Vegan Presence

Vegan Presence is a blog about all things vegan: food, restaurants, product reviews, luxury travel, and other miscellaneous vegan information. I’ve been a vegan for 19 years and have a lot to rant and rave about! Subscribe to learn more and to participate in the giveaways!

This blog is a collaborative blog written by a group of individuals. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.Even though the writer(s) of this blog may receive compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own and not necessarily those of Vegan Presence. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Are you Interested in becoming a contributing writer? The only requirement is that you write about vegan related topics, product reviews or personal experiences being vegan that have not been published elsewhere, and please refrain from advertising. There is no compensation except the intrinsic reward of sharing your random thoughts 🙂 We are considering submissions now. Send us an e-mail at if you are interested.

You can subscribe to Vegan Presence by entering your e-mail address on the right hand side. 

Andrea/Vegan Presence


Urban Oreganics interview + review


Urban Oreganics (formerly Homespun Northwest) is one of my favorite Etsy shops because they craft delicious, aromatic face and body products for a truly sensory experience. They used to be called Homespun Northwest when we featured them in our former Vegan Presence subscription box. Since then they have gone through a makeover both in name and packaging. Emily is the genius behind the brand and she is constantly adding new products to the line. I am a big fan of the body scrubs. In particular, I think she makes the best smelling coffee scrub. My favorite scrubs are the lemon poppy seed and citrus rose scrubs. Another favorite is the lavender eye makeup remover we featured in our February 2014 Anniversary box. The eye makeup remover doubles as a wonderful toner for the face.


1. Please introduce and tell us about your company and why was Urban Oreganics created?

I’m Emily, a new mama who decided to start selling her favorite homemade products while on maternity leave!

2. What is your bestselling Homespun Northwest product?

My lavender eye makeup remover – which was featured in Vegan Presence’s February 2014 Anniversary box.

3. What is your favorite Homespun Northwest product?

My oatmeal grapefruit face wash. It is a dry face wash that is completely customizable depending on your skin type. It even can be made into a mask!

5. What is your background in creating skin care and home products?

I began experimenting with natural ingredients when I first found out I was pregnant. I started to learn more about the ingredients and what properties they had, and then was able to combine them in a way that created the perfect products for my customers.

6. Tell us about your skincare ritual.

I like to keep it very simple. Everything has gotten so unnecessarily complex these days! I wash my face with my oatmeal grapefruit face wash then apply my green tea facial moisturizer (which I have added a mineral foundation to). And voila! Just enough for this busy mom to keep up with!

Thank you Emily and Urban Oreganics!

Please note that this interview was conducted in 2014 but not published until now, so some of the information and availability of products may have changed.

Urban Oreganics handcrafts the highest quality bath & beauty products from natural, sustainable, organic, and vegan ingredients in Portland, OR. Our handmade creations are lovingly fashioned in small batches and tested on friends and family, never on animals.

FOLLOW them for *exclusive* offers:


→ 5% of profits donated – follow them on social media to vote!

→ “buy one, give one” – for each cleansing bar they sell, they donate one to someone in need.

Happy Holidays from Our Family!

I know it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted but a lot has happened in 2014. In summary, we closed Vegan Presence Subscription service; we went on a fabulous safari in Africa; then a few months later our dearest siamese cat Cleo passed away which was a really difficult time for my husband and me.

We finally felt ready to open our home and lives to a few animals that needed a loving home. We now share our home with 2 kittens and 2 small parrots that are all rescues we recently adopted. Meet our new family!

baby mocha

This is Mocha our siamese kitten who came from a hoarding situation of 19 cats living in a trailer. She is such a sweetheart and is the gentlest soul. She’s loving and very smart. I trained her to sit on command. She is a wonderful big sister to Myszka even though they are from different litters and rescues.She’s grown a lot from when we first got her in this picture.

myszkaThese next 2 photos are of Myszka who was from a feral cat colony. She was a little skittish when we first got her but has come a long way and cuddles up to us now. She has the cutest paws!

We don’t believe in declawing. Did you know it’s an amputation of their toes? We provide lots of scratching posts and the girls get pedicures instead!


mocha and myszka

Mocha and Myszka are inseparable and love to sleep and cuddle together. Siamese are so much more fun in pairs!

