Can you tell that we were having a blast?
Yes, my attending and speaking at the BlogHer Food conference in Austin, Texas was for work but it was so fun! We bloggers love to get out from behind our computer screens and have a good time! My friend, Sheila from Eat 2 Gather, and I had too much fun together last year and this year was another opportunity for us to eat, chat, and catch up.
I arrived Thursday with my husband (he came with me and is doing a guest post about HIS frugal adventures in Austin later this week) and had a packed schedule of meetings, conference sessions, and parties for the long weekend. Honestly, just getting the two of us out the door, readying the house for grandma, and organizing the kids and food for the weekend was exhausting! (I billed this as a vacation for my mom – she didn’t have to cook or clean – the kids would do it all. As you can imagine, the kids were pretty happy to have us back at home. It was exhausting for them!)
Saturday morning was my speaking session on “Food Preservation and Reducing Food Waste” with Sean Timberlake from Punk Domestics and Kate Payne from the Hip Girls’ Guide to Homemaking. It was fun to compare our different methods for preserving stone fruit (peaches), eggs, and carrots. Both Sean and Kate are professionals when it comes to preserving foods and keeping it from turning into waste.
We managed to keep on topic during our kitchen demonstration session and had a lively audience who added to the presentation.
I met so many great folks at the conference and love putting a name with a face. While our line of work is “online,” there is nothing better than meeting and connecting in real life. If you have the opportunity to attend a conference, go for it! You’ll learn, share, and make new friends. BlogHer has several conferences throughout the year and is an excellent resource for the online community.
Two companies I’d like to thank…
A very big thank you to Attune Foods, who makes among other healthy foods, Uncle Sam cereal. I eat Uncle Sam breakfast cereal every single morning (mixed with some of my homemade granola) and even bring it with me when I travel. It’s whole wheat and flaxseed goodness and they also make a tasty gluten-free cereal.
Another very big thank you to Barhyte Specialty Foods, who are a local company that make Saucy Mama sauces and condiments. I met the Barhyte family last year at a food event and enjoyed hearing how their family gatherings begin with taste testing of the latest concoctions.
These companies sponsored me to attend the conference in Austin and for that, I am grateful. Attending conferences is an integral part of online communities because even in our high-tech world, nothing beats meeting folks in person and making new friends. It’s expensive for bloggers like myself to attend and travel to conferences and sponsors help make it all work! Thank you.
If you’d like to sponsor me for a conference, please check out my “influencer” page and let’s see how we can work together.
First picture: Ninja had a photo booth at the closing party and Sheila and I were totally hamming it up! The party was dinner and dancing with a live band at Stubbs BBQ in Austin. It was an awesome party hosted by Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman, Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes, and Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen – and we danced up a storm!
Second picture: Andrew Wilder from Eating Rules took the second photograph. He writes on his blog about how healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. He’s right. Thank you, Andrew.
Third, fourth, and fifth pictures: Laura Watt from Cubit’s Organic Living took the photographs and graciously allowed me to share them with you. She was snapping pictures while we were working and talking – and I completely overlooked asking someone to take a few pictures for me. Thank you, Laura.
Have you ever been to Austin, TX? If you’re a blogger, what conferences would you recommend?
Go Gingham related links:
BlogHer in my backyard – a fun blogger event I hosted
BlogHer food and too much fun last year’s BlogHer Food in Seattle
WordPress resource books – you can find these at your library
Create your own website (or blog!) Go Gingham style
The launch of my professional site is here and my first speaking schedule
Free tools for your blog or website – really, free!