A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Camp Blogaway for the second year in a row.  Last year I walked away from this experience having not only learned a few valuable lessons about food blogging, but also met some wonderful people.

This year the panels were even more educational and I felt that I learned so much. I also had the opportunity reconnect and create stronger bonds with some of the folks who I met last year.

Please say hello to Rebekah from Decadently FIT, Taryn from Phoenix Bites, and Barabra from Barbara Cooks.

Those of us who attended also walked away with a bag full of goodies by the sponsoring brands Wilton, Bragg, Kerry Gold, and Klondike Brands. We also had the opportunity to taste some of Sabra’s delicious dips, salsas, and guacamole and wash it all down with some wine from Wente Vineyards.

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend events such as Camp Blogaway where creative ideas are shared freely and generously. I really enjoyed meeting new fellow food bloggers and the opportunity to learn from each other.

I have to confess for the past two years I have also been completely starstruck by one particular speaker: Denise Vivaldo. This world can be so small somedays. About four years ago, when I was still unemployed, I was asked to do a few catering jobs. At the time I thought that perhaps that was an opportunity that I should take in consideration and see if it turn into a job. The truth is that I had no idea where to start. Specifically, how to write a proposal, how to create an invoice, how to price my food and labor, but most importantly I did not know how much food to purchase. I have to confess that when hosting parties I generally cook for an army because I have this irrational fear that someone might leave my house hungry, so I always end up with a ton of leftovers.

I looked high and low for a book to get me started and the one which fit all the categories, and had high ratings, was “How to start a home based Catering Business” by Denise Vivaldo. Her book not only helped me with all the administrative information that I needed, but I also learned to shop for food in a smarter manner, a skill that I still use to this day for the camping trips that I cook for.

I nearly died last year when I saw Denise at Camp Blogaway. I love the fact that this event is big enough for a lot of people to attend, yet it’s small enough that we can all intermingle together and interact with the speakers. I always enjoy Denise’s segments about food styling and all the energy that she brings to the room. Certainly, I am still learning from her.

On a closing note:

Please check out fellow Persian food blogger Laura Bashar and her partner Mary Platis‘ gorgeous book about Olive Oil!

I formally apologize for accidentally locking second year in a row roomie Taryn out of our cabin Saturday night (OOOPPPS!!!!!) and walking up our sweet roomie Tabitha!

Thank you Patti for bringing us all together and giving us a forum to learn!