when bloggers meet.

boss babe fest 2016 | theclevercarrot.com

Blogging is quite the solitary profession.

Days are usually spent creating, photographing, and writing alone (or with a cat on your lap).

When you do socialize, it’s within a virtual web of curated social media feeds and blog comments with absolutely zero physical contact.

There are no hands to shake, lunches to attend, and hugs to give when a co-worker needs it most.

Ironic, isn’t it?

But recently, I had a chance to bridge the gap between virtual and reality.

I attended the first ever Boss Babe Fest: a blogging retreat for like-minded people.

sparkling shrubs | theclevercarrot.com

The retreat took place in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Amanda and Sherrie were the incredible she-brains behind this event, planning every single detail to the tee- you could totally feel the love!

The overall vibe was part business, part play:

We photographed and styled food together. Talked about editing, blogging, and book writing. We quietly watched each other create…

There were plenty of cocktails & mock-tails to go around and we ate at some of THE BEST restaurants in the city. I’m still dreaming about this flavorful shredded zucchini salad that I’m going to re-create for you…

In addition to Amanda and Sherrie’s hospitality, I have to mention and graciously thank our official sponsor: Vital Proteins.

They’re a new-to-me company specializing in high-quality pasture raised and marine collagen supplements.

Are you familiar with collagen? Lately, it’s been all the rage (think bone broth or seaweed)! Collagen is excellent for your hair, skin and nails.

I’m currently enjoying their Coconut Vanilla Beauty Greens for morning smoothies: 1 scoop + frozen bananas + coconut water + fresh lime. I’ll let you know if my wrinkles go away anytime soon…

I also used their supplements to make my first ever smoothie bowl…

Vital Proteins Smoothie Bowl | theclevercarrot.com

And now on to the retreat snapshots!

Starting with the group image above, the guest list included (from left to right):

Strawberry French 75 Cocktails | theclevercarrot.com

We spent time photographing and drinking these sassy ‘Strawberry French 75 Cocktails’ made with fresh strawberry puree, prosecco and gin.

We also visited the General Mills world headquarters.

General Mills was another brand we partnered with and sponsored our recipe challenge.

In their test kitchen, our mission was to create an original recipe using a variety of cereals. Renne was my partner and we made a 4 layer cake using ground Trix cereal as our ‘flour’ base.

We did it in under 1 hour.

Also, if you look at the color of the cake, you’ll notice it’s not super bright. We learned that General Mills has removed all artificial dyes and colorings from their cereals.

Cool, right?

Our sugar intake was then balanced out by nutritious veggie grain bowls for dinner…

Trix cereal cake | theclevercarrot.comTrix cereal cake | theclevercarrot.comveggie grain bowls |theclevercarrot.com

We ate a lot on this trip.

One of the most memorable meals was our farm-to-table dinner sponsored by La Croix and prepared by Create Caterers.

The natural light got dark (really quick) so I don’t have any pictures of the food we ate, but from memory, there was this stack of multi-colored beets with crunchy nut praline and DILL PESTO that still keeps me up at night…

Sherrie made us hand-crafted non-alcoholic drinking vinegars, also known as ‘shrubs,’ that we mixed with our La Croix sparkling beverages.

I hope she shares the recipe for her pineapple-sage shrub one day… it’s amazing…

La Croix | theclevercarrot.comsparkling shrubs | theclevercarrot.comsparkling shrubs | theclevercarrot.comsparkling shrubs | theclevercarrot.com

When the retreat was over, and it was back to our regular scheduled programming at home, I felt different.

I felt re-charged.

Was it because we spent time together in real life?

I think so.

Humans need to connect.

And to be a part of this experience, with such an amazing group of women was beyond inspiring.

**Thanks again to all of our amazing sponsors & new friends!**

Vital Proteins 

General Mills, La Croix

 Now FoodsVital Farms

Rodelle Vanilla, Udi’s Gluten FreeBig Spoon Roasters 

Mademoiselle MielMy EnchaA HeirloomJered’s PotteryFauxgerty


  1. says

    Looks like you guys had the best time. I’m a firm believer that these events where you can connect with creators of the same ilk are the most important times, not only to build your business, but to simply enjoy one another. And what a great name. Boss Babe. That’s right. Boss Babes you are!

    • Emilie says

      We really did. This was the first time I attended a retreat, and now I know how important it is to connect in real life. It keeps you going, you know? I cam back feeling completely energized and inspired. Hugs! xo

  2. says

    Lucky you! It looks like a fabulous experience full of shared passions and great inspiration. I look forward to visiting the sites of your blogging comrades for more peeks into your fun retreat.

  3. says

    Looks like a true inspiring batterie re-charging event. And fun! Will definitely check out the other site you listed. Always so inspiring to see what and how passionate foodies creates :) Happy weekend everyone.

    • Emilie says

      It certainly was! In fact, it was better than I even imagined- the girls, food, connections- it was a wonderful gathering filled with inspiration. xo

  4. says

    So so happy we got to spend time together on the retreat. Thanks for navigating the airport with me and being my roommate! I loved meeting you in person. Your photos and words here are taking me back to Minnesota! XOXO!

    • Emilie says

      OMG. That airport. I can’t even. How funny right? And that heat! I’m melting just typing this. It was so fun spending time together, Liz! ;)

  5. says

    my heart is so full! thank you for coming to Minnesota, thank you for bringing your spirit, your love, your laughs. i am so glad that it brought us together in person, and i only wish that we could teleport and make it happen more often. but we did it. despite the busy that life is.
    love you!

    • Emilie says

      Gretchen, you have no idea how interesting it was. The flavor went so perfectly with the sweet, vinegar-y beets. And the crunch of that praline! It’s almost impossible to forget a good meal, right?

      Hope back to school is treating you well! xo

  6. says

    Seeing all these pictures are making me think that this #bossbabefest should happen every year! I’m so thankful that we go to meet on this trip. I really loved all of our chats, especially the ones about your amazing neighbor; I really want to meet him!

    Hope we connect again very soon.


    • Emilie says

      Agreed! I think so too. We’ll have to get on that one ;) Did I tell you I found melted chocolate at the bottom of my bag when I got home? OK?! It wasn’t nearly as bad as yours, but super funny (and ironic) to say the least… xo

  7. says

    There is something so special about meeting up with blog friends, it truly is a unique world we live in! Meeting you last year was an experience I will always remember. I love all of the recaps you guys have been posting about his trip! This get together looks like it was truly a great time and so many lovely captures to prove it <3. Thanks for sharing with us Emilie! XO

    • Emilie says

      It really is. The physical connection makes operating in the virtual world so distant and remote. And you know I would love to hang with you again! Anytime! Hope life in CA is treating you well… xo

  8. says

    Emilie, it was SO nice meeting up with you in real life. Walking around the lake with you and Kristan was such a treat, as was seeing how you create, what your photo tips include, and how you make a post come to life. Just being away from my computer and the restaurant revived me, and being around like-minded ladies with big goals and warm hearts filled me with renewed vigor and inspiration. If only I could recreate that weekend right now! I’d love it, if we could all get together once a month! Wouldn’t that be just about perfect? Much love to you!!

  9. says

    ‘recently discovered your website/blog this past week when searching for a sourdough recipe- I’ve been following Minimalist Baker’s work for a while- you’ve filled the non-dessert gap in my recipe pallet! This post was very sentimental to read, as a bit of a recluse and struggling socialite this made me feel so bubbly; the time and energy everyone gave to participate in this is heartwarming! Plus the food looks amazing :D !

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