For the past 3 years, the EVO conference at The Canyons in Park City, UT has become a highlight for our family. The first two years we brought our daughter and a friend; this year it was just me and my sweets, and we had the best time.

(Photo by Kristen.)

If you’re a blogger and have never been to a conference before, this event is an all-around favorite for so many, partly because it’s so family-friendly.

The closing party is always open to all family members, and held up at the Park City Mountain Resort.

(Dine and Dish, Tip Junkie, Lick my Spoon, A Southern Fairytale, getting ready for the Alpine Slide!)

It also makes me smile that my husband was one of only a handful of male bloggers at the conference (after all, the name stands for Evolution of Women in Social Media). He fit right in. But seriously, anyone can register, and you’ll learn a LOT. And he did learn a lot, as a new blogger himself, and had many conversations on the topic of bullying.

The best part of a conference is not only learning, whether you’re new or not, but meeting like-minded bloggers, hearing inspiring speakers, and getting to know vendors who participate. Jyl and the Mom it Forward Team do a spectacular job planning this event with sponsors involved.

Inspiring keynote speakers like Derreck Kayongo, from Uganda, founder of The Global Soap Project joined the conference this year. Read more on “What soap, smiles, and gratitude have in common,” from Jessica Rosenberg, who blogs at It’s My Life.

This year I was sponsored by Harry and David, a “fruit and gifting” company in my home town of Medford, Oregon. Yes, the Harry and David! It seems everyone has some kind of inspirational story to share about their H&D experience. Mary Shanahan, who is the Senior Director of Brand Marketing for H&D, accompanied me and my husband, and hosted a small, intimate dinner party for a handful of bloggers.

It was a blast introducing Mary to so many great people, and showing her how a blogging conference works!

Here’s Mary with us bloggers outside the Waldorf Astoria Slopes Restaurant at The Canyons where we enjoyed a fantastic meal, hosted by Harry and David. (Flavia, me, Mary, Maria, Helen, Kelley, Heidi, and Alison.)

This very classy restaurant not only fed us amazing food, they made a very special dessert for us at the end of our meal–Harry & David’s Moose Munch Chocolate Bananas!

This year Harry & David gave beautiful pear gift baskets to all of the EVO speakers, and we were able to participate in the “Meet and Treat” where vendors who are a part of EVO have the opportunity to connect with other bloggers by hosting a giveaway, handing out coupons, or engaging in other creative interaction with attendees, during a sponsored breakfast.


So not only did we have a great time, with new friendships made, old ones rekindled, the power also went out one night (lots of excitement), and the weather was all over the map in this very beautiful setting. (The stormy view from our room.)

The mountains were as gorgeous as ever (you know how mountain weather goes, sunny one minute, rainy the next).

The closing party was a blast! (Me with Dine and Dish and I Wash You Dry.)

Good food, excitement, fun, friends … you can’t ask for any more!

I’ll be sharing later about my workshop on the hill at Look Out Cabin, hosted by Mizkan, which was such an honor for me to be a part of. Stay tuned for a future post.

Oh, and if you ever come to visit us in Medford, look what greets you at the airport as you pass through security … :)

Have you heard about the EVO conference?

Have you ever been to Medford, Oregon to tour Harry and David orchards and facilities?

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Recipe: Harry & David’s Moose Munch Chocolate Bananas {Reluctant Entertainer.com}

Ingredients

  • 1 10-oz. bag of Harry and David dark chocolate truffles
  • 1 10-oz. bag of Harry and David Moose Munch snack
  • 4 large bananas

Instructions

  1. Place truffles in a microwave-safe container. Microwave at 50% power for 1-minute at a time. Stir in-between intervals, for a total of approximately 3 minutes, until melted.
  2. Place Moose Munch snack into a large resealable bag; use a rolling pin to crush into small pieces.
  3. Peel and cut the bananas into approximately 2-inch lengths, then dip each piece of banana into the melted chocolate and roll in the crushed Moose Munch snack.
  4. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 15-minutes before serving.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


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Harry and David sponsored my trip to EVO ’12; all opinions are my own. Dessert pics are Foodie Crush’s iPhone pics. Thanks Heidi!

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