I have to be honest though, I definitely needed a pep talk from Brian before walking out the door to the cocktail party on Friday. While I feel like I know so many of the wonderful bloggers, I really don’t know the bloggers. It was a bit nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time.
I was a bit early so I took a little walk around the block.
The Rustic Kitchen was part of the Radisson where the out of town bloggers are staying and where the summit itself was held.
We had a whole room to ourselves which was really neat. Upon walking in, I happened to meet an extremely sweet woman from Kansas named Sarah. We both were feeling a bit out of our element (and Sarah was exhausted from her long trip) so we stuck together. We both talked about how we felt a bit voyeur-like – knowing so much about some of the bloggers at the party. :)
Our first round of drinks were huge beautiful glasses of sangria. They were very good. I loved the alcohol soaked fruit.
For dinner, there were some great appetizers; roasted veggies, fried rice and cheese balls with marinara, salad and absolutely delicious gourmet pizzas. There was pepperoni, cheese, fig and arugula (um amazing) and the hands-down best of all – mushrooms with goat cheese and caramelized onion. So soo good. I had a few pieces of pizza and some veggies.
Sarah and I were able to spend a good amount of time speaking and eating with Kath, which was great. She really is just as down to earth as she seems. It was super fun, and I managed to sneak a picture with her. :)
For a second drink, I got a glass of Syrah. Mmm…
While I got reports that the party went on into the night, Sarah and I decided to head out around 9:30 so that we could get some rest before our early morning. It was great to be able to take the T from Brian’s, but it definitely ate up some of my time.
This morning, I woke up bright and early (6) to shower and get ready. It was really worth it because I had time to grab an iced coffee for my walk and T trip.
Upon arriving at the summit, we were welcomed with smiling blogger faces and what turned out to be just the beginning of a whole bunch of amazing free goodies.
For breakfast, there was a huge greek yogurt and granola bar along with bagels, fruit, danishes, muffins and coffee.
I had a vanilla oikos with mix my granola, some fresh fruit and half of a cinnamon muffin. Everything was quite tasty, naturally.
After breakfast, it was time to start with some fun getting-to-know you games. It was nice to get us in the festive mood. :)
Our first speaker was RD Janel Ovrut. She was super bubbly and very knowledgeable on moderate, healthy eating. It was a great way to start the day!
After a brief break (it seemed like we all needed it because of the coffee) :)… it was time for Zesty Cook to walk us through some tricks of blogging. I found this really helpful, and I even incorporated some of his suggestions – like using windows live writer to post. :)
It was pretty funny because around 11, there was a general shuffling around in our goody bags for snacks – we all were getting rumbly tumblies at the same time.
I reached for a peanut peanut butter kashi granola bar. Always a good choice.
After Zesty, it was time for a fun Q&A with the Healthy Living Summit Lady Organizers. It was really fun to ask them all sorts of questions and have some “quality time” with them.
Lunch was right on time – and quite yummy. I had a whole grain roll topped with a slice of cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, tomato, cucumber and pesto. I also had a good sized pickle and some more fruit. Oh yeah, and an unpictured hot lemon tea because it was colllllddd in there.
During lunch I got a preview of our next session through the pleasure of eating with organic dairy farmer Regina Beidler. She was such a refreshing, knowledgeable and generally glowing person. I truly enjoyed her presentation and have such great feelings about buying organic when possible – as she quoted, “We vote with our shopping carts.”
Next up was a couple of editors from Body & Soul Magazine. These women talked about all natural body, skin, and face products and about the need to really monitor what we put on our bodies (just as much as we put in). It seems pretty overwhelming to me, but as they said, every little bit counts.
Somehow, I was again getting rumbly so I rummaged through my shwag bag and pulled out a superfood bar.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous, but it was really good! :) We’ll see how the more hardcore (aka non-chocolate) superfood products are. :)
A discussion about operation beautiful was up next. Having recently taken part, it was really great to hear Caitlin talk about her project. We even got to do a fun giveaway where we wrote down two things we liked about ourselves. Three were picked out of the audience (randomly) and read aloud.
Next up was another lovely treat – a POM bar. I was still really cold and the ice cold POM wasn’t so appealing so I just decided to take one and run (for later consumption of course).
After our mini-break, all of the Summit Ladies discussed their fitness activities and tips for training, staying healthy, and listening to your body. It was refreshing to learn about everyone’s different approaches, for sure. I was really happy that Jenna talked about yoga and how it really is an exercise (not only for your body, but for your mind).
After this it was time for another giveaway (it seemed endless) and then closing remarks and a group picture. I was sad that it was over, but so satisfied with my day. :)
Please let me know if you guys have any questions! I’d love to answer. I’m so exhausted, so I’m going to go couch it and wait for frisbee boy to get home!
See you lovelies tomorrow! :)