My Highlights of 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Part 2

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Part 2 of my Highlights of the Food Bloggers of Canada 2017 in Ottawa. Let’s wrap up this amazing conference on a beautiful Fall Sunday and my leisure time to do some sightseeing attractions in Ottawa on Sunday evening and Monday half day.

Day 3 – Sunday, October 22, 2017

On the last day of the FBC2017 conference, we had a hearty and healthy Sunday breakfast consisting of variety of fruits, sausages, grilled vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms, Burnbrae Farms provided different types of eggs, and in the vegan section there was red bean & potato hash too. I love that FBC was able to provide different options for different allergies for people. I love the tea station and they even had my soy / almond milk for my tea.

We had the morning session with 2 inspiring speakersPailin Chongchitnant who is the author of the cookbook, Hot Thai Kitchen, host of TV series One World Kitchen on Gusto TV, and creator and host of the YouTube channel PailinsKitchen and Dana McCauley from Food Starter where she helps start up food businesses to grow. Dana also has authored four cookbooks. She discussed the food trends in 2017 and upcoming food trends, which was great to hear about.

My fave treat was during our coffee break with Vegan Glutenfree scones by Strawberry Blonde Bakery. I tried the Apple Cinnamon flavour ones and loved it!!! Yum!! As scones tend to be dried a bit, but this one wasn’t and I love the apple cinnamon flavour, as some of you know I love any apple treats and desserts!! I had my scone with Spiced Cranberry & Iced Apple Wine jam by The Preservatory and it was a great combination the sweet jam with the scones!!

Last, but not least where is FBC2018 headed for next year…..drum roll please…FBC2018 is a Road Trip across Canada for 3 weeks in September 2018 with our hosts, Melissa and Ethan along with special guest: Dennis Prescott. How exciting is this?? They have announced a few set cities/provinces such as Vancouver, Manitoba, Alberta, Halifax, and ending it in my own city, Toronto, but there are no confirmed details at this moment until January 2018 where they will give us more details. I’m excited and hoping I will be able to attend one of the intimate cities conference.

I love to travel to different cities as some of you know, so it would be great to attend one outside my own city maybe the West Coast as I haven’t been to the West Coast in awhile. So we shall see. Waiting patiently for FBC2018 details…😊  Maybe I might see you there too.

Ending the conference with a light and healthy lunch by Dairy Farmers of Canada where I enjoyed a variety of foods including winter squash salad, tofu, fruits and more. We even got a cute small plush cow at the tables. Check out my delicious & healthy lunch below.

After the lunch, there was a brand networking session with sponsors and mingling with our fellow bloggers at the FBC Lounge located at the top level of the hotel. It was a beautiful & stunning view of Ottawa with the beautiful Fall colours. It was great catching up and meeting new Canadian bloggers, so happy to finally meet Deb – The Sugared Teacup where we mostly talk on Instagram.

By the end of Sunday afternoon session, I was tired, but feeling of course inspired, filled with new information and tips for blogging and energized about my new ideas for my blog!!

View from the Top Level of the Hotel

Mary Tang & me on the 1st Night of FBC2017

Me & Debra (The Sugared Teacup) during lunch on the last day of FBC2017

Me with the FBC2017 sign on the last day

Of course, you can’t forget about Food Bloggers of Canada amazing Swag Bag that we get every year. I look forward it to it every year to see what goodies I get to bring home. This year we got cookbooks of course, 2 containers, utensils, cooking tools, and snacks. My fave definitely has to be The Sugared Teacup coaster, it was so cute!!! Check out my photo of my Swag Bag.

FBC2017 Amazing Swag Bag

For more information on the above sponsors, speakers and bloggers, please see below:

Day 3 & 4 – Sunday, October 22 (Evening) & Monday, October 23, 2017

Me with the Ottawa signage on Sparks Street

During and after the FBC2017 conference, I still manage to do a bit of sightseeing and exploring in Ottawa. I was happy to have stayed an extra day after the conference to enjoy the beauty of Ottawa especially during the Fall season as Ottawa has a natural beauty of colourful trees and scenery to enjoy.

Some of the attractions that I visited are: of course no stop in Ottawa without seeing the Parliament building, Byward Market, Sparks Street, shopped at CF Rideau Centre, and Rideau Falls.  I loved shopping at the Byward Market with unique items that you normally don’t find at a shopping mall. I found a great kitchen shop called: Ma Cuisine recommended by Deb (The Sugared Teacup) where I bought a new mug as I love drinking tea and always looking for new mugs or tea accessories. They had lots of variety of mugs and tea accessories so if you love tea I definitely recommend you stop by Ma Cuisine as they also have lots of other kitchen supplies.

Me in front of the Rideau Canal

Me in front of the Parliament Building

When travelling to new cities, I always love to discover new vegan bakeries so of course while I was in Ottawa for the FBC2017 conference, I made time for one new vegan bakery shop that I discovered. Because Strawberry Blonde Bakery made some of the delicious vegan desserts at the conference as well, I had to stop by their bakery shop itself to see what other delicious vegan baked goods that they had.

On my last day in Ottawa, I stopped by Strawberry Blonde Bakery shop, which is a vegan, gluten-free and nut free bakery. Their mission is to “create a place where the growing number of people with food allergies can buy a treat and not have to worry about cross-contamination, while also not having to compromise on taste or aesthetics.” –Strawberry Blonde Bakery website.

Their bakeshop wasn’t far from the downtown area of Ottawa, very accessible by transit as I took the bus there. I feel in love with their cute bakeshop from the outside with their beautiful & colourful exterior. They have a sitting area only outside thou. I love the atmosphere of their cozy and friendly bakeshop inside despite the size of the bakeshop quite small, but filled with delicious and beautiful aroma smell of freshly baked goods.

Strawberry Blonde Bakery has a large variety of baked goods to choose from cupcakes, cookies to pies, scones, squares, Nanaimo bars, brownies, cakes along with a few savory items as well. They also serve vegan soft serve (ice cream)…YAY!!! It was hard for me to choose what to get.

I ended up getting one Strawberry cupcake with Vanilla frosting and it was simply delicious with their moist cake and the frosting wasn’t too sweet either. One of my fave new vegan cupcakes for sure!!

I also bought their packaged Oatmeal Raisins cookies to bring home with me to try on the train ride home. These are the best Vegan Oatmeal Raisins cookies I ever had, I love Oatmeal Raisins cookies and it’s rare to find one soft and tastes exactly like a regular Oatmeal Raisins cookie. I wish I bought another box of them!! I loved them!!!

Me in front of the Strawberry Blonde Bakeshop

If you haven’t tried, Strawberry Blonde Bakery yet at Ottawa downtown area in the Wellington West area, I highly recommend you checking out this cozy and friendly vegan bakeshop. It definitely won’t disappoint you!! Go try it yourself…😊

For more information on Strawberry Blonde Bakery, please see below:

Websiteclick here

Address – 114B Grange Avenue, Ottawa, ON.

