Inspiring Moments: Food Blog Forum Orlando

Exploring the Importance of Pursing Your Dreams

As a working mom, I often find myself feeling guilty when I am away from my family. However, I know (after over 15 years of figuring out what I want to be when I grow up)  that I have to take time beyond my work week to invest in myself and my dreams, especially when it comes to my personal passions — sharing the joys of food and this website.

This is where Food Blog Forum Orlando came into my life and gave me one of the most inspiring and wonderful dream-focusing opportunities I have ever experienced.

A few weeks ago, (well, about a month … I’ve been a bit busy and have taken too long to get this post done) 100 food bloggers gathered  in Orlando for a weekend of learning, brainstorming, inspiration and, yes, lots of glorious food.  We met, we talked, we ate, we shared ideas, we wandered through the flowers and sights of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, and we learned a tremendous amount.

We were inspired to take our photography to the next level by Todd and Diane of  White on Rice Couple.

We were challenged to take our writing to new heights by Davide Leite.

We learned more about working with brands from Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, Arianna Bastianini from Oxo and Rachel Barbarotta from KitchenAid.

We were encouraged to put ourselves out there by Dawn Viola and we were pushed to put our dreams on paper by Scott Hair. And I learned more than I ever knew existed about copyright from Elise Bauer with Simply Recipes.

Essentially, I learned how to make this blog better for you, and, as a fulfillment of my dreams, for the Live Pretty team and me.  But beyond the tactical, I walked away with some great lessons for life, particularly as I work toward my dreams.

So, rather than tell you about all the amazing food I ate …

Or regale you with stories of beautiful sights …

I wanted to share what I learned in hopes that it will help you also reach for your dreams: now, tomorrow and always.

What Food Blog Forum Orlando Taught Me About Achieving Dreams

1. Take Time for Your Dreams
As a mom and entrepreneur, my dreams often get pushed behind the “must dos” of life or into the late night hours. My first priority each and every day is my family and their welfare, followed by those I serve professionally.  So it was amazing to hear Food Blog Forum founders Jaden & Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen and Todd Porter & Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple talk about how they made their dream of Food Blog Forum come true.  They inspired me with tales of how they are achieving their dreams … simply by being passionate about everything they do.

Just take a moment and look at those you admire for their accomplishments.  Did they get there simply by going though the motions of life?  Most likely, in 99.9% of cases, not.  They took time for their dreams, regardless of how hard it was or how much they had going on in their daily lives.

This has inspired me to make sure I schedule at least a few hours a week for my dreams. Even it if is just a few minutes each day, I am taking time for them.  I am nurturing them.  I am working to make them a reality.

Dreams never come true if you don’t work hard to make them come true.

2. Share Your Ideas Out Loud
You can not achieve your dreams until you verbalize them.  They remain ideas until you say the words aloud.  Until then, they waft in and out of your brain and your life without becoming reality.  Scott Hair said it powerfully, and others who presented demonstrated that dreams must be verbalized, shared and clearly visualized through the power of your words to become real in your mind, your heart and your actions.

I even found this to be true in small ways throughout the weekend.  I found myself sharing ideas for posts and ideas for Live Pretty aloud.  Once I sounded those ideas out, I became committed to achieve them.  Prior to the moment they were verbalized they were just flutters in my brain, but now they are firmly cemented on my To-Do list.

3. Find Your Tribe
There were so many bloggers of amazing merit and creativity at the forum.  To be honest, I was a bit intimidated at first.   I have read many of these blogs for years, and I was meeting so many people, writers and cooks I admired from afar.  But I let down my guard and I have to say  I found my tribe; the group of people who want, for their sites and themselves, as much as I want for this site and my life. I found myself sharing ideas and thoughts I had not verbalized before, and I found a group of people who understood every idea and every thought that came out of my mouth.  This network is one I enjoy keeping in touch with everyday through the web; they keep me inspired and they keep me focused.

4. Be Open to Instability
Dreams take time, dreams take focus and they make you step outside of your daily routine. They require you to trust in yourself, and trust in those around you and where you put your faith.  You must trust and know that your dreams are something you really want and need. I now know that in order to achieve my dreams for myself and my family that I have to be open to change, I have to be open to instability and I have to dive in headfirst without fear.

In the end I learned so much that I could write a thesis, but, most importantly, I was inspired to keep my dreams alive and work every single day to achieve them.

So thank you to the Food Blog Forum team, all the organizers and presenters, and especially Julie from The Little Kitchen, who brought the event to life.

I appreciate you. Tons. More than words on a screen can ever express.

A toast to you and your dreams.

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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2 Responses to “Inspiring Moments: Food Blog Forum Orlando”

  1. Aggie — April 19, 2012 @ 10:52 pm (#
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    What a great post! It’s been so nice getting to know you more, and I hope our paths meet again one day soon!

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  2. Julia — April 20, 2012 @ 4:34 pm (#
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    Thank you so much! Absolutely – we need to catch up in person!

    [Reply]

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