Sunday Funday – Scenes from Nourished and a Thirty-One Giveaway


My name is Cara.

Three weeks ago I quit my job to blog. Guess how much of that I’ve done?

Not much.

Between getting ready for Passover, taking care of a new pup, preparing for Nourished, working 2 days per week (from home!) for my old job, getting started on a dozen or so new recipes for Clean Eating…. yeah, I’ve been kinda swamped. It’s all good though!

PS. Wanna see the sweetest gal in town? Of course you do!

Total momma’s girl, btw.

So here I am, blogging from Chi-town, after giving my very first presentation at a food blogger conference yesterday. You know what that’s like? Well, for the very first time in my life, I was too nervous to eat. I mean, what were they thinking when they asked ME to teach people about photography?

Turns out they knew what they were doing. I passed with flying colors – and thankgoodness it wasn’t just my darling husband telling me that. If you were at Nourished and enjoyed my presentation, thank you SO much for telling me so. You don’t even know how much it meant to me, to meet you and hear your kind words. To know that what I have taught myself over the past five years can in turn help you is just unreal. Thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. And a HUGE thankyou to my dear friend Amy, for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to do this.

For those who are interested, I will be making my presentation available online. I just want to spiffy it up a bit, and add a few more pictures and notes to answer some of the questions that were asked. So not only will you get the presentation, you’ll get a new and improved version. Just give me a week or so to enhance, pretty please? k,thanks πŸ™‚

In case you couldn’t make it to Nourished, and want to know what went on, well, I might not be your best bet. How ironic that the girl speaking on food photography couldn’t deal with lugging around her camera along with a giant purse and laptop bag. But I did manage to snap a few pictures with my phone, and do some funky stuff with them (because otherwise what fun are phone pictures?)

I started with the best of intentions to show what really goes on at food blogger conferences. Like, here are some very accomplished bloggers-turned-authors generously signing their cookbooks.

But then I got lazy. And hungry. And only took pictures of what food bloggers really care about.

Duck pate on gluten-free English muffins with quail eggs and hollandaise

itty-bitty gluten-free croque monsieur

gluten-free lentil-chickpea pancakes baked with a cilantro topping, served with coconut chutney - I need a recipe like this!

gluten-free chicken vesuvio skewers

vegan curried zucchini soup with coconut yogurt foam and watercress - another recipe I *need*

and of course, cupcakes! tons of them. gluten-free and dairy-free too.

But my very favorite picture of the day is this one. Aside from all the goodies and lessons, the best part of the weekend was finally getting to meet Amy, Ricki, and Hallie, who have become great email buddies and true friends over the past year. Because it felt more like meeting old friends than new ones, I couldn’t help but give this photo a vintage feel.

Hallie, where are you?

It was an amazing time and I hope we (all the amazing bloggers with wonderful things to share) all cross paths again soon!

Speaking of girl time, you may remember that a couple weeks ago I posted a video about a Thirty-One Gifts party, and maybe you noticed that it disappeared. I deeply apologize about that. Unfortunately, my friend and Thirty-One Gifts consultant later found out that virtual blog parties such as we were trying to accomplish don’t exactly fit the rules. No worries, no one got in trouble, but we did have to take down the party links and photos.

The good news for you is that you can still watch the video and have an opportunity to win a free Thirty-One Gifts insulated thermal lunch tote, courtesy of Annie.

To enter the giveaway, just watch the video and leave a comment telling me what your favorite featured item was. That’s it! The giveaway will be open until Friday, April 20th at midnight and I will announce a winner next week.

And lastly, I feel it is my duty to alert you that Tropical Traditions is having one of the free shipping sales! This is always a good reason to stock up on coconut goodies like coconut oil, coconut flour, and coconut flakes. Maybe I will finally try some coconut cream concentrate. But you know what? It’s not just coconut. Remember my plug for freeze dried bananas? You can get those from Tropical Traditions too! There are also great deals on organic grade-B maple syrup, gourmet organic peanut butters in flavors like cherry vanilla and Thai ginger & red pepper, lavender scented coconut hair oil, and more.Β  To get free shipping, simply use the code 16412 at checkout, from now until midnight on Monday, April 16th. Happy Tropical Shopping!

