vegan cupcakes, champagne and SWAG

by Kristina Sloggett

in Vegan

Cupcakes, Champagne and Swag, Oh My!

The Vida Vegan meet and greet at Vendetta was an unofficial event, for locals and those arriving early.

Friday was the early registration and Swag Bag of Wonder pickup, and that evening was the Champagne & Cupcake Reception, hosted by VegNews.

Plenty of champagne and cider, cupcakes in Tuxedo, Cookies & Cream and Lemon Chiffon flavors, crackers and amazing cheeses.

The cheese was from a local to Portland company, Heidi Ho Organics. They make hazelnut based cheeses in tasty flavors like Chipotle Cheddar, Smoked Gouda and Monterey Jack. I loved the flavors, and I’m going to keep them in my radar because they are coming out with more flavors – like brie, bleu cheese crumbles, and a stout cheddar. Brie!

It was a funny phenomenon – I walked up to the tables of food, and nothing was touched! Everyone was standing back a couple feet, taking photos instead of taking food. I laughed – then I took out my camera, thrilled to be among people just like me!

The fabulous event founders kicked off the weekend with a quick hello and welcome.

From left to right: JanessaJess, and Michele:

The rest of the evening was spent mingling, meeting new friends, visiting sponsors tables, talking laughing drinking champagne!

Katie’s big smile made my weekend every time I saw it!

Megan and Christy – Megan’s blog is a great new blog find for me, and I have been wanting to meet Christy since I was her recipe tester last spring! Vida Vegan marked the beginning of her West Coast book tour (good luck and have fun, Christy!).

When I saw JL, I yelled her name across the room! She yelled back and came running over – I was very excited to meet her!

I wish I had more time with her – she instantly felt like an old friend, and she is SO much fun! I am really hoping I get to spend time with her before the next Vida Vegan!

Next up – the swag!

This bag is colossal! It was packed full.

Difficult to get a photo of everything – full size jar of spicy queso (mmm, SO good!), coconut milks, t shirts, Madagascar pink rice, a pepper grinder and pepper, Dandies marshmallows, reusable bags from Vida Vegan, VegNews and Coconut Bliss, Vida Vegan reusable mug, a coconut scraper tool, Vega bars, Larabars, vegan condoms, Hurraw lip balm, Toms toothpaste,

a $5 subscription to VegNews and a cookbook!

I came home with a few other great things – I’ll share next time.

I loved this weekend, I love everyone I met, I love that the conversation is still going online. I want to do it all over again, starting this afternoon! I can’t believe it has been a week since the start…

I want my cupcakes and my vegans back!

Have you ever been to a conference, blog or otherwise? What was your favorite part?

 

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List September 1, 2011 at 8:39 am

My first comment!
I’m not Vegan – but I’d eat one of those cupcakes ANYTIME!! Especially the cookies and cream one! yum.

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2 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

hi Lindsay!! great to see you here! you wouldn’t even KNOW those cupcakes were vegan – so awesome!

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3 Jennie (the gf-gf) September 1, 2011 at 8:43 am

Never been to a blog conference, but now I want to just for the swag! Vegan condoms?! Hee hee :-)

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4 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

hee hee! I haven’t looked into what makes a condom vegan, but… it was a funny addition. the swag was great!

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5 Aimee September 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

Looks like so much fun! Those cupcakes look so good, especially with the Oreo cookie on top. Oh goodness, I might have to get a cupcake today after seeing this post!

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6 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

it was SO VERY fun… I didn’t take an oreo cupcake, but the lemon was awesome!

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7 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty September 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

Soooo jealous!! I would love every single thing in there I’m pretty sure!! :) Maybe next year!

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8 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

you should consider it – it was an AMAZING time!! not sure where it will be, someone is speculating Toronto! :D

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9 Lisa September 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

You’re killin’ me! Those cupcakes look amazing!

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10 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

the cupcakes were SO good!

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11 Lisa September 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

I can tell. My mouth is watering.

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12 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 11:56 am
13 katie September 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

omg how awesome the swag is! Vegan condoms?! Love it! lol!

