Mixing it Up at Mixed Y’all: Pembroke, VA
It’s been a little over a week since I’ve worked the hardest I have ever worked in my life. My LIFE. Earlier this year my crazy bff Susan & I decided that hosting our OWN food conference would be a good idea. How hard could it be right? *sideeye* We had put together numerous well regarded sponsor parties after all. We worked for months on end putting together every single detail. We planned, planned and planned some more. Spent umpteen hours on the phone as well as emailing everyone and their brothers. Finally on Friday November 30th, 100 attendees converged on a mountain top in Virginia to be entertained and learn at OUR conference MIXED. We were thrilled, shocked and humbled and pretty much felt like we birthed another child.
I’m not going to lie. We had hiccups, speed bumps, whatever you would like to call them. Including a bakery that cancelled an order we had placed months ago two weeks before the conference. What are go getters like us supposed to do? Take care of business that’s what. We baked, butter creamed and fondanted (is that even a word) almost 100 multi-layer cakes in a 2 day period. Just the 2 of us. The weather at 40,000 feet was uncooperative so after baking we had to schlep the cakes back down the mountain and fondant them at Susan’s house. Susan had bruises on both her forearms from rolling fondant. My hands were cracked and red from kneading so much fondant (thank goodness I’ve kneaded so much dough before it came in handy).
We opened what seemed like 2000 boxes and stuffed the goodies into multiple bags. I went through a package of band-aids from box cuts. We set up conference room after conference room and tried to anticipate every need for the weekend. I walked up and down so many steps my ankles were bruised. Seriously odd, weird and gross and we won’t mention that again.
All of that was forgotten when everyone started to arrive. The smiles, hugs and gifts were overwhelming. We had flowers waiting in our room when we checked in with well wishes for the conference. A beautiful bottle of champagne delivered to toast the weekend. A plush robe to pamper ourselves as well as a calming candle to try and relax.
We couldn’t have done this without our fantastically enthusiastic attendees – thank you to each and every one of you for putting your trust in us. We were amazed at how far people traveled to join us (some as far as Canada!). Just wow. We love you all.
To our amazingly generous sponsors: OXO, KitchenAid, Dixie Crystals, Real Butter, Wisconsin Cheese, Dreamfields, Attune Foods, Hershey’s, Way Better Snacks, Lucky Leaf, Creminelli, Roland, Stonyfield, Harvard Common Press, Le Creuset, Gartner Studios, Edgeware, John Boos, Dreamfarm, California Raisins, Anderson Seafoods, and Capt. Morgan who provided us with so much THANK YOU we loved having you join us and hope you’ll join us again next year! You rock.
To our ridiculously talented speakers: Duff Goldman, Marian Poirier, Bree Hester, Tami Hardeman, Lenny Ferreira & Denise Woodward, Heidi Larsen. We love you all. Thank you sweet friends for sharing your knowledge with everyone.
To our volunteers: thank you for running back and forth, chopping, slicing, and every other little task you did. Mwah!
To the picturesque Mountain Lake Hotel that’s staff went above and beyond to help us. THANK YOU! Did you know there’s room there to land a helicopter? Yeah we did that.
In between all the learning there was lots of FUN! A weekend full of sweets, swag, swiggin’ and Swazye and oh yeah BABY! Movies, Midnight Mac n Cheese parties (Queen Ali accepting her Mac n Cheese Crown above) and we a proud to have to have helped raise money for OXO’s Cookies for Kids Cancer! Thank you to everyone who donated!
It was again the hardest job we’ve ever done but indeed the most rewarding. I couldn’t tell you a favorite part of the weekend if I wanted to. I made lots of new friends, hugged hopefully everyone and somehow managed to take more pictures in one weekend than I have ever taken in my life. I will say the closing party was pretty awesome. A supah cute live band (dear Sunny Side Up we’re still waiting on you to get on Twitter), Oprah like giveaways (think ranges and commercial mixers WOWzer), crazy good cocktails (maple crown royal I lurve you and Joe and Megan) and a new found love of a microphone. That’s right, what happens on the mountain stays on the mountain – good times.
We are planning on hosting MIXED again next year. Crazy? Maybe. If you joined us this year there are special savings coming your way for next year (alumni discount baby). If you didn’t join us, you missed a great weekend and we hope you’ll consider joining us next year! Be there or be square, just sayin. Keep with us on TWITTER & FACEBOOK for our witty banter or just updates on the conference.
Last but not least I wouldn’t have wanted to plan or host this conference with anyone else but my amazing bff - Susan. She is pretty stinking awesome in case you didn’t know it. We can’t wait for next year! Brownies, Margaritas and More are in store. Now we just need to sleep.
Whew that felt like a huge acceptance speech didn’t it ; ) Now I’m just missing my golden whisk trophy (there’s an idea for next year).
Here’s a few conference recaps (they had the time of their lives – couldn’t help it) If I missed yours please leave a link in the comments and I’ll add ya!
- Climbing Grier Mountain
- Pass The Sushi
- Melanie in the Middle
- The Hill Country Cook
- Bran Appetit
- Susie Freakin Homemaker
- Savory Simple
- Angry Asian Creations
- Bakeaholic Mama
- Nosh with Nash
- Ambitious Kitchen
- Eat Bake Drink Cook
- Basil Momma
- Me & My Pink Mixer
- Big Bear’s Wife
- Stockpiling Moms
- Books n Cooks
- Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
- Once Upon a Twin
- Delicious Potager
- Eating Appalachia
- Cravings of a Lunatic
- Katie’s Cucina
- Laughing Lindsay
- The Army Mom
- The Way to His Heart
- Nik Snacks
- Home Cooking Memories
- Budget Gourmet Mom
- Evil Shenanigans
- Arts & Fats