Big Traveling Potluck 2013


Last week we attended the first Big Traveling Potluck in Southern California. The Potluck was put on by the fabulous Pam and Maggy from Three Many Cooks and Erika from Ivory Hut. I love and admire these ladies so I knew it was going to be an incredible event.

The weekend was filled with good friends, laughs, inspiration, motivation, a few tears (good tears), fun, reflection, and of course good food. A big thanks to KitchenAid for sponsoring the peas to attend. We all had an amazing time!


Before the event started, I met up with my dessert loving friends (Jenny, Amanda, and Angie) to do a little shopping and of course we found cupcakes. We stumbled upon the cutest bakery, Truly Madly Sweetly. The S’mores cupcakes was one of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten. If you ever go to Temecula, you have to stop in! So yum!


When we checked in, we were given a goodie bag. It didn’t take Caleb long to find the Sabra hummus. He was a happy camper:)


The first night we met at a gorgeous house and enjoyed good conversation and food. I loved the KitchenAid Stand Mixer display of strawberries. I wanted to eat the entire bowl!

I spent the night catching up with friends. It was nice to be able to sit down and chat with my blogging friends, sometimes tweets and emails just don’t cut it. I loved being able to have real, down to earth conversations with the people I love and admire.


The next morning we enjoyed a tasty breakfast outdoors. Again, I fell in love with the KitchenAid displays. I want a KitchenAid Stand Mixer in every color so I can color coordinate my fruits. So fun!


They day was busy, but a good busy. It wasn’t all “conferency.” I don’t know if that is a word, but I just made it one:) I loved hearing from all of the speakers-Melissa Lanz, Matt Armendariz, Helen Jane, Jeannine Harvey, Barrett Ward, and Ree Drummond. Yeah, I know, quite the line-up!

Each speaker gave me something to really think about, not about blogging, traffic, or writing a cookbook, but about life in general. About becoming a better person for my family, for my friends, and for me.

Ree shared a piece of advice that really hit me. Saying no to one thing means saying yes to another.” I have a hard time saying no which leads to a crazy schedule and a to-do list that never gets crossed off. It also leads to a very stressed Maria who is not the best wife, mother, or friend. Saying no is ok and it can lead to great things…like a day at the park with Caleb, or a movie night with Josh, or lunch with a good friend, or time for myself to read a book or go for a walk. Thanks Ree for encouraging me to say no. I needed to hear that and I am going to work on saying no more often. It’s a good thing!


I also got to meet Brian from A Thought For Food. If you don’t know his site, check it out now. He is beyond talented and such a great friend.


Hanging out with my favorite gals-Angie, Ree, Jenny, and Amanda.


Whole Foods hosted a “Beans, Greens, and Grains” Bar for lunch. I was in heaven. I piled my box with a little bit of everything. I got carried away so it may not look that appetizing, but I promise, it was so tasty! They also had a spritzer bar and I made a killer spritzer with sparkling water, berries, mint, and lemons. So refreshing!


Later in the day, Gaby gave us some tips on how to make the best guacamole. She is the guacamole queen:)


We broke up into groups and made big bowls of guacamole with the best California Avocados!


Chips for dipping! I had more than my fair share. I was in guacamole heaven! We also went on an avocado tour and had an amazing avocado dinner hosted by California Avocados.


The next morning we all gathered for one last meal. For breakfast, we enjoyed an avocado toast bar! Avocado toast is my favorite food, well besides cookies, so I was in heaven! The perfect meal to start the day! That is one big bowl of happiness right there!


The morning was filled with sunshine and laughter! Such a beautiful day!


Twinners! Gaby and I are obsessed with Tim Riggins. How could you not be? We both wore our Texas Forever t-shirts to breakfast! Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!


We had so much fun at the The Big Traveling Potluck. It really was a perfect weekend-from the location, sponsors, food, and most importantly the people. I feel very blessed to be a part of such an amazing community.

Thanks again to KitchenAid for sponsoring us to attend The Big Traveling Potluck!

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. It was great to finally meet you, Maria! Your pics are gorgeous and wonderful and make me excited for next year (hopefully they do it again in SoCal!) And you and Gaby are totally twins with your tshirts. And saying no to things; not always easy but sometimes so very necessary!

  2. This looks like so much fun! What a gorgeous place and all the guacamole. Wow!!
    Your t-shirts are soo cute. Seriously, I need on of those!

  3. Someday. SOMEDAY! I will get to a blogging conference. This looks like SO much fun.

  4. You! So so so sweet. It was so nice finally meeting you in person. I wish we got to spend more time together, but gosh did the weekend go by quickly. We’ll have to make an effort to see each other again soon.

    Such a lovely recap. Wish we could go back.

  5. I love the kitchen aid mixer display with the fruit! Looks like a great event. I wanted to go but I was in a wedding that weekend on Coronado island in San Diego. I drove through Temecula on the way to San Diego and the weather looked like it was going to be amazing all weekend. I would have been in guacamole heaven too!!

  6. So fun looking back at these images. What a great weekend! So fun seeing Caleb grow so big so fast!

  7. Wish I could’ve gone! I’ve never been to a conference before and I hope to get to one soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to meet many of my blogging friends one day! Love those colorful stand mixer displays too!

    Saying no – I have vowed to do that more and more! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I cannot get over what a fun weekend this must have been – so many amazing bloggers! And your HAIR! I’m so jealous – it’s gorgeous!!!

  9. So loved meeting you Maria. What a fun, inspiring weekend. And I’m totally obsessed with Avocados now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post and gorgeous photos!

  10. To repeat the question – how do food bloggers stay so thin? lol. Is it all pictures and ya’ll don’t eat the food? Ever?

  11. Love your recap Maria!! It was so great seeing you again. Can’t wait for Austin!! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  12. Oh, after seeing you the night before this event I LOVED reading about it. LOVE the great advice from Ree about saying no and leaving room for other opportunities that may be a better fit. Such great advice. I also can’t say no. Can’t wait to join you at this event next year. See you at BlogHer Food! Can’t wait. xxx