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 Highlights of Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2017

Hi everyone!!

As the warm summer days are coming to an end and it is now officially September. I can’t believe how fast our summer went by this year!! Can you?? I took advantage of the last week of August to relax and enjoy the summer days outside when possible with day trips to the beach and more. How did you enjoy your last week of summer??

While summer isn’t quite over yet despite the cooler weather already and feeling like Fall weather. Even though Fall is one of my fave seasons coming up & excited for. One of my fave activities in the summer is attending food festivals. This summer already been to a few food festivals and love sampling new foods to share with you, my readers. As I usually go quite a few food festivals, I will share with you my fave ones (food festivals) and you can always check out my Instagram account @SweetBFoodie24 to see my stories and photos for all the food festivals that I attend. Trying to post a bit more on my Instagram stories when I can. Hope you guys enjoy them!

I love attending food festivals and discovering new foods and learning from vendors!! If you have a suggestion of a food festival that I haven’t attend yet, please let me know. You can leave your comments below! Thanks, I always appreciate any comments and suggestions from you guys!

On Saturday, August 19, 2017I attended my 2nd Vegan festival of the summer and this is also my 2nd time attending the Vegan Food & Drink Festival with my sis who is also my foodie partner going to food festivals together. I love sharing my food festival experiences and especially with my sis is a great person who I also call my best friend that I’m so happy that we get to share these experiences together. It is becoming a tradition for us now going to this particular food festival sharing our love for vegan foods! As you know or if you didn’t know, I have lactose intolerance so I enjoy non-dairy products now. Almost a year in a few months where I discovered I am lactose, I am still learning and discovering new dairy-free products and vegan lifestyle. This is a great Vegan festival to discover new vegan foods or re-discover your fave vegan foods!!

If you haven’t been to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, here are some basic information about it:
  • This is the 3rd Annual Vegan Food & Drink Festival
  • Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017 (One Day Festival)
  • This event is also hosted in Chicago (June 10, 2017) and New York (October 1, 2017)
  • Time: 11am – 7pm
  • Location: Fort York Garrison Commons (same as last year)
  • What Does the Festival Offer: vegan comfort food, cold drinks, and live entertainment
  • Cost: $10 (Early Bird Price) & $20 (At the Door) -> I bought mines in advance during the Early Bird Pricing
  • Vendors: From local & visiting vendors including some USA vendors this year

I was excited to attend my 2nd time at this large Vegan Food & Drink Festival this summer with lots of different vendors to choose from. This year, we got lucky with the weather and it ended up being a warm great summer day for a food festival unlike last year where it rained majority of the day. It was a lot easier to enjoy delicious vegan foods without your umbrella lol!

If you haven’t been to this large Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, I suggest planning ahead and checking out the vendors online and research them before going and get an idea which ones you like to visit. For me, it was still tough to choose and narrow down certain vendors to try. I love the large selection of vendors though to choose from just makes it hard to decide lol! I ended up sampling majority of the vendors I wanted to and some I didn’t and hopefully next time I could. 😊

I felt that this year the layout of the festival was better in terms of flow where the vendors were located and making use of the large Fort York Garrison Commons. There was a bit more seating areas this year. I love the signages that they had around the festival grounds this year a bit more than last year and it created a great addition to the festival. Check out below their famous “Vegan” sign that I took with my sister. I been noticing that most events and festivals are doing the huge word signage ever since the Toronto sign at City Hall started it. I love them though!! 😀

Overall, a great summer day sampling and discovering lots of new vegan foods along with some shopping in between eating lol!!  

At the Vegan Food & Drink Festival, besides all the delicious vegan foods, there are also clothing and accessory vendors. One of the vendors, The Imperative is Toronto’s 1st 100% all-vegan shop and the creators of the Vegan Food & Drink Festival itself. It was great to see their merchandise at the festival as I haven’t been to the retail store myself. I ended up getting a cute tee and a button (photo below).

Their retail store offer vegan and cruelty-free products and there were quite a few items at the festival showcasing their products from the store. At their retail store, they offer from t-shirts to beauty products to housewares and more. I’m looking forward to checking out their retail shop one day to see myself what they have to offer!

