Last weekend, I attended the BEST SLEEPOVER of my life. All the cool food bloggers were there, I made some friends, ate great food, and even made S’mores. Oh, and I learned some really important things.
Disclosure: My attendance at Blog Brûlée was partially funded by Sponsors of the BLOG BRÛLÉE. Opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my time.
Blog Brûlée was actually more than a sleepover at Smugglers’ Notch, just outside of Burlington, Vermont, although it was definitely as fun as a sleepover!
First I have to tell you that I fell in love with Vermont. The mountains, the trees, the cool, crisp air–absolutely breathtaking. And the accommodations at Smugglers’ Notch made the whole experience even more amazing. I can’t speak highly enough about how great the food was all weekend and the ways the staff went above and beyond to make the event top notch. I really hope to make it back for some snow skiing! Stay tuned for insights on Vermont and the city of Burlington in a future post.
The event kicked off Friday night with networking and a spread of delicious eats featuring ingredients from some of the sponsors–flatbread pizzas, lamb burgers, a variety of cheese, crackers, and fresh fruit, and a super spicy Curried Tofu & Eggplant Dip (I need that recipe!). After some nourishment, we jumped right into sessions on Food Photography Basics and Best Practices for iPhoneography. Camera+ and Snapseed are two apps that are great for iPhoneographers like me! If you have a DSLR and want tips from food photographers, check out Kumquat, Taylor Mathis, and the book Plate to Pixel.
Once full of delicious cheese and wine, we headed back to Smuggs’ for a food styling session with Gretchen of Kumquat blog. Her photos are drool-worthy and she’s a genius. Photography, even food photography, is an expression of ourselves and can tell a story. She also shared this lovely quote with us as a reminder to just be our own, unique self:
Carolyn Ketchum, an SEO ninja superstar, shared her knowledge with us after lunch & a S’mores break. I have several pages of notes from her session and honestly don’t think I could have gained as much useful information in any other setting. That was really the best part of Blog Brûlée–the small group of attendees fostered a unique and intimate learning experience that large conferences just can’t offer.
EA Stewart shared her wisdom on Building a Virtual Community, which she has mastered. We finished Saturday off with another amazing meal prepared by the Smugglers’ Notch staff and then a Lake Champlain Chocolate tasting! The Spicy Aztec was my favorite–always love a good kick with my dark chocolate!
On Sunday, The Meal Makeover Moms, Janice and Liz, led an entertaining discussion about “Branding in the Blogosphere” and then Anne Mauney of fANNEtastic food gave priceless tips on blogging and building partnerships with brands.
Blog Brûlée truly helped me to create a more specific vision for my blog. For those who have been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed a few changes in just the last week. I (finally) committed to a blog domain name, TheNutritionAdventure.com and changed the layout to something cleaner and more eye-appealing. I plan on sharing more of my adventures while traveling by posting about restaurants in other cities and ways to stay healthy while on the road! Please share any feedback you have!