PBH 2013 Annual Conference in SF

Hi bunnies!
Oh my gosh I have been so busy busy busy! I have house guests visiting from out of state so I’ve been playing tour guide and hostess with the mostess this week, hence the very delayed post! I haven’t had two seconds to go onto my blog this week, but I am so happy to be back today!

Since I missed my usual Monday post, here is your Motivation Monday quote, a la Thursday!
Motivation Monday (now it’s a Throwback Thursday quote haha): “You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake!”

My trip to San Francisco for the Produce for Better Health: Consumer Connection Annual Conference was so much fun. By the end of the conference I didn’t want to go home!

I love being surround by others who are passionate about healthy eating and excellent produce! My panel was moderated by Bob Ochsner from DGWB who gave an outstanding presentation about blogger outreach and forming long lasting relationships with bloggers and brands. As Bob said…“Bloggers are the rockstars of the future…” It’s pretty amazing how blogging has evolved from an “online journal” to a full time career and main source of advertising for many brands. It has been such an honor to work with Selena and Bob at DGWB, DOLE Salads, DOLE Bananas, and Bard Valley Natural Delights Dates. I feel like the luckiest little bunny in the world!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San Francisco

I never imagined a conference being so much fun. I got to chat with some excellent produce lovers from marketing and PR professionals, family farmers, dietitians, produce sales representatives, and of course blog idols! The second Selena told me that Kathy Patalsky from Healthy. Happy. Life. was speaking on my same panel, I nearly had a fan girl moment! I have been reading and swooning over Kathy’s mouth watering vegan recipes for over a year now, and meeting her in person was surreal! On my second day at the conference, I walked back to the hotel and saw Kathy relaxing in the lobby with her (you guessed it, soy matcha latte). Of course me and my overly excited self walked right up to her and said “Kathy? I’m Catherine!” and the rest was history. Just kidding, but really. We sat and chatted in the lobby for a couple of hours until we realized what time it was! I was so intimidated meeting one of my favorite bloggers face-to-face (hello, she’s like serious celeb status!), but she is as sweet as a peach, and so much fun to be around. When the conference was over, we spent the entire cab ride to the airport brainstorming T-shirt ideas to promote Kathy’s blog and book 365 Vegan Smoothies that is coming out this June! I’m so excited to help her with her shirts, they’re going to be sooooo cute!

I ended up with way more photos than I originally thought, but here they are!

PREP DAY: TUESDAY BEFORE MY TRIP

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoThe trip started off with some night before travel snack shopping at Mother’s Market. I ended up with a basket of Alive & Radiant Kale Krunch: Tarragon Dijon flavorGo Raw Spirulina Super ChipsJustin’s Almond Butter packets, and a handful of Larabars.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoPrinted a bunch of new business cards. They were a big hit at the conference!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoEnded up making a special RFFMBT shirt to wear for my panel. At midnight… haha Can you say procrastinating to avoid packing?

DAY 1: TRAVEL & MYCOPIA GOURMET MUSHROOM TOUR

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI was up early on Wednesday morning to fly up to San Francisco. Needless to say after my night of procrastinating, business card making, and shirt creating, I needed a Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoBoarded the plane in style… on the tarmac! Off we went to SF!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI arrived at the W San Francisco just in time to check into my gorg room and change clothes for the “veggie tour!”

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoMy office away from home for a few days!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoHow beautiful is this view? My room looked right at the Bay Bridge!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI found Waldo on top of one of the buildings!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoChecked in at registration and met Sharese Alston who coordinated my trip and the event! It was so fun to meet her and finally put a face to the lovely lady behind all of our emails! I wish I got a picture with her, she is the cutest thing and full of energy. Once I checked in, I got my name badge and ran to the bus for our tour.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI couldn’t have arrived on a more beautiful day. The sun was shining, the sky was bright blue, and the two hour drive to our tour destination was absolutely stunning.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoOur tour destination: Mycopia Gourmet Mushroom farm.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoSo pumped when they brought out these suhhh-weeet hairnets for us to wear. Nothing says sexy like a hairnet.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoSnapshot of all our the tour attendees entering Mycopia in their super chic hairnets.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoBefore each room/area we went to in the farm, we had to dip our shoes in little tubs of a bleach mixture to prevent any spores from being transferred into the farm.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoGetting an intro to the soil and planting process. So not what I was expecting! I thought we would drive up to vineyards of mushrooms outside! Ha! Boy was I wrong!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoJars of soil and growing mushrooms. Totally not how I imagined mushrooms being grown.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoInside the “farm!”

