Life Gets In the Way and Working My Way Through It

There is always something else that is calling for my attention and sadly, it always seems to win over this little space. For some reason though, tonight the blog won out. I’m not sure how that came to be because the list has never been longer, but yet I found myself logging on. I think it’s because some really awesome things have been happening and writing about them here is as much about sharing them with you as it is about me reflecting back on everything. It’s not a bad thing that things are busy, just figuring out a way to juggle everything.

Learning to wait and have things come to me in due time

Well, I have to begin with what’s going on with Food Bloggers of Canada. Melissa and I continue to work on growing the company in all sorts of ways. We’re closing in on 1,900 members, meaning almost 2,000 Canadian food bloggers living in Canada and abroad! We certainly never expected to hit that milestone when this all began in 2011. It’s been amazing to build this community and watch it take off in all sorts of different and exciting ways. We’re adding all sorts of new food columns and contributors to the site which are not necessarily blog-resourced focused which is fun and definitely not part of our original plan. And we’ve worked on some really great campaigns with terrific companies over the last 6-9 months with more fun campaigns on the horizon. The best thing is that we’ve brought our FBC Members all sorts of paid opportunities which makes us ecstatic.

No trip to Montreal is complete without St. Viateur bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Of course, we have the annual FBC Conference coming up in Montreal in October. We’re already at conference number 3 and couldn’t be happier with it being in Montreal this year! We consider ourselves lucky to have so many of our members trust us to put together a 3-day weekend of good times, learning and networking. I always wonder how we’re going to top the speakers from the previous year, but yet each year, we bring in such amazingly talented and inspirational people to share their knowledge with us. This year is no different and I cannot wait. We also have the privilege to work with some really great sponsors, many that have been supporting us since the very first conference in 2011. But excited to have Canadian Lentils and Turkey Farmers of Canada as our two Title Sponsors which means that there are two dinners I cannot wait to dig in to in Montreal!

Mini pies = eating more pies

The bonus of organizing a conference in Montreal is getting to go to Montreal for planning purposes. Having lived there from 2001-2009 and visited throughout my childhood, it’s been so amazing. It always feels like I’m coming home which is one one of the best feelings of the world. I love to travel and explore new places but there is something also to be said about that feeling of familiarity when arriving into a city you know well but is always changing. Certain meals must happen and exploration into different parts of the city is always the perfect mix.

Melissa and I did a sugary crawl with Janice from Kitchen Heals Soul who knows a thing or two about baked goods. So we stopped in at a cute pie shop called Rustique Pies. It had that sweet, warm and inviting feel you want when you walk into a bakery. After much deliberation, we each chose two mini pies each and then just dug in, after taking photos of course.

Schwartz’s. Another Montreal institution, but has to be enjoyed with Cott’s Cherry Cola.

2015 is also the year of “YES.” I promised myself I would not be so quick to dismiss or say no to opportunities that were out of my comfort zone. So, when I was asked to do a short Q&A video, I couldn’t turn it down. I’m happy for the fine art of editing which didn’t make me sound quite as silly as I probably sounded. I will say that I felt more at ease near the end than I did at the start of the video, so that was my takeaway from the experience…it’s all about baby steps! It also helped that the person asking the questions was a fellow blogger who I’m friends with. It was Dee from GastroforkΒ who I hung out with during a Kelowna trip last year.Β 

Another “yes” moment was when I was asked to speak at a conference earlier this month in Saskatoon. It’s called MoSo which stands for Social and Mobile and it’s in its 5th year. Ironically, in my year of yes, my session topic was the “Art and Value of Saying No.” What has been overwhelmingly clear to my the last few months is that as we get busier with Food Bloggers of Canada, we just have to say no sometimes when something doesn’t make sense to us from a timing perspective, budget or simply going with a gut feeling.

Oh and here’s proof that I actually did speak in front of people! The beauty of a smaller town like Saskatoon is that I was stopped twice by people who sat in on my presentation and told me how much they enjoyed it. My day was made!

