Honestly. It was close.
More on that in a bit.
The 2015 BlogHer Food conference is in the books, and it was awesome. I loved that it was in my hometown for many reasons, not the least of which was that a bunch of my local friends (some food bloggers, some not) were in attendance. Working a conference on my birthday when work doesn’t seem like work AND I’m surrounded by so many people I love wasn’t too shabby of a gig, I have to say.
My friend Aimee Giese of Greeblehaus, who I’ve known online since 2008-ish but with whom I’ve never spent more than a minute or two at conferences, was there. We had a great time reconnecting. I’ve always told people that I love the food conference because it’s smaller and more intimate than our annual conference, but I realized how general a statement that is. Aimee hit the nail on the head for me at last night’s closing party when she yelled into my ear (the music was really loud), “I really like attending conferences that are this size because instead of seeing EVERYBODY, I’m spending quality time with five or six old friends.” That’s exactly it, and we both agreed that it’s easier to make new connections, too.
As you might imagine, the food is truly endless at the BlogHer Food conference. Not only do the sponsors bring it (literally and figuratively), but the food provided by hotel catering is plentiful and so much more delicious than average (because food bloggers!), and there are lots of activities and demos planned, naturally, with food.
In fact, I stopped listening to my body cues after a while because I had to try all the things!
One of the highlights of the conference for me was the closing keynote on Saturday, featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar. I had been working behind the scenes with Sarah Michelle and her team on our weekly Instagram challenges, and I did a Twitter chat with her at the end of October. Our entire team was looking forward to her appearance in Chicago to promote her new company (Foodstirs), and so it was a thrill to finally see that happen. She was extremely down-to-earth, relatable, and inspirational as she talked about Foodstirs, her family, and of course, Buffy.
As an added bonus and in an unprecedented move, she offered to stick around after the keynote and take quick photos with attendees. She got to EVERYONE. It was great to meet her, and in one of my favorite pictures from the weekend, naturally Momo and I are looking at one phone and Sarah Michelle is looking at another. Totally typical for Momo and me.
I will admit it, in my final Sarah Michelle namedrop: I emailed her a thank you first thing this morning and she replied, which was so sweet. I mean, come on: my life!
The closing party was held at The Underground, one of local celebrity Billy Dec’s nightclubs. I have wanted to go to this place since I first heard about it, and I was blown away. (Thank you for choosing it, Lori Luna!) The food was great, the space was beautiful and functional, and the DJ was fabulous. I danced my feet off (almost), and happened to be a part of this incredibly fun picture with Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman, who is hilarious and sweet) and my new friend Jenn from Randwiches, who is one of the happiest, friendliest, most creative people I think I’ve ever met. Total magnetic personality. (*waves to Jenn*)
Another great moment at the closing party was when Momo forgot that she shouldn’t let me hold onto her drink, ever:
As usual, I was in the group of people that was last to leave the dance floor. We had so much fun. (Thanks, Underground staff!)
Back at the hotel, Momo and I changed clothes and hung out enjoying post-party snacks, and that’s when the accident nearly happened. She was laying on the bed and I was sitting in a chair, and as we were talking, the conversation was becoming sillier by the minute. She was eating the healthy samples from the expo and I decided she should have some gummy bears, so I started pelting them at her. I was aiming for the spot on the bed right in front of her and was successful all but once, the one time I used my brute strength to hurl that little piece of candy across the room and went a little higher, by accident. I’m pretty sure I heard it hit her forehead. I’m pretty sure she yelled, “YOU ALMOST BRUISED MY EYE!”
But frankly we were laughing too hard and we…well, I can’t remember. Anyway, isn’t it said that it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye? Thank goodness I missed because we had SO MUCH FUN. (I promise to be more careful with gummy bears in the future, Momo. Maybe you can throw them at me next time. I’ll hold your drink for you.)
Next year, BlogHer Food goes back to Austin, Texas on October 7-8. I can’t wait. (By the way, super early bird registration is open!)
Now I’m ready to get through the re-entry period (oy vey) and get back into a non-conference season mode for a little while, because things are obviously more relaxed that way. I’m still working on building the following for the BlogHer Instagram account, and if you’re not following it yet I’m asking you to do so pretty please because I am seven followers away from the goal I set for myself with a self-imposed deadline of TODAY. SEVEN!!! At any rate, I know it’ll happen by tomorrow, so if you hear someone screaming with joy in the next twenty-four hours, it’s likely me.
Thanks for indulging me this highlight post. Back to regularly-topic-type posts tomorrow.
Now scroll back up and click on “Greeblehaus” because I linked to Aimee’s recent photographic coverage of Duran Duran, Chic, and Clean Bandit at Red Rocks. Her talent slays me, and Duran Duran? Whee!