Category: activism

7-Day VegPledge

Join me (and thousands of others) by taking the 7-day VegPledge April 22-29. I love watching others reap the healthy benefits of eating more plants, saving animals, and helping the environment!

Pigs & Pugs Project is delighted to be a sponsor and to have our upcoming Pigs, Pugs, & Pinot as a featured event of VegWeek.

To help you get started, I have a few resources below. Remember, it’s practice, not perfection. Do what you can and see how it goes. You got this!

Thanks for considering the 7-day VegPledge and here’s to tasty, healthy meat-free meals! Bisous. x

March + Manifesto

My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.—Ani DiFranco

After recording a 42-minute bonus podcast (for TDJ app users and Year of Tranquility purchasers) sharing the story of bringing the book to life, I headed downtown to support the Women’s March. Although I didn’t have a pink hat, I hoped the coat would suffice. And, yes, I realize my hair was a mess. Messy hair, don’t care. Or so they say.

While close to the stage, we were moved hearing from members of the Women’s March board and activists from Standing Rock. Seeing a sea of pink hats and empowering signs while listening to chants and speeches left me fired up and eager for action.

During undergrad I was exposed to women’s studies and my world has never been the same. It opened my eyes to the many ways women face injustice daily—at home, at work, in the community, and beyond. When I started my yoga studio, Tranquil Space, in 1999, my goal was to create a safe space for women to grow and connect.

In 2004 I finished a master’s in women’s studies program where I was exposed to Gertrude Stein, Simone de Beauvoir, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (you simply must read “The Yellow Wallpaper”), bell hooks, Mary Wollstonecraft, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Betty Friedan, to name a few. There’s so much to learn and I’m forever grateful for those who have helped paved the path for us so far.

Next Saturday Tim and I are heading to NYC for the day to see Gloria: A Life, a play about the life of feminist icon Gloria Steinem. She’s quoted as saying, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” I think we can ALL get behind that!

When creating Year of Tranquility, I updated the manifesto and have included it below. Note the inclusion of equality, responsibility, freedom, and compassion. That, my dear readers, is why I march. Bisous. x

From Puppy Mill to Paris

A puppy mill surrendered Belle Starr to Homeward Bound Pug Rescue in 2015. Her last litter struggled so her baby- and money-making days were up.

The metal chain around her neck identified her as a number. That’s who she was to them. A number.

When placed in a foster home, Belle trembled. She wouldn’t come out of her cage and didn’t trust humans. Karlie and Phil, the same patient fosters who cared for Mookie, taught her to be a dog. She would no longer be a machine. Here’s a Rolling Stone piece on what happens to dogs after a puppy mill.

I watched her transformation over many months via their Instagram accounts. Then I began pressuring Tim to just meet her. I had a feeling about Belle. Tim agreed to fly back to Oklahoma to meet her and it was the one-year anniversary of adopting Mookie, so we made it an event.

After landing at OKC airport, we headed straight to meet Belle with Mom, Dad, and Mookie in tow. She hid behind her foster as we all sat on the floor trying to make her comfortable. Phil kept pulling her out from behind him and told us, “You have to make her love you.” No pressure.

She shook the whole way home on Tim’s lap. Now she won’t leave Tim’s side.

Upon arrival to DC, Belle lost most of her teeth during her long overdue dental. She still doesn’t understand toys or the idea of play, yet she settled somewhat seamlessly into city living.

Next week we fly to Paris to lead Penning in Paris and Belle Starr will be joining us again. She’s the perfect traveler. The photos below show snippets of our adventure over the holidays. She’s come so far—from puppy mill to Paris—and we couldn’t be prouder to be along for the ride. Bisous. x