Author: jess sconé

Virtual Hangout Coming Sunday, July 6th!

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Hey, you know that Google Plus thingy that attempts to get your attention when you log into your gmail? Look, I’m not trying to convince you to “circle” us over there, promise (although you totally can if you reaaaaally want to). You’re likely elsewhere, refreshing your adorable Instagram, tweeting news links and sharing things on your Facebooks (plural, for sure), and don’t wander into Google-social land much. It’s cool, I sorta dig how  elusively odd and still it remains. I’m not asking for much here: just a little visit!

On behalf of your friendly organizers here at Vida Vegan Headquarters, I sure do hope you can click on that top right corner and join us (hence our sharing this on our *other* social media channels and this here blog) for a special get-to-gether. If you have a gmail, you’re almost there already!

Here’s the deal: Google Plus is great for hangin’ out. So, we’re having a big Vida Vegan reunion hangout on Sunday, July 6th at 12pm PST/3pm EST.

Simply click here to RSVP (and then, mute the post if you like) and get ready to jump in via video or chat for our big virtual hangout.

Everyone is welcome!

Come say hello to old & new vegan friends, whether you’ve attended a Vida Vegan Con or not!

Let us know if you questions for the next Vida Vegan Con, or any ideas for classes, speakers or new vegan-friendly companies you want to see.

Learn about the very latest plans for our third conference, and the brand new Vida Vegan Bazaar, set to take place on Friday, May 29 (which friends & family and anyone else in town is encouraged to attend!)

Did you grab one of the coveted Early Bird tickets already?

Were you thinking about capping off an epic vegan road trip with the conference?

Perhaps you’re thinking about attending but wanted to see who else was.

Maybe you can’t make it and wish you could. Hey, stop on by!

Save the afternoon (or whatever time it’ll be by you!) of July 6 and get to know the Vida Vegan family some more.

 

P.S. As of this post, 15 early bird tickets remain!

Psst: Want to speak at VVCIII?

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Your time has come! To break out those big ideas and fill out a very, very special form.

photo Do you have something to say about Vegan Parenting & Family Life? Starting your own Vegan Business? The future of Technology? Community Development (whether online or IRL)? Running a blog for a decade without going crazy? And going crazy? Food Styling? Photography? Cruelty-Free Fashion? Publishing? Veganism, Gender & Sexuality? We want to hear it!

Janessa, Michele and myself have put together a beautiful, long (and honestly, beautifully long) list of topics that we’d love to see come to the third Vida Vegan Conference and folks have certainly been asking for. Check it out over here, read a bunch more about what we’re looking for, including the speaking requirements, and apply!

Frankly, my unofficial, not-so-ridiculous estimate is that we’ve received roughly two emails a week about wanting to speak at the third conference since we closed the application to speak at VVC2013—on top of seeking a rad mix of new and returning speakers, so it looks like the competition will be fiercer than ever! (Thanks for letting me have this reality competition-hosting moment.)  

Vida Vegan Con III is set for May 29-31, 2015 in Austin, TX.

So much more, including the first-ever Membership Drive (which means a brand spanking new Vida Vegan Membership program and those coveted conference early bird rates) official locations, travel advice and sponsorship opportunities, coming soon!

The deadline to apply is July 9.

The Countdown to VVC2015: Introducing the Vida Vegan Street Team!

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Hello, hello! Vida Vegan Headquarters is back with some really big news that will hopefully bring even more folks to future Vida Vegan Cons!

We’re introducing the new Vida Vegan Street Team, and all are welcome to join!

Trust me, your friendly organizers are no strangers to budgeting (here’s something you don’t see on Instagram: all the dang bowls of clean-out-the-fridge lentil soup I eat), and we totally get that registration costs are simply not in everyone’s budget. Once again, we will be offering full registration scholarships and relying on some very special assistants as we run around a new city, but we wanted to make it possible to volunteer and actually attend all the classes you want. The Vida Vegan Street Team concept is here to make that happen.

In return, based on the number of hours and type of activity you’re able to contribute over 2014-2015, Vida Vegan offers a special token of our appreciation: a point system to earn big discounts—and potentially cover the entire cost of registration for Vida Vegan Con III. Full details over here.

Interested? Read that link above and sign up by filling out this quick form. Potential speakers are welcome to come on board!

Oh, okay. We bet you’re wondering and we’re this close to announcing the GIANT news of just when and where our third conference will take place. We can’t say it seriously enough: if you’re signed up for our newsletter, you will hear it first!

Things We Loved: #VegansatExpo (Vicarious Vegan Highlights from Expo West 2014!)

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via @creestaal
via @creestaal

Team Vida Vegan HQ has a dream (okay, and at least 107 projects in the works), and that dream is to one day attend Expo West. From the looks of the Internet and all the jealousy-inducing photos we’ve seen, this year was bigger, better and more vegan-friendly than ever. I mean, it had its own vegan-specific hashtag, #VegansAtExpo. That’s really saying something. Like I said, one day, the sampling will be ours, because it looked like a blogger-hopping blast!

