Author: janessapk


Posted on Updated on

Guest post from Amy, Mo & Kittee, the bloggers behind the awesome game show, Vegan Battle Royale.

On Saturday, August 27, at 12:20PM, two teams enter but only one will be crowned the ultimate survivor. That’s right, we’re hosting a game show with lots of prizes that will make you just glow inside and out. Upside down, too, and yes, this one’s for all you competitive types.

Vegan Battle Royale will be comprised of two teams with six people per side, and the participants will be drawn randomly from a hat, or an empty potato chip bag.  Whichever smells best. We’ll also be selecting audience members at random to answer trivia and dares, so even if you don’t get picked for a team, we’ll still have something for every single one of you. To keep all tongues and bellies paying attention, we’ll be flinging homemade baked goods at the audience—so there’s always a chance to catch a tasty xgfx sammich cookie in exchange for your super-smarts!

The competition will incorporate elements from a bunch of well-known game shows and will include trivia, bravery, dares, taste challenges, basic vegan blog knowledge, and more. If you want a chance to participate, bring your smartie pants and don’t be late! We only have an hour for this shin-da-bing, so prompt arrival is recommended.

This wouldn’t be as fun without prizes, so we’re super thankful to the following people and companies for their generous donations/contributions. Here’s a sampling of what we’ll be giving away:

Super cute Chirp Cards 4-Pack courtesy of Amy Gedgaudas from tahinitoo!
A canvas bag just like this from Nature’s Gate, chock full of vegan goodies to keep your teeth, hair, and skin smelling and feeling byoot-iful. Seriously, we have toothpaste, self-tanner, hair products, and a ton more to give away.

Do you like camping and getting lost in the woods? No? What about dehydrated grilled pineapple?? A copy of  A Fork in the Trail, courtesy of Wilderness Press will seriously bring happy trails straight into your kitchen and then hopefully into your sleeping bag.
Did you know Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food? If you don’t win a copy of this Ethiopian cooking ‘zine during the game show, you can always bid on a copy at the Gala or purchase one from Kittee during the conference.

Super fat gift certificates and discount codes from Vegan Essentials. This will help you procure those ass-kickin’ vegan steeled boots you’ve been drooling over.
The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester and The Vegan Table by fellow VVC presenter Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, gifted from Fair Winds Press.  Also, Colleen will be presenting at the conference, so I bet you an get her to sign yours if you win it!
Free hummus coupons from Tribe Hummus. As we all know, it is mandatory Vegan Law #36 to eat at least 1 tub of hummus every day.

A ridiculous amount of pretzels and cookies in every size and shape from the amazing people at Newman’s Own!

SO many great vegan books to add to your cookbook collection: Lick It by Cathe Olson, Natural Vegan Kitchen by Christine Waltermyer, Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams and Anne Dinshah, and Eat Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones from The Book Publishing Company.

We hear tell some folks like speculoos? Well we got some for you!! Biscoff Spread, Biscoff Cookies, and Anna’s Thins from Lotus Bakeries!

Prepare to have your faces rocked off in the battle to end all battles! Bring your protective gear, cuz it is ON! The party begins in the Coos Bay classroom. Be there or be a parallelogram.

Amey Mathews from Vegan Eats and Treats
Mo Martin from Mo Betta Vegan
Kittee Berns from Cake Maker to the Stars

What? There’s a sale on vegan tattoos?!

Posted on Updated on

Welcome to Portland, Ore. Home to microbreweries, a vegan strip mall and strip clubs, craft coffee, hipsters, farmers markets and tattoos.


Yep, tattoos. And it’s Portland, so of course there are vegan tattoo parlours. Of course.

What makes a tattoo parlour vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use plant-based products where they can, while still adhering to the law and putting our safety first.

Our new favorite tattoo parlour that uses vegan inks is Skeleton Key Tattoo. Centrally located on SE Hawthorne & 17th, the owner Ximena is the awesomest lady this side of the Pacific.

She graciously humored the three of us organizer gals and, with only a few days’ notice, gave us each a beautiful beautiful beautiful beet tattoo.

beet tattoo arm

Ahhhhhh So COOL!!!

It looks so good I want to eat it.

me eating a beet


Love this tattoo!!

beet tattoo


The ever-adorable Jess, with her ever-adorable beet:

jess tattoo cutie


And for the camera-shy Michele, I present a game we like to call, “Where’s the Beet?”

wheres the beet

There’s the beet!

michele beet

The shop itself is clean, stocked with Good Earth Lollypops, and open for walk-ins and appointments. Four tattoo artists are on site, each with their own specialty (pet portraiture, anyone?).

So how is this relevant to you, dear Vida Vegan Con speakers, sponsors and attendees?

During the week of Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday August 24 through Monday August 29, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discountto all y’all for whatever vegetable/cat-shaped tattoo dreams you may have. All you gotta do is bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee, meet the $65 minimum, and after that the sky’s the limit and the world is your vegan oyster. (Bonus—they’re now open until 2am Thursday through Sunday—late-night post-vegan-corndog tattoos: Wahooo!)

Skeleton Key Tattoo

1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd

(503) 233-4292

~Make your appointment now!~

Off-Site Vida Vegan Shenanigans

Posted on Updated on

Oh, hello!

So you want to come to Vida Vegan Con but you didn’t get your ticket in time?

No bigs. Because we’ve got LOADS of stuff going on all weekend that is open the public (I.E., YOU!). We want to see you there. Even if you’re not a Portlander, you may decide it’s worth it to come for the weekend. There are going to be vegan shenanigans happening all over town, and you probably don’t want to miss a bit of it. We’ll have caffeine stations set up at key points all over town, don’t worry. (We kid, we kid. The pure adrenaline from the weekend will keep you going, we’re sure.)

Thursday, August 25

Meet & Greet

@ Vendetta (Click for address and directions)

When: 4:30-6:30

Cost: Free! (Unless you buy a stiff Mono and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice or a tasty Sloppy Jane.)

This is for those speakers, readers, and bloggers coming into Portland early. It’s also for you, if you want to swing by to meet some of your favorite bloggers (or your favorite conference organizers). This is open and free to the public. Swing by for a cocktail or a Tall Boy and mingle with the sort of people that talk about whisks, WordPress, and vegan Worcestershire sauce for fun.

* Vendetta does have a handful of vegan options, but don’t go starving yourself all day just to eat here.

** We totally want to show ya’ll the Bye and Bye on Alberta, but it’s crazy there on Last Thursdays and we don’t want to make you wait in line 4ever.

Here’s the facebook event.

Vegucated Sneak Peak

The Curious Comedy Theater (a 10-minute walk from Vendetta) is hosting a sneak peak of the anxiously awaited documentary Vegucated. There will be light vegan snacks and drinks available for purchase.

@ Curious Comedy Theatre (Click for address and directions)

When: Doors 7pm ~ Screening 7:30

Cost: $5 (Purchase tickets here) All door profits beyond cost of space rental goes to Woodstock Sanctuary.

Q&A with writer-director Marisa Miller Wolfson immediately following.

Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. Before long, they find themselves risking everything to expose an industry they supported just weeks before, but can their convictions carry them through when times get tough?

Here’s the facebook event.

** Un Vida Vegan Con Shenanigans**

Last Thursday

Last Thursday is a cray-cray fantastical hippy street fair that takes place on the Last Thursday of every month on Alberta St. It’s more than a little overwhelming and has recently turned into more of a drunken-shenanigans-in-the-street-while-ostensibly-looking-at-art, but there’s still some real rad stuff going on. If you can wade through the people and can’t make the Meet & Greet or Vegucated Sneak Peak, this would be a fun alternative for you. Also located on Alberta: Back to Eden Bakery, the best vegan bakery this side of the Universe (plus they have vegan soft serve, what!).

Friday, August 26

Friday is Registration and the Opening Night Reception.  No wild and crazy off-site Vida Vegan-endorsed shenanigans are happening. But you’ll probably have a Vida Vegan Con registrant or speaker sighting at any local vegan business you go to Friday night, so if you wanna stalk your favorite blogger, check their twitter stream or hang out at Bye and Bye, Sweet Hereafter, Hungry Tiger Too, or the Secret Vegan Lair underneath University Place. Consider a late night food cart or bar crawl!

Saturday, August 27

Cooking Demos with your favorite Bloggers and Cookbook Authors

@ Whole Foods Market (click link for address and directions)

When:  11:45-1:00 Cooking Demo with Fran Costigan: All Chocolate All Vegan All the Time Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

3:00-4:00 Cooking Demo with Caroline Scott-Hamilton: Easy Hotel Room Cooking to Eat Healthily While Traveling Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

Cost: $10 (Limit 15 spots. RSVP by emailing us here.)

Silent Auction Galarama

@ Ambridge Event Center (click link for address and directions)

When: 6:30-9:30pm

Cost: $25-$30

Our venue, Ambridge Event Center, is big enough for all ya’ll (unless of course we sell out, in which case—get your ticket early!), so we have opened the Galarama up to the public. Purchase your ticket here.