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoFull grown mushrooms.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI felt like I was in wonderland when I walked into this room!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI’ve never thought of mushrooms as gorgeous until this day.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoHad to refrain from touching them haha they look so soft and… pretty!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoGetting a demo of how the mushrooms are “picked” from their jars. No cutting needed.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoMushroom packaging room.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoDelicious mushroom snacks for us! The chef sautéed three different types of mushrooms in olive oil with a little bit of salt and pepper and it was absolutely to die for. On a side note, how cute are these mushroom bouquets?! Call me crazy, but I’m tempted to throw a mushroom partayyy and have some adorable mushroom center pieces! They’re too cute! Huge thank you to Mycopia Gourmet Mushrooms for the awesome tour!

DAY 2: EXPLORING SF & DINNER WITH FRIENDS

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoDay two started off with a nice lonnnnggggg walk. I really worked my glutes and calves on all of those hills haha.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoWouldn’t be SF without a cable car photo.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoMy favorite Chinatown. Ever.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoAnother cable car photo.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoVisited my old stomping grounds at FIDM SF (although I did go to the LA campus)!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoAfter several hours of walking up hills I went back to the hotel for some hydration… andddd met the amazing Kathy from Healthy. Happy. Life.!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San Franciscoand dove into my snacks!  Alive & Radiant Kale Krunch: Tarragon Dijon flavor & Go Raw Spirulina Super Chips. Accompanied by some work on my laptop.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoLater Thursday night I met up with two of my friends Michaela and Katherine from home! We enjoyed tons of laughs, a bottle of wine, and amazing Italian food at Ristorante Milano. It was so great catching up with them. Missed these girls so much!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoIt took us about 10 tries to get a photo of all of us in the cab.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoAnd here’s the final product. Look how clear the photo is! Hahaha We tried.

DAY 3: BLOGGER PANEL & DINNER AND FUN WITH KATHY

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoPre-panel selfie! I was really proud of my hair that day haha and my bunny phone case obviously needed to be shown off!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoGolden kale necklace and custom handmade “EAT MORE RABBIT FOOD” shirt!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoBefore the panel, Kathy and I met in the lobby and explored the conference room!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoMy name badge and “SPEAKER” ribbon! Ahhhh!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoKathy’s pre-panel tea. Loved how the leaf on the tea bag peaked out of the mug!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoFeatured speakers for the interactive blogger panel!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoSpeaking with Amy Sherman from Cooking with Amy, Kathy Patalsky of Healthy. Happy. Life., and Jess Goldman Foung from Sodium Girl!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoAfter our panel, Kathy and I hopped in a cab and made our way to Saha for some Arabic fusion! When Kathy visited Veg News, they told her she must try Saha, and now we know why! If you are in San Francisco, you must go! plus It’s very veggie and vegan friendly. It’s safe to say that Kathy and I arrived at Saha with quite an appetite. Our feast (not exaggerating) consisted of: Cauliflower Coconut Lavender Soup, Stuffed Artichoke Hearts, Kale Quinoa Tofu Salad, Vegan Mushroom Ravioli (omg. melt in your mouth. so good that I ate them before I could even take a photo.), Vegan Tagine, Vegan Baklava, and Vegan Knaffe. See, I told you we ordered a feast!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoWe arrived at 5:30 for our 6pm reservation hoping to be seated early… until we found out that Saha opened at 6! Can you tell that we were starving?

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoKathy and I at Saha.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoKale Quinoa Tofu Salad with cooked peaches. The menu had me at kale.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoStuffed artichoke. To die for! It was cooked to perfection and at first bite was reminiscent of a portobello mushroom.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoOh yes, I’d like to order the “Slap Yo Mama.” I couldn’t resist taking a photo.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoVegan Baklava. Holy yum. I’m such a sucker for Baklava. It’s totally my Armenian roots coming out! Love how they were cooked as individual treats!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoVegan Knaffe, an Arabic dessert!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoCompletely stuffed from dinner at Saha, we went back to the W… and got stuck in the revolving door. Yes, you read that right! For the brief time we were stuck, I had visions of SFFD having to come break the glass and rescue us! What was probably seconds felt like hours as the entire lobby of guests were staring! I could not stop laughing, it was so epic! This scene from the movie Anchorman can give you a great idea of what we looked like in that glass revolving door.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoAfter the revolving door incident we decided to go get Soy Matcha Green Tea Lattes and go on a stroll to Union Square.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoI told Kathy that we had to go in the glass elevator a.k.a. Oz at the St. Francis hotel to see the gorgeous city view! …and then we eded up getting stuck in the elevator. There were no buttons inside. total. fail. We had to ride it until someone else got in and pressed “lobby” with their hotel key from the outside! For a hot second, I though’t we were going to be stuck in yet another glass case of emotion.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoWe got back to the W and watched the new lights/light show on the bay bridge. It felt like I was at Disneyland every night watching World of Color!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoIt wouldn’t be the W without super out-there decor! When I got back to my room the first night, I noticed a pink and purple light glowing from above the desk. I laughed hysterically because at the Chobani dinnerAmy Keefe was telling me about the glowing Buddha when se stayed at the W SF! Of course I had to email her a photo of it right away haha. This little guy changed colors all night and I literally couldn’t turn it off! Buddha was glowing in all of his glory until I found out that he had a little door that hid him haha.

