Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Foodie Friends... a few days in Seattle at #IFBC #GirardsCC

Girard's Culinary Collective: Kim, Ruthie, Becky, Amy, Julie and Danelle
The food blogger world spans far and wide, but last weekend the International Food Bloggers Conference saw hundreds of bloggers converge in the glorious city of Seattle, Washington. Toting cameras and phones, fabulous photos of food hit the internet with blazing speed, but even more fun were the "selfies" that followed as new relationships formed and old friends met in person for the first time. Today I want to introduce you to a few special bloggers who touched my life last weekend, and I think you will enjoy a visit to their blogs if you don't know them already.

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
Next we have Ruthie, from Cooking with Ruthie.  With a positively infectious giggle, Ruthie exudes fun at every turn.  A culinary school student, she entertained us with stories of her days, and her posts will motivate you to get into the kitchen.

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!
Mary Platis of California Greek Girl brings Coastal Living, Gardening and Cooking all with a Greek Twist.  Warm and genuine, Mary knows her olive oil and working with Laura has put together the must have cookbook, Cooking Techniques and Recipes with Olive Oil.

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.


  1. So amazing!! SO SO SO amazing! Some of my favorite people ALL IN ONE PLACE! :: mind blown::

    1. Only thing better would have been to have you there Raven!!

  2. I second Raven's comment! SO terrific to meet you...and Dionne...and Priscilla...and earlier this year, Dennis! And last year, Chris!! We share such a marvelous community of blogger friends. Hope to see you again soon...let's not wait 4 years to do it again. xoxo

    1. I keep telling my local friends how supportive this community is. I feel so blessed to be a part of it! So good to meet you irl Liz... yes... lets not wait another 4 years!!

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful time, and so much fun to connect with other bloggers! I just met a bunch of fabulous healthy food bloggers at Blog Brulee in Vermont-what fabulous inspiration! I REALLY hope we can meet in person some day soon :-)

    1. EA... We NEED to plan a lunch date!! We are too close to not make this happen. Will plan soon!

  4. Kim,
    Looks like youbhad a great time mingling with other Fabulous Food Bloggers, and seeing the sites of Seattle. My offer still stands to meet for lunch in hte Windy City someday.

    1. Becky... someday I'm going to take you up on that!!!

  5. Yup, I third Raven's sentiment. I've never been to a blogger conference, but friends like you who share these terrific posts makes it tangible. Thank you, Kim, for taking us along!

    1. This was my first conference, Brooks, and I think it really is the friends that make is fun!! Our community is so special and supportive. Meeting bloggers in person is a treasure!

  6. Meeting friends like you in real life make it so memorable! I am so grateful for you.

    1. One of the highlights of the trip Dionne!! xoxo

  7. I just love this! Meeting new friends was the best part of the whole trip! :)


Your comments make our hearts sing!