Blog Brulee Recap

Blog Brulee, a 3-day blogging conference for registered dietitians who blog, was the experience of a lifetime! Here's a recap of one of the most inspirational and educational weekends of my life! 

Last weekend was the most important weekend for me, both personally and professionally. I attended Blog Brulee with an amazing group of dietitian bloggers at the gorgeous Smugglers' Notch Resort outside of Burlington, VT. Making the choice to start a private practice and focus on my blog was a terrifying, but any lingering doubts were wiped away after the weekend! I left inspired, enthusiastic and with a 50 point to-do list that I can't wait to attack!

{Disclosure: My attendance at Blog Brulee was partially sponsored. I was not compensated to write this post}

First, let's recap. After spending a few days in Montreal with my mom, we grabbed a quick lunch in Burlington then she drove me to Smugglers' Notch. The drive was incredible, winding through mountains, old farms and gorgeous fields of wildflowers. However there was traffic. Yeah, in the middle of nowhere Vermont! Go figure. When I arrived with just minutes before we had to leave for the start of events, I was totally frazzled, but luckily my amazing roomies Kara and Holly made me feel right at home.

First we all socialized over a yummy appetizer spread of Cabot cheese, fruits, veggies, and whole grain crackers with lots of yummy healthy dips (the tofu one was bomb!). Dinner included gluten free and regular flatbreads, chicken and vegetable kebabs and lamb sliders. For dessert, of course we were served creme brulee! After we all had met, we all sat down for a presentation on food photography for DSLRs and smart phones from Regan and Deanna. If you're an avid instagrammer, you'll definitely want to download Snapseed.

After our lectures, we went back to our amazing suite and enjoyed some roomie bonding time before hitting the sack. Kara, Holly and I all recently started private practices, so we had lots to talk about.

We woke up bright and early for a talk on the art of online storytelling from Brierley from Eating Well and Robin from Robin's Bite.

Then it was off for wine and Cabot cheese tasting at Boyden Valley Winery. I probably should have felt some shame in the fact that this was my third time cheese/wine tasting at 10 am in the past two weeks...but I didn't!

Boyden Valley Winery specializes in sweeter wines, like dessert, fruit and ice wines. Normally, I prefer my wine dry, but I really enjoyed their dessert wine. I'm kind of regretting not getting a bottle. It paired perfectly with sharp cheddar!

Once back at Smuggler's Notch, we enjoyed an amazing lunch! My favorite moment was when they were describing the dishes and said "jicama salad," the entire room responded with "oooooh!!" Only would a room full of dietitians obsess over jicama salad!

Once back at Smuggler's Notch, we enjoyed an amazing lunch! My favorite moment was when they were describing the dishes and said "jicama salad," the entire room responded with "oooooh!!" Only would a room full of dietitians obsess over jicama salad!

Afterwards, we braved the cold and rain drizzle in the high 50s and made s'mores by the campfire! I'm probably the only weirdo who doesn't like s'mores (freak, I know), but I do love eating the charred part off marshmallows.

After lunch, we got a lesson on food styling from Gretchen, learned about SEO (without my brain exploding!) from Carolyn and EA taught us how she built her virtual community.

For dinner, we had a small roundtable discussion led by Anne over sesame salmon, coconut rice and veggies. The discussion started out innocently enough, but somehow we ended up sharing horror stories of firework injuries and dog bites!

After dinner, we did a chocolate tasting with Lake Champlain chocolates. It was amazing how many different flavors I noticed when I slowed down rather than gobbling it up. The spicy aztec chocolate was the clear winner with this group!

After chocolate tasting, we went back to the cabins and a group of us played a game of popcorn, basically a combination of charades and catchphrase. So much fun! I don't think I will ever look at asparagus or the pioneer woman the same way!

The next morning, we learned about branding from two experts, The Meal Makeover Moms, Liz and Janice. These two are a seriously hilarious and a dynamic duo! It's no wonder they've been so successful! Next up was Anne of fANNtastic Food, who discussed working with brands and monetizing your blog. We ended the lectures with a discussion on negotiating contracts.

We all hung around the resort for a bit before heading off for Burlington. A group of us decided to explore the city before catching our flights. We wandered through downtown and of course found a juice bar. I had a sweet potato and pumpkin juice which was incredible! Who knew sweet potato and pumpkin were juicible?? The group dwindled down and eventually it was just me, MinMeme, and our umm, interesting cab driver. According to them, I'm very skilled in handling weird people. I think that was a compliment??

Words can't express the gratitude I feel for the founders, Regan, Deanna, Robin and Gretchen for inviting me to be a part of this event. They worked so hard to make this a fun and educational event for all of us attendees and it was all that and more. They have all been incredibly successful in their own endeavors. Rather than hoarding their vast reservoir of knowledge for their own benefit, they've fostered a community of dietitian bloggers who pool resources and help each other out.

To everyone at Blog Brulee, thank you all so much for making it such a memorable weekend. As I looked back through the list of attendees, I realize I learned something new from each and every one of you. I feel so blessed to have gained so many new friends!

Of course, I must also give a huge shout out to our sponsors who made this weekend possible.  Smugglers’ Notch Vermont: America’s Family Resort // Holy gorgeous! Even the drive to Smugglers' Notch was worth a trip alone! Smugglers Notch, I will definitely see you again! Cabot // Love their commitment to family farms as much as their incredible cheese. The clothbound cheddar is where it's at! Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits // If you're in the area, their beautiful winery is a perfect place to stop. Check out the Gold Leaf and Glogg! Mountain States Rosen Company // They offer grassfed, pastured lamb seasonally!  Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs // They sell pasteurized eggs, reducing your risk of salmonella.  Kashi // I announced it on twitter, but we were the first to find out Kashi is launching a new sprouted cereal at Costco! Now I just need to find a friend with a membership. I love where this company is going! Welch’s // I was excited to learn about Welch's commitment to family farms. The Soyfoods Council // I mean, y'all already know I love my tofu and tempeh. Do I need to say any more?

I learned so much over the weekend that I want to share with you all, but I know I've already rambled on too long, and I listened when Robin and Brierley told us not to verbal diarrhea all over the page. So stay tuned next week for a separate post on the life lessons I learned at Blog Brulee.

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