9.08.2014

Preparing for the International Food Blogging Conference

In just over a week, I'll be packing my bags and heading out to Seattle for a few days. I am crazy excited because I've wanted to get up to Washington for some adventures since we moved to the West Coast three years ago. 


So what's bringing me to the Pacific Northwest? 

Food. Of course.


I'm headed to the International Food Blogger's Conference (IFBC) organized and hosted by Foodista.com and Zephyr Adventures!

Now, this is my second time going to a food blogger event and if it is anything like the first one, I know I am going to be drinking, eating, and talking a lot. The last time, I had no idea what I was in for, so at least this time around I can prepare a little bit better and share some tips on how I am preparing. 

You know me, I am a planner...

Things to bring and pack:
  • Cell phone with an extra battery and/or charger
    • You'll be using your phone a lot to take photos, jot down notes, finding places to eat/drink on your down time, and directions. Your battery can get drained pretty fast, so be prepared. 
  • Camera with an extra battery and/or charger
    • Some folks might just be using their phones for photos, but I love my big camera for better quality photos
    • Bring your USB cable to upload photos to you computer if you bring it
  • Computer or Ipad + Charger
    • On your down time you can upload content, photos, or blog about the events
  • Pen and Paper
    • I love my Moleskin and usually carry it around in my bag. It is small enough to tote most places (and not have to plug in). 
  • Comfy shoes and comfy clothes
    • Check the weather to see what you've got going on and pack accordingly. It is just a weekend trip, so I don't plan to check a bag so I am going to lay out some outfits that I can mix and match. Layering is always a good idea, so maybe pack a sweater or two in the event it gets chilly. I have these Athleta pants I adore and plan to dress them up and down. They are so incredibly comfy (and stretchy). 
    • Check out Travel Fashion Girl for some great tips too. 
  • Meds and Quick Fixes
    • Make sure to bring a small supply of Motrin/Tums/Excedrin to help in case of a pesky headache or some form of ingestion because there will be so.much.food. 
    • Band Aids or Moleskin for your feeties. Don't let blisters slow you down. 
  • Business cards
    • This is a big networking opportunity and you'll want to have your brand and name handy. Vista Print or Moo are good resources to get some printed. 
  • An extra bag
    • SWAG!

Onto the actual preparation for the conference and visit
  • Check out the schedule and make an agenda
    • There is a lot of content available at these conferences. Take a look at what is being offered and rank the things you want to do/see/learn/taste the most. It will help you prioritize and not feel flustered once the time comes to actually go. 
    • Some things that are on my radar:
      • So, How Did it Taste? This is a writing session to help figure out some new techniques on writing and describing food with author Dianne Jacob
      • Professional Recipe Development with Shauna James Ahern, the Gluten-Free-Girl. I always struggle with making a recipe my own so I am hoping this is really helpful. 
      • Know Your Beef, Know Your Butchery: Cut Education Session with the Beef Checkoff @Beef and the Discover The World Of Wine with Bordeaux Wines session. Because, duh. 
  • Check out the brands
    • There are a TON of brands and sponsors at these events. Pick a few you don't know anything about and learn something about them, where they come from, and what they are all about. When you visit their booths, it is a great conversation starter. 
    • The Key Note speakers on Saturday are the Authors of The Flavor Bible, so I checked it out at the library to browse through it before I hear them speak. 
Have you been to Seattle before and have any must see suggestions? What are you conference travel tips? Have you been to IFBC before? What was your favorite part?

See you soon Seattle!

Cheers,

Erica



9.04.2014

August Adventures.

So August just happened. That was that. 


I started out the month with some HOGA with my lovely. Seeing the city this way is so much fun. 

9.01.2014

Late Summer Pan Roasted Nectarine Coconut Pops


All I kept thinking about today was Wilson Phillips. You know...Wilson Phillips.

90s!! Ahh, you know it!

Don't you know?
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things'll go your way
Hold on for one more day (one more day)



8.20.2014

Coconut Popcorn Trail Mix


You guyyys. This is one of my very favorite snacks. It is so easy and a little addicting, but healthy at the same time. I'm a big fan. 


A while back I posted my coconut popcorn, which has become a staple in the house and it is husband approved. Friend approved. And me approved.

Approved all around.


This is coconut popcorn all jazzed up.


Most of the time, when I am making a batch of popcorn, I just make a little extra so I can make this trail mix for the week.




Also, popcorn salt. Not necessary, but so necessary.


Any way, this is a perfect sweet and salty snack when you get those stupid 3:00PM sluggies.

(Sluggie = acting effectively like a slug because you are so out of energy).



Coconut Popcorn Trail Mix
This slightly addicting sweet and salty healthy snack will help get you through the day.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons popcorn kernals
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut chips, toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
1. Start by toasting your coconut. Add the coconut to a skillet on medium heat. Toast coconut until golden brown and stir to cook evenly. Watch closely as this can burn quickly. 

2. Next, make your popcorn. I use an air popper, but you can use the stove top method as well. Once it is popped and hot, add the melted coconut oil and coat thoroughly. Use your hands if needed and salt generously to taste. 

3. Let the popcorn cool for 5-10 minutes then add the apricots, cashews, sunflower seeds, and chocolate. 

4. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

If you don't like apricots, go ahead and switch them out with whatever dried fruit you desire. Same with the seeds. Make it own and enjoy!

Details:
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings























Cheers,

Erica

7.31.2014

July Adventures


July Life. What can I say...you were full of running and eating. Per usual. This will be life until November. I am totally OK with that.

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