Happily Sitting It Out

 This weekend, many fellow bloggers, hundreds of them, are at the Healthy Living Summit which is now in it’s third year.

I vividly remember the first one.  I had just started blogging a few months prior to it and I remember thinking, Wow, there is this whole, huge community out there.

And these people actually meet up.  In person.

And have massive conferences. 

I was so in awe of it all!


Last fall I went to Food Buzz in San Francisco

And I have posted about going on trips, workshops, conferences, and conventions and my thoughts on them

But because I was just recently on two photography-themed trips:

First, to Mexico City for an amazing photography adventure…

…that had the side bonus of being a life-path affirming trip.  <–Some of my deepest thoughts to date on a plant-based diet in that post

After Mexico, I was home for 36 hours and moved into our new houseWow.

And then a couple week later, I was off to Boulder, Colorado for Food & Light

It was a fabulous food photography workshop.

I learned so much and recapped what I learned here

But July and August were whirlwind months!  The busiest of my adult life.

Therefore, going to the HLS was not in the cards from a financial, time management, or even a desire standpoint.  I admit it, no desire to travel this weekend.

I am looking forward to finding some calm in my life and that involves saying home and not traveling.   At least for awhile anyway.

So with that said, I hope all your HLS go’ers have a blast.  Without me.  I’m sitting this one out.

I need to stop and smell some roses in my own backyard this weekend.

And I doubt I will be going to Food Buzz Festival in San Fran in November, 2011

I’d rather allocate my resources (financial, time, and energy) to photography-related pursuits if photography ever will become more of a career path.

Conferences like this women’s only photography conference are more up my alley than just strictly blogging conferences.

Another thing that’s up my alley:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF, can add protein powder)

These are so easy.  And you can tweak the recipe to suit what you have on hand.  I never would buy ingredients just to put in energy or granola bars.  Use what you have one and no-bake up a batch in about 10 minutes.

From my last post about meetups and friends, yes, it was great seeing my friend and I hope all of you have some fun meetups and get togethers with your friends planned, soon.


1. Are you attending the HLS or any other conference/convention/workshop that’s coming up?

No and nothing planned.  Yet.

2. Have you ever attended a conference/convention/workshop?  What kind was it?  Was it blogging related?

I have been to so many types of conferences from yoga conferences to tattoo conventions to blogging conferences to photography workshops.

I love learning, growing, meeting new people that have the same interests that I do and sharing that camaraderie and being able to bond easily because of our common interest, whether that’s a love of photography, blogging, yoga, or tattoos, it’s great being able to connect with others in real life at these events.

3. Have you ever felt good about not attending an event?

Travel (for any reason) and conferences (for any reason from professional to personal to a mixture or blend of both) are a major commitment on all levels.

One must consider:

Travel & hotel expenses

Time away from work/lost wages from missed work

Time away from spouses/family members/significant others

The energy it takes to go and do these things and really focus, put yourself out there, and challenge yourself to take in everything you possibly can while you’re there so you feel like you really “get your money’s worth”

…All of those things need to be taken into serious consideration.

Therefore, we all need to choose the events that truly matter to us and that we think we’ll derive maximum benefit and enjoyment from.  If time and money were no object, sure, I’d go to HLS.  But for me personally and my life goals and interests, I weighed the pros and cons and sat this one out.

And there’s nothing wrong with not attending something until the timing is optimal based on your personal situation, for whatever the reason.

I find it’s better to wait until the timing is optimal than try to force yourself to attend a conference or go on a trip that isn’t ideal or that’s too much of a stretch.

I talk to lots of bloggers who are not attending something and they are disappointed when they start reading the flurry of conference-related posts and sure, sometimes we really want to attend an event and we just can’t swing it financially.

But how awful would it feel to be sitting in a conference hall, listening to a speaker while thinking to yourself, I am missing work, I am not getting paid, I just put X hundred or thousand(s) of dollars on my credit card to travel to be here and I have gone into some debt to be here.  <–That sounds horrible!  I’d rather wait until the trip or event was more comfortable.

For those of you in that boat, just think of how awesome the conference you do go on will be when the timing is right for you.   <– Look at it as glass half full.  Not half empty.