I heard there was a coconut bliss ice cream sundae bar?! Is this true? I love coconut bliss!

The cupcakes looks amazing !

When I was at HLS, I thought the same thing, how great it was to be around people like me! Peeps taking pics of food, so great!

Im so happy you had a wonderful time!
xoxo <3

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14 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

you heard correct – the sundae bar was at the GALARAMA Saturday night… so awesome. we also had coconut bliss bars and ice cream with the lunches at the conference… mmm! and I’m wearing my coconut bliss tank top right now… :) I love them. I loved the weekend! every detail was amazing!

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15 Holly @ The Runny Egg September 1, 2011 at 9:15 am

I haven’t been to a conference like this — the ones I’ve been to have been so dull compared to this one!

The food looks incredible! And I love the big banner for Daiya — I recently started buying it and I LOVE IT and my dairy free Jason likes it even more!

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16 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:47 am

oh, the food! holly you would have LOVED it – everything was fabulous. not traditional “conference food” for sure! have you tried the pepperjack Daiya yet? it’s my favorite.

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17 Andrea September 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

“Oh My!” for the whole weekend! It was great, wasn’t it? And you, lucky person, get to live in the city where it all happened. Your photos are beautiful — I’m still wading through mine, trying to figure out how I can possibly edit the pile and leave something out. Can’t wait for 2013.

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18 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 10:46 am

it was SOOOOO great, I want to do it all again. this weekend. or in a month. 2013 is TOO far away! :D

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19 katie @KatieDid September 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

Your pictures are great, and everyone looks SO friendly, I bet it was such a blast.

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20 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

I am going through withdrawals. ;) it was SO fun!!

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21 Dorry September 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

THOSE CUPCAKES! And all the smiles. :) :) Love it. I went to HLS, but truth be told, I think I’d fit in better with this crowd. (And that’s no offense to anyone…)

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22 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

I know what you mean, I’m sure ALL blog conferences are fun. this one is just … UBER awesome. ;) next one is Spring 2013, Dorry!! :D

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23 Heather (Where's the Beach) September 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

OMG that cheeze sounds freaking amazing. I’m drooling over here. And I would love to meet JL. She seems like a super sweet person. Just simply jealous ;-)

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24 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

heather you NEED to find this cheese!! it’s SPICY and awesome. the brand is “food for lovers” and they are a cute and awesome couple from Austin… they were there for the conference and were so friendly. I LOVE this queso!

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25 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 11:52 am

oh my GOSH, JL !! she is so SO much fun, we’d sit in class and giggle. :D I have been wanting to meet her for so long, and she is JUST as awesome as I expected her to be!

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26 bethany September 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

The conf was a blast! I agree, it was nice not being the only one taking pics of the food :)

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27 spabettie September 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

hi bethany!! I knew it was going to happen, a bunch of people taking photos of food, constantly, but it was still funny to see the first time… :D

I loved your recap of all the places you ate – you hit many of the good spots!! and I also have to say WOW to the awesome cake you made for NARN !! so fun, and looks really awesome!

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28 bethany September 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

thanks! I am so tempted to go back to pdx and have even more great food. maybe next month w/ only 1 lonely camera…

the NARN cake took me all day to make, not including fondant time the day before. I think 10 or 11 batches of cupcake batter were used.

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29 spabettie September 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm

wow – not surprised, the cake looks amazing, and like it took a while. fun project though, right?

you could definitely have a lot of fun in Portland, armed with a camera and a map of the vegan food… :D

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30 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Wow this is an awesome post…so many great women, great products, those cupcakes..love it!

My fave part of blogging or any other conference is meeting like-minded others who share the passion that I do and for why Im at that particular event or conf, ie. photography, blogging, yoga, etc.