For more information on The Imperative, you can visit their Facebook page @VeganImperative and Instagram @theveganimperative. Their retail store is located on 1332 Queen St. West, Toronto, Ontario.

One of my fave jewelry vendors was there back at the Vegan Food & Drink Festival, Jewels by SJB. If you haven’t checked out Jewels by SJB, you definitely should as I love her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

Of course, I couldn’t resist getting one of her beautiful unique pieces and ended up getting a beautiful necklace – her Gem Drop Necklace with the Purple Amethyst.

For more information on Jewels by SJB, you can visit her website at www.jewelsbysjb.com. You can also follow her on Facebook @jewelsbysjb and Instagram @jewelsbysjb.

Finally what my fave foods were at the festival, I know you guys have been waiting for this. Go check out my faves & delicious photos. 😊

My Fave Savoury foods from the Vegan Food & Drink Festival are:

1.Boon BurgerI was excited to see Boon Burger as one of the vendors at this festival as I discovered Boon Burger a few weeks ago and visited their Burlington location and loved it! Of course, I had to sample one of their delicious vegan burgers as there are no locations in Toronto. If you haven’t heard of Boon Burger, it is Canada’s First All Vegan Burger Café. Boon Burger offers “100% cruelty free food, that tasted delicious and that was ultimately a better choice for our health as well as the environment.” They are opening a new location in the Fall 2017 in Hamilton. Hoping one day for a Toronto location, but for now I can always venture over to Burlington for the best vegan burgers.

I had their Festival Burger made with black bean patty at the festival with their sweet Peach Chutney sauce. It was delicious!! As I’m not a full vegan, you can’t tell that the patty is made from black bean and I love that this is a healthier version of an actual meat burger. I love their vegan burgers!! After trying their burgers a few weeks ago, I’m still impressed with Boon Burger and their high quality food along with their friendly customer service at the booth. I highly recommend checking out Boon Burger if you have a chance in Burlington or Hamilton (opening Fall 2017). You can check their website for other locations (Barrie, Guelph).

For more information on Boon Burger, you can visit their website at www.boonburger.ca.

You can follow them on their social media networks on Facebook Burlington one @BoonBurgerBurlington, Twitter Manitoba location one @BoonBurger and Instagram Burlington one @BoonBurgerBurlington. Check their website for the location social media you are looking for they have different ones.

2.Champs Diner – My 2nd fave savoury dish from Champs Diner who is one of the US vendors that came to Toronto. Champs Diner is from Brooklyn, New York serving New York’s fave all-vegan diner with American’s comfort food for about 5 years now. I was excited to also try some of their foods as I heard good review about them.

I had their Tofu Benedict Waffle Fries only as I was getting full by the time I reached their booth and I’m hoping next time I get to try their vegan burger too. But I simply love their Tofu Benedict Waffle Fries with fried tofu, fried ham, cherry tomatoes and homemade Hollandaise sauce. I’m not a fan of Hollandaise sauce too much, but it was light and not overpowering the dish, which I loved about it.

When I visit New York next time, now I know where to go for delicious and comfort American all-vegan diner food. I can’t wait to visit their actual diner!! If you are one of my readers in the USA, then I highly recommend you go visit their diner and try their delicious and homemade vegan foods.

For more information on Champs Diner, you can visit their website www.champsdiner.com.

You can follow them on Instagram @ChampsDiner.

My Fave Desserts from the Vegan Food & Drink Festival are:

1.Chimp TreatsI love my ice cream, but now that I’m dairy free it’s a bit harder to find dairy free ice cream. I discovered Chimp Treats at the festival and they have their Nice Cream frozen dessert that are 100% made from fruits. I love their booth too – very colourful and cute designs! It is a creamy frozen dessert made entirely from bananas. They have their three flavours: classic Banana, Mango Banana and Strawberry Banana. It is fat free, low calorie and no sugar added.

I tried their Mango Banana sample at the festival and loved it!! It is soft and creamy with the right amount of sugar and I can taste the mango in there. I definitely loved it!! I highly recommend you try it too. I can’t wait to get my own pint of Nice Cream at a grocery store! Will be checking out where they sell them.

