Blend 2014

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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.

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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.

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Red, White and Blue[berry] Crepes

Hello! I got back from spending five days in Park City, Utah last night and have a lot of catching up to do. I was there for the third annual Blend Retreat, which was (once again) and incredible weekend! I’ll be back to tell you more about it later in the week, but for today I’m showing a little love to this year’s official sponsor: Silk!

There are certain recipes that, for one reason or another, seem to intimidate me. Most of the time, these recipes are even that complicated, but I just haven’t been able to make them right for some reason. Crepes are one of the recipes that I took a few attempts to figure out how to make correctly, but now that I have, they’re super easy to make.

One of the things that I really like about about crepes is that they are so versatile. You can stuff them with sweet or savory ingredients or just eat them in a stack like pancakes. Most of the time I fill my crepes with one of my favorite combinations: plain Greek yogurt, honey and berries.

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Life Lately

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Good morning!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I figured that it was time for a little “life update.” The last few months have been pretty chaotic (in both good and bad ways) and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the summer has to offer. Greg and I closed on our new home a few weeks ago and moved in a little over a week ago. We are loving it so far! This is the first new construction home that either of us have lived in, and it’s definitely been… different. :)

It’s pretty cool having a complete “blank canvas” for a house – but it’s also a lot of work! When we moved in, we didn’t have about half of the appliances we needed (like a fridge, stove and washer/dryer), ceiling fans/lights in the master bedroom and living room, any window coverings (and there’s lots of windows!) or a fence. We also didn’t have any sod laid in the back yard!

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We’ve been busy installing blinds, ceiling fans, garage door openers, etc. for the last few weeks and still have a long way to go. We did get all of our appliances installed right before moving in, which was a huge relief. Out of all of the rooms in the house, my favorite is the kitchen. :)

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SNOW Play, FLAPJACKED Contest & BLEND Details

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Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a great weekend, as always. I’m really happy to put the extremely cold weather from last week behind me as we head into 60 degree temps later this week (what?!).

I’ve got some really great stuff to share with you today, so I’m just going to get right into it. That “stuff” is so exciting that I had to use ALL CAPS in the title! You may have guessed by reading the title that this post is going to be about three things: playing in the snow, a contest from Flapjacked and finally- the details for Blend 2014 (including the date for ticket sales!).

First things first: Snow Play!

I’ve come to conclusion after making it more than half way through my first winter as a Coloradoan: I have a love/hate relationship with snow. Well- hate is a strong word. Maybe it’s more of a love/annoyed relationship. I have absolutely no use for snow down here in the foothills. The roads never get plowed and it just makes driving conditions awful. When it does start to melt, things get muddy and messy. It also makes it much more difficult to hike (though it still doesn’t stop me from doing so!). Greg and I headed out for an easy hike at Chautauqua on Saturday, which was still completely covered in snow. I have to admit- it does look beautiful.

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I couldn’t find my ice trekkers, so I was slipping and sliding all over the place. But that’s kind of my fault.

Enough complaining- let me tell you about why I love snow. As you know, I’ve grown quite fond of skiing. And, as you also know, skiing would not be possible without snow. On Friday I got to experience my first real powder day and it’s so different than skiing on groomed snow. My friend Katie and I headed up bright and early to Eldora and got there right as the lifts were starting to run. She’s a much better skier than me and was nice enough to go at my pace and push me when I needed it!

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3 Fun Things for Friday [Blend, Hip Mountain Mama & Published Work]

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Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a whirlwind of a week getting back to reality here in Colorado- but I think my body has finally adjusted back to mountain time. Thank goodness!

There’s been a lot going on in my little world recently- including one big thing that I can’t believe I haven’t even mentioned here on the blog! Late in the summer I happily hopped on board to be part of the three-woman planning crew for the Blend Retreat!

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The term blend means blogger + friend. The retreat was founded back in 2012 by Janetha, Lindsay and Katie as a chance for bloggers (and readers!) to get together for a weekend of fun, food, fitness and friendship. It was held in lovely Boulder, Colorado that first year. I’m not exaggerating when I say that attending Blend that first year changed my life. I was able to meet a number of women that I had been following through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and already felt a connection with just from our online interactions. We all immediately bonded and solid friendships were born. I’m so thankful for those friendships to this day!

Blend was held in Park City, Utah last year and was every bit as great as it was in 2012. Blend is definitely different than any other blogging conference I’ve been to- because it’s not a conference! There aren’t any sessions on how to build a better blog or utilize Twitter or anything like that. As I said above- it’s just a weekend to hang out with friends, do some fun workouts, eat great food and have lots of laughs.

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Blend 2013 Recap #2

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As promised, I’m back with the second (and final!) recap of the Blend 2013 Retreat. In case you missed it, please go back to the first recap post to see what happened during my first two days in Utah.

