Good Morning, Friends!
Last night I had an outdoor soccer game that STARTED at 9:30 p.m. Needless to say, I was in bed later than normal and feared that it would throw off my whole day today. To my surprise, I woke up before my alarm clock went off and was wide awake! I am reinforcing this rarity with lots of coffee, so cheers to a productive Tuesday!
As promised, here is the final recap of the Healthy Living Summit I attended this past weekend in Minneapolis, MN:
Saturday morning started bright and early – 7:30 a.m. to be exact. Breakfast was served in the mezzanine of the conference room and it. was. awesome.
Check out that spread. They had everything from fresh fruit platters, bacon, turkey sausage, skillet egg scramble, build your own yogurt bar and lots and lots of COFFEE We had about an hour to eat breakfast before the first session of the day started. It does not usually take me an hour to eat, so I checked out all of the sponsor booths that were outside of the main hall after I finished my plate. The sponsors this year were amazing. They were all so friendly and loved hearing about everyone’s blogging stories and health/fitness passion. My two favorite booths were:
The Blue Diamond Almonds booth. Look at all those flavors! The BOLD ‘Salt & Vinegar’ flavor really stole the show for me, but toasted coconut was a close second.
And of course. the Wild Harvest booth. Wild Harvest had a ‘create your own popcorn’ stand which included lightly salted popcorn that you were able to season with any of their delicious seasonings.
This was the perfect snack to have on hand during the day – no guilt included.
Okay – Okay, enough with the food… let’s talk about the sessions. I cannot express enough how much I learned this past Saturday. Some of the sessions I attended included topics such as: ‘Blogs in Transition: Embracing Your Blog’, ‘From Blog to Job: Utilizing Your Personal Blog to Elevate Your Career’, “The Organized Blogger’ and ‘Blogger Self-Care: Staying Happy, Healthy and Sane Under Pressure’.
I loved all of the sessions I attended, but one of my favorites was the ‘Blogger Self-Care’ one where fellow bloggers gave their advice on how to not get stressed out managing work, blogging, reader comments and life in general. A few of the bloggers talked about taking ‘Social Media’ cleanses every once in a while to refocus. It’s crazy to think how much social media has taken over our own lives these days.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are what I check every morning, one my lunch break, on the way home from work, at home while making dinner, before bed… omg it. is. crazy. Don’t even get me started on how many other blogs I read throughout the day. Another great takeaway from the session was ending your week with ‘five happy thoughts’. If you have had a really rough week personally, professionally or both – take the time at the end of the week to find five things that made you truly happy during the week. They can be small things like, “I ate healthy 4 out of the 5 work days”, “I tried a new recipe and it was successful” or “I received two awesome blog comments this week.” Taking the time to focus on the good rather than the bad is a real mental game changer. I have to keep this in mind when I have real stressful weeks.
The conference ended around 5:00 p.m. with closing comments and an awesome raffle. I actually WON something in the raffle which never happens. - A ‘Healthy Living Summit’ charm from ‘Bama + Ry’.
The owner creates awesome copper and nickel jewelry with all different kinds of charms you can add on to a chain. I’m really happy that I have something I can wear that will remind me of my first HLS.
Once everything was said and done, I headed back to the room and got ready for a night out. A couple weeks ago I did a whole bunch of research on great restaurants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and one in particular kept coming up in my searchers – Butcher & The Boar. Their menu looked fabulous, so I decided to make reservations there as me and Brian’s ‘splurge’ night. It was weird not seeing Brian all day since I was at the conference and he was out having fun exploring the city – so the evening felt like an actual date night.
We were seated in a little cozy booth and the decor of the restaurant immediately blew me away. There were so many items on the menu that looked amazing, so we decided to split everything we ordered. First up, was an order of the “stuffed jalapenos’, which were stuffed with PEANUT BUTTER and were AMAZING. Seriously, who came up with this? We are going to try and recreate this one at home. For our main entrees, we ordered the Texas Prawns – with a Red Chile BBQ sauce and the 12 oz. prime skirt steak – Rare (because that is the best way) with BBQ sweet onion sauce and cobb salad garnish.
Both dishes were delicious – the prawns especially had a really great spice to them.
After dinner, we roamed around the city for a little bit and grabbed some booze at a nearby liquor store. We would have roamed around longer, but the rain had steadily started to pick up and neither of us had brought our umbrellas. Nevertheless, it was a great final night in Minneapolis.
The next morning, B and I opted to sleep in before our long journey home, but I received lots of updates that the location of the next HLS summit was announced – MADISON, WI. So exciting! A. It is closer to me and B. Madison is an awesome city.
All in all, the weekend was so much more than I expected. I walked away with a lot of great new friends, ideas and inspiration for the blog and confidence in myself.