I found my camera battery!*


*Also known as: I finally cleaned my house!


And lookit the photos I took before my camera died on Easter:


(Hint: It’s an Easter DANCE-OFF)

P1010209 P1010210P1010212 P1010213 P1010203 P1010205

Haha That was so much fun! Not included are pictures of the mimosa vegan jello shots I made, the fabulous breakfast spread, the bowling shenanigans that followed brunch, and the karaoke train wreck (<– only if you heard me singing) that ended the night.


In other, real-er and awesome-er news, check out the contests my super-human Vida Vegan Con co-organizers are running to win a ticket to the already-sold-out fabulous convention this August:

–> Get Sconed’s Song Contest: Submissions are over, but check out the talent-fest of entries. With original songs and brilliant covers of your favorites, I don’t know how Jess is going to pick a winner.

–> Vegtastic Voyage’s current contest: Submit a photo of you, done in food. She includes a fantastic replica of herself in rice krispies treats. You have to see it to believe it.

(Pssst…My contest is coming next! Stay tuned!)


And in update news, Modified Style, the fashion show fundraiser event of the year (self-titled) was a delightful success. Check out the pictures of the winning designs on the beautiful models (And the baby! Adorable! Ahhh!):

1st place professional Coral1st place amateur nora lopez2nd place professional amy sim2nd place amateur rae snyder3rd place professional julia garay3rd place amateur megan mesloh   People's Choice Winner Jen Lee


For pictures of every design, check out Modified Style’s Facebook page. We raised over $5000 for Out to Pasture Sanctuary, Sisters Of The Road, and Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP).

Catching Up!

Well, hello everyone!


I have been hesitant to write because I have not written a recap of my 31 Things post. So I am here to say—that’s coming! Scout’s honor!

In the meantime, here’s what’s been going on in my vida loca:


(That’s me on the right, mugging for the camera with my best friend Abby, at my birthday bash in February.)


I am fast and furiously at work on Modified Style, a fashion show fundraiser I help organize every year.


This is the third year. It takes place Sunday May 1 at Disjecta. It’s an awesome show for an awesome cause (we’re raising money for Sisters of the Road, Children’s Healing Art Project-CHAP, and Out to Pasture Sanctuary). To buy tickets, head here.



Vida Vegan Con is also shaping up quite nicely. It’s the world’s first ever International Vegan Blogging Conference taking place in Portland this August and is going to be quite spectacular, in my humble opinion. We have AMAZING people involved—everyone from Isa Chandra Moskowitz to Colleen Patrick Goudreau to Mama Pea. I’m going to spend the whole conference in awe of the sheer amount of ridiculous talent that will be in Portland. Tickets are sold out, but we three organizers will do a few giveaways in the next few months (so keep an eye on Get Sconed and Vegtastic Voyage, hint hint).


If you’re a reader and you’re planning on coming, say hi to me in the comments! I’d love to ‘meet’ you!

vvc logo

And look for our ad in the next edition of Veg News!

My mom and little brother came to town recently, and along with my older brother, we headed out to the coast to visit Grandma. It was a beautiful sunny day. A bit windy, but absolutely gorgeous.

My mom and my older brother both write blogs, by the way! Check them out!)





My grandma called ahead to her favorite lunch spot to ask about ‘vaygun’ options. Even though she thinks my older brother and I are crazy for being vegan, she tried to accommodate. As a Portlander, I’m used to fancy tempeh bacon and vegan cheese or chicken shenanigans every place I go; it’s not often I find myself somewhere where there’s nothing vegan on a menu and they have to customize something for me. It was kind of cool. Winking smile



They made me a deliciously huge salad. The owner made the salad for me herself. She kept stepping out of the kitchen to ask questions like,

“Do you eat eggs?” (No)

“Do you eat cranberries?” (Yes)

“Can you eat almonds?” (Yes)

“What about a whole wheat roll?” (Yes)

“Do you eat oranges?” (Yes, but I don’t want them on my salad.)

She created a gorgeous beast, and I ate (almost) all of it. I left the cherry tomatoes b/c they weird me out.


We then headed down to the beach and walked along the sand, spotting kites and birds and shells.






My grandma’s dog Lacy! Isn’t she cute? She’s quite a handful. Smile






P1000991 (<—Can you see the face on the tree?)

