22 Jul Travel Recap // My Trip to BlogFest
You’d think after a 5 day trip all about blogging, I’d have a post ready for every single day of this week… yes, normal bloggers would come home all energized and ready to post…. then there’s me. I have to be honest in that I flew straight from LA to Denver where I met up with my mom, sisters and my baby boy and I’ve been up in the mountains ever since… It’s been wonderful, but when I’m with my family, I tend to focus on my time with them and since I still have to work, the blog has taken to the back burner for this week. BUT don’t let that fool you… I am SO inspired after BlogFest. I loved every minute of it! I got to meet bloggers I didn’t already know, grow in my relationships with some of the most amazing Dallas bloggers I got to travel and stay with, AND I was able to meet amazing brands and learn more about what’s being done to positively change lives around the world! PLUS, I learned some amazing tricks and tips that will absolutely impact the way I run this website from now on. It was amazing.
Well, last week I posted a sob-story post about how nervous I was to go to BlogFest and to break out of my shell as a blogger. It was an uncomfortable and vulnerable moment for me as I boarded a flight headed to LA without the comfort of my husband and baby, but I did it! This week, I’m posting about my trip to BlogFest with a completely different air… I am inspired, I am excited and I am more confident than ever in this online endeavor I’ve been doing! Best of all, this inspiration isn’t just professionally, I’ve been inspired emotionally and spiritually through the amazing conversations I was able to have with women that I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to meet without starting this journey. My 5 days in Los Angeles was, absolutely, one of the best journeys this blog has taken me on! I learned about blogging and fitness, participated in fun workouts, enjoyed great food and drink, visited old friend and made new ones and I laughed and laughed and laughed!
Here’s my recap of my trip to BlogFest all the fun it entailed. Also, you can read about my fun friends’ experiences too, I’ve linked them here for you as well!
I flew out to BlogFest on Wednesday morning with Brittany from Fit X Brit and Channing from Chicks ‘N Kicks. I’d met both of these girls before and I liked them a lot, but this plane ride was the perfect start to the trip! We had the best time giggling and chatting and bouncing ideas off one-another. Once I got to LA, I got some work in with this new job I’m loving [my bosses are in LA] and then headed over to the JW Marriott and met up with Ginger from The Ginger Marie Blog. We hung out in the hotel while we waited for our Air BnB to be ready down the street. When I walked in, I thought, “Man… everyone here looks like a professional athlete… I know I’m small, but DANG these people are HUGE!” Then I looked over and saw a sign… The ESPY’s were happening right there and I was watching it all unfold in front of me! Hello, sexy, strong, amazing athletes… I’ll just sit here feeling puny while I stare at your muscles… [Sorry, F! Whatever… you’d have done the same thing!]
Ginger and I reconnected with Channing and Brittany and checked into our Air BnB, which was a penthouse suite overlooking the city skyline [yes, please!] and was amazing! We grabbed dinner and headed to bed early since the conference started with a breakfast at 8am the next morning. [While I slept, Brandi from Eat Love Plank and Mai Lyn from Deep Fried Fit arrived and our little group of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors was COMPLETE!]
We woke up nice and early on Thursday morning [it was 2 hours later in our little Texas heads] and we started the day we coffee. I put on my new outfit, courtesy of Lululemon Knox-Henderson, which was a getup that made me feel like a bohemian gypsy yoga queen [it also made me feel like a lard having to hold my stomach in all day… holy cow!]. BlogFest had a breakfast waiting for us [sponsored by General Mills] and we made the walk to the convention center together [and awkwardly stopped in the middle of downtown for several photo-shoots]. After hearing from the BlogFest sponsors [Siggi’s, General Mills, GymGo! and Vital Proteins], we headed over to the opening ceremonies for the IdeaWorld convention, which was, quite possibly, the most inspiring portion of the weekend. Jack Canfield spoke truth to us about the power of positive thinking and goal-setting in the fitness and professional worlds. It was amazing!
We then attended some awesome classes focused on awesome blogging tips like coming up with good content, food photography skills, strategies for growing your social media and more! We got to eat yummy snacks from Siggi’s and hang out with other great bloggers from all over the USA! That evening, there was a big party, but I wanted to catch up with some of my childhood friends that live in LA, so I took an uber to Beverly Hills where I met up with my sorority little sis, Julia and then my childhood friend, Glen! I’m so glad I got to catch up with them both! [My roommates took this chance to try out an amazing restaurant, which I’m kind of sad I missed out on!]
Another early morning came and we were TIRED. I put on my new shorts courtesy of Lululemon on Knox-Henderson and instantly felt like I was the cutest little go-getter in all of LA [not true, but it’s the thought that counts and BOY did I need a confidence boost that day in preparation for a big meeting i had that afternoon with Siggi’s]! This outfit was wonderful, though. I loved the colors, navy, pink, black and the back of both tops had cool details that I felt super cool in.
We wanted to try out a breakfast place, so we skipped out on the morning keynote and went to Eggslut. Yes. It’s called Eggslut. And yes, I ordered “The Slut”, an egg-potion of yummy goodness that was served over potatoes in the consistency of grits inside a mason jar. It was so good, but I did have one complaint… I wish it had been bigger so I could’ve kept eating. We arrived at just the right time because once we were done eating, the line wrapped around the corner!
