End of #VeganMoFo – Vegan Wedding Edition – Weirdest Giveaway? You’re Invited.

So, as you may know, JC and I are getting married in October. We have a lovely venue booked, the menu has been planned out, the ceremony has been written, invitations have gone out (& RSVPs have even come back), dresses and suits have been purchased and fitted and talked about, flowers have been booked, hair and make up appointments are set, and everything is mostly ready to go. JC and I have been playing with this idea for a while, especially since we do know a few people would like to attend the relative novelty of an entirely vegan wedding even though they don’t particularly know us much beyond this blog, or twitter, or facebook, or just vaguely within the community. So you’re invited. And I’m not kidding. (phew… I’m really not kidding am I?) Please leave a comment and tell us why you’d want to attend, and from those comments, we’ll pick our favourites. Please make sure to write in a valid email address where we can contact you. This is open to anyone awesome 18+ that will find themselves in Toronto, Ontario on October 13, 2013. Dear Friends & Family who are already invited Please know that we absolutely love you, and we’re really glad you’re coming to our wedding. You are really important to us, and that’s why we invited you, and hoped you would join us on our special little day. I hope you don’t feel that having some enthusiastic vegan wedding crashers takes away…

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Soups I Love Thursday (Ten of Them) #VeganMoFo

I’ve spent the last few days wrapped up in a blanket, mostly wanting to eat cereal and soup. JC and I were both sick, and spent some time vegging out in front of the computer and playing World of Warcraft. I’m still feeling that weird sick disconnected feeling but it’s getting better. The sickness combined with a slight dip in the weather has got me thinking of autumn and soup. Soup and autumn. From simple broth based noodle soups, to heavier lentil, sorghum, rice soups, we’ve been souping it. After I posted one of my cereal based breakfast lunches on instagram, a friend sent over a  jar of homemade soup for my sick self to enjoy. Who says social media doesn’t work? (it wouldn’t be me by the way – I win with soup.) So what better than to talk about ten of my favourite vegan soups of all time on this wonderful day 18 of VeganMoFo? This isn’t a top ten list of course, because I can’t create a hierarchy of soup. I’m also including stews in this list. Let’s not argue. It’s better that way. Some of these I’ve made myself. Some of these I’ve eaten elsewhere. French Onion Soup Two Ways. Homemade, and at the Depanneur. This french onion soup from The Depanneur triggered my French Onion Soup obsession during last years’ VeganMoFo. And it continues to this day. I researched and read the history and the culture behind French Onion Soup, please imagine some kind of french…

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Dealing with Caterers – Vegan Weddings – Vegan MoFo 2013

Continuing in my Vegan Wedding theme for Vegan MoFo 2013 – here’s a bit about my experience with caterers, and a few tips. P.S. It’s also less than a month before JC and I get married. Eeeee. update: click here to read about our wedding day, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely. Early in the wedding planning process I started to look at caterers and venues and options for the wedding. To be honest, it was one of the main criteria in the decision making process. You may notices that JC and I love food. Finding a really fantastic restaurant is more than just a night out, it’s a hobby, and we love to share with each other and others, so I’m sure it’s not surprising that it ranked highly. In Toronto some venues have in-house caterers that you’re obligated to use, others will let you use your own caterer with certain stipulations or additional fees, and with others you are completely on your own. Some include service, some don’t. It depends on your budget, and how much you want to spend and how many separate service providers you want to work with. I researched a few around the city and sent emails to a few places that seemed promising, nearly everyone got back to me with wedding package information, and claimed they knew how to cater a vegan wedding (though some glossed over that part), but more inquiries about options and menus usually showed they didn’t really…

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Things I Love Thursday on Friday VeganMoFo –

