Dinners Resume (Life before and after VVC2013)

Bagelwich

After the first Con in 2011, I returned to my delusional day job and vowed that if I could help put together something so seemingly epic, I wouldn’t be in the same place next time around, grumbling and devoting so much time to things that didn’t matter to me. I’m definitely not Continue reading

Next Stop on the Whole Grain Vegan Baking BlogTour…

Peanut Butter (Sriracha!) Surprise Cookies

It’s my day on the Whole Grain Vegan Baking Blogtour, and I’m taking the teeniest, tiniest moment away from uh, week-of Vida Vegan Con-hyperdrive duties, before bed to share what I’ve made so far from this intriguing, wholesome book. Let’s be honest, there are a lot lot lot of vegan cookbooks out these days (and well, seemingly every few days), but when Tami and Celine put out a book, you take note.

And when they ask you to join a blogtour, you’re so in. Continue reading

The Will of the MoFo Monster

The official sign up for the fifth annual Vegan Month of Food writing began last week, and it nearly pains me to admit that I will not be updating daily, nor attempting to, on this here blog. With the break of tradition comes something new (and a tad bit easier), I’ll be one of at least three bloggers, if not more (hint, hint) updating on the Vida Vegan blog. Janessa, Michele and myself will be blogging daily about whatever crosses our vegan paths or pops into our minds. Whatever.
I definitely enjoy that this collective loophole beckons creativity and randomness, and this Vida plan is giving me the warm and fuzzies, as usual. Thematically, I was torn between the loose idea of simply trying or creating new dishes, restaurant recreations, cooking lessons from my cats, imaginary dinner dates with fictional characters, and happy hour pairings, both from my kitchen and beyond, so now I can attempt everything, in addition to what I’m deeming our un-official theme, the VVC Cocktail Lounge.
I’m currently de-stressing after some business travel and the glorious weekend that was Vegfest, but I will have something sporadic and special in store for Get Sconed! next month, in addition to obsessively reading the RSS feed and rounding up over here. Oh, yes. Oh, meow. And more on VegFest, for sure.

Our VegFest guard at the Vegan Iron Chef table knows the secret plan. Oh, grrwooreowruffooooo.

Back from Vida Vegan Con…

Ah, the calm before the epic storm.

I have roughly 809 things that I went to reflect on some more and share about this past weekend’s Vida Vegan Con. Overall, I’m so, so, so damn proud of the little vegan conference that could. This was a community effort and the internet really did come to life. Every single attendee, speaker, sponsor and assistant made this happen.

It seems like it was only last week, but behind the scenes, Janessa, Michele and myself first decided on the event space alone over a year ago, and holy crap, I love and respect these ladies. To think we almost scheduled the event for 100 bloggers at a boutique hotel! I seriously want to give every single participant a hug that I didn’t yet squeal with (and as many know, I’m not normally a hugger).

I’m still basking in the radiance of meeting hundreds of fellow bloggers, eerily sensing that Portland is now devoid of vegans (which is oddball), and just feeling more confident as a blogger. If you know me, you know that you will rarely even hear that word out of my mouth, let alone about myself. Between us and the internet, I was a little worried that the overly self-promotional bloggers would overwhelm me at Vida, and I’d return hating the internet, and it’s just not true! That didn’t happen!

As for the weekend itself, I’m still reflecting, but okay, we know that despite a grand buffet which resulted in a gigantic single line for food & flipbooks (I personally envisioned walk-up stations, silly me) by The Vegan Caterer, Sizzle Pie and Coconut Bliss, the Galarama had its messes, not enough dancing, awful sound and lack of staff, and we’ll address that all in our wrap up newsletter, including highlights of the weekend, photos and plans for 2013.  And more!

I mean, I spent much of this past year supplying Louvella Heartichoke (aka my BFF, Alanna Maeve) with overpriced martinis in order to coerce her to share her vegan-orientated wit with the masses at that evening, and when the sound sucked, my heart broke.