Below is Figaro, our rescue Jenday Conure. He’s really intelligent and has come a long way from his initial fearful demeanor. He talks a little, and I taught him to wave his foot in greeting and spin around on command.


Our newest addition is our rescue cockatiel Leopold perched on my husband’s hand. He loves to fly to my husband and me to receive spray millet, his favorite treat!


I don’t believe birds should be captive as they were meant to fly free. If you are going to have a bird in captivity, please get one from a rescue since they already need a home. Before anyone should even think about getting a parrot, you need to see the wonderful documentary “Parrot Confidential.” Many parrots will outlive their owners; have the intelligence of a 2-year-old; and require lots of attention, training, and stimulation so they don’t resort to feather plucking, screaming or biting. They also become hormonal during certain times of the year. The average parrot is re-homed at least 8 times in their life. Parrot toys are not cheap and neither are their cages. You need to provide the largest cage possible, different size perches with different textures, foraging toys, plus parrot gyms for out of cage time.

Above all, if your thinking of getting any animal, please don’t go to a pet store as that supports breeding mills, and don’t go to a breeder. Please adopt an animal from a rescue. Millions of shelter animals are euthanized each year due to overpopulation among other reasons. lists nearly all the rescues in the US and Canada. We adopted all 4 of our wonderful animals from rescues found on

Start the year off right by adopting an animal from a rescue!

What rescue animals do you own?


Multi-purpose Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

dr bronners logo
dr-bonner-soapsDr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are classic. They have been around for as long as I can remember with their intriguing messages on their iconic packaging. They have been a household name for many generations with a 150 year family history of soap making.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are certified vegan, organic and fair trade, completely biodegradable and vegetable-based. Past Vegan Presence subscribers had the privilege of  trying the peppermint and lavender travel sized liquid soaps. Heaven in a bottle, so many uses! These ecologically formulated soaps are not only gentle enough for washing your body, face or hair, but also powerful enough for tasks like dishwashing, mopping, laundry and much more! There are at least 18 uses for this all-purpose soap. Different tasks call for different dilutions of the soap.
I recommend checking  out Lisa Bronner’s Liquid Soaps Dilutions Cheat Sheet here to give you an idea of how much to use.

My secret to really amazing, clear, glass shower doors is to use a little bit of Dr. Bronner’s liquid almond soap (smells delicious!) diluted with water and spritzed in a spray bottle. The result will be clean sparkly glass. I also find it to be gentle on my hardwood floors, and the peppermint one makes my laundry smell amazing.

I love supporting conscientious companies that do good for the planet.  Dr. Bronner’s body care products are both Organic and Fair Trade; and they have a strong commitment to:

Not to mention Dr. Bronner’s company donated $100,000 to animal advocacy and animal welfare groups, which you can read about here:

If you want to simplify your life, I suggest buying a big bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in liquid form in your favorite scent (or unscented), and start using it to clean your body and your home!

What’s your favorite Dr. Bronner’s product and what do you use it for?

Hart + Hawthorn= Interview + Giveaway

After a rather long and silent hiatus, I’m back from traveling and am settled in my Detroit loft with husband and fur baby Cleo. I think it would be fun to say hello again with a really fun giveaway and introduce (or re-introduce for past Vegan Presence subscribers) a really unique company I adore! hart + hawthorn

Hart + Hawthorn (formerly Paper Street Laboratories featured in one of the Vegan Presence packages) is a small company consisting of 2 really talented guys, Patrick and Yu, who specialize in unique, beautiful, hand-crafted, luxurious soaps, grooming products for men and other curiosities!

H+H patrickh+h YU







hart + hawthorn

Vegan Presence subscribers had the chance to try some of my favorite vegan Hart + Hawthorn products: the Himalayan salt soap scrub in grapefruit eucalyptus, Type V Raw sugar soap scrub in warm vanilla, Avocado Wheatgrass soap putty in lime and ginger grass scent, and charcoal soap putty in night-bloom jasmine or ferrum (vanilla birch) scents!

