More Tales From Texas! Vida Vegan Con III: Exploring Austin & The Vegan Bazaar!

June 12th, 2015 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration

Vida Vegan Con

I fit right in!

So I went to this incredible Vegan Media conference, and met all sorts of amazing, motivating movers and shakers, and connected with so many exciting brands and bloggers, and saw so many inspiring talks and panels, and came away with all this enthusiasm!

And then, I got home, and whattaya know, I’ve barely blogged at all since I’ve been back. What’s up with that?

I couldn’t tell you. I do know that I have a lot going on in my personal life right now — coming back right in time for finals and all that grading to do, still trying to figure out if I should exit with a Masters or stay on to get a PhD, still trying to figure out what I’m going to do for work and how I’m ever going to make it in this crazy expensive town, and caught up in so much serious Adulting-type business, with my Portland house switching tenants and also needing major repairs, and trying to do all that from afar. And also eviction. Here in our little side-by-side dream cottages, Jeremy and I still wait every day for the 60-day notice that we know is coming, sometime soon.

So yeah, I have a lot of anxiety and angst and inner turmoil going on right now, all of these big decisions and trying to figure out how to like, do Life.

Anyway, I wanted to acknowledge that, and let you know that I have about a bazillion and one blog posts boiling in the back of my mind – as always. I just haven’t had as much time or energy to devote lately. And hopefully that will change soon! Things are sorting and settling already . . . mostly.

Okay, so with that said, let’s talk about Austin and VVC! We got in on Tuesday night, so I got to spend my first few days just bumming around enjoying the city. I still had lots of work to do on my presentation, which meant mornings and nights eating out and exploring Austin, with daytime for working. Plus, I had so much fun just hanging with the ladyblogger crew back at the Tiny Trailer we were all sharing!

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Brekkies at Bouldin Creek Café our first morning in town.

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Working on my talk out in the warm humidity (I loved it!) at the trailer. The kitty is a stray who hangs around the trailer, and she was just the sweetest thing. We named her Taquito, because Taco Cleanse.

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Dinner at Bistro Vonish with the trailer-mates, and old Portland friends (now Ausinites) Joanna and Milo.

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One of the many amazing dishes we had that night. This was seared radicchio with blistered tomatoes and green lentils over crisp rice cakes, with a peach-balsamic vinaigrette.

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And after dinner, we got to feed these two little beauties behind the restaurant. Ain’t they the sweetest??

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That face!

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Breakfast artichoke enchiladas at Mother’s Cafe.

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And more work in my adorable room at the Tiny Trailer. The room is literally a few inches bigger than the bed, which basically fills it completely. I shared these quarters with the awesome Miss Caroline.

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The Tiny Trailer vegan ladyblogger crew takes the co op! (All my trailer-mates pictured here, from left to right: Joni, Caroline, Jackie, and Nicole all the way in from Berlin!)

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And Joni even picked up a can of vegan “tuna” for Taquito! Alas, she was . . . underwhelmed.


And then it was time! For the first official day of Vida Vegan Con III, and the first ever Vegan Bazaar – an afternoon of food and drinks, speakers and panels, samples and socializing, and a whole big ballroom full of awesome vegan businesses hawking their wares!

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Getting ready in the Tiny Trailer on the morning of the Bazaar, clothes and bags and makeup and bras and women women, everywhere!

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In the entryway of the Bazaar, the entire line of Miyoko’s Artisan Cheeses, out for tasting. AMAZING.

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Heidi and her sister, from Heidi Ho cheeses, sampling her line on the main floor. There were so many vegan products and entrepreneurs there!

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Kickin’ butt with Kat from Kick Butt vegan cowboy boots.

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I was so happy to attend my friend Bianca’s kombucha-making demo, because she also did a segment on home-fermented ginger beer which was so exciting and inspiring! Totally going to do this during the summer. YES. Thanks Bianca!

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And then it was my turn! I sat on the parenting panel and I was soooo nervous! The thing was on a freaking STAGE! In a huge THEATRE. And I’ve never really done something on that level before, so I was super nervous. But it was amazingly thrilling, and by the end I was like “Come out to the lobby, let’s keep talking about this!” because there were so many questions and I was having so much fun. Also, Joanna was the moderator, and it was extra special because Joanna and I have sat on the parenting panel together at every single Vida Vegan Con, since the very beginning. ♥

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And after it was all done! The parenting panel shares a beer, haha. My compatriots were Brian “The Sexy Vegan” Patton, and Monique “Brown Vegan” Koch. They were both so awesome, and the three of us each brought a totally different perspective and set of life experiences. I had such a blast, and was proud to speak alongside these two!

As a whole, the Bazaar was such a fun afternoon. If you’re interested, Jason made a pretty cool video (even interviewed me for a quick sec!) which shows a lot more of the event:

After all the excitement of the day, the event was winding down, and we were ready for a real meal. We hightailed it over to Counter Culture for some good grub and great company.

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Tempeh reuben + Cesar salad.

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Mr “Sexy Vegan” along with the Tiny Trailer ladyblogger crew.

And that, was that. Coming soon, the conference!

And until then — have a great weekend!

  • yogadogwalker

    Wow, it just seems like such an amazing experience! All of the food looks so amazing, and the tiny trailer is adorable. I thought about trying the toona for my cat Dylan, but Taquito’s face kind o answered that question or me! Thanks or letting me feel like I was almost there!