You can follow them on Facebook @StrawberryBlondeBakery, Twitter @BlondeBaking and Instagram @BlondeBaking.

Another amazing FBC conference for 2017 is done already!! Wow!! As it was my 3rd time attending this inspiring and great conference, I love seeing the growing Canadian food bloggers attend this amazing conference every year. Every year I attend this event, I enjoy networking, learning, being inspired by others and of course the delicious and variety of foods at the conference.

Thank you Melissa and Ethan for putting on another fantastic conference for all of us!!!! Every year you guys bring something new and fun to the conference. I am excited for next year’s 2018 Road Trip Conference!!! Looking forward to further details in January 2018! As I can’t wait to start planning which destination I would love to travel next to.

For now, thank you to my wonderful readers who managed to read most or if you are still following along on my Part 2 of my Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada conference. I admit it was a bit long to read, but I hope that you enjoyed it that you are just as inspired and eager to attend 2018 Road Trip FBC conference like me! You can check out Part 1 of my FBC2017 Highlights if you haven’t read it yet here -> click here.

Feeling inspired and getting ready for the Holiday spirit, I am busy prepping for my Holiday post that I am excited to share with you soon!! I am also working on a special project slowly yet progress is happening that I will be sharing with you soon for the New Year 2018. Look out for that announcement soon!!

For the latest updates such as when my next blog post is along with you can follow along on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, I am in search for my next sweet Holiday spirit adventure….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada, please see below:

Food Bloggers of Canada – Website – click here

You can follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersOfCanada, Twitter @FoodBloggersCA and Instagram @FoodBloggersCA.

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My Highlights of 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Part 1

Hi everyone,

Welcome back 😁 and saying Hello to a new month, November already! How did this year go by so fast that it is the end of the year now? Wow!! Thou will be a busy end of the year with the upcoming Holidays and I love the Holidays!! Excited to be sharing with you guys soon about Holiday posts😀 But first, I been very busy since being back from my amazing Food Bloggers of Canada conference in Ottawa at the end of October. It was a busy yet a fun & foodie filled 3 days conference with my fellow Canadian bloggers. I left the conference feeling inspired, filled with new knowledge & information and excited about expanding my own blog.

This was my 3rd time attending this amazing conference and it has become an annual tradition for me attending the FBC conference. I love getting together with my fellow Canadian bloggers and catching up with friends or meeting new friends. Every year it is different and I love the experience along with learning new concepts and ideas on blogging.

If you were following me along with my FBC conference adventure through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (and my stories), hope you enjoyed the photos and live updates while I was at the conference if you weren’t able to join us.

Quick Update

Things will be busier for me for the end of the year as I have started a temporary Admin job with my focus and career path still as a blogger. As some of you know, I left my full time Admin job earlier this year to focus on this blog and refocus my health situation. I am still continuing to grow with this blog and still maintain a balance between Admin work and blogging. I am looking for the right Admin job to balance what I love to do more as a blogger. We will see how this temporary Admin job turns out…😜

So finally I’m here and excited to share with you all, my readers my full experience at the Food Bloggers of Canada conference for those who were not able to attend this foodie conference.

This is my full Recap (warning has it might be a LONG post…😊) of the amazing and fun Food Bloggers of Canada 2017 conference taken place to our nation’s capital in Ottawa, Ontario this year to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday and their 5th conference where 150 bloggers, brands and speakers in an intimate atmosphere to network, providing professional development and of course delicious food. FBC2017 was held at Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre. The conference was held for 3 days.

Day 1 – Friday, October 20, 2017

I took the afternoon train by VIA Rail train from Toronto to Ottawa. I had a relaxing leisure train ride to Ottawa after a very busy 1st work week at my Admin work and at the same time packing & prepping for the conference. I usually take Business class when I take VIA Rail and this was no difference, love travelling business class as I liked the assigned seating and meals on the train. I enjoyed my dairyfree lunch consisting of delicious rice with chicken and beans, salad, whole wheat bun, and fruits! Some beautiful scenery as I headed to Ottawa. Arrived in Ottawa around 4:50pm there was a slight train delay.

I arrived at the Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel by bus, which took approximately 20 mins not too far from the VIA Rail station. There was a Lentils Lounge to welcome us attendees and for Conference Registration as well in the Life Lounge of the hotel. I wasn’t able to attend as I arrived after 4:30pm.

I took a few minutes to take in, unpack and relax from my train ride of the beautiful and modern Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel in my hotel room. I had the King bedroom and with a cityview on a lower floor, not much of a view, but enjoyed my medium size room. I guess I’m more used to more spacious rooms, but still enjoy this room with the modern design and high tech gadgets such as the clock with iPod plugin.

Kickoff Cocktail Reception

Starting FBC2017 with a cocktail reception and I arrived for the cocktail reception near the end and enjoyed a few appetizers along with my fave drink to start off the conference – a refreshing & sweet Fall Sangria with apples and cloves inspired by Ontario Apples

There were lots of yummy appetizers to enjoy. My fave was a Vegan Carrot Chickpeas Patties with Lemon Tahini Dressing by Half Your Plate.

Lentils.org Dinner

For the dinner that evening it was hosted by Lentils, it was a mix and mingle type of dinner with tabletops where we were able to chat with other attendees while enjoying a healthy delicious foods that incorporates lentils in each dish. I thought that was an interesting and great idea. I don’t eat much lentils and it was great to see what dishes that each vendor decided to do. There were several food stations to select from. It was hard to find a tabletop to eat though…😀

Thank you to Lentils for our 2nd Swag Bag that includes “All The Things Sweets” cookbook by Renée Kohlman, cute Go To utensils and lunchbox.

My fave dish of the evening was of course not surprised the dessert table, it was the 1st thing that I saw and loved the 4 different dessert that was offered. Love that these desserts had lentils in it.

  1. Top Fave – Spiced Apple Skillet Cake with Streusel toppings by cookbook author of All The Sweet Things – Renée Kohlman, love any apple desserts so it was not a surprise when I fell in love with this dessert!! It wasn’t too sweet just perfect, love the moist cake too. I secretly had more than 2 pieces I’m so bad lol!!
  2. Sticky Toffee Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chucks, this was pretty good too despite me not a chocolate person at all (yes if you didn’t know I don’t eat chocolate, it’s a surprise to lots lol!!) and I don’t eat chocolate. I tasted more the toffee part.
  3. Fruit Skewers – Loved the fresh fruits too, beautiful display! Always refreshing to have fruits and stay healthy.

Besides the desserts, my 2 fave savoury dishes were:

  1. Lentil Sweet Potato Pierogi with Cider Pickled Cabbage and Crème Fraiche, but I had the Vegan option so no Crème Fraiche by The Wellington Gastropub.
  2. Lentil Sausage by Carben Food & Drink. It was a simple yet delicious sausage and love that it was vegan too. Beautiful plating for this dish!!