I actually feel great about not being at HLS (in previous years I had wished I was there) and am happy to read the many recaps I’ve seen thus far.  From the comforts of my desk.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I’m not there either…you know, I just don’t have it in me to go to these conferences!! I know people love them…but even the idea kind of wipes me out!

    Hope you have a great (calm) weekend at home :-)

  2. hope you’re getting the quieter weekend that you desire, averie (note, quietER, not QUIET as i doubt that’s gonna happen for you!) :)
    i’m not at hls – i’m too old! :)
    i’ve gone to french teaching conferences (yuck) and the can fit pro conference, (which is actually happening this weekend in toronto) annual fitness conference. it was awesome – super inspiring. but yes: travel, expense, time, the energy expenditure…i need to pick and choose my travel options. i’ll read all the blog reports and capture the fun that way!
    at least the next food buzz will be closer to you!

  3. I think sometimes we have to remember why we started blogging…

    Relationships, family, food, health…

    Those are all things that, when put on the back burner, can really suffer.

    Enjoy your weekend <3


  4. I would love to go to HLS. I remember when I first realized that there WAS such a thing.

    But man. I’ve got a full time job as an engineering manager, a second full time job as a mom, and I’m training for a triathlon. Nah, I just can’t take the time. It would be fun. Maybe some day. I think it’s always going to fall the weekend before my triathlon though. Or the 3rd weekend in August, when I get together for our annual potluck with my quilting group.

    But by the time that day comes, I’ll probably feel like “Mom”. At least most of the photos of last year’s HLS seemed to be filled with 20-somethings, and I’m 2 decades ahead of that.

  5. I’m not attending HLS nor any other blogger conference probably due to being a college student and definitely not having the money in the bag for spending such as that. I hope to one day at least have the experience of trying it out though and deciding whether I like it or not :) It’s always great to hang out with a bunch of people who nothing but like minded minds.

  6. This uplifting, thoughful post was exactly what I needed. I feel you really grounded with me with your words.
    How I love to smell roses. I actually always stop to smell when I see some :) Should do that tmro.
    I also like attending those type of “meetings”. It´s just great to meet other people who understand how you feel, etc.

  7. I’m sitting the HLS out too—this is literally the only weekend in August (and most of September) I’m not traveling, and I’m wiped out. While I’d like to go to Foodbuzz, it may not be in the cards for financial reasons. Since I’m a grad student who does freelance work from my home computer, I have to be really choosy with what kinds of events I attend. For now, that means very few. The ones I do go to tend to be in my city, so I don’t have to worry about travel expenses.

    I’d like to make it to ADA’s FNCE, since I’m an RD-in-training and “should” go to nutrition conferences, but I don’t have the time or money at the moment. I try to stay optimistic by thinking about how great the conferences and events I’ll go to int he future will be!

  8. Yes, for all the reasons you stated, I’m happy to sit conventions out at times! However, now that I’m full on in my MFA program, I suspect I’m going to start finding it harder to resist traveling to the bigger writing conventions as time and finances allow.

    Here’s the thing: I’m really not a social person at all, but when I’m with ‘my tribe’ for a brief spell of time, I can enjoy being more social for an extended period. Couldn’t do it all the time, though.
    Hope you enjoy that beautiful yard this w.e!

  9. I’m happily sitting this one out too. I feel like I’m still recovering from BlogHer (I didn’t have that great of a time) and I’d like to go to FoodBuzz (more or less and excuse to go to SF with husband). Additionally I grad school starts back up on Monday and I’m content to just be home.

    • Interesting that you didnt have that great of a time at BH.

      I heard off the record the same thing about the BH in Atlanta being less than great for some. I wasnt there so can’t comment personally.

      Hadnt heard that about the San Diego BH that was just 2 weeks ago.

      Which one were you at and any other details you want to share, I’d love to hear! I think HONEST reviews are the BEST kind :)

    • I was at BlogHer in San Diego. I wrote some of my thoughts here: http://www.kohlercreated.com/blog/?p=13843

      Obviously I know a lot of people LOVE the conference and swear about it, but I found that a lot of people felt the way I did and maybe it’s just not designed for people like us? My husband and I are both going to FoodBuzz Blogger Festival in November. Worst case scenario is if we don’t have a good time at the conference we can at least share the trip together and see the sights :)

  10. No, I am not going either! look forward to hearing all about it!

  11. I’m attending Vida Vegan Con in Portland next week! I’m a little nervous (I’m a rather quiet/shy person), but excited too. :)

  12. I’m kind of glad I’m sitting HLS out this year even though I really wish I could be there – with school just starting, I am just exhausted thinking about it!!!

  13. Glass half full, love it. I’m fairly new to blogging so I know its not the right timing for me. I’d love to go to future conferences, on all sorts of topics… you caught my eye with that all woman’s one I have to say! I think if I’m to continue down the path I’m on with my pursuits, plenty of conferences and trips and workshops will be in my future, so I’m okay waiting too!

    • lmk if you hear of any other ones, too

      some of them are so hard to find, come by, etc..they’re very underground until…they’re OVER. Then i read tons about them. Past tense.

      And your last comment to me re friends and meetups, yes, life is way diff when you’re outta college :)

  14. I’m happily sitting out this weekend too. I’m sure HLS is fun for the people who go! I definitely have a blog, and have met some super awesome amazing people online (and a couple in person) through blogging…but I just have different priorities. I suppose if HLS offered continuing education credits for one of my certifications, I’d consider it! But they don’t…so I’ll stick to my dorky nutrition, wellness, and exercise science conferences for now :)
    I’ve been to tons of conferences…especially when I worked for the Air Force fitness program…they liked to throw money around (sad, I know, it’s tax payers’ money), and I traveled all over learning stuff. Recently, I’ve done a Food As Medicine conf, and a Mind-Body Skills training conf. Leaving with a new skill or certification has been my priority lately—I’m envious that you’ve gotten to explore photography with such depth! Maybe someday I will (but not if I buy everything I want from the West Elm catalog!) :)

    • don’t be envious; i have just made it a huge priority at the expense & sacrifice of other things. A balancing act that I am trying to juggle. I let some things fall by the wayside so I could do more of that, i.e. recipe development or hours and hours in the kitchen

      Just like some people make going to the movies a priority or going out to dinner or whatever…I take those 20 mins here or there and just immerse myself. Every minute counts! :)

  15. I haven’t been to any blogging conferences and other than the social aspect, I have no desire to go. I have been to SO MANY nerdly science conferences though. In fact, I just registered for one in mid-Sept and there is one in Nov that I really want to go to in Hawaii!! Sadly, I don’t think my university will pay for it.

    Are those roses really in your backyard?

    Sooo…I’m thinking about buying an iMac. What did you get? I think I may bring my mcbook to my office and get an iMac and an iPad for home. Plus the iPhone….I’d be the mac poster girl. But really, what did you get and was it worth it?

    • all details here

      yes 100% worth it
      i paid for double the standard memory and if you do it at the time of purchase it’s another $200 rather than $400. WORTH IT for all we store on our computers, files, pics, editing speed, etc

      and that’s not my backyard, i dont have one but the roses are within my immediate local area, yes :)

      i have the iphone, imac, and macbook. and wish i had gotten a more powerful macbook (the mb Pro) but at the time, never imagined i would need it. 12 mos later…i use it for traveling enough that it drives me nuts b/c its so slow!

    • Question about phones – I am seeking a new one now. Do you have any suggestions as I’m not “phone-savvy?”. I.e: between a Blackberry, Iphone and smartphone? Basically I want/need something great and easily seen for texting, emailing and internet as needed. But not crazy expensive or technical! :)

      Thank you if you have any suggestions.

  16. I guess I’m just not connected to all of these conferences. I would love to attend one one day, but never know where to go to find out about them! We’re in Edmonton (a couple hours drive from our home) for the half marathon for tomorrow. It’ll be the last weekend I’ll see Kevin for awhile, so it’s been nice to just hang out, go for dinner and snuggle up! Enjoy your weekend, Averie :)

  17. Yeah, often it’s SO awesome to just be in “the cave” at home. No travel. No cars. No planes. Nada. Just good food & your family. What else is there?!!!
    The convention sounds super fun though!