To tide ourselves over until we bring on the exhibitors at the next Vida Vegan Con, we put together this hashtag roundup from the tradeshow.

Hint, hint, we’d love to see all these folks and products at VVC2015*! Right?! Let’s make it happen.

*Dude, the much-anticipated VVC2015 city & dates are  seriously, seriously coming your way early Spring, which means oh, so, soon. I hope you subscribe to our official Vida Vegan HQ newsletter! (because it’s an infrequent, imperative source for these things).

Enjoy these highlights via Instagram & Twitter, some thoughts from Michele and myself, and prepare to contemplate: Is 2014 the year of the vegan fish stick, or what?

Michele says: I am so G-to-the-D excited about these, and I can’t tell you why. Fish sticks were always the grossest, but I loved fish & chips—which now seem just as gross. So why do I want a vegan fakey fish? Whyyyy? 

via @faboofierce

…because who can ever get enough of JJ’s Cocomels?

via @LaziestVegans

Fan favorite! (And we’re talking about the bacon and our friend Jared)

via @phoneybaloneys

Speaking of bacon, we sure are A-OK with another nifty vegan seitan bacon hitting the market. Anyone seen this in Portland yet? Or better yet, we’ll come to you!

via @lifeissweetoc

Clearly a necessity with the non-stop sampling going on.

via @veganinyourcity

Everyone (okay, at least three people in Jess’ Instagram feed last week) are raving about these new Field Roast burgers! And breakfast sausages! For that matter, I must admit, I’m a little disappointed when I visit Seattle and every other restaurant doesn’t offer *something* Field Roast. Come on, home town pride!

@via spabettie

Cue freakouts. People have seriously been waiting for this. The year of the soy yogurt shortage even saw me breaking out my slow cooker and making my own. I’ve got Artisan Vegan Cheeses to make, people.  Fortunately, the WholeSoy factory is up and going and I can report that it’s recently been spotted at the Hawthorne New Seasons (again, here in Portland. Have you seen it your way yet? Do tell! People are depending on you. I had no idea this many people I knew ate so much nondairy yogurt).

via @insufferablevegan The Return of Wholesoy!

Looks like 2014 is gonna bring us even more vegan cheese. No issues here. Let’s push things forward and get some standards.

via @reikicreative

Okay, you know team VVC takes ferocious pride in the VVC Swag bags, but even we’re a little jealous here!

via @veggiefixation

What would you love to have from this pile of goodies? Personally, I want to get my eager little hands on this and plan on stalking the roaming SD truck later today:

via @littlemissangie

Michele says: So Delicious, I knew you were listening in on my dreams. 

Also ongoing:  The Vegan Ice Cream Revolution! I’m partial to coconut and soy, but keep the options coming. More for everyone!

via @vegangalfriday

Hello, Spork sisters (and hairstyling inspiration for the day)!

via @beinvegan The Ladies Spork!

Who’s down for some faux tuna? (Karla, I’m talking to you)

via @veganinyourcity

And ah yes, having tried Beyond Beef myself, I could EASILY see this fooling nearly anyone eating at Taco Bowl. I’m normally one for black beans, but if this is the future, let’s get started.

via @melisser

Fancy!

Michele says: Personally, creamy foods like mayo creep me out, but I love that there’s a gourmet/upscale vegan market. It’s products like this that help us broaden the perception of “vegan.” 

via @vegancuts

There you have it! Expect new cheeses, fishy stuff, crumbles and even more vegan bacon heading your way (or order it online through nice folks like Austin’s Rabbit Food Grocery and Portland’s Food Fight!).

And don’t worry, we’ll take one of everything for Janessa.

Some roundups for additional swooning:

And John, we are eagerly awaiting The Laziest Vegans recap!

Did you attend? Did you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it!

 

 

10 Vegan Valentine’s Day Ideas for Blogging & Celebrating (or not)

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Love it or hate it, there are less than 24 hours to mentally prepare for another Valentine’s Day.

Whether you’re staying in with a mail order from Lagusta’s Luscious and Casablanca, off to a romantic dinner, attempting to say the phrase “Galentine’s Day” out loud, or making tots and deciding to conquer a few seasons of Game of Thrones, Valentine’s Day is about love and celebrating’ that special day with yourself, your loved ones, or your cat. In any case, we hope you spend the day in an enjoyable manner with only a smattering of pink confetti and a bit of thanks in your heart for the people you love.

