The past week was a week of firsts for me. It was my first social media conference, the first time I have been away from my toddler overnight (and for a few days!), the first time I roomed with someone I had never met in person before, and my first time back in my city of birth since...well, maybe since June for my daughter's Mount Sinai Hospital Preemie/NICU Graduates Picnic.
I called every night and Little One's last conversation with me went something along the lines of, "Mama, please don't call me anymore. I'm busy. I'm washing dishes."
I bawled my eyes out. She's Two-Teen going on eighteen.
It's been far too long since I have taken a walk on Spadina. I miss Chinatown! Scored some inexpensive comfy shoes. My pretty shoes for the conference landed me with band-aids on my toes within the first hour of me wearing them.
Also my first time having Chinese Dim Sum in a long time! I love you, Northern Ontario, but you seriously do not know what real Chinese food is! Sooooo delicious! Don't know what Dim Sum is? Click here to find out.
Cool Hand Luc's for some ice cream. You know, because we didn't already stuff ourselves at Dim Sum only moments earlier!
Aren't you diggin' that barfing ice cream guy? Too funny! Almost tempted to paint this scene on Little One's bedroom walls!
This was also my first time flying with Porter Airlines. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised by how roomy the plane was. Lots of leg room! I know, you're thinking I'm a shorty and don't need that much leg room. You know when the guy in front of you reclines his seat and ends up practically in your lap? That didn't happen on this flight.
I managed to score a seat sale and one way from Sudbury to Toronto was only $69 +tax. That's cheaper than driving! It's also a lot faster! It takes me about 5.5 to 6 hrs to drive to Toronto. Flying was only less than 55 minutes. By the time I finished the drink the flight attendant gave me, we were landing! Fast, huh?
The flight attendants and pilots were amazing. Friendly, helpful, professional. I will definitely be flying with Porter again. New fan!
Whew! Thank you for patiently waiting for me to get to the conference part. That's what you were waiting for, right?
Well, this is what greeted us after check-in and registration.
Purdy's Chocolate was strategically placed right in the entrance of the convention hall. A taste test first thing in the morning? Sure! I'm in!
You know which one I chose right? Ummm hmmm! The Hedgehog! As my toddler would say, "Awwwww! It's toe tute!" Translation: "It's so cute!" Didn't stop us from devouring (I mean "sampling") it!
Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA)
Life Choices Food
Royal Canadian Mint
Do you see who I'm with in this next photo?!?! No, you do not know how excited I was! It's Christine Cushing! Yes, the Christine Cushing! Celebrity Chef Christine Cushing! You know who I'm talking about! I've been a fan of hers for years! My grandfather (may he rest in peace) was the one who got me into her cooking show back in the day. Now my toddler loves her. LOVES her!
STLTO for the delicious wine.
Look! Bewildered Bug, Whispered Inspirations, Aarica Make-Up Blog, and I are all wearing PURPLE! We're the Purdy's Chocolate mascots! ;)
After the after party, we decided to head to Earl's for a bite to eat and a little more to drink. Upper Canada Soap, Etobicoke Moms, Little Ms. Save, Aarica, Sweet Mama Brady, MadeByHandShow, GGirlGGreen and I had a great time. We got back to the Sheraton in one piece, although we were almost down a tweep! Toronto taxi drivers are crazy. #chickenwing incident! That's all I am allowed to say or SweetMamaBrady might kill me.
I learned so much about brands, relationships with brands, what they expect/want from bloggers.
Donna Marie Antoniadis is my idol. I really admire her. Oh, and when she gave me a huge hug and said, "You are so sweet", I was worried she would pinch my cheeks! She didn't.
Listen2Lena is as gorgeous in person as she is online and she's got a fabulous personality! She is so amazing!
SassyModernMom is stunning and sweet. I love her!
Mom vs. the Boys is exactly as sweet and wonderful in person as she is online.
Highlight of Day 2 was bumping into Julie Cole and her having breakfast with us and sitting at our table for key note speech and panel. I love Julie. She is one of the funniest women I've ever met! My husband was even shocked that the Mabel's Labels maven sat at our table.
Just discovered that Dana McCauley, the Canadian chef, food writer, food trend tracker, culinary director for Janes Family Food and I share a Manitoulin Island connection...and it's even closer than I'd imagined! How crazy is that? First, my serendipitous meetings with BewilderedBug and AskMamaMOE and discovering how our paths are connected, and now Dana McCauley?! Surreal!
Deborah Lowther is stunning, radiant, vibrant. Those vitamins are amazing! I'll have whatever she's having! ;)
PTPA Sharon has great style and great hair!
tjzmommy just wows me all the time. I am in awe of her. Check out what you can do for Zack's Dream Room.
Next day: Plane ride home. Back to reality. Thank goodness for swag. This got me by until I could get to real food. The Sudbury airport has nothing near it!
www.wildERmed.org course over the weekend).
Above photo: "Look, Mama! I'm a chef!"
Bwahahahaha! She thought the divine.ca thong was an apron!!!
See? I told you she loves Christine Cushing!