Blend Retreat Recap: Part 1

by tinareale on May 8, 2012

Lindsay, Janetha, and Katie did an astounding job putting together an event to truly revolve around the community of the blog world.

These ladies know how it’s done. No cliques. No negativity. No strict schedules. No being cooped up in conference rooms. 100% pure fun and involvement with one another. Allow me to welcome you into the atmosphere…and if you weren’t physically there this year, I sure as heck hope you can make it next year. I know I’ll be there! I’ve already been recruited to do another boot camp with my pal, Lindsay. Winking smile

Friday Evening

I was so stoked Friday afternoon to meet my good Atlanta pals Laura and Heather at the airport. We ended up having seats close together, which helped the time pass by very quickly for the flight. At least for us. Maybe not so much for the poor folks likely annoyed by our jabbering around us. Oh well. We were too excited. 

As soon as we landed, we took a cab and booked it to the retreat. We checked in and then I went to my room to get prettied up as quickly as possible since the Friday evening cocktail party had already started.

After finally meeting some AMAZING pals and socializing for a bit, we all headed in to the dinner.

It started with a glass of chardonnay and a salad…

P1250008 P1250007

…then a chicken, quinoa, and vegetable dish…


…all served alongside the catching up with blog friends, old and new. I spent a good bit of the time chatting with Heather from Heather’s Dish. We have wanted to meet in person for forever and it felt so great to finally have that chance. I’m so happy she was able to make it out for a few of the events since she lives in the area. I wish I had a picture of us together! We’ll just do a picture of the mini cupcakes instead.


Shortly after dinner, most of us headed back to our rooms to get an early start for bed. I roomed with Lindsay’s sister, Katy (such a sweetheart!), and we crashed really quickly.

Saturday Morning

Well, I already let you in on the fun we had at boot camp that morning.

It was actually my first time leading a group that large. How cool! I felt in my element, though, so I wasn’t too nervous. Or maybe it was all those aminos I drank?

The kind and fitness inspired people from FitMixer sponsored the boot camp workout.

Can I just say how cool they all are? I loved them! And their branch chain amino acids mix. I was stoked we got to go home with a full container and make it for myself – even if it did mean getting my bag searched at the airport. I can’t wait to try their other stuff, too.

After the boot camp, we all refueled with some breakfast sponsored by Xagave. They really did it up right and even had the whole set-up decorated!


I got to try Xagave for the first time with a plain Chobani, some dried cherries, and some special local granola that was a lemon blueberry flavor. I adore lemon and blueberry together.


I also had some fruit (mango and blackberries for the win!) and a blueberry muffin that was made with whole wheat flour and Xagave instead of sugar.


Such a good breakfast!

Saturday Afternoon

Not too long after fueling up with breakfast, we set out for the quintessential Colorado event. You simply cannot go to Colorado and not do a hike. At least I think so. Saturday afternoon we did just that.



We were just a teeny little group, no? Winking smile 

The hike itself was about 2 miles to the top and had a lot of very steep climbs an slippery, rocky sections. It felt right up my alley. I LOVE hiking and now I have a rekindled need to do so again pronto with my family.

For this trip, my gal pals Courtney and Alyssa sufficed.


Oh, you girls know how much I love ya!

Even with all the huffing and puffing on the way up, we made it and the views were definitely worth it!



Once we all made it safely back to level ground (thank goodness I didn’t sprain an ankle or something!), we ventured back to the lodge and considered going to the afternoon yoga session. However, once our booties parked it on the couches, we knew that wasn’t happening. The next few hours included nothing more than snacking, laughing, and girl talking it up. A huge perk of Blend – freedom to chill and really get to know each other. I loved it!

This seems like a pretty good stopping point, so stay tuned for tomorrow for part 2! I promise you won’t want to miss it. #crazyphotosalert

Your Turn – Do you like to hike? Ever had agave or branch chain amino acids?


1 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

Sounds like so much fun! I’m having a blast reading through these recaps – that is MY kind of retreat!!! I have to make it next year!

2 lindsay May 8, 2012 at 7:56 am

ditto! what a blessing to read and still feel included. I love that about these women! God did good.

3 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss May 8, 2012 at 8:44 am

youuuu betta!

4 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List May 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

Lindsay and Chelsey – I WILL see you next year (if not sooner!!)