There was this adorable book store run by an Irish lady. It was messy and disorganized and reminded me of what a bookstore would look like if I owned one. I’m not saying I’m messy, I’m just saying my nickname as a child wasn’t “Messy Nessy” for nothing.




We had such a nice time. I love spending time with my family. My older brother is heading back to South Korea to teach within the month, so I’m trying to soak up all the time I can get with him.






We’re goofballs.

I took a trip out to Multnomah Falls last weekend. It’s only a 45 minute drive from Portland. The falls are majestic and simply gorgeous.







If you’re coming out for Vida Vegan Con this August, I highly recommend scheduling some time to drive out here. 

And of course, I’ve also been eating delicious food. Some recent eats:



And I went for a run on the waterfront a few days ago. Lookit how pretty it is:



And one more thing; I’ve been listening to a few songs on repeat recently. This song, by Langhorne Slim (a recent Portland transplant and a fellow vegan, I hear) is hauntingly and sweetly sad. Sorry for the downer, it’s just lovely.

Sweet yet Sad.

Modified Style Portland ‘Call to Artists’ 2011



Hello, everyone!

If you’re interested in creating a wearable creation out of found and donated fabric and live in the Portland area, please read below. Modified Style is an annual fashion show fundraiser that raises funds and awareness for three awesome local non-profit organizations. This is something I put together every year with my good friends Andrea Fretwell and Laura Boley. I urge anyone who is interested in this fun event to read below and contact info@modifiedstyle.org for more information.


thanks for reading!




The potential of art and fashion to inspire social transformation

If you’re interested in sewing, creativity, fashion, raising money for awesome Portland-area non-profits, or having a rockin’ good time at a fashion show, then you may be interested in Modified Style Portland – Fundraiser Fashion Show.

It’s all for fun!
What is Modified Style?

Modified Style in Portland, OR is an annual fashion show and benefit approaching its’ third year. Ran by Andrea Fretwell, Janessa Philemon-Kerp and Laura Boley, we are committed to raising awareness of select local non-profit organizations by featuring unique and wearable fashion created using sustainable practices by participants of any skill level.

Modified Style ’09:

  • Successfully raised almost $2,000 in the first year
  • Participation by over 30 models and designers
  • Stephanie Ortman from Fox12 News emceed
  • Prizes and donations from BridgePort Brewpub, PGE Park, Portland Center Stage, Honest Tea, Nike, Scrap, Thai Massage Clinic, and many more.
  • Silent Auction
  • Raised awareness and funds for Farm Sanctuary, Sisters Of The Road, and Junior Achievement.

Modified Style ’10:

  • Tripled our first year’s numbers and raised almost $6,000
  • Nearly doubled our designer and model participation to 50
  • Marjorie Skinner from The Portland Mercury emceed
  • Prizes and donations from Back to Eden Bakery, Jupiter Hotel, local artists, Willamette Week, Yelp, Widmer Beer, and many more.
  • Silent Auction
  • Raised awareness and funds for Out to Pasture Sanctuary, Sisters Of The Road, and Caldera.

If you wish to participate in Modified Style Portland 2011, email info@modifiedstyle.org.  No sewing experience is necessary, just a creative urge or a desire to learn!  This year we are dividing the competition into Amateur and Professional Categories. If you have ever sold a piece of your own (not including past year’s Modified Style Silent Auction), you must enter in the professional category. If you’ve never sold anything but still consider yourself amazing, you are welcome to enter yourself into the Professional category.  Please include your contact information as well as your model’s contact information (once you decide on your model) and sewing level. The deadline for participation as a designer is February 15th, 2011.


We will have a meet and greet where each designer can pick up their scrap material at Modern Domestic on Saturday, February 19th from 4-6pm with free wine and snacks provided.  Bags o’ fabric will be available to pick up Saturday day before the meet and greet, and will remain available at Modern Domestic for pick-up during regular business hours until February 26th.  Each designer has one month to create a wearable creation. For those who participated in prior years, this is less time. We have faith in you and grand plans for this year’s Silent Auction, which enables us to donate proceeds to Sisters Of The Road, Out to Pasture Sanctuary, and Children’s Healing Arts Project (CHAP).  We need your designer blurbs and the name of a model of your choosing by April 1st along with a photo of your finished creation.  A dress rehearsal will be held at Disjecta on April 27th.  Mixer begins at 6:30pm, walk-thru from 7-8pm, with Q&A ’til 8:30pm. 