  • Nicole @ Vegan Nom Noms

    I totally didn’t even notice you taking that pic at the co-op and taquito’s face with the vegan toona is priceless! :)

  • theveganchickpea

    yay! i can’t wait for more blogposts about vida vegan con. you definitely have a lot on your plate right now, i can imagine how busy you must be. what the heck, life? also, i was totally hoping that your landlord changed his mind and that you guys could continue to live there forever (or until you wanted to leave). that must be so stressful. sending positive vibes your way <3

  • Rachel in Veganland

    Hi Sayward! First off, hang in there! I know what you’re going through with school is so daunting, but just trust the powers of the (academic) universe and know that either way, things will work out! It sounds like you’ve got a wonderful, supportive community of fellow grad students and a great advisor. Be sure to tap into that support community right now!

    Loving your VVC posts! I followed from afar on Instagram! Can’t wait to hear more about the panel/talk and just everything in general! Best of luck to you as the quarter ends–rest up and take care!

  • Joni Marie Ressinger Newman

    Having so much fun reading everyone’s recaps. Everyone does it just a little bit different. And even though we spent the majority of our time in Austin together, your recap shows so many different aspects than mine. I love it! And that picture of Taquito…too much! I can’t wait to read the next installment <3

  • amey

    aw, I loved this post. I love that you and Joanna have been on every VVC parenting panel since the beginning. <3 Hearts! I also came home to so much adult stuff and big things to think about and etc etc. I'm trying to eke out my beloved little VVC posts between all my more worldly responsibilities. Hugs to you, sweet friend.

  • Guest

    Geez. Cats are natural carnivores. I guess you just don’t get it that they thrive on other animals. Since you’re so concerned about cruelty to animals, do you not get it that they survive on other species? Giving a cat vegan tuna IS cruel. Geez. Talk about double standards.

    If you quit making veganism a religion that applies to all species and just used common sense sometimes…oh, what’s the use.

  • d. moth

    While I don’t agree with the hostile tone of Guest’s communication, it’s indisputable that cats are obligate carnivores and should not be fed vegan food. If you’re vegan for the animals, please don’t feed a cat food that could cause it digestive distress, even as a one time treat.

    On a different note, those enchiladas from Mother’s look delectable! Tex mex breakfast food is probably my favorite “food style”.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh calm down, no one is trying to make the cat vegan. You sound ridiculous.

    We offered the cat a one-time treat as a joke. Do you understand the biological definition of “obligate carnivore”? Here, I’m an actual biologist, so let me explain it to you: obligate carnivores are animals that require meat to live. That does NOT mean that they require *exclusively* meat to live. Cats are perfectly capable of digesting the occasional plant-based foods.

    Seriously, buzz off. Your righteous indignation is incredibly misplaced.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I appreciate your more moderate tone, but I do think you misunderstand the definition of obligate carnivore. Cats are required to eat meat — but they are not required to eat *exclusively* meat. Cats naturally eat plant foods all the time (that’s why poisonous house plants are dangerous in homes with cats – because the cats voluntarily eat plants), and it is perfectly fine for cats to eat occasional plant-based food.

    I hope it goes without saying that I would never do anything to endanger the life of an animal.

    Also, yes breakfast enchiladas! I agree that Mexican/Tex Mex breakfasts are the best. Basically any meal where guacamole is involved . . . ;-)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I know, I love that Joanna and I have done that every time! One of my very favorite things about VVC is reconnecting with the people that I only get to see at VVC – like you! What am I going to do now?? It makes me so sad to think of all my VVC family and how we won’t meet up again in another 2 years.

    Do you ever come down this way Amey? I’ll definitely look you up next time I’m up north!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I know, I love reading all the different perspectives and take-aways! And I’m so sad that it’s over forever. *sigh*

    LOVED hearing the podcast though! Ahaha, so fun!

  • d. moth

    I understand that they normally will, but eating a processed pea protein is very different than nibbling on cat grass. Not to mention cats who are nibbling on those plants often end up vomiting (even if it is a non-toxic-to-them plant. In fact it is suspected that the reason so many hit the cat grass is to help them vomit up indigestable food!) I know you would never intentionally try to /endanger/ the life of an animal, and giving a cat a one time treat isn’t endangering them. But it can cause upset kitty stomachs… Which is no bueno. Cats nibbling on a plant from time-to-time of their own free will is different then them being offered plant food.

    “Basically any meal where guacamole is involved.” Yessssssss!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Rachel! I am hanging, and things are really mellowing out already. Whew! Life be crazy!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Alas, my landlord did not have a change of heart. I wish! But thank you for the positive vibes Caitlin. They are very much appreciated!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    She was so appalled! Haha. Miss that little kitty. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    That toona is . . . not really great for anyone of any species, methinks. ;-)

    So glad you’re enjoying the recaps!

  • Rebecca Carnes

    I love reading & seeing all your pics from your Vida Vegan Con posts! It would have been awesome to hear the parenting panel!! Looks like you’re doing life pretty well;) Hang in there!! I’m working on how to do more sleep ha

  • Bianca

    Hurray!!!!!!! I wish I could go back right now!! I’d eat so many more Red Rabbit doughnuts and sample all the Heido Ho & Miyoko cheeze again!! The Bazaar was such fun. Also, y’all’s trailer looks adorbable! We just stayed in the overpriced con hotel, which doesn’t seem nearly as awesome as staying in a vegan lady trailer! Good luck with all your adulty stuff! Adulting sucks. And good luck trying out ginger beer-makin’!