Vida Vegan Con II

Dawn & Helen’s Very-Vegan Instagram Musts (Cat Ladies ‘R’ Us)

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One of @jdfunks’ roommates being such a cat.
A few months ago, our friends at VegNews issued a list of vegan Instagrammers they simply “can’t get enough of”, which naturally, inspired us to contemplate our own. Your friendly VVC organizers quickly scrolled through our own feeds and so many eye-catching, appetizing, adorable and quirky photos popped out at us. It’s no surprise that Instagram may undeniably be the social media medium of the moment, and that encouraged us to hand this notion over to our own social media mavens, Seattle vegan bloggers Helen Pitlick and Dawn Quinn, to get the list even more relevant. Trust us, they know what’s up.
social media dawn quinn helen pitlick vida vegan tech
Best.

Dawn and Helen are seriously super and super serious Vida Vegan alumnae, with a joint presentation on “Effective Social Media” already under their belt from this past fall’s first-ever  VVC Tech Seminar in Seattle. The lovely power duo is back again this upcoming weekend (!!) with “How to Use Social Media to Win (Vegan) Friends & Influence People”  on Sunday afternoon. From the sound of it, you’re in store for a lot of discussion – and time for questions – about social media tips, photography, relevancy, community, practices, promotional disclosure, popularity, balance, and more – so, stay tuned, listen up and ask those question!

Case in point: darling Eva VonSassipants of the @VidaVeganHQ household

We picked all of these people because they’re all real people (minus the cat, and not professional photogs) who take photos of their food, adorable pets, travels and vegan lifestyle in a way that’s relatable, sometimes funny and always super delicious-looking. We also have representation from raw-friendly and gluten-free pals. They’ve got good followings for good reason and are all super down to earth and cool. They make you want to be their friend with their pictures. Dawn & Helen

Without further adieu, here are six vegan folks that Dawn and Helen dig on Instagram, and think you may, too:

@RyanPatey: Ryan frequently shares what he’s eating, from wraps to soups to restaurant experiences, which makes veganism seem really easy. Everything he eats looks delicious, but he’s certainly not a professional chef (in the best possible way!). He balances this out with his cat, shows, and other randomness. @food_and_cats: You just want to be Michelle’s friend. Her profile description says, g”uess what I mostly post about,” and while it’s true that her feed is largely devoted to the delicious meals she cooks up and the adorable Pekoe and Tetley, Michelle also gives insight into her life outside of veganism by posting pics of her partner, adventures, and the occasional PBR. @Amanda_eats_slc: Dog owner and feral cat whisperer of Salt Lake City, Amanda makes being vegan look easy. In addition to adorable animal pics, you’ll find healthy vegan lunches, highlights of veg-friendly SLC restaurants along with travels, friends and her vegan lifestyle. Her profile tagline of “will write for cat food and vodka” seems it up in the most endearing way. @Pjrvs: Paul is a vegan who makes things happen. A vegan cookbook author and designer, he’s made a name for himself in terms of being a successful guy. You want to follow him everywhere just to see what makes him tick. In addition to being awesome, Paul uncooks a lot of amazing raw (sometimes cooked) meals, adventures in the great outdoors and hangs with two adorable pet rats. Seriously, come for the gorgeous outdoor scenery and mouthwatering meals, and stay for the sweet rats. @Albert_Weskie: Move over, Maru — if you’re a fan of fluffy orange cats with sweet faces and a penchant for naps and mischief, follow Albert. (If not, you’re probably a horrible person — JK!). Albert may not be vegan, but we have it on good authority that his parents are. JL of @jlgoesvegan: JL is as lovely in real life as she is online, and her Instagram account showcases bits and pieces of her very vegan life: her speaking engagements, cooking for clients, exercising and of course the delicious, healthy meals she has dining out and at home. Expect a plethora of smoothies, colorful salads and some wine and treats thrown in for good measure.

