National Nutrition Month, No Kid Hungry

It’s National Nutrition Month. Did you know that 1 in 5 children in America go hungry?

NKH

Friends, no child in America should grow up hungry. But too many kids in our country don’t have the food they need to thrive. No Kid Hungry is connecting kids all across the country with healthy food where they live, learn and play.

In my residing state of Massachusetts, 17% of children go hungry. This is unacceptable.

I have personally witnessed children as young as 4 years old taking snacks from their classmates at school because they didn’t have food of their own. It broke my heart.

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I knew I had to do something to help my community so I joined the No Kid Hungry volunteer program, Cooking Matters, as a Culinary Course Instructor.

Click here to learn more about the program and to donate to a very worthy cause! Help #FeedOurFuture

No child should ever go without food or love

NoKidHungry

 

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What I’ve Been Up To

The last few months have been a whirlwind. I had big plans for my blog this fall but alas life happened and I was left with little desire or time to spend on my blog.

Forgive me? Yes?

I’ll leave out the lame stuff but here is a picture walk of some of the cool and fun things I ate or did the last few months.

I appeared as a guest blogger here. PLEASE check it out and let me know what you think!

I helped set up for my girlfriend's bachelorette party

I helped set up for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party

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The bachelorette partay!

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I indulged. Parma proscuitto, manchego cheese, blackberries, pickles, and a smooth sangiovese. I did not eat the pretty rose

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I sent Uber to collect this sparkly Scala dress from my girlfriend then decided to change into black pants & a black shirt.

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I became a Cooking Matter Volunteer for No Kids Hungry! Yay!

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My friend made me the most amazing poached egg, drizzled with a fine olive oil. Isn’t she a beauty!? Am I the only one who finds eggs so darn sexy? (bad picture but come on!)

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Trying on my dress for the wedding

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My date suggested I wear flats…and I listened! Crazy, right? Here he is hemming my Alice & Olivia dress

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Stunning wedding centerpiece

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With the lovely bride. Love you, Jenna!

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I visited my sister & her two cherubs to celebrate my nieces 4th birthday

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Relaxing with my niece

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With my lovely mother, niece and nephew

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Having a good laugh with Amy of Cupcakes & Couture

Shot Glass Eggs

I made shot glass eggs. recipe coming soon. along with 100 others!

I’m having my 3rd hand surgery next week so I hope to post a few recipes before I go under. Thanks for your patience!

What have you guys been up to? Are you ready for the holidays?!

Xo Vanessa

On The Run With V: Sunsets and Beaches

This past year I took travel to an entirely different level. Every three weeks, from January to May, I traveled outside of Massachusetts  – every 3 weeks! I know, it’s bananas. With everything that happened last summer, I wanted nothing more than to be far away from Boston and closer to friends…lucky for me, most of my friends live in warm beautiful cities. Polar Vortex 2014 vs. Sunny Paradise…

Hmmm, that’s a tough one!

 Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of my favorite photos and videos from destinations around the world..well, not really..I tend to travel to the same locations over and over again but really, does it matter? I am not complaining! 😀 My pictures and videos each hold special memories and a piece of my heart. I hope you enjoy them. If you’re feeling adventerous, follow my Instagram hashtag #OnTheRunWithV. You won’t be disappointed.

Welcome to WAMC’s first travel series!

On The Run With V: Sunsets and Beaches

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Barcelona, Spain

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Coral Gables, FL

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Thisiswhyitravelsunsetsbeaches

Kauai, Hawaii

  Love like travel is a series of moments that we immediately leave behind – Elizabeth Eaves

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Kauai, Hawaii

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What’s your favorite travel destination? Leave your response in the comment section below- I look forward to reading your responses!

xo  V

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Love Letters, Old and New

TakeYouPlacesQuotes I love love. Platonic love, romantic love- I love it all!<3 Love letters are so revealing…forget Housewives of New York, I would rather read scandalous 1920’s love letters between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hockok…mmmhmm, our former First Lady had a secret lover!  Go ahead, you may laugh- I am a huge dork *snort* Aside from the scandal, human relationships have always interested me.

Tuesday night, I read love letters and break-up letters between novelist and artist on the website Brain Picking’s. I am not sure how I came across this website but if you are a lover of literature and art, I highly recommend visiting the site.

Reading about love affairs , young love, and broken hearts, inspired me to share a poem, a snippet of an old letter given to me a should have-would have-could have person of my life, and few lovely quotes.