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31 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Averie, you would have LOVED this weekend!! I thought of you a couple times – so many fantastically interesting people – all so different yet coming together in some similar things! and so many tattoos! :D

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32 Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) September 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Hi Kristina! It was so awesome to meet you at Vida Vegan and I looooove seeing your photos. Isn’t it interesting to read everyone’s re-caps? Everyone has such a different perspective. I’m jealous you live in beautiful Portland, but the CA Central Coast ain’t so bad, either. Looking forward to many more great posts in the future!

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33 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

thanks, Carrie, and SO good to meet you too!! I am LOVING everyone’s recaps – even if they make me want to do it all again this weekend! :D I also love seeing Portland through other points of view, makes me excited all over again to live here!

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34 Lisa September 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I’ve been to tons of conferences, but all the work ones are slightly stuffy! I also don’t like the ones full of people who want to prove how professional they are and how much they know…so the fun ones seem to be about fitness and food!

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35 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I’m sure the blogger conferences are the most fun, for sure! I have been to several in the spa and beauty industry – WOW, those are fun, too! Hairdressers know how to get down! ;)

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36 lindsay September 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Looks like you had a fabulous time! love the swag bag! I have never been to a bloggers conference or a vegan one for that matter, but I would love to attend one some day. I’m keeping my eye on the Healthy Living Summit for next year. That’s my goal at least :) But how fun to be around a bunch of vegan food and people. I would love it! The closest thing I get to having contact with other vegans is spying on what people are buying at Whole Foods and then marching right up and striking a conversation. LOL I’m such a dork ;)

Love the pictures! xo

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37 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

aw, I LOVE that you do that at Whole Foods! you would love Portland, we have amazing vegan community, restaurants and food carts! the next vida vegan conference is Spring 2013 – plenty of time to plan! :D

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38 Megan @ go places! September 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm

What a great night that was! I’ve followed you on twitter for awhile but I’m excited to start reading your blog more regularly. The pictures are GORGEOUS! The swag one in this set is so nice!

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39 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

thank you, Megan!! I am LOVING all the new-to-me blogs and twitter feeds! it’s funny you say that about the swag photos – it was SO difficult to get a good one, with all the stuff it just looked like a jumbled mess! correction – a jumbled mess of AWESOME! ;)

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40 JL goes Vegan September 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Oh, I love this post! (and not just because you were so nice to me!) ;) Wasn’t it amazing? That gluten-free cupcake ruled (and I’m not gluten-free). I wish we had more time together — next VVC! (or sooner!)

I attended BlogHer.com in San Diego this summer. It was my first blogging conference and it was great but the community of Vida Vegan Con can not be beat.

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41 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I agree, without even knowing other conferences! I came away from vida vegan with such an awesome feeling – there was not ONE negative thing all weekend. so SO amazing. next VVC most definitely, and sooner too!

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42 Angela @ Vegangela.com September 2, 2011 at 1:14 am

I’m so jealous! Vida Vegan looked so awesome! I really, really hope that I can make it out next year!

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43 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

the next one is in Spring 2013, don’t know when they’ll have details, but I sure am planning to attend! it was SO great!

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44 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com September 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

I never been to a blog conference before and now I want to go!! So nice to mingle with bloggers IRL and making new friendships as well.

That is a SWAGtastic bag ;)

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45 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

this was my first blog conference, and now I’m hooked! I want to go to another, soon! :) this group was SO much fun.

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46 Pure2raw twins September 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

now that is a party :) that conference looked like sooooo much fun!!!! so many great eats and amazing people! glad you had a great time!

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47 spabettie September 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm

it was SO much fun. love Love LOVED it!

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48 christy morgan September 3, 2011 at 7:15 am

So great to meet you face to face!! I can not wait till the next one!

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49 spabettie September 4, 2011 at 11:43 pm

weee! great to meet you, Christy! I hope your book tour is going great!

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50 hihorosie September 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Nice swag! And yay for Heidi Ho! Not that I’m familiar with her or her company but dig the name. ;)

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51 spabettie September 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

but of course! and if you ever see it, you should try it! I’m pretty picky about faux cheese, and these were GOOD.

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52 Rachel September 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

I just learned about the conference, I wish I could have attended too! it sounded incredible. I hope to go to next year!!

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