What they like about Instagram:
  • Makes anyone a better photographer
  • Hashtags are great potential for discovery and community

Their habitual hates:

  • Accounts that are all or predominantly selfies
  • People who share their Instagram photos on every social media account (!!)
To follow along with our two mavens, check out @hpilick and @veganmoxie

While we’re here, the ladies of Vida Vegan Headquarters (meaning @VidaVeganHQ, @janessapk and @jdfunks) would like to throw even more love to some of our favorite Instagram accounts (which comes with a bunch of duh’s, no doubt): @IsaChandra, @Lechousauvage, @Prfctpineapples@Lazysmurf, @animalkind@vegankitten, @lagusta@redhotvegan, @jayastafa and @inmypiesClearly, we’re enamored with vegan Austin!

Jess would also like to throw out a little public plea about her own Instagram pet peeve numero uno – Please, please, stop with the blatant screen-caps of your own blog posts and facebook updates  – it’s so not necessary (and frankly, an obnoxious overstep into marketing land on a casual medium)….We come for the vegan tacos and cats, pls!

Let’s spread the vegan inspiration!

Want to share your own Instragram account or a favorite? Leave a comment – and of course, hashtag ‘con happenings with #VVC2013 and #VidaVeganCon.

Portland Picks with Stephanie Bogdanich, The Lazy Smurf

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It’s now time for yet another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. This time, we get a lover, Austin vegan eats expert, taco enthusiast and tour guide extraordinaire, Lazy Smurf.

Your Name: Stephanie Bogdanich

All Things Vegan Smurfy: @veganLazySmurf
Let’s talk…where to eat? The Lazy Smurf says…

You are going to hear again and again that you should get Voodoo Doughnuts. Maybe that doesn’t sound as exciting as it once did since vegan doughnuts are more plentiful out in the rest of the world but Voodoo still has the best I’ve every had. They instantly take me back to my childhood. If you decide to bring one of their trademarked boxes back home on the plane I promise every single person you make eye contact with will ask you for one, so bring extra to share! The second location (Voodoo Too) doesn’t have long lines but they are all cash only and they are all open 24/7.

When I come to Portland Voodoo is usually my last stop but the FlavourSpot is usually my first, the vegan sausage with maple cream sauce folded into a waffle is something I long for. Make sure you go to the spot on N Fremont and Mississippi and then you can wander around Mississippi Ave when you are done.

VooDoo: So Many Vegan Doughnuts.

Shopping?

Walking around downtown make sure you check out Ground Kontrol Arcade, the little Japanese toy store around the corner, Compound, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and the comic & zine shop Floating World Comics, and of course Powell’s City of Books where, in addition to every book, they also have lots of fun souvenirs.

Get your Northwest tourist on…

People in the northwest are *way* into getting naked and soaking in hot water. If you want to try but don’t have time to hike to the natural hot springs out in the forests then check out the Kennedy School or Common Ground Wellness Center. It isn’t expensive and you can check the site if you want to stick to your preferred gender and even wear a bathing suit if you are a nevernude*.

Only Portland has….

Flooring at Grond Kontrol. Image Source: nerdsinbabeland.com

Whenever I get to Portland one of the first things I like to do is sit down the with alternative weekly newspaper the Portland Mercury, it’s a really fun paper and you can learn a lot about what’s going on in town and what’s going on that weekend.

Spot The Lazy Smurf all around Portland this upcoming week of the ‘Con, and plead with her to start a vegan breakfast taco pop-up some night. Seriously. With that, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

*Special VVC note, because Jess just has to include this:

A Very Veggie Grill Reception: Friday Night at Vida Vegan Con II

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Gosh, we sure do love us some Veggie Grill at Vida Vegan Headquarters, and often have our meetings over Peach Iced Teas, Bayou Chickin’ sandwiches, Sweetheart fries and giant B Wing salads. And really, between the three of us, and all the Veggie Grill locations we’ve visited on the West Coast, we’ve easily tried every single menu item to date! Or we will—take our word on that.


(Not So) Spoiler Alert!
As always, we wanted to do something different for our Opening Night Reception this year, and being überhostesses, we wanted to feed people, so we knew just who to invite. It was obvious.

Veggie Grill, which just happens to be one of the closest nearby vegan hot spots from the Museum with its recent downtown Portland location, is offering some very special small bites and refreshments to welcome you to the first of three days of conference-going.

As the motto goes, “Taste and Believe,” folks.