It’s time for another edition of navelgazing Thursday, except it’s happening on Friday. JC Do you know what I realized this week? (Okay, I already know this) I like JC a lot. Which is good, since we’re getting married in a mere day over a month now. He was away for a few days, and while, it was nice that he was still on a similar timezone, and I’m quite content being by myself (albeit sleepless) – it’s really really great to have him back home. I like that things are coming together for the wedding. Reply cards are being returned. By Mail. Which I LOVE. Frankly, I’m just glad at least some people have received invitations. Every time our mailman comes, I’m curious if another little envelope will appear (subliminal message here: Send back your RSVP cards people!!!) It’s actually kind of funny – some people in Warsaw, Poland have gotten their invites – but my parents in Edmonton, Alberta, have not. Of course, this is in no way a slam against Canada Post, though perhaps it is one against my Parents’ Mail Carrier (as others around the country have already gotten theirs.) I’m simply impatient. Wegetarianski Bigos I love that when I went to the big Polish store on roncy today I stumbled upon something new to me (while at the same time being old to me) and vegan. This is the “Sauerkraut Stew,” it’s also known as bigos, aka “Hunters stew”. And traditionally, it contains meat. But…

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Let’s talk about Suits – Vegan MoFo – Vegan Wedding edition continues.

It seems fitting to follow up my post on Vegan Wedding Dresses from yesterday and talk primarily about Vegan Suits. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never given much thought to suits. Any pant suit or dress suits I’ve had were usually made of polyester, cotton, or rayon (or occasionally linen) but when JC started looking for suits for himself they all seemed to be mostly wool based. When shopping for suits, in addition to the wool, there are a few other things to consider. Like bull-horn or buffalo horn buttons, horse, goat, camel-hair interfacing, felt (wool) fabric, linings, or silk thread. Then there are the silk ties or cummerbunds (if you’re going that route), let’s not even get started on men’s shoes (well… okay, I’ll get started on it, but that’ll be a whole separate post.) So… what’s wrong with wool? Well, I’ll reference The Ethical Man on this one. In summary: Buying wool directly supports cruel practices such as mulesing, castration, tail-docking, and ear-punching. Meanwhile, industrial wool farming is energy-inefficient, land- and water-intensive, and highly pollutive. (read the whole article here – it’s quite comprehensive) There is also a fantastic FAQ on The Discerning Brute. If I can suggest one it is to do the same thing as I recommended with wedding dresses, look for the material you might want your suit made from. Find the 100% cotton suit, find the cotton-poly blend, the rPET, look for a hemp suit (& while you’re at it check out this dapper…

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Vegan Wedding Dresses – VeganMoFo

Continuing with my VeganMoFo theme this year on Vegan Weddings, Let’s talk Dresses! What’s not vegan about a wedding dress? You’re not eating it…? This is a question I was actually asked a couple of times. Well that’s one of the instances where being vegan and following a plant-based diet differ. Sometimes people don’t consider silk or wool when they’re thinking about their dress. And some people (if they’re me) think about it too much. So, what’s wrong with silk? I was going to give you my thoughts on this, but I think The Ethical Man sums it up perfectly for me too: In silk operations, the insects are viewed and treated as inanimate commodities, nothing more. I am hard-pressed to think of anything more arrogant than wholly appropriating the lives of other creatures — literally claiming to own others’ bodies. In that regard, the silk industry is no different from the animal industries we often more willingly deem immorally exploitative. (read more about what’s wrong with silk here) To me, it just seems logical that I would avoid that particular industry as well as some of the others. But what about “Peace Silk” or “Ahimsa Silk” well… again, I’ll leave that to someone that’s already covered it extensively. Worm Spit is run by a non-vegan producer of regular silk products and they have an interesting write up on the realities of peace silk (as in, is it really that peaceful?): I think that Ahimsa Silk doesn’t really equal non-violence to insects, once…

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Throwing a Vegan Engagement Party. Vegan MoFo 2013

Vegan Wedding Related time-sensitive note: For brides on a budget or people that like cute white dresses there is a sale going on on Unique Vintage that you might be into. (I’m unaffiliated with them, but I was amazed at  how cheap some of their dresses were while being pretty AND 100% cotton.) Back to our scheduled programming. Shortly after JC and I were engaged JC’s mom (hence forth known as Val) threw us an engagement party. I’ve since learned that traditionally it’s the brides parents that throw the party – but Val offered to do it almost as soon as we announced our plans, my family lives in Edmonton, Alberta (which is pretty much on the other side of the country) and frankly… we’re not very traditional people (except when we are.) My little guide here is a blend of personal experience and things I’ve picked up along the way both before and after. Hopefully it’s helpful to you even if you don’t live in Toronto, but really, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help. Things to think about: A vegan engagement party is not that much different than any other party, with a few small exceptions (that you might want to ignore anyway). 0. Do you want an engagement party. Do you want a party? If no, cool! There is nothing saying you have to have an engagement party. If yes, your adventure continues. 1. Who are you inviting? There is…

