I think we’re all trying to eat healthier. We’ve all had it drilled in to our heads about the importance of nutrition. From early childhood, we were taught to eat from the food pyramid. Over the years, there’s been an onslaught of diet books and breaking news about certain foods being good or bad for us. What are we to believe? Here’s my take.Continue reading…
Since 2016 rolled in, I’ve been busy in The Log Home Kitchen whipping up a storm. And it’s not food! Sans the fat, sugar, and calories, I’ve become passionate about making handmade soap. It’s good for me and my family, and good for you and yours as well.
Have you ever wanted to just check out from the daily grind? To chuck all routine and responsibility, if just for a few days? We did! Hubs and I took a maiden voyage with our new-to-us travel trailer and headed to beautiful northern Idaho.
Professional development can play an integral part to one’s success in any business platform or area of interest. After an extended stay in southern California, I’ve returned home to tell you all about the incredible experience I had networking with, learning from, and drinking with (yep, that too!) a fabulous group of like minded and extremely talented foodies over this past weekend.
Enter in Camp Blogaway 2015. Camp what, you say?
I was in serious need of a mental health break. Spending hours upon hours in isolation baking, cooking, creating, photographing, and writing was starting to make me a little cuckoo. Luckily, I was able to attend the perfect venue to expand my food blogging horizons.
People often ask, “Can you really make money food blogging?” The short answer is, yes. Any venture worthy of a decent payday takes a lot of time, hard work, commitment, and perseverance. Success doesn’t just happen overnight. If you think it does, think again. It’s certainly not handed out on a silver platter. And so it is with food blogging.
An intimate group of approximately 80 attendees gathered in a picturesque setting of the Angeles National Forest for a bootcamp specifically designed for active food and recipe bloggers. Public relations agents, name brand food product sponsors, media specialists, accomplished bloggers, and newbies such as myself made up the A-list.
From mid-afternoon Friday to noon on Sunday, the schedule was jam-packed with activities and learning. We talked about social media strategies, do’s and don’ts, working with brands, SEO (it’s okay, I didn’t know what it was at one time either), and the personal side of blogging. Christina Peters held a work session on using natural light for food photography. It was awesome!
Here, Don Odiorne, aka Dr. Potato of the Idaho Potato Commission, leads a panel discussion about working with brands, and the things they are looking for to partner with bloggers.
Imagine, sitting out on a sun-filled deck in the crisp cool air of the mountains learning from experts in the food world. I had to keep pinching myself!
The schedule was set up so that not a single session could be missed. At larger conferences, they pack in thousands of people in a huge hotel. There are so many tracks of information running simultaneously that it’s practically impossible to soak in all there is to learn. The chances of striking up meaningful relationships and networking opportunities is overshadowed by the shear numbers in attendance.
Camp Blogaway 2015 clicked along at a steady beat from sunrise to sundown and beyond. The sessions were paced so there wasn’t a bunch of lag time, as in standing around waiting for the next track to scatter off to. Everyone remained in one large meeting room at the lodge for most of the day. There were decks and walking trails to take breaks and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
At the end of the day, we retreated to our assigned cabins and bunk beds. It had been a long time since I’d slept in a sleeping bag. I was so tired each evening I really didn’t care what I slept in.
The sky was bright blue each day, the birds sang, and the chipmunks chattered. It was a great place to unplug from the world (literally) and focus on the purpose of being there. To learn. To network. To forge new relationships.
I don’t feel so alone anymore. The camaraderie and support will continue on after everyone has gone back to their respective cocoons. I left feeling validated that I’m on the right track in my chosen new venture. I feel like I belong, and that I have many talents and insights to offer.
For now, the real work begins.
To pull something like this together takes a very special, spirited, and organized leader. Kudos to our fearless leader, Patti Londre, who spearheaded the gathering. She has an infectious energy, and managed to shush the crowd when things got a bit on the noisy side.
Camp Blogaway couldn’t happen without the support of these incredible sponsors that shared their products and knowledge with us. Sincere thanks to Wilton, Wente Vinyards, Klondike Brands/Potandon, Canadian Lentils, North Carolina Sweet Potatoes, Mann Produce, Cabot Cheese, California Almonds and the Almond Board, Sanguinetti Red Walnuts, Arianna Trading Company, and Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs. I hope I haven’t left anyone out. There were a lot of brands.
Many thanks to the cooks who fed us well, and the caretakers who made sure our accommodations were clean and comfortable.
A great time was had by all. There were miles of smiles and a terrific sense of passion for what we all love and do. Here’s the group photo of everyone who was there, including me where the arrow points. Were my eyes closed?
Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to attend this awesome event again next year. Same place. Same time. Until then, I have many notes and information to take in from this wonderful experience.
Do you have the opportunity to go to conferences for your profession? If so, are they worth it? Do you walk away feeling like you learned something?
It’s back to the kitchen I go. Please stop back in to see what I’m stirring up.
Have a great weekend, and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you great Moms out there!
A Wellness and Writing Retreat was just what the doctor ordered. Nestled in a secluded valley of southern Idaho, twelve remarkable women gathered for the weekend to breathe in fresh mountain air, eat nutritious food, exercise, share personal stories, and to write. It was nothing short of a rendezvous with fate.
Besides, my dietary habits had been teetering on sugar load. Protein-filled power breakfasts of green smoothies, fruit salads, and yogurt cups filled with chia seeds, blueberries and nuts were a welcomed change. I think my body appreciated it. In fact, I know it did.
I had no idea what I was getting in to. Nor do I believe any of the others did either. Sometimes these types of affairs can leave one with the feeling of “How on earth did I end up here?” In this particular case, I felt like I belonged.
The only other times this has happened is when I have gotten together with my Allrecipeeps, a fond word we use to refer to one another that make up the wonderful, caring Allrecipes community.