A few weekends ago I attended The Big Traveling Potluck blogging conference in southern California. I really, really love attending blogging events and try to make it to as many as I reasonably can. I love catching up with my sweet blogging friends — it’s like seeing everyone I feel like I talk to everyday through their blogs and getting to hug them and hang out with them in person — and I love that I get to meet new bloggers and new friends, and even after 11 years of blogging, I always learn something new and come away inspired by my fellow bloggers.
My weekend started with these two cuties Angie @ Bakerella and Jenny @ Picky Palate picking me up from the airport Orange County, California.
I was immediately informed we had a very ambitious day lined up for us! :) We headed straight for a fun bakery, the Sweet and Saucy Shop in Newport Beach, and ordered this beautiful plate of goodies.
Butterscotch Toffee Pudding. Mmm.
Decadent s’mores cupcake a teeny key lime pie tart. I love that they offer tiny treats so you can sample a few and not feel too full! :)
Now for the complete opposite of tiny, lol! :) Next we headed for one of my Newport Beach favorites, Wonderland Bakery. We had to get one of their massive cookie sandwiches. You can pick any cookie/icing combination and they will make it for you on the spot and even warm up the cookies. We chose a chocolate peanut butter chunk cookie and a raspberry white chocolate cookie with vanilla buttercream frosting. Swoon. If you want to see in perspective just how gigantic this cookie actually is, you must check out Bakerella’s recap of our visit! ;)
French macarons! Had to stop by ‘lette to pick up a few of these to go. ;)
The next day we headed to the conference site in Temecula and met up with the fabulous Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod. As soon as we all got together we decided we wanted go makeup shopping, so we headed for the mall just up the road. And seriously, right across from Sephora and MAC was a cupcake shop called Truly, Madly, Sweetly. How cute is that?? We had to pop in. We were not even remotely hungry, but their cupcakes looked so gorgeous, we had to try a few. ;)
How fun is this photo Angie caught of us, lol!?? That’s me at the top right with the neon pink nails. Totally not staged. Love it! :)
And here’s what we were taking photos of… See what I mean?? :) Gorgeous cupcakes. :)
But this one, you guys. Oh my gosh. This one was the real winner. Here we have a S’mores cupcake and it is seriously one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. Let’s start with the top and work our way down, shall we? This cupcake is topped with a caramelized toasted marshmallow, so it tastes just like a perfectly golden, toasted marshmallow, but it’s caramelized and crunchy like a decadent creme brulee topping. To die. Next comes the fluffy, graham cracker vanilla bean frosting, and it’s sitting on top of one of the most luscious devil’s food cake cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. It’s like it was fresh out of the oven: warm, gooey, soft, and perfect. Loved it!!
Later that night we had dinner we had our big potluck dinner with everyone at the conference and I got to try one of Averie Cooks homemade treats. This is her Honey & Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Streusel. Yum!!
Here’s where we got to spend all day at the conference — with this as our view. Did I mention we had a make your own guacamole bar?
And we always had a generous supply of fruit-infused water readily available. This is totally my kind of conference! Great friends and fabulous food.
Always fun seeing the beautiful and inspiring Ree, The Pioneer Woman! I loved that this was a smaller conference — I felt like I really got to spend quality time with everyone there.
If you’ve ever wanted to attended a blogging conference, I highly recommend one. They’re the best! You don’t have to be invited, or be a member of anything, or anything, just do a Google search for “blogging conferences 2013” or “blog conference 2013” and start looking for one near you — or one in a fun city you want to visit! :)
More fun recaps from Big Traveling Potluck 2013 :)
Two Peas and Their Pod
Bake Your Day
A Thought for Food
It’s hard to word how pretty the pictures are
Was your conference spot at Mira Monte winery by chance? I live in Temecula and your pics were wonderful. Will try the smore’s cupcake for sure now! Thanks!
Seems like you had a great time. Photos are fantastic as usual.
Only problem is, your blog makes me travel more and worse, eat more.
If I stop leaving comments that would mean diet came to slap me on my fat…well, parts :)
This is so inspirational! It looks like something I would really, really love to do. I would even love to plan a conference one day! Keep all the inspiration coming:)
This looks so fun! I love lette!! I’ve been meaning to post about them forever since I was there a few months ago. Macarons are the best!…and every other cookie :).
I am so glad I finally got to meet you! The event was incredible! Next time you are in Southern California and make your way down to San Diego, let me know. I have a few fun stops down here!
We talked about the upcoming conference in Austin. If you have any suggestions (from previous trips or friends) of special bakeries/restaurants I would love to know. I am trying to plan out our stay.
So glad someone asked about your dress… lOVE IT!
So fun! I love that picture that Angie captured of ya’ll taking pictures of the cupcakes! haha. Blogging conference are a blast aren’t they! Only 8 more days until FBF! Can’t wait!
Looks like you guys had so much fun! Loved the macaron tree! :)
It looks like you all had such a wonderful time! Attending a blogging conference is now officially on my must-do list. “Kevin & Amanda” was the very first blog I started following. I was looking for a recipe for Green Beans and Almonds, came across yours, made it for Thanksgiving and loved it. I’ve been following along ever since. Love your recipes, photos, travel stories, all of it! Thanks, Amanda. (PS: You look great!)
