|Girard's Culinary Collective: Kim, Ruthie, Becky, Amy, Julie and Danelle|
Joining a group of 6 bloggers representing the Girard's Culinary Collective (more on that soon!), my world expanded across the USA. From Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arkansas, the six of us met over cocktails at Miller's Guild, bonded over food and wine, and became fast friends.
Girard's Culinary Collective
Quick with a heart-warming smile, Amy James hails from Northwest Arkansas and writes Our Everyday Dinners. As every busy mom knows, feeding a hungry family can sometimes be trying. But, Amy shows you not only how, but what to make for a family pleasing plate.
From Colorodo, I met the lovely Danelle, of Let's Dish, who also makes feeding a family of 5 look easy. With down to earth recipes and Farmer's Market Specials when possible, the conversations in her posts will leave you feeling like you've just made a new friend... Which is exactly how I felt mere seconds after meeting her.
|Ruthie and me|
Julie Cohn, of A Little Bite of Life, also brings a bright smile. Bonding over our similarly aged teen boys we never found ourselves at a loss for conversation. Writing about food, travel, entertainment, tech and lifestyle, Julie pretty much covers it all!
And last, but not least, we have Becky from Utah. Writing two blogs, Vintage Mixer and SLC Foodie, sweet Becky has her hands full. Add a 16-month old baby and husband to the mix and she has me in awe. With gorgeous photography, Becky brings real food to the table that takes you back to the way things used to be made. A truly beautiful person inside and out, Becky will warm your heart.
|Instagram of our day at Pike Market|
Virtual Friends Made Real
Beginning Liv Life some 4 years ago I had no idea the friends I would make. Visiting their blogs, keeping up on Facebook and Instagram, and occasional emails keeps me up to date on their lives, and my husband is constantly surprised at the love and support that comes from people we haven't actually met in person, but whom we call special friends.
Last weekend made a few of those special friends very real for me, and I'm blessed to have them in my life.
Dionne Baldwin, of Try Anything Once, won my heart years ago when she wrote a fabulous post about burnt chicken. Anyone who can take a kitchen disaster, make a fabulous dish out of it, and then write a keeper of a post is a girl after my own heart. And speaking about hearts, Dionne has one of the biggest hearts I know. Active in her Washington community she helps people who need a hand and is a supportive member of the food blogging world as well. Dionne is the real deal and will have you laughing as you try new dishes along with her.
|Dionne, me and Liz... virtual friends for years, now friends in real life|
And then we have Liz, That Skinny Chick Can Bake. Yep... she is skinny, and yep... she can bake!! Be prepared with a recipe in hand when you make any of her recipes for gatherings as requests will follow. She made a Biscoff Toffee Cookie for our blog as a guest post and it's become a regular in our cookie rotation (I have Liv's friends ask for Liz's cookies every so often!) A true pleasure to meet in person, Liz's personality shines through her posts.
San Diego represents!!
San Diego has a lovely food blogging community and we represented well at IFBC!
My dear friend Priscilla, of She's Cookin, (she's actually OC) brings a number of heart healthy recipes to her blog in addition to restaurant reviews of the greater Los Angeles area. Often found traveling the world I look forward to and live vicariously through her photos. She motivated me to tour Seattle and brought me on a wonderful walk through Pioneer Square as well as up the Space Needle.
Laura Bashar, of Family Spice, another busy mom who brings Fresh Family recipes - this time with a Persian Flair. Quick with a smile and laugh, Laura always brightens a room and her easy going personality will have you at ease and smiling along with her in moments.
|Laura and Mary working #IFBC!|
Next we have the beautiful Lisa of Whisk and Cleaver. Blogging about Gluten-Free California Cuisine and San Diego Lifestyles, Lisa brings wonderful recipes with a little travel thrown in on the side.
Not at IFBC, but blogs you should know...
With friends all over the world our travels often leave us opportunities to meet blogger friends along the way. Last year my travels included stops in Pasadena and Florida which brought me to two more special bloggers whom I feel blessed to call friends.
Have you visited the Cafe?? Chris from the Café Sucré Farine just happened to be in Pasadena a few months ago on the same weekend as my family, and my husband and I spent a lovely morning chatting with her and her husband Scott. Sweet and welcoming, Chris is a mother and grandmother and left me wanting to be adopted. Scott is her amazingly talented photographer, and they love avocados. She is one of my go-to sources when I'm at a loss of what to make for dinner. Take a moment and stop by the Cafe!
And lastly, Dennis Littley of A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis. I don't think anyone has helped the food blog community more than Chef Dennis. I "met" Dennis back in the FoodBuzz days where he taught me along with so many other bloggers tips and tricks of the trade. He continues today with his Good Day Google+ series of videos and his bright personality shines through from the first moment. Meeting Dennis and his lovely wife Lisa on a warm Florida morning was a day I will always treasure.
And there you have it!! Some of my favorite bloggers, people I've recently met and those I've known virtually for years who are now real life friends. Take a moment and visit my friends... they'll soon be your friends too.