It’s all in fun…I hope you guys enjoy them.

This song takes me places….

“Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.” Frida Kahlo

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“…for somehow I know that your feeling for me, however slight it is, is of the nature of love. … nothing that has happened to me for a long time has made me so happy as I shall be to visit you sometime. ” Vincent Millay

Loveletters

Handwritten letters

 

 

 

Desiderata, Desired Things

 

Desiderata

Max Ehrmann, 1922

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,

even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals,

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love,

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,

keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

The Struggle

 

20 Questions

Jewelry designer and Boston Blogger, Alexis Kletjian recently answered the same  20 questions Sarah Jessica Parker answered for from Marie Claire.  I love the questions and thought it would be great way for you guys to learn more about me- the me I am today, not 10 months ago…but today. Alexis posted her answers back in March…thank you Alexis, for encouraging me to answer the questions despite being 2 months late to the game!

My Best Friend, My Mum

My Best Friend, My Mum

1. What brings you the greatest joy? Cooking for my loved ones and relaxing in or near an ocean
2. What are your vices? Using the F word :-/
3. What is on your nightstand? A mini Buddha, lavender oil, a glass of water and The Secret Life Of Salvador Dali
4. Do you have a secret talent? No
5. What is your greatest indulgence? A pound of Parma Prosciutto to the face? Just kidding- candles, a hot bath, a glass of champagne and Enya = perfection
6. What should every woman try at least once in her life? Something she fears
7. What makes you laugh? My niece, nephew and my sisters
8. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I love country music…and I won a Pog contest in middle school or maybe I came in 2nd place, I don’t remember but I was the only girl in the contest and I kicked butt!
9. What is on your bucket list? Writing a screenplay, learning French, learning how to code, world domination,  sky diving, hugging the Dalai Lama
10. What is on your feet right now? Nothing
11. How did you make your first dollar? Not sure….probably doing chores around the house
12. What superstition do you believe in: None that I can think of….
13. What items in your closet do you wear the most? Yoga pants and my awesome robes
14. What is the best gift you’ve ever received? Unconditional love
15. What is on your liquor shelf? Ooh, I don’t have one but now that you mention it….I knew something was missing in my apartment!
16. What is on your kitchen counter? KitchenAid mixer and a Ninja blender
17. What would you never leave home without? Lip gloss, eyeliner, and a Moleskine notebook
18. What movie has the greatest ending? Fracture
19. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? My friends & family, Daniel Houghten, Oprah, Pippa Biddle, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ben Stein, Maya Angelo, Rick Ross, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ina Garten.
20. What is one thing you wish you had known when you were younger? Your 20s are messy
Now it’s your turn to answer 20 questions. Leave a comment with a link to your post!

Without A Measuring Cup Logo

My New Flyer, Shameless Self Promotion

Happy Saturday, Friends!

Without A Measuring Cup Flyer

Simplify Your Life

Cheers To The Weekend

MORE pictures from my recent trips to Miami

I get so emotional looking at these pictures…I love Boston but Miami is near and dear to my corazon

Click play & scroll down…oh and add a little fist pump action! Come on…get up and dance!

Keep Calm And Love Miami

MIAMI

Carry-On Luggage, I travel light

Carry-On Luggage, I travel light

Miami Skyline

Miami Skyline

University of Miami

The U

College Buddies

Kel!

Grovara

Dried Raspberries kick a**

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Publix

Latin Products at Publix Supermarket—>Giddy Vanessa

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Toro Bluefin Tuna

Toro Bluefin Tuna

University of Miami

University of Miami New Student Center

This Is Miami

Bird Man

Byrd Man

This guy!

Publix

Publix

University of Miami

University of Miami

Sweeties

Sweeties

University of Miami

The Rat @ University of Miami

Graziano's antipasto

Graziano’s antipasto

University of Miami

The University of Miami

south beach traffic jam dance party

south beach traffic jam dance party

Miami

Until next time…

Farm To Post, Post 390

When grocery shopping, I try to buy seasonal produce and seafood that has never been frozen. But since we have such long brutal winters here in New England, most of my produce staples are grown outside of Massachusetts. I’m human-if I see cherries on sale, I’m buying them-even if they were grown in Kuwait but with that said, when dining out, I look to restaurants that locally source their products, and maintain a sense of community-with their staff and their guests.