After more morning photoshoots in the streets, we made our way to the conference where we participated in some more AMAZING blogging classes! I learned SO SO SO much on day 2 of BlogFest. It was, probably, the most influential day for me. After the blogging sessions, we were about to do a dynamic workout with resistance bands and metabolic conditioning movements in a fun, class setting led by Gunnar Peterson! We left that workout sweaty and sore, but i was so so happy to have gotten a workout in… It gave me exactly what I needed to make it through the afternoon [and a big, brand-partnership meeting I had been prepping for].
After lunch, we decided to walk around the IDEAWorld Expo. I tried out aerial yoga and I’m now OBSESSED. I need to find a place in Dallas to do it STAT! You get to hang in a comfy little cocoon for the shavasana! Uh…. YES! Plus, it made my core go “Woah!” I feel like if I were to start doing aerial yoga on the regular, I’d have Miley Cyrus abs in no-time! My abs are my weakness… Are there any other “mamas” out there that can give me an amen? They are still kind of mushy and weak, but I’ll take that baby over a six pack any day! The expo was amazing and I got to try out and learn all about the latest and greatest in the fitness and nutrition world!
I left the expo and headed upstairs for the big meeting with Siggi’s. When I got up there, a girl hadn’t shown up for her meeting with Vital Proteins, so I took a meeting with them as well, since I had fallen in love with their product over the course of the weekend. Their protein is collagen-based, which has so many amazing benefits that we currently don’t get enough of in our daily lives. They’ve been back by Whole30 AND I found out that my favorite paleo restaurant in Austin, Picnik, uses Vital Proteins in their buttered coffees! Needless to say, I was thrilled to be able to jump in and have this opportunity to tell them exactly how I can use VP in my daily life! I’d love to use my platform as a way to help others see the benefits of collagen and potentially help others live well in all aspects of life! The meetings [both of them] went really well and I loved getting to know the amazing people behind these amazing brands. That, to me, was the greatest part of BlogFest!
After the expo, we hopped in a Lyft headed to Long Beach, where we had an amazing dinner set up for us at an amazing restaurant called Tavern on 2! This restaurant was featured in Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives on The Food Network and they invited us in to try out their food. By the way… I couldn’t eat majority of the food at BlogFest because I’m gluten free, so I had been living on Kind Bars for the past few days, so I got my hands on a burger as fast as I could! EVERY. SINGLE. THING. WE. ATE. WAS. PHENOMENAL. Y’all… I can’t recommend this place enough. I wish I lived nearby! Here’s what we recommend:
Short Rib Poutine, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, the Duck Tacos, the Mac ‘N Cheese, the Tavern Burger, the S’mores, the Bread Pudding and the Flourless Chocolate Cake! Nom. Nom. Nom.
On the way home, we played a game in the uber called Pick your song [well, I just named it that because it wasn’t really a game… it’s just what we did]. We had spotify in the uber and went in order having each one of us pick an old song we hadn’t heard in a while… I picked “Show Stopping” by Danity Kane and “Work It” by Missy Elliot… our driver was a brand new driver named Nacho. We were his first clients and we were obsessed with him. I think he thought we were nuts, but whatever… WE LOVED NACHO! Nach.. if you’re reading this, we love you.
We decided to try hiking the Hollywood Hills on Saturday morning. I put on my new Nike outfit that made me feel retro-meets-modern-strong and we headed out the door to begin our hike! We made it about 30 minutes into the hike when I started feeling sick. I decided it was best for me to go back to the apartment for a little while. I was lucky enough that Channing and Brittany didn’t want me to go alone, so we split up and let Ginger and Mai Lyn conquer the mountain for us.
We decided to reconvene for lunch on Hollywood boulevard [after trying to eat at this place in West Hollywood that was snobby and mean and wouldn’t let us sit inside the restaurant as we waited for the 15 minutes left until they opened up again… what?! They lost our business, so their loss.] It’s okay, though, because it allowed me the chance to catch up briefly with may college friend, Kendall! We laughed and laughed remembering all of our hilarious memories! We ate lunch at Kitchen24 and we were starving so we indulged in milkshakes, burgers and fried… nom nom. I know that these foods aren’t the healthiest, but sometimes you have to look around you and decide to indulge in the moment. Living healthy is just like everything else. Moderation is key. You don’t want to be a slave to your diet or a slave to indulgence. It’s great to indulge a bit, so long as you give yourself some grace and remember that tomorrow is a new day.
We came home, I took a NAP, and we decided to stay in, pick up some Italian food and order a movie. We ordered the movie, paused it, and headed next door to pick up our food and when we came back, two of our roommates were already asleep on their cot in the living room so our dinner-and-a-movie plans we circumvented… [insert angry emoji here]… Not going to lie, I was disappointed that our last evening together was cut short, but I’m also REALLY glad I went to bed early… I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch my flight to Denver. So… I guess it worked out. [insert smiley face emoji here.]
Overall, BlogFest was a BLAST! I had the best time with these girls! It’s refreshing to be around a group of women who support and encourage each other instead of competing and judging each other. I’m so glad I got to know these women and learn from them, both professionally and personally. Check out their blogs… I know you’ll love them too!
Here are their recaps:
By the way… Most of these pictures were taken by me. Some of them, though, were taken by Mai Lyn of Deep Fried Fit. If they have food in them and the food looks appealing, the photos were taken by Mai Lyn, so she deserves any and all credit for them!