EVO Conference 2011

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Last week I attended the EVO Conference  at The Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. I went last year and had a wonderful time, so I knew I had to go back. Plus, we only live 20 minutes away so I couldn’t miss out on the fun. EVO is packed full with hands-on workshops, networking, parties, and loads of fun. Jyl and Rachael are the geniuses behind EVO and they really outdid themselves this year. The conference was amazing from start to finish.

On Thursday morning, I went hiking with Aggie and Lisa. It was a gorgeous day in the mountains. We weren’t exactly sure where we were going, but we found our way and stumbled upon some gorgeous scenery. It was the perfect start to EVO and the baby did a great job on the hike:)


Thursday night I went do dinner in Park City with a group of my blogging friends and Bush’s Beans. I love downtown Park City and it was fun to chat about blogging, food, and life with my friends. It is always nice to connect in person with friends you communicate with everyday online. I am lucky to have such wonderful blogging friends.

Blogging Friends! (photo via Sandy)

Aggie and Me at dinner

After dinner we snuck over to Java Cow for ice cream. I ordered a scoop of “Wowie Cowie,” which is vanilla ice cream with Heath bar, dark chocolate pieces, and caramel sauce. It was divine! Of course we had to pose with the cow!

Aggie, Sandy, and me enjoying our ice cream!

On Friday, I attended the food workshop at the Lookout Cabin, which was up the mountain. We had to ride the orange bubble lift to get there. The setting was beautiful!

The orange bubble lift! 

Our lunch loation! (Photo via Sandy)

Sandy, Aggie, Me, and Alison

After lunch, we had the opportunity to learn food photography and styling from Helene. Helene taught us some tips and tricks and then we were able to practice shooting and styling. I always learn something new from Helene. I love her passion and willingness to share her talents. She is the best!

Helene working her magic! (Photo via Alison)

Friday night, we went to Park City Mountain Resort  for dinner and a big party sponsored by Bush’s Beans. We had fun taking a few goofy photos:)

Lisa, Kristen, Helene, Me, Sandy, and Aggie (Photo via Sandy)

Kristen, Me, Sandy, and Aggie

Josh didn’t attend the conference, but came up to mountain bike and attend the parties. I was banned from riding the rides because of the baby bump, but Josh had a great time. He is a kid at heart:)

Riding the Alpine Slide! (Photo via Dara)

On Saturday, I attended another food workshop. I never get tired of food:) This workshop was sponsored by Bush’s Beans and held at the Waldorf Astoria, another gorgeous location. First, I cooked up a storm with Chef Jeffery Saad. I love his enthusiasm for food and cooking. We divided into teams and did some cooking. We had a good time in the kitchen.

Next, I attended Diane’s session on food styling. I was blown away. I learned so much in 45 minutes. I can’t wait to practice what I learned to improve my food photos.

Food Styling with Diane

The last part of the workshop was food photography with Todd, the other half of White on Rice Couple. I think I am finally understanding my camera. Todd is an excellent teacher. He is patient, passionate, and very knowledgeable. He makes everything seem so simple. Todd and Diane both encouraged us to share what we learned with at least 5 other people. I love how they always put others first and want to help the food blogging community grow. Love them!

Food Photography with Todd (photo via Sandy)

I learned so much at EVO. My brain is still trying to process all of the information. I also had a wonderful time hanging out with old and new blogging friends.

Me and Lisa! We had too much fun together. Love this girl! 

Me and Josh riding the lift! 

I left EVO feeling inspired, motivated, grateful, and exhausted:) I really love this conference and can’t wait until next year!

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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. You look soooo awesome, Maria!

    And I wish to god that EVO and my Mexico City photography trip weren’t the same weekend!! Why do things like that always cluster together?! B/c Evo looks awesome and I would have gone.

    And I am loving your instagram pics. Love.IG. My newest toy, i.e. time waster ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I loved evo too! I don’t think I was able to meet you. Who knew it could be so hard to meet so many awesome ladies?

  3. I had to laugh at our picture in the Bush’s photo booth with the background! so funny!

    you and your baby bump look so cute in your apron!!

    Loved seeing these pics and reliving it all again, I can’t believe I’m thousands of miles from you again!! I wish we can go on hikes together weekly. You and Josh are the best and I’m so glad I got to spend time with you again. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another year for next time! Love ya girl!!! xoxo

    1. We miss you too! Come back and visit soon. You really do need a second home here:)

  4. This is such a great post! I love the picture of Josh and Kelly’s son. It was so great to see you this weekend, for the second time this year in Park City. I am so excited for you with your new baby! You look terrific! You are such a talented woman with so many gifts. You are truly so sweet and humble, and I am honored to call you my friend. You’re very lucky to live in Utah with so many amazing bloggers and talented women such as Rachel and Jyl. I hope to see you very soon!

  5. What a gorgeous location for a conference!! One of these years I’ll make it to EVO, every time I miss it, I wish I would have come ๐Ÿ™‚ Great re-cap. You look so cute pregnant, lucky girl!

  6. Fun pictures! And I know we don’t need to go to a conference to get together, but it was fun hanging out with you and Josh nonetheless!

  7. I thought about the food and photography classes, but really needed the more basic sessions.

    I learned a ton and had a great time.

    It’s fun to see the pictures of folks who did the other sessions. Hope to actually meet you next year!

  8. It was a blast. Great recap, my friend. And I know why you are so exhausted … you had too much fun! Love you and Josh!

  9. Lovely post Maria! I feel like I was there. Thanks for sharing all of the great pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Ok, you look fantastic!!! Such a pretty lady. Amazing events- what was your favorite part? And what a group of ladies!! A few bloggers i would just love to meet

    1. It was all fun. I really liked hanging out with blogging friends and meeting new people. You should come next year:)

  11. This looks like such an amazing time!! Definitely a conference I hope to attend in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. You all look so cute and happy, sounds like it was an awesome conference. Maybe next year!

  13. Yay! Great re-cap. LOVED seeing you & that belly. Can’t wait to meet your little baby. You and Josh are always a BLAST to spend time with. Beautiful photos. Wish I could head back out there right now ๐Ÿ™‚ xxoo

  14. Great re-cap Maria! I just loved meeting and spending time with you and Josh! and I can’t wait to come back to Utah!

  15. I lovelovelove seeing your baby bump!!! SO glad you guys had fun, I hope I can make it next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I love the baby bump! You look so cute. Looked like a wonderful time. I have hiking envy!

  17. You are one gorgeous looking mama-to-be ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the recaps. A must go for me next year for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. What a beautiful place. I think I’m going next year! That means I would get to see the baby, yes? Cant wait!

  19. That conference looked like a lot of fun. I’m glad you got to be in the beautiful outdoors AND learn about blogging. Fun! Welcome home, world traveler!

  20. How fun Maria! I was not even aware of that conference before our trip to Scottsdale but I think it’s on my list for next year. You are looking gorgeous!

  21. Of course it was so much fun! How wonderful you had sessions with two of the most amazing food photographers, Helene and the White on Rice couple in the same conference! And you look stunning,with your cute baby bump.