The excitement I feel is filled to overflowing!! Never in my wildest dreams would I think I’d be able to attend a food blogging conference. As a mom of 3 with a hubby who works fairly long hours….as much as a getaway to BlogHer Food in Atlanta would be GREAT…it’s just not gonna happen. Not to mention the ticket cost, the far away travel, the work days that I’d have to piece together childcare…the list is endless and depressing. But hey, that’s okay. I love what I do!!! I knew that one day I’d get find something closer to home and more in my budget.
Then along came the TWEET that made my day!! Back in late February, I saw a tweet announcing that Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen would be hosting a Food Blog Forum right here in her home state of Florida!! Yay….and Orlando is right in my backyard! A day long “build your BEST blog” seminar in my budget too, nonetheless….$99 for a 1 day seminar, and a pre and post party to attend. WOW!!! I felt like I’d hit the jackpot!! A day to spend with fellow food bloggers (many local Floridians) learning about my passions and eating good food.
Not to mention a LONG-awaited break from being a “mom.” Let’s face it…as much as we LOVE our children (and we DO), we mamas all NEED a break to recharge, renew, refresh and come back ready to tackle anything. I think the almost 4 years I’ve waited (to have some mama/girlfriend time away) may have been TOO big of a stretch, but that just further shows what a GREAT BARGAIN I’m getting out of my $99. Did I mention that this $99 includes the pre and post party and most of my food? Yeah…I’m beyond giddy!! If a picture were worth a thousand words…this picture would just about sum up my motto for the weekend…
But wait…it gets BETTER!! I know….how in the world could this get any better? Of course, I’m gonna fill you in. I get to share the trip with a fellow local food blogger Michelle of The Domestic Mama!! We get to drive up together sharing the expenses of gas and lodging (there’s that frugal nature again…ok, who am I kidding…it’s as much about the needing girlfriend and fellow mama time!!), further get to know each other and FINALLY MEET!! We’ve gone from forum to twitter to email to Facebook, but haven’t had a chance to hook up in real life yet.
Crazzzyy I know, but with both of us being busy mamas….that’s just how the whole thing played out. Hubby thinks it’s better that we didn’t get to meet up before hand. I think he’s almost as excited as I am that I’m meeting my FIRST “in-real life food blogger” AND attending my FIRST “food blog conference.” I know I’m blessed…he’s that cool! He totally gets my passion…that it’s not ONLY cooking and creating, but sharing it with others through my blog and getting to meet others that like to do the same. Even though blogging has really taken off in the past 5 years, I still get strange looks when I say I have a FOOD blog. LOL!! (I really need a plug-in that allows me to do smileys on here…it drives me crazy that I can’t!)
I’m attending Food Blog Forum Orlando this weekend. I know some of you are curious what the heck a Food Blog Conference is…I know I used to be! I’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon April 8th and coming home Sunday afternoon April 10th. My mom has blessed me IMMENSELY by coming over before hubby gets off work in order to watch the girls so I could get up to Orlando for the pre-party Friday night at Whole Foods. Yay…you know I LOVE Whole Foods!!
My hubby and girls will have a FUN-filled weekend complete with sneaking off to buy another pet McDonalds and to buy sugary cereal I’m sure. All those fun things daddies get to do!! I’m NOT offended that my girls are as excited as me about my leaving…I was a kid once. They want daddy time, but I know they are also excited for me. Especially my 12 yr old daughter…she’s wanted to know every detail and it’s been fun sharing this with her. Long-winded….back to the details….
Of the seminars, I’m most excited about Blog design,Optimization and Usability and Finding your Composition, Styling voice and Light: food styling/food photography. Don’t know who I’m kidding…I’m interested in ALL of them!! The wrap up party on Saturday night is at McCormick and Schmick’s seafood restaurant. I’m still excited about all the meals I’ll be eating on my own….with no worries of fixing the 3 year old’s plate everyone’s plate first. If you’re interested in following our adventures this weekend, I’ll be live tweeting with the hashtag #FBF (if that changes, I’ll let you know). On Twitter I’m @CreativKitchen, and if you’re new to Twitter it REALLY helps to download the FREE Tweetdeck. Twitter makes much more sense that way. I’ll also be updating Creative Kitchen on Facebook as well. Yeah, I’m kind of a social media addict…don’t worry, I’ll be having a great time….I just like to “share” it with others LOL!!
I’d love to hear about your real life meet-ups! How many of you have been to a food blog conference or local food blogger meet up? Have you met any food bloggers in person? What did you all do? If you haven’t yet, do you have any conferences or things on your radar to check out this year?