Enough of that for now, because regardless of those specific woes, I adored our hostess, entertainment, room full of well-dressed vegans and the evening’s Silent Auction beneficiary, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Thanks to Janessa’s inspiration, I learned what a refreshing surprise cucumber Dry soda plus Veev was, that Jessica’s sweet theme song will live in my head and heart forever, that Stephan is the cutest and needs play more Portland shows so I can stalk him and become his friend, and that as many people have pointed out, our DJ, The Jet Boat Adventurer, has the best name and should play all of my parties.

Again, more to come. This 4+ day extravaganza was just that, extravegantastic. I scroll through our Vida Vegan RSS Feed (HI GUYS!), and I’m still amazed.While I’m just beginning to slowly upload my own photos, you can check out the growing public Vida Vegan Flickr Pool here.

For now, it’s back to the “real” world, and time to accept that everyday does not have to include a few spoonfuls of Coconut Bliss. I’m trying to tell myself that White Russians with coconut creamer are not the new slipping pill (I kid, but really, what’s sleep?)

Last night, I was filling in a few close friends who popped in and out and of assistant gigs throughout the weekend about this entire experience. I raved and raved all about my warm and fuzzy, overprotective and proud feelings for every single attendee – from my favorite authors, to the people who started a blog yesterday – and the unbelievable, instant growth of this as a conference and a budding community (hello, awesome facebook group!), over a Lebanese dinner and classy beverages in Montavilla, and well, it’s time for a segway into some photos while I stop hugging the internet…

Pocket bread, Ya Hala.

Makdous. I realized that oil preserved, chili and walnut stuffed baby eggplants aren't really my bag, but spice dusted spinach is! Flashback to my earlier lunch hour, and tearing through the farmers market when I realized I had almost forgotten to buy kale...

Foul Mudamas. You can't get any better than this.

My friends are re-accepting me as a blogger. Thanks, dudes.

I don't think I'm making it up when I say that I slowly sipped a Cross Reviver #78 cocktail with Bulleit, ROOT & burnt orange.

Vida is here.

In this utterly selfish blog update, I would like to share 10 things I’m super duper excited about with the official start of Vida Vegan Con – WHICH IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. This list was inspired by my dear friends at Vegans on the Move, and is in no particular order, below the SWAG packing action…

Yup.

  1. The look of joy (and the falling of social anxiety) on the vegans’ faces who don’t normally hang out with other vegans – especially at karaoke.
  2. Nooch.
  3. Pandacookies.
  4. Tattoos: Flashback to last week and last minute beet tattoos!
  5. The Opinionated Bloggers class: why blog if you aren’t saying something?
  6. The Canadians.
  7. The internet coming alive!
  8. Moderating the Marketing Panel in the morning…I have a degree in it, or something.
  9. White Russians slumber parties!
  10. Dressing up, taking a moment, enjoying some music, comedy and a freaking Dry Soda & VeeV cocktail at the freaking Galarama.

Live-streaming, yo. It just may work!

Panda feeds me. Photo by Panda.

You’re going to Vida Vegan Con!

After a tough day of decision-making, the answer was clear. I seriously loved them all, and changed my mind a few times – they are all my favorites and were all SO impressive! Check out the full line of up contenders here.

Without further adieu, the winner of the full weekend registration ticket ($250 value, plus the official vegan SWAG bag) to Vida Vegan Con is the songstress below:

Jessica Rose Western, you’ve been added to the admissions roster and will be receiving a confirmation email within the next few days. Pack your bags, book your flight, peruse our website, throw in something cute for the Saturday night Galarama & Silent Auction and tell me your favorite donut, missy!

A big thank you so freaking much to all the creative contributions. If you didn’t win, you still have 2 more giveaways coming your way from the conference organizers, the next being Michele’s “No-Talent Vida Vegan Con Contest” where she requests you make your own edible self-portrait. Do it! I may not be able to resist.


This image is from the blog Dog Show Poop via a google image search. No joke.

The Vida Vegan Con Entries

I’ll be announcing the winner of the Vida Vegan Con song contest tomorrow. In the meantime, who wants to join me as I get these song submissions stuck in my head again for the next 24 hours? Best vegan-conference-related playlist ever.

