IFBC 2012 Portland Oregon – SWAG takes a life of its own

Day 1 concluded with 1) Oregon Wine Tasting and 2) Food Fair.  Me and my girls (yes!  I had “girls”), Tara, Michelle of Gluten Free Gabber and Maria, winery owner and author of The Life and Times of a Pinot Mom indulged our love of wine and, thanks to Maria, learned a few things about Oregon Pinot Noir.

Onward to Taste of Oregon Food Fair and SWAG table.   SWAG = Stuff We All Get and oh boy did we get stuff!  Lots of food products from Hinoda, Bob’s Red Mill, and my personal favorite, a pig shaped cutting board!  There was so much other stuff I can’t remember….oh, there was chocolate!  Grand Marnier truffles.

As soon as I unpack the suitcase, I may post photos of all the SWAG.  For now, just know I had to buy a larger suitcase to bring home all the SWAG …. and pay $50 in baggage fees because my suitcase weighed 60 lbs!  (note to self: don’t go for all the SWAG.  It may not really be free!)

IFBC 2012 Portland Oregon – Day 1

IFBC 2012 in Portland Oregon.   2.5 days of engaging and enlightening interaction with food bloggers.  Just wow!

Conference started Friday afternoon and continued jam-packed until Sunday afternoon.  Friday started with lunch hosted by Organic Valley but not before I oohed and aahed at the Oxo table.   LOVE OXO products and have for years.

OXO Display @ IFBC

Organic Valley’s lunch was to introduce its cheese slices  and, keeping with that theme, lunch was grilled cheese and apples.  Although delicious, there were no offerings for attendees with dietary concerns (gluten-intolerance, vegan, etc).

Best moment – running into MeganTheGFVegan, a charming food blogger from Canada I met in June!  I didn’t know she was coming (note to self: read attendee list next time).

Next best moment?  Chatting with my tablemates about Doctor Who.  Wheeeeeeeeeee! I didn’t expect to meet Whovians at a food blogger conference.  Candace, author of the blog, Candace Karu, and Tara, author of the blog, TeaRelish, are devoted Whovians and our 10-15 min chat was so much fun.  Even better, Candace works for the Cabot Creamery Cooperative!  Talk about some great cheese.

The live food blog event showcased Oregon products.  10 companies each had 5 minutes to pitch their products while we tweeted or blogged about them.  Fortunately for me, most of them ship outside the state.

PEOPLE! Ya’ll need to check out the following:

  1. Jacobsen Salt Co – hand-harvested Sea Salt from the Oregon coast.  Domestic salt that competes with better known European sea salts.
Jacobsen Salt Co
  1. Rogue Creamery – Oregon Blue Cheese that will knock your socks off
  2. F/V Sonia’s Wild Albacore Tuna – this was the most amazing canned tuna you will ever eat.  It tastes fresh, slightly salty and delicious.
  3. Packer Orchards & Bakery – the Spiced Vanilla Pear butter!  Awesome
  4. The Schmid Family Farm – the marionberry jam with cream cheese on crackers.

Following all this deliciousness, I went to my 1st session: Building Community Online and Offline presented by Keren Brown of Foodportunity and The Frantic Foodie.

What a great session!  Keren is an animated outspoken speaker with lots of great ideas for building a community.

My purpose for going to the conference was twofold: to learn more technical blogging aspects and, more importantly, to connect with other bloggers and build relationships.   Keren’s session was perfect.


Social Rev Up’s bbsummit12

Great trip to Chicago for the BB Summit ’12 presented by Social Rev Up.   Every conference has taught me so much and this one was no different!

It was an intimate 1-day conference with a well-thought out schedule.  Networking was a key aspect of this conference.   I like that social media is about relationships because that’s why I’m blogging.  I want an internet community of like-minded people.  at this conference, there were so many different types of blogs — it was eye opening to see the variety of ways people blog.

Hopefully the amazing people I met will stay in touch.  At the very least, I hope they know how much teaching they gave me!

Search Engine, Social Networking, Social Bookmarking … my head’s gonna explode

Search engine optimization, social networking, social bookmarking, Twitter, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, Technorati, BlogHer (apologies to all I’ve missed) ….. where’s the smiley that goes “blah, blah, blah” as its eyes glaze over?  In an earlier post, I asked if the mind expands or contracts as we age.  I didn’t realize at the time mind exploding was a possibility.  You know that point as you learn a new skill — you know just enough to be dangerous, but probably not enough to be useful?  Yup, I’m planting my butt at that location and growing roots!

How does one keep up with all of these (and others)?  More importantly, how does one actually have a life that’s interesting to write/blog/tweet about?