What I Learned at BLEND [Part I]

May 8, 2012 · 58 comments

We’re going to talk about happy things today, okay?

We’re going to overlook the fact that my luggage is gone forever. We’re going to be happy about the fact that a shopping spree is in order, and we’re going to pretend it’s a fun shopping spree instead of a “replace-all-my-jewelry-and-makeup” shopping trip.

And by “we,” I guess I mean “I.” Perhaps it just makes me feel better pretending like everyone’s in this pickle with me.

Unlike many blogger weekend functions, the Blend Retreat wasn’t really an educational, “better your blog” shindig. It was about spending time with girls who come from different places, who are in different points in their lives, who all like the same things: food, fitness, blogging, photography, and friendship.

Jilliaaaan, you’re so pretty.

Our sponsors from the weekend were unreal. They provided us with so much swag (oh, how I miss mine) and some delicious meals.

It was so great to finally meet our awesome Chobani friends!

I sound like a low-budget commercial for some relief fund. But seriously! It was such a heartwarming weekend of support and fellowship. Spending a weekend with girls I’ve been talking to for years, meeting other like-minded girls who just “get it,” and doing all the things we love together in such a beautiful environment was even more incredible than I anticipated it would be.


Thanks for the photo, my dear Janetha  [courtesy of Ashley McLaughlin Photography (she rocks!)]

If you’ve been reading my beautiful roommate‘s blog, you’ve already seen a lot of what I’m about to show you. But she’s weird and slightly crazy. So obviously, you need to see my perspective of the trip.

This coming from the girl who left her bag on the streets of Richmond.

(No she won’t, because then I’ll have to talk about her snoring. That altitude’s a real kicker.)

After waking up at 4:45 to catch my flight to Dallas and then flying to Denver, I was spent.

Blend Lesson #1: On a travel day that starts at 4:45 a.m., there is no such thing as too much coffee.

And for Blend Lesson #2: Starbucks sandwiches are delicious, but will cost you your firstborn child.

Since I arrived in Denver around lunchtime, it was time to eat again. Thankfully, this girl was game for another meal. And a fro yo desert.

Blend Lesson #3: Blogger retreats are so much more amazing when you and your roommate have the 96% of the same personality.

I texted a photo of us with our salads to Jim. His predictable reply was “I see bread.” C’mon, Jim. We’re on vacay. And I didn’t eat the whole thing.

I did not send him photos of the fro yo. …And in our defense, it was TCBY Honey Vanilla greek yogurt fro yo. Which is delicious and completely guilt-free.

Until we added the Oreos and mini M&Ms.

Blend Lesson #4: An airport arrival when you get picked up by the LOVE bus. Dear Maddy and Alex, can I have that kind of service for every airport pickup?

We were ready for ‘em.

I’ll elaborate on our amazing experience with LOVE Grown Foods and Fresca Foods tomorrow. Our tour was incredible, and Maddy and Alex were fantastic hosts.

Also incredible? The views we had all weekend. Those Colorado mountains are a far cry from my flat life over here in Virginia Beach, that’s f’sho. This was my view from the front windows of Elby, the LOVE bus!

Don’t worry. There’s so much more to come.

Lots of love for these two girls.

The Xagave breakfast was unreal.

Blend Lesson #5: When friends spend too much time with you, they start mirroring your habits. Courtney took a spillski on our hike. Thankfully, she’s just got some scrapes and her dSLR is a-okay.

Blend Lesson #6: Fitness classes taught by your friends are so freakin’ fun!


Blend Lesson #7: The creepers will follow you to Colorado.

Geeez. Random creepers in photos once again. They liked Janetha, Lindsay, Court.

And FYI: Lindsay touched my butt.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

LOL! Lindsay is such a butt -touching creeper. ;)

That yogurt was epic. I thought yogurt topping are all calorie-free?!
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2 janetha @ meals & moves May 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

YOU’RE NOT WEARING PANTIES! also, of the 2,342,381 shots we took–you picked THAT one? Lucky I love you. A lotttt.
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3 Heather @ Better With Veggies May 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm

The Love Grown Foods bus is so cool – you got escorted to Blend in style!! :)
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4 Tina @ Best Body Fitness May 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

That guy was relentless! I almost forgot about him. I wonder what he would do if he knew his creeperness was plastered all over the internet now. And I’m steeling that photo from you. ;)
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5 Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life May 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Oh my god…this is, BY FAR, my favorite recap yet!
I can’t believe you posted that awful pic of me and my scrapes, LOL. Totally forgot about that one. ;)