Enjoy!

Jessica Rose Western’s Vida Vegan Con theme:

Lindsay Wolf’s “Completely Vegan”:

Jen aka Jewbacca’s Vida Vegan Con song:

Cadry’s Kitchen’s “Happy Vida Vegan Con”:

_________________________________

Carissa Thorpe’s “Place to Be”:

Lyrics:

You can blog about your day 
You can blog to have your say You can blog about your dinner, or your lunch 
You can blog about nothing, just because 
You can post about injustice 
Or the sweetness of your first vegan kiss 

You can rally up your troops 
Or pass on the latest non-dairy scoop 

But if you want more readers 
And you want to meet the leaders
Of these online communities, 
Then take it from me – Vida Vegan Con is the vegan place to be 

There will be learning and much laughter 
And oh-so-many workshops, 
To cover all you’re after 

There’s no time to waste, 
Copy or paste 
Tickets for Vida Vegan Con 
Are goin’, goin’, they are gone 

If you don’t have no ticket 
You ain’t gettin’ in, no way 
You’ll just have to stick it 
Out until next year 
And be sure to buy your ticket right away 

‘Cause take it from me Vida Vegan Con is the vegan place to be

Ryan Thompson’s Vida Vegan Con song

Lyrics:

Gather round such a curious thing
with a sis, bam, boom, and rah.
The miracle that you’ll be witnessing
is Vida Vegan Con.

Come right in, nice to meet ya.
Don’t eat yer creature please.
Just as a courtesy
keep it murder-free.

Satisfy your curiousity
at the Vida Vegan Con.
You’re comin’ off a wee bit tourist-y…

Did you travel days, over mountain high
through the valley low, under blu-ray skies?
On a cherry wave, on a sugar high,
keep the calorie low in the apple pie.

How would you like to come down
sample the tasty wares?
How’s that cookie crumble? How, now, does that pastry
tear?

Never was a three-ring thing-a-ma-jig
like the Vida Vegan Con.
I wouldn’t harm a hair on the chinny-chin-chin of a pig…

If they paid me loads, if they got me high,
if they said the Pope was my alibi.
Think of what the beasts are apparently worth
when they say the meek shall inherit the earth.

Libby’s Vida Vegan Con song lyrics:

(Please “attempt” to sing to the theme of the Brady Bunch)

Here’s the story,
of some lovely ladies
Who were uniting vegan bloggers across the world.
All of theme liked to eat lots of veggies,
And sometimes a giant bowl of soy curls.

They found,
Some awesome sponsors,
Like the Golden Beet Coconut Bliss,
And The Vegan Voice.

Now once day, in August (starting on the 26th)
We all can come together, and have a tasty vegan brunch.
You’ll get a “swag bag of wonder,”
And learn how to build a better blog!

Don’t forget the gala-rama,
Plus vegan fashion too.

I’ve heard that they will have Kittee,
Isa and Terry,
Urban House Wife,
And Nom, Nom, Nom. Just to name a few.

So, lets all come together,
And head to Portland,
For Vida Vegan con!
Vida Vegan Con, Vida Vegan Con,
We all get to hang out,
At the Vida Vegan con!

Bonus rap from Pandacookie:

Toe tappin’
Straight rappin’
‘Bout Vida Vegan
Win a free weekend
Pass
Sass
I got it
Usin’ my wit
To get
A visit with Ms. Scone.
Date ballin’
yes y’allin’
Get in the Portland zone.

____________________________________________

This event is sold out, we’ve been working so hard to impress you guys, and we want everyone to be able to go! Commence dramatic decision making.

The line up! The bloggers! Portland!!!!!

The Vida Vegan Con Ticket & Doughnut Giveaway Contest!

Update: And the contest is closed! Thank you for guys for all the super creative, catchy entries. We’ll be reviewing all songs and announcing the winner on May 20th.

In case you haven’t heard, the first Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference is already sold out. Say what?!?, I know.

