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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Comments

  1. says

    Kristen, I’m glad you found the inspiration to keep blogging because, for one, thoroughly enjoy visiting your blog. It was great to meet you – you have a very kind and down-to-earth spirit. Beautiful, simple salad!

  2. says

    You definitely hit on some key points. I was wondering if it would feel that way to go to a conference. If it did by chance make me feel discouraged would I stop? No, because I started Tickled Red as a way to help me focus on all of the little things I love about my life and to let my family & friends know that I was doing okay. To let them know that even though I was down at the moment that I would find something else possibly even better than before, in the meantime I would still be having fun :) I have also made some connections which honestly I never ever imagined that I would. That in itself makes it worth it. Thank you so much for sharing with us about your trip and what you took away from your experience :)

    PS: Love the recipe…Italian is my favorite but I am biased.

  3. says

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I am ready to get back to “work” but overwhelmed at the same time. My brain is so saturated with information that I can’t even process it all yet. It was such a fabulous time and I’m so glad you came. I will give myself a little pat on the back for finally convincing you. Persistence pays off! ;) Can you believe we’ll be getting together again in just a little over a week? I CAN’T WAIT! And I’m glad this time we’ll be focusing on relaxing, cooking, and eating instead of all the ins and outs of blogging. *kisses*

  4. says

    I hope I can go next year, what a great experience, you’ll have to give me some pointers on how to approach companies about sponsorship. I just got back from a blogging family thing in Chicago and I was thinking the whole time, why am I here? We were the youngest have the youngest kid, I’d been blogging the least, no one knows who the heck I am, and I’m around all these mommy bloggers that have been at it for years, with real blogging jobs, columns, and much more impressive credentials than I’ll ever have. I came back and just thought I must have been a last minute fill in and I’ll just give it up, but I thought the same thing, I need to continue journaling (sp?) the food and family events for myself, my son and my family, its the right thing to do for our family and I LOVE other bloggers, the sweetest women in any profession/hobby or whatever you want to call it!

  5. says

    This is such an incredibly inspiring post. I often have this experience where I wonder why I actually care so much about blogging. But then I realize it’s because of the fabulous people I’ve met along the way, and how much it nourishes my soul to read all of your stories and to write my own.

    The beans look good. But the words sound even better.

  6. says

    Thank you so much for this post!! I’ve been feeling really lost in the blog world – I just need to always remember that it is so much more than stats and comments!!

  7. says

    Your singing my song Kristen — blogging isn’t about stats or comments it’s just a lovely venue where we can express ourselves creatively. I love blogging so much that last week I started another blog “what’s new, what’s next” so that I can help other bloggers easily find information and drawn inspiration from media resources. I’m hoping that this blog becomes ” The Drudge Report” for Fine Living. Not sure if it will work but hey it’s at least worth a shot and the focus isn’t on who’s zooming who on the world political stage.

  8. says

    Excellent post, Kristen. I think what amazed me the most when I began blogging was the amount of time it actually takes. I am so impressed that young women take the time to share their busy lives with each other. And I was so pleased to read about your experiences at the conference and then read the comments above. Everyone has a different reason for blogging. When I was raising a family, I don’t know if I would have taken the time. (even if we had computers, which we didn’t!)
    It is indeed a very big pond with a lot of (we) small fish.

  9. says

    great post, I love blogging beacsue I control what I put out, all my fav foods and my thoughts, refreshing to have a place to express my self I have not also attended a confrence and not sure if I can at least not now, were are super busy…love your recipe, as alwasy great eats

    sweetlife

  10. says

    love this post!!! new friends i make every day in this beautiful world of blogging makes me do this over and over againg.. non stop… feel the exact same wayy as yers twards blogging.. :) very good experience and i wish i cud attend such a conference one day!! love the italian style rice and beans here!!
    cheers and have a great weekend!!

  11. says

    Great post, I have felt so overwhelmed since I started food blogging last Dec. You’re right, it’s all about the love and the sharing. I have so many amazing blogs since I have started and started on twitter. I love it! Thanks for this great post.

  12. says

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time and learned a lot. You’ve touched on a lot of points that come to my mind when I think about the reasoning behind blogging for me. It’s nice to hear about other people’s passion. I’ve met some wonderful people in the past year and a half. It truly is a wonderful experience and feeling to share with others. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  13. says

    Why blog? Good question and I think we all feel this way from time to time. But then you get a nice comment or a family member or friend makes one of the recipes you shared and loved it. Plus, I get inspiration from blogs like yours.

    It was my sisiter-in-law, Aggie (Aggie’s Kitchen), who is in some of your pictures above, that encouraged me to start mine a year ago. We all have our own voice, big or small in this special community. Keep up what you do!

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