Here it is, my recap of the BlogHer Food conference held this past weekend in Miami!
Let me begin by first saying that by the end of 2-3 days (if not more, if you stayed longer) you too will be pooped like I was. Face down passed out with my fur babies, Grizz-Lee and Chocolate. (c’mon all together now… “Awww”)
**Warning: this post is longer than usual as it’s categorized as a Life post. It’s hard to shorten life events. Please bare with me**
Last Thursday started out perfect. May have not ended so well with the storm in Miami but it could have been worse compared to my other crazy flying experiences. You can read about it here.
This shot was taken from the skies of Nashville, TN where I stayed for a 3 hour layover. We all know East coast skies were not pretty that particular day. Aren’t these puffy white clouds beautiful?! Ok that’s boring… moving on.
Within the past year, I’ve been to several blogging events, many of which was held right here in the city of New York. Many local bloggers would attend and it has always been a great experience however, I also found it to be very limited. From the events I’m aware of, I have yet to find one that is large enough to house hundreds of bloggers from across the nation right here in the city. So when BlogHer Food decided to have their conference held in Miami, I knew instead of reading and seeing friendships grow from behind the curtain, I needed to throw myself out there and take advantage of this opportunity to just go.
Without a doubt, this has been the best blogging experience I have had to date. Nothing can compare to having “Oh your dessert looks so pretty” type of comments from blogger friends to actually blossoming into real friendships when you meet face-to-face!
From the very first night, I finally had the chance to meet Allie from Baking a Moment. We roomed together and it was awesome! She’s such a sweet person and naturally we just hit it off. Sometimes we even hit off till 2, 3, even 5 in the morning just yappin’. There was always something to talk about.
Now normally I struggle to get out of bed in the morning but that first day when I woke, I was high on excitement! The feeling that overcame me was surreal. As I continued to talk to Allie about how awful Miami is treating our hair, my nerves began to heighten. All I kept thinking about was the thought of closing that hotel room door behind me and walking downstairs into that large conference room filled with bloggers who I’ve admired. It really got me shaking in the knees and at the same time, it was exhilarating.
The first person I recognized as I walked into the conference room was Jocelyn from Grandbaby Cakes. Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt as though you already knew them? That’s how I felt with Jocelyn. I walked right up to her and gave her a hug hello. Normally I wouldn’t do that people. Maybe it was my nerves or maybe it’s from watching her videos that made me feel as though I already knew her. Regardless, she’s awesome! Above from left to right there’s Kevin from Closet Cooking, Nicole from Brown Sugar, Jocelyn, myself, Alice from HipFoodie Mom and Allie.
Later four of us girls came up to my room to drop off our swag. There was LOTS of swag! We took a moment to embrace the gorgeous view of our room that had 50 % of its walls floor to ceiling windows!! Then, we decided to stop and take a selfie in front of the Miami city which didn’t come out so great but I still love this picture.
This is us back downstairs chattin’ it up with potential sponsors. Then I met Dianna from The Kitchen Prep on the far right. This photo was supposed to look like a beach. It came out meh but you get the point.
Soon after we lounged in the CVS room filled with tons of delicious goodies, we saw David Lebovitz enter and OH MY G*D!! Actually that was more Alice speaking! Sorry Alice! :) We all whispered and giggled like little school girls who couldn’t control ourselves and I could have sworn he knew because he came right up to us and starting talking. I suddenly became speechless. Shortly after, he then left and I think we all regretted not taking a photo with him so we followed him outside and eventually snagged a pic. Yesss!
Here’s day 2 at the conference where a bunch of us went on the “supposed to be” shopping excursion and instead had a really long lunch that led us to miss not one but two buses that came back for us. From front left clockwise: Alice, Allie, Kevin, Erica from Mama’s Mission, Shaina from Take a Bite Out of Boca, Dianna, myself, Tara from Nutrition Soul, and Nicole.
Here’s our Ellen DeGeneres take on our selfie on the air train. Just trying to distract ourselves that we were honestly completely lost in Miami.
“Let’s try it again… ok this one is a little better.”
Um, do you recognize someone different in this group?!! Yes, that’s right. It’s Dorothy from Crazy for Crust. And yes, this girl partied like a rock star. As Jocelyn said to me I’m going to use the same phrase for Dorothy… she was indeed “cuttin’ a rug” on the dance floor!
She’s someone I’ve actually always admired and will never forget her ICEE cupcakes that lead me to her blog AND just so happened she was my very first blog subscription.
I still consider myself to be a “noobie” blogger. I don’t know… when does it end? When is that cut-off when you can call yourself a veteran? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll never know or perhaps one day something will happen and then I’ll realize, “Wow, I’ve been in the game long enough I ought to stop telling people I’m new.” Who knows!
But if there’s one thing I can tell you from what I’ve learned by attending this event, it is to continue attending the meetings, the conferences and the variety of classes that involves your passion.
MEET PEOPLE IN PERSON. When you do, you’re on a whole different ball game with that person. They will view you differently and if you make a good impression, THEY WILL REMEMBER YOU. To new bloggers, to the veteran bloggers, to the shy and the outspoken, I feel this piece of information is invaluable. Don’t hide behind your computer and even though it may be tough, I did it. I am one shy gal but I made the jump. At some point you just have to. I hope this helps and if you see me at an event, say hi. I won’t bite. The food yes, but not you :)
All in all, I would highly recommend if you have the opportunity to go a blogger event, do it! It was SO much fun and I’ve already booked my next trip with many of these same girls to go to PA for another event. :)
A huge thank you to my boyfriend Wes for making it happen and watching our babies during my trip!