It’s been a very long and exhausting weekend, but I figured I’d get my BlogHer Food 2014 recap in while everything was still fresh. I met tons of amazing bloggers and got to know and connect with so many of them on a personal level. If I met you this past weekend,Â forgive me if I can’t put your face to your name, or your blog for that matter. I can, however, remember how we bonded over how the ketchup bottles were adorable or angstedÂ about how the WiFi was constantly dipping in and out. Faces I remember. Everything else? Well, sometimes you just need to jog my memory.
I met a lot of people that I “knew” from Online Blog ConÂ but hadn’t met. Knowing so many of them gave me the confidence to be my loud and obnoxious self and I made some pretty great new friendships outside of the OBC circles because of it.
I’ve never been to Miami before, but what I knew about it was that it was hot, humid, and beachy. Little did I know that I would get bombarded with tornado alerts on my phone the minute I landed. Flights due to land right after mine were rerouted to avoid the massive storm cloud my pilot bumbled through. Luckily for me, my taxi ride home didn’t experience the torrential downpour until I got to the hotel, but boy was it hot. Driving on the highway with the windows down would normally keep me cool from the wind, but it was like getting blasted with somebody’s hot breath constantly for about 15 minutes.
Unfortunately for other attendees, their flights were delayed, cancelled, or rerouted for at least 2 hours. Some had to fly in the next day because of the weather. I spent the first night drinking and going to different sponsored parties. Never have I ever been so thankful that I’m constantly on social media, because if it weren’t for my connections through Instagram or Facebook, I never would have know about the bloggers who were hosting these exclusive parties.
At one of these parties, I went a little overboard with the wine and a few of us went out to a Miami club with a go go dancer and everything. Had a coupleÂ mojitos, went to bed at 2:30 and went to breakfast at 8 still a little buzzed. And then I experienced my first ever hangover. That was fun.
I met so many amazing bloggers, it was so great to get to know some of these hilarious people. From left to right (not including me): Lauren from Lauren Kelly Nutrition is basically my homegirl. She pointed out when I had food in my teeth, laughed at my dirtyÂ jokes, and gawked at the amount of sculpted abs we saw at the beach. Brenda from Sugar Free Mom was my roommate and she was so humble and easy-going. It was a breeze rooming with her! Best stranger/roommate situation I have ever been in. Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips is as nice and smart in person as she is online. Super savvy and it was fun to hear about her ADORABLE kids. Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food is absolutely hilarious. TOTAL life of the party right there.
The after party was a beautiful lounge/art gallery/bar place where there were flamenco dancers, lots of fancy drinks, and plenty of areasÂ for me wander. It was a gorgeous venue and the food was phenomenal.
Speaking of the food, I was SO impressedÂ with the vegan options at BHF. Elisa, one of the BlogHer editors/staff is vegan so she made sure there were vegan and GF options for us foodies. They did a pretty awesome job (breakfast had lots of fruit, but I would have loved there to be tofu scramble or some other savoury hot food to warm us up in the freezing cold conference room) and the food at the after party was AMAZING. I think I ate at least 5 of those tofu appetizers.
This might sound like the opposite of what most bloggers say, but the more I talked to bloggers and attended sessions, the more I realized that I didn’t want to get super caught up in the nitty gritty of blogging. I mean, I love the technical stuff, but I don’t want to spend every minute of spare time pinning for pageviews or sharing on stuff for retweets.
I realized that I didn’t want to be a full time blogger. I want to work a job outside of my blog (preferably with food and photography) because otherwise my blog becomes less of an outlet for me. And then I lose touch of what it’s like to be a working person with a job, steady income, and regular social interaction. Let’s be real, me staying home to cook and photograph all day sounds EXCELLENT, but being alone all day every day is just as unappealing to me as being surrounded by 100 peopleÂ constantly. Both cases are exhausting in their own ways. It was discouraging to hear how much we had to obsess aboutÂ maintaining pageviews, Facebook shares and reach, SEO, ad revenue, Alexa rating etc. I just want to make and share beautiful food.
As a reader, I don’t want a perfect, calculated SEO post that’s an instant viral pin or share on FacebookÂ because it gets the point whereÂ if I were to post everyday, I would run out of things to talk about other than how my pantry is small, I hate dishes, or that I love food. You guys already know that, I don’t need to bombardÂ you with cookie-cutter posts all saying the same thing. I read blogs because I like getting to know the blogger, learning about and experiencing new foods, and just appreciating beautiful food. I hope that people do the same when they read JSA.
So my goals following an inspired BHF:
- Focus less on pageviews and more on sharing my stories
- Fewer posts per week (maybe 1 or 2 a week)
- Do some of the tech stuff, but don’t sweat it
- Finally write the feminism post that’s been simmering in my brain for a couple years
- Read and comment on more blogs I love
Overall, I loved BHF. It was so fun, I got a crazy amount of swag (ADORABLE MINI THINGS), connected with so many awesome people and brands, and even got my own hashtag.
I’ll be back.