In case you haven’t heard me mention it yet, I’m one of 3 organizers behind this excitement, and with that, comes bloggy insanity, fantastically rewarding productivity  – and a few perks. One of them may be a lifetime supply of Coconut Bliss (well, a girl can dream…), and another is this ticket giveaway contest! Since I find myself in love with karaoke a few times a year, and I’m not-so-secretly pushing for a Vida Vegan karaoke adventure (who’s in?!), the call is for a Vida Vegan 2011 song! I’d say Let’s Get Bloggy With It, but that’s exactly why I’m not writing the song, and this is an open contest for anyone with a serious interest in attending this unique conference. I vow this will rule, because frankly, I really like throwing vegan events and we won’t let you down! Do you SEE this line up?

The Contest: Write a song! It can be a theme song or commercial jingle – it’s up to your creative side. We ask you to capture the anticipation of the world’s first vegan bloggers conference. Youtube videos and MP3s are preferred, but we’ll take written submissions as well.

Requirements: The mention of being “vegan” and Vida Vegan Con somewhere in your lyrics, and the absolute intention to attend. There is no re-gifting of complimentary registrations, but you’re more than welcome to receive inspiration and assistance from friends. To learn more about the conference, check out the F.A.Q.

How to Enter: Leave a comment with a link to your submission. You’re welcome to enter as many times as you like.

The Prize: One Complimentary Weekend Registration – including all conference meals & a SWAG bag. Travel and accommodations are up to you.  We have a page full of tips on that, btw.

Deadline: The deadline for submissions will be May 15, 2011. The winner will be announced on May 20, 2011, so they have plenty of time to arrange their trip to the conference.

Bonus: We’ll make a playlist of videos received on the Vida Vegan Con YouTube channel, and share our favorites on the Facebook and Twitter. And what the hell, I’ll throw in a VooDoo doughnut to sweeten the deal:

McMinnville Creme

If you have any questions, leave a comment or email VidaVeganConference [at] gmail.com.

This is, and isn’t, a MoFo Update.

Would this be more appropriate of an update if I included that I’m drinking a glass of water and that there was a glazed tempeh skewer in my lunch? What? Save it for twitter? Anyway, I do have stories of butternut hollandaise coming, but I’ve already blogged twice today, so cut me some slack, and if you’re so inclined, check ‘em out:

Vegan MoFoMoFo Midweek Giveaway: Cookbooks!!!

Vida Vegan Con: Speaker Round Up #4: This is It!

 

Have I mentioned that I just may live on the vegan internet?

A Quick Vida Vegan: Who, What, Why?

I know. I can’t stop talking about that Vegan Bloggers Conference next year. Let me throw out an apology for talking so much about something I’m working on, as usual. Full disclosure: I am a co-founder of this venture, along with Janessa and Michele. Even if I wasn’t, I have no doubt that I would be just as excited about this happening, especially in Portland, OR! The quick back-story is that the lovely Janessa approached me about her genius idea over a year ago, it seems. Michele was a natural fit, being a wonder behind last summer’s inaugural Vegan Iron Chef competition and our future plans, as was our uber-talented Creative Director on both, Liz Miller. These ladies are all magical to work with.

This past week, the official speaker confirmations started rolling in, and each one makes us so damn happy! What more can I say about folks on this growing listRegistration opens freakin’ tonight, at a last-minute-scrap-a-couple-plans reduced rate, and you can read more about our heartfelt thoughts on that move here.  The goal we’re working so hard for is a seriously amazing, vegan-tastic, professional, yet inviting, two-and-a-half day, community-celebrating, educational conference. What more can I add? We’re working on this on a daily basis.  We’re stoked that we can donate 5% of all ticket sales to a farm sanctuary, and we’re trying to do even more. Again, that this conference is inviting, and encouraging to attend, bloggers from around the globe that all make me jump up and down on a regular basis, whenever someone mentions interest? That there’s this much interest, support, and respect for vegan blogging?

We are throwing the type of conference that we’d go to, (and trust me, I attend a lot of boring conferences), and we hope to see you there.

The Website The Facebook The Facebook Group The Twitter

The end, for now.