Welcoming Blends

It’s official…

I’ve been home from Blend Retreat for over 24 hours…

And for the last 26 hours, all I’ve been thinking about is how INCREDIBLE of an experience it was!

I don’t know where to start other than from the beginning…

When slowly, I watched as the clouds that hovered over my little part of Tennessee

Parted and made way for an altogether different terrain

And I had my first view of snow-capped mountains!

Do you see them?

I met up with Jillian and Ashley at the airport and waited for the shuttle to carry us to Chautauqua. I knew from the beginning that I was with “my people” when we started in on a conversation about our significant others eating coveted foodie items without a second thought…that’s right guys….if you are lucky enough to love a foodie, you better ask before swiping up the last few bites of sunflower seed butter for your next sandwich! 😉

The hour and a half van ride flew by and before we knew it, we were pulling up to the Missions House

Our home for the next 2 1/2 days!

I could never say thank you enough to all the people at Chobani for making this weekend possible…nothing but good and nothing short of amazing! 😉

And I couldn’t get over the beauty that surrounded us at Chautauqua!

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by Lindsay, Katie, and Janetha with hugs, smiles, and fitness class waivers! Lol

(Totally ganked this photo from Janetha’s amazing stash of pics on Blend’s FB page)

I was so excited to FINALLY meet Janetha for the first time! I’ve been reading her blog since I got started with KMB back in 2010 and I can’t even begin to explain the feeling I got when she sprung around the corner and greeted me with one of the biggest hugs ever!

I knew from that point that this was going to be a great weekend!

Oh, and the huge bag of tricks they gave us helped too…

In my best Wayne & Garth impression:


Wanna see? Wanna see? Oooooooooof course you do!

But before I allow you to peek inside, let me give you a few details of that bed:

Queen, wooden, cozy, warm.

And now…covered in swag!

It’s like the fit foodie version of a Halloween bucket! 😉

There were so many incredible things stuffed inside, I surprised myself by having enough restraint not to try a bite of everything…well, except for the organic face masks. 😉

I could not believe the amazing generosity of our sponsors!

Or how this fudge literally tasted like birthday cake!

Um, my next birthday…I’ll take a candle in 28 of these babies…
please and thank you!

I was also paired up with my roommate for the weekend, Amanda (who is planning on started a blog in the VERY near future…and if she doesn’t, I will be driving to Denver to hunt her down! Lol!)

We’ll just pretend that I had better foresight and took this photo on the first day of the retreat and not the last, mmmkay?

Over the next couple of hours, everybody got checked in and there were plenty of squealing stereotypical “girl” moments as most of us met each other for the very first time.

As night began to approach it was time to get all dolled up and head to dinner…

But that’s a story I’m going to make you wait for!

Hint: Juicy chicken over quinoa, crisp white wine, and mini cupcakes that make you want to smack yo mama! 

Ohh, the suspense is killing you isn’t it?

Check back tomorrow for a recap of dinner and all my other delicious eats for What I Ate Wednesday…BLEND style!

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51 Responses to Welcoming Blends

  1. I still look at all of the stuff we got and gawk. Then I eat something 😉 It was so good meeting you!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Haha! I know what you mean…my snacks are covered for the next couple of months for sure! I’ve yet to completely unpack my clothes, but you better believe the swag is now lining all my kitchen counters! Lol

      So so good to meet you too! I can’t wait until next year!

  2. Heather, Heather, Heather… awesome time! Was such a blast to finally meet you, chat with you, hike, talk, drink like Mexicans, hang out at the airport. And I totally snagged your swag pic off IG. 😉

    Next year’s Blend 2013 needs to be here now. You were an integral part of a very awesome weekend for me.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Aww, Christine! I can honestly say the same of you! This weekend was beyond anything I anticipated. So so glad to have finally met you…and love that we got to hang out just the two of us at the airport! I can’t wait till next year…I don’t care where it is, but I’m definitely going to be there!

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  4. I was just talking to someone this weekend about how blogging really does help you connect with people that are similar to you! I’m so glad you had a great time! Dang that was a nice bag of loot!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      My family, friends, and coworkers don’t really get it, but it really does! I think the main thing that people can’t get over is that in the beginning, we only know each other online…but I mean c’mon, how many years now have people been finding their husband/wife on the internet? It’s really no different!

  5. Ahh this post is making me so jealous that I couldn’t go! 🙁 It must have been amazing to meet so many bloggers. And what an awesome bag of swag! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the weekend.

  6. Girl! You are fabulous! Could not have asked for a better first new person upon arriving. I miss you already. Let’s meet up again soon. Maybe head down to the ATL (dirty south) and visit the other Heather (you guys need nicknames?) and Laura.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I’m so glad to not only to just have met you, but also just being able to chat and get to know each other over the entire weekend. I meant to send you a message on Monday…how was the redeye flight/work the next day? Too bad you couldn’t have had the day to sleep in and eat swag! 😉

  7. I am so glad Blend was so amazing! I am hoping to go next year. Glad you had an amazing time – can’t wait to hear about the rest of it.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh girl, you HAVE to go! It was an absolute blast! Everyone was so casual and relaxed…no stress of judgement or people glued to Twitter the entire time…it was the perfect way to meet other bloggers!

