This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Food Blog Forum, an intimate food blogging conference of 125 attendees that took place at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The photo above is the view from our room. I couldn’t get enough of it!
When the event sold out in just 3 minutes, I was pretty thrilled to have a confirmed ticket. Now that I’ve attended I realize just how lucky I am to have experienced three incredible days of laughter, networking, inspiration and passion.
Hands down, one of the best moments of this trip was to finally meet one of my closest blogging buddies, Aggie of Aggie’s Kitchen. This woman is like my sister. Not only are we both pregnant (she’s just 6 weeks ahead of me!) but we are also in crazy Italian/Jewish/Catholic mixed marriages. Her blog is one of the first I started following many years ago because she makes healthy food that is full of flavor yet made with every day ingredients that my family loves.
It was no surprise that we had immediate chemistry in person and felt like we had been “real life” friends for years. She is also the sweetest person alive and bought me a Florida Starbucks mugs for my collection!! xoxo
Ready for some crazy talk? This was my very first time to Disney World! In fact, it was the first time for every member of the Della Croce family. I know, I know…it’s absurd. Although I’ve been to Disney Land many times as a kid, Orlando was an entirely different experience. It was so much fun exploring Epcot and Magic Kingdom with my family for the first time. In fact, I love that this conference not only allows families to join but encourages you to bring your whole crew.
One of my favorite sessions during the conference was titled “Defining Success” and was led by Mr. Steamy Kitchen, Jaden’s husband as well as Jaden herself and their two adorable little boys. My favorite line from the event: “Success is rarely the same as being famous or having a lot of money.” Everyone defines success differently but at the end of the day, most of us think of being successful as having freedom and spending time with our family. Bloggers often get caught up in social media statistics, book deals, TV shows, etc. but with all of those come added responsibility and often less time with family and less freedom. Food for thought.
Mr. Steamy Kitchen also discussed the relationship between our attitude and our successes. His wife Jaden is a very positive, optimistic person. When she sets her mind to do something, she does it the next day. If you are constantly stressing, over-analyzing and drowning in negative thoughts, you are digging yourself into a ditch. Constant thoughts of self doubt, jealousy and anger will not help you grow or develop. What you believe is your reality. Negativity begets negativity. Mind over matter. What you think is what you get.
One bit of advice from Mr. Steamy Kitchen is to surround yourself with people who lift you up and support you. Who are the cheerleaders in your life? Who encourages you? Those are the people to keep by your side. Life is too short for energy suckers – they will only hold you back.
Speaking of surrounding yourself with positive people, I feel so lucky to call the women above in these photos my friends. From the top left you have Audra and Aggie. To the right you have Brenda, Leslie, Sommer, Rebecca, Shari, myself and Aggie (the preggos!) sitting. On the bottom left there’s Megan, Joanne and myself and last but not least me and Julie.
Needless to say, this was an experience I’ll never forget. A huge shout out and thank you to the wonderfully talented organizers of the event: Julie, Lindsay, Jaden and Scott, Todd and Diane. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.