Public admission is $25 (or $30 at the door, if they’re still available) and includes vegan bites from the (vegan) caterer, Sizzle Pie, Gardein, Daiya, and Upton’s Naturals, among others, one drink (BridgePort beer, cocktails or mocktails, or wine from The Vegan Vine), and <insert drumroll and anticipatory murmur of the crowd here> the Coconut Bliss sundae bar! Oh, and you’re entered to win door prizes! And we’re still working up more fun surprises! The event is all ages, but no drinking for the minors so bring your ID.

Here’s the facebook event.

** Un Vida Vegan Con Shenanigans:

Upton’s Late Night Pop Up Sandwich Shop

After the Silent Auction Galarama, get your sandwich on and counteract that BridgePort beer at Upton’s Late Night Pop Up Sandwich Shop.

@ Food Fight! (Click link for address and directions)

When: 10pm-12am

Cost: Free to attend; not free to eat sandwiches.

Hang out with Upton’s at Food Fight on Saturday night! Upton’s will be offering an exclusive menu of made-to-order vegan sandwiches featuring their tasty seitan.
Additionally, they’’ll be offering some of our rarely offered for retail “limited edition” styles of seitan.
The full menu of sandwiches and available seitan styles will be up soon; check their Facebook event page to stay in the loop.

Huey Lewis and the News

Now, we know that is directly opposite the Silent Auction Galarama, is at the motherflippin’ Oregon Zoo, and costs up to $175, but for peet’s sake, it’s HUEY LEWIS. This is my jam, ya’ll:

Marry me, Huey.

Sunday, August 28

Cooking Demos with your favorite Bloggers and Cookbook Authors

@ Whole Foods Market (click link for address and directions)

When:     10-11:30 Cooking Demo with Kelly Peloza & Joni Marie Newman: Backyard BBQ with an Indian Twist Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

1:30-2:30 Cooking Demo with Hannah Kaminsky: Mastering the Art of Vegan Meringue  Here’s the facebook event with sign-up details.

Cost: $10 (Limit 15 spots. RSVP by emailing us here.)

So, whoa. Loads of shenanigans happening all weekend. Get your double espresso/green smoothie/decaf herbal tea ready, download the trimet app on your smart phone, grease the wheels on your bike, and we’ll see you in a few weeks.

Vida Vegan Con Presents: Vegucated Portland Sneak Peek Preview!

Posted on Updated on

We are thrilled to announce the Summer Sneak Preview of Vegucated, premiering on Thursday, August 25.

Vegucated is a documentary that follows three decidedly un-vegan New Yorkers for six weeks while they try to live a vegan lifestyle.

Official Description:

Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated is a guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. Before long, they find themselves risking everything to expose an industry they supported just weeks before, but can their convictions carry them through when times get tough?

Sounds so good!

Check out the preview here:

Vegucated Sneak Preview


This film looks inspiring, funny and educational, and we are very excited to be able to offer this special sneak peak to ya’ll. As part of the grand kick off of Vida Vegan Con weekend, we will be showing Vegucated on Thursday evening, following the Meet and Greet & Drink and Eat at The Bye and Bye (<—also open to public, more info coming soon!).

What: Special Sneak Preview of Veducated | Followed by Q&A with writer-director Marisa Miller Wolfson

When: Thursday Evening | August 25th | Doors 7pm | Show 7:30

Where: Curious Comedy Theater | 5225 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

Cost: $5 + Donation Box | Proceeds beyond event rental go to Farm Sanctuary

To find out more about the event, check the Vida Vegan Con Vegucated Facebook Page.

Click here to purchase tickets (psssst limited space available!).

Oh, and file under Portland-Is-Awesome and Curious-Comedy-Is-Rad News: They will be offering a special vegan menu just for this event!

Check out our new Galarama page and stay tuned for exciting off-site events roundup post!

Vida Vegan Con-test Winner: Burrito Bonanza

Posted on Updated on


We are thrilled to announce the winner of Epicurious Vegan’s Burrito Bonanza Contest: Amber, from Monk and Mao.

She made a dessert-rito, like so:

dessert rito

This beauty has chili cinnamon apples, vanilla bean Coconut Bliss ice cream, shaved coconut and dolce con leche. Rowr is right.

All the entries—click here to check them out—were amazing, and we wish we could invite everyone to come.

Congrats again to Amber for constructing the dessert-rito that caught Epicurious Vegan’s eye.

—Stay tuned in the coming week for exciting announcements about our Silent Auction & Galarama. —-


Getting to Portland on the Cheap

Posted on Updated on

Excited to come to Portland for the Vida Vegan Conference, but not sure you have enough dough to make it work? Relax, and let me guide you through the fabulously fun and cheap ways of getting to and around Portland.