This is where Chris Himmel, of the famed Himmel Hospitality Group, comes along. Growing up in Boston I had heard about Grill 23 and Post 390– but I didn’t know much about either restaurant then one day on Facebook I came across this photo of cured meats and it immediately caught my attention.

Cured Meats from Mercat St. Josep Boqueria off Calle de La Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain

Cured Meats from Mercat St. Josep Boqueria off Calle de La Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain

Oh and then this photo showed up on my News Feed:

Artisan Cured Meets from La Quercia

Artisan Cured Meets from La Quercia

I did some research and found out more about Chris and his is team. They pay very close attention to the origins of the ingredients used at their 3 restaurants Post390, Grill 23 in Boston, and Harvest in Cambridge.

Chris doesn’t call in a large distributor to deliver the goods for the week- he goes out with his team and hand selects the freshest sustainable ingredients for his restaurants. And by “hand select” I mean he can be found in the ocean with his team just chilling on a tiny boat, in the wee hours of the morning, in frigid temperatures, oyster digging like it aint no thang!

Don’t believe me? Check out the Post390 Facebook page and take a look at the albums and videos. They show true dedication to their customers, suppliers, and staff.

Up until Wednesday, March 26th, I had yet to meet Chris in person but as I mentioned, I had been following him on Facebook since last summer. His videos show the time, energy, and passion that goes into finding the finest ingredients for his restaurants and I just loved seeing his dedication.

Farm To Post

Farm To Post

I knew I had to meet Chris so I followed him on multiple social media platforms until I got his attention haha!! It worked! Chris invited me to attend February’s Farm To Post dinner in February but I was out of town so when he invited me to March’s Farm To Post Dinner honoring Herb and Kathy of Eckhouse of La Quercia Handcrafted Cured Meats, I RSVP’d immediately.

Herb & Kathy Eckhouse of La Quercia Handcrafted Cured Meats in Norwalk, Iowa

Herb & Kathy Eckhouse of La Quercia Handcrafted Cured Meats in Norwalk, Iowa

 

The evening started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and was followed by a 5 course meal prepared by Chef Eric Brennan. Chef Brennan incorporated as much of La Quercia’s products in each of the 5 courses.
During the cocktail hour, Chris and I chatted about all things ham and poof! like magic, a server came around with a wooden block covered in handcrafted American prosciutto…did I die and go to heaven? Oh and it gets better- no utensils! We had to grab the prosciutto with our hands, in typical Spanish and Italian style!

Chris Himmel

Chris Himmel & I

You guys know how much I love tapas, and sharing food- especially finger foods. Ah. The prosciutto melted in my mouth-it had the perfect amount of fat and dare I say, I like it more than my beloved Serrano Ham (ssssh! Don’t tell my Spanish friends!)

Overall, the evening couldn’t have been more perfect. Take a look at the pictures below and see for yourself.

Where does your bacon come from?

Where does your bacon come from?

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Incredible! Thank you Chris for allowing me to be part of this special event.

For More Information:
Post 390
Grill 23
Harvest
La Quercia

I’m Afraid

“Vanessa: The Condensed True Hollywood Story”


I have more fears at 29 than I did at 6 years old. Yes, I finally came to terms with my shadow but living in fear sucks the fun out of life. My fears are a result of the PTSD from the explosion and others, I’m not sure…but I live with these fears everyday. We all do, and it’s okay to talk about them. I’m super talkative (think Shoshanna from HBO Girls, but with more profanity) THAT IS ME!

shosh-roar

shosh-roar

I’ve been blogging, tweeting, and gramming like a boss lately. What can I say? I love the camera. By the look of my photostream, yes, things look peachy but my life isn’t one long stream of smiling selfies and tasty bites thought it should be, am I right? *hi-five*

What’s missing from my Instagram pictures? Reality (and my true body proportions). My  fear of life. I am afraid of everything:PTSD  1 Vanessa 0. I stay away from crowded rooms because I fear I’ll fall down and injure my “good” hand. I fear being grabbed by random strangers, I fear cooking on electric stoves,…and much more.

I want you all to know that each picture has a hidden story that only the subject knows. Social media is great for capturing moments…but it’s not 100% reality. It’s 2 seconds of someone’s life. I admit it- Instagram has a way of altering my perception of reality. My stream of purses, unattainable shoes, coral reefs, ahh, it is nice to get lost in a day dream.

Just remember this post the next time you snap that perfect selfie, seconds before you drop your phone in the sink. I do it all for the selfie.

Vanessa Lantigua