  18. I think you are very wise to not go! You need a rest in a major way I think lady

  19. wish i could be at HLS (it’s in philly, where my family lives!) and foodbuzz this year but $$$ and schedule just won’t allow it. i’ll have to stay satisfied with my smaller meetups – hopefully i’ll get to see you when i’m in SD when my movie plays there in October!

  20. As a relatively new blogger, the idea of HLS is intriguing… after spending a lot of time in the blogosphere for the past few months, finally meeting all these people? Amazing!
    At the same time, though, I have to agree with you… I’m starting a bunch of new things right now and can’t afford a weekend away… time-wise or financially. I’d rather spend the money and time when I know for sure I can… then I will DEFINITELY have a blast!

  21. It would be too expensive for me to fly out and well, with my blog I am out of target group. :) But I love to read all the recaps.

  22. I too am happily sitting it out. It would be fabulous to see some of the attendees, but frankly, being at home in NYC is so much more valuable to me as a use of vacay time than being at the HLS again. I am psyched for Vida Vegan though!

  23. I wouldn’t mind attending one HLS, but I’m in the same time/money boat. Looking forward to FoodBuzz again though.

    1. Not HLS, but I am on the upcoming FoodBuzz fest.
    2. Yes, the FoodBuzz fest last year, raw health expos, etc. FB was very blogging oriented, but not so much on the others. I enjoy the gatherings, but have to limit them since I work full time outside of blogging. I was also tempted on the Vegan Event in OR, but that’s a pretty busy one with an intense schedule – not exactly a relaxing getaway.
    3. Sure, when I know I’ve been too busy and need down time or something more important pops up. I skipped a vegan fest last weekend to visit my grandma in the hospital, that was more important.

  24. I think this is one of my favorite posts of yours. God Bless You. So, so well said. “Enjoy it when the time is right”…I just spent a lot of money on a weekend “away” trip – that I ended up not going to…and didn’t get my money back…I was just too overwhelmed. Even though I’m not hit with a double whammy – paying for something I didn’t even attend (which is beyond stressful) – it would be way worse I guess to be there – worrying about the time and energy with the money…that’s my only (small) consolation ;)

    What I learned is that the timing was wrong. Despite losing the money, I can’t force these things. Life happens.

    Your photography skills are flying through the roof!! Keep spending your time, money and energy – when YOU want – on that girl – because clearly it suits you well :)

  25. I am at the CanFitPro Fitness Conference in Toronto this weekend! Exhausting, but fun!

  26. Haha, well I am most certain not happy to be sitting out on HLS this year considering what’s keeping me home! But at the same time, I can’t be bitter about it. My actual health comes before any “healthy living” conference. I’ve only been to two blogging conferences and what I loved most about them is meeting and hanging out with my blog friends, not the sessions or big events. So with that in mind, I think any future blogging related travels may just be to visit the friends and not attend the big expensive events. But you never know, I had fun the first two times around :)

    • I thought of you when I posted this and Susan, I am sooo sorry you’re sitting it out this year :(

      “I think any future blogging related travels may just be to visit the friends and not attend the big expensive events.”–
      If I could find a way to do that, that would be ideal! And for me too seeing a half dozen people, MAX, at one time is ideal. Not the 75 ppl I have always wanted to meet, all at once.. Overwhelming and I feel like I miss out and dont enjoy the experience fully.

  27. It’s so hard to decide what to go to and what not to go to. I chose to skip Big Summer Potluck this year. Just too much going on personally and I couldn’t swing it. Did I regret it? I don’t know… maybe a little… but sometimes having the comfort to be at peace with your decisions is the best confidence booster. Great post :)

    • Ok I hadnt even heard of the Big Summer Potluck til I just googled it!

      I see that Penny de los Santos was speaking and Shauna, too. I went to Mexico City w/ Penny (linked in my post ironically!)

      There are so many events and half of them I find out AFTER the fact or so close to the actual event there is no way I can swing it on any level and make the event in time.

  28. I have never attended a conference before, although it looks like a lot of fun! The financial aspect pretty much means I’ll go to it if it’s in my town. But other than that, probably not! Plus if I read enough blogs of people who went there, it’s always like I was there myself!

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