I’m still recovering from my weekend in Seattle for BlogHer Food 2012.
From Thursday afternoon to Sunday evening, it was a whirlwind of friends, networking, learning, and eating! There wasn’t time for a lot of sleeping, unfortunately, which is why I’m a bit useless at the moment!
Thursday night set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Susan from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic and Paula from Bell’alimento hosted a little shindig at their place, complete with delicious food and great giveaways!
An assortment of Kerrygold cheeses, Johnsonville meatballs and sausage crostini, and Scharffenberger brownies. Don’t forget the mighty fine “Take 5” fudge and chocolate toffee swirl marshmallows made by my friend Carrie from Fields of Cake!
Check out the amazing view from their living room!
After some eating and giveaways, we all headed down to a little networking/welcome party hosted by ZipList, which allows you to browse recipes and then create customized grocery lists based on the ingredients.
And then we headed back for a Stonyfield smoothie party, hosted by Brandi from BranAppetit! We got to try smoothies and frozen yogurt and hang out with the girls from Stonyfield. Not a bad way to end the night!
It was quite the busy evening for me! By the time I got back to my hotel, it was close to midnight, which meant it was 3 am back in Atlanta!
As you can imagine, the alarm went off way too early for my liking in the morning. But it was Day 1 of BlogHer Food 2012 and I was excited to get started!
Here are some things I’ve learned from attending these conferences:
- Bring business cards! You absolutely need these, since you will be networking and meeting lots of new faces.
- It’s okay if you don’t snap pictures of every moment of the conference. You’ll drive yourself crazy. And it’s okay to use your iPhone instead of juggling a big camera, swag bags, and other things.
- By the same token, you don’t have to tweet every single thing said at the conference. Trust me, there will be others doing it for you.
- Try to sit down with people you don’t know at breakfast and lunch — that’s how you’re going to meet new people. I’m shy, but I make myself do it.
- Don’t over-pack. Really. You’ll be coming home with bags of swag and you need the room.
- Wear comfortable shoes, you will be standing around or walking everywhere. Your feet will thank you.
- Don’t be afraid to approach people to introduce yourself. I have a hard time with this, but I have to remember that the other person may be just as shy as you too.
- Remember to have fun!
Enough with the lecturing, time for some pictures!
My new blogging mantra:
All that, and we’re only up to snack time in the afternoon! What? It’s a food blogger conference, of course there’s going to be food everywhere!
Friday night’s plans were attending the official welcome cocktail reception and then a “Cocktails and Convo” party hosted by Brandi and Stonyfield.
Crab corn dogs! If I could have, I would have just followed the server around and eaten them all.
Cocktails and Convo party — all the appetizers and desserts were made with Stonyfield yogurt!
Some random guy across the street who didn’t have blinds on his windows. He was walking around without his shirt off, which definitely got our attention. He totally knew what he was doing — walking around his bedroom, kitchen, standing in front of his window at his laptop. I wasn’t the only one taking pictures!
Friday night was another late night for me, and I was definitely feeling it on Saturday. I came down for breakfast and then snuck back up for a nap before morning sessions. Trust me, I needed it.
I have to say, the highlight of the day was the lunch-time excursion to the Pike Place Market! I met up with my friends Raj and Sonia from Velvet Aroma and we made a new friend on the way there, Sharbani from Learning to Poach.
We originally started off with a group who were doing an outdoor photography session during the outing, but we ended up splitting off and doing our own thing. This was a good opportunity for me to play around with my new camera, so I went crazy with the pictures.
Raj and Sharbani.
Sonia and me.
After our lunchtime excursion, we headed back for our afternoon sessions. I was still feeling a bit run-down, so I checked out the snacks and headed back to my room for some quiet time. I can’t be around people constantly and with a weekend as intense as this one, I needed some alone time. Besides, we had one last night of fun coming up!
Saturday night’s plans were to head out to the closing/goodbye party and then go out to dinner afterwards. I didn’t take too many pics at the party, but I think you’ll like these!
Sala from Veggie Belly, me, Sonia, and Sharbani.
Yeah, we were rocking the mustaches!
After the party I met up with Susan, Carrie, Paula, Shari from Tickled Red, and Angie from Eclectic Recipes for some dinner at Benihana! I hadn’t been there in years, but remembered the onion volcano!
Another late night to tick off my list!
This was a good wind-down to the weekend, with great food and a relaxing vibe.
I headed back to my hotel after this to check out and then meet my sister’s friend Madhu and her new husband for lunch and to hang out. We had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and then Madhu took me around the waterfront, back to Pike Place Market, and finally for some coffee and chit-chat.
The infamous gum wall:
It was great hanging out and catching up, and soon it was time for me to head back to the hotel to wait for my shuttle to the airport for the red-eye flight back to Atlanta. Thanks, Madhu and Brian for spending your Sunday afternoon with me!
One last sight of Seattle:
I didn’t even get to scratch the surface of what Seattle has to offer, so I will be back! I had an amazing weekend and still can’t believe it’s already over. But next time I will need to get some sleep while I’m there!
I couldn’t post all my pictures, unfortunately, but check out my Flickr album so you can see them all.