Camp Motivation (aka Camp Blogaway) 2013


I often have some serious problems with motivation. (duh, Barbara, where have you been the past few months?) I get all caught up in my head and start tripping myself up on the imperfections, the ideals and how to meet my own (high) expectations. I get so into this mode of thinking, theorizing and pontificating that I’m exhausted by the time it comes to actually doing. I have a horrible case of perfectionism together with throw-in-the-towel-ism if it’s not perfect. These are negative traits but they are part of me and something I need to deal with. Not deal with in terms of “oh well, that’s who I am so too bad.” To me that’s not dealing with anything but rather making an excuse for your negative attributes. I believe dealing with them takes effort to work around them and turn them into something positive.

This year has been a big and very busy year for me so far. M and I got married (yippee!!!) and not too soon before that I made a difficult decision to quit my job. I know that sounds extreme, especially in this economy, but it was draining me emotionally and I decided I just couldn’t live that way. I don’t have a price for my happiness. (More on that later.) What culminated from all of this was me being seriously off track with my goals and seriously lacking in motivation. It kind of reminded of me of falling off the dieting bandwagon. As many of you can relate, when you fall off, it’s hard to get right back on. Most of us (including myself) give up and stay content to follow along behind, all the while punishing ourselves for falling off in the first place. It’s a difficult place to be in and very difficult to pull yourself out of.

Lucky for me, I did have a plan. I vividly remembered my experience from Camp Blogaway last year and how I brought home a wealth of information and bags full of swag and excitement. I knew being around so many other passionate bloggers, writers, chefs and amazing products would spark the fire in me. Sometimes we all get a little off track and need a spark. This year, Camp Blogaway Motivation was that spark for me.

Not only did I gain enough spark to keep my fuel burning, I met some amazing people, tried some awesome new products, brought home a lot of fab swag which I can’t wait to tell you about and gained a lot of useful insight.

Here’s a pic of me and roomies and a couple of other girls from my cabin all in stripes. This was not planned, but apparently stripes are all the rage for spring!


From Left:

Stephanie from Girl Versus Dough

Stephanie from 52 Kitchen Adventures


Rebekah from Decadently Fit

Jillian from Food, Folks & Fun

Angela from Aloha Yinz Mangia

On the first day of camp we had a Bloody Mary competition. I was INCREDIBLY excited about this because this is one of my all-time favorite drinks. Not to brag (ok, maybe to brag), but I made a mean Bloody Mary back in my bartending days and I’d like to think I make an even better one now. Well, apparently I’m not the only one because I WON, yeah that’s right, I said I WON the Bloody Mary competition at camp winning myself and each person at my table a $50 gift card to Williams & Sonoma. HUGE thanks to the folks at Duda for this honor. All the finalists are in a bigger competition now to win registration for camp next year. Please please please go to RIGHT NOW and vote for my recipe. Then go make it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 Barbara's Beach Bloody Mary

Don’t you wish they sold these amazing celery straws here in the U.S.? Currently they are only sold in Canada. Start asking your local grocer, people. We need to get our hands on these – they are rad!


We also had a special surprise from CravOn Fries. Wait for it…


The Lime Truck! Hella yeah, they sent the CravOn Lime truck to camp! It’s making its rounds all over Southern California right now. Go to to check out if it’s coming to a location near you.

 cravon fries

We got to douse our delicious CravOn Fries with all these amazing toppings. Yep, I used almost every one. What do you think of my creation?

OXO was gracious enough to sponsor camp as well and we got to demo their amazing mandoline slicers. Once you’ve tried this handy dandy tool, you will insist on having one in your kitchen too. I can’t imagine being without it! They were kind enough to give us a handheld mandolin, kitchen brush and steel water bottle. Check out all their wonderful products at Here is the lovely Veronica from OXO demo-ing one of their mandolines:


Besides the amazing speakers, fun presentations, comradery and food truck, what else is great about camp? THE SWAG, of course! I’m so excited to create things for you using these items.


A big thanks to Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk for putting on yet another great camp. And a huge thanks to everyone I met who helped put a little spark in my motivation. It is through these connections I make that will keep my fire fueled!

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About Me
Hi! I'm Barbara and yes, I cook! Welcome to my world of mouth-watering delicious food that you don't have to feel guilty about.
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