A Blog Altering Conference

Surprisingly, this has been a very difficult post to write.  But a whole week has gone by since I attended the Food Bloggers of Canada conference so it was time to put something down in pixels.

From the formal meals to the brand samples, I thought about how I was going to describe each wonderful and delicious bite I took. Thank you to Hockey Valley Resort and all of the sponsors.

Manitoba Canola Growers, Tree of Life, KitchenAid

Manitoba Canola Growers, Tree of Life, KitchenAid

I thought about writing how insightful and informative the workshops were. Thank you to all of the speakers.

I thought about how I can’t begin to express my gratitude for being part of an event of this caliber, with organizers so generous, talented, and resourceful; they put all other events to shame. Thank you to Ethan, Mardi and Melissa.

I thought about how I was going to put into words how many great friendships have begun because of this event.  Thank you, thank you, thank you and many more.

There are many posts in my trash folder that try to convey these thoughts, and in the end nothing I wrote seemed to come close to justifying my experience nearly as eloquently as some of my peers have.

Maybe it’s the recurring theme through the weekend that has affected the way I approach this post, and will affect many in the future.

Find your voice.

Speak to reader like they are your friend.

When I first started The Tasty Gardener several years ago I had one purpose and one purpose only; to be a great resource of all things food and gardening related.  I built up the content, publishing posts at a frenzied pace thinking this is what people want, this is how it should be.  I never spoke of who I am, or what my life is about.  I didn’t even have a picture of me, only my cats on the “About Me” page.  I pride myself on providing a content-based site, The Tasty Gardener being a persona with no face.  But this weekend gave me my ah ha!  moment.  This is not who I am.

In my circle of family, friends, and colleges I am known as an extremely talkative and social person.  I go to work early so I have time to catch up on peoples comings and goings and will stay late if my socializing has prevented me from getting my work done.  I have also been told I am an amazing storyteller, using my sarcasm and lack of filter to talk about the sitcom that is my life.  I love to laugh and make others laugh with me. If I had a reality show I swear it would be award-winning given the amount of calamity that befalls me and my family.

As I sat through many of the speakers and took a copious amount of notes, one of the main I things wrote each and every time was “Find Your Voice”.

So this post will be the beginning of a change.  I think a change for the better.  Oh I will still be posting recipes and garden information on a regular basis but I’m also going to write posts where I talk to you as I would anyone else I meet in person.  As a friend.  As someone who really wants to know more about me and my life.

I have a wonderful fiancee ( Dear Husband or DH) who is both the bane of my existence and my reason for breathing.  He has two amazing daughters who entertain me with their wit and creativity but frustrate the hell out of me with their eating habits.  I have an amazing cast of characters I call my friends, family, and co workers.  And I have three, yes three, furry felines each with their own unique personality.  I have struggled with my weight and eating healthy my whole life ( which I’m embarrassed to say is a battle I’m losing at the moment) and I have chronic neck and shoulder pain. The day I got engaged was the most romantic and comical moment in my realtioniship with DH.  The day my dad died is the day my heart broke and never fully healed. These are all aspects of my life that make up my story. A story you might want to know more about.

And one I will begin to tell.

Not to take away the significance of all that occurred this weekend, here are a couple of links to fellow bloggers who I will humbly say summed everything up so much better than I ever could.

Julie Elsden-Height at www.soberjulie.com

Britt Stager at www.mydailyrandomness.com

And a very cool behind the scene prespective from Melissa Hartfiel at www.melissahartfiel.com


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  1. I JUST published my own (also very difficult to write) post about FBC2013 and it's also not the post I imagined in my head when we were planning the conference. What I am seeing people take away from the conference is so much more than we expected. It thrills me to see people having blog-altering moments like you did. I can't wait to get to know you more through your true voice!
  2. Looking forward to reading more about you Heather! The conference has also changed the way I see my blog, and what I want to continue doing.
  3. Heather - a great post that focuses on the most important message! I wish I had met you while at the conference, there were just so many people. Perhaps we can work together on a future project. Thanks for a great read today.
    • Thanks Allyson. I know what you mean. Each day it seemed I was seeing new people I had not seen the previous day. Let's stay in touch and hopefully connect over something in the future.
  4. Heather I read this when you published it, but had to restart my computer - or something - and didn't get a comment on it - though thought I did! Meeting you was a highlight for me... love gardening and will follow more closely now that I have a personal connection with your sweet smile! First, LOVE the title of this post. It truly was a blog altering experience, for me, too - as you saw when you read my recap. I hope to continue this relationship - with "all of us" and maybe start something once a month - like a "Canadian Food experience" etc... posting once a month... Let's definitely keep in touch! XO Valerie


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