Big Summer Potluck 2

Lovely BSP Gals

I’ve been struggling to find the words to write about the Big Summer Potluck 2. I kept thinking to myself, how can I possibly put into words the overwhelming warmth and tangible energy of the weekend? Even though I attended the one-day event last year and thought I knew what to expect, I was simply blown away by this weekend-long gathering with other bloggers. In the back of my mind, I didn’t think the sense of community and closeness from last year could be recreated. If anything, that feeling was multiplied this year.

Me and Jen

Aimée and Shaina

The excitement started when I drove down on Thursday to arrive at my accommodations for the weekend, the home of the very gracious Amber of Bluebonnets and Brownies. I met up with Aimée of Simple Bites and Jeanne of Art of Gluten-Free Baking, and later Shaina of Food For My Family, all my roomies for the weekend at Amber’s. Hanging out with all of them was like having a weekend-long party, and I really enjoyed getting to know them more. Whether we were winding down after events or getting into our own shenanigans, our time together only augmented the joy I felt all weekend long.

BSP Attendees Inside the Barn

Wendi, Karen, and Chris

At BSP this year, I feel like I found the inspiration I’ve been lacking for a little while now. Not to optimize my blog for SEO, or follow the perfect formula to increase traffic to my site, but to take more risks – as Penny talked about, to illustrate feeling in the photos I make. I love the way food brings people together, and that’s why I love to share my recipes and to help others learn how to bake and cook. And as Shauna discussed, getting “messy” and putting myself out there more. Using my writing as a chance to connect with people rather than to impress them. Because at the end of the day, a story about how I left a plastic storage container in the oven while preheating it and how my entire house reeked for days (yes, it happened) is much more real than simply the recipe for whatever it was I baked. That’s what I want. I want connection and community, both for me and for my readers.

Pam Serving Paella

Jen and Amber

Me, Aimée, and Megan

I enjoyed every moment connecting with old friends from last year, many of whom I’ve kept in touch with regularly over the past year. And of course, I took every opportunity to make new friends, sharing our passion for food and photography. I am grateful for each and every person who had a hand in putting on this event, from the planning to the sponsoring to the lovely venue. I’m so glad to have been a part of it again this year!

BSP Attendees Saying Goodbyes

For more photos of the Big Summer Potluck 2, check out the rest of my photos on Flickr here!

20 Responses to “Big Summer Potluck 2”

  1. 1 Winnie Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Love this! Connect rather than impress…that was my main “ah-ha” moment, too :)

  2. 2 Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’m so glad that we had this weekend. I needed it. I needed hugs from each of you, and all the laughs and silly shenanigans we got into.

  3. 3 Aimee @ Simple Bites Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    It was so awesome to hang out with you and get to know you better. We sure shared some laughs, didn’t we? Hugs!

  4. 4 Margaret Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I definitely came away from the weekend truly inspired. Thanks for sharing how the event affected you. I think like everyone that attended, we are very grateful to be a part of this amazing experience.

  5. 5 JenniferA Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Great recap, Tracy. It was so nice to see you this weekend. And yes, please, tell us the stories of the forgotten plastic containers – we all like to remember we aren’t the only ones who do stuff like that. :)

  6. 6 Souffle Bombay (Colleen) Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Beautiful photos and words Tracy! I personally love hearing all the oops-es folks make…it makes me feel like I am not the only goofball around!! Hugs!!

  7. 7 Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Loved reading your beautiful BSP reflection, Tracy! We definitely went away with many of the same feelings. So great to see you again, and looking forward to catching up with you again soon! :)

  8. 8 Katrina Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Looks like it was a great weekend!

  9. 9 Maria Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve heard wonderful things about BSP. I wish I could have been there but couldn’t make it due to the baby. Hopefully next year. Great recap and photos!

  10. 10 bridget {bake at 350} Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Aww….I love seeing so many familiar faces! I think BSP sounds like the *perfect* place! Between reading your post and Jen’s, I’m really sorry I missed it!

  11. 11 Karma Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    It was so nice to meet you Tracy! (that’s me getting my paella from Pam in your photo, LOL!) I love your pictures and your thoughts! I hope you do decide to share some of your messy stories in the future!

  12. 12 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I love meeting other bloggers in real life – I feel like we get a jump start on our relationships since we already understand what we spend so much time doing!

  13. 13 Lori @ RecipeGirl Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I SOOOO wanted to be there!! Glad you had such a nice time :)

  14. 14 Jenna Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I also really liked the ‘connect rather than impress.’ Vulnerability takes a certain kind of emotional work, if you know what I mean.

  15. 15 jennifurla Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I love reading about bloggers lives while reading about a recipe.

  16. 16 stephchows Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    OMG this looks fabulous!! I love that barn!!! I’m off to check out the blogs of all the lovely ppl you linked to :) (and I’ve totally left things in the oven when preheating.. so not fun!!)

  17. 17 Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels Says:
    August 3rd, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Oh how I wish I could have been there! I would have loved to meet you.
    I just love your recap and all of the photos. It looks like such a fun event and a great way to connect with other bloggers. :)

    And I can totally relate to leaving things in the oven when it’s preheating! haha!

  18. 18 Casey@Good. Food. Stories. Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Oh man… wish I could have been there with you guys this year! Save me a spot on the porch swing for next year, wouldya?

  19. 19 Sally Says:
    August 6th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Tracy, I loved reading your impressions–not enough time to meet and talk to everyone, but I guess it’s a start. Let’s hope we will meet again!

  20. 20 The Healthy Apple Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    This looks like so much fun; so happy that you had a great time! So happy to have found your blog. Love it!

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