Hart + Hawthorn soaps are truly the coolest, most beautiful looking soaps that not only keep your skin nourished and clean, but look really cool in your bathroom. I really love how gender neutral these products are. This is one of the few lines where my husband and I can indulge in the products together. My favorite of the bar soaps is No. 24 Impetus, a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing  mix of wheatgrass, pumice and charcoal featured below.H+H impetus


My husband’s fave is No. 206 Carbon Based with activated charcoal. He loves the scrubby texture.

Do you want to try  Hart + Hawthorn? 

Hart + Hawthorn are generously giving away an introductory Hart + Hawthorn Microcosm Set featured here to 2 winners!! Each set will include a 3.5 oz soy candle, a 2 oz jar of scrub, 2 half bars of soap, and a beard/hair tonic (or another substituted product) for two winners!! You choose the soaps and scents! After the interview we will tell you how you can win!

Andrea: Please introduce and tell us about your company and why was Hart + Hawthorn created?

H+H: Hart + Hawthorn is a small company that features handcrafted cold-process soaps, candles, salts and men’s care products made in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. We use a variety of botanical oils, clays, salts and plants to create products that soothe the body and warm the home. We started Hart + Hawthorn after purchasing a bar of handcrafted soap. The natural soap was so much better than what we’ve been using; we had to start making our own. Less than a year later we opened our shop, Paper Street Laboratories.

Andrea: What prompted the name change of Paper Street Laboratories to Hart + Hawthorn?

H+H: We had to change our name for legal reasons. Fight Club was one of our favorite movies and we were very disappointed when the name Paper Street had already been taken by another soap and candle company.

Andrea: I love Fight Club, the book and the movie! What is your bestselling Hart + Hawthorn vegan product?

H+H: Our bestselling vegan product is our Midnight Oil soap putty.

Hart + Hawthorn midnight It comes in a variety of scents and the activated charcoal adds a gentle clean!

Andrea: I can see why that’s popular, I have it in my shower as we speak! What is your favorite Hart + Hawthorn vegan product?

H+H: Our new favorite product is the shaving soap we are working on. These soaps are much like our natural soaps, but use clay to create a smooth lather and condition the skin.

Andrea: What is your background in creating skin care and home products?

H+H: We knew nearly nothing about soaps and candles a couple years ago. Since then, we’ve been researching, reading and making samples non-stop. Much of what we know comes from old fashioned trial and error and testing on ourselves and family.

Andrea: Your packaging design and soaps are visually stunning, what inspires you?

H+H: We love the way that natural soap is reminiscent of both the old and modern worlds. We are constantly inspired by vintage chemistry, old dictionary pages, alchemy symbols, antique science and the ingredients themselves.

Andrea: What makes your soaps different from other handcrafted soaps?

H+H: For us, the soaping process usually starts with a word or a feeling. We try to recreate that sense and soul through smell, color and texture. Each of our products ends up having their own unique story, use and place in the home.

Andrea: There you have it and if you are looking for something a bit more geeky, check out Yu’s other shop pharafax:

Now if you want to try Hart + Hawthorn or are already a fan but want to add to your collection,  you can be one of 2 winners who will receive an introductory Hart + Hawthorn Microcosm Set featured here !!

H+H giveaway

Click on the link below to enter by August 21, 2014.  Don’t forget to tell us what your favorite Hart + Hawthorn product is or what Hart + Hawthorn vegan product you want to try.

If you can’t wait to win, you always have the option to use coupon code VEGAN for 15% off any order at
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Vegan Presence Final Package Giveaway

Well it’s been fun sharing some of my favorite vegan products with you, but if you’ve been following us, you know that this is our last month. If you haven’t heard the news, please go here to find out why we are closing our subscription service. Our blog will remain open and active! Subscribe to this blog to learn more about future giveaways and read about all things vegan related, including travel!

1 lucky winner will each receive our very last June package that is no longer available. You can keep it or give it away as a gift!

If you’ve never tried Vegan Presence, this will be your only chance to try us out. For those of you already receiving our June package, you can try to win another because there are some variations in this month’s package!

Sorry but we only mail to Unites States or APO addresses. This giveaway only runs through June 10, 2015, 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, so hurry and enter!

Please comment below on what your favorite product received from Vegan Presence was, and/or what your favorite Vegan summer food is!

The more tasks you complete increases your chances! Once the randomly chosen winner is announced, the winner must respond to our notification e-mail within 24 hours with their mailing address. We are going on vacation to Africa and want to mail it to you before we go!

Best of Luck,
Co-Founder of Vegan Presence


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Win Vegan Presence’s Last Subscription: May & June

DOUBLE TROUBLE! 2 lucky winners will each receive our last subscription for 2 months: May AND June to keep for themselves or to give away as gifts!

These will be our last 2 packages. If you’ve never tried Vegan Presence, this will be your last chance to try both!

If you would rather purchase the packages you can do so here before we sell out, but since there’s multiple chances of winning,  go ahead and try to win! 

Sorry but we only mail to Unites States or APO addresses. This Giveaway expires May 9, 2014.

Comment below on what your #1 vegan beauty product is that you can’t live without!

Best of Luck!

Vegan Presence


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Important News: Vegan Presence Bids Farewell

Yes, it’s true after over a year we are ending Vegan Presence Subscriptions.

I have been living a vegan lifestyle for over 18 years and wanted to share my knowledge of wonderful vegan products. Together with my husband Krzysztof (Kris), we started Vegan Presence with the hopes of inspiring you to become vegan, vegetarian and/or make conscious choices as consumers for the animals, environment and your health. If you are already leading a vegan lifestyle, I wanted to introduce you to some of my favorite vegan products from eco-conscious companies that you may not have tried yet.

Please note that June will be the last month Vegan Presence packages go out.

What This means For you: If you have a subscription with us through June we will continue to offer our awesome vegan packages to you (April, May & June) but after the June package there will be no more renewals. For those of you whose subscriptions end in April or May, you will have the ability to purchase a May and/or a June package respectively, at a special rate not available to the public and will be contacted privately about the special insider sale. Make sure that your spam filters allow e-mails from  or from the domain

For those of you who have never tried Vegan Presence, there will be one more opportunity to purchase a May and/or a June package; however, only a limited number will be available and we may sell out.  I suggest you subscribe to this blog, follow us on social media or check our subscribe page for details when we begin selling those packages!

Why are we closing?
Vegan Presence is a labor of love but it’s not my only job and I find myself working 7 days a week with little time for family and friends. Additionally, I would like more time for myself to explore other pursuits and projects, as well as focus on other passions including animal and environmental activism and volunteer work. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I have a penchant for luxury travel and vegan dining and would love to have more time to share my world-wide vegan adventures with you through my blog Sprouting Random Thoughts, that will now simply be called Vegan Presence. The Vegan Presence blog will remain active and will still feature giveaways and useful vegan information. At this time, only our subscription service will end.

We sincerely thank you for supporting Vegan Presence and it has been our pleasure to share our favorite vegan products with you!
Andrea & Krzysztof (Kris)
Co-Founders of Vegan Presence

Vegan Presence April Package Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive 1 sold out April Vegan Presence package to keep for themselves or to give away as a gift!

You have multiple chances of winning,  just follow the Rafflecopter directions and Good Luck!

We can only mail within the Unites States.

Comment below what your favorite product has been in a past Vegan Presence package or what your favorite vegan beauty product or food item is!

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Vegan Presence Announcement #6

We are SOLD OUT for April!  Subscribe to our blog/mailing list with updates when we are accepting customers again.

We have a few giveaways planned, so make sure you are subscribed to this blog, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter 

Thank You for your support!  ♥ Vegan Presence

Review of Beach Organics + Interview with Founder


Beach Organics offers a complete line of certified organic bath and body products that are all natural and safe to use.  Almost all of their products are all vegan too with the exception of the deodorants and lip balms which contain organic beeswax. We featured Beach Organics wonderful certified organic soaps in our Vegan Presence February anniversary package for those lucky enough to get one before they sold out! I recently had the opportunity to chat with Susan Moore, Founder and CEO. Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to this awesome organic company that supports the community in many ways, including work with cancer patients!

Andrea: Please introduce and tell us about your company.

Susan: Beach Organics™ Skin Care is a certified organic, certified vegan skin care company that operates out of sunny Cocoa, Florida. We ensure that everything that leaves our facility is the best that it can be.  Our products are made in small controlled batches ingredients so that you, the consumer, don’t have to.

Andrea: Why was Beach Organics created?

Susan: I started Beach Organics™ Skin Care as a way to bring about change.  Most commercial products for skin and hair contain toxic chemicals.  We believe it is important not to use things like SLS, parabens, perfumes or artificial dyes on your body.  As an example, perfumes can have up to 80 ingredients before the scent is even added, and not all those ingredients are required to be disclosed to you.  Skin is the single largest organ in the human body.  It will readily absorb anything that comes in contact with it directly into the blood stream without benefit of a filter.  Parabens and SLS are in most skin care products; when you factor in shampoo, conditioner, soap and facial cleansers, you can begin to see how those chemicals get layered onto your body and absorbed into your blood stream.  We believe that food grade ingredients, things your body normally processes and digests happily, allow your system a better chance of fighting off disease.  Our food grade ingredients and plant based essential oils create a base that your body is not only familiar with, but able to process.  Some skin care products even contain chemicals that are in engine degreasers and radiator fluids.  Who wants to bathe in those?  “Nature is our Chemist” and “We take the aging out of bathing” are a couple of our trademarks.  We believe if you use good products your body doesn’t have to spend time metabolizing toxic ingredients, and can get back to the job it is supposed to do, which is making you the healthiest version of yourself.

Andrea: Why was it important to seek the many eco certifications Beach Organics has?

Susan: We wanted our customers to know we go the extra mile to insure our ingredients are pure and the best available.  We chose CCOF for our Organic Certification because the biggest companies, like Whole Foods and Bonners, used them.  We went through a 9 month process of ingredients being checked all the way back to the beginning of harvest, to the certified companies that distribute them to us.

Andrea: What’s your favorite vegan Beach Organics product?

Susan: Our soap is amazing.  Not only moisturizing, but can be used for multiple purposes.  You can shave your under arms, legs and bikini area in the shower as you lather up.  Men use it to shave their beards.  We do not have the harsh chemicals of shaving cream.  One product works for all these uses.  You can even wash your hair with our soap if you are on a trip.  We have customers who brush their teeth with it also.  At our company, we all use it as toothpaste.  Our soap works great for airplane travel, as one bar can be used for all your grooming needs and will go through the security check.


Andrea: What is your bestselling Beach Organics product?

Susan: Our best selling product is our deodorant, which was created with cancer patients in mind.  It is the most amazing product which we supply to many cancer centers throughout the U.S.  We use essential oils known for their natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.  You are able to sweat, which is your body’s natural detoxification process, without the odor.  I am personally in menopause and the deodorant works wonderfully.  I have 3 or 4 hot flashes an hour and do not worry anymore about smelling fresh all day. 

Andrea: What environmental or social causes are important to you?

Susan: We are passionate about people who are sick with cancer and cannot work, afford to buy groceries, or even to pay their bills.  As a result we donate to these causes.  Breast cancer is one of our biggest concerns.  1 in every 3 women in the U.S. will get breast cancer, up from 1 in 10 a few years ago.  We give to cancer centers who take patients even if they do not have money or insurance.  To hear even the children of some of these moms ask, “Mom, are you going to die from cancer?” lets us know that we are doing the things that would make our moms proud of us.

We also love the elderly.  We donate the other half of our proceeds to Meals on Wheels and a great organization called Aging Matters.  It matters to us.  The elderly are sometimes forgotten, so we have partnered with a wonderful organization that provides what is sometimes the only meal a person may get that day.  The organization also does well checks to see if there is any other need that they can meet, be it medical or personal.  Giving is our reason.  We give our customers the best products we can manufacture, and we give our profits to people who are not able to help themselves at some time in their life. 

beach organics


Beach Organics is an awesome company that dedicates their time to helping others, and is passionate about creating the safest, most effective natural and organic products. By supporting Beach Organics, you are directly involved in helping them help others. I love their hand-made soaps and find that they are non-drying, pleasant smelling, and love knowing that I am using and supporting organic!

Hurry and use coupon code organic to receive 20% off through the end of March 2014 at