Here are some ideas from all of us at Vida Vegan Headquarters on a variety of ways to make the evening special, and some topics to tackle blogging (whether you have a bit of spare time tomorrow, decide to Instagram dinner, or tackle writing about it all next week):

  1. Find those cookie cutters. Yes, you could easily make heart-shaped pancakes or a cake or even polenta/quinoa molds, but how about dinosaurs? Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?! Plus, it really gets you thinking about the past and future, so ring-a-ding-ding…or, just figure out how to make every single thing you eat that day heart-shaped.
    RSVP Cookie Cutters. Somewhere in the back of your drawer.
  2. Sneaky, sneaky. Does your significant other or bff(s) read your blog? Probably. Maybe (or maybe they say they do). Try posting about something TOTALLY different than what you actually have planned. Surprise, surprise.
  3. Go big and go garlic. Roasted garlic lasagna and garlic bread sounds lovely. It’s called intimacy, right?
  4. DIY V-Day Craft Ideas: Make your own science-y valentine, like these!  Subversive Cross Stitch is always there for you. Um…therapeutic pin cushion?
  5. You Time.Stay in, say screw it, and pop in (okay, stream) some cheesy ‘80s horror and actually pop some popcorn while you brush your cat’s hair. We know you have at least one cat.
  6. Date Night. Go on, go out to dinner at a vegan (or vegan-friendly) restaurant if you want to! Whether it’s a fancy date, take out, a dive bar, or a slice, you deserve it. 
  7. We Get You. Seriously, have dinner with your cat. Serve everything in wine glasses.
  8. Schadenfreude. Share your worst adolescent breakup story, that horrible Roxette song that was somehow “yours,” and recreate (veganize) the mall-food-court super deluxe cheese fries you shared on your first date.
  9. Your Soundtrack: Get down with your single self with Spotify’s ‘Singleton’ playlist. Or, if you’ve got a sweetie, annoy them with these Spotify love song playlists while makin’ dinner or makin’ out.
  10. Break Out the Candles. Any night’s an excuse for a lovely homemade, vegan meal for two (or three, or whatever’s your bag), V Day’s the big leagues. Here are some  romantic recipe ideas to get you inspired:
    1. Seitan & Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup via The PPK
    2. Shaved Brussels Sprout with Whole Grain Mustard Sauce via Vedge Restaurant
    3. Candle 79’s Vegan Paella via City Spoonful
    4. Allison Rivers Samson’s Double Cheese Lasagna via VegNews
    5. Portobello’s Cashew Cream Pizza via Serious Eats
    6. When in doubt, just beet it. via Pinterest
    7. Ancho Chocolate Pie via Vegan Secret Supper (Jess note: this book is mesmerizing!)
Ancho Chocolate Pie and Butternut Squash Ice Cream from Vegan Secret Supper. Image source: Alternatives Journal
Ancho Chocolate Pie and Butternut Squash Ice Cream from Vegan Secret Supper. Image source: Alternatives Journal

I know, one mere dessert recipe?! As if you don’t have something already up your sleeve.

Rest assured, #11 is an honorary mention (aka one big duh) for thematically-inclined bubbles, cocktails & mocktails, of course.

Enjoy your day, whatever you do, and feel free to share your ideas and plans in the comments!

Attention Austin: Vida Vegan Meetup this Thursday at The Liberty!

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Hello, hello! Team Vida Vegan HQ returned from Vegas less than two weeks ago, and as usual, we’ve been hard at work, seriously inspired and sketching out the next three years on our calendar (er, smartphones and Google docs). There is so much in store! It’s no secret that we’re looking at a few very special cities for the much-anticipated Vida Vegan Con III, and that’s in addition to our other events. Read up on this post from way back when, aka last summer, for a reminder on just what those may be: Team Vida Vegan’s Always Cooking Something Up!

It’s also no secret that we adored our first location scouting trip to Austin last February, and with the local vegan community and dining scene growing to epic proportions, including the Capital City storefront, Mr. Natural’s brand-new new vegan brunch, and the new Wheatsville location, we’re coming back in mere days!

0be04a028ad011e3911c127f85a62e1a_8All the Details:

Location: The Liberty & Eastside King 1618 1/2 E. 6th St

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm

From the Facebook invite (feel free to RSVP over there, no pressure): Hi everyone! Gonna be in Austin next week? SO ARE WE. Come hang out with us and other vegans and we’ll discuss the finer points of breakfast tacos and just what cupcake flavor is your fave at Capital City. And other stuff, like cats. This time we’re meeting at The Liberty/Eastside King (thanks for the suggestions, guys!!)

Janessa, Michele and myself will all be there — coats, potential scarves and requisite sunglasses in tow — to hear your ideas for Vida Vegan Con III. We’d also like to know just what else you’d like to see and attend, and frankly, where we should get all those dang vegan tacos. All are welcome!

Austin is the best
Austin is the best

We do have a ton of appointments at event venues booked around the Austin area already, and are totally open to more suggestions. Please contact us with any tips!

And if you’d like to see more about our Vegas location scouting, check out the hashtag #VidaScoutsVegas. We’ll have a post up detailing the experience and a few of our favorite locations and meals up soon enough, have no doubt.