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39 Responses to “Sunday Funday – Scenes from Nourished and a Thirty-One Giveaway”

  1. 1

    Ricki — April 15, 2012 @ 8:48 am Reply

    Cara, fabulous recap! I miss you guys already!!
    It was SO great to finally meet you in person and attend Nourished! I agree totally, it was like meeting old friends. Blogging is like that, isn’t it? πŸ˜€
    And I’m thrilled that you’ll be posting the presentation so I can finally see it.
    I hope you are having a fabulous time in Chi-town (never heard that one before!!). Can’t wait for the next meet up! xoxo

  2. 2

    Tamara Mannelly — April 15, 2012 @ 9:13 am Reply

    Nice meeting you at Nourished! I love your site and am looking forward to reading more of your posts. In response to the giveaway, I like the blue insulated picnic/beach tote. I love thirty-one products.
    Good luck as you full time blog! Looking forward to following you!

  3. 3

    Katrina (gluten free gidget) — April 15, 2012 @ 10:31 am Reply

    Firstly, your puppy is a doll!!!!!!!!! Secondly, congratulations on rocking the socks off of your presentation! Thirdly, I am really digging the first freezer bag they showed in the video. It would be super awesome for grocery shopping.

  4. 4

    Marcie — April 15, 2012 @ 10:33 am Reply

    I like the picnic tote, i could use that as we are getting into beach time!

  5. 5

    Alyssa — April 15, 2012 @ 10:40 am Reply

    What an awesome recap to a fabulous day! I’m so happy to have met you, and trust me your presentation totally rocked! It wasnt just your hubby who thought so. I’m looking forward to see the newly improved version. It will be a great reaource in my ongoing quest for better food photos. I’m still on my point and shoot, but your tips are super helpful and I’m excited to practice more when I get home. Again, great to meet you!! xo Alyssa

  6. 6

    Kate — April 15, 2012 @ 11:45 am Reply

    So glad you felt like Chicago went well. I was rooting for you!

  7. 7

    Alisa — April 15, 2012 @ 11:48 am Reply

    Congrats Cara! So glad the presentation went well – and what a blast!
    Is that Cybele there with that cute pixie cut? I couldn’t tell, she looks so different from when I saw her last!

    • 7.1

      Cara — April 15, 2012 @ 11:59 am

      Yes that’s her – she is pretty adorable!

  8. 8

    Maureen — April 15, 2012 @ 11:55 am Reply

    I love the Market Thermal Tote in Lotsa Dots that you showed! That would be AWESOME for when I go grocery shopping!


  9. 9

    Rebecca — April 15, 2012 @ 12:09 pm Reply

    I loved the first bag you showed AND the lunchbox/purse one!

  10. 10

    Cynthia — April 15, 2012 @ 1:03 pm Reply

    I love the thermal totes, especially the one that would fit a crock pot. That is always the hardest thing for me to transport!

  11. 11

    Linz @ Itz Linz — April 15, 2012 @ 1:11 pm Reply

    i really like the thermal bag for exactly what you said… after grocery shopping, i feel like i have to dash right home to put the cold stuff away, but the thermal bag would allow me to run a few more errands making my outings much more productive!!

  12. 12

    Rachel Shaterian — April 15, 2012 @ 3:57 pm Reply

    Hi Cara! I didn’t get a chance to meet you at Nourished as I was in the media presentation, but I’m so excited to be able to watch a video of what I missed! Thanks for doing that and I look forward to watching! It was such a fabulous weekend! Great recap too! Happy Sunday! πŸ™‚

  13. 13

    Jen @ — April 15, 2012 @ 4:32 pm Reply

    Congrats on a successful presentation!

  14. 14

    amy marantino — April 15, 2012 @ 5:22 pm Reply

    my favorite is the picnic tote

  15. 15

    lizzy — April 15, 2012 @ 6:55 pm Reply

    Cara- can’t wait to see the presentation! I’ll try to be patient!!! Sounds like Chitown was a blast!

  16. 16

    Joanne — April 15, 2012 @ 8:01 pm Reply

    MAJOR congrats at your presentation success love! I had the utmost faith in you.