5 Alyssa @ fit and fun in third May 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

This sounds like the PERFECT weekend!! I’m so impressed with all the work that must have gone into it! I’ll definetly be in attendance next year! :)

6 [email protected] May 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

Looks like you had a great trip and awesome weather! Well done on leading the huge class! Oh and blueberries and mango…one of my favourite breakfast combos :)

7 jobo May 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

Wow, that sounds SO SO FUN!!!! I wish I was there! And your eats look absolutely delish. I guess I should eat breakfast, I am drooling ;-) Awesome job leading such a big group, I bet you did great!!!!

8 Lee May 8, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’m kicking myself for not going after reading all these recaps and seeing all these pictures!

Still on for sushi next week? I could possibly get to southern Alpharetta fairly quickly too if we can’t find anything in John’s Creek.

9 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Yes! Definitely still on. And Laura, Heather, & I kept saying you should have been there. We missed ya!

10 Lauren May 8, 2012 at 8:43 am

Reading these fabulous recaps are almost just like being there! (NOT!) Haha, I am definitely planning this one out better next year. Looks like you guys all had such an incredible time.

11 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers May 8, 2012 at 8:43 am

Fun! The hike would be my favorite part – plenty of sunshine and time to chat with the ladies. Then again, who doesn’t love cocktail hour??? ;)

12 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss May 8, 2012 at 8:44 am

…..insert inappropriate comment about my prominent nips.

I just love you.

13 Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life May 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

LOL!!!!!!!!! :-)

14 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm


15 Jess May 8, 2012 at 8:48 am

I’m with Lee on this one — totally kicking myself for not getting my butt to Blend this year! It looks like an AWESOME weekend of fun and bonding with some really awesome bloggers!! I HAVE to go next year!!!! PS love all your pics, the hike and the bootcamp looked awesome!!

16 Nicole May 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

sounds like so much fun! hope I can go next year! :)

17 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

We missed you!!!!

18 Alex @ therunwithin May 8, 2012 at 9:00 am

Oh my gosh those views, I love finding like minded people who enjoy being active as much as I do.

19 Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean May 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

yay! can’t wait for more pics! LOVED meeting one of my biggest blog idols (YOU!!) this weekend :)

20 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

pshaw…I could say the same about meeting you. ;)

21 Mellissa May 8, 2012 at 9:08 am

What a wonderful weekend! I wanted to go so bad but I was traveling for work. Hopefully next year!

22 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

You know what just hit me? In ALL the years we have been online buds we have yet to meet. That’s crazy talk.

23 Mellissa May 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Very crazy, since it has been at least 5 years? Hopefully soon.

24 Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona May 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

Looks like you guys had an awesome time. The food all looks amazing!

I love to hike! I live an hour away from the mountains, so I try to get out there as much as I can during the summer.

25 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) May 8, 2012 at 9:41 am

Sounds like an incredible time Tina! I love that you guys hiked. I wish I could have gone. I LOVE hiking! I also love agave, but I’ve never tried the BCCA. I want to though!

26 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health May 8, 2012 at 9:56 am

Ahhh that sounds like such an amazing time! I really enjoy hiking but sadly there aren’t many areas where I live that you can hike haha. BUT, I am going back to the smoky mountains in June so lots of hiking will be happening :D

27 Michelle May 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

Looks like SO much fun!! Yay for teaching your first group class. You thinking about teaching more?

28 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning May 8, 2012 at 10:11 am

It was SO great meeting you- and I wish I had sought you out earlier so we could have chatted more! I need to make a trip to Atlanta sometime since so many of my favorite bloggers live there. :)
I absolutely LOVED your bootcamp and it gave me so many ideas for workouts- so thank you!!
Oh- and that lemon blueberry granola was incredible. That’s one of my favorite combos too!

29 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

That granola was so good. I wish I had stocked up more. And you so should come to Atlanta. ;)

30 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries May 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

i’ve been loving all these recaps… it makes me wish i was there so badly! but there’s always next year (i hope!). i loooove hiking too! now that we live in utah, we try to take full advantage of it!

31 Caitlin May 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

Last pic is beyond gorgeous, ladies!

32 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

I’m still in shock that it’s over. I feel like I should be having breakfast with everyone and getting ready to go on another hike!

33 Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy May 8, 2012 at 10:57 am

My mouth’s watering and my heart is happy after looking at this post! Jealous of the fun–I need to get to a conference/blogger meet up asap!