To pick up right where I left off, I’ll start with Saturday morning. Even though I was dead tired, I woke up for the 7:00 am GPP workout. I was really excited to work out with Neil, the founder of GPP, because I’ve read so much about the workouts on Janetha’s blog. I am definitely a big fan of anything challenging and new, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by this workout! Neil explained to us the science behind GPP before the workout got started.

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We started out by doing sprints, and stopping hard. This made for a crazy quad workout that I could still feel three days later. And then Neil pulled out a deck of cards… I knew what that meant from my fitmixer bootcamp days! We had to do full sit-ups, push-ups, squats and burpees depending on which card was pulled.

And guess what? I still hate burpees.

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We also had to run laps when a Joker card was pulled… so I kind of cheated on LiveFit Trainer again by breaking the “no cardio in the first four weeks” rule. Oops.

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WIAW 41: Traveling to Utah

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Happy Wednesday friends! I’m still trying to recover from my long weekend away, and also to prepare for the visit of my friend Brie’s visit tomorrow (yay!). I’m so excited to have a little piece of Maryland visit me here! Speaking of friends visiting, Calee flew back with me after Blend to hang out in CO for a few days and left to go back home last night.

We had a good time exploring Boulder one day and went down to Red Rocks to hike the next:

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So, today I’m playing catch up all over the place. I have a busy, exciting few days ahead with my friend Brie and I can’t wait!

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Today’s WIAW post shows my eats from last Thursday, which is the day that I left for Salt Lake City.

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Blend 2013 Recap #1

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It certainly has been a crazy, fun, whirlwind past couple of days, and I think it’s still going to take a few more to recover. It’s hard to believe, but The Blend Retreat has come and gone… and I’m already looking forward to next year! Just a slight warning before you get much further ahead: I am not very good at simplifying re-caps and like to look back and remember everything, so this post is going to be super long with a lot of photos. And the next re-cap probably will be too.

Just like last year, Blend proved to be one of the most fun weekends filled with laughter, friendship and fun- and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! This year, however, I was able to get a slightly different and behind-the-scenes perspective of how everything came together. I offered to fly out early to help Katie, Janetha and Lindsay get everything set up and I’m so glad that I did. We worked really hard, but we had so much fun in the process. I flew into Salt Lake City early on Thursday morning and met up with Katie, Lindsay and Travis (L’s husband) at the airport and we all set off for one crazy, busy day. We stopped to get a bite to eat before all of the craziness began.

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We also ran a few errands and I managed to buy my first ever purchase at Lululemon (that Lindsay is a very bad influence!). After that, we headed to Janetha’s moms to load up a huge truck with all of the swag and headed over to the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City.

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Flashback to Blend

I left early this morning to visit a state that I’ve never been to before (well, unless you count a layover in the airport during my honeymoon!): Utah! Park City, Utah is the site of this year’s Blend Retreat! I decided to head out early to help my friends Janetha, Katie and Lindsay finalize some of the last-minute details for the event. I love these girls and the retreat so much, that I am more than happy to lend a hand! Plus, it’s also nice to be able to spend a little more time exploring Utah!

I am honored to be representing Silk at this year’s Blend Retreat. Silk is not only sponsoring me to attend Blend- they’re also sponsoring the cocktail hour! I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work with this incredible company on a few projects so far, and will try to do them proud this weekend. I am really excited for what we’ve been working on for the cocktail hour, all of which will be revealed on Friday evening at the retreat. Let’s just say that it involves some tasty, creative alcoholic beverages. :)

Today I thought it would be appropriate to reminisce about Blend 2012 a bit. If you were a reader of my blog back in May 2012, you may remember the many re-caps of Blend that I wrote (maybe even to an excessive degree?). I can’t help it though- this retreat has truly changed my life.

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It’s funny to think that this time last year I was a high school teacher living in Maryland. I dreamed of quitting my job to pursue something that I was truly passionate about and one day making the move to the place I loved the most: Colorado. It’s definitely surreal that one year later, I’ve thrown caution to the wind (with the help and support of Greg, of course) and made both of those dreams come true. Well, I’m still working on finding that “dream” job, but at least I’m about fifty steps closer than I was a year ago!

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Lovely Lunch Dates

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Now that we are semi unpacked (at least on the main level, which is really the only one anyone needs to see), it’s nice to have friends come by! My wonderful friend Katie and I had made plans when I was still living in Maryland for her to come up for lunch one day this week. We both happened to be free yesterday, so she came up to my house and brought one of my favorite little girls in the world with her. :)

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I met Katie for the first time (in person) at the Blend Retreat last year (she happens to be one of the three organizers of the event!). Ever since then, we’ve made sure to meet up for lunch when I’ve visited Colorado. It’s always fun to catch up with Katie, and her beautiful daughter Adrienne is about as charming as they get. It’s amazing how much more she grows up every time I see her! She’s one smart little girl, that Adrienne. I also have to mention that Katie brought a fantastic housewarming gift: beer from Lone Tree Brewery! She knows Greg and I too well. :)

I prepared a simple lunch: crackers, veggies and hummus (Sweet Potato Hope Hummus- it’s SO good!) to start:

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