VG Feastin’
Here’s what’s in store for the Very Veggie Grill Reception:

All Hail Kale Salad (gluten-free)

VG Rollers—think mini blackened chickin’ flautas

Chill Out wings with Buffalo, Chipotle Ranch & BBQ sauces

Strawberry Lemonade

It should be just enough to hold you over until the Vegan Pop-Up happenings at the Mini Mall, right?

Who are they? Veggie Grill is a growing fast-casual, 100% vegan chain, and we’re stoked to have them involved and sharing their food on Friday night. We love them, and they love bloggers—so it’s a perfect fit! You can check out their current restaurant menus right here.

Details: The Very Veggie Grill Reception immediately follows our opening talk by Nicole J. Georges at 5:00pm on Friday in the Kridel Ballroom. See you all there!

VG Rollers, on the right

Veggie Grill boldly reppin’ at SW 5th & Salmon. Image Source: veggienextdoor.com
 For the full Vida Vegan Con II agenda, check it.

VVC 2013 Expert Corner

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expert

By now you’ve all seen the agenda, but we figured we might as well pack as much as possible into this weekend. To that end, in addition to all the classes and workshops and discussions, we netted some really fantastic talent together for an Expert Corner. They’ll be in the Kridel Ballroom, our home base for the conference. Stuff your brains with all their know-how!

Photography • Marika Collins & Kate Lewis
Two of the most exciting vegan photographers out there, Kate and Marika can school you on composition, lighting, editing, and even what all those buttons on your camera actually do.
Friday, 1:45-3:45 • Saturday, 3:15-5:00 • Sunday, 9:45-11:00

Nutrition • Ginny Messina
Ginny Messina’s been studying and writing about nutrition since you were in short pants. You can’t get more thorough, reliable advice.
Friday, 4:00-4:45

Marketing & Social Media • Helen Pitlick & Dawn Quinn
Dawn and Helen live and work in social media. These savvy ladies will get your online peripherals (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, whatever else was invented last night) in order.
Saturday, 9:30-10:45

Business • Nicole Sopko
As Vice President of Upton’s Naturals, Nicole Sopko is pivotal in its growth. She knows how a vegan company can succeed ethically. It’s possible!
Saturday, 11:00-12:00

Tech • Jason Das
Got a question about your blog or website? Ask web developer and designer Jason Das, founder and publisher of Super Vegan.
Saturday, 2:15-3:00

Business & Culinary Arts • Julie Hasson
Julie Hasson has decades in the food industry and has run her own food cart, written more than a handful of books, and is starting a line of baking mixes—pick her brain!
Sunday, 11:15-12:15

Vegan Pregnancy & Raising Vegan Kids • Sayward Rebhal
Having a kid? Thinking of maybe having a kid? Don’t miss this chance to sit down and chat with Sayward Reghal, an intelligent, open woman who’s been there and studied that.
Sunday, 1:45-2:30

Advance signup is here!

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Hi folks! It’s now 12:01pm PST on Wednesday, May 15, with just over a week until Vida Vegan Con II arrives.

Deep breaths!

As per our last newsletter: Advance signup for select classes is happening RIGHT NOW.

Artwork by J. Legume
Time for coffee and coconut creamer! Artwork by J. Legume

And we’re giving you one signup at a time – Please, peruse the full agenda, think carefully, and sign up for your first choice first.  Please – only sign up for yourself, one spot at a time.

There are four topics ahead (with one very small, very special class happening twice).

For….Food Styling: Keeping it Real with Hannah Kaminsky at 12:45-1:30pm on Friday, FULL! Everyone who signed up is in!

For….Iphone Food Photography with Isa Chandra Moskowitz at 1:45-2:30pm on Friday,  NOW FULL! Everyone who signed up is in!

For…The Making of a Zine: From Conception to Distribution with Kittee Berns, Amey Mathews & Joanna Vaught at 9:30-10:45am on Saturday, sign up right here.

For…Writer’s Block with Isa Chandra Moskowitz at 2:15-4:00pm (note: extra-long session) on Saturday, FULL!Everyone who signed up is in!

For…Writer’s Block with Isa Chandra Moskowitz at 1:45-3:30pm (note: extra-long session) on Sunday FULL! Everyone who signed up is in!