YUMMY… and great food photo’s.
Looks like it was a wonderful and fun event. Hope to go next year :)
Whenever I read about blogging conferences, they always seem like such an amazing experience that I’d love to take part in myself.
If you take a look at my blog, you’ll see I’ve only been at it a short while, so I don’t think I’m quite ready to attend one yet, but that’s definitely one of my goals.
Thank you for posting, the pictures are stunning!
Loved hanging out with you! I am craving that S’mores cupcake! So good! Can’t wait until Austin! xo
Oh my gosh, this is going on my MUST-GO-TO list for next year. I would love to go, just to meet all the bloggers that I admire, like you! That would be so much fun.
Hi Amanda! What a fun post to read! I am laughing because I love how all of us bloggers take photos of food wherever we go. It’s hilarious! My family and friends always rolls their eyes every time I take out my iPhone at a restaurant. They just don’t get it! I have to say that you have totally inspired me to attend a conference. I always hear about them after the fact and never know where to look to find out when they’re being offered, so thanks! I’ve only been blogging a little over a year, but I have made so many friends and would love to meet them in person. I like the idea of a smaller conference as well because it really gives you time to connect and get to know fellow bloggers! I can’t wait till Averie posts that cake recipe! xoxo, Jackie
I am just at the oh-so-very beginning of learning “how to” blog. My goal is to be semi ready by my 38 day solo trip to Italy in June. My thought is that it will help me stay connected and give me a voice.
I am curious how you format the size of your photos. My intention is that photography will be a major part of mine, words a bit less.
What an awesome adventure, Paige! My photos are 720 pixels wide and the tall photos are 720 pixels tall. Hope this helps!! :)
It was so good to see you again at the Potluck. I’m not attending any more conferences this year, so you’ll just have to come visit again. :)
Yes!! Definitely!! :) Wish I would’ve gotten the chance to hang out more with my food twin this weekend!! ;) Hope to see you soon!! :) xoxoxo
Last picture, your outfit is darling. I love it! The colors are amazing on you.
Man that looked like a great conference! Wish I was there, and all those treats look to die for! But Ill be at FBF so hope to meet you there Amanda :D
Yes!! Looking forward to it!! :)
such a fun weekend and just LOVED spending time with you!! Thank you for all the baby snuggles, he clearly adores you :)
Oh my gosh, I miss Mason so much!! Can I please snuggle him again?? :)
Very cool looks like you ladies (and gents) had a great time! I really hope your planning to go to BlogHer Food! I would love to meet you!
I will be there!! Looking forward to meeting you Katie!! :)
Great pictures. Looks like a wonderful event. Also looks like it was delicious!
I really wish I was a blogger because I love reading your blog and would so love to meet you, Maria, Ree, everyone! Can I really go to a blogging conference if I’m not a blogger? Who knew?!
Such a great trip!
*oooops: I meant: “…photos and article really take (sans -s) me…” / Grammar alert :p
Hello Amanda! :-) Your photos and article really takes me at the conference with you! :-) But I have a question. How “long” your blog’s life should be in order to pop at a conference? Are there some “etiquette” tips or anything you’d like to share for a conference newbie?
I am moving to London in September and I’d really love to socialize with other bloggers there and attend meetings and conferences.. but how do you find the courage to do so if your blog just started? (ps: my blog will be on my life and adventures there).
I’d really love to hear some advice on this!
Big hugs (from Athens, GR at the moment),
There was one blogger at this conference who had just published her first post the day before the conference! :) Sometimes attending a conference can be the motivation needed to make that first post. :)
Toooootally missed seeing you. Next time! :)
(come to KC!)
So great to see you again, Amanda!
Amanda- where did you get your adorable striped dress?!? I’m obsessed!!! :)
Thank you! It is from PiperLime. :) THML Striped Knit Maxi Dress
Sounds like a really great time! And those cupcakes look amazing!
Such a beautiful roundup! It was SO wonderful to meet you and spend some time talking. So glad that you had fun (and an amazing week with Jenny afterwards!), and I already can’t wait to see you again soon!
Yes!! Chicago here we come!! :) xoxo
Looks like you had so much fun, and oh those sweets! I haven’t been to a blogging conference since FBF in Nashville. I need to get some on my calendar!
It seems like you travel a lot and get to enjoy all the benefits (food) of your job. I believe I’m been following you since the beginning when you just were scrap booking. How did you get into all this travel? You do a great job, I can travel with you without even leaving my house and enjoy the fabulous food but without the calories! Keep up the good work!
Thank you! I have always loved to travel! :) Remember when I would post our anniversary trip weekend getaway recaps, lol?? :)
Beautiful pictures! How on earth can you be surrounded by all that decadent food and still manage to stay so thin!!
Lots of friends to share it with! :)
Amanda, your photos of the event are stunning! They are so bright, cheery and awesome and I wish I didn’t have to duck out early and could have spent more time with you and everyone! Next year :)
Thanks for the pic of my cake and linking up – you’re too sweet! I took pics of tjhe before I brought it to Potluck and am going to blog about it next week.
I loved that this was smaller, too. So much nicer than those big, stadium-style conferences. What a wonderful post about it!