “throw caution to the wind” attitude over the years as I have…

LifestyleAdventuresFood

Disappointing my Grandpa Again – An Animal Rights Activist’s Battle to Retain Dignity in a World Based Around Commercial Success

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Received an upsetting email from my grandpa: I love my grandpa and want him to be proud of and understand me. I replied… Dear Poppy and Joan, I value your opinion; as you are both wonderful people that serve as active role models in my life. Much of my choices to help others have been inspired by your compassionate efforts to help refugees involved with your church or deliver warm meals to housebound seniors in your Meals on Wheels program. I am constantly thinking of what I can do to help others, and while efforts to pursue this on a full-time … Read More