34 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness May 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

I have never been to Colorado. It looks like you had a fun time!

35 Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

Awwwww, LOVED reading this! SUCH a fun time this weekend with you – loved all of our chats too :)
Makes me miss you already though :(

36 Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut May 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

I wish I was as speedy as you ladies!! I will blame it on the fact that I wanted to hang back with my preggers blend but really that hike was a killer! I could hear my heart pumping in my ears and had to stop quite a few times.

I’m glad I did it though as I have only hiked once before in my life. It was a great experience and hope to do it again!

37 Heather (Heather's Dish) May 8, 2012 at 11:30 am

I so wish we had done a picture too!!! Seriously, our convo Friday night was a HUGE highlight :)

38 Katie May 8, 2012 at 11:58 am

Fantastic recap, Tina!! I loved, loved, loved meeting you – thank you for coming and making it great!! xoxo

39 Heather @ Better With Veggies May 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I loved those aminos – can’t wait to really give them a try on a tough workout here at home!! That hike was NO JOKE – but I loved getting the HR up and my booty a workout. So much fun! =)

40 tinareale May 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I think my butt is still sore. I didn’t notice it really yesterday but I went to spin this morning and when I sat on the bike seat, I was like…”Hellloooo, glutes”. ;) hehe

41 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’m so bummed I missed this year! I’m definitely going next year. What an awesome event for bloggers doing what they love to do best.

I agree with you – hiking and Colorado go hand in hand! Beautiful!

42 [email protected] May 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Sounds like a great weekend to me!! What fun to finally meet people you only know from the web! Hah :) Love it.

43 Lauren (@poweredbypb) May 8, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Looks like you had a great time! I absolutely love hiking, I always try to get some in whenever we go on trips. We did a lot of hiking when we went to Yosemite last year, and I just fell in love with it. I need to start hiking nearer to home more, but the weather needs to improve for that to happen :P

44 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life May 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

This sounds like it was such a blast! I have always felt like being a newer blogger would make it hard to feel welcomed at these sort of events, but I am happy to see that doesn’t seem like the case! What an amazing experience. Definitely something I would love to attend at some point!

45 Cheryl Mosley May 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I wanna go I wanna go!! How awesome!

46 Paige @ Running Around Normal May 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Sounds like SO much fun. I really hope I’ll be able to make it next year. I would love to take a boot camp class lead by you two awesome ladies :)
Glad you had such a good time, woman!

47 Lisa May 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Beautiful view! And wonderful recap, I love hearing about everyone’s experience at the retreat. I’m hoping I can go next year. It looks like a blast!

48 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes May 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thanks for sharing! Next year is going to be huge because everyone wants to go :)

49 Shannon ~ My Place In The Race May 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Looks like a blast! I love to hike! :D

50 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions May 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Oh my gosh, that seriously looks like SUCH a good time! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of it!

51 Michele @ nycrunningmama May 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

This seriously sounds SO SO SO awesome!! I was hoping to make it this year, but decided to postpone til (hopefully) next year b/c of baby #2…Looking forward to the next installment of the recap!! :)

52 Kat May 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

This looks amazing! Glad you had fun

53 katieDid May 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Looks like such a great day, I hope I can get to a blogging conference or retreat someday. The views are so gorgeous too, wow.

54 Bri Carpenter May 9, 2012 at 1:36 am

Looks like it was an awesome time! My husband lived in Colorado for 6 years growing up and I’d love to visit it with him sometime. Looking forward to pt 2!

55 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama May 9, 2012 at 8:00 am

What a beautiful setting! This looks like an amazing retreat. I’ll have to see if I can make it next year; I think I’d love it.

56 Samantha May 9, 2012 at 11:59 am

Ooh looks like SO MUCH FUN! I love hiking and the mountains!

57 Jessica May 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for the great boot camp on Saturday!! You kicked my butt!! :)

58 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

That hike sure was a challenge but awesome! And you did a great job kicking our butts Saturday morning! :)

59 Ro @ Eat Live Move May 10, 2012 at 1:07 am

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to move! I hope to attend the Blend Retreat next year. It looks so fun and informal.

60 Steph @fitmomtraining May 10, 2012 at 8:52 am

Oh I am green with envy! I was so wanting to go to this event and meet all you amazing blends! Hopefully next year!

(I just loved the tennis ball idea for bootcamp! I need to do something like that for my home workouts to keep them exciting!)

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