DAY 4: HOMEWARD BOUND
PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoSaturday morning, Kathy and I packed our bags and met up in the lobby.

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoSince we both had flights around the same time, we shared a cab to SFO and got to hangout together at the gate before departing. We found an awesome cafe at the airport that was loaded with healthy options – so rare in the airport world. They had a yogurt bar with nonfat, 1%, and 2% Greek strained yogurt, soy yogurt, and your choice of toppings along with a big selection of Kombucha! Multi-Green Kombucha, nonfat Greek yogurt with kiwis and granola for me, and Synergy Kombucha for Kathy! It was an excellent way to end the trip!

PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San FranciscoWhile on my flight, I opened up my book to find a hand written note from Kathy. I totally started tearing up on the plane while reading this. She is so genuine and kind. Still speechless, I’m framing this!

Thank you so much to the Produce for Better Health Foundation for including me in your Consumer Connection Conference and for sponsoring my travel and stay at the W!

P.S. Look what just arrived!!! Can’t even contain my enthusiasm right now! I can’t wait to get them photographed and onto my online store asap!
PBH 2013 Annual Conference in San Francisco

16 Comments on PBH 2013 Annual Conference in SF

  1. April
    March 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm (2 years ago)

    What an awesome trip, looks like you had a blast!
    I can already tell which colors I’m going to want to purchase from your shirts!

    Reply
  2. Kim
    March 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm (2 years ago)

    OMG I want one of those super cute new shirts :)

    Reply
  3. Chic.Cheap.Organic.
    March 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m new to your blog and absolutely have so much admiration for you! You are so gorgeous and inspiring. I can’t wait to read more, and I especially can’t wait to get my hands on one of those super cute shirts!!

    Xx

    Reply
  4. Lizzy
    March 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm (2 years ago)

    THE SHIRTS I CANNOT WAIT THIS JUST MADE MY BAD DAY SO MUCH BETTER

    Reply
  5. Melyssa
    March 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Catherine you are so cute!! I love reading your blog :) And I can’t get over the way mushrooms are grown…that is soo interesting to me! Do a mushroom party!! :)

    xo
    Melyssa

    Reply
  6. Elle | nutritionella
    March 22, 2013 at 7:50 am (2 years ago)

    The mushroom farm is the cutest! The hair nets not so much… :)

    Reply
  7. Victoria
    March 22, 2013 at 9:00 am (2 years ago)

    Awesome pictures and it sounded like a lot of fun. My mouth seriously started watering seeing all the organic snacks!

    Reply
  8. Rachel
    March 22, 2013 at 9:11 am (2 years ago)

    Get it girl! Great job!

    Reply
  9. Bri
    March 22, 2013 at 10:21 am (2 years ago)

    Ahhh I loved this! Looked like so much fun! Cannot wait for these new shirts!!! xoxo

    Reply
  10. Sabrina
    March 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm (2 years ago)

    how exciting!! Glad you had a fun time!! We live in Delaware and apparently there is a place in PA that is the mushroom capital of the world. Kennet Square ..? I am from Las Vegas and we just moved out here so we are learning a lot of new exciting things. I also cannot wait to order a shirt…… YAY!

    Reply
  11. Leah Renee
    March 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I had no idea you went to FIDM too?! I was accepted at the SF Campus then went to the LA Campus! Your trip looks amazing–congrats! I was just there at that same W Hotel in SF a few weeks earlier (when my man proposed!). Love your blog as always! ~Ask Leah Renee

    Reply
  12. Liz
    March 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Catherine, I’ve been following your blog for a few months and I am truly impressed with the success you’ve had! Being invited to speak at a convention is a huge milestone in your career and I appreciate you sharing your experience.

    I even gave you a shoutout on one of my new lifestyle blogging projects “Here to Conquer” ;) Stay true to yourself girl and keep it up! I’m really interested to see what happens next for you. http://heretoconquer.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/designing-your-life/

    Reply
  13. Sharese Alston
    March 27, 2013 at 7:06 am (2 years ago)

    THANK YOU CATHERINE!!! You were amazing as well, and I am so happy to hear you enjoyed our event! You were an awesome addition, and the info you shared with our attendees was invaluable. I hope we can work together again!!

    P.S. I am soooo cracking up at the pic of the pink Buddha in your room. I took the same picture, and posted on my FB page! He was so cool right?!

    Reply
  14. Linday Nice
    April 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm (2 years ago)

    I want….no i NEED a shirt! when will the new ones be up for sale?

    Reply
  15. Sabrina
    April 22, 2013 at 8:13 am (2 years ago)

    yes I am also loving the shirts and would LOVE to own one. Any idea when they will be ready for purchase?

    Reply

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