Food Blog Forum Orlando: Disney Fun

I had the best time this past weekend at Food Blog Forum in Orlando, Florida in Walt Disney World. I was so fortunate to get to share a round table speaking with the amazingly talented, humble and genuine, Angie of Bakerella. We spoke on “Writing a Cookbook From Two Perspectives” to four different groups.

Food Blog Forum was founded by Jaden and Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen and Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple. This one day conference is always so inspiring (this was my 3rd event), and this is the most wonderful, sharing, open and welcoming group of speakers and food bloggers. I must give a shout out to the fantastic staff at Walt Disney World for their incredible hospitality and generosity as well as to Julie, from The Little Kitchen, and Dawn Viola for coordinating this event. One the big themes of the weekend which spoke to me is: “Dream big and share your dream with others” via the man himself, Walt Disney.

Of course, there was food to be had at a “Food Blog Conference.” We had the most incredible parties, including Friday night by the beach at the Grand Floridian, lunch by a multitude of top Disney’s chefs (see above), and a wonderful Irish dessert party while watching fireworks in Epcot on Saint Patrick’s Day.

I met so many new fabulous food bloggers, and I had the pleasure to connect with old friends as well. (See Kelly, from “Just a Taste”, and me at Epcot, above).

I also had the chance to check out some of the best Disney attractions. The Epcot “International Flower and Garden Festival” (above) was this month. It was unreal!

This shot (above) from Animal Kingdom is the mountain of Expedition Everest. Doesn’t this look like I could actually be at Mount Everest?

We went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride (above) in Animal Kingdom, and we saw so many rare, beautiful animals. I can’t believe how close this giraffe got to our jeep.

Downtown Disney is always a blast. You never know what you might find in Disney World. Did I mention that my kids came along as well? They haven’t been there in seven years, so it was quite a treat. My son, Zachary, was a little timid of her (above).

My daughter, Leigh, (above) told me she wanted a picture with Mickey and Minnie. Honestly I wasn’t sure that it would be possible, but if there is a will, there is a way.

We loved staying at the convenient, and very, fun Polynesian Resort. Their beach (above) was so pretty, and their water slide in the pool was a hit with the kids. It’s a perfect way to spend time outside of the parks for some down-time.

Off to Nashville for Food Blog Forum

I’m so excited to be heading to Nashville this Friday to attend and speak at Food Blog Forum. Nashville is one of my favorite cities, and what better place to host a hugely talented bunch of food experts, bloggers and brands. I am honored and thrilled to be speaking with Kelly Senyei, from Gourmet Live and Just a Taste, on a “Recipe Writing & Development” panel. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and getting to know her over the last few months, and we have some great information to share. I am also speaking on an “Experts” Round Table on “Working with TV and Media”. I think this conference will be so much fun! Join us if you can.

So who else is going to be there? OMG, where do I start? Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple, Amanda Bottoms from Kevin and Amanda, Jenny Flake of Picky Palate, Beth Sachan of Eat.Drink.Smile, Lindsay Landis of Love and Olive Oil, Tami Hardeman of Running with Tweezers and so many of my fabulous new (and not so new) blogger friends which I can’t wait to meet and see. Have a great weekend everyone!

Food Blog Forum-Atlanta Recap: Wonderful Learning and New Friends

I am so fortunate to have attended Food Blog Forum in Atlanta this past weekend. Atlanta is a simple drive from Birmingham so I was very lucky to be able to travel such a short distance. I am not sure where to start to describe this conference, but it was awesome (and for such an incredible price). Not only was the information presented so amazing, but I can’t say enough about the unbelievable people I met. There’s almost too many to name, and I don’t want to leave anyone out. This was the nicest group of people I have encountered in probably, forever. I have to thank Jaden from Steamy Kitchen, Todd and Diane from  White on Rice Couple, and Gwen from Bunky Cooks for organizing such an amazing event. Y’all are so awesome and have such great talent, personality and heart. Special thanks to Preyna of Indian Simmer and Angie of Bakerella for sharing their photos for this post (my camera battery was dead).

My Favorite Things about Food Blog Forum Atlanta:

1. The Watermelon Pork Belly Skewers and Pork Tacos prepared by Kevin Rathbun of Rathbuns.

2. Meeting Todd, Diane and Jadan. These three couldn’t be more talented and wonderfully sweet and genuine all in one.

3. Hanging out at The Viking Store Atlanta and tasting incredible food and wine in a wonderful shop filled with everything I wanted to buy. It was hard to resist.

4. Driving and talking to Amy, She Wears Many Hats, Debra and Rod of Smith Bites, Robyn, Add a Pinch and Winnie, Healthy Green Kitchen. Truly a fun and talented group!

5. Listening to my friend, Virginia Willis, and meeting and listening to Alysa of Bella Cucina as well as Jaden’s insights on “Building a Personal Brand”. They are all beyond amazing.

6. Having lunch with Julie from Mommiecooks, Preyna of Indian Simmer, Megan from What’s Megan Making and Wendy of The Local Cook.

7. The amazingly informational photography, photo gear and styling tips by Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple.

8. Meeting and chatting with Nashville talents Lyndsay and Taylor of Love and Olive Oil, Beth of  Eat, Drink Smile and Julie of The Little Kitchen

9. Hanging with Angie (who gave me my first blog advice ever) of Bakerella and Beverly and Alyssa of  Kitchen Scoop of the famous newspaper column, “Desperation Dinners”.

10. Realizing that the food blog community is beyond special. This group of people was so kind, real, talented and passionate about what they are doing. It was, and is, truly inspiring!