Ohhhh girl, you make me laugh.
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6 Katie May 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Whohoo!! You are so wonderful, awesome, amazing, fantastic. I am so happy I got to meet you this weekend!
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7 Lena @Fit on the Rocks May 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm

omg that creeper photo is hilarious! I wish I had a pimped out bus to take me places *le sigh*
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8 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries May 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

haha it looked like you gals all had such a fun time together! i sure hope to make it next year!
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9 Alex @ therunwithin May 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm

this has got to be one of the best posts about this retreat, I am just loving the humor! The creeper photo at the end made me die laughing!
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10 Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut May 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Love this recap!! So so sorry you lost your luggage :-( I was terrified I was going to lose mine on the flight since I don’t fly very often.

Also jealous of you guys getting to go on the love bus!! Next year..
Love your blog!!
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11 Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More May 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Here’s to hoping you have a great shopping spree full of new, amazing clothes and then your bag will turn up. Double win!
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12 Annette @ FitnessPerks May 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Wow! SOunds amazing! And that bus is cooooooolll!

I agree-all fro yo is really guilt free-because it makes you feel AMAZING inside and out (just like broccoli and spinach) :)
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13 Katie @ Katie Moves May 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Looks like such a great time! I love experiencing new fitness classes!! The change up is great- and being taught by your friends is even better :)
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14 Jillian @ sprinkle massacre May 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I LOVE this recap! Between that pic and the moustache pic on facebook, we now all know I like my funny faces! I can’t wait to see what you do the moustache pics! LOL

I hope you find some awesome things shopping so you aren’t so sad about your luggage! Miss you girly!
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15 Alysia @ Slim Sanity May 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I’m liking the light blue workout tank you were wearing! where is it from?
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16 Shannon May 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm

All I can think about right now is how freaking bad-ass that bus is. You’ve made me realize that may be the secret to my happiness! I’M BUYING A BUS!!!
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17 Ashley May 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

This recap was FABulous!!! Thanks for the photog shout-out. ;) So sorry I missed the ride on ELBY!!!
Ashley recently posted..boulder colorado blogger retreatMy Profile

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18 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List May 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm

BAHAHAHA! You have no panties!!

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19 Lisa May 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

This is an awesome recap. Sounds like an incredibly unreal trip. Hopefully I can go next year
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20 lindsay May 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

love love love it all! youre hilarious, i love seeing this side. creepers and colordado go hand in hand!
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21 Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I love that you and Courtney were roomies … two of my favorite bloggers sharing a room. ;) I’m sure you guys had a blast!
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22 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) May 8, 2012 at 4:35 pm

The jealousy boils over…. only to be outdone by how happy I am that you all had such a freaking fantastic time! When is next year’s? ;)
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23 Carissa May 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I’m also on the jealous boat! It’s like you got to hang out with great girlfriends and talk about fitness and blogs. I’d love to be there next year!
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24 Kate @ life's precious moments May 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm

It has been so fun to see all the pictures from the retreat! I am glad you all had such a great time :)
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25 Victoria May 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Y’all sure do have an infinity for creepers. Looks like a ball!
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26 Anne Kendall May 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm

The Blend Retreat looks like it was such a great time! I’d really love to get involved with something like that! I’ve only recently begun blogging, but living a healthy lifestyle and meeting new people who share my passions are high on my list :) I love how entertaining and honest your posts are.
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27 Chelsea May 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Ahh I NEED to go on a blogger retreat!
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28 heather b. May 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm

doood, no need to settle for starbucks food when in denver aka dia. if you’re in united terminal b, must hunt out the wolfang puck’s eatery. mmmmmm. some great chinese chic salad to be had. and it’s at the beginning of the terminal, so not much transporting needed beyond the shuttle if in another terminal.

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29 Carol May 9, 2012 at 5:28 am

what a great post! thanks for sharing it :) I love your pictures. it is pretty cool.
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30 Beth May 9, 2012 at 6:18 am

Loved the post Alyssa, looks like you all had a blast! Sharing time with like minded people certainly warms the heart.
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31 Christina May 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

hey girl! i l.o.v.e those gold flats you have on..where did you find those?
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32 Amber K May 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm

It sounds like a total blast! Gotta love great friends and good times :)
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