Hey folks!

I can't believe it's already been a week since the International Food Blogger Conference in Santa Monica.  I was so thrilled to go on behalf of Wellsphere to soak up all the information and network with other bloggers!  So here is my recap from the conference!  Enjoy!

On Friday afternoon, I arrived at the hotel and the lobby was already buzzing with attendees. I checked in and grabbed my official badge!

Then I headed in and took a seat for the official welcome and first two sessions; "Blogging Your Values"  followed by "Food Styling and Photography."  To see a full agenda and speakers that presented, click here!  I found the "Food Styling and Photography" session to be quite fascinating.  Matt Armendariz  was a dynamic and entertaining speaker and had such a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.  I am far from a food photographer, but he gave some great tips on how anyone can take great food photos even with an iPhone and no other fancy equipment around!

After the first two sessions, we headed into the lobby for the OpenSky reception.  I must admit that I was quite hungry by this time, even though I had eaten a big lunch beforehand in preparation that there might not be any vegan eats available.  Sadly, there weren't any vegan offerings at the reception, so I took a seat and ended up meeting the fabulous Chrystal of the and having a wonderful conversation which quickly took my mind off being hungry!
After the reception, it was time for the "Taste of Santa Monica" which was our chance to grab some food samples from local restaurants in the area.  It was also time to get some swag from the gifting table! I was looking forward to the food samples because I knew that vegan hot spot Real Food Daily was going to be in attendance and I would be able to feed my hungry belly!  They had these delicious wraps that I dived into:

Don't worry, that isn't my plate- I only took one. :-)

During this time I also struck up conversation with fellow vegan Denise of Bake Anything! We both talked about being the minority in this group pertaining to food choice, but also about our backgrounds and what brought us to the conference. We were both very over the moon to see that Sprinkles Bakery, which I talked about here, had some vegan red velvet cupcakes for us to devour! I love how they put "V's" on the cupcakes!

We popped a squat (is that the right expression? lol) and ate our cupcakes while listening to Keynote Jonathan Gold! My night was through after that as I declined to take part in the after hours event at Santa Monica Place.  I went home and sifted through my swag like a big kid!

This dark pic is not indicative of what I learned at the photog workshop!
As you can tell from the agenda, the weekend was packed with some great sessions in which I learned a great deal and met some awesome fellow bloggers!  I will admit at times I had to take a deep breath and not get overwhelmed by all of the information about what more I can be doing as a blogger to build my brand and a business. I mean how many social networks can one handle?! I was most blown away and inspired by Melissa Lanz in the "Monetizing Your Blog" session.  Make money while you sleep anyone? Check her out here!  I took plenty of notes throughout that I plan to put to good use!

I did get some great video recaps from CEO of Foodista (one of the conference organizers) Barnaby Dorfman, Crystal of Duo Dishes and Denise of Bake Anything (mentioned above) and Annelies of Attune Foods, but I'm having technical difficulties with the upload.  I will try to get this resolved and if so, I will do a separate post to include those so you can hear their thoughts. In the meantime, just be sure to hit up their websites to learn all about them!

I'm still sifting through the many business cards I obtained and also want to give a special shout to Cathy of "What Would Cathy Eat" who treked over to Real Food Daily to grab lunch with me on Saturday since sadly the food trucks weren't delivering much in the way of vegan food.  Cathy- I'll be heading over to your site to get the recipe for that homeade vegan pie crust you told me about!

Finally, the weekend would not have been complete if  hadn't been able to connect with fellow Wellsphere blogger Amie Valpone of the Healthy Apple!  She was a blast and hope to connect with her at another conference sometime soon!

I'll close with this great piece of advice I took away from speaker Kathleen Flinn - "Always carry a notebook because there is a story everywhere you go"! 


  1. "popped a squat" is definitely the right and joyful term for that! Love it(:

  2. LOL!! Great, thanks so much for confirming!! :-)


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