Overall, a great and delicious different types of food to start of this amazing and foodie conference. It was great to reconnect with familiar friends & bloggers and meeting new bloggers during the mix and mingle dinner as well.

For more information on the above Sponsors, vendors and authors, please see below:

Day 2– Saturday, October 21, 2017

Breakfast with Ontario Apple Growers

FBC2017 started Day 2 with a healthy & nutritious breakfast by Ontario Apple Growers. Unfortunately due to personal reasons sadly missed this delicious breakfast as I love apples too.

Ontario Apple Growers provided a healthy and delicious breakfast with Apple French Toast, Apple Parfaits, fresh fruits, and etc.

The Keynote Speaker for the morning was Elizabeth Baird, author and editor of multiple cookbooks both on her own and with Canadian Living who she was also a former Canadian Living food editor. She also is a member of the Order of Canada. With her many years of experience in the food industry, it was an honor to listen to Elizabeth Baird and listen to her vast experience working in the food world about the history of food and cooking and tips.

The rest of the morning was divided into workshops that we (attendees) got to sign up before the conference. I attended 3 workshops that morning that included:

  1. How to Snag Media Opportunities and Survive Interviews – Presented by Zannat Reza and Will Lamont
    • Even though I haven’t pitch to any media yet about my blog and brand, it was a great topic for me to learn more and understand. It was interesting to hear about how to handle radio, print and tv interviews if I was ever to approach towards the media section.
  2. Behind the Brands: What PR Teams Need Bloggers To Know – Presented by Heather Travis
    • Great session with Heather Travis with lots of tips and advice for beginner bloggers like me. Getting a better understanding what PR are looking from bloggers such as pitching the right time of season/year, Earned vs Paid means through relationships, define your business, and more. Learned lots in this short session.
  3. Standing Out In a Crowd: Building Your Brand Identity – Presented by: Sam Turnbull
    • Great presentation and lots of advice & tips from Sam Turnbull on learning more about your brand identity. Her main points was to know your niche so your readers know who you are. Another tip was having keywords related to your topic and blog and use those keywords in your blog or when you talk about your blog so the readers know who you are.
    • She was very inspiring speaker and passionate about her niche and who she is.

Saturday Lunch hosted by Half Your Plate

After a full morning session of learning and filled with lots of information to take it, I was ready for a healthy lunch hosted by Half Your Plate. They provided for us a create your own Buddha bowl (I think that’s what you call it), which is a bowl full of vegetables, healthy grains and lean protein for a perfectly balanced, nourishing meal topped with a unique sauce.

It was actually my 1st time having a Buddha bowl and loved the variety that Half Your Plate provided for us with full of fresh ingredients to create it. I love the vegan Soba noodles!! I created my Buddha bowl with Soba noodles, rice, fresh apples & oranges and tofu topped with hoisin sauce. Yum!!!

Of course, I always love my dessert and loved the fresh fruits and the delicious lemon squares.

Boots & Roots with Farm & Food Care

For the 1st time at the conference, hosted by Farm & Food Care – 8 local farmers (egg, mushroom, diary, beef, hog, grain, vegetables and apples) held a great session for us bloggers to answer our questions about food and farming. Each farmer had it’s own table where we were able to go to different farmers and learn more about that particular farmer food specialty. It was great to learn more about local produce.

Afternoon Treats with Cookina Popcorn Bar

I loved the Cookina Popcorn bar station for our afternoon snack session. I loved that there was a diary free option as well as they had kernels available to pop fresh popcorn with no butter. They used Cookina reusable bag to pop the fresh popcorn and love that you can reuse it. They had a variety of flavor toppings to add to the popcorn as well.

Saturday FBC Dinner

FBC hosted a beautiful and appetizing dinner that evening and sat with a variety of people from bloggers to cookbook authors. It was great to interact and engage with others. I had the diary free option dinner that evening so my main course was the delicious, moist, and flavourful roasted chicken with mini potatoes and asparagus. My fave was the palette cleanser, which was a lemon sorbet with frozen fruits on top, it was soooo beautiful! I loved it!!

Winter Squash Salad

Lemon Sorbet with frozen fruits & flower

Roasted Chicken with mini potatoes, carrots and asparagus

That evening, our dinner speakers were food writers & adventurers and authors of their new cookbook, Feast – Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. It was a pleasure meeting them and hearing their story on their road trip and how they met each other.

Me with Dana and Lindsay during book signing

Of course, the best part of any meal is my fave desserts, FBC had special desserts by Cake & Shake Dessert Bar to make their famous Nanaimo Bar cakes. For the vegan and gluten free option, Strawberry Blonde Bakery made a replica of the Nanaimo Bar cakes in the vegan version.

I decided to go with the Apple Nanaimo cake with the apple donut on top (I couldnn’t resist lol!) as I spoke with the baker and he explained the apple one doesn’t have any diary product in it except the frosting so I didn’t eat the frosting..:) I also tried the gluten free cookies as well!

What a great and scrumptious dinner to end Day 2 of FBC2017. I couldn’t believe how fast the conference was going and that only Sunday half day left of the conference before it finishes. I booked to stay an extra night instead of leaving Sunday evening so I was happy to have majority of Monday to enjoy sightseeing in Ottawa before going home Monday evening.

This concludes Part 1 of my Highlights of FBC2017 conference in Ottawa, stay tuned for Part 2 to find out about Day 3 of FBC2017 and how my last day in Ottawa went and what places I visited and did I visit a vegan bakery? Stay tuned! Check back this weekend to find out!! ☺

-Sweet B.

For more information on the above Sponsors, vendors and authors, please see below:

Food Bloggers of Canada

Website – click here

You can follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersOfCanada, Twitter @FoodBloggersCA and Instagram @FoodBloggersCA

My 2016 Year In Review

Hi everyone,

Welcome to a brand New Year of 2017 🎉, though I started my 2017, a bit rough with a horrible cold, but I am finally recovering from this cold and ready to take on a brand new Sweet & Healthy 2017 Year!! 😀🍎🍰 There’s a saying that “it is not how you start, but how you finish” so in my case how tackle the challenges for this year and how I will finish it strong & on a positive note!! I’m excited for this Year 2017 with many exciting things happening with travel and new food adventures (especially with my Las Vegas trip already booked in March 2017 to name one of the many fun things happening)!

Typically you would find most Year In Reviews blog posts at the end of the year, but I am continuing my tradition here being the 2nd time doing this that I like to reflect on the Year before to start off this New Year 2017.