The first post will be about getting to Portland. We will explore the awesomely fun (and infinitely easy) options of getting around Portland in Part Two.

Getting to Portland

If you live semi-close to Portland or have loads of time and/or money, definitely check out Amtrak, Greyhound, and Craigslist ride share ads.  If not, you will probably be flying in. Here is some advice on finding an affordable ticket.


these people all found great deals to Portland!


The important thing to remember about buying airline tickets about a year in advance is you have plenty of time to discover a great deal and pounce immediately. It can take time for a great deal, but if you’ve been looking and coming across $400 or $600 dollar tickets, let me tell you; you will find a better price. Don’t panic. It takes some time and some work, but wouldn’t you rather put in a couple of hours research to save a few hundred bucks? I certainly would. Plus, there’s nothing like the feeling of finding a fantastic deal to brag to all your friends about.

How online tickets work:

There are three primary ways to buy airline tickets.

1.) The first way is through site aggregates. Sites like Kayak check multiple airlines’ prices, offering you the best price. They don’t charge a fee but rely on affiliate hotel deals and advertising to make their money. This often works the best for the budget-conscious traveler.

2.) Then there are traditional websites (think Orbitz) that scan multiple airlines and offer you the best price. These folks charge a small percentage in order to make money, so tickets here will be 6-10 bucks more expensive than an aggregate. But if you find an amazing deal, that amount probably won’t be enough to make a difference.

3.) Certain airlines don’t allow either of these sites to scan their prices (Southwest and Jet Blue, I’m looking at you). You may find a cheaper deal by going directly to one of these airlines’ websites.

There is not a fail-proof way to buy a rock-bottom-priced ticket, but if you know how to operate and utilize these sites, you should be able to find a good deal.

Start with Kayak and Travelzoo. If you are not subscribed to Travelzoo’s weekly Top 20 newsletter, do it now. Seriously. This is how I found a $598 flight roundtrip to Istanbul last October and a $475 flight roundtrip to Iceland this coming January. They don’t always have insane deals, but when they do, they’re crazy-exciting insane deals. Check your inbox every Wednesday and hop over to their site to take advantage of recently released travel deals.

Kayak is awesome—take advantage of their interactive map. You can also sign up for price alerts here, opting to receive either a daily or a weekly alert to your inbox.

Next, I’d suggest trying Southwest and Jet Blue. I bought two roundtrip tickets on Southwest from Portland to New York last February for under $500. Total. They offer a great calendar where you can see the cheapest flights on multiple days, so if you have a little bit of leeway with your travel time, this is an especially good site.

Jet Blue is just awesome because they offer great vegan snacks. I have not flown with them yet, as they just opened their Portland gates not too terribly long ago and I’ve primarily been flying to destinations they don’t go. They offer great overnight flights for those wanting to maximize their actual vacation time.

Next up are sites like Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, Hotwire and Expedia. Personally, I’ve never found amazing deals with these sites, but a lot of people have and they’re definitely worth checking out. I suggest going to a site like Booking Buddy, which scans all of these at once and offers you a nice and tidy summary of what all these sites can offer. You can also sign up for pricing alerts with these guys.

Don’t forget to check the actual airline’s website—sites like Delta and Continental will offer the same fares that show up under the Orbitz-type sites,  minus that extra fee. And occasionally they’ll have unpublished dea­ls.­

International Travel

If you are coming to us from abroad, first of all, Yay! Second of all, here are some sites to start with:







  • Do your research.
  • Check different dates, nearby airports, or consider piecing together your trip out of one-way tickets.
  • After you’ve spent a month or so looking at tickets, you’ll be able to recognize a great deal when you see one. You’ll be able to pounce without worrying if you’ll find a cheaper one.
  • That said, you may find one for cheaper after you’ve bought yours. That’s OK. Though highly annoying, it happens to all of us sometimes.
  • For travel in August, some fares may not be available yet. That’s fine; it’s actually a great time to start looking. It gives you more time to find a marvelously cheap ticket.
  • Don’t sweat the small things. If you’ve always wanted to come to Portland or just really really need a vacation, what better time than the weekend there will be hundreds of vegan converging on Portland, ready to go play and explore together (and maybe get a vegan tattoo together too)?
  • If you end up spending more than you’d like on a ticket, you may just have to be extra frugal here in Portland. I’ll explore these options in Part 2.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I will be happy to answer them for you. I will also be keeping an eye on flights to Portland in August and post any deals I see here on our website.

Good luck, and happy travels!