Countdown to Texas VegFest!

Texas VegFest 2013 flyerWe’re really excited to go to Texas VegFest this year! This vegan extravaganza takes place on Saturday, April 6 at Fiesta Gardens in east Austin. Texas VegFest Director, Adrienne Lusk, says the event will draw in around 5,000 attendees for a host of activities, vendors, speakers, cooking demos, and of course, great food and live music. What’s a vegan not to love?

One important thing to note about this event is that it’s been a grassroots, volunteer-driven effort by very dedicated activists. The Austin vegan community has helped improve and support vegan dining options around town, which has made Austin one of the top veg-friendly cities in the country. We applaud them for their many hours of hard work to organize Texas VegFest for the second year in a row!

While I expect to see lots of my vegan friends there, this welcoming event will attract veg-curious and omnivore folks as well. It’s a perfect event for anyone considering going vegan or reducing their consumption of meat and/or dairy because of the impressive list of local businesses that will be there selling their vegan fare. I know the major question people have when they go vegan is, what the heck will I eat? Texas VegFest will give you lots of yummy options and food for thought to help people think through their dietary choices. I suggest inviting a friend of yours who is not vegan to this event — it could really have an impact!

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We started with party plants

As new homeowners, Miranda and I have a goal of making our yard look nice. We realize it will take years of work, money, and patience to have a luscious yard but we’re ok with taking things slow. You learn to appreciate it more when the change doesn’t happen overnight. My appreciation of plants has been influenced by a couple of important people in my life: My dad, who has an amazing yard to fulfill his love of plants. He’s known as the “green thumb” of the family. Also, my best friend since 7th grade, James (“Jim”) who’s a plant scientist and gives me a plant lesson every time we hang out. Hanging out with him is like hearing a podcast on horticulture — he’s that passionate and knowledgeable about it. Since I feel like there’s such expertise I lack — everything from shopping for plants to choosing the plants to planting the plants — it feels like a lot of work. But I’m a big fan of bright colors, especially magenta. I could never get tired of magenta. So it was easy for me to pick the plants we wanted to start with: Cordyline, aka the party plant.

Gardening wouldn’t be complete without these silly hipster gloves!
hipster gloves

Here’s how the cactus bed looked before we started:

before garden pic

And here’s what it looked like after planting the Cordylines!

after garden pic


That awkward first post

Annie Clark...better known as St. Vincent

Annie Clark…better known as St. Vincent

It’s a little awkward to begin a blog. I’ve been in this situation before, when I had the blog Cats and Cows several years ago. It’s intimidating to embark on something where the expectation is that you’ll keep up the blogging and have something important to say. The truth is, a lot of things seem commonplace to me but I still find them interesting. Something as simple as hearing an amazing song, or seeing a plant grow can make your whole day better. I often find myself reading a page in a book or magazine and feel so pumped up by it that I want to text my girlfriend about it, post on Facebook, or tweet about it. That instant feeling of gratification that you shared some knowledge that may make someone think differently about something. Clearly, a lot of people feel this way. Many of us are obsessive compulsive users of social media. We want to know what our friends are doing and we want to share our experiences with them. The blog is a way for me to get away from some of that online traffic and focus on putting some thoughts together without seeing countless streams of social feed. We’ll see how it works out!

My former blog no longer exists because the pressure I put on myself to research and fact-check stressed me out and made me feel like I had 2 jobs. My new type of blogging will be more about sitting on the couch and having a coffee, beer, or more importantly, WATER! Water is what keeps us healthy. I want you to be healthy. Both mentally and physically. Writing shouldn’t feel like a drag. If it does, I’ll spare you the boredom of reading it and not blog that day. It’s important for bloggers to go out and do stuff so that we can bring back some good stories.

So now that that awkward introduction is out of the way, hello! Thanks for coming to North Austin Vegans. You can read more about me and Miranda on the About page. And if you don’t know who St. Vincent is, Google her!