Thank You’s

I like to start off by thanking each one of my “sweet readers” and as well as any new readers who have checked out and decided to follow along on my sweet adventures!! I always love to welcome and invite new readers to my blog. I really appreciate each and every one of you who comes to visit my blog truly mean it as a still beginner blogger I love seeing and getting to know my readers whether you are from Toronto or from overseas in UK or Europe. So on that note, I would love to hear from you with any comments or a suggestion for my blog. Please don’t hesitate to share them with me.

My Stats from 2015 to 2016

It will be 3 years next month that I have started this blog and I feel that I have grown from where I started yet I am still learning new and exciting things in the blogging world everyday. I believe that there is still more room to grow with my blog and I should say thanks to an amazing & friendly community called: Food Bloggers of Canada (click here for their website -> here) who I have mentioned in other posts how joining this community expanded my networks and provided me with learning resources and tools to help me in this blogging world. They will continue to be part of my blog in this growing experience providing me with guidance and networking.

With my blog still growing, in 2016 I can’t believe it was viewed in 53 countries, which doubled since 2015! Wow!! Most readers are from Canada & USA and then expanding to new readers in UK, Europe, Denmark and Asia countries to New Zealand, which is great to know that I have people on the other side of the world interested in reading about my love for food, travel and events.

According to the stats on WordPress, my Blog was viewed 906 times in 2016, which doubled the views from the year before in 2015! In 2016, my stats showed that I had 715 visitors to my blog, which also doubled since the year before in 2015! That’s pretty impressive as I’m still a beginner blogger and my blog is still growing so thank you again to all my readers for the continuing support and coming back to read my blog!

My Sweet & Healthy Year In Review For 2016

2016 was a year of change and discovering my food sensitivity (intolerance) to dairy products. It has been a slow adjustment to non-dairy products as now I’m part Vegan and learning & discovering that I can still enjoy what I love like sweet, desserts, etc in non-dairy products. It is still a learning experience becoming part Vegan and also helped me eating more healthier, but it doesn’t stop what I love most, which are my love for desserts. I’m able to still balance being healthy and still enjoy my sweets but vegan style now…:)

Besides my big adjustment in my diet, in 2016, I still attended several delicious food events in Toronto including my 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival, Vegfood Fest, Taste of Toronto 2016, and more. Also, in 2016, I attended my 2nd Food Bloggers of Canada Conference held in my own city this time in Toronto for their 5th Anniversary. I enjoyed this year theme “Do the Work”. It showcased a lineup of bloggers/speakers who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. I enjoyed learning, networking and of course the delicious foods.

At the VegFood Fest in September 2016, sampling Nanashake Nanapops, mango flavour!

In 2016, some of my travel adventures continued and started a new feature for the blog on Travel, in the Fall of 2016 went to Kingston, Ontario for my 1st time and discovered this charming and historic city where I discovered lots of delicious bakeries and restaurants for a foodie like me to enjoy. Want to check out this historic city & don’t miss out on this adventure, read my blog post here -> link.

As well, summer of 2016 went on a magical adventure with my family to Orlando, Florida where we went to Disney World as it is my niece 1st time going and enjoyed the delicious and variety of restaurants at Universal Studios & Disney Springs. I’m looking forward to 2017 to new & exciting travel destinations and rediscovering places I visited to share with you my readers.

In May 2016, at Magic Kingdom in front of the Disney Castle

What would you like to see more of on my Sweet B., the Exploring Foodie blog? Is there a specific dessert place or restaurant you would like for me to try? All suggestions are most welcome!

Check out below my Top Review Posts for 2016

My Most Views for Dessert Review Posts

1 – My Sweet Adventure on Macaron Day 2016

It is no surprise that the most views and likes are from my sweet Macaron Day adventure. Macarons are one of my fave desserts and to have a dedicated day for it, is even sweeter..:) I love my macarons!! Check out my review post on which macaron places that I visited that day to enjoy my sweet, little and elegant treats!

Read here -> link.

2 – My New Fave Healthy & 100% Yummy Dessert Place: Nanashake

One of my fave new frozen dessert place is Nanashake and I’m happy that my readers also liked it as much as I did being the 2nd most viewed dessert review post. Nanashake is a friendly, healthy plant-based and delicious frozen dessert place. If you haven’t heard of it before and is looking for a healthy and non-dairy frozen dessert, definitely check out Nanashake, it’s my go to dessert place, I love it!

Check out my review post on why I love Nanashake so much -> link.

My Most Views for an Event Review Posts

1 – Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2016 in Toronto

My most views from the many events/conference I went to in 2016 was not surprised, but my Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 Conference I attended in Toronto. It was a great networking and learning experience along with feeling inspired after a fun one day conference with so many talented and inspiring bloggers. As well, you can’t forget about the most delicious & healthy food served at this conference.

I have already purchased my ticket for this year 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference being held in Ottawa this year, how exciting to celebrate Canada’s 150 Birthday there. It will be my 1st time attending the full 3 day session, can’t wait!! It is already sold out this year wow so fast, happy to have got mines early!! This is how exciting this conference is so be sure to always check early!

For more information about FBC Conference in 2016, please read my blog review here -> click here.

2 – My 1st Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival

My 2nd most views of attending my food events is the Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival that I attended with my sister. With my new dietary having non-dairy products, it was my 1st vegan festival that I attended and I’m happy that my readers enjoyed reading about my 1st experience at a vegan festival. Despite the rainy day, it was a great experience sampling and learning what vegan products are there and particular for me desserts.

To read more about my 1st Vegan festival experience, check it out here -> click here

My Dessert Review Post That Was Missed

1 – Best Homemade Pies in Toronto: Wanda’s Pie In the Sky Bakery Cafe

I am highlighting my review post on one of the best pies in Toronto in my Review as I believe that Wanda’s Pie In the Sky, has one of the best pies in Toronto, if you haven’t been to her cozy and warm bakery shop located in the Kensington Market then you are missing out. Wanda’s Pie In the Sky has daily freshly baked desserts such as pies, tarts, cakes to take home or stay with plenty of space to sit with large windows or their patio on warmer days. Wanda’s pies are known for reminding you of home, a freshly cut pie from home. She also offers freshly homemade vegetarian lunches and brunches on the weekends.

Why not stop by this cozy and warm bakery perfect especially for the winter time to warm up with a warm delicious pie, read more why I love Wanda’s Pie In the Sky here -> click here.

Stay Connected

I am excited for this exciting 2017 Year to discover new, healthy and sweet food adventures, travel and events!! I look forward to sharing them with all of you. So why don’t you come and follow me on this sweet & healthy travelling foodie adventure!

To stay connected with me and updates for the next blog post, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Thank you again for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and more importantly sharing my love for sweets & desserts!

Here’s to a sweet & healthy 2017 to all my sweet readers!!! 🎉🎊🍰🍭🍩🍹🍜🍎🍓🌽🍆🌴✈😀

Your sweet vegan foodie,

-Sweet B.

