Hello everyone! I hope your weekends have been amazing. I definitely have some blog reading to catch up on, so you all may just have to tell me what you’ve been up to.
So, I spent my weekend at the Healthy Living Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A lot of firsts for me – first time flying solo, my first blogging conference, my first time meeting or hanging out with bloggers on a wide scale…I’m still trying to digest it all, really. So I figured I would start with Thursday/Friday before a lot of the blogging events, so I can figure out how I felt about the conference as a whole. Agreed? Agreed. Oh, and be weary of a massive photo bomb this week – I made sure to take a ton of pictures.
Thursday – arriving in Minnesota
So, my first solo plane trip went pretty well! I got to the airport in plenty of time, and after a bit of tinkering figured out how to use the check-in computers.
Apparently it’s been a while since I’ve been in an airport, because I had no idea that these existed. I’m behind the times. I got myself a horribly overpriced airport salad and managed to board my plane…the right plane, which I was actually somewhat concerned about.
I was arriving in Minneapolis before my lovely roomie, so I took the time to explore downtown Minneapolis a little bit. A few blocks from the hotel, I stumbled across a little street Farmers Market.
I have to say, walking home from work or whatever and being able to buy fresh produce would be pretty damn awesome. Of course, I also had to check out the Target for some hotel room snacks (which ended up being completely unnecessary by the next day; holy swag, Batman) – outside of which there were Oikos reps handing out free samples. I have to say, finding free Greek yogurt samples is definitely one way to get me to appreciate a city.
and in blueberry, which is one of my favourite flavoured Greek yogurt. Such win.
I headed back to the hotel to relax and get a bit of thesis stuff done while waiting for Amanda to arrive. Can I just say how wonderful this lady is? I adore her so much and I could not have asked for a more fabulous roomie and friend.
Roomie love! I also met Gina at this point, who is just as sweet in person as she is on her blog.
Another first of mine on this trip: my first experience with Chipotle! I hadn’t eaten dinner yet when Amanda arrived, so we wandered over there (after I made my second Target trip of the weekend so we could get breakfast supplies).
I went with a brown rice burrito bowl with chicken, salsa x 2, pinto beans and guacamole. So I understand the blogger hype – this was really, really good. Although to be fair, i would say that about anything covered in guac.
The rest of the night was pretty low-key in the hotel room – needed after a day of travel!
Friday – Swag and Cocktails.
Friday morning, Amanda and I met up with Gina and Kim (another lady that I was happy to meet – and oh goodness, that accent. I could listen to her talk all day!) to register and pick up our swag.
So…the swag bags. They were pretty thorough.
Those things were stuffed.
I’d say they did a pretty good job with swag. There was definitely stuff that I was really excited and happy about (Dark Chocolate Dreams sample pack, all the stuff from Blue Diamond, the Ninja water bottle…) and there was stuff that I don’t really picture myself using or enjoying. But hey, it’s free stuff, right? Even the stuff I won’t use, I’m sure I’ll be able to gift to someone. I still went grocery shopping for some favourites/things that I’ve always wanted to try over the weekend.
And lunch was…more Chipotle!
I went with the salad this time, and ordered Carnitas with sauteed veggies, salsa, and more guac. Still awesome – I actually preferred the carnitas to the chicken. So after trying it twice, I can say that I’m officially hooked. Chipotle, we need more Canadian locations! I think I may need to start a petition…
The lovely ladies I dined with:
Amanda, Gina and Kim.
At this point, we headed back to the hotel for a quick session that talked about different online tools that bloggers can find really helpful. I really liked Katie‘s presentation on PicMonkey – I’ve played around on PicMonkey a little bit. but now I feel like I understand it better.
The rest of the afternoon included some more wandering (we met up with Kim’s roommate Hannah by this point), including a quick stop in Dunns Bros:
And then I picked up some Panera for an easy dinner in the hotel room so we could get ready for the cocktail party. Panera is another one of those chains that I hear about all the time and haven’t had the chance of trying! I went for the You-Pick-Two Turkey Avocado BLT and Autumn Squash Soup.
So while I love roasting squash, I have to say that squash soup is one of my absolute favourite ways to eat it, and that did not disappoint!
After dinner, we headed over to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis for the cocktail party. Although there was a minor snafu when Amanda, Gina and I missed the shuttle and had to cab, we still made our way down to the party.
Cocktail parties are pretty self explanatory, so I will leave you with a barrage of pictures:
Kim, Hannah, myself, Amanda and Gina!
And this post is becoming massive, so I’ll finish my recaps later in the week!
Enjoy your Monday!
<— What’s your usual Chipotle order?
<— Have you ever met up with ‘blends’?
<— What was the last event you got to dress up for? I seriously love having things to wear dresses and heels for.