birthday, water, and gratitude (& breakfast salad)

[original post was accidentally deleted — this is a repost] 🙂
I don’t know about you guys, but I am no longer feeling 22.

This birthday left me with the warmest, fuzziest feeling. I know this is usually just a place that I post recipes, but I’m so overwhelmed by love that these words are gushing out of my fingers and I just can’t help it!

charity:water

About a week before my birthday, I launched a campaign to raise money to fund water projects in areas where access to clean drinking water isn’t guaranteed. The decision to launch was rather sudden — I had seen forward-thinking friends pledge their birthdays to charity:water before, and was always impressed with those friends and the organization they were supporting. I wanted to do something meaningful with my birthday, and realized that it would take minutes a day to run a campaign, so I decided to take the leap.

At first, I set a conservative goal of $350, but I realized that this, of all times, was an opportunity to “lean in”, take a risk, and ask for a little more. According to the website’s calculator, $700 would provide 23 people with clean drinking water. 23 people, 23rd birthday. Let’s do it!

Here’s why this is so important: If you don’t have access to clean drinking water in your area, you have to travel for it — this is usually a task assigned to women, who spend hours each day walking to and carrying water back for their families.

And even then, the water they have access to isn’t clean water — often, it’s water infested with disease-causing bacteria. According to charity:water’s website, diseases from dirty kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. About 1,400 children die every day from water-borne disease and poor sanitation.

This task, one we don’t even have to think about, is so time-consuming and taxing on the body that the women responsible for it are unable to go to school, work jobs, or create a future for themselves. Having access to clean drinking water can provide women with the opportunity to earn their financial freedom.

The support my campaign received was so overwhelming. I want to thank everyone who contributed a gift, voiced their support, and spread the word about my pledge.

Together, my tiny community of friends, family, and work family raised….

 $922!

The support my campaign received was so overwhelming. I want to thank everyone who contributed a gift, voiced their support, and spread the word about my pledge.
Together, my tiny community of friends, family, and work family raised $922!!! This is enough to provide access to clean drinking water for 30 people, according to the website’s calculator. Again, I don’t know how this is calculated — my hope is that the solutions we provide continue to pay this generosity forward, and many more people benefit from this effort.

THANK YOU WONDERFUL HUMANS!

cambodia9


the big day: more thanking

This doesn’t even begin to mention the people who worked tirelessly to make my birthday as special as it could possibly be. First, my parents, who gave me life and all the opportunity in the world, deserve mad props.

Second, to my boyfriend, who not only did everything he could to make me feel special, but also made sure everyone else around him did the same — an infinite amount of love and gratitude for all the thought you put into loving me.

To my work family — thank you for the kombucha tasting, rice krispie treats, pizza lunch (with interpretive dance/speech), flowers, cards, CAKE, and hugs. It is a pleasure to spend 40+ hours a week with you wonderful, creative, hilarious, loving human beings.

To my sister and Rob and Laszlo, thanks for driving to have lunch and giggle with me a little.

Finally, to my friends near and far, who made me feel so loved — I love you back. 🙂

Here are some photo highlights of the weekend:

 Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.32.16Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.36.44Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.36.08Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.37.03Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.37.21Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.37.39Screenshot 2016-03-22 08.42.36

detox breakfast salad!

This Sunday morning begged for a breakfast salad – which is basically a Greek salad, eaten to detox from a weekend of indulgence (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a large bowl of Sunday greens a time or two).

After stuffing my face with everything from pizza to oysters to chocolate bourbon cake all weekend, a salad was all my body could handle on Sunday morning. I consider this salad to have a fair amount of detoxifying power because of the hydrating veggies, cleansing lemon, and antimicrobial garlic. It may seem weird to eat salad for breakfast but… #yolo? I don’t know what to say there. I like it.

Here is the quick, go-to breakfast salad recipe that we eat basically every Sunday (serves 2):

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 4 cups spring mix/spinach blend
Dressing:
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • sprinkle of feta cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, top spring mix/spinach with rest of veggies and feta cheese. Toss in dressing. Eat.
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