 

 

 

 

My Highlights of 2016 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference

Hi everyone,

Is it getting chilly here or warm here in Toronto for this Fall weather, lol, it seems like the weather can’t make up it’s mind lol….I think I have to say that it is officially feels like Fallish weather!!! It’s been a busy few weeks for me with my Full time Admin job being busy and then of course two events that happened in one week so I been trying to do catch up. I hope that everyone have been enjoying the warm Fall early this October before the cold weather has hit as it is now November.

Quick Update

With my busy work schedule, I have decided that I will be doing monthly blog posts so at least one blog post per month until things have settled down with me in regards to my Full time Admin job. I still love working on this blog and still passionate for it especially after attending the FBC conference has inspired me more. I been working on the last few months to have this has my main focus and I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Hope you all will be patient with me and enjoy my monthly sweet blog posts! My special project is still coming end of November is the date of the launch. Look out for it soon!!

You can always check my daily updates and my food adventures through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Without further delay, here are my highlights of this year Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 held in Toronto, warning it might be a bit long and filled with yummy food photos that might leave you a bit hungry after reading this blog post…:)

My Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada 2016

This year Food Bloggers of Canada celebrated their 5th Year Anniversary in Toronto, where my hometown city is. They held their 4th Annual Food Bloggers of Canada Conference FBC2016 from October 21-23, 2016 at the Delta Toronto located in the heart of downtown’s bustling Entertainment District.

Saturday, October 22, 2016 – Day Before My Sunday Session

With this year FBC2016 being held in my city in Toronto, I decided for convenience and for a city getaway to stay overnight at Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown for Saturday night. This year I was attending only the Sunday Session and with the early start for the session, I thought it was more convenient for me to stay closer to the conference hotel as I don’t live near downtown. I always love mini getaways and why not even in my own city as I still discover new places and restaurants in my own city of Toronto.

I arrived to Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown late afternoon on Saturday, October 22, 2016. I chose this particular hotel as ever since I stayed at this brand of Marriott hotels with their spacious rooms including a kitchenette with a fridge, I really enjoyed it as they are known for Extended stays and it feels like you are in a bachelor apartment for a few days as some hotels have small rooms. I guess I just enjoy the more spacious rooms. This hotel wasn’t too far away from the conference hotel – Delta Toronto about 10 minutes walk to it so it was a convenient.

Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown is located in the heart of the Entertainment District and steps to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Mirvish Theatre, CN Tower and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. All within 3 blocks distance to the hotel. Staying at the Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown you can experience the fine dining, night life and theatres that are offered within. If you are taking the subway like I did, it wasn’t far walk from St.Andrew’s subway station to the hotel about less than 10 minutes walk.

My City View from my room

I had an amazing stay at the Resident Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown hotel and enjoyed what the hotel had to offer for me, though unfortunately didn’t have time to take a swim in their beautiful pool. Hopefully next time. I loved my corner suite with a king bed and sofa, which I loved the sofa as it was very comfy and the style I wanted in my own home one day. The service at this hotel was exceptional and friendly as I was greeted right away when I walked in to check-in the hotel and had no problems checking out. Amazing staff at this hotel with friendly & helpful front desk staff & doorman. I highly recommend this hotel if you are looking for a place to stay in Toronto!

After a busy work week, I spent my Saturday evening taking it easy starting off after I checked in the hotel – went shopping at the Eaton Centre and then a delicious dinner at Pickle Barrel trying their new addition to their menu – Local Harvest. Enjoyed their freshly made – Honey Apple Chicken topped with Ontario apples & cranberry chutney with local seasonal vegetables and fries. It was simply delicious!!! Definitely would come back to try their other new Local Harvest items on the menu. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hotel since it was an early morning session for Sunday. For those who don’t know, I’m not a morning person lol…so it was a bit hard to get up lol…but for the delicious breakfast, it was all worth it…:)

Me relaxing at the hotel

Sunday, October 23, 2016 – Sunday General Sessions

On Sunday, October 23, 2016, it was Food Bloggers of Canada general sessions and on Saturday, October 24, 2016, this year was a bit different that they did workshops sessions, which I was unable to get tickets for that day too as it was sold out quickly. I’m hoping that I will be able to attend the full conference next year.

This year it will be my 2nd time attending this amazing & fun intimate conference for 150 food bloggers along with brands and speakers. If you haven’t been to this conference, then you are definitely missing out on a very foodie and networking event. Though this year, I felt like I wasn’t able to give my full attention to the conference for personal reasons and I felt like I couldn’t enjoy it as much! I tried to take in as much as I could and hoping I will be able to take away some information to focus on after the conference.

This year theme is: “Do the Work”. Food Bloggers of Canada put together this year their lineup of people who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. Here are just some of the speakers that I heard that day including: Noelle Chorney, Claire Tansey, Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles, Dennis Prescott, and more.

Starting Sunday Session with a wonderful and a selection of delectable variety of breakfast foods hosted by Breville Canada. Despite not being a morning person, it was hard to resist all the yummy and delicious foods, which I decided to have a light breakfast and sample a few of everything! My fave breakfast item was the pork breakfast slider, just the perfect little bite!! I also really enjoyed the Spinach, Green Apple, and Banana smoothie – the non-diary version. I loved the idea that all the breakfast foods was made using Breville Canada kitchen equipment and I simply love the very modern toaster to make my toast..:)  Only recently for who don’t know, I have a mild lactose intolerance and I thought that it was great to see how Food Bloggers of Canada accommodate with the food allergies.

The amazing modern toaster by Breville Canada

1st session – Defining Your Own Success with speakersNoelle Chorney & Claire Tansey

Website – Noelle Chorneyhere, Follow her on Twitter @KitchenAmazon

Website – Claire Tanseyhere, Follow her on Twitter @tanseyclaire, Facebook @clairesrecipes, and Instagram @tanseyclaire.

  • It was very inspiring to hear both speakers talk about their success and how each worked on where they are now. A few key notes I took away from these speakers are – to be happy & successful (which I really took to heart as I want to be at that place to where I am happy and I feel I haven’t gotten there just yet with my Full Time job, so I guess a bit insight for my readers, I’m still trying to find my happy place), being able to say no & yes and the question is “What do you love about it?” Some great key notes to think about and make goals for next year in 2017.

For Coffee Break, we had some delicious Fall-like treats sponsored by Crosbys Molasses. We had Gingersnaps with cream in the middle and I enjoyed the vegan version of it! Love how they can accommodate us like me who eat dairy-free foods!

The amazing view of the CN Tower and Rogers Centre from the conference hallway

2nd session – Food Photography with Dennis Prescott

Website – Dennis Prescott –here, Follow him on Facebook @dennistheprescott, Instagram @dennistheprescott, and Twitter @dennisfprescott.

  • It was great hearing Dennis speak from a photographer point of view and learn how he got into food photography. Key Notes I took away from Dennis – how to tell your story through a photo, the human element in a photo and take photos other than foods.

Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles

3rd session – Stepping Outside Your Blog To Take It to the Next Level – Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles

Website – Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles – here, Follow them on Twitter @WellPreserved, Facebook @wearewellpreserved and Instagram @WellPreserved.

  • It was interesting and insightful to hear from the authors of “Batch” and their approach and how they got to be successful. Key Notes I took away are they mentioned: “Find Your North Star”, basically that means why are you doing this?, which I thought it’s such a simple question yet not quite an easy answer and Know your audience. As well, I thought it was a good idea that they mentioned that these days everything is electronic and they mentioned about having something physical for you to visual like for example if you did 30 blog posts have 30 pieces of pages in a binder and you can physically see it. I agree that sometimes you need something physical to see how things are in prospective.

Finishing off FBC2016 with a delicious & healthy lunch courtesy of Half Your Plate. Enjoyed the variety of veggies, fruits & meats that are available for everyone. My fave item for lunch was the beef and pork skewers, it was very tasty and grilled perfectly, I always love skewer foods lol!! Of course, we can’t forget desserts and they saved the best for last as they used Breville Canada’s mixer to make the most delicious Virtural Ice cream!! I was quite excited to see how they made it as they made it to you right in front of you and I was even more excited when they were making my fave flavor – mango..:)  I enjoyed the dairy-free version of the mango ice cream with fresh raspberries and candies on top!! A great way to end the conference.

My delicious & healthy lunch filled half my plate with veggies & fruits

There were also one-on-one blogger/brand networking during the lunch. As most of the timeslots to speak with certain brands I was interested in was taken, I did end up speaking to Nature Path’s and enjoyed introducing myself and getting to know the brand a bit more. I’m looking to connect with other brands in the next conference and I guess one of my goals for 2017 is to connect and network with other brands.

Special thanks to Melissa and Ethan of course who put together this amazing conference every year for us food bloggers to get together, network, learn and grow in one united community!!! I can’t thank you guys enough, it has been another fantastic conference filled with these amazing speakers and sponsors!!! Every year it seems to grow and become a great conference making it annually something I always look forward to going to. It was great seeing a few familiar faces again and making new connections along the way again.

Some of the amazing sponsors at this year FBC2016 to name a few are: Breville Canada (love their tea maker, definitely need one), Half Your Plate, DeltaFaucet, Canadian Turkey, Lentils, Diary Farmers of Canada, Farm & Food Care Canada, Mushrooms Canada, Cookina, Ontario Apple Growers, Nature’s Path, Egg Farmers of Canada and more!! You can their links and connect with them from Food Bloggers of Canada website (will be listed below).

Of course, every year we get these amazing Swag bags, check out below some of the goodies I got this year! If there’s one way of tempting you to come this conference are these foodie filled swag bags!

Next year the FBC2017 conference, will be held in Ottawa in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and it will be Food Bloggers of Canada 5th Anniversary!! How exciting can this be?? Right now, Food Bloggers of Canada have an early bird ticket sale if you are interested in going!! Can’t wait to get my ticket soon!

I’m hoping that I will be able to attend the full conference next year!! See you guys next year in Ottawa!!

If you manage to read most of what I wrote, thank you. Probably my longest blog post, I hope that you enjoyed reading it and checking out some of my delicious and fun photos!!

After this inspiring and delicious foodie filled conference, I am in search for my next sweet vegan dessert place….:)

Until next time…

-Sweet B.

fruit_and_vegetables- 1Bfruit_and_vegetables-2b

For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada community & conference & links to the sponsors,

Website – Food Bloggers of Canada -> click here

You can also follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersofCanada, Twitter @foodbloggersCA and Instagram @foodbloggersca

 

My 2015 Year In Review

Hi everyone,

So sorry for the delay with my Year in Review Entry, let’s just say there was a bit of technical difficulties, but all is fixed so here it is finally…

Welcome to Sweet 2016

Welcome to a brand New Year the start of 2016 🎉, I decided to start off this New Year with a look back at a few of my Top Desserts Places that I been to as this is my 1st time since I started this blog 2 years ago to see where some of the best and my fave dessert places that I been to. Typically you would find these Year End Reviews at the end of the year and a few who does it the beginning of the year like me to reflect on the Year before to start off this New Year.

I like to start off by thanking each one of you, who I love to call “my sweet readers” for checking out this beginner blogger sharing with you about my sweet adventures looking for new dessert places and as well sharing my love for travel & events with you in this blog. I appreciate each and every one of you who comes to visit my blog and it is always nice to get some comments from my readers. I would love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to share some of your comments & thoughts with me.

Remembering When It All Started

I can’t believe that it only has been 2 years ago since I started this blog as it actually feels longer than that! As 2 years ago, I started this blog fairly new to the blogging world and still today I’m still learning & discovering new things, which makes it exciting for me! But at the same time, I’m starting to find my way all thanks to an amazing community called: Food Bloggers of Canada, who I have to mention as after joining this community made me feel welcome & not so foreign to the blogging world with meeting new Canadian bloggers along with providing resources and tools to help me along the way.

With my blog being only 2 Years, it is starting to grow and can’t believe that 24 Countries has viewed my blog! Wow!! That’s pretty neat with having readers from Canada to USA to overseas in UK & Denmark! Thank you all, I look forward to further expand my readers in more countries! According to the statistics report that WordPress sent me, my Blog was viewed 450 times in 2015! Not too bad to me for a beginner blogger who is just starting out!! Again thank you all to my readers, I hope you all continue to come back to read my sweetness blog! I look forward to also welcoming new readers to my blog to discover along with me my sweet adventures!

My Sweet Year In Review For 2015

2015 was a year filled with exploring new places & re-visiting old faves as my blog was starting to grow & develop as I discovered & shared some of my fave & best bakeries in Toronto along with some travelling from Niagara Falls to Cuba to discover some of the new amazing desserts places. As well attending to some delicious & great food events In Toronto including attending my 1st Food Bloggers of Canada Conference (click here for link to read about the Event) in Montreal in Oct 2015. What would you like to see more of on my Sweet B. the Exploring Foodie blog? Is there a specific dessert place you would like for me to try? Or a new type of dessert that is different? All suggestions are most welcome!

One of my fave memories from the Taste of Toronto 2015 meeting my fave Canadian chef – Carl Heinrich from Richmond Station

You will find below that I have combined my 2 years – 2014 & 2015 of my Top 4 Dessert Reviews that have gotten the most interest and views with and those who also deserve a little attention to. Click on the links below to view these delicious desserts.

My Top 4 Dessert Places in 2015

1 – Dessert Lady: Best Bakery & Dessert Shop in Toronto

Not surprising my fave bakery & the ultimate One Stop Sweet Shop in Toronto in the heart of Yorkville is, Dessert Lady has gotten the most interest from my readers and views on my blog. Click on the title for the link above to find out why.

