vegan cupcakes, champagne and SWAG

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.Β 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: Janessa,Β Jess, andΒ 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?



  1. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

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

  2. says

    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

    • spabettie says

      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!

  3. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

      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.

  4. says

    “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 β€” 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.

  5. says

    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…)

    • spabettie says

      I know what you mean, I’m sure ALL blog conferences are fun. this one is just … UBER awesome. πŸ˜‰ next one is Spring 2013, Dorry!! πŸ˜€

    • spabettie says

      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!

    • spabettie says

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

    • spabettie says

      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… πŸ˜€

      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!

      • says

        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.

        • spabettie says

          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… πŸ˜€

  6. says

    Wow this is an awesome post…so many great women, great products, those 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.

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜€

  7. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜€ I also love seeing Portland through other points of view, makes me excited all over again to live here!

  8. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜‰

  9. says

    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 πŸ˜‰

    Love the pictures! xo

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜€

  10. says

    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!

    • spabettie says

      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! πŸ˜‰

  11. says

    Oh, I love this post! (and not just because you were so nice to me!) πŸ˜‰ 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 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.

    • spabettie says

      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!

    • spabettie says

      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!

  12. Rachel says

    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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