First off, we had breakfast provided for us. I was kind of dehydrated and was definitely in the mood for some fruit to start!
Mmmmm, juicy fruit!
I also opted for a bowl of cereal after Annelies explained the choices from Erewhon to me :)
I had the Twice Rice, which is described as:
Delicate crisps and tender puffs of US grown organic brown rice for two distinctive textures. Then we glaze the rice with a subtle blend of organic brown rice syrup and honey that sparkles with sweetness.
Ingredients are Organic brown rice, Organic brown rice syrup, Organic honey, Sea salt.
It tasted a lot like Rice Krispies, only better. Kind of honey glazed, and I liked the two textures.
I also grabbed a little Stoneyfield yogurt later, which went unphotographed.
After eating our meal, our attention was turned to the screen, and Meghann, who welcomed us all.
We played some ice breaker bingo, then started the sessions.
I started with the Writing a Better Recipe workshop. I'm well aware I could use a little help in that department!
I learned A LOT in this session. Stepfanie Romine is amazing!
Here's some things I've been doing incorrectly:
-Putting too many photos in between steps.
-Not describing my food very well. Saying "it's so good" doesn't describe the flavors, textures, and what your senses will experience when you eat a dish.
-Not including prep/cook time up front, yield/servings, and enough tips/substitutions.
-Not laying out my steps better and more concisely.
I'm going to work on it and hopefully I'll improve and you guys will notice my future recipes are more reader friendly!
We had a snack break, then Dawn Jackson Blatner spoke about action mantras. It was interesting, but I was much more engaged with her second speech to us later, which I'll get to later.
My second session was called Rising Above The Negativity, with Brittany, Julie, Courtney, and Heather.
I met Courtney back in April, and it was great to see her again and meet the rest of the girls on her panel while at HLS. They spoke about negative blog comments and how to handle them. I'm happy to say it's something I haven't really experienced much. These ladies handle it with amazing patience and grace.
I love Julie's dog... :) She was a staple in their slide show. So cute!
Next up was LUNCH! No complaints for this girl!
Check it out...
I had some quinoa salad, a veggie wrap, and a grilled veggie sandwich on Great Harvest bread, with some salad.
I thought everything was completely delicious and proceeded to clean my entire plate!
After killing a little time in the room, I came back down and one of my tablemates, Sarah, had brought us all treats! I love her :)
I split a chocolatety cookie with Erin and had a nice cup of Awake Tea with it.
Next up on the agenda was Dawn Jackson Blatner again, this time there to talk about The Flexitarian Diet. As Dawn spoke, I realized she was pretty much exactly describing the way I already eat. When I've tried to describe it to people, I usually feel like it doesn't make much sense, because I'm not a full on vegetarian, and I definitely love eating meat in certain scenarios. This is basically what the Flexitarian Diet entails. It's mostly eating plant based stuff, but not restricting yourself from meat when you feel like eating it. This is how Greg and I mostly eat! Light bulb on!
Dawn gave examples of meat options that can be swapped for veggie options. This is something I already often do :)
She gave an example of a grocery list for this life style.
I pretty much have all of this stuff at home, sweet!
As you can probably tell, I was pretty excited to hear a term for what I already have been doing.
The Numbers Game was the next session I went to. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but still interesting. It was about all the things bloggers compare number-wise, like miles run, calories consumed, reps done in a weight lifting routine, etc... I took away from it that it's important to stay true to your own blog mission and not get too caught up in what everyone else is doing, while still drawing inspiration from other blogs.
We did a little stretching before we took a break.
I had a nice snack of hummus and veggies at the break.
The last session I attended was Monetizing Your Blog with Katy Widrick. As you can see, I don't monetize my blog and I'm not trying to make it my own empire, but I still am curious about how others do this and what it entails. Katy's an awesome public speaker. She's kind of my idol...
It was a great day. I really enjoyed all the sessions, hanging with my blog buddies, and all the great food provided to us!
Stay tuned to see our night out on the town in Philly!