  17. 17

    Katrina K. — April 15, 2012 @ 8:23 pm Reply

    So glad that you had a great time at the conference and the presentation went well! I had no doubt it would πŸ™‚ xoxo

  18. 18

    Carol — April 16, 2012 @ 8:44 am Reply

    The picnic tote is great, would be stylish enough to replace my brown bag that I bring to the office each day!

  19. 19

    Becca B — April 16, 2012 @ 9:36 am Reply

    i love the freezer tote for grocery shopping and the picnic tote! so cute!

  20. 20

    Justine @ Life With Cheeseburgers — April 16, 2012 @ 11:35 am Reply

    Isn’t it crazy how nervous you can get before a presentation? I’ve presented to anywhere from 20 to nearly 1,000 people at a time, and it’s not often that I just don’t feel a little jittery beforehand. But it feels so good when you’re done and know you’ve really inspired some people (I speak and blog on fitness, healthy recipes, body image, addictions/recovery, etc.)!

    • 20.1

      Cara — April 16, 2012 @ 11:39 am

      exactly – the people coming up to me later, telling me I gave them exactly what they needed – that made it all worth it and felt so encouraging! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  21. 21

    Jenn@slim-shoppin — April 16, 2012 @ 2:03 pm Reply

    Hi Cara – I was at the Nourished event at your photography talk. I’ve had my blog for 5 years, but I learned a lot from your workshop, especially setting up the light room and plating ideas.

    Also, congrats on your weight loss!! I’ll definitely be coming back.

    • 21.1

      Cara — April 16, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

      Thanks Jenn, glad you enjoyed the presentation!

  22. 22

    Kelsey — April 16, 2012 @ 4:56 pm Reply

    OF COURSE you were amazing, Cara! You always are! Congratulations on your first (of many) presentations. Wish I could’ve been there!

  23. 23

    Arin Lrods — April 18, 2012 @ 11:14 pm Reply

    My favorite item is the Large utility tote bag..I would use it for my van to keep all the sports gear( basket/soccer balls) in!!

  24. 24

    Jacquelyn — April 19, 2012 @ 12:05 am Reply

    Congratulations on your Nourished presentation. I wish I could have gone. My favorite item was that giant tote. I travel for work and spend a lot of time on my car. It looks great to organize all the little things rolling around!

  25. 25

    Carrie's Sweet Life — April 19, 2012 @ 8:59 am Reply

    Clinch-it-up thermal tote.

  26. 26

    Kristin Thomas — April 19, 2012 @ 9:06 am Reply

    I love 31! i really like the largest freezer tote that is good for shopping-

  27. 27

    Julie @BananasForBourbon — April 19, 2012 @ 12:38 pm Reply

    Congrats on your big debut! How fun! I know you’re going places, Lady. I love your recipes. πŸ™‚ I also liked the Market Thermal Tote, but all of it was fun!

  28. 28

    marilyn — April 19, 2012 @ 2:39 pm Reply

    I love the market tote! perfect for grocery shopping!

  29. 29

    Susanna S. — April 19, 2012 @ 2:52 pm Reply

    I love the insulated lunch tote! Too cute!

  30. 30

    Shannon Brown — April 20, 2012 @ 11:38 am Reply

    I’m one of the people who told you how much she enjoyed your photo presentation. I posted a photo of my food using a bounce and am thrilled to have the shadows gone. I have more to apply but I’m getting there πŸ™‚

    • 30.1

      Cara — April 20, 2012 @ 11:43 am

      Hi Shannon, so glad it worked for you! Make sure to come back on Sunday – I will have the full presentation + a few extra modifications available to share πŸ™‚

  31. 31

    Genevieve — April 20, 2012 @ 4:57 pm Reply

    I’ve been wanting to get a nice new insulated lunch bag – the one I use now is not exactly meant for holding food items, but I use it anyway. These ones look both practical and stylish! If they’ll ship one to Canada, then I’d love to win!

  32. 32

    lizzy — April 20, 2012 @ 5:59 pm Reply

    I love all of them, but I really love the picnic tote!

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