It has been just over a week since coming home from Seattle and my first IFBC (International Food Bloggers Convention). Signing up over 6 months ago I was so excited to meet other food bloggers and hear what they do to have a successful blog. As the day drew near to drive the 4 hours to Seattle I started to get very nervous. I am going to be in a room with 320 people and I was going to not know one person. We arrived at the W Hotel just before noon and the lobby is crowded with people talking and hugging each other and I knew this was a friendly group but still was not sure how I was going to fit in. After checking in and getting to our room (my husband came along to support me and get some extra sleep) he said it was time to meet everyone and he pushed me out the door. After getting my badge I just walked around seeing groups of people talking and laughing and I thought “how do I meet you”. As I was standing down the hall from the Chipotle Mexican Grill lunch I heard a voice “are you here by yourself” and she said so I am, I have met my first food blogger. After we exchange who we are and what we blogged about we parted ways and went to get a seat to hear the Keynote speaker, Dorie Greenspan. As I sat around the table with some more new faces we exchanged business cards and shared with each other, now I have 5 more food blogger friends. As Dorie takes the stage and she starts to talk in her soft voice I started to feel more at ease and just in awe of the life she has had and author of 11 cookbooks. As she walks off the stage with a round of overwhelming applause I felt that there was nothing to keep me back from creating my own dream to be the best food blogger I can and maybe one day I could have a cookbook. I was so excited and we had a small break before the afternoon session started so I raced back to my room to share with my husband the most inspiring woman I just heard talk and then DASHED out of the room to learn more. The rest of the day was amazing and I wished it would not end but I knew the next day would be filled with more new faces and lots more to learn. I did send my husband on an errand Saturday morning, 8 blocks to the Barnes and Noble book store to get me a copy of Dorie’s “Baking: From My House to Yours”. Hoping to see Dorie and get her to sign it I carried the book all day and if you do not have a copy the book weighs almost 5 pounds. I lost all hope at the end of the day without seeing her and thought see must have left until I saw a tweet from her about the Urbanspoon Surprise Saturday Supper she was at. The next morning I sent Dorie a tweet and within 10 minutes she tweeted I am leaving in 30 minutes but if you leave the book at the front desk I will sign it before I leave. Leaving the book at the front desk I went to the morning class “Writing – Snap out of it” presented by author/journalist Kim O’Donnel. Waiting 30 minutes I slip out of class quietly and went back to the front desk to find Dorie had signed my book, a treasure I carried with me back to my seat. The conference would be ending soon and I felt I was leaving a more confident person and had made many new friends. Next year I want to be the person that walks up to the person standing by themselves and welcomes them into the group like I was the first day. I knew I wanted to do my first blog post on Dorie and I thought what better way but to make a recipe from her cookbook “Baking: From My House to Yours”. I created the chocolate cake with marshmallow icing on the front cover and since I got some great swag the first day I used the Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate bar and the lagrima vanilla extract in my recipe. I also used some of the photography tips we learned from Andrew Scrivani when taking these pictures. The swag bag is getting a little lighter this week with more recipes I am making with the great products we received … watch for what I will be creating next. Happy Blogging to all and thank you for welcoming me!