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Bake Sale Success!

Woohoo! The NYC Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry this past weekend was a success. We were able to meet our goal of $3,000 for No Kid Hungry. No Kid Hungry’s mission is to end childhood hunger in the U.S. by partnering with schools and government programs to provide healthy meals to children. If you want to support the cause and couldn’t make it to the bake sale, it’s not too late to make an online donation

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I made banana chocolate chip bread for the bake sale. You can tell I’m a bake sale noob with my very unprofessional hand written packaging, haha.

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My friend and fellow healthy food blogger, Laurel, looking fabulous while selling baked goods.

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An amazing selection of sweet treats.

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NYC Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry Tomorrow!

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New Yorkers! Don’t forget to come check out the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry at Brooklyn Flea tomorrow.

Date: May 4, 2013
Time: 10am-5pm
Location: The Brooklyn Flea, 176 Lafayette Ave. (btw. Clermont + Vanderbilt Ave.)

Can’t make it to the event? Check out the raffles to support us/win fabulous prizes. Le Crueset? Cookbooks? Chocolate? Hell yeah! All you need is a $10 donation to enter.

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I Need Your Help!

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I need your help, readers! I entered this contest to win 6 months free travel. I worked really hard making my first video ever, teaching myself how to use iMovie and facing my fear of getting in front of the camera! Even if I don’t win, I’m really happy to have made a tribute to Queens–the place I’ve called home for the past 10 years. As you may or may not know, I am leaving the country soon, so filming this was all very bittersweet.

If you could spare a couple minutes of your time, I’d be SUPER grateful if you could visit the link below and vote with your different social media accounts. (Each tweet/pin/etc is one vote). There’s no limit to voting, I don’t think. Also, feel free to watch my video and laugh at my on-screen awkwardness :) Here’s the link!

http://www.mydestination.com/users/irisvk/bbb

Thank you soooo much <3

Vote for me

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Another Useful Infographic: The Shelf Life of Food

You know I can’t help sharing silly infographics with you.

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I’m really paranoid about how long I can keep food. This is a concern of mine ’cause when you’re cooking for one, you end up with a lot of food you’re not going to eat within the next 2 days. And I don’t have the stomach to risk it. Visual.ly created a handy infographic of the shelf life of your food in the pantry, fridge, and freezer (if it should be there at all). Check out Foodbeast’s post for the full graphic.

Happy Friday!

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Why You Need Habit-Building iPhone App Lift, And Why I Need to Delete It

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I want to recommend an iPhone app to you. But by recommending this app, I’m publicly admitting to already failing at my New Year Un-Resolution.

The elegantly designed app is called Lift, and it’s successful because of it’s simplicity. You think of a habit you want to build, and either join it if it’s already available in the Lift community, or create your own. Then you publicly check in every time you do the habit. Instead of cheesy badges, you are rewarded with information on your streaks. You are also reminded to stick to your habit goals by setting up push notifications, which unlike other apps, Lift does not abuse.

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Whether you’re looking for encouragement to eat your five servings of veggies a day, or floss your teeth every night, Lift can help. Best of all, it’s free! You can download it at the iTunes Store.

The past two weeks, I’ve built daily habits of making my bed, eating at the table, and moisturizing every day. These may sound like fantastic things, but don’t be fooled. Since my New Year Un-Resolution was to be comfortable with myself the way I am and not to pressure myself to improve, Lift is making me fail at that…miserably. I’m addicted to improvement.

Maybe what I need is a detox from anything related to personal development. Starting with this app. But you, on the other hand, need to download it ASAP. Highly recommended.

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I Guess I Am Addicted to Caffeine After All

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Despite not really following the Food Lover’s Cleanse strictly, I thought I would give up coffee, alcohol, sugar, bread/pasta, and dairy for a few days, just to see what happens. I’ve always said that when it comes to coffee, I can take it or leave it. I absolutely love coffee and believe it has more health benefits than negative effects, but I only enjoy one cup a day–usually a double espresso I make at home. It never makes me jittery, I have zero issues with falling asleep, and if I go a day without it I’m just fine.

Now that it’s my 6th day off coffee, let me tell you I am feeling it. I feel like I’ve had a mild headache for two days straight. Yeah, it could be something else–I was feeling a little under the weather earlier this week. But most likely it’s caffeine withdrawal, yikes! Didn’t think it would happen to me but it’s happenin’. I can’t wait to make me a delicious pre-workout double espresso tomorrow morning :)

Do you drink coffee everyday? Have you ever experienced caffeine withdrawal?

