Sunday, June 02, 2013

My Presentations at VidaVeganCon

It's super fun to go on and on about all the food I ate and all the friends I met at VidaVeganCon - but (believe it or not) - there was also an actual conference going on. I loved the classes I attended, and I was also lucky enough to speak on three different topics:

1. VeganMoFo Workshop

some real MoFos!

I was really lucky to present with two of my awesome bloggie pals Mo and Kittee. The VeganMoFo workshop was 45 minutes long and we wanted people to leave feeling totally inspired to participate.

Kittee, Mo and I have all been blogging for years now, and we're all totally devoted MoFo participants. Our presentation was based on our own experiences as MoFo writers and readers.

A few highlights from the workshop:

1. MoFo doesn't need to be a recipe or a "what I ate" post every single day.
Broaden your horizons! You can write about your favorite kitchen tools, your favorite coffee cup, make up fictional menus for fictional events, and just about anything vaguely food-related. (Just keep it vegan, folks)

2. The goal is to post at least 20 times in one month. So, if you miss a day, don't start crying and throw in the towel. Get back on the blog-train and pick up like nothing ever happened!

3. MoFo is all about building community! Be sure to leave comments on other people's blogs throughout the month. Especially, try to leave comments on blogs that don't already have 30 comments. Try to discover new blogs ( is great for this). Kittee's excellent MoFo challenge is to leave 10 comments a day. I did that last year and it was really great! Plus, people will click back to your blog, so this is a way to encourage other bloggers and build your own readership.

4. Include pictures, and don't write too much. During MoFo, no one has time to read your mini-novella! 

this picture doesn't really capture all the raucous fun!
I was writing down all the ideas just as fast as I could!

Finally, after all that (and more!), we spent the last 15 minutes of the workshop brainstorming Official VidaVeganCon MoFo themes. It was so much fun!!!

happy vegan voters!

We started brainstorming themes for each day of the week... It was AMAZING how many fun and interesting themes were proposed in just a few minutes!! The room was buzzing with creativity and enthusiasm!
In the end, we voted for the favorites and the themes with the most votes were:

  • Mac 'n' Cheese Mondays
  • TV Tuesdays
  • Work With It Wednesdays (pick a food you don't like & challenge yourself!)
  • Thankful Thursdays (cooking for other people! I love this one!)
  • Freaky Friday (blog swap! trade spots and blog on someone else's blog!)
  • Retro Saturday
  • Sleepy Sunday (breakfast posts! oh, YEAH.)

It looks like MoFo will be in September this year, so start brainstorming now! If you've got grand plans of your own, that is awesome. But, if you want to participate and didn't know what to write about - now you've got somewhere to start.

2. How To Make a Zine
from Concept to Distribution

This workshop was really wonderful. Kittee and Joanna and I led a talk / discussion on what goes in to the making of a zine. The three of us have all been zinesters for years, and we all had different ideas, different methods, and different visions for our zines. Leading up to the weekend of VVC, we spent hours on Google Hangout talking about zines and what information we wanted to share. In the end, I was really happy with how the workshop went.

The class was held in the gorgeous library room at the Portland Art Museum, and it was a perfectly sized group (20 people?). We could - almost - all fit around the one giant table. Kittee brought along a huge number of vegan zines that she's been collecting for many years, and it was great to flip through them and have them there to discuss. We talked about:
  • Determining who is the audience for your zine
  • What is the vision for your zine? 
  • Does it have a theme, or is it a collection of your favorite recipes?
  • If you are developing your own recipes, do you need testers? 
  • How to actually make your zine? I do it all with pen and pencil, Kittee types the text and then does illustrations with collage, Joanna does beautiful all-digital layout on AmazonCreate
  • (Here's a link to my detailed post on how to make your own hand-drawn zine)
  • Getting the zine printed: xerox, a proper printer, or print-on-demand (like via Amazon)
  • And distribution: is the zine going to be a gift for friends? Are you going to sell it? How will you find buyers (via your blog, zine distributors, etc)

I really enjoyed this workshop, and I hope the people who came did too. I love zines so much - after all, they're a chance to combine my love of crafty projects, cartoony doodles and my passion for veganism! What could be better??

3. Vegan Battle Royale
the vegan game show extraveganza!!!

Last, but decidedly, NOT LEAST, Kittee and Mo and I teamed up again to present our second-ever Vegan Battle Royale Game Show! At the first VVC, we did a game show as one of the classes, and it was super fun. This year, the awesome gals at VVC put us up on the main stage and we put on Vegan Battle Royale for all 300 conference attendees! It was amazing!!
stuffing goodie bags at 1 am! Delirious with vegan anticipation

We worked our little heinies off to make sure the VBR would be totally fun for everyone. Starting months ahead of time - we started soliciting donations for prizes and goodie bags from various companies. It was amazing how many wonderful donations we took in. Poor Kittee had her whole entire basement fill up with boxes of prizes!! 

As soon as we all landed in Portland, we went directly to Kittee's house and spent two nights in a row assembling 300 goodie bags, prizes for lucky audience members, and prizes for the winning team members. Until the wee hours of the morning!! Luckily, we had Kittee's dog Vee and Erika's dog Pepper to keep us company, and Kittee's husband Dazee to go out at midnight and bring home vegan donuts and french fries. :) 

The Mother Forking Destroyers!
** our Champions!! **
Jojo - one of our esteemed scorekeepers!
Team V-Card 
(and a handful of audience members awaiting their moment of glory!)
Plus, Mandee - our other esteemed scorekeeper 

The game show itself was a whirlwind 
of chaos, laughter, triumph and loss! 
We had two teams of 8 (chosen at random from the audience): 
The Mother Forking Destroyers and Team V-Card
They faced off for 3 rounds of challenges to earn Fame and Glory

1st round was a round of vegan trivia - the questions were about vegan blogs, vegan nutrition, vegan cookbooks, vegan recipes, vegan celebrities, and so on!

2nd round was a blind tasting - one member from each team (and two people from the audience) had to taste something we had prepared and see how many ingredients they could correctly identify in one minute. It was great! I made a Persian Persimmon Chutney (recipe from Silk Road, a Vegetarian Journey), and the ingredients were super tricky! Miss PPK herself, Isa won this round by identifying the most ingredients of anyone.

Ashlee getting started with her blog-naming challenge

the glory! the triumph! 

3rd round was a series of Challenges. For instance: How many vegan blogs can you name in 30 seconds? It was so fun and epic! Ashlee of The Little Foxes confidently asserted that she could name 15 vegan blogs in 30 seconds and DID IT. Friends, it was down to the wire, nail-biting excitement!
You can see my exuberance - arms thrown in the air with wild appreciation! - when she pulled it off!

Also, all throughout, we pulled audience names out of a box and called folks up on stage to answer vegan trivia questions. They got two chances and if they got an answer right, they were given totally awesome prizes. We even had a few special Lucky Vegan Winners who didn't have to do anything! We just pulled their name, called them up on stage and showered them with awesome prizes and glory!

The Three Amigas
picture by Joanna

The game show was a ton of work, but it was SO MUCH FUN and I totally loved doing it! I really hope people had as much fun watching and participating as we had putting it all together. 


  1. I wish I could have attended all of these awesome presentations with all of you awesome ladies. I miss you. Next time, hopefully!

    1. Dynise, you were really missed!! I look forward to our next meet up, wherever it may be! :)

  2. Anonymous3:24 PM

    I'm so glad that you posted your talk info because I really wanted to attend the MoFo one but I think I was in another session (there were sooo many great sessions that it was difficult to choose). The information is really useful! I like the idea of 10 comments a day and on blogs that need comment-love.

    1. yeah, the 10 comments a day thing is so great. It's a fun challenge, and it really helps build community. Plus, you get to discover so many new blogs!

  3. Great post! I also missed the MoFo session. Great ideas for September Can't wait - Carmella

    YAY for VBR. You guys did an awesome job. Not to mention super-stocked that Carlo and I both won prizes!

    1. yeah! two lucky winners in one household! not bad! :)
      Also, yay for MoFo enthusiasm. It's gonna be great!

  4. this is amazing! that's so awesome you got to give talks, that was really great and helpful advice! that game show looks really fun and exciting too! you are such an amazing blogger :)

    1. Thank you so much, Little Monster!!!! :)

  5. Anonymous8:51 PM

    I wish pre-conference me had had the good sense to sign up for the zine workshop, but for some reason she thought she wasn't interested, and then conference me was disappointed when she realized it was a pre-registered workshop.Sounds like it was a gooder!

    The extreme vegan dedication you all put into the Vegan Battle Royale is inspiring! No one can say vegans don't get enough lovin' now! The whole weekend felt like an outpouring of awesomeness and vegan love, which was a super wonderful change from going to other events and being lucky if you get toast and salad, and maybe a pen as a keepsake. THIS WAS ALL VEGAN ALL THE TIME, and I want to live in it. So thank you to you all and all the organizers and presenters!

    1. I want to live in it too!!!! I totally know what you mean!!!!!!!
      I also spaced on signing up for any of the pre-reg classes. In the end, there were one or two I would have enjoyed going to, but it's okay - I went to other great classes instead! :)

  6. Oh my god you drew my little frozen pea baby!!! Love youuuuuuuuuu!

    1. Never Forget Frozen Pea Baby

  7. MoFo is going to be so much fun this year, I can't wait to see all those people you inspired! And Battle Royale looks amazing, I volunteer to be a score girl next year! I'm sure I have just the right dress for it.

    1. Yeah, MoFo is going to be awesome this year. I am super jazzed about a September MoFo. More produce! More daylight hours for photography! No 31 days of Halloween or Thanksgiving. For that alone, I am grateful.

  8. I attended your zine class and it was wonderful. I'm happy to have met you at VVC and look forward to following your blog.

    P.S. Your laugh is infectious, completely awesome.

    1. Thank you Alanna!!!!! <3! It was really super to meet you too. :) xo

  9. Who ended up getting the grab bag with Pepper in it?

  10. I loved every single thing you were involved in, so much fun!

  11. So how can we persuade you all to pile into a giant gypsy vegan caravan and take your magnificent VVC show on the road? With vegan food trucks.
    VidaVeganCaravan takes the nation. :)


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