Vida Vegan Con Wrap Up


Welp, here we are. A week after Vida Vegan Con wrapped up, I’m still trying to wrap my head around what just happened.

I’ve been silent over here on my end because I’m still processing how much smaller and more intertwined and connected and inspiring the world just got. The conference itself was amazing, and to see what has been happening since—the community that has been building on the Facebook page, on blogs and at nation-wide impromptu meet ups—is overwhelming. I haven’t said anything because I don’t know what to say.

Michele  and Jess wrote beautiful, touching and perfect recaps here, here and here. Oh, and here. I basically want to plagiarize what they wrote because they each so eloquently put into words what I cannot.

At this point I would normally throw my hands in the air and exclaim “Photo Essay Time!” but I just looked through my pictures of the weekend and I took exactly 10 photos and it is all food.

So I will say this: Thank you. Thanks to those of you who agreed to speak, thanks to those who registered and attended, thanks to our sponsors, thank you to my friends and family who have heard me speak of nothing else for over a year, and thank you to Jess and Michele, who kept me motivated, supported and sane.

For in-depth recaps, here are a handful of the blog recaps I’ve loved catching up on:

Gena from Choosing Raw (3 parts)

JL Goes Vegan (8 parts!)

Kyle from Vegan Vagrant (1 action-packed post)

The Cosmopolitan Hour Podcast (2 parts)

Our Hen House Podcast (featuring the lovely Jess)


And you know that if I took pictures of nothing else last weekend, I took a picture of the taco bar and the Champagne Reception.

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(photo courtesy of Isa Chandra. From left: Janessa, Michele and Jess.)

Oh My Gosh Oh My Gosh Oh My Gosh (also known as: It’s Vida Vegan Con time!)


Oh My gosh.

YOU GUYS. Have you heard? There are a whole bunch of vegans in town. AND I’M SO EXCITED!

I just want to fill this whole page with superlatives.

Like this: Amazing, wonderful, exciting, thrilling, unbelievable, ohmygoshwhoa, fantastic, inspiring, mind-blowing, the best thing ever, etc.

I can hardly believe that earlier tonight at Vendetta there was a courtyard filled with 40+ vegans from around the world. As different as everyone was, they all have one thing in common: they’re here in Portland because they’re excited about veganism, they’re excited to meet one another, and they’re each so inspiring to all of us.

I don’t know why I say ‘they’; I’m one of them! Sometimes I have a hard believing that I, who started a nerdy blog called EpicuriousV*gan.Blogspot (*groan*) three years ago (my first blog post was a Sangria recipe, tellingly) actually knows other vegans and other bloggers. I’m plain giddy that people whose blogs I’ve been reading for over three years and cookbook authors who write recipes I’ve devoured for longer, and magazines I’ve subscribed to longer still, are all in Portland this weekend.

And that I get to talk to them.



I need to keep pinching myself.

I’m rolling on a fun mix of sleep deprivation, giddiness, pure excitement, and a tiny bit of Sophia Coppola champagne. (<—Well, I was rollin on bubbles when I started this post around 830 tonight. By now, 1:45am, after a 5th consecutive night of SWAG BAG STUFFING {eeeeee!} it’s coconut water, exhaustion and excitement)

(PS I promise I will find to time to shower sometime before I meet you.)

(PPS I apologize for the quadruple parenthesis. I know not what I do.)

Michele, Jess and I have been working hard for over a year to put this conference together and here it is, all coming to fruition RIGHT NOW AS WE SPEAK. Excuse the overzealous cap locks, I’m just SO FRIGGIN EXCITED! Michele wrote a beautiful and punch drunk post early this morning, if you haven’t read it yet you should, it’s the best. My post is more punch drunk than beautiful, but it’s equally as heartfelt, I promise. The three of us have had a blast working on the conference together and I am so incredibly lucky to be working alongside two such genuinely rad ladies.

This weekend will be nutty and brilliant and memorable. I’m sure there will be a few snags, but no bigs, we’ll all move get through ‘em them together. From the bottom of my heart, I’m incredibly thankful and super happy to meet everyone who’s coming into town (and who already lives here!) for this first ever Vegan Bloggers Conference.

321550_10150277914998668_41121168667_7948888_1195213_n(photo courtesy of Isa Chandra)

This is a super dorky picture, I love it! Look how happy we are! It’s THE PROGRAM! Whoa!

Alright folks, goodnight! I don’t know if I can fall asleep, I’m so excited.


My New Love

So, who hasn’t heard of this?

Well, I sure have. I know a few extremely prolific bloggers received one from the company in order to get others’ talking. Talking = Buying.

It worked.

I need one. NEED one. NEEEEEEEEEEED.

I can’t think of anything else.

Just look at how amazing it is:

So, gentle reader(s?!), I bought one.

Refurbished. It was more money than one would typically spend on a month’s rent (only slightly exaggerating), but I have a pretty strong feeling it’s totally worth it.

I’m going to make nut butters (peanut and almond, specifically, but really anything that strikes my fancy), soup (the blades get so hot, you can put in whatever veggies you want, and a mere few minutes later, you’ve got hot veggie soup), green smoothies (watch out, kale. I’m going to OWN you.), fruit ice cream (totally vegan, and get this, HEALTHY. Hello!), and probably about 3 billion other things I haven’t discovered yet.

Next week sometime my extremely expensive VitaMix will arrive at my door, and I will not leave my house for the next year, give or take a year.

I can’t waaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!

Obama! Yes we can!

I had what was probably my worst day of work yesterday. Ever. I don’t say that lightly. Frustration building upon frustration. It was the Murphy’s Law of Restaurant Management. One thing on top of another. I at one point had to go outside to breath deeply, I was shaking so much.


When I finally left, at the 12th hour, I locked up, headed outside, and saw… Pandemonium. People on the street. Yelling, waving their arms, kissing. Every time the crosswalk light flashed, hordes of people ran across the street, shouting, crying, laughing. Fireworks in the sky. Horns honking. Homemade drums beaten. To see this many people so happy, to see that we do believe in change, that anything is possible, gives me and my generation hope. My bad day melted away. We live in a place where we can vote, where we can celebrate when we (finally) win, and where Barrack Obama just became our 44th president elect.

I tried to capture the mayhem on the street, Rob lifting his bicycle to the melody of car horns honking, and then there’s Shelley and I, bathing in our happiness (and with a glass of champagne, naturally).