Don’t forget to check out, Dessert Lady Website -> click here

2 – Butter Avenue

One of my fave desserts and a popular sweet trend come in a little bite size pastry called: French macarons. My choice of where to get the best macarons is Butter Avenue of course as they make their macarons with natural ingredients and no added artificial flavours or preservatives. My love for macarons and for my fave bakery shop, Butter Avenue has shown a lot of interest with my readers. Check out the 3 Review Posts below on why I love Butter Avenue so much (click on the links below)!

Butter Avenue Entry #1: Best Macarons in Toronto

Butter Avenue Entry #2: Celebrating Macaron Day at Butter Avenue in Toronto

Butter Avenue Entry #3: Update – Sharing More of my Love for Macarons on Easter Weekend

Don’t forget to check out, Butter Avenue Website -> click here

3 Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop

One of the dessert places that I been to last year and would like to highlight is this charming & cozy pastry shop on Niagara-on-the-Lake called, Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop. Nina is known for their all natural European inspired pastries and authentic Italian gelato made with only the finest ingredients. If you are in the Niagara Falls area, don’t forget to stop at this authentic gelato & pastry shop, it is sure not to disappoint you with their natural flavours. It is a hidden gem of a pastry shop not to be missed! A must stop! Check out my link below to find out why.

Blog Entry – Discovering The Best charming Bakery on Niagara-on-the-Lake: Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop

For more information, please check out the Nina Gelateria & Pastry Shop Website -> click here

4 Maison Christian Faure

One of my memorable & new fave dessert place was during one of my trips when I went to Montreal where I discovered, Maison Christian Faure in Old Montreal during my 1st conference for Food Bloggers of Canada weekend. If you haven’t visited this authentic French pastry shop while you are in Montreal, I definitely recommend you do so, it’s a must stop as they have the most delicious authentic French pastries that they have to offer. You will not be disappointed! I will never forget that simply perfect apple tart dessert I had and love their French macarons! Don’t forget to stop by Maison Christian Faure for all your sweet cravings in Montreal!

Blog Entry – Discovered the Best Authentic French Pâtisserie in Old Montreal: Maison Christian Faure

Don’t forget to check out his website, Maison Christian Faure Website -> click here

To A Sweet 2016 Year

I’m eager & excited to be exploring new dessert places in Toronto and also travelling to new places to share with you in this 2016 New Year. I will be also expanding my sweet taste buds to be sharing with you some new restaurants that I like and maybe you would like it too. As Toronto is a large city filled with always new restaurants opening up and who better than me to show you which ones to try.

Also looking forward to attending to new or returning to old faves Food Events in Toronto as they always have something new and exciting foods to discover. I stay inspired by my love for sweets of course, that’s still the main reason why I love my desserts and also my love for food & travelling.

There is lots to look forward ahead in 2016, so come and follow me on this sweet travelling foodie adventure!

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and more importantly sharing my love for sweets & desserts! 🙂 🍰🎂🍭🍜🍎

-Sweet B.

 

 

 

 

My Highlights frm my weekend at Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2015

Hi everyone!

I’m finally posting my highlights/recap for my 1st Food Bloggers of Canada Conference in Montreal and my highlights of my trip to Montreal as I been busy since I got back from the trip with unpacking, settling back into my routine and absorbing all the information from the conference. Thanks for being patience and here is the review without further delay…

The 3rd Annual Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, FBC2015 was held the weekend of October 23 – 25, 2015 at Le Westin in Montreal, Quebec and as a recent new member of FBC (August 2015) was excited to attend my 1st conference for Food Bloggers of Canada. Since it was being held in Montreal this year, I was extra excited as I haven’t been to Montreal in years and always wanted to visit and see the city again so it was the perfect opportunity to see the French city and go to the conference as well.

With previous work commitment, I was only able to attend the Sunday session (October 25, 2015). So I left on Saturday early morning by VIA Rail Canada train, this was my 1st time travelling Business class. What an experience it was travelling Business class being serviced with drinks (juices, wine, water, etc), snacks and then a delicious lunch for the few hours I was on the train. I was quite surprised with the great quality of food I got especially on a train as I was very impressed and it was tasted soooo good. I enjoyed my turkey lunch!! Loved it!! It was a very relaxing way to go to Montreal and some beautiful scenery as well along the ride. I wouldn’t travel Montreal any other way. It was definitely worth travelling Business class and I think that I will from now on travel by Business class. 🙂

After arriving in Montreal in the afternoon, I checked in my hotel. Unfortunately the hotel for the conference, Le Westin was fully booked by the time I registered for the conference and with another conference within the same weekend. I was lucky enough to still find and book a hotel, I stayed at the Residence Inn Marriott Westmount. It turned out to be a great with great customer service at the front desk and clean hotel. I enjoyed my suite as it even came with a fully equipped kitchen. The location was actually more preferable for me as it was close to the downtown area of Saint-Catherines Street where all the shops and restaurants were.

Hotel - 1Hotel - 2

After settling in at the hotel, I spent the evening on Rue Ste-Catherine doing a bit of shopping at Simon’s of course, I love shopping at Simon’s when I’m in Montreal! Then I had dinner at one of the participating restaurants for MTL à TABLE, called Wienstein & Gavino’s. MTL à TABLE is Montréal’s hugely popular restaurant week from October 29 – November 8, 2015 and would have loved to stay to participate and enjoy one of the 3 course meals. But at least I was there to try one of their restaurants. FBC was having a Montreal Treasure Hunt and I decided to participate and try one of the restaurants for the Treasure Hunt. It was a fun treasure hunt to complete during the weekend for the conference. I thought it was a great idea to get attendees involved more and get to know the city of Montreal better.

I had my dinner at Wienstein & Gavino’s, which is located on the popular Rue Crescent (Crescent Street) where you can find many luxury boutique shops, art galleries and of course the many restaurants and bars that makes Rue Crescent one of Montreal’s most well-known nightlife strips. Wienstein & Gavino’s is known for it’s Italian inspired flavours of Italy with their homemade pasta and brick oven pizzas. Wienstein & Gavino’s consisted of a 3-level restaurant with a beautiful staircase leading up to a beautiful dining room with a huge chandelier by the staircase and an open kitchen. I love the busy energy and friendly service at the restaurant when I was there. That evening, I started with a rustic Italian bruschetta and it was simply delicious, the balsamic glaze on top completed the whole dish, loved it. For my main course, I had one of their fresh pasta dish called: Rosé, which is a mix of tomato and cream sauce with additional grilled chicken with it. The pasta was definitely made fresh and there are no words to describe how fresh, light and delicious it tasted.