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Vegan in Vegas – Wynn’s Terrace Point Cafe

The Terrace Point Cafe was one of the places we had wanted to check out on our last visit to Las Vegas, after reading about it on Epicurious Vegan but it wasn’t open, since it is mostly outdoors, and it was chilly in December. This time, the weather was perfect bordering on the usual` Las Vegas oppressively high & dry summer temperatures. The first thing I noticed when I walked in – the pink polyester uniforms all the servers and hostesses were wearing. Why are they wearing these things? They look heavy, multi-layered, and uncomfortable, and everyone was wearing a thick hose which I can only assume is also company standard. It’s hot out. I hope it’s not as terrible to wear as it looks. From the moment we walked in, everyone was extremely friendly – this seems to be the experience we’ve encountered at nearly every Wynn hotel. Staff is mostly great and willing to answer questions, or offer help if you look lost or confused. There is seating inside if you prefer to take advantage of their air conditioning, but we asked to sit outside under one of the misting umbrellas. It was a little less than a 15 minute wait, but I’m glad we opted for the The Menu What we ate Luckily there were four of us, and even better, three of those were vegans (including me, so I got to take a look at a nice variety of dishes. As an appetizer we started with…

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Vegan Pizza in Las Vegas – Pop Up Pizza at the Plaza Hotel & Casino

One of the first new-to-me places we visited on our last visit to Las Vegas was Pop Up Pizza. JC found it looking for vegan pizza options in Las Vegas, and stumbling on this Eating Vegan in Vegas page. It’s inside the Plaza Hotel & Casino. At first it just looks like one of those regular old casino fast food joints (as in – why even check if it has vegan options), but it becomes obvious that it’s so much more. They have around 6 pizzas on display, and one of those was their vegan pie, The Soho, with daiya, spinach, mushrooms, artichoke, and roasted bell pepper. The thing that really separates them from a place like A Slice of Vegas is that you can buy vegan pizza by the slice. It looked and tasted great. Worth noting is that it is slightly more expensive than the regular pizzas. Both the full pie and by the slice… but they have specials printed on their counter that you might want to pay attention to, because they make the whole meal a really great deal. We took advantage of the two slices and one large pop at a discounted price. Other vegan options include garlic knots (they’ll skip the parm). And also vegan soft serve, as their default offering soft serve offering. They’ve got vanilla, chocolate, and twist options. I got the twist since merely a few days before I was lamenting the lack of vegan twist options in the world. I…

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Vegan in Vegas. Day one. Where We Nerd and Food.

We’re actually visiting New York right now, but we’re not on vacation mode and we’re taking time to relax a bit more. Those moments seem like a good time to talk about our recent trip to Las Vegas. Especially after I’ve had a bit of time to digest it all. One of my favourite parts about Vegas is that it has a Frys Electronics. I’m sure some people would say gambling, or the night life, or just expect me to talk about the food, but I like two things most of all – vegan food, and embracing my inner and outer nerd. Frys Electronics is like the Radio Shack of yesteryear. All the electronic bits and pieces you could ever want in one place. Do you need a torx screwdriver? It’s there. Soldering gun? Yup. Need more batteries for any of your devices? Covered. Motherboards? You got it. We don’t have anything quite like Fry’s in Toronto – there is Canada Computers, and Tiger Direct, but it’s not quite the full discount nerd experience. So whenever I go to the west coast – it’s worth at least one trip. The best part about the Vegas Frys is that it’s close to Whole Foods. Generally, I’m not that enthusiastic about Whole Foods, at least in Canada, because I know of most of the lovely vegan friendly independent stores in my community, but most of the time I have no idea where to shop when I’m anywhere in the USA. We went…

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