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 info@veganpresence.com if you are interested.

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

Andrea/Vegan Presence

 

Multi-purpose Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps

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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!  http://www.drbronner.com

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!

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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:
www.etsy.com/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 https://www.etsy.com/shop/HartandHawthorn
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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,
Andrea,
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 info@veganpresence.com  or from the domain veganpresence.com

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

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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.

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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 www.beachorganicsskincare.com

 

 

 

 

We have our Om Nom Nom cookie winner!

om nom nom 6 pack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for participating in the Om Nom Nom giveaway! Congrats to Jennifer W. who will get to enjoy a variety of vegan gourmet cookies courtesy of Om Nom Nom cookies! Enjoy them with a glass of soy milk or your favorite non-dairy drink, yum!

Stay tuned as we have more giveaways coming up! Be sure to subscribe to this blog so you’re in the know!

A delicious giveaway: OM NOM NOM cookies

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Cookies are my favorite sweets and I was really excited to try OM NOM NOM  gourmet vegan cookies. We carried some of them in one of our previous Vegan Presence packages. 

Red Velvet is my favorite one because it’s so unique and taste just like Red Velvet cake. It’s their softest cookie too which I love. I think the red color is just beautiful!

red velvet

Orange Zested Chocolate Chip is my second favorite cookie of theirs. It’s like their chocolate chip cookie but it has a very tasty orange zest to it. Orange and chocolate are such a killer combo. 

I’ve always loved snickerdoodles as a child and they carry 2 very unique versions of the classic snickerdoodle. They have a Chocolate Snickerdoodle for all you chocoholics out there, and a Spicy Mexican Snickerdoodle which is muy delicioso (very delicious)! It’s spiciness is due to the pinch of cayenne and uniqueness due to the cinnamon. It reminds me of a Mexican Hot Chocolate drink, yum! 

om nom nom cookies

I’m not a fan of anything that tastes too healthy. I eschew granola, trail mix and anything bland tasting and dry. I was worried that the Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal cookies would be too healthy tasting but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Even though I typically do not like nuts and fruits in my cookies; I have to say that these are sooo good. They are moist and amazing. I think they should come up with an oatmeal chocolate chip next! 

Peanut Butter cookies are dear to my heart. I love anything with peanut butter so I knew these would be awesome and they are! 

Now that you guys are salivating, you probably want to try these right? Well your in luck because OM NOM NOM  is giving away  one mix and match pack which contains six of their delicious vegan cookies! Please note, cookies contain wheat and/or nuts for those with allergies to these. This giveaway is only open to US residents. 

om nom nom 6 pack

Good luck and may the winner enjoy these with a tall glass of soy milk (or their favorite non-dairy milk) not included with the giveaway. :) 

What’s your favorite Om Nom Nom cookie, or which one are you really excited about trying? 

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 * photos are courtesy of Om Nom Nom’s