Despite how full I was, I couldn’t end the evening without a dessert esp for this sweet foodie, so I stopped by Paris Crêpes on the way back to the hotel. I had a Strawberry crêpe with brown sugar and it was one of the best crêpes I ever had. It was made fresh and the crêpe itself was made perfect, I was completely in awe how a simple crêpe can taste this good! A great way to end my evening! If you haven’t been to Paris Crêpes in Montreal, I definitely recommend it. I only wish there was one in Toronto now.

Sunday, October 25, 2015 – Day of the Conference

Being my 1st conference at Food Bloggers of Canada, I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I was a bit unsure what to expect and despite the early start for the conference (have to admit I’m not much of a morning person) I was excited to see what the day will bring for this conference. I arrived for the Sunday breakfast bright and early around 7:30am at Le Westin Hotel Montréal (it was raining when I arrived).

Photo Credit to Official Le Westin Hotel Montréal Website

The Sunday breakfast was presented by Half Your Plate, which I loved the idea of starting the day with a healthy breakfast after all the heavier (like pasta) type of foods I had the day before even though it was delicious. I always try to balance out my days if I had more carbs or sweets for example one day and the next day will try to eat more healthier even though I love my sweets and it’s so hard to resist for me. But I try my best to balance my meals properly if possible.

When I walked into the room for breakfast, I loved that you walk in and there were large windows with views of Montreal despite the gloomy start to the day. It opened up the room and it made the room feel spacious and bright. Half Your Plate presented a beautiful and fresh display of a true Montreal tradition with fresh St. Viateur bagels, cream cheese and lox (salmon for those who don’t know what a “lox” is). There was also a beautiful fresh fruits cup but in a martini glass mixed with lime juice and plain or berry parfait. Along with your breakfast, Half Your Plate also served an array of beverages including two types of breakfast smoothie, which I tried the mango one of course…:) I also enjoyed a hot cup of Earl Grey tea as well as I always start my day with tea. By the way, I love the little jam jar that they provided if you wanted jam on your bagel and I love jam, the jar was just really cute! (You can see it in my photo) A perfect Sunday healthy breakfast to start the conference. Check out some the delicious photos below.

View of the Montreal Skyline from Breakfast Room

Conference - 3Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

My delicious & healthy Breakfast from Half Your Plate

The Conference itself was broken up with 3 sessions:

Session 1 – Getting the Story – Working With Local Food Farmers and Chefs

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

(Presenters: Jennifer Hayes, Chef Jay Nutt, Tiffany Mayer)

Session 2 – Food Photography Q & A with Andrew Scrivani

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

Session 3 – Taking the Leap From Hobby Blogger to Professional Blogger

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

(Presenters: Ayngelina Brogan and Davida Kugelmass)

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

(MC for the Conference – Mairlyn Smith)

Overall, what a stellar and amazing 1st Food Bloggers of Canada conference, even though I only attended one of the 2 days of the conference. I was overwhelmed in a good way of course with lots of information and I felt like I learned and took away at least one thing to inspire me and motivate me more as a beginner & hobby blogger. I’m still new to the blogging world and being at this conference and being able to network and meet other bloggers made me think more as a blogger and how to improve my blog, listen & interact with other people about their blogs and what is my next step. It was really great to hear from Jennifer Hayes who is a beef and diary farmer from a farmer point of view how to interact with bloggers and what she does on a daily basis working in a farm. I thought it was very interesting to hear from local farmers side of the story. This conference made me realize how much I do enjoy blogging about what I love which is food and being with other bloggers who feel the same, made me realize that it is okay to be a Hobby Blogger at one of the sessions I attended by Ayngelina Brogan and Davida Kugelmass. They also made a point that even though you are a Hobby Blogger, it is still a business that us bloggers are running and be professional about it. I thought that was great advice! There was so much information taken away from this conference that I’m still processing it and looking for ways to continue to become a better blogger. By the way I have to mention that they had a great MC – Mairlyn Smith who was very funny and upbeat who made sure the sessions were finished on time and kept the crowd entertained as well!

Also with my knowledge of events as I studied Event Management, I couldn’t help but notice how well everything was organized for FBC. Great signage for attendees who didn’t stay at the Le Westin (like me) as I had no trouble finding the floor where the conference was. I liked the flow of the conference too as FBC only used two rooms (one room for the sessions & one for dining) and the hallway for the coffee breaks and registration table.

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

(Break by Cacao Barry Coffee)

A photo of me at the Conference

For lunch, we were presented with Montreal tradition of a smoked meat lunch from Schwartz’s Deli complete with chips and Cott’s Black Cherry Cola. It was simply delicious.

The conference ended with Blogger-Brand Networking Event during the lunch session, which I thought that was a great idea to speak with sponsors representatives face to face. As a new blogger, I have to admit I was a bit nervous but it was great speaking with a few sponsors to get a better understanding of their brand and what they were looking for. I am looking forward to the next Networking session where I can be more prepared and now have a better understanding what to expect from sponsors.

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dunham Photography

I would like to personally thank, Ethan Adeland and Melissa Hartfiel for hosting & organizing such an amazing conference for Canadian food bloggers to gather together and to learn, inspire, network, and most importantly have fun and also to enjoy some delicious foods at the conference. Also thank you FBC for the amazing swag bag, you guys really did a fantastic job with lots of great goodies and love the cookbooks!! I have to say being at my 1st Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, the food was outstanding and simply amazing. I couldn’t ask for more of a very foodie weekend! I also want to thank all the sponsors and speakers that attended the conference as well making this a very memorable event. I’m happy to have experience my 1st Food Bloggers of Canada Conference and even more excited for the next one as it was announced at the end of the conference that it will be hosted in Toronto on Oct 21-23, 2016 at the new Delta Toronto Hotel. FBC will be celebrating their 5 Years Anniversary bringing it back to Toronto. I’m definitely excited to have FBC2016 in Toronto in my very own city. So I am looking forward to next year FBC2016 hosted in my city and will definitely be attending the full conference! I look forward to seeing everyone at the next conference, until then…

Cookbooks from left to right: Brown Eggs & Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, Best Cookies by Ricardo, The UnDietCookbook by Meghan Telpner

Sorry this entry is a bit long, but on a last note – I stayed an extra day in Montreal to enjoy a bit more of the city before I left as I mentioned haven’t been in Montreal for years. So I spent the afternoon exploring the Old Port on a beautiful sunny cool day! Check out a few of my photos from that day.

That’s my highlight of my 1st Food Bloggers of Canada Conference and I hope that you enjoyed following along with me recapping the Sunday sessions and my adventure in Montreal. Sorry it was a bit long! Of course I didn’t leave my Montreal trip without maybe finding something sweet for my next entry for my readers to check out.

So until my next sweet adventure, which will you have to wait and see (hint did I find a dessert place in Montreal?)….

-Sweet B. ♥

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For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2016, please see below:

Food Bloggers of CanadaWebsite

You can also follow them on FBC on Twitter @foodbloggersCA, Facebook @FoodBloggersofCanada, and Instagram @foodbloggersca

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