BlogHerFood 16

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This time last week I was just getting back home exhausted from a weekend of eating, learning, eating, sharing, learning, networking, eating, meeting new people and experiencing new brands and did I mention earing?  This was my weekend at BlogHerFood16, oh yeah and the closeout party.  It was an amazing experience and a great investment.

Last November was my first experience with BlogHerFood.  It was held in Chicago, my hometown, and it was an excellent way for me to learn more about the craft of blogging.  While not a food blogger, I felt that surely there would be some universal lessons that could be learned at the conference so why not.  It was a great decision.  I learned more than I ever thought I would as well as met people who are still a prat of my life today.

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This year was no exception.  BlogHerFood16 was a great conference and an excellent opportunity to learn from the best and the brightest in the blogging community.  For those who think that this conference is only for food bloggers, you are wrong.  This conference is for anyone who wants to learn how to take their blog to the next level and how to use the latest and greatest tips, tools and techniques to be successful at blogging.  This conference is more intimate than the annual BlogHer conference, so it provides you the opportunity to learn in a more relaxed and less hectic environment than the annual conference.

The attendees at the conference as well as the presenters were awesome.  The Food Network Stars, the Smolletts, of Smollett Eats  gave a cooking demonstration of one of their famous family recipes and we were able to sample some of the food as well.  Helluva Good hosted a reception with the Real Housewives of Dallas Brandi Redmond with champagne and appetizers.  And for the closing keynote we were treated to the wit, wisdom and comedy of The Chew’sCarla Hall, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Lisa Lillien.

In addition to the presenters and workshops there are the sponsors.  A few of my favorites this year were Owls Brew as well as Helluva Good!.  Helluva Good had a recharge lounge where you could charge your electronic devices as well as sit back and enjoy endless chips and  dip.  Or veggies and dip, for those working on their figures.  Hamilton Beach was there as well as Analon, Bay’s English Muffins, Martins Potoato Rolls, and Canadian lentils among others.

If you were every contemplating whether or not to attend the conference, don’t hesitate.  The knowledge imparted as well as the people you meet and the things you learn are definitely worth the investment.  The workshops and presentations while mostly for food bloggers can be used for any blogger.  The atmosphere makes it easy to mix, mingle, network and ask questions, have discussions and learn from other bloggers as well.

And side note, these ladies know how to throw a party.  The closing party was at Maggie Maes on 6th street at a huge rooftop party space with more food, drinks and dancing.  It was a great way to end the conference and to spend time with new friends and old friends, laughing, dancing, and partying in the wonderful Texas weather.  I can’t wait for next year.   Hope to see you all there!

Stay Blessed…….Stay Fabulous!

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My trip to Austin

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So last week I had the pleasure of visiting Austin, Texas, my first trip ever to Austin.  I was in town for BlogHer16, and went in a day early in order to have some time to explore the city as well as catch up with an old friend.  Before leaving for Austin, I did some research and was interested in the fact that the airport only has local vendors, there are no chain restaurants in the airport (what a great way to support locals).  What a great way to invest in local businesses and what a great way to showcase a few of the things that Austin has to offer.

So I was interested and excited to see the Austin airport.  While, I was a little sleepy, I had a 6am flight and had been up since 4:00am, I did have the opportunity to see a little of the airport.  I was also happy to see that the airport was not a huge airport, but a quant, clean quiet airport, compared to other airports I have experienced. By the time I landed, I was more interested in a nap, but as I walked out of the airport I did have the opportunity to see the restaurants and shops that were in the airport.

Once I got to my first hotel, Hotel Indigo, I was sleepy and hungry and went for a walk around the neighborhood to see what was in the immediate area, but most importantly to find some food. After dealing with a few hiccups at the hotel, I went in search of some food.  I had seen several people online bragging about the food and live music at Stubb’s, so I decided to head there for lunch, and since it was right across the street from the hotel it was the perfect pick.  Let me say that the smoked turkey at Stubb’s was the type of food that makes you feel like everything is moving in slow motion because you just want to enjoy it. It was a great welcome to Austin.

The portions at Stubbs were enough for lunch and dinner, so I did not have to think about what I was going to eat later, however my friend and I went to happy hour at Takoba, another local restaurant to catch up and for appetizers and drinks.  The ceviche at Takoba was the best ceviche I have had to date.  There was just enough of everything for you to experience the powerful flavors without one flavor overpowering any other favor.  I do not like cilantro (yeah, I don’t) and I often forget to tell people to not put any in my food.  But even the cilantro did not make this ceviche bad.  And the frozen margarita to wash it down was the perfect compliment.  It was truly a happy hour!

The remainder of the first day was pretty much uneventful, but I will say that at the Indigo, if you need quiet place to sleep, that may not be your best choice.  Austin is a music town, and there was music going until 5am.  Now I can pretty much sleep through anything, I did wake up a few times throughout the night and the music was still going.  It think it was probably about 5am before I woke up and didn’t hear any music.

Overall, Austin is on my list of places to go back to.  While I was able to do a few things, I had lunch on 6th street, saw a lot of the food trucks, and was able to see just a little of the city, I would love to go back to really get a better tourist perspective of the city.  I did have the opportunity to have a short sight seeing expedition of some historical civil rights locations but I would have loved to have learned more.  Austin has a lot see and do and my next visit I will do, see and eat more.

 

Stay Blessed…….Stay Fabulous!

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