Monday, September 05, 2011

Vida Vegan Con: THE SWAG!

Maybe you are like me, and the word "free" gives you heart palpitations. If so, just imagine my excitement as I was checking in at the VidaVeganCon registration desk, and looked behind the desk to see a long table with rows of huge VegNews bags filled with goodies for each person. You always read about how the actors and actresses at the Oscars get big gift bags full of special goodies... It felt like that, but just for vegans!

The bag had so much stuff in it, I had to take two pictures... First: there was a sweet little green cotton Vida Vegan Con bag (and button), a lovely bag of organic red rice from Lotus Foods, a bamboo spreader from Earth Balance, a compactable chaco bag from Coconut Bliss (and a great water bottle I got from their exhibitor booth too!), a Vega power bar, a Vida Vegan Con coffee travel cup, and even a OXO-brand pepper mill & little baggie of pepper corns. I'm super stoked to have a great pepper mill! Plus, that was a gift from the publishers of the soon-to-be-published book "Vegan Slow Cooker," which I am definitely interested in.

Plus more! Coupons for free Earth Balance products, mini bag of Dandie marshmallows!, some little So Delicious milks and coupons for free So Delicious stuff, various discounts... and as a presenter, I also received a copy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's new book "30 Day Vegan Challenge" and the new "Peas and Thank You" cookbook. I heard Colleen speak at the conference, and I've enjoyed listening to her podcast for a while now... so I'm not at all surprised that her book looks like a totally thorough and amazing resource for anyone interested in going vegan. "Peas and Thank You," also looks like a lot of fun and the recipes look great.

Also in the swag bag was a jar of Food For Lover's vegan Queso sauce. woooot! I already had a couple jars at home, and I knew it meant I would have to check my bag, but heck, I'm no dummy! I'm not gonna walk away from free queso! FFL's queso is super spicy, and is good with tortilla chips or on a quesadilla or whatever. I wish it were a little thicker, but I love the flavor and I love that it's got some serious Texas-sized spicy kick to it!

In addition to all that, everyone also got a copy of Hannah's amazing book "My Sweet Vegan," which is a totally rad book! I already have it (of course), so I gave my new bonus copy to my cousin Eliza who has a vegan-friendly bed & breakfast in Victoria, Canada and is always interested in more vegan recipe ideas! Also at the conference I picked up a couple books from some of the other amazing people there. I got Bryanna's latest book (autographed!!!) "World Feast Kitchen," which I can't wait to explore. And of course Kittee's amazing new zine: Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food - all vegan, all gluten free and all delicious. I tested for this one, so I already KNOW it's good!

But wait! There's more! On the last day of the conference, I received a few more goodies. Each of the presenters was given a bottle of wine from Vegan Vine. I haven't opened it yet, since I'm still recovering from my special conference cold... but I look forward to it. You may have noticed that I'm really not much of an alcohol drinker, but every once in a while I enjoy a little taste. Probably twice a year or something like that! ha ha.

Also! The glorious Nicole from Upton's Naturals Seitan was at the conference and put out a great offer to bloggers. In exchange for all this amazing free seitan, I'm supposed to come up with some good recipes for them to share on their site. What a fun challenge! So, keep an eye out for that.

This is a final silly little thing... FLIP BOOKS! At the Gala event on Saturday night, there was a booth where you could get filmed for 7 seconds, and then they would turn it into a flip book. SO COOL. My dad has a special affection for flip books and he has passed this affection on to me... and I had a hard time stopping after just two. Honestly, if it weren't for common courtesy, I could have monopolized that booth all night long! Kittee and I made one together where we are dancing around like weirdos, and then I made one of just me as a gift for my dad. Apparently it was quite a hit, because he already wrote me an email saying that he is carrying it around in his pocket and flipping it all day long. :)

Here I am at the PDX airport... all loaded down with my swag! (and a few extra goodies I picked up in Portland) can you believe that I showed up at the conference with a not-full suitcase and nothing else? Ha ha! On the way home I had to unzip the expando feature on my suitcase just to cram every thing in there. Plus, you can't tell in the picture, but I even had a whole loaf of Dave's Killer Bread shoved in my purse... and all those packages of seitan in a freezer bag crammed in my VegNews bag. I wasn't sure what the airport security folks would think about a carry-on bag full of frozen seitan and Soy Curls, but I got through without a glitch!


  1. I think I would have arrived with a half-empty suitcase and left with a stuffed one, too!

  2. Wow. So much good stuff! I love Food For Lovers Queso. I also love that you put a loaf of bread in your purse. What a generous swag bag.

  3. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Wait, wine? What? Man, I left too early! I had to catch a flight, so I missed closing ceremonies... Boo, no wine for me. :( Can't really complain too much though... There was a ton of swag anyway.

  4. Oh, the swag. I, too, came with a half-empty suitcase and left with a stuffed one, including a copy of Papa Tofu. What is the orange kitchen tool with the crinkly edges? Coconut scraper? Raw veggie shaper?

    I'm glad I got to meet you!

  5. Looks like some awesome swag!!! I'm quite jealous! Thank you for all the great posts from the vida, it's been really good to hear all the news even though I couldn't be there :)

  6. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Oh, we can't wait to see what you come up with using that seitan! The swag bags were totally awesome!

    I also brought home some Dave's (a seed bomb) and ate it on the plane with an avocado (my favorite travel snack).

  7. I'm jealous of your Peas & Thank you and Dave's Killer bread! I couldn't have possibly brought anything else home with me.

  8. ugh. amey. SO JEALOUS. i mean, very happy for you and your eight pounds of chicago seitan.

  9. That's a cute picture at the airport -- you with all your free vegan stuff. A happy camper! XO

  10. Anonymous10:07 AM

    wow, look at all of that great stuff! I am excited about that seitan; looks like it is only available in SoCal right now :(

    I predict we will be seeing some posts on World Vegan Feast - that looks so up your alley. Looks like I'm going to have to get yet another cookbook..

    :-) jen e.

  11. Teehee. I enjoyed watching you and Kittee being goofy for your flip book while I waited in the Coconut Bliss sundae line!

  12. It was swag-tastic. So wonderful to meet you, Amey!


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