  8. I’m missing you A LOT!!!!

  9. Amanda says:

    So SO good to meet you and get to know you this past weekend! You were an awesome roomie and made me feel so welcome 🙂

    I don’t think I would mind you driving to Denver and hunting me down, but rest assured I’ll have my blog started ASAP. Can’t wait till Blend 2013!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Ditto! You were the BEST roomie ever! I would LOVE to make a trip back to Colorado before next year’s Blend…I will definitely give you a shout! And I can’t wait to check out your blog…you better let me know as soon as that first post goes up!

  10. Girl, it was SO good to get to meet you this weekend! I hope that cute picture you took of us on the last day makes it at some point because I want to snatch it! 😉

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Of course! I HAVE to share the picture of my curly headed twin!…although you make it look a lot better than I do! 😉

      I had so much fun talking with you this weekend! You BETTER be there next year!

  11. Heather, it was so nice meeting you this weekend and chatting on the ride there!! Although I’m sure the people in the super shuttle would very much disagree with that. lol… “Yeah, I hide food from my boyfriend”…

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I know! Those people probably thought we had some sort of problem and should be on the set of “Hoarders”! Haha! But I am SO glad we got that time to get to know each other before the hustle and bustle of the weekend started. You and Ashley are so great and I can’t wait to see you both again!

  12. Ashley says:

    Cute first recap!! It was seriously fabulous to finally meet you! Hope you’re having a great week so far. Can’t wait to check out the rest of your recaps.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thanks girl! And yes, so SO glad to have finally met you…I have to admit I was a little star struck at first when you came up to me at Rio. I’ve been following your blog for so long, but I never thought I’d get the chance to actually meet you in person! 🙂

  13. lynne says:

    Such a cute first recap! The fudge was the first thing I broke into – HOLY YUM! Why wait for a birthday?! I put that lady’s card right at eye level on my fridge so I can get in touch with her.

    Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you Lynne! And seriously, if I was a local, I’d get myself in trouble with that fudge! Haha!

      I wish we had gotten more time to chat over the weekend…I’ll have to check out your posts and see if I missed anything! 😉

  14. Katie says:

    You are wonderful! I can’t wait to read the rest of the weekend recaps!

    (also your swag collage is unbelievably good. I may swipe it from you.)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you, Katie! I couldn’t believe how long it took me to go through all the pictures…and that was just of the food! Lol

      Feel free to swipe away! 😉

  15. Missy says:

    Reading all these Blend recaps is great – I would have love to have gone but honestly think I would have felt lost with so many people and I’m such a “nobody” in the blogosphere. Lol, I’m always the square peg trying to fit in a round hole! But the sponsors were phenomenal and this blew any Healthy living summit or food buzz festival out of the water!
    I imagine it will take you quite some time to stop constantly thinking about it. Such great bonds, memories and friendships is just priceless!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh Missy, it wasn’t like that at ALL! You would’ve fit in PERFECTLY! There were so many different people there…consistent bloggers, inconsistent bloggers, non-bloggers, and so many different ages. It was amazing how well we all meshed together…brought together by the love of food and fitness. 😉 Please tell me you’ll consider going next year! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

  16. janetha @ meals & moves says:

    you make me smile real big

  17. Omg I heart this recap!!! You have a new blog reader/stalker my friend!
    Isn’t it crazy the amount of swag we got?? I had to check a second bag on the way back haha

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Haha! I know, me too! And luckily I made it home with only a couple of smooshed bags of Popchips! 😉

      So glad we got a chance to chat it up this weekend! You are a beautiful person inside and out! 🙂

  18. I love the collage of swag photo you made – awesome!! It so fantastic to hang out with another Heather, even if I always had to check to see if they were calling you or me. 😉

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thanks! I’m still floored by the amount of “loot” we got/ate this weekend! I’m surprised I haven’t turned into a bar or bag of Popchips by now!

      And next year, I’ll just tell everyone to call me Broccoli to help with the confusion! 😉

  19. Reading all the blend recaps is so awesome- it makes me want to go so bad but being so much younger than anyone else I feel kind of un-relatable. It looks like you had an awesome time though and I can’t wait to see your eats!

  20. Did I squeal when we met?

    I’m pretty sure that happened.

    (And if it didn’t…it should have.)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      You did…I did…actually, I’m surprised we didn’t grab each other by the shoulders and start jumping up and down! Haha! I canNOT even begin to say how exciting it was to finally meet you in person. You are EXACTLY how I thought you would be and I love that!

      Now, when are we getting an East coast edition of this weekend?! I can’t wait till next year to see you again!

  21. lindsay says:

    i don’t think i will ever get sick of reading these recaps, amazing!! just wish i was there!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      We all wished you were there too…you definitely were present in spirit! And I’m so jealous of the person who won the healthy bites in the raffle on Sunday!

  22. Lizzi says:

    Jealous! This looks amazing and awesome and like a dream come true! ESPECIALLY those bags of goodies… oh babyyyy.

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  24. I want to be back there too! And have more of that fudge. Dang it was amazing.

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