For more information on Chimp Treats, you can visit their website at www.chimptreats.com.

You can follow them on their social media networks through Facebook @ChimpTreats, Twitter @ChimpTreats and Instagram @ChimpTreats.

2.Glory Hole Doughnuts – One of my fave pastry dessert at the show is definitely Glory Hole Doughnuts. Their doughnuts are hand-made and fresh everyday with real and local ingredients! They make 3 different types of doughnuts – yeast, cake and vegan. They rotate their flavours seasonally.

I was lucky enough to sample their Vegan Hibiscus Berry Glazed doughnut – it had a hint of rose tea infused flavour in it and loved how moist, soft and the right amount of sugar in the doughnut. It wasn’t too sweet!!

If you are looking for delicious and fresh Vegan doughnuts, I definitely recommend you guys check out Glory Hole Doughnuts at their bakeshop in Parkdale area of Toronto downtown.

For more information on Glory Hole Doughnuts, you can visit their website at www.gloryholedoughnuts.com.

You can follow them on their Social Media on Facebook @GloryHoleDoughnuts, Twitter @GHoleDoughnuts and Instagram @GloryHoleDoughnuts.

Another refreshing and fresh frozen dessert that I didn’t mention is Happy Pops. They are all natural ice pops made from real fruit and low calorie. They are also vegan and dairy free ice pops. I also sampled one of their ice pops, I got the Mango flavour one not surprised since I love anything mango…😊 I loved it! You can taste the actual flavour of the fruit of mango and love how fresh it was with low calorie of sugar. I also recommend Happy Pops as well to try it yourself!

For more information on Happy Pops, you can visit their website at www.happypops.ca.

You can follow them on their Social Media by Facebook @HappyPopsTO, Twitter @HappyPopsTO and Instagram @HappyPopsTO.

It has been another successful and delicious vegan summer festival that I attended with my sister. With summer coming to an end, I had enjoyed this summer attending to several foodie festivals by sampling new foods, interacting with vendors, learning about new food products and the outdoor atmosphere.

It will be a busy next few months before end of the year and I’m excited for next month Food Bloggers of Canada food conference in Ottawa where this will be my 3rd year attending. I’m looking forward to sharing with you my readers my experience at the conference. Also working on something new for 2018 so stay tuned!!

Don’t forget to stay connected with me for the latest updates, next blog post, and my foodie adventures through Twitter @SweetBFoodie 24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (if you have noticed, I been posting a bit more on my IG stories so go check that out esp when I’m at a food event..😉 )

For now, let’s get ready for Fall weather with delicious warm desserts and beautiful colourful leaves scenery while still enjoying the sunny warm Fall days. In this summery festival blog, remembering what hot summer days are like enjoying delicious vegan foods. Back on my hunt to discover new bakeries or restaurants and new travel ideas to share with you guys!

Until next time….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Vegan Food & Drink Festival, please see below:

Website: Vegan Food & Drink Festival Main Site -> click here

Social Media: You can follow Vegan Food & Drink Festival along with their other festival locations, next year festival & updates through

Facebook @VeganDrinkFest, Twitter @Vegan_Fest and Instagram @Vegan_Festival.

My Highlights of Niagara Vegfest 2017

Hi everyone,

It’s officially the month of June and with the start of the official summer this week, the weather has gone from cold to very humid and hot fast here in Toronto!! Thou I am not enjoying the humidity too much, but loving the warmer and sunnier weather now to enjoy esp the outdoors. Maybe less humid lol!!

