Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Rediscovered My Food Writing Passion at Blissdom 2012

I always learn a lot and enjoy myself when I go to Blissdom. Blissdom2012 turned the dial up to 11 in no small part to me being a Newcomer Community Leader and leading session discussions for the Food/Entertainment niche during the conference.

LisaNelsenWoods_NormaRaeMoment_resizeBlissdom changed the session format from panel discussions with Q and A throughout to a 30 minute speaker, a 30 minute discussion on how to apply the topic to your niche/blog, followed by a group Q and A. I liked the new format but with all new things, it could use a few tweaks. Best of all, I loved the mentoring aspect of being a Community Leader. It made a good conference great for me!

Being a CL forced me out of my green and DIY bubble because I was a Food/Entertainment Community Leader too. It was the reminder I needed that there is a huge group of people that know me as Lazy Budget Chef, instead of Condo Blues. I recognized that my Little Sister blog, Lazy Budget Chef, is growing up and the experience renewed my passion for food writing. Especially after Instagraming the stout I was enjoying one evening (to make Husband jealous), which lead to my server Shelly, giving me a small taste of a Milk Stout and a Bourbon Barrel stout that are also available at the Gaylord Opryland, as well as an in depth flavor and taste discussion. That’s customer service people! (See my video below for another example that will blow your doors off!) 

Thank you so much for reading Lazy Budget Chef!

Through those sessions as well as hallway conversations with complete strangers, I rediscovered my passion for food writing.

 Blissdommelon1
I got to play with some super sweet photography equipment too. 
Thanks Picha Global!




That’s the beauty of Blissdom. It’s full of what speaker Jon Acuff calls “hinge moments” - that moment when the light bulb goes off in your head. Jon’s opening keynote was funny and inspiring. I can’t wait to read the copy of this book Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job he gave each attendee. Thanks Jon!

I don’t have an I Ate My Way Around Blissdom  post for you this year. My kidney issues are making food a chore rather than a joy because I don’t feel like eating most days. The upside is I'm lost 10 of  the 30 pounds I gained as the side affect of an old medication (don't worry, the weight gain drug was nothing medically serious. I  discontinued it a year ago with my doctor's OK. The extra weight has been sticking around like glue though.)

My lactose intolerance makes me feel high maintenance. Especially this year because Got Milk? and YoCrunch sponsored meals and breaks full of food I couldn’t eat and without any lactose free alternatives. I get it from a marketing standpoint but come on guys! I got sick the next day because of it. (It didn't go to waste. Husband claimed all swag and coupons from these vendors because he is the Calcium King of our Condo.)

GoGoSqeeZ5_resize
 Go Go Squeez flavored apple sauce was my Blissdom BFF. 
It's high fructose corn syrup free. Check out my video below to learn how to recycle the packaging.

Out of desperation, I ate some of food I shouldn’t for breakfast and lunch on Day One. The following day, I was so nauseous I had to lay down in my room for a bit (if I got sick I figured it would be better to do it my hotel bathroom than in the hotel lobby) and almost missed my last CL session. What a nice little reminder of why I need to stick to a lactose free diet!

communityLeadermtg1

I’d like to think it was Chris Mann singing during the Centrum sponsored lunch that made me feel better on Day Two. I've never been so grateful for vitamins than during this lunch!

ChrisMann4
 Chris Mann is on The Voice this season. 
Looks like I'm watching The Voice now.

Actually, I think it was the easily lactose free lunch and healthy dose of Prilosec that got me through the rest of the day.

If you want to prove me wrong Chris and you feel bad you missed out on making me feel better,  if you want to sing Soft Kitty to me after the fact, I’m game.

Now least you think it was all introspection and kumbayah moments (or you saw the nutty photos in my Blissdom 2012 Flickr stream) there was plenty of silliness too. Like my kooky solution to the giant hotel doing a number on my tiny little tootsies during the dressy Lorax party.

LisaGlittershoesLoraxparty_resize
I upcycled my tennis shoes with glitter fabric paint
It was either that, or buy Batman high tops in the kid's department 
(yes my feet are that small.)


And speaking of The Lorax, he streaked the hotel all day Saturday. However, the little nekkid guy sure knows how to throw a party!


  
I created a video of some of the lighter moments, friends, food, and an epic good customer service story from Blissdom 2012. Be kind, it’s my first attempt at vlogging – from the Men’s Restroom. Really.



I want to give a special shout out and thank you to the people at the Gaylord Opryland Resort that made my stay extra wonderful. Stacy my server at Findley's Pub who saw my love of stouts on Twitter and gave me a beer flight, Cate our housekeeper who skipped our room for a bit because my roommate needed some quiet time just as Cate was about to clean it (and when she did, Cate left a few extras for us), Elizabeth, Tori & Nick for making A Mommy Story the Happiest Girl at Blissdom, and to the maintenance guy (I'm so sorry I didn't get his name!) who helped me haul my heavy suitcases full of vitamins to the front desk even though he said he technically shouldn't because he's not a valet but did it because he saw me struggling. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Did you like this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Lazy Budget Chef RSS feed or by subscribing to Lazy Budget Chef by email.