Your design will be shown and up for Silent Auction at the Fundraiser Fashion Show on May 1st, 2011 @ 6pm at Disjecta.  The event will be judged in two separate categories: Amateur and Professional.
Rules, Guidelines, Judging criteria and further information will be emailed to designers and models no later than March 1st.

Facebook Page and Facebook Group
How to Sew
How to make a sewing form
Dress making 101
Sewing Book

Open sewing or Sewing courses at Modern Domestic

Interested Participants RSVP to info@modifiedstyle.org

by February 15th
We are requesting a $25 donation from each Amateur participant and $40 from each Professional participant (cash/check or
PayPal). This goes to cover the cost of the room, equipment rental, copies, and all other incidental costs related to the event.  Everyone is welcome to participate whether they can afford to donate or not.  All proceeds benefit:  Sisters Of The RoadOut to Pasture Farm Sanctuary and Children’s Healing Arts Project (CHAP).

We are offering an additional incentive this year to those of you who  want to be further involved in the fundraising effort. Maybe you have friends abroad or family across the country; if you have a support network of people who want to support you and support our awesome non-profits, here’s how: For each additional $25 you raise/donate or get your friends and family to raise/donate in your name (cash/check or PayPal), you will receive an entry ticket into a raffle drawing the night of the event and a chance to win a special prize!

***Donations of fabric are welcome as well.****

If you or someone you know would like model, please let us know!
Please mail monetary and fabric donations to:
Modified Style Portland
PO Box 10624
Portland, Oregon
by February 15

Last years winner – Ms. Wood – told us that she would never have had the confidence to try out for Catapult, Portland Fashion Week’s 2010 Emerging Designer Competition, if she had not have won Modified Style ’10.  Well, she did WIN and got us a ‘lil blurb in Portland Monthly magazine!

Photo by: Michael Zaugg

Tickets are already on sale at Brown Paper Tickets!

Accoutrement’s to you,
Andrea M. Fretwell, MBA
Laura Boley
Janessa Philemon-Kerp
Event C0-Directors
ac·cou·tre·ment (ə-ˈkü-trə-mənt), n.
1. An accessory item of equipment or dress. Often used in the plural.

Checking in with my “31 things” list

On October 18th, I made a list of 31 things I hoped to do before my 31st birthday. Granted, this was an ambitious list as my 31st birthday is February 28th. I will give myself carte blanche to extend this little list til my half-birthday (August 28th, duhr) if I feel like it.


1. Drive a car. Legally.

I have a feeling this won’t be likely to happen by February 28th. ONE DAY THOUGH, MY FRIENDS. ONE DAY. And when I do drive, I certainly won’t have an excuse to have any drunken biking shenanigans. (Why didn’t someone tell me my helmet was backwards?!)


me drunk


2. Learn to like beets OR eggplant

This one is going pretty well. I’ve eaten beets a handful of times. Turns out I don’t mind them when they’re shredded and in salads. Less obvious to my palate, that way. Two occasions in particular stand out—in the delicious Garden Wrap from Blossoming Lotus and in my Caesar Salad from Proper Eats.


My plans for eggplant include making an eggplant-bacon. If you add maple syrup and liquid smoke to cardboard it will taste good. Although it’s questionable whether eggplant tastes better than cardboard or not, I’m willing to give it a try.

3. Make my own amaretto

Urm, hmmm. I will do this one before I turn 31. Pinky Swear.

4. Start learning graphic design and mad Photoshop skillz

Oh, I had the loveliest reader volunteer to help me with Photoshop, but I haven’t had time yet to follow up. I will soon, Katharine!

5. See the Northern Lights in Iceland

I thought this one would be in the bag. I had my trip booked and everything. But then I received a call from Icelandic Air. They gave me the choice of either flying out of Seattle the day before I had bought my ticket or the day after. Or get a refund.

My first thought? “SEATTLE? I thought I was flying out of Portland!” My second thought: “Hells to the yeah on the refund. Ireland, here I come!”

I studied in Northern Ireland ten years ago and have been wanting to go back for SO LONG. So, I bought a ticket. I’m flying into Dublin on January 25th. OH YES.

ireland_irish-countryside-farmland (source)

Look at this. I don’t care one bit that I won’t be crossing #5 off my list.

