Blend Retreat 2015 with Chex!

This year, Blend Retreat was so amazing, I had a hard time getting myself together to summarize it. Probably because I was in total denial that it was already over!

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I attended Blend on behalf of Chex gluten free Oatmeal and Granola this year! I was so excited to spread the love. When I got to Colorado, I packed up my Chex-mobile and headed to Blend up in Chautauqua Park, with my trusty sidekick Heather (Kiss My Broccoli).

Chex Oatmeal and Granola

We, of course, stopped for sushi on the way. When in Boulder, you must eat! I think that’s what they always say…

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When we got to Blend, after checking in, I was able to start passing out Chex Oatmeal and Granola! People were the most shocked and excited that Chex has certified gluten free oatmeal now, and that they could find it at their regular grocery stores.

Friday’s big activity was the cocktail party and dinner, sponsored by Sizzlefish (AHmazing smoked salmon was served at dinner), 34-Degrees crackers and Quest Nutrition. I couldn’t have asked for a better plate of food…which is probably why I ate it up and forgot to take a picture. BUT I assure you, the steak was perfectly seared and the roasted Brussels were delish. And the cheese platter during cocktails!!!! 

Cocktail Party - Blend Retreat

Carly, Amanda, Lucy, Heather, myself, Kait, Meghan up front

The best part about Blend is meeting old friends and new (like grown up Girl Scout Camp). I loved being able to lay a big squeeze on my friends I’d met and grown close to since last year.

momentum jewelry - Blend retreat

Heather Blackmon, another love of mine, gave me this inspiring bracelet from Momentum Jewelry!

 

My cabin mates this year were Giselle and Ericka, and then Heather was my bed-mate (snuggle up!) just like last year.

Saturday we woke bright and early and headed to Bootcamp (sponsored by Gnarly Nutrition). Holy smokes, those ladies were worked! Traveling burpees, squat jumps, sprints with pushups on the gravel, crunches…

bootcamp - Blend retreat

Go Heather and Giselle!

Then breakfast! Breakfast on Saturday was sponsored by Love Grown Foods, Justin’s Nut Butters, and Flap Jacked protein pancakes. It was SO good. I always fill my plate and have to try a little of each. The new Carrot Spice Flap Jacked pancakes were totally the bomb. And the sausage with fresh jam. And the banana bread. Plus, Justin himself came to speak to us, which was pretty darn cool.

Breakfast - blend retreat

Breakfast 2 - Blend retreat

Justin's nut butters - Blend Retreat

After breakfast we were off on a 2 hour hike up the mountains! The hike was sponsored by Detour Bar and was so much fun. I ended up keeping pace with Kait for the hike, so I had a chatting buddy the whole way up (check out that hair!). When we finally got to a beautiful viewpoint (the whole thing is beautiful, don’t get me wrong!), we got to take group pics and yoga pics, like last year! Kait blew us all out of the water!

Kait and I go hiking - Blend Retreat

Heather and I go hiking - Blend Retreat

hiking - Blend Retreat

hiking 2 - Blend retreat

 

hiking photo - blend retreat

Kait hiking photo - Blend retreat

group shot - Blend retreat

Heather and I - yoga - Blend Retreat

Kait - yoga - Blend retreat

Post hike was: take hot shower, try to feel feet again, chat endlessly, pass out Chex Oatmeal to excited bloggers, meet and talk to Treats With a Twist readers (such an amazing experience!) go to the Boulder Farmers Market, eat all the samples, buy lots of gluten-free brownies at Whole Foods, make Kait into a Quest mermaid, get ready for dinner, attempt to brush hair…

Kait and I headed to Pearl Street just before dinner. We wandered around, got rained on, and like any good bloggers, popped into both spice shops (Penzy’s and Savory) and sampled all of the gourmet salts by the palm-full.

Kait and I met my oldest, dearest friend Rachel at the Med for dinner. Holy smokes it was AMAZING. It was Mediterranean tapas, so we ordered a TON of small plates and passed them around for hours while chatting. I finally knocked some foods off of my bucket list when we tried mussels AND clams (I’ve never been close enough to fresh sea food to feel confident ordering them!).  The food was amazing, and we ordered 3 desserts to share too. There was a citrus creme brulee, a custard with Greek pastry and saffron-poached pears, and a rich flourless chocolate raspberry torte. It doesn’t get better than that!

The Med - Boulder - Blend Retreat

The Med - Boulder 2 - Blend Retreat

The food was great but the company was best. The three of us talked for hours about work, life, food, business, and everything in between. I think we left with Kait and Rachel turning into new, fast friends. Love that. [favorite part: We tortured the waiter with our endless good humor and Kait left him her number as we left! He was a great sport!]

Kait dropped me back at the cabin and I hit the sheets, then she and Heather went out to paint the town red. (how old am I??)

We woke up Sunday morning and got packing. Basically, we tried to fit as many Quest bars into our luggage as possible. Then we headed to yoga, sponsored by Bhakti chai. Yoga was fun, because I was with my girls and we were gettin zen in the great outdoors, but I could do without the instructor’s endless stream of jokes. To each her own. 

Yoga - Blend Retreat

Then! Breakfast again! This breakfast was sponsored by Baobest Boabab superfruit powder, Barbara’s Cereals, Good Belly and The Epic Seed chia yogurts. Those yogurts were the bomb! I was able to talk to their founder, Jesse, and he told me they’ll come out with a plain flavor soon, so I can bake with it, and I’m so excited about that!

Blend Breakfast Sunday

Then, we had our raffle (more free stuff!), Kait won for being a Quest mermaid, then we packed the car and headed out! It was a last-minute friendship, but I was able to get to know Carly while driving and waiting around the airport, and I’m so happy I did! Heather and I had another amazing year, and I hope I’ll be able to go next year as well.

Blend raffle

Heather, Carly, myself - Blend retreat

Overall, this was an amazing year at Blend. I met and talked to so many bloggers and healthy food companies, grew emotionally, solidified friendships, gave out tons of hugs, and I was able to do that all because of Chex, so I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

Fly away - Blend retreat

 

Note: This post was sponsored by Chex. They sponsored my attendance to Blend Retreat. All opinions are my own. 

Fabulously Fit Friday 63

Happy Friday! I have a fun Fabulously Fit Friday for you today, including a Springtime Leg Torcher workout for you to try! 

Fabulously Fit Friday and a Springtime Leg Torcher Workout // treatswithatwist.com

I’ve started to pick up the intensity of my workouts lately. I have decided that I am going to focus on having awesome legs and strong arms for the summertime. Middