Q&A and training with Seattle’s vegan trainer Ben Greene

Are you active, vegan, a Seattle dweller and striving for optimal health in all areas of your life? Take heart, you’re not alone. More and more people are realizing that diet alone isn’t enough, and we vegans know how much we love our indulgences. Thankfully, there are now individuals in the city who can help you achieve your health/fitness goals, and I’m happy to know one of them.

Ben BerlinMeet Ben Greene. Seattleite, vegan and badass Ironman Athlete, co-author of The Vegan Athlete and the owner of Greene Multisport.

An impressive resume, right?

read more »

Vida Vegan Tech Seminar Series + Giveaway

As I mentioned here a few months back, Helen of Vegtastic! and I will be presenting a class at the inaugural Vida Vegan Tech Seminar Series (a part of Vida Vegan Con) happening Saturday, Nov. 3 at the beautiful downtown Seattle library.  And we’re quite pumped about it.

Our class is titled “Next-Level Social Media.” We’ll discuss how to cultivate your blog’s identity, to establish community, and we’ll breakdown a few emerging networks and give advice on how to stay on top of social media trends and decide whether or not they’re best for you and your blog. We’re also allotting a good amount of Q&A time.

This is the stuff I LOVE to talk about, geek out on and constantly learn more about. Helen and I are excited to present, and I think that all of the panels will be incredibly valuable. Check out the rundown of all the classes. Together, they all dive deeper into advanced aspects of social media and blogging, and will equip attendees with skills that can immediately be integrated into their blogs.

I am personally amped for the podcasting and video classes, as those are two things I want to delve into more in the future.

The class size is limited to 50 people, which is great in terms of everyone who registers being guaranteed a seat and having it feel more like a class and less like a con. But that also means that this event is going to sell out fast and if you’re not quick, you might be the left behind in a cloud of Myspace and Friendster dust.

The Vida Vegan Tech Seminar Series planners and I don’t want that to happen to you, and they generously gave me a ticket to give away to one lucky reader! Digital media is up there with veganism on my list of things I’m impassioned about and I know Helen feels the exact same way. We’d love to have a reader attend the seminar to learn more about these topics, and this is a way that you can attend (and get a delicious lunch from Veggie Grill!) for free.

To enter the contest, leave a comment below about the one tech-related topic you’d like to learn about most at the Tech Seminar Series. It could be ours (flattery will get you everywhere…but won’t guarantee your win) or maybe you too want to podcast one day. Or maybe you really want to learn some CSS. Whatever it is, let me know! I’ll pick a comment number at random on Wednesday, September 26th at noon, PST, and that individual will be the winner. I’ll also email you, in case you’re actually eating lunch or something. Non-vegans and non-Seattleites are also eligible to enter, too.

I hope to see you many of you there!

PS: Helen is also giving away a ticket to the Tech Seminar Series on her blog. Hop on over and enter there to double your chances of winning!

Sidecar Septemberfest this weekend!

Photo of delicious Sidecar goodies by veganheathen, via Creative Commons

Love supporting sweet pigs and eating delicious vegan cookies? There’s an event happening for you this weekend!

Sidecar for Pigs Peace, the glorious, volunteer-run, all-vegan grocery store in the U District is holding Sidecar Septemberfest! Happening this Saturday and Sunday, the event promises the following wonderful things:

A party!
Free cookies
Free samples
Sweet deals
A wonderful feeling in your heart knowing you supported happy pigs at the sanctuary

Come and stock up on some vegan essentials and/or splurges, hang with good people and earn raffle tickets based on how much your purchase. Rumor has it that there’ll be some awesome raffle prizes, too.

I’ll definitely be attending, as it’s been too long since I’ve visited our city’s only all-vegan store. Maybe I’ll see you there?

Deets:

Where: Sidecar for Pigs Peace, 5270 B University Way NE
When: Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9
RSVP for the event on Facebook here.

Vegan Filipino cooking adventure

Last weekend, I got together with two friends, Helen and Madeline – both Seattleites, food bloggers (Helen is vegan, and Madeline is a vegan sympathizer), and alumni of the graduate school program that I’ll be starting next month – the Master of Communication in Digital Media program at the University of Washington.

One day, Madeline and Helen were chatting up the possibility of having a dinner party where they made vegan-friendly Filipino food so that Helen could experience it (and Madeline could veganize some of her traditional dishes) on Twitter. Madeline messaged and thought I might be interested in joining. Of course I was interested!

Growing up, one of my best friends in my hometown was Filipino. Her mom would make big batches of food for parties and just weeknight dinners and would always invite me over. She loved me, because I ate everything on my plate and always exclaimed how wonderful it was. It was definitely not vegan, but the impact of those very distinct flavor combinations and textures never left my memory. Thus, I was excited to take up the challenge of making some of these (veganized) dishes myself for the first time with great company.

We all gathered at Madeline’s lovely home with fresh ingredients, cutting boards, knives and Helen’s addition of authentic San Miguel beer in tow. Madeline was amazing and prepped separate “stations” (so very Rachael Ray of her!) so that we could each prep different dishes at the same time.

I was in charge of making the adobo – veganized by the usage of Portabello mushrooms. It called for whole peppercorns, which excited this diehard spice lover.

Here was the entire menu, written in order that it was prepared:

Sounds amazing, right?

Madeline was in charge of the afritada, Helen the filling for the lumpia, and Helen and I worked together to prep veggies for an Asian cucumber salad. While we each choppped and prepped, we all chatted about the nerdy things that we’re all passionate about: food/eating, Seattle and social media. The more that we hung out, the more I realized how much we all have in common.

Action shot of Helen prepping lumpia filling.

After most of our dishes were done or prepped, Madeline gave us a lumpia-rolling lesson. Having no prior lumpia prep experience, I was intrigued and also a little nervous that I was gonna mess it up. Thankfully, Madeline was an ace teacher, and after a couple lumpia, Helen and I were rollin’ em up like pros. See here:

Madeline was a great and patient as we learned the subtle art behind lumpia-rolling.

And she showed us the proper placement of the filling on the lumpia wrapper. This resonated with me, as it seemed similar to where you place filling on a tortilla when making burritos. Then came the rolling part, which seemed like it could be dicey, but we got the hang of it quickly.

Lumpia pile success.

I fried ‘em up, and I fried ‘em up good.

Madeline shared that the secret to perfecting fried food: adding kosher salt immediately after it comes out of the frier. Brilliant, and from what I could tell, it worked like a charm.

Big ol’ pot of adobo.

 

Our mighty, vegan Filipino spread.

Madeline had prepared a vegan coconut sorbet as our dessert, but it didn’t firm up as expected. With a slight of hand and amazing improv skills, Madeline and her husband whipped up this amazing dessert for us:

Banana and Jackfruit Turon, with coconut sauce as the topping.

Holy moly. I don’t really have many words for this dish, just delicious “mmms,” “ahhs,” and an assortment of other guttural noises of delicious contentment. It was truly that good.

A few days after we left, Madeline realized that a certain traditional flavor was missing from her afritada: fish sauce. Did she see this as an obstacle? No way! Instead she took it as an opportunity to make Helen and I bottles of vegan fish sauce, and brought some to me at work!

I have yet to use it, but I’ve been plotting all the ways I can integrate it into my cooking in my head since I received it. It was such a thoughtful gift and I’m so excited to use it and see the difference it makes in certain dishes.

I bet you’d like links to the recipes we used for prepping this vegan Filipino meal, huh? Head over to Helen’s post where she has all the tasty links.

It was an awesomely fun and delicious evening with some amazingly inspiring ladies. I can’t wait for our next veganized dinner party/cooking evening, where I’ll be showing the ladies how to cook a specialty from my Mexican heritage that I haven’t prepped in some time: veganized tamales. I’m already pumped.

 

 

 

 

 

Vida Vegan Tech Seminar & Vida Vegan Con 2013

To put my life in terms that others from my generation will understand, things have been coming up Milhouse in a big way for me lately.

More personally (and reflective of real life Dawn), I’ve started a new job that is creative and fun and allows me to write all day.

More professionally but not job-related, I’ve been invited to speak at not one, but two vegan blogging events coming up in the next year that you’ve possibly heard of:

The Vida Vegan Con Fall Tech Seminar in Seattle,

and Vida Vegan Con 2013 in Portland.

How does all of this amazing news makes me feel, you may wonder? Kind of like these super pumped, ridiculously adorable otters.

But really, I’m mostly just honored and so, so grateful.

At both events I’ll be speaking (it’ll be a different talk at each for those attending both!) about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, so much so that I’ll be studying it this fall, and that I sit on a board discussing it with other nerds: social media.

And I’ll be presenting at both with a fellow Seattle-ite, Vida Vegan Con 2011 alumni and Field Roast hot dog-eating friend, Helen of Vegtastic. She’s one of the savviest social media mavens I know, and I’m confident that when we combine our powers, we shall compose two awesome sessions filled with strategic digital media and marketing tips, tricks, and much more.

The Tech Seminar is a one-day event that will focus on all things tech/nitty gritty about blogging: it’ll go more in depth about starting a blog from scratch, which forms of social media to use and how to integrate them, as well as more advanced blog options such as audio/video integration.

The Vida Vegan Con 2013 event will expand upon what the first was: a combination of workshops, panels and social events all celebrating and focusing on vegan blogging and spreading the word about the vegan lifestyle in new/emerging mediums.

VVC friends at the Bye & Bye, looking awesome.

I’ve described Vida Vegan Con to those who couldn’t attend the first as “vegan sleepaway camp,” and I’ve reminisced about it longingly since last August. Sitting at dinners and in talks and social gatherings with hundreds of other people who immediately *get* a big part of your life is an amazing thing to experience, and having the opportunity to learn from these people who all have something to share is even more wonderful. I met so many bloggers I’ve come to admire and came out of the event with a crazy long lists of blogs to read, and many of them are favorites now. More so than that, I’ve got memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, (cheesy, but true).

If you missed the inaugural event and have been kicking yourself since, I suggest you start planning for 2013 now. Whether you’ve been blogging for a while, you’d like to start a blog or you actually don’t have an interest in blogging but would like to meet and collaborate with those who do, I highly recommend the experience. It’s an event that you will gain an inconceivable amount from in just a few precious days. And I’m not just talking pounds from all the amazing PDX food that’s to be consumed.

100 early bird tickets for VVC 2013 go on sale over on the Vida Vegan Con site Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 12 p.m. PST for $200.  After they sell out, the remaining tickets will become available at regular price.

Here are some more pertinent deets:

When: Friday-Sunday, May 24-26, 2013

Where: Portland Art Museum, 1219 Southwest Park Avenue,  Portland, OR 97205

I can’t wait to see everyone who attended the 2011 event again, to meet a whole bunch of new folks next May, and to continue eating my way through one of my favorite vegan-loving cities in the country.

So, will I see you at the next Vegan Lovefest?

 

 

Field Roast brings new vegan options to Safeco Field

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you’d know that I’m a fan of local company Field Roast, and their hearty selection of all-vegan products. I’m also a baseball fan, so when I received an invitation from the company to attend a tasting of some of their new vegan offerings at Safeco Field on May 8, I was pumped.

Thankfully, friend/fellow Seattle vegan blogger Helen of Vegtastic was invited too, and we met up to sample some tasty vegan options and attend that evening’s Mariners game (Full disclosure: Field Roast invited us to stay and watch the game in addition to the tasting). There were media reps from all sorts of publications present such as Google Places, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and more, which made us happy. Veganism news – it’s everywhere!

Eagerly awaiting vegan dogs.

We were early to arrive and had the chance to meet and talk with Field Roast founder David Lee and PR Manager Jennifer Hryciw. I was happy to learn that David is vegan, (yay!) and that the Seattle-based company is in the International District. The company offered an impressive spread for us. David served us three specialty vegan hot dogs, the original frankfurters, and a specialty Field Roast burger. If you were checking my tweets/Instagram that day, some of these photos may look familiar.

Original Frankfurter:

I was lucky to have the chance to sample these at VegFest. The texture, flavor combinations and substance of this hot dog makes all other veg options pale in comparison, and I’ve tried a few. Savory and spicy, it was great plain but would be even better with all the fixings.

The Seattle Chili Cheez Dog:

I’ll admit right now that chili cheese hot dogs are my favorite kind. Usually I have to make them myself or take a jaunt to Cyber Dogs in Seattle, but having the ability to order one at a baseball game is slightly surreal. This was the first option I tried after the original, and I thought it was great, and it may be my second favorite of the lot. The chili was mild, but it’s nothing a little hot sauce couldn’t help. The “cheez” was a combination of coconut cream and Daiya, which was brilliant, and actually worked quite well. So messy, but so worth it.

The Bombay:

As I tweeted, I had really high hopes for the Bombay – an Indian food-inspired take on a hot dog. I know that it sounds wild, but hear me out before you knock it! My high hopes were not let down, and I believe this was my favorite all of all dogs I tried, hands down. Topped with curried chana dal (garbanzo beans), mango chutney, smooth coconut cream sauce and fried curry leaves (!), it actually perfectly complemented the hot dog underneath. If you love Indian spices and flavors, try this dog! It was amazing and I’m still thinking about it.

The IchiBan:

As a sushi fan and lover of interesting food combinations, I was intrigued by the IchiBan, which boasted teriyaki caramelized onions, grated daikon and carrot, shredded nori and a mayo dressing. The strong flavors of the onions and the mayo stole the show with this dog, and though it was tasty, I’d say it wasn’t my favorite. There were a lot of competing combinations at play here – texture, flavors, and spices – and it may have been a bit too much for me. Despite that, I will try it again to see how I like it the second time, as Field Roast gave the attendees the recipe to make this one at home!

The Field Burger:

Field Roast created their first ever veggie burger to serve exclusively at Safeco Field. Created from fresh raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion and garlic), whole barley, tomatoes, and Field Roast meats, the burger has a lot more substance than other veggie burgers I’ve had. The texture of this burger was great – not too soft (I’m thinking Dr. Praeger’s burgers) and not too firm, but just right. It held up well and is a great meal option. I only had a few bites of this, as I was pretty full by this point.

Here’s the price breakdown for each of the options that are now available at Safeco: The Frankfurter: $6.25; the three specialty dogs, which will rotate at the stand run $6.50; and the Field Burger: $6.75. For the flavor, fresh ingredients and hearty nature of each of these items, I thought the price was more than worth it.

Also in attendance for this event was Johanna McCloy, Veggie Happy creator/founder and long-time vegetarian who has made it her personal mission to ensure that vegetarian options are available at major league baseball fields around the country. How rad is that? I definitely made sure to mention Cheney Stadium/the Rainiers to her, as I’ve been told that veggie burgers/dogs exist there, but after searching for years I’ve yet to see or try one.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience enhanced by great people, a fun game (that we inevitably lost!), and tasty food. I’m already eager to come back and enjoy a game with a delicious vegan meal in hand. And I’m pretty sure that next visit will be June 9, when the Mariners take on my home team, the L.A. Dodgers. Veggie Happy actually has created an event for this day, so you can come and meet Johanna and David Lee of Field Roast, too!

The Field Roast stand at Safeco Field is located on the Main Concourse off Section 133, right next to the Natural, the pre-existing vegetarian-friendly food stand.

Update 5/21/12: Be sure to check out Helen’s review of our fun Field Roast-filled day at Safeco Field, too!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

If you subscribe to the Tacoma Food Co-op‘s monthly newsletter, you may have seen this pop up in your email yesterday:

I wrote a short little piece about some of my favorite TFC food products, how it’s easier than you may think to be vegan and about the ways the co-op can help you if you’re considering transitioning to the diet.

In addition to the article, I also created a recipe for said newsletter. I am more of an eat-and-review type of food blogger rather than the recipe writer kind, but sometimes creativity strikes. Or, I realize I’ve got some recipes I created and have been making for years and remember that I should share them with you all. This recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa Salad pertains to the latter.

Quinoa salads (or any grain-based salad, really) are great because they are a nice change from the traditional all-greens based salad, they’re heartier, and they’re also very customizable and you can make one with whatever you have on hand. I used to make a plainer version of this for potlucks/gatherings, but last week I was feeling the nicer weather and leaning towards more Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. I think it turned out pretty well! I’ll include the newsletter copy for those who aren’t signed up yet, (and if you’re local, you should be! Sign up here).

With spring in full gear and summer coming soon, we tend to focus more on lighter, nutrient-rich meals that call for less prep, and less reliance on our ovens. This Mediterranean-inspired recipe makes use of quinoa, a nutty Incan protein-filled grain that is a great addition to salads. When combined with beans, spicy Italian parsley, red onions and a rich tahini dressing, it makes a colorful main dish or a hearty side.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yields 4-8 servings, depending upon whether served as a side or main dish. Gluten-free and vegan.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped (The original recipe called for ½ bunch, but that was a typo! If you like spicy, you can use the original amount.)
½ cup red onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
Grape tomatoes
Kalamata olives

Tahini dressing:

Zest and juice of one large lemon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons warm water
¼-½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Rinse the quinoa. In saucepan, combine quinoa and water and cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, which should take 15 minutes.

Prepare the dressing while the quinoa cooks. Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, tahini, olive oil, water and salt. This might take a few minutes if your tahini was refrigerated.

Toss the quinoa, beans, parsley, red onion, and dressing. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve garnished with tomatoes, olives and a bit more parsley.

Enjoy!

The TFC also has their “Spring Into the Co-op” campaign happening now. Check out the website or Facebook page for more info on discounts, prizes and more goodies that you can receive by visiting the co-op five times by May 31.

Do you have any grain-based salads that you love to make during spring and summer? And do you have any fun plans for our 70-80 degree weather this weekend? Do tell!

 

 

 

April Vegan Food Swap reveal

When friend, former Tacomite and fellow vegan food blogger Cat of The Verdant Life announced that she was starting a vegan food swap, I jumped at the opportunity. Before I started this blog, I read lots of vegan blogs and came across awesome stories of strangers who’d swapped food from around the country and it looked like fun, (to this food nerd). I signed up for her Vegan Food Swap for the month of April and I wasn’t disappointed, as it was both super fun to send and receive a swap box.

I sent an all-Washington state, half-Tacoma based package to Cheryl of AmazinglyOrganic, and received one from Aimee of Big Spoon Kitchen Adventures. Check out all the cool stuff she sent me:

Some Soy Curls, (yum, you can never have enough) and two samples: one of Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle Seasoning and a Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap, which you can also never have enough of.

She also included some items in awesomely recycled packaging: star anise, cacao nibs, homemade salt-free vegan pho seasoning (!!) and some homemade oatmeal chai cookies, which are delightful! You can find the recipe for them here. Can you guess what I was most excited about?

Yep, the vegan pho seasoning! I thought it was so thoughtful that Aimee checked out my blog beforehand and saw that I was a mega-pho freak and included this. I’ve always wanted to make homemade pho but never have, and now I have the tools to do it right!

Cat started this Vegan Food Swap with the intention of it becoming a monthly event. If you’d like to participate in May, sign up here soon! Also, check out all of the other reveals to see what everyone else swapped.

PS:  The second annual Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is happening this Sunday! Hope to see you there for loads of delicious vegan goodies and lots of community.

 

Get your sweet treat on at the second annual Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale!

Last year, two vegan lady friends and I (Joy and Lisa) thought that it was high time Tacoma was represented in Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale week, so we held what we believed to be Tacoma’s first vegan bake sale at the wonderful King’s Books. In our eyes, it was a massive success. We raised over $600 for Precious Life Animal Sanctuary, shared amazing vegan baked goods with friends and strangers, and brought more awareness to the vegan lifestyle and ethic in our town. And this year, we’re doing it again!

Sweet flier image courtesy of Dan Martin.

As you may have seen me mention via the VM FB/Twitter accounts, we’re holding the second annual Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale – Tacoma edition, (adorably titled “Sweet Eats!”) at King’s Books this Sunday, April 29, from noon to 4 p.m. This time around Joy, her man Dan and I are heading up the effort, and we hope to see some lovely faces come out and support this year’s cause: Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

Here’s more info from the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale Tacoma Facebook event page:

We’re doing it again, baking up a storm of vegan goodies for charity. This year all the proceeds are going to Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW.
If you are interested in volunteering in any way, whether it be baking, set up or tabling, email me at: joy_clendening@yahoo.com
Of course anything you bake has to be vegan and it will have to be in sealed containers.
We look forward to tasty your yummy treats and giving a big donation to the Chimps!

Gracious sweet pea of King’s Books was kind enough to let us hold the event at his store again, and we’re amped to fill up as many tables as we can with sweet treats of all sorts. From loaded with sugar and flour, to gluten-free, raw and low-sugar, whatever your preferences, it’ll be represented at this bountiful spring vegan event.

Though the event is only a few days away, we’re always looking for/are welcoming of helpful volunteers. If you’re interested in contributing baked (and non!) goods or helping us set up the event, break it down or assist with the actual sale, please e-mail Joy at the address above. Our goal is always to raise as much funds as we can for the chimps, and volunteers are definitely an integral part of that happening.

Scenes from last year's Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale - 253 Edition.

I also want to make sure that everyone knows that you do not have to be vegan to come! You just have to love delicious treats! Though if you are baking, we do ask that you make your baked goods vegan, as not doing so would kind of defeat our whole purpose. If you’d like more info on Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale week 2012, want to get a glimpse of all the places participating, get some tips on vegan baking, or learn how to start a vegan bake sale in your neck of the woods, check out their amazingly resourceful website. And please be sure to let us know you’ll be attending the event by RSVPing to it on Facebook.

My goal is to bake espresso brownies, because the idea of the Valhalla brownies at Corina always make me swoon, but they’re sadly not vegan-friendly. I want to make another sort of brownie variation, and may whip up some Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies from “Veganomicon” that Roxanne made for our underground supper club, as they were a huge hit with vegans and non-veg people alike. Whether brownies are up your alley or not, please come out if you can, and I hope to see you Sunday!

The upcoming 2012 Tacoma Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale has been written about around the Internet! Check it out:

Post Defiance: Don’t be Scared, it’s just a Vegan Bake Sale

Tacoma Weekly: World Wide Vegan Bakesale in Tacoma on Sunday

King’s Books: Vegan Bake Sale

Friday Snippets – ‘Hunger Games’ opening weekend edition

What does “The Hunger Games” have to do with my blog/veganism you may be wondering? Absolutely nothing, to be honest, and searches for “vegan Hunger Games” aren’t yielding anything either…yet. But I’m a fan of the books, the first film opens today, and I’ve been hit (pun fully intended) with HG madness just like the rest of the waking world. I’m actually finishing “Mockingjay” as I type this, but I just thought I’d throw a little nerdy shout out to anyone else who loves the books or is equally as excited for the film.

Okay, end geek rant. Onto this week’s Snippets!

Photo courtesy Fork & Beans

Vegan Lucky Charms, anyone? When I saw the Vegansaurus post on Fork & Beans’ genius creation of the veganized version of this cereal, I got a little giddy. Did anyone else love this cereal as much as I did growing up? Realizing that they’re basically just made with sugary marshmallows makes that love make a lot more sense now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be attempting to make these soon. Gluten-free friends, these are for you too!

Local South Sound/Seattle friends, this is your last reminder that VegFest 2012 takes place this weekend, March 24-25 at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall! I am personally pumped to try out the new Daiya cheese wedges, to visit the Wayfare Foods both and say hi to and hug Brit and just discover some new great products.

Photos courtesy Refinery29

Since the seasons officially changed from winter to spring, my mind has been on a few things: sunshine, picnics, drinks on patios and shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my knee-high brown riding boots over tights and my trusty Simple shoes (RIP) for walking around, but I am yearning for the days when I can walk around with adorable flats, put the socks away for a few months and also, grab some new kicks! For all my vegan ladies who also love their footwear, I’m sure you’re all aware of the Cri de Coeur brand, (and their price tags, ouch). Fashion/shopping deal site Refinery29 currently has a deal on said shoes: through April 3rd, spend $50, get $100 worth of credit. That’s 50% off for those counting at home, and a screaming deal. New spring flats, wedges and boots are that much closer to my and your closet.

I’m not sure if many of you South Sounders are familiar with Social Media Club Tacoma, but it’s an offshoot of the nationwide organization Social Media Club. I’m involved with our local chapter, and I’m very excited for our April Tweetup event that will take place April 10 from 6-8 p.m. at Bluebeard Coffee. We’re going to be discussing food, Tacoma, social media and food blogging, and I’ll be your gracious hostess for the evening! The event will feature some awesome special guest bloggers including: Roxanne Cooke, local photographer and baker, Marisa Mezs of Clearance Cuisine and Adrienne Kuehl of A Big Mouthful, (they’re all linked in the invite).

If you’ve never been to an event, we hold one every month and it’s a great way to network, meet new people, as well as discuss shared passions, and food is definitely a doozy. We’ll be bringing some tasty baked goods as well. If you come out, please say hi!

Enjoy the lovely weather while it lasts, and happy weekend!