6. Revisit an old destination

To be honest, I don’t quite remember what I was thinking here. How strict do I want to be with myself? I revisited Cave Junction for Christmas. Does that count? I went out to the Gorge in November. Does that count? I have a feeling I was giving myself a little leeway with this one. I’ll take it!



7. Find the best espresso shot in Portland

Done. It’s a tie—Heart, Stumptown, and Cloud 7.


8. Donate to a farm sanctuary

I personally haven’t donated yet, but as part of the Vida Vegan Crew, we donated 5% of ticket sales in 2010 to Pigs Peace. I will personally donate to one before my 31st birthday.

9. Write a business plan

In progress!

10. Go on a night hike

Oh yeah! This one will be fun! I have no doubt I can finish this before February 28th.

11. Maybe look into possibly perhaps buying a fancy new SLR Camera

Still reallllllly want to, but with my broken computer keyboard and usb ports, and my jerk of a phone, a fancy camera unfortunately has got to be pushed lower on the list.

12. Write love notes to my friends and family


13. Grow my hair out

In Progress!

14. Make a lentil meatloaf

Done! I made a lentil meatloaf for our Christmas dinner. I looked up several recipes for inspiration, then just threw in a whole bunch of stuff. It turned out beautifully, and while I probably won’t end up sharing the recipe, I do have some advice for any would-be lentil loaf makers out there: use lots of binder. I used flax seeds, bread crumbs and walnut pieces. It held together beautifully.

15. Go sledding

Oh Man! Who wants to go?!!??!

16. Post a photo essay composed on the colors of Fall

Done! Twice!




17. Visit the California redwoods for my dad


18. Spend a day volunteering

Urm, not yet! Though I spend a lot of time volunteering for Modified Style, which supports awesome local non-profits (like Sisters of the Road and Out to Pasture Sanctuary).

19. Run a 5k

Did someone feel over-ambitious while making this list?

20. Implement and throw an International Vegan Blogging Conference [Vida Vegan Con!]

In Progress!

21. Attend a Quaker meeting

Oh yeah. Quakerism is fascinating. I’d love to learn more. Any Quaker readers who want to take me a meeting with them?

22. Read a book for pleasure

Done! Well, mostly Agatha Christie murder mysteries (a good murder mystery is a great way to spend a bus ride) but I just purchased and started Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man. She is one big bundle of awe-inspiring talent, and I can’t wait to get into it. If you haven’t read any of her work yet, I highly suggest On Beauty.


23. Paint a picture

Done! I walked into Muse (an awesome art store on Hawthorne Blvd here in Portland) a few days ago and told the very lovely gentleman working the counter that I wanted to paint a picture. He kindly steered me toward an acrylic set (on sale from Christmas, whoo-hoo!) that included a messenger bag, 3 brushes, 5 tubes of paint and some scraper-things. I bought some canvases, then proceeded home, feeling confident in my artistic masterpiece that was about to be created.

paint-palette-bob-ross (source)

Painting is hard.

My first draft is an eye-sore. But I have hope for my next piece! I think I will draw something lightly in pencil first, or at least get an idea of what I want to paint before I put paintbrush to canvas.

24. Get another tattoo

I can *almost* guarantee that I will get a tattoo either in Ireland this month or during Vida Vegan Con this August.

25. Pay for the person behind me in line’s movie ticket

I need to go to the movies more often!

26. Attend a bikram yoga class

This will happen.

27. Compliment every single person I talk to in a single day

Oh, this one will be fun! What day should I choose? Probably not a day I have to work, as I’d then have to compliment everyone who came in to the brewpub…. That’d leave me with complimenting over 300 people, for sure. I will wait for a day off.

28. Make homemade Christmas presents for everyone

Hmmmm. I made homemade vegan Baileys for some peeps. I will count it.


29. Eat raw one day a week for a month

I will try it this month!

30. Start writing in a journal again

Done. I have begun the process. There’s something beautiful and capital-R-Romantic about writing in a small black journal at a bar, sitting quietly, sipping your wine, and ruminating on the state of your affairs. I had forgotten the amount of enjoyment I get out of journal writing.

31. Take time to smell the flowers

Always! I was obviously trying to be kind to myself by giving myself an easy one.



What things do you want to accomplish before your next birthday?