When Marcy and I started BlogCrush over two years ago we never dreamed it would become the country's largest group of local bloggers. With over 390 members BlogCrush is a place where OC bloggers can get together and talk shop.BlogCrush members are invited monthly to meet IRL (in real life) at local restaurants--who all donate their space, food and usually a cocktail or two. It's more than just a night of networking, BlogCrushers have nothing financially to gain from meeting and connecting with other bloggers beyond simply having a new reader, supporter and friend.
I know I'm going to sound like a total sap, but Marcy and I get goose pimples when we connect two bloggers we think will hit it off--we're like match.com for bloggers. We have plans for future events that will include some more substance--with speakers, panels and possibly (maybe) handouts. But, at our heart, we're a place where SoCal bloggers can meet one another.
The last BlogCrush was held at StoneFire Grill in Irvine. I hadn't eaten there before and from a show of hands of the 50 plus bloggers who attended, neither had most of them.
Justin Lopez, StoneFire's Marketing Manager, served nice big glasses of wine and told us about the humble beginnings Stonefire. The casual dining restaurant was opened by his mom and aunt in 2000 and has grown since that time to seven locations--two in OC. They serve lots of juicy grilled meats--like chicken, pork and ribs--and fresh salads. The spinach salad with nice big artichokes, avocado and feta cheese became my instant favorite, but I need to give a special shout out to the garlic mashed potatoes and the breadsticks.
All the BlogCrushers became heavily involved with the carrot cake, brownies and cheesecake and found it hard to talk about much of anything while we hung out with them. It's usually pretty quiet while dessert is served during BlogCrush. You understand...
Marcy and I would like to thank all the bloggers who have faithfully turned up, month after month, to BlogCrush. We truly appreciate your support. I'd also like to acknowledge the bloggers who come to BlogCrush for the first time, not knowing a soul. We also try to quickly hook them up with bloggers we think they would like or who have a common interest. Many, many blogmances have started during a BlogCrush meet up.
Just this last month I was reminded how much blogging has changed my life after writing my column for OC Family about it. I received an overwhelming response from readers. If you're one of the new bloggers who contacted me after reading my column or you just would like to meet some other like-minded writers, photographers and foodies, join BlogCrush here.