Last month, I was fortunate to be a part of the Food Blog Forum team once again, helping to organize a conference for food bloggers at the Walt Disney World Resort. Here's a recap of what I learned and what I saw.
1. You are the sum of all of your parts. Our food blogging community is large and vast and it is beautiful. We learned that building community is so important in creating, writing and keeping a food blog. It's our intentions and how we go about it that's just as important. Being true to ourselves and being true to our beginnings may make us vulnerable but those are the things that make us unique.
Taken by Guy
A great backdrop for the conference at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa…doesn't hurt! The hotel is gorgeous and amazing!
This always makes me smile. Whenever you check into a Walt Disney hotel, you get this. 🙂
Taken by Guy
The food was delicious and…
Taken by Lindsay
2. I LOVE to take pictures. Okay, I already knew that and you probably already knew that but DO WHAT YOU LOVE. But also create a balance, do what you love and make time for the important things like your family. Jaden and Scott talked about redefining success and also creating a balance. All of the trips and all of the money in the world won't make you happy if you're not prioritizing and making time for the people in your life who are most important to you.
Ever since I started this venture, The Little Kitchen, taking it full time last year, I have been struggling with that balance and making sure I create a semi-balance. Because for me, it will never be perfect but I never want to lose sight of what's important and that means saying no sometimes. Saying no and being honest is just as important as saying yes.
3. From Diane & Todd's talk, why do you do the things you do? Look beyond the obvious and be deliberate. And the most important thing, don't compare yourself to others but be inspired by others.
We all get into a rut sometimes and we see what others are doing, they are doing amazing, inspiring work. But do not compare yourself to them. You are unique and you are you. No one else can replicate you (and let's face it, if they try to, they will fail miserably because you are the only you.) Look to others' successes as what's possible and what's attainable. Use it to motivate and inspire.
My friend, Ashley, she's beautiful inside and out.
Walt Disney World does such an awesome job of organizing and doing the most beautiful food, aren't these cupcakes cute? Can you name all of the characters?
They did an amazingly beautiful lunch for us based on their revamp of the kids' menu all over the Walt Disney Resort. This turkey pot pie was allergy and gluten free, served by Cinderella's Royal Table restaurant, a new restaurant that just opened in the Magic Kingdom park. I cannot wait to eat there!
Taken by Guy
4. Beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. This picture was taken outside of our conference space. The Disney Chefs were setting up for our lunch and he happened to roll by with this gorgeous cake display.
Don't forget to look up and see what's around you, from your phone or your computer. You never know what you'll be inspired by or what you can miss if you don't look up.
And then it was Sunday and time to say good bye at the Whole Foods brunch.
I just had to share this because I'm totally stealing this idea. Yogurt parfaits in jars, total genius!
Taken by Guy
5. Anything is possible if you have an amazing team. I just want to take a moment to thank Jaden, Scott, Diane and Todd for creating this wonderful thing called Food Blog Forum. The energy in the room at the conference, the attendees, the wealth of knowledge shared would not be possible without the four of them. So from the bottom of my heart, I thank them.
With Jaden, Scott, Diane, Todd and Lindsay, we were able to have the best Food Blog Forum ever! I'm so thankful for the support and friendship, each one of these people have given me over the years. I feel so lucky! Part of the Food Blog Forum mission is to give back and share knowledge. By holding these events, we hope to continue to share and make this community even stronger.
Huge thanks go out to our talented speakers including, Jeff Houck, David Leite, Elise Bauer, Babette Pepaj, Erik Deutsch and Disney Imagineer Tim Warzecha.
No words necessary.
Events like these would not be possible without our hosting sponsor, Walt Disney World. Their team is second to none and amazing to work with. Huge thanks go out to Leanne, Pam, Karen, Joyce, Jennifer and Marisa.
And to our other amazing sponsors who make the event even more special, KitchenAid, OXO, and the Florida Dairy Farmers, with their amazing support and even more amazing prizes. Thanks to GIR for giving every attendee one of their amazing spatulas and thanks to Whole Foods Market Orlando for hosting our attendees and their families with a delicious brunch and a wonderful way to send our attendees back home.
Taken by Ricky
And this pretty lady, my best friend. Thank you for being you and thank you for being so awesome! You're a keeper and I'm so proud to be able to call you my friend!
Others who wrote about their FBF experience:
- Todd & Diane from White on Rice Couple
- Jaden from Steamy Kitchen
- Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil
- Julie from The Little Kitchen
- Alicia from Alicia Carlson Photography Part 1 Part 2 Brunch
- Amanda from Kevin & Amanda
- Amy from The Nifty Foodie
- Angie from Big Bear's Wife
- Camille from A Girl, A Granny & A Goal
- Carla from Carla's Confections
- Caroline from Chocolate & Carrots Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
- Cheryl from Pook's Pantry
- Cindy from Hungry Girl por Vida
- Damaris from Kitchen Corners
- Denise from addicted 2 recipes
- Dianna from The Kitchen Prep Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
- Erin from Eat Bake Drink Cook
- Erin from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
- Janet from Captain's Daughter to Army Mom
- Jenn from justJENN recipes Panels Food Grand Floridian Star Wars Weekends
- Jessica from My Baking Heart
- Joelen from What's Cookin, Chicago
- Julie from Table for Two
- Kasey from Kasey's Kitchen
- Katie from Ruffles & Truffles
- Katrina from In Katrina's Kitchen
- Kim from KC Bakes
- Lauren from Healthy. Delicious.
