If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, I'm sure you saw me going picture crazy, during my visit to Seattle for this year's International Food Bloggers Conference & Trip To Krusteaz HQ!
I had such a great time and met so many wonderful new friends, foodies, and fellow bloggers. The last night there was one of my favorite parts. They held the gourmet fair in a giant conference room, where we got to interact with a ton of vendors and enjoy awesome food and drinks (I tried an amazing burger, sushi, cupcakes (duh), and sipped on a dirty martini... because the olive brand was named "Lindsay"... and it was in the cutest miniature martini glass you ever did see... I couldn't resist.)
I would say that this pic pretty much sums up my trip:
As a brand ambassador for Krusteaz, they set me up in a fancy hotel with a big giant bed all to myself and even welcomed me with a super fun goodie bag (that ended up doubling as one of my "carry on" baggage on the flight home, because I could barely fit all the fun swag from the conference in my tiny suitcase!).
This was my first time in Seattle. After over a week of 100+ degree weather here in Los Angeles, it was so nice to wake up to the brisk, grey skies of a new city.
The first full day there, we got a tour of the Krusteaz headquarters and got a whole "behind the scenes" look and learned all about the history of the company. At first, it didn't even occur to me that the brand name Krusteaz, is a play on the words "crust" and "ease", because their first box mix was a simplified way (just add water) to make pie crust with "ease"... get it?! ;)
We were then led to one of the test kitchens where they had a bunch of cookie mixes set out for us. Then, they paired us up for a cookie swap competition on the spot! We had to come up with a fun holiday (any holiday) themed cookie, packaged up in festive wrapping for a cookie exchange... the pressure was on! Talk about Cupcake Wars, all over again!
They had all kinds of goodies set out for us to use and get creative; ingredients, packaging supplies and TOPPINGS!
Toni from Make Bake Celebrate, and I, came up with these adorable little Valentine sugar cookies filled with strawberry vanilla buttercream and rolled in, well of course, pink and white sprinkles. She is just as much of colorful pink sprinkle lover as I am, so we had such a fun time in the kitchen together! I think my favorite shot, is the picture in the bottom right, I took, of all the bloggers taking photos of the goodies... food bloggers, will be food bloggers ;)
Here are all the finished cookies! I think we all had such a great time baking together and getting creative in the kitchen. It was a really cool experience to be able to bake and create along side other food bloggers, since usually we are alone in the kitchen doin' our thing, without the company of a bunch of other women who have the passion for baking we do.
They then sent us on our way with these adorable little tool boxes to fill with baking tools and cookies to take back with us. How cute?!
The rest of the afternoon was spent taking in the city, as a group of us headed off to Pike's Place Market: (Left to right) Toni of Make Bake Celebrate, Jenn of Hostess with the Mostess, Me!!/Lindsay Ann Bakes, Christi of Love from the Oven, JoElen from What’s Cookin’, Chicago?, Scarlett of Made It. Ate It. Loved It., Jo-Lynne of Musings of a Housewife, and Jennifer of Bake or Break. Not pictured are Susan of Doughmesstic and Grace of A Southern Grace.
This place seriously felt like I was in a different world! I have never been to such a packed place with people and food EVERYWHERE! They had everything from chocolate pasta, fresh seafood, to the cheapest, most beautiful bouquets of flowers ever (they were like $5 for these giant gorgeous bouquets!!!)
We even visited the very first Starbucks Coffee Shop. (By the way, there were Starbucks locations on what felt like every block! Even more than here in LA!)
The next day was filled with tons of speakers on topics from, managing your brand, to food photography, to Krusteaz who introduced each of us in the Baker's Dozen team, and did some cooking and sampling demos, live!
Here I am on stage with Malia, from Krusteaz, and Jenn from the blog, Hostess with the Mostess!
I learned so much on the trip, made some great new friends and had such a wonderful experience! It was so surreal to meet the other bloggers that I "talk" to via social media and blog posts in real life and be able to talk about our work. I think us gals could've talked blogging for hours. It was so great to be able to connect with the women who sit behind the computer screen, posting recipes from all across the country, just like I do, here on my couch, with my cupcake blanket of course. Hope you guys enjoyed these sweet little "bites of life" as I take the day off from recipes to post about my experience. But stay tuned, because I have some really fun recipes and baking videos coming up that you are going to love!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Krusteaz. I was provided with travel, hotel accommodations, and conference admission by the sponsor. As always, all opinions are my own.