Blend 2014

It’s still a little hard for me to believe- but this year’s Blend Retreat has come and gone. This was the third annual gathering for Blend (and also the third year that I’ve been in attendance). I helped out in some capacity during planning for the first two years and stepped into a co-organizer role this year. I’ve been friends with the other two organizers Lindsay and Janetha for a few years now, but have gotten a lot closer to both of them over the last year thanks to countless emails, phone calls and texts.

planners

I really had no idea just how much planning went into organizing this type of event! Lindsay wrote a great post about the “what, why and how” Blend all came together- which you can check out for details.

The actual event started on Friday, June 6th, but I headed out to Utah two days before to start getting things set up. Paige accompanied me as we drove the 550ish miles to Salt Lake City (to stay with Janetha’s family). We all got up early the next day to tie up some loose ends and head over to Park City to the Hyatt. The day was super chaotic and busy- but we actually got everything accomplished that we needed to far earlier than we did the year before (including stuffing 90 swag bags!).

swag

A special thanks to Paige and Katie for helping us out!

Registration began on Friday afternoon and I was so excited to see so many of my old friends (many of which I hadn’t seen since last year’s Blend!). There was a fun run from Oiselle and a snack break from Arctic Zero mid-afternoon.

AZ snack break

The cocktail hour took place that evening, which was sponsored by FLUROwater and Sizzlefish. The drinks and appetizers were delicious!

cocktail hour

(That’s a FLUROwater Mojito and a plate filled with brown sugar/soy-glazed salmon, hummus, a black bean cake and a tofu lettuce wrap.)

I spent some time chatting with my beautiful roommates as well:

cocktail roomies

Paige, me, Marissa, Heidi, Natalie

Dinner followed cocktail hour, which was followed by a group of us going back to our suite for beers and Cards Against Humanity. We were all pretty much exhausted by the end of the day and turned in early (which was a good decision!).

Since I am recovering from surgery, I couldn’t participate in the Saturday morning bootcamp (I also had to wear a lovely brace for most of the weekend). Instead, I did my PT exercises and checked in with our various sponsors in attendance to make sure everything was going smoothly. Quest was sponsoring breakfast that morning- and did a fantastic job. I love the fact that they left goodie bags on everyone’s seats!

quest bags

Amongst other delicious food items, Quest provided one of their “15-second recipe” treats for us to enjoy.

quest treats

The next major event for the day was a hike, sponsored by Organic Valley. Again, I couldn’t really take part but at least I got to enjoy the views from the gondola ride to the top!

gondola view

Celebrity trainer Joel Harper talked about the hiking trail and then led the group through some warm-up exercises. After that, they were off to explore the mountain!

hike02

Lindsay (and her baby Porter) went on the hike while Janetha and I hung around and chatted at the base.

hike01

KidzShake sponsored Saturday’s snack break, which was different smoothies and protein balls:

KS snack break

The snacks were great- and the balls reminded me of this girl. :)

cotter

I hung out in the expo room for most of the afternoon to help out the sponsors – and also managed to eat way too much of this:

liys

A group of us went out to dinner that night, though I don’t think any of us were really hungry. Paige and I ended up splitting a meal since we knew that we still had to leave room for Momma B’s (Janetha’s mom) Utah Scones when we got back! The Utah Scone party is one of my favorite parts of the weekend because it’s a great chance to just hang out and chat. I was very happy to be able to catch up with my friend Brittany!

brittany

I went to bed that night not feeling great – and ended up throwing up throughout the whole night. Needless to say, that totally sucked. When I woke up in the morning (after about one total hour of sleep) I still felt horrible and had to skip out on breakfast. It took every bit of energy in me, but I eventually rallied and got my stuff together and headed downstairs to head downstairs for the raffle and group shot (photo from Lindsay):

blend group

I felt horrible when this photo was taken!