We’ll let you know of all advance signup confirmations by Friday, May 17, 2013.  

Remember, there are two, if not three, other classes during all sessions, that you can simply walk into, and plenty to learn and enjoy from so many great speakers, in addition to our new Experts Corner.

All other classes are first come, first served. We’ll notify anyone of open spots via email beforehand – there will be no waitlists (or sneaking in!) at the door. Some of our rooms are incredibly large, and some are rather intimate. There are a few minutes between the classes to get from one building to the next, if need be. There will be helpful signage and directions to all classrooms in the program – hold onto it!

There will be attendants with advanced signups and keeping track of crowding in all rooms – please let them know if you have any questions.

VVC Vegan Tattoo Sale, Take 2

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Hey, remember last time, when we announced a sale on vegan tattoos? Well, get ready for round two.

berries jess
Jess about to go under the needle. You could be next!

One of the gazillion points of Portland pride is Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne & 17th. Ximena and her crack squad of ink-slingin’ pros are here to make sure you get the right tattoo the right way, in a comfortable, clean shop with great music (and a short post-tattoo walk to Whiffies and Potato Champion).

What makes a tattoo vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use vegan products where they can, while adhering to the law and putting our safety first. This is not an exclusively vegan shop, so make sure to tell your artist you’re there for vegan ink.

We were lucky enough to have Ximena design these marionberry tattoos for us, to complement our 2011 beets. We found some neat photos and drawings, then Ximena sketched it up for us.

berries fitting
Janessa figuring out placement
berries stencil
Jess with the stencil placed and ready to be inked
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And Michele, all done (and a little swollen and hurty)

While you’re in town for Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday through Monday, May 22-27, 2013, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discount to VVC registrants (attendees, speakers, and special guests). Mention you’re with VVC when you make your appointment, then bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee—there’s a $65 minimum, and don’t forget to tip your artist!

Skeleton Key Tattoo
1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
(503) 233-4292

Are you a Portland vegan-friendly business? Want to offer a special for our attendees? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!

What Do I Pack?!

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packing-for-vida-vegan-con

Maybe you’re an eleventh-hour packer, praying to the taxi gods that you have time to grab that last load of laundry before the angry honking begins. Or do you have your bags out two weeks in advance, lists (only Excel files will do) perched on your desktop for easy access?

Either way, we figure you could probably use some help deciding what to bring. It’s Portland, late May, and you’re going to spend three days or so with people who photograph and write about everything they see—no pressure there!

  • Car? Don’t bother. It’s a city, which means you will pay too much for parking at your hotel or near the museum. It’s not as bad as some cities, but still. With our public transportation, unless you’re venturing out to the ocean or mountains you just won’t need it. (But if you must, we have some tips on local parking here).
  • Comfortable shoes. We’re looking at long days, and while your needs are seen to within the Art Museum buildings during the day, you will absolutely want to explore Portland in the evenings and beyond—we’ve arranged activities all over the city, and it would be a shame not to get out there and soak up all the Portland you possibly can.
  • Layers. You never really know what you’re going to get here; a zipped-up-hoodie morning could lead to a back-sweat afternoon. And sure, it could rain.
  • Maybe a little something fancy? Saturday night’s Galarama + Silent Auction is the perfect excuse to get a little glitzy, although dressing up is by no means mandatory.
  • Business cards. How many new friends will you be making? It’s a great idea to have an easy way to share your blog URL, email address, and social media handle(s). (Remember, no swag or solicitation! Let’s keep it classy and comfortable for all.)
  • Camera! As if we need to remind bloggers to bring their cameras, but still. We’re saying it out loud—and don’t forget your charger and extra SD card! (And if you’re the social media type, use #VidaVeganCon or #VVC2013 to spread the love…and make everybody jealous.)
  • Extra bag. Hey, you’re gonna be acquiring a lot of stuff—from SWAG bag goodies to cookbooks to  tourist trinkets. How many pounds of bulk Soy Curls can you stuff in those pockets?

Did we miss something? Were you at the 2011 conference? Was there anything you either were so relieved you’d brought or really wished you’d remembered?