Ive been back for one month now and the teasing hint of Spring in Melbourne has me pining for my past month of glorious north American summer complete with bare feet, cool mountain waterfalls and lazy afternoon naps in Central Park. And of course, Im still dreaming of all the amazing food sampled as evidenced by the jeans that are a little tighter post holiday much to my guilty pleasure!
And now see the frying pan! Most clever! Pancake anyone???
Arriving by myself and feeling a little nervous, I was hoping to meet some other food bloggers somewhere amongst the 4500 women who were surely feeling a little like me? As luck would have it, I managed to bump into two such lovely fellow bloggers from Sydney of all places in the breakfast line. Catherine blogs at Foodwatch about nutrition and health and Lisa has lovely niche blog offering advice and tasty recipes for those living with gestational diabetes. Im looking forward to catching up with them sometime soon in Sydney.
Two intensive days followed of workshops, panels, a trade expo and presentations covering bloggers from widely different genres in everything from politics, erotica, SEO and blogging ethics. I attended panels on maximising social media expertise including Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, turning my blog into publishable essays and tips on SEO and google analytics. You can watch some recorded sessions here. I listened intently and allowed myself a tear or two as a number of hand picked attendees recounted their inner most memories and life stories as Voices of the Year Keynote speakers. Watch, laugh, cry and cringe here.
At the trade expo, I was introduced to the concept of the “schwag bag” where bloggers goes from stall to stall filling a goodie bag with treats while discussing mutually beneficial advertising opportunities and affiliate marketing. I was told by the regulars that this is the usual practice at most American conferences of this type. Though I couldnt understand what all the excitement was about, as mostly the “schwag” was junky but maybe I just wasnt in the know of where to find the secret stashes? Some of the ladies bags were bulging – I couldnt imagine what with however I was told that the Durex stall ran out of mechanical ‘samples’ almost immediately??
A panel on Google Analytics
I was also absolutely THRILLED with one President Barack Obama beaming in direct from the White House to speak exclusively to us at the Conference on Day 1 about the influence that the great women in his life and what he continues learn especially from Michelle and his daughters. Watch it here. Presenters on the following days included one Martha Stewart (in person) who was promoting the new digital direction her crafting and homemaking business is pursuing and Katie Couric, former presenter of good morning America who spoke of her experience with cancer and how it had shaped and touched her life.
Overall it was quite a worthwhile experience and while a little overwhelming at times, I met some fantastic fellow bloggers and really pushed myself out of my comfort Zone. If the opportunity presents again to be in the US in summer I’d love to attend the Blogher food.
Of course, all this blogging was bound to make us hungry sooner or later so on the last day of the conference, Catherine, Lisa , new friend Tatum and I headed off to Michelin starred The Breslin at the Ace Hotel, Chelsea for some cocktails and dinner. If headed to NYC, I highly recommend you out this one on your hit list. The Breslin features a seasonal menu with the hero predominately being red meat and charcuterie accompanied by locally sourced produce and hand crafted artisanal items.
We waited in the bar sipping some moreish cocktails until a table was ready for us (be prepared to wait as there is no reservations unless you are guest of the hotel) We shared the scotch eggs for appertisers which were worthy of their recommendation by the waiter. However, we had a little trouble deciding on dinner. We felt like a steak but had an inkling that we could get half a cow if we didnt get our conversions right. After umming and ahhing the too cool waiter eventually lost patience with us and left! When he finally returned in the end, I decided on lamb burger with feta, cumin mayo and thrice cooked chips. This lovely evening was finished off by a divine chocolate malt parfait for which, I honestly didnt have room but managed to stuff in somehow. Afterwards I promptly rolled home to my lovely Manhattan apartment to fall into a sweet food induced coma 🙂
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for some more highlights from the holiday as well as a few inspired recipes and goodies 🙂