First Ever Blog Conference (and my unvegan weekend)

Warning: What you are about to read may or may not contain non-vegan items. Sometimes rouge things happen, this time it was a huge mistake and I was pretty darn I’ll that night.

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What what?! One week ago today, right now actually, I was sitting at a local hotel surrounding myself with a room full of lovely ladies and two gentlemen. It’s more ethical than it sounds – I swear!!

I attended Bloggy Bootcamp Saint Louis and in short it was a great experience! I was able to spend quality time with one of my favorite bloggers (Show Me Ashley) and explore Saint Louis with a new-to-me blogger (Cupcake Cardio). More on that later!!

At the welcome table bloggers picked up lanyards and a badge with first names, assigned table numbers, Twitter handles, and blog names. Great combo in my opinion!

The assigned table numbers made things a breeze and I still felt like the new kid in school searching for a lunch table (mainly because I couldn’t find my assigned table – directions aren’t exactly my thing 😉 ) but once I found Table 6 life was good! Business cards were passed and the ladies and I settled in for Session One. For Session Two I was assigned to good ole Table 6 (what a relief) but was surrounded by all new counterparts, everyone was just as nice. We took a break between sessions three and four to grab a small bite, take a potty break, and fill up our water. I had scoped out Table 10 ahead of time to ensure I would not be the lost kid at lunch again so I made the quick trip to the back of the room between Dana of Chocolate and Sunshine and Holly of Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally, Laura of Lalymom. While chatting with the table I got a wonderful surprise – Ashley of Show Me Ashley came up and surprised me, I may or may not have jumped right up and had an overzealous reaction to finally meeting her in real life *guilty*. She and chatted before the session and promised to get together afterward.

The end of Session Three brings us to lunch. Uh, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! The staff who served us didn’t see my veg meal ticket so I had to send the chicken back but all was resolved and we were soon chowing down. I ate with Ashley, Dominque from My Work At Home World, and Danielle. Learned a lot of new things and bonded over some delicious grub.

 

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Holly (think back to Table 10) presented after lunch and even though she was nervous she rocked it. There is no doubt she was the funniest of the day! Session 5 seemed the longest of all, I think it may have been the time?

Session 6 was a cool down session where we examined life balance and what matters. Something we all try to keep in perspective.

To wrap up the evening most everyone joined the wine sponsor, Mirassou, as they generously poured glass after glass. For those who love a rich red wine I’d highly recommend their Sunset Red. Just for the record – it’s strong wine and you should always drink responsibly.

Looking for a rundown of everything? Here are the deets:

Pros:
Meeting such amazing people, it’s just awesome,
Getting the wisdom sprinkled in the presentations: the tips and tricks only people who have been “in the Space” know,
Assigned seating: it took out all the awkward seat saving and other cordial ____ free seating requires. “Well, I guess you can sit there, it does have your number on it.” Looping, I met a ton of awesome people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise this way,
Wine Time – thank you Mirassou. Best part? Maybe…
Cons:
No breakout sessions – it wasn’t advertised, but looking for feedback I would have liked to see the option to go to other
I learned more from the questions – no lie, the major takeaways were from the questions asks during and post sessions rather than the information in the presentations.
Although the pros out weigh the cons I will probably not attend another Bloggy Bootcamp, I will certainly try other conferences and personal/professional development. I came out of this excited by being around the people who “get me” and with a better appreciation of what I do.
Saturday night Margarita of Cupcake Cardio bribed me and we went and had a blast at City Museum. Slides, crevasses, and climbing galore. Oh, and more food.
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Yes, that’s fried chicken on top of a waffle drizzled with maple syrup. Don’t judge me. Or do. There are also donuts, best ever, right out of the vat. Yum! We also checked out a magic show at the City and spun in human sized tops.
That was a “late” night. So much fun – thanks for bribing me girl!
And then there was Sunday. Ashley and I meet at a cute little Greek restaurant, it wasn’t open yet so we walked up and down the downtown street and chatted until it was open. We then had a three hour lunch! I’d say it was a success!!
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If you went, what was your favorite part?If you didn’t, have you ever been to a conference? Tell me about it!

It’s a Vegan Thanksgiving: Dessert

Happy Monday Tuesday y’all!

Oy, it has been a looooong day guys! I hope it has been shorter for you! Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes!

Don’t forget to check the rest of this series! Vegan main dishes and vegan sides and substitutes! Next week will be vegan appetizers and leftovers – yeahhh!

Best meal of the day. Done.

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Forks over Knives’ Blackberry-Peach Cobbler

Oh She Glows’ Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten-Free

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Chloe Coscarelli’s Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes

For all of my “breakfast after dark” foodie fans I have a little something something for you too!

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Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

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Minimalist Baker’s Gluten-Free, Vegan Apple Crisp 

(disregard the ice cream that is NOT vegan, pretty please!)

And my absolute favorite food in the whole wide world ever to be made!!!!

This was a contingency on veganism for me – yeah, it’s that serious.

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Maratha Stewart’s Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Wait…is chocolate vegan? Sometimes, here are the deets.

What are some of your favorite holiday desserts? And no, they don’t have to be vegan!

Bite your friend like chocolate (PROMO CODE)

Did I catch your attention?

Good! I have another question for you: Will you run for chocolate?!

I know I will! December 15th I will be toeing up to the starting line of America’s Sweetest race – The Hot Chocolate 15/5k!

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Not only am I running in the race but I have a sweet promo code for you too!! When you sign up for America’s Sweetest race make sure to use the promo code SALTYMUG so you can get a free travel mug! This isn’t just for Saint Louisans though – it’s for EVERYBODY running either distance!

Yes, I’ll still be here when you finish signing up!

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Glad you’re back!!

The Hot Chocolate Series is fourteen different cities now! You can choose to run in ANY of the races and still receive the mug with my promo code!

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Not only are you getting a free mug but you’re getting some pretty sweet swag too! When you pick up your bib you’ll get a hoodie to keep you warm and toasty PLUS when you finish your “medal” is a huge mug (might not want to travel with this one!) filled with hot chocolate (duh!) , chocolate fondue, and tasty dippable treats! After hearing that I couldn’t sign up fast enough!

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But wait – it gets better! You’ll be running for a great cause too. The Ronald McDonald House is the national charity sponsor! The RMHC program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families and children facing a serious medical crisis so they can stay close by their hospital at little or no cost. 

So, I pose the question: Where will YOU be running for chocolate?

*I am an official Hot Chocolate Blogger and will receive registration free on race day.