As I mentioned in my last post, I had the amazing opportunity to attend FABLOGCON, presented by Ms. Jenny Sprague. I asked around in the community: if you could attend only one event all year, what would it be? FABLOG was the answer several times. I wasn’t sure how, but we figured out a way to make it happen on short notice. We’re talking a few weeks, which as you know with allergy life planning can be a bit daunting! I looked into flights, accommodations, and tickets, then went on to meal planning for the four days I would be gone.
I won’t say I was doubtful about the trip. I knew there would be #mypeople there to connect with. But I am still new to the community in some ways, specifically in getting my face out there. I have sort of hidden behind the project, because I wanted IT to be the focus, not me. It was pointed out to me, however, that without a face, the project may look like it didn’t have heart – and believe me it does!
Off I went. I landed in Denver VERY early on Friday. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, and I was told the air was thinner than at home (but I was sure to stay hydrated and it wasn’t an issue for me luckily!) On the bus to the hotel I was already meeting other bloggers and social media gurus. We arrived at the beautiful hotel and lucky for me, my room was ready! I left my home at 1:30 AM Denver time and it was now 9:30. I had sessions in the afternoon, and a party Friday night, so I was very thankful to be able to nap for a bit. It was hard to fall asleep because I was so excited about everything planned for the weekend! I finally slept and I’m lucky I did. It was going to be a long night.
Got up and cleaned myself up a bit and made my way to registration and the Expo. The table was well-staffed with super friendly people (I’m looking at you, Kristin and Margaret!) Here was my first surprise. The Swag Bag. It was FILLED with samples and coupons and all-around great stuff from some really awesome companies we know and love, and some that I was being introduced to over the weekend for the first time! Enjoy Life was there in force and getting to meet the team who helped get me to Denver via their Twitter party was so fun. I almost cried but held myself together. I may have snagged a few more Mini chips and cookies while no one was looking, to take home of course. One product I was excited to see was Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg. They get an A+ for packaging, so cute to package it in an egg carton! We use a lot of their products but I hadn’t been able to find this one locally and I’m really excited to try it, especially for my omelet missing husband. SunButter was also a hit in the swag bag department and at the Expo. The Teal Kids were fighting over the adorable SunButter pens, and they LOVE their shirts. New to me were ZEGO bars, which are not only super yummy, but they are also made in a dedicated top-8 free facility. I was super excited to have my kids try them (I was sold when I got to try them at the Expo). Another hit: the Pure Genius Blondies and Brownies. I may or may not have purchased a box to take home. Perfectly Free was there too, and I have been looking forward to trying them for a while now. It was worth the wait. They have ice cream treats that are like a creamsicle in 4 flavors, chocolate, salted caramel, cherry and blueberry. Finally, BFree breads. Oh my, our gluten-free home will forever be changed once they are selling in our area. I have so many plans when I can get my hands on this brand.
The Expo wasn’t only filled with amazing allergy-friendly products, but also information from many great resources. Melanie was there from Kids with Food Allergies which was a definite highlight for me. I have “known” Melanie for probably 7-8 years online, so it was great to give her a big hug (and I may or may not have gotten a picture with her). Eleanor and Betsy from FAACT were there with information on the amazing work they do, especially with all the school education they have available. Allergic Living was represented by my friend Caroline Moassessi (AKA the Grateful Foodie) who is my chocoholic partner in crime. It would not have been a trip to Denver without also finally meeting my friends from Allergy Superheroes. We have been talking for a while now, and to meet them just filled my heart. They have such cute products, and my kids have been having fun with their magnet food allergy set since I’ve been home.
One of the great things about this trip was the food. Our resident Allergy Chef extraordinaire, Keith Norman, was overseeing all the prep of the meals for the weekend. I don’t think there were any challenges that he and the staff were not able to conquer. I will say, that could not have been an easy undertaking, and there was nothing he wasn’t willing to do for this group. I think he left a few pounds lighter from all the running around I saw him doing. Most times when you hear about meals and allergies, you expect fruit for dessert. Not here! No, no, no. So Delicious provided a variety of allergy-friendly ice-cream treats for the weekend. Then there was the bakery! Inglorious Monk Bakery served up some of the most delicious Whoopie pies. I wanted to try all of them, but I didn’t want to deprive anyone, so I stuck with the seasonal offering of pumpkin whoopie pie. I was not disappointed at all! Speaking of, I need to get an order together! So good. On Sunday we had the option of several kinds of cupcakes. Oh my gosh! Can you believe it? Let Them Eat Cake provided so many choices I just couldn’t pick. Lucky for me, there were two other people ogling them, so we decided to split them three ways so we could try more! I love these people! See, it’s just like family, and these were people I hadn’t even met before this weekend!
There were so many highlights and people I met, that I feel like I can’t name them all. I’m sure I would forget someone, and I don’t want #mypeople to get angry with me. Another post is in the works about the sessions, but I needed to get this out to you! If you have ever thought “Maybe I would like to attend FABLOGCON,” I’m telling you, DO IT! I am already saving money for next year!
I was not asked to mention any of the people or products above, and I was not paid anything for this post. These are my thoughts on these brands. As always, allergy-safe for my family is not allergy-friendly for all families. Always check for your allergens and decide on your own comfort level.