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The New Year Un-Resolution

Last year, I was hardcore with my 2012 goals. I set five big ones, and accomplished four of them. (Damn you, DMV. I’ll never get my drivers license!) But prior to 2012, I had been on a self-improvement kick for a while. If it wasn’t for resolution making and goal setting, I’m sure I wouldn’t have made the huge strides I did in just a few short years.

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I’m doing something different this year. I’ve been thinking a lot about staying in the present. Disengaging. Forgetting perfection. Minimizing self-imposed stress. As much as my determination to become a better person in all areas of life has helped me accomplish a lot, I wanted to see if I could challenge myself in a very different way this year. I foresee a lot of change, joy, and struggles in the year to come. Rather than have a list of resolutions, I have one un-resolution: to feel good about the way I am, no matter what. I want to see if I can make it through the year being happy with what I have rather than feel the need to improve myself, or fix where I’m lacking. It’s the ultimate challenge.

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So, in the spirit of my 2013 Un-Resolution, here are some less-than-perfect photos for you. I intended to make some slamming homemade mince pies, and write a cool post about how I had happy teenage memories eating mince pies with one of my BFFs, Frances. But the mince pies came out unimpressive. The pastry didn’t look pretty. And I realized just about no one likes mince pies except Frances and I. On top of that, I have a new camera and haven’t quite figured out how to take the best shots with it yet. I thought about abandoning the entire post idea. But I realized, it’s OK! I’m happy to eat food that no one likes but me. And I’m happy to share my strangely dark and moody food photos with the world. Everything is how it should be.

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Looking Back at 2012

My blog hasn’t been around for an entire year, so I can skip the obligatory Best Posts of 2012 (yay). However, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my 2012 with you in photos.

Last year, one of my resolutions was to take a photo a day. I definitely didn’t manage to do it everyday, and I almost forgot about the resolution during the last few months. But in the end I still win because I finished the year with maybe 10 times the amount of photos I’d usually have. It’s been a great creative outlet and helped my photography skills. More importantly, it’s a wonderful gift to be left with so many photos of happy memories, may they be big events like weddings, or tiny details like how much I loved my first pair of fun pink earphones. Enjoy!

January
This was an exciting month for me! New roomie, new bedroom, new volunteer gig at the farmers market, and all kinds of awesome resolutions, like the photo project. Oh and this gross dead fish head that sat outside my building for an entire month. How did it get there?! Why didn’t anyone clean it up?

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February
The month of love! With both Valentines, my relationship anniversary, (and a flower delivery mishap) I got tons of flowers. And I baked tons of cookies for the people I <3.

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March
I escaped what felt like a never-ending winter and went to Miamiiiii. When I came back I got started on my first attempt at growing food. This was the first life I created.

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April
This was a month of learning how to love home and transform it into a beautiful place I want to spend time at. You don’t know how helpful Pinterest was in this endeavor.

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May
I ate delicious food and partied at The Great Googa Mooga. I also went to LA for a few days. No biggie.

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June
I turned 26! In the Dominican Republic!

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July
I was loving summer food in July. LOVE. I grew it, cooked it, ate it.

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August
I got to play with a fancy camera. My food photography suddenly got a whole lot better. Oh yeah, I also got a fat lip from jumping on a pull-up bar. Sad.

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September
I ran my first 10K race, woohoo! And refused to let summer end. I ate ice pops and kicked pumpkins.

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October
I watched my childhood best friend get married in France. What a lovely, lovely couple. I also enjoyed indulging in Amsterdam. I need more speculaas in my life.

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November
We welcomed a lovely little lady to the fam. Say hello to my new niece :) I no longer wanted to kick pumpkins. I wanted to eat them everyday. And I wrote what was one of my post popular recipes for the blog!

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Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers

December 
I went to Vegas with my BFF bride-to-be. My little sister came to visit at the end of the month. We partied with my boyfriend at a masquerade ball on New Years Eve. Or at least I tried to force her to party. This picture is classic haha.

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What a year!!! It’s so easy to lose the present and focus on what you don’t have rather than what you do have. Looking through these photos remind me to be grateful for living such a full life with such wonderful people, and having the privilege of seeing so much of the world. 2012, I might not have seen it at the time, but you were a great one. I look forward to enjoying 2013  in real time :)

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