With sunny and hot days upon us, this means one thing that festival season is officially here and what a great way to cool down and enjoy delicious foods outdoors. I am excited and love attending food festivals especially during the summer days sampling and discovering new foods to share with you all my readers. I already have a few food festivals planned that I would like to attend from June – September so I’m looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions for a food festival you think I should try out, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I always love attending new food festivals that I haven’t been to. I’m looking out for new food festivals for the Fall too. Feel free to comment below or you can reach me by e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com

RECAP:

quick recap since my last blog entry, since leaving my previous work, been busy with a few projects and prepping for the summer months for my blog of course. Enjoyed my mini getaway to London, Ontario where enjoyed lots and lots of delicious foods including some vegan desserts and looking forward to sharing with you all in another blog post next month. If you were following me on Twitter and Instagram, then you would have seen my foodie London getaway..:)  I’m still learning how to use Instagram stories so please bare with me lol…😉

My 1st food festival for this pre-summer season that I attended was 2 weeks ago during the first weekend of June was to Niagara Vegfest. It was my 1st time attending the Niagara Vegfest as I always love visiting Niagara Falls so I thought it would be great to also attend this food festival to see, discover and sample the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods. I had the most amazing and fun foodie day as someone of you may already seen from my Instagram and Twitter posts. I’m happy that the weather ended up being sunny and warm as it was supposed to rain and I got lucky and it only rained in the morning. I arrived in St.Catherines by bus that day with a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed every minute of Niagara Vegfest.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Vegfest before, here are some quick information about it:

  • Niagara Vegfest is a 2 day multi-venue event – Day 1 (June 3, 2017) is the Niagara Vegfest in the Vineyard and Day 2 (June 4, 2017) is the Vegan Festival Main Event
  • 6th Annual Niagara Vegfest
  • Location: Market Square, downtown St. Catherines (91 King Street)
  • Admission: Free / donation of $2 or canned foods
  • It includes 80+ vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, kids zone and TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage
  • “A celebration the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond” -Niagara Vegfest

Overall, I had an amazing and very foodie day at Niagara Vegfest. I loved the atmosphere at the Market Square in St.Catherines as this festival was some vendors indoors and some outdoors, which to me is good because I liked the flow of the traffic it gives for attendees when they attended this event. It also gives options for weather if it rained or if it was sunny to have the indoors and outdoors available. I loved that they had the TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage outside where I was able to enjoy the beautiful jazz music whether I was inside or outside. It brought a different element to the festival by adding music and creating a fun atmosphere to the Niagara Vegfest. Though I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with so many vendors to check out, but at the same time it was great to have a variety of vendors and exhibitors to offer to people. I spent half the day at the Niagara Vegfest as there were so many delicious and yummy foods to sample along with checked out a few non-food vendors.

My Top 4 Fave Foods at Niagara Vegfest are:

1) Pizza Rolls by Rise Above Restaurant

  • Best pizza sausage roll I ever had, yum, it was crispy the pastry part and the most tastiest sausage inside, loved it!! As someone who is now dairy free, it’s hard to find places with vegan pizzas so happy to have stopped and had the most yummiest is that a word lol…pizza rolls by Rise Above Restaurant.
  • Quick information about Rise Above Restaurantis the Niagara’s 1st 100% vegan restaurant and bakery. They are located downtown in St. Catherines. They specialize in comfort foods, healthy choices, and fresh baked desserts. Only wish they would open another location in Toronto, I look forward to stopping by the actual restaurant one day.

2) Peach Fritter doughnut by Beechwood Doughnuts

  • I was so full from all the delicious vegan foods that I had to still get a doughnut from Beechwood Doughnuts as I heard they had the best vegan doughnuts. So I bought one to bring home to eat and chose the Peach Fritter (peaches are one of my fave fruits) and so glad I did lol…Beechwood Doughnuts hands down the best vegan doughnut I ever had!! Wow, I don’t usually eat doughnuts too often, but I would if it is for the sweetest and soft doughnuts that Beechwood Doughnuts make. The Peach Fritter the best lol!! If you haven’t tried, Beechwood Doughnuts, you are definitely missing out!! I would definitely travel for these doughnuts!!
  • Quick information about Beechwood DoughnutsNiagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines. They opened in January 2015 and become popular and have a reputation for quality in the Niagara Region and beyond. They also won 3 awards in 2015 at the Toronto Vegetarian Association Veg Awards – best vegan bakery, best vegan doughnut and best vegan dessert.

3) Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake by Dolled Up Desserts

  • One of my fave regulars is definitely Dolled Up Desserts who I always enjoy visiting at any vegan food festivals and always love seeing what Katarina (Dolled Up Dessert owner) new delicious desserts she has for that day. She comes up with the most delicious vegan and creative desserts, I love it!! She also has the most beautiful display for her booth I love how creative she is! This time I tried her delicious & sweet Strawberry Lemonade mini cupcake. Loved it!!
  • Quick information about Dolled Up Desserts – Her main shop is based in Hamilton, Ontario. Dolled Up Desserts creates and share high quality desserts that are gluten free and vegan, and are made with 25-50% less sugar, ingredients that are organic, locally sourced.

4) Banana Split Cupcake by Fairly Frosted Bakery

  • I love cupcakes so it was hard to resist when I saw the delicious vegan cupcakes display at Fairly Frosted Bakery. One of my friends also recommended them so was excited to try them and they had an assortment of different baked goods to choose from. It was hard to choose besides the cupcakes. I ended up choosing their Banana Split Cupcake and it was delicious minus the chocolate topping as some of you might know I don’t eat chocolate I know it’s a shock lol!! The frosting wasn’t too sweet either so it was perfect.
  • Quick information about Fairly Frosted Bakery  – A bakery from Guelph, Ontario founded in 2011. Fairly Frosted Bakery serves vegan, gluten free and nut free baked goods.

One of my fave vegan ice cream is food truckSweet Teeth, which is not mentioned above, but they always been my fave regulars at any vegan festivals. So it goes without saying that I always visit their food truck of ice cream and waffles, yum and this time is no difference. I got their OG waffle, which consists of fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and of course the ice cream. If you haven’t tried Sweet Teeth food truck, I highly recommend it!! This year they also added shakes to their menu and love their new flavours added to the menu. They always come up with new flavours, which is great to see.

One of my fave vegan jeweler is Jewels by SJB, I discovered Sue’s beautiful jewelry last year at one of the vegan food festivals and instantly loved her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

I was excited to visit Jewels by SJB booth and see what new pieces she had this time. I always love seeing what new pieces that she brings to each festival as she makes the most beautiful unique pieces. I ended up purchasing a beautiful purple amethyst gemstone to go with my Vegan necklace as well bought a new rose/light pink bracelet with the letter “v” on it. The new bracelet matches my other bracelet (purple amethyst one) I bought from her last year to make a stacking bracelet. I am happy with my new jewelry!! It is always great to see Sue again, she is always so kind and amazing to me especially if I needed any customizing to her jewelry. I love how she can custom to each customer needs. I look forward to seeing what new pieces she has in the next festival!!

My collection of bracelets and pendant necklace from Jewels by SJB

What an amazing 1st visit to Niagara Vegfest filled with delicious vegan foods, desserts, shopping local & unique items, and enjoying amazing jazz music!! If you didn’t have a chance to check out Niagara Vegfest, I highly recommend to see what delicious vegan foods & to experience this festival yourself at Niagara Vegfest next year. Look out for details on their website (information below)! I look forward to joining them again next year after this fun foodie day!! I can’t wait to see what next year they have planned out!

If you managed to read most of this blog post as I know it was a bit long, thank you!! I appreciate you taking your time to read my foodie adventure!! Summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to my next foodie summer festival as some of you might already know (from my Twitter and Instagram posts) I have attended my 2nd one just this past weekend! With the busy summer months ahead, I look forward to not just food summer festivals, but also to my mini getaway in July. Don’t worry I still be posting shortly after I’m back. But this summer along the way, I am still searching for my next sweet vegan dessert place!! Stay tuned!!

As always, for the latest updates or to keep up with me on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, let’s get ready for summer filled with hot weather for foodie summer festivals, cool desserts, travelling and beaches & more!!

-Sweet B.

For more information on Niagara Vegfest and any of the vendors I mentioned, please see below:

Niagara Vegfest – Website -> click here

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

Rise Above Restaurant – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RiseAboveRestaurant, Twitter @RiseAboveFoods and Instagram @RiseAboveRestaurant.

Beechwood Doughnuts – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @BeechwoodDoughnuts, Twitter @BeechwoodInfo and Instagram @BeechwoodDoughnuts.

