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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Gastrofork who I hung out with during a Kelowna trip last year.
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.