I also got one more shot with the roomies:

roomies

Sidenote: if you chatted with me on Sunday and I was quiet or not super friendly it was because I was trying with all of my might not to puke. :)

Besides getting super sick on Saturday night (which I’m pretty sure was from just eating way too much random “stuff” all day), the weekend was awesome! Everything came together as it was supposed to and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Thanks to our wonderful official sponsor Silk for making everything possible!

And- we’ve already started planning for next year’s retreat! Mark your calendars for May 15-17 in Boulder!

:)

Comments

  1. Woo hoo for Boulder!!! It was SO GOOD to see you again. See you more in July? Mwah!

    • YES. Let me know the dates you’ll be here! And I’m so glad you’re stoked about Boulder- I sure am!! (Now we just need to get you out here permanently….) xo

  2. I’m so excited I got to finally meet you! I’m so sorry you got a stomach bug that last night. It’s definitely going around. I’m just getting over a 24 hour stomach bug a few days ago, and I heard some other girl over the weekend got something too. No fun! :( Thanks again for all of your hard work that you put into Blend. It was a blast!! xoxo

    • I’m so glad I got to meet you too- though I kept forgetting that we hadn’t met before (it seems like we’ve known each other for a long time!). I hope you come out to Boulder next year!

  3. This looks like such a fantastic weekend! I hope I can save the money and attend in an upcoming year! It’s hard when you are still in school, but one day I will make it :)

  4. Melissa Karras says:

    1. I’m so so so happy I finally met you!
    2. I couldn’t believe how much you DID do post-surgery! Crazy!
    3. Thank you thank you (this should’ve been #1)
    4. You were THAT sick?! I know you said you didn’t feel well on Sunday, but I didn’t realize how bad it was. I’m so sorry! Yuck. Hope you’re all recovered now!

    • Aw thanks for the great comment Melissa! YES it took all of the energy I had just to walk on Sunday and every time I had to speak I thought I was going to puke. Thank goodness it was gone the next day! Have fun with your Vitamix (when you get it!!) xoxo

  5. you did a amazing job friend, and you did it with a healing knee! i can’t thank you all enough! #cornycotter

  6. It was such a pleasure to meet you. I’m just sorry I didn’t get to spend more time getting to know you outside the blog. I’m also sorry to hear you got sick; that’s no good. I’m glad you’re feeling better now and even able to do more with your knee. Thank you so much for organizing the entire weekend. I truly appreciate it.

    • I’m really glad that I at least got to chat with you some – but definitely would’ve liked to hang out much more! You were the #1 person I was excited to meet! :) Hopefully I’ll be in 100% good health next year and we can rock Boulder (you better come!!). xoxo

      • Are you kidding me? I didn’t know that. Why the heck didn’t you say something? Oh wait, you were kind of under the weather. Alright, it’s a sufficient justification so we can let it slide this time. Next time though…we better drink some beer (or hard cider for me) together.

  7. Nice job recapping everything! (oh, and with the retreat itself ;);)) Love the roomie-love pictures xo

  8. I hope you feel better Lauren! Thank you for all your hard work!

  9. love this post! and you!

  10. Yay for Boulder!!

  11. Maggie Shaw says:

    Can anyone go to blend, or do you have to be a blogger?

    • Hey Maggie- Anyone is welcome! I’d say about 25% of the ladies in attendance were not bloggers. There aren’t any sessions or anything focused on blogging and it’s just a big, fun girls weekend! You’ll have a blast if you come next year- I promise!

  12. Oh my gosh I remember talking to you Sunday and I was all “Let’s take a selfie!!! :) :)” You probably wanted to punch me but you took one anyways because you are awesome.

    Seriously thank you for all of your hard work putting Blend together! I want to help more next year! I was late telling Lindsay I could lend a hand this year…but next year! For serious!

    And thank you again for telling me I’m not alone in not quite using my NASM certification for what I had intended to use it for! ;)

    Now rest up and heal that knee! <3

  13. You girls are rock stars!!!! You all threw an awesome retreat!! I was so glad to see you again. My only complaint.. not enough time with you girls! ;)

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