Dolled Up Desserts – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @DolledUpDessertsBaking, Twitter @DolledUpBaking and Instagram @DolledUpDessertsBaking.

Fairly Frosted Bakery – Website -> click here

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

Sweet Teeth Food Truck – Website -> click here

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

Jewels by SJB – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @JewelsbySJB and Instagram @JewelsbySJB.

 

 

 

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.

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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 Highlights of Veg Food Fest 2016

Hi everyone,

Can you believe that summer is already over? It’s been a busy summer with my full time job as an Admin, but it’s been filled with delicious foodie events, watching the Rogers Cup tennis and going to one baseball game at least! I hope that everyone enjoyed their summer and this very humid summer weather in T.O.

It is officially Fall now and I’m excited for the cooler weather, the beautiful colourful leaves and if you didn’t know, Fall is one of my fave season and with Fall comes sweet delicious apple desserts, warm yummy desserts and Thanksgiving of course!

Before we get into this blog post, a quick update is I am working on a special project that will be revealed soon, I’m excited about it, but it’s been taking a lot of my time so that is why there hasn’t been another sweet blog post until now and a lot of exciting events & trips such as the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference that I will be attending in October are happening the next few months so please be patient with me. So stay tuned this Fall for some exciting sweet warm posts & my special project!!

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To end the summer, what better way than attending an outdoor foodie event, the weekend of September 10-11, 2016, I attended my 2nd Vegan festival, but my 1st time attending this particular one – Veg Food Fest 2016, which was held at the Harbourfront Centre. I was so excited to go after my 1st vegan one despite the rainy day (you can read it my review on Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2016 -> here), I enjoyed it so much that I thought that I go to another one to see what this one has to offer. This festival was run over the weekend of 3 days from September 9-11, 2016.

I went on the Sunday on a beautiful warm sunny day and what a perfect day to be by the waterfront. I was very impressed with the Veg Food Fest 2016 run by Toronto Vegetarian Association – a non-profit from Toronto – in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. I really enjoyed this event with the beautiful waterfront views, variety of vendors, workshops, samples from vendors, demonstrations, live music, and the atmosphere itself. I also enjoyed interacting with vendors and learning more about the vegan lifestyle as I’m still new to it as some of you might know (on a diary-free diet with a mild tolerance for milk as I still do eat meat). I attended this event with of course my sis who also loves attending these events, my 2nd foodie partner besides my mom…:)

Beautiful view of the waterfront at Harbourfront for the event

As this is my 1st time attending the Veg Food Fest 2016, I didn’t get a chance to do everything at the event such as watching cooking demos or attending the workshops or speakers seminars as there were a lot to see and sample. So I’m hoping next year I will try to attend one of them as I was excited to find out MasterChef Canada: Mary Berg was there this year and missed it.

Here are some more detailed information about Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • When: September 9-11, 2016
  • Location: Harbourfront Centre
  • Host: Toronto Vegetarian Association
  • How long has this festival been running for: This is their 32nd Veg Food Fest
  • What’s New This Year: Expanded their location to East side of Harbourfront Centre, 1st ever Veg Out relaxing zone, World Café will feature King’s Café, Green Zebra, Boon Burter and more.
  • Activities: workshops, lectures, fitness classes, music, panel discussions, cooking demos
  • Mission: “Inspiring people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating.” –Veg Food Fest Official Website

