Why Bother Blogging? (Recipe – Italian Style Rice & Beans)

I just returned from the beautiful Canyons Resort in Park City, UT where I was fortunate enough to attend the first annual Evo ’10 Conference (Foodies – I know you want to think that Evo has something to do with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but it is really The Evolution of Women in Social Media).

For those of you who are getting ready to head to the BlogHer 2010 Conference in New York, or for those of you who are returning from the Evo ’10 conference, you might find yourself with an overwhelming feeling of trepidation and exhilaration.

When I went to the BlogHer conference in Chicago last year, I came back feeling motivated and discouraged, all at the same time. Motivated because I had the opportunity to listen and learn from some extremely talented people in the world of blogging. Discouraged because I realized in that one weekend how much of a little fish in a huge sea of other bloggers I was. It was such an eye opening moment for me when I realized there were thousands of people who cared that much about their blog to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to network and nourish it at a blogging conference.

I will be honest.  My first day at Evo, surrounded by Mommy / Lifestyle bloggers, many of whom had no clue who I was, I felt the same way. Why bother blogging? What do I want out of all of this? At close to 4 years of blogging, what is my intention and where do I plan on taking things? What have I accomplished? I listened, I learned, I felt and I, after day 1, was ready to give up blogging and go home. Seriously.

Day 2 arrived and I listened, I learned, I felt and it hit me… I blog for more than just recognition. I blog for more than just money.I blog for more than traffic, comment and stat numbers. I blog because I am blessed to have a platform that has allowed me to leave a legacy of stories, recipes, photographs and memories for my family. I blog and attend blogging conferences because, through the power of the internet and a simple little thing I call Dine & Dish, I have had the opportunity to create a “Blogging Sisterhood” (as my Evo roomie, Jessica, from Momma’s Gone City called it) with ladies who I am proud to know, who “get it” and whom I know I will be lifelong friends with. I blog because of the personal connection. I blog because of you…those reading my posts and supporting me along the way. I blog because I know that deep down, many of us have similar stories and through sharing those stories, we can love and support each other and make it through life a little easier. In reality, I blog out of a big thing called love.

The Evo conference ended up being an amazing experience. I can’t thank my sponsor, Melaleuca, enough for making it possible for me to go. I have come back home to my family and can honestly say I have been impacted and changed for the better.

For more pictures of the Evo ’10 conference that feature some of your favorite food bloggers, head over to this photo album and this photo album on my Facebook Page! You can find 2 different albums capturing all the fun.

Since the most fun and amazing closing conference party was sponsored by Bush’s Beans, I found it only appropriate to share a recipe with you from the side of a Bush’s Beans can called Italian Style Rice and Beans. This recipe makes a delicious and easy side dish that you can put on the table in just a matter of a few minutes.

Italian Style Rice and Beans (from Bush’s Beans)

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 can (15.5 oz) Bush’s Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed (or Cannellini)
2/3 cup instant rice
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning or ½ teaspoon dry basil
Fresh pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in medium saucepan. Cook 3-4 minutes, covered, over medium-high heat. Uncover pan and continue cooking 2-3 minutes, or until rice is tender. Dish is slightly saucy when completely cooked.

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  1. says

    I have never been to a bloggers conference Kristen but I can imagine how it would feel. I understand where you are coming from. I often feel overwhelmed by the success of the newer blogs. I started blogging 5 years ago – for me, and some times I need to remind myself of that. I’m not here for money or recognition or a book deal. I’m here firstly, to record my recipes for my children, and secondly to raise awareness of early detection of cancer. The fabulous people I’ve met along the way is the bonus. Blogging exploded into a money making venture for people recently and the whole scene has changed.

  2. says

    I was so thrilled to meet you at evo’10. I’m glad you were able to steal away for the weekend. I was also touched by the honesty and sincerity in your post and grateful you walked away feeling inspired and with a better understanding of the “why” behind your blogging. I loved the reasons you listed, which caused me to reflect on my own purpose and objectives a little deeper.

    Thanks for coming to evo’10. Soooo hope you’ll make the trek back for evo’11!


  3. says

    Sounds like a great conference Kristen. I’ve actually been mulling over the “why” question recently too. As a relatively new blogger on the block, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to achieve when I started out, but have come to a similar conclusion. I blog for love, for fun and for the camaraderie. Thank you for the the stories.

    That bean salad looks like a great super quick meal.

  4. says

    Thank you for these thoughts. I also wonder sometimes why I blog… it is indeed a lot of work. But I appreciate your insights.

  5. says

    I would love to attend a blogger conference someday. I would love to meet other bloggers and I know I would learn so much.

    I just started blogging about 16 months ago and started blogging to have something for me. A way to share my recipes and thoughts. Not about the money or the recognition! It’s a hobby for me!

    Looks like a beautiful site for a conference!!!

  6. says

    It’s tough to navigate this world of blogging – what do we want from it, how do we get there and how do we maintain balance. I just started blogging in January and probably the thing I’m struggling most with is – which conferences do I attend?

    I was fortunate to be in Salt Lake about 2wks before the evo’10 conference – met Maria & Josh from TwoPeasandtheirPod but didn’t have a clue about this conference until I was home. I’ve already purchased tix for the BlogHer Food ’10 in October so wasn’t sure about spending the $$$ for another trek across the US. There are TONS of other events/conferences to attend and am trying to figure out how it all works – as you said, I’m a pretty small fish in a very BIG pond.

    I so appreciate your honesty which is one of the reasons I’m a fan & a regular reader – you’re correct in that we’re all connected in some way or another in this big world – grateful to have your insight!

  7. says

    I also haven’t been to a blogging conference and feel the same way when I do meet other bloggers. I am a very small fish in the big blogging sea, but it’s something I enjoy doing for me and if people want to read what I ramble on about then that’s just a bonus. :) Keep doing what you are doing, you are a fabulous writer and you were one of the few blogs I read before jumping in and thinking I might be able to be apart of this wonderful community.

  8. says

    I wasn’t even there, but you explained *out loud* how I feel many days after just starting my blog 3 months ago! I’m glad to know that I’m indeed not alone and that the same conclusions that you came to are exactly what I’ve felt in my heart too!

  9. says

    You nailed it on the feelings. It’s funny what goes through our minds as we listen to all the great stories the other bloggers and panelists have to share. It’s a lot to think about. But I’m so happy to meet you and and the other girls, the “sisterhood”…that’s what pulls it all together for me.

    I can’t tell you enough, loved meeting you and had a blast! Hope to see you soon!

  10. says

    After suspending a, by all accounts, successful blog to begin anew with a little place just for me, I feel that blogging—like all endeavors—should be something you are passionate about, and I know you are. But as with any passion, the fire needs a bit of stoking from time to time and conferences are great tools for doing just that. If you don’t walk away from a conference inspired, revived and renewed—you need to find a new conference! But in this case, it sounds like EVO was a winner :)

  11. Pat Wogan says

    You are an excellent writer! I am glad that you have chosen this hobby which as you put it can be done in a workish sort of way. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and miss it when you skip a day. I know why you started and where it has taken you. I know I speak for many others when I say don’t think about stopping. Enjoy and know that you may be a small fish, but you are touching many lives. AND your photography is stunning, Your picture of the salmon from the EVO conference was beautiful and last week I wanted to get a spoon and dip into the strawberry gelato. YUM!

  12. says

    I really enjoyed hanging out with you at evo! Come back and visit Utah anytime-seriously! I can’t wait to see you again. Love your salad too!


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