So that’s been my life in a very small nutshell over the last few months. And there is more travel and adventures to share in some upcoming posts, including a just completed trip press trip to Banff, Alberta, a family reunion to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, some quality family time in London, Ontario and to Regina, Saskatchewan for a Farm to Table Tour with Canadian Lentils.

Not sure who is out there reading me these days, but thanks for letting me check-in and share.

A teaser shot of beautiful Banff


15 Responses to Life Gets In the Way and Working My Way Through It

  1. Lara July 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    Sounds like a busy, but fun and delicious time! Those shots of Montreal look so good – all the places you recommended to me a few years ago. Glad to hear that things are going so well. Hope you continue having a great summer! πŸ™‚

    • Ethan July 3, 2015 at 4:27 am #

      Ha! Yes, I’m a sucker for tradition when I go to Montreal. Wow, DC feels like forever ago!

  2. Amy @ Family Feedbag July 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    So much is happening for you, Ethan! I would have loved to hear your presentation on saying no. I find myself needing to use that 2-letter word more often these days, and struggle to do it without a pinch of guilt. But saying yes to too many things means not truly giving any of it my best. Let’s agree to talk about this more next week in Regina πŸ™‚

    • Ethan July 3, 2015 at 4:29 am #

      I’ll give you the Coles note version next week πŸ™‚ And yes, saying No is just a way of saying Yes to bigger and better things down the road!

  3. Jen Schall July 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Life has gotten in the way of my blog lately, as well… I can relate. But, I loved reading about everything you’ve been up to. While I’m not Canadian, it’s awesome to see FBC growing and see all the great stuff you are doing. You have the very best reasons for not posting a lot… Living life is always more important than blogging about it. πŸ™‚

    • Ethan July 3, 2015 at 4:35 am #

      Thanks! Yes, I think we’re on the same wavelength for lots of stuff. Living is important, just gotta balance a bit more to share a wee bit πŸ™‚

  4. janet @ the taste space July 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    Life is important, too. More important than any blog, imho, but reading through your recap tells me your life and food-related blog stuff is fabulous. Behind the scenes, lots is happening.

    • Ethan July 3, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

      Life is the most important. Lots is happening, so it’s just nice to take a moment to reflect on it all. I think that’s my takeaway from all this.

  5. Megan July 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    Oh there you are! πŸ˜‰

    Saying No is a crazy thing. We had to cancel our conference this year, which was a very stressful way of Saying No, but within two weeks I had been offered three new projects. I’m a believer in setting boundaries to let the good stuff flow in!

    • Ethan July 3, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

      Here I am! Yes, saying No definitely lets the good stuff flow in. Sorry to hear about the conference, but sounds like doors 2, 3, 4 and 5 are pretty awesome too!

  6. La Cuisine d'Hélène July 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    I like your Q&A Ethan and you make me miss BC now. We loved it when we lived on Vancouver Island. We might go back one day.

    And have been two times in Asia and discovered food that was interesting and delicious as well. I can’t wait to go back.

  7. Dana July 4, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    It can be tough to sit down and blog/reflect when life is hectic, but it’s so worth it when you do.

    And ugh, lox bagels forever. Eating in Montreal forever! Even though the smoked meat sandwiches come with a price to pay – jaw lock and meat sweats. Ha.

    I so wish I could make it to the FBC conference in October, but I’ll have just moved to the US and am getting married that month. It would be wonderful to meet you all one day, though. Melissa and yourself are really building an empire and I’m thrilled (and honoured) to be a part of it.

    This was a great post.

    • Ethan July 5, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

      Yes to Eating in Montreal forever and forever πŸ™‚

      Congrats on your upcoming wedding, maybe next year you’ll be able to make it! Thanks for kind words, so glad you’re a part of FBC!

  8. Paula July 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Your photos are wonderful (as always) and I thoroughly enjoyed listening and watching you on the video! Congratulations on saying Yes to the speaking engagement at MoSo. Would have loved to have been in attendance. Continued success with FBC and your life choices Ethan, you are doing great things.

    • Ethan July 5, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

      Would have been nice to have you in attendance, a friendly and smiling face would have been a good thing πŸ™‚ Thanks Paula!

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