My Top Fave Desserts at Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • Nanashake – their delicious Nanapops of course, tried their delicious healthy yet yummy Mango & Strawberry mixed flavour one and loved it!! Who wouldn’t? I love anything mango!! As for those who don’t know, I always visit Nanashake shop before so it is no doubt that I love their yummy frozen desserts and always love seeing what new products that they come up with. If you haven’t been to their shop before, I highly recommend it, it’s definitely worth a trip to enjoy a delicious and healthy treat with a warm friendly welcome from their amazing staff.
  • Sweet Teeth Vegan Food Truck – 1st time finally trying Sweet Teeth Vegan as I been waiting to try it from the other festival but didn’t have a chance. Unfortunately this time there was no vegan ice cream left, but I still tried it anyways and got the OG, which was their Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and instead of ice cream got whipped cream instead. Despite no ice cream, it was delicious the waffle, loved it was freshly made and soft and the strawberries was the best part to top it off!! Definitely coming back next time with the ice cream..:)
  • Sweets From the Earth – Tried their delicious vegan mini Strawberry Cupcake, which was absolutely delicious with the cake part of the cupcake was moist and soft and loved the frosting as it wasn’t too sweet! I also bought some Oatmeal Raisin cookies to bring home and enjoyed it while I was at home. Loved the cookies, you can’t even tell it was a vegan cookie, simply delicious. This is my 1st time discovering Sweets From the Earth and would love to try their other vegan products. They are a family-owned business and maintains two production facilities. Both are egg-free, dairy-free, and kosher. One is dedicated peanut- and nut-free and the other is dedicated wheat and gluten free. Products are available in stores across Canada, with new retailers being added all the time. (Info from their website). That’s a quick information about Sweets From the Earth if you are interested. You can check out their website link below after my blog entry.

I also got to visit Tori’s Bakeshop booth, but unfortunately they were out of my Vanilla cupcakes sadly I don’t eat chocolate (another fact if you didn’t know about me, shocker I know who doesn’t love chocolate and desserts go as a pair, that’s me a bit strange one here lol!). They had beautiful cupcakes display that I had to admit look delicious, check out my photo below. I’m hoping to stop by their bakeshop one day. Can’t wait to!

There were some booths that were giving out some free samples and who doesn’t love samples? I got a sample of Veggemo: 1st non-dairy beverage to originate from veggies. I got the original flavour as there were two other ones giving out as well as unsweetened and vanilla. I never tried Veggemo non-dairy beverage before so I thought it would be great to try it out and see if I like it so I can use it as part of my food dietary. Veggemo uses pea protein, tapioca, and potato to create this delicious non-dairy beverage. I’m looking forward to trying it!! You can find out where you can buy one yourself or more information on Veggemo at their website here -> Veggemo.

It was a fun foodie day filled with yummy & delicious sweet treats and desserts and who could have guess it was dairy-free, healthy and plant-based yet it tastes so delicious still. As I’m still learning my new dietary living dairy-free, part vegan that I’m enjoying and happy to see there are other options for people who can’t eat dairy or choose to be vegan, that I can still enjoy my love for desserts still without having dairy in it. I love attending these events who open my mind and see what products are out there that I didn’t know before. So if you didn’t attend, Veg Food Fest 2016 this year, I highly recommend coming to check out this event, come & sample some delicious foods and maybe you might discover some new products that you didn’t know before? Always a plus is the event is free.

I look forward to attending next year Veg Food Fest 2017!!!

Me & my sis, Cindy at the Veg Food Fest 2016

I hope that you enjoyed my yummy review on Veg Food Fest 2016!! If you have been following along on my Twitter and Instagram, I had an amazing foodie & relaxing Fall getaway to Kingston, Ontario last weekend. Don’t forget to come back later in October to check out about my trip and see what places you should eat & see. There are more exciting Fall blog posts coming up.

For the latest updates, please follow my foodie adventures on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

For now, I leave you with sweet & yummy vegan desserts to crave for while I’m in search of my next scrumptious foodie adventure!

Until next time…

Xoxo,

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Veg Food Fest and the other vendors, please use the links below:

Veg Food FestOfficial Website

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

Toronto Vegetarian AssociationWebsite

Other Vendors/Bakery/Dessert Places

NanaShakeWebsite

Address: 4750 Yonge Street, Unit 134 (Yonge/Sheppard area)

You can follow them on Facebook @nanashake, Twitter @thenanashake and Instagram @thenanashake.

Sweet Teeth Food TruckWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @sweetteethvegan and Instagram @sweetteethvegan.

Sweets From the EarthWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetsFromTheEarth, Twitter @SFTEBakery and Instagram @SFTEBakery.

Tori’s BakeshopWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @TorisBakeshop, Twitter @torisbakeshop and Instagram @torisbakeshop.

Veggemo

You can follow them on Facebook @veggemo, Twitter @Go_Veggemo and Instagram @Go_Veggemo.