VeganMoFo

Month of Memories: Chicago Research

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A piece I like to call “Winter Boots.”

So…our first location-scouting trip to Chicago was in the dead of winter. Why? This was when we could all take time off work and hotels and airfare were crazy cheap. Because who wants to go to Chicago in the dead of winter?! Falling-ice warnings around skyscrapers, slush puddles, doing the cold dance while waiting for the L—all right, I’ll admit the cold dance is pretty entertaining. (NOTE: Don’t worry; when we do hold an event in Chicago, it will not be in January or February.)

 

Ah, but in this frigid, frigid land there was an oasis: the biggest Whole Foods we’d ever seen. Ladies, grab your cameras!

 

SAMSUNG

We spent close to two hours photographing Upton’s Naturals grab-n-go sandwiches and Chicago Diner cookies, sipping bubbly at one of two wine bars, choosing snacks for our flight home, and downing vegan Chicago-style hot dogs and soy milkshakes. Because that’s precisely what three bloggers do when they check out a new grocery store. While we know how ridiculous it must look to normal people, we simply can’t help ourselves. How else are we going to tell the Internet all about it?

Honestly, the rest of trip was pretty cool too. We got to check out a bunch of neato spaces, eat pizza, and meet up with Snarky Vegan, Marla from Chicago VeganMania, the Upton’s duo of Dan and Nicole, and Ms. Kelly Peloza—and they’re worth a few frozen toes.

Late Summertime Crunk: Q & A with Bianca Phillips

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Hey there! Welcome to the first edition of our Summertime Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters!  This series will give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, seasonal shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds.

First up, we’re joined by the one-and-only Bianca Phillips, of long-time vegan favorite blog, Vegan Crunk

Ms. Crunk.
Ms. Crunk.

So Bianca, what have you been up to this summer?

Traveling to various VegFests to promote Cookin’ Crunk, picnicking with friends, went to Bonnaroo.

Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?

Because Vida Vegan Con I was, like, the best couple of days of my life! For real! And II was just as amazing! Loved seeing all my old blogger friends and meeting new people.

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

Definitely Susan V’s advanced photography class

How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?

Hmmm….I wish I had a better answer here. It hasn’t changed at all. I really could use a re-design. Maybe one day soon.

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

I’ve been making the hell out of some Soy Curls.

Who were you really excited to meet?

Ashlee Piper! (and then we didn’t even get time to hang out … Ashley: You and me, cocktails. It’s gonna happen one day.) And JoJo!! And Sayward!!!

Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?

Going to the vegan strip club after the galarama and having a stripper place her ta-tas into my picture of vegan taquitos. Best food porn ever!

So, have you started reading any new blogs?

Yep! Lots! Especially loving From A to a Vegan.

What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

My favorite blogs are photo-heavy and personal. I like reading about other people’s lives and what they ate for dinner. I’m not as into recipe blogs, just because I’m up to ears in cookbooks at home.

Image source: Yelp.com

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?

Oh gosh! What if we had a VVC 5k?! I say that, but I know I’d actually be too hungover to run it.

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)

Probably the box of a dozen Voodoo Doughnuts that I ate on for days. Also, that corn dog at Hungry Tiger Too is OFF THE CHAIN, yo.

Broken record time: As always, stay tuned for more!

Our Summertime Q & A series will continue far into VeganMoFo.

You can check out Bianca’s own recaps on VVC2013 right here: Vida Vegan Con Part I and Vida Vegan Con Part 2.

We miss you, Bianca!

Month of Memories: Austin Research

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Hello!

If you follow this blog or our Facebook page, you may remember a trip we took to Austin earlier this year. While it cemented our love for vegan tacos, the primary goal was location scouting.

Austin is the best
Austin is the best

In between eating tacos, we held inspiring meetings and saw event spaces that gave us some really exciting ideas we’re all looking forward to sharing with you all (hint: some of them are here).

The three of us, at the location in Austin that inspired us to do something new and, we think--really fun.
The three of us doing are usual muggin’ in Austin at the location we scouted that gave us an idea for an event we’re embarking on in (hopefully) 2014.

We had such a good time and got to spend time with lovely Austin folks like Lazy Smurf and the Tates‘. Austin definitely holds a place in our collective hearts.

Month of Memories: Opening VVC2011

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Photo credit: Kristina Sloggett
Photo credit: Kristina Sloggett

Starting off with a memory from long, long ago. It’s the opening greeting at the first Vida Vegan Con, in August 2011. Obviously, we didn’t shoot this; it’s from Kristina Sloggett’s coverage on Spabettie.

Jess had just finished talking and it was my turn, which meant a pretty big adjustment for the microphone. Of course the cord was wrapped around the stand too tight so it was difficult to raise for me…and awkwardness ensued. Newbie mistake! But like most of the newbie mistakes we made that first conference, we laughed our way through it, figured out how to prevent it from ever happening again, and with a little help—OK, a lot of help—we got the job done.

 

Behind the Scenes: Vida Vegan Summertime Stuff

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Why, hello there, VeganMoFo VII!  Vida Vegan Headquarters is kicking off our big month of memories with the most recent, by sharing some photographic evidence that all three of your friendly organizers have managed to experience some good old-fashioned summer time-ing.  

Without further adieu, an Instagram collection:

Janessa: Double scoop of white chocolate & oreo vegan ice cream in Vienna. @Janessapk
Michele: A duo of Sweet Hereafters, Sweet Hereafter. Now, that’s a summer afternoon well spent. @VidaVeganHQ
Jess: Continued to spend her summer as a farmers market groupie. Nothing new there. @jdfunks
Janessa: literally found herself on Abbey Road. @Janessapk
Michele: Conquered giardiniera and is hopefully going to share… @VidaVeganHQ
Jess: had an ongoing rotation of fancy homemade vegan cheeses and pickles. @jdfunks
Janessa: continued documenting amazing photos on her #Janessagoesthere tour with these schoolkids caught in a thunderstorm in Vietnman. @Janessapk
Michele: Loves summertime salsa. Enough said. @VidaVeganHQ
Jess: finally lived out her small dream of judging a cooking competition, with the Vegan Iron Chef Pop Up! Taco Shop! community cook-off. @jdfunks
Bonus Vida Vegan Headquarters international Google Hangout time. Way more fun that it looks! @Janessapk

And there’s your quick taste of what Janessa, Michele and myself have been up to this summer since the whirlwind weekend that was VVC2013. All three of us are also doing VeganMoFo over at our own blogs, so catch more at Epicurious Vegan, Vegtastic Voyage and Get Sconed!

See you back here soon! There’s so, so much in store at Vida Vegan Headquarters.

VeganMoFo. It’s our Time to Shine!

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It is upon us.

It’s VeganMoFo, when we make the Internet explode with vegan recipes, food porn, discoveries, kitchen tours, love letters to appliances…yeah, it can get weird.  The pledge we take to post every day for a month (at least Monday through Friday) energizes us, scares us, and and gets those creative juices flowing.

This year it’s happening in September, which means a little more light a little later in the evening, so you can more easily shoot your dinner. Thumbs. Up.

Are you in? Do you have a 30-day theme (like Janessa’s Bites From Abroad)? A day-of-the-week theme (don’t miss Thai Tuesdays from Jess)? Have you already been shooting and have a stash of drafts ready to go? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants like me, letting the pressure fuel you into late-night ramblings about how much better organic cilantro is than conventional cilantro (it can make a HUGE difference), or an ode to the perfect frosting, with a texture so luxurious it licks you back?

If you haven’t signed up yet, via the official VeganMoFo page, step to! August 28 (tomorrow?!?!) is the deadline to get on the 2013 VeganMoFo BlogRoll. And while you’re picking up your official MoFo graphics, check out their advice on brainstorming and theming. Team MoFo (including a handful of your VVC pals) is there to help.

Team Vida is participating again…which makes it our third year in a row here at VVHQ. For 2011 we had a cocktail lounge theme, and in 2012 we were focused on blogging tech. This year we’re looking back at past Vida happenings, sharing photos and memories with you. And we’ll have some guest posts in there, from the greater Vida Vegan family. (Insert something about hugs here.) So go team. Let’s do it. You’re all #1.

Now go MoFo like a mofo.