- Liz from The Lemon Bowl
- Michelle from The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
- Rachel from Baked by Rachel
- Ricky from TastyChomps The Orlando Food Blog
- Robin from Simply Southern Baking Part 1 Part 2
- Sarah from Sarah's Cucina Bella FBF Video
- Stephanie from Macaroni and Cheesecake
- Yelena from Cooking Melangery FBF Brunch
jessica matier (@AW2SL) says
If there is one conference I want to go to it’s this one! It looks like you had the best time. I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your blog! Good Luck!
Robin @ Simply Southern Baking says
Love the recap Julie! It was a blast and I so look forward to the next one…it can’t come soon enough! Thanks for all your hard work in making these events so special. xoxo 🙂
Great recap Julie! Thank you for helping organizing another amazing FBF!
[email protected] says
Lovely post! Thank you so much for putting links to everyone! Very thoughtful of you 🙂
Amanda @runtothefinish says
I just moved to Orlando so I am working hard to understand the entire blogging scene here and it looks like you are lady in the know, ha!! 🙂 I look forward to reading more and hopefully meeting at one of the events
Nutmeg Nanny says
What an amazing event. I love this post 🙂
I loved this article. As a newbie to the blogging community, I found this informative and inspiring. Thank you for the info! 🙂
Gourmet Creations says
Beautiful post! Looks like it was an amazing conference.
Amy @ The Nifty Foodie says
You are so awesome, Julie. You guys put on an amazing conference…I will never forget it! It was so wonderful to finally meet you, too!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
What a great conference! I’m definitely going to have to attend next year!
One of these days I WILL make it to this conference! Looks so great!
Carla @ Carlas Confections says
That was seriously the best weekend!! Thank you so much for all your guys’ hard work!! I wish we could just all go back and relive it! 😀
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says
I feel so grateful to know you Julie! Thank you for all you do to build, support, encourage and educate our food blogging community. You are a true gem and I feel fortunate to consider you a colleague and a friend. Thank you for hosting such an amazing conference!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says
It was a great conference. Can’t believe how well you and Lindsay did putting it all together! Thanks!
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says
This was such an awesome conference, at the greatest place imaginable! It was great fun to be able to bring my family along and enjoy Disney as part of this. I thought all the sessions were great, but especially liked seeing the family dynamics behind Steamy Kitchen, LOVED everything Todd and Diane shared (amazing!!), and the helpful nuggets of info shared by Elise, Lindsay, David, Jeff, and yourself. And the food was amazing – beautiful and tasty. The desserts at lunch were SO FUN, and I was so happy when I ate them and they were SO GOOD! Thank you Julie and everyone else who put this together – you have much to be proud of!
So glad you had fun! 🙂
I loved this recap, Julie! So many lovely moments and lessons. It was an amazing experience and I’m so thankful to have been able to take part in it again this year. You guys put on a truly special conference.
(Also…I LOVE that yogurt jar idea! I wish I had time to get jars so I could recreate it for the retreat this weekend! Hmm…maybe…)
This looks and sound like an awesome event! I must try and come next year!
I learn so much from everyone in the blogging world on a daily basis. I’m so proud to be in this community. I loved attending FBF and hope to make it next year. Any announcements made on where it will be? 🙂
[email protected] says
That conference looked amazing! I’m going to have to try to hit one next year. I wanted to make the Austin, TX one and it just didn’t happen. It would be wonderful to meet fellow bloggers and learn so much…and let’s not forget the eating.
Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
Great post!! It looks like so much fun, and the food looks awesome (of course!)
Awesome re-cap Julie! Is there somewhere we can find the pictures that were taken by the photographer at the conference. There was one gentleman who said he was taking pictures for the whole event. That would be great!
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious says
Fantastic recap and many true words. Love the folded towels, we’re big Disney cruisers and the kids love to see what the room host has made for them each night! I used to work for WF for years and those yogurt parfaits were always super popular, easy and awesome. Hopefully we’ll meet up soon 🙂
Linda | The Urban Mrs says
Ahhh I missed it this year and hope I can join in next year.
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
What an awesome event! I’m so sad to have missed it this year, but was so glad to have met you at BlogHer. Thanks for sharing, Julie!
I took a lot from this year’s conference, especially from Jaden and Scott’s talk about balance and success.
And, the Mickey towels always put a smile on my face too 🙂
dixya| food, pleasure, and health says
food blogging is a beautiful community and I am so happy to inspired by amazing bloggers each day 🙂