Today….I Am a Pioneer

I am a pioneer. Today was the start of something very magical, and I’m excited to be a part of it. History in the making, and some day I will look back on this and tell the stories to my kids of how their mother was part of the first group of vegan bloggers to ever come together to learn from each other. An inspired group of men and women of all ages and backgrounds who work towards having a healthier life and a healthier planet.

I’m a very “young” vegan blogger, and really more of an accidental blogger. I started in an effort to keep accountable to my athletic training and healthy lifestyle. Over the weeks and months, it evolved into so much more for me (yes, vegan food and fitness are still a major component), and I feel I’m finding a voice that loves to write. I started reading and being inspired by other people’s blogs and stories, and I inadvertently stumbled upon a large group of people unlike any I’ve ever met before. People a little like me. I have to say – it’s a first. I do not know any other vegan’s in my community, and while I have an amazing family and great friends (many who happily eat vegan food with me from time to time), I do not have anyone in my daily life to share that with. In person anyway. I do have a whole universe of people to share that with through blogging though, and that is why I’m in Portland right now.

This evening’s adventure started with me arriving at the conference right around 515pm to check in, pick up the Swag Bag of Wonder (see pics!), and to mingle until the doors opened at 6pm to the Ballroom for the VegNews sponsored Champagne and Cupcake reception.

the contents of the Swag Bag of Wonder! Books, flyers, cups, FOOD, bags, pepper mill, and too much to even list. Coolest conference gear EVER
a couple new shirts and a tank top too!all stuffed into this cool grocery bag
a few more things picked up this evening too. The mushroom is for A and the green monster is for R

The doors opened and we all flooded in. And not a SINGLE person touched anything on the tables. Why?? Because we all had to take pictures for our blogs first! And it was the most normal thing in the world! In my early blogging days, I felt like I needed to explain to people around my why I was snapping shots of my meals, and while I’m more comfortable with it now, I still can feel a little self consious about it.

part of the group in the ballroomcheese and crackers
After the pictures, it was time to dive into some vegan cheese and crackers from Heidi Ho Organics, the amazing cupcakes, and either some champagne or sparkling cider. Guess which I had 🙂
my plate...I opted for the gluten free coconut cream cupcake. SO good...
While snacking and chatting, we had a wonderful welcome message from the organizers/creators/brilliant brain children of this conference, as well as from VegNews magazine.
I talked to many people, most new to me, but some not. I will say I think the highlight was the amazing hugs and conversations with JLGoesVegan and Sweet On! Both absolutely sweet and amazing and inspiring and silly as hell women. I saw beautiful vegan shoes and handbags from Lulu’s, talked to Natalia about raw food, and cheered on Almost Vegan as she was selling out of a homemade batch of white chocolate peanut butter.
And there was a lot of swapping blogger business cards, emails, and just chatting up about anything and everything. I opted out of the bar/restaurant hopping after. My body is still on East Coast time and recovering from the sinus/ear infections….and I want to save myself for the gala and after parties tomorrow…not to mention all the cool seminars and classes I’m going to…and will be writing about tomorrow!
I got back to my hotel and finally unpacked my bag – something I didn’t do in Seattle. I also hadn’t used my laptop until now (using my iPad for everything), and I found this note from D….and one from R too!
and the inside!and the inside!
And it was the perfect ending to a very nice evening. And now, I better get my butt to sleep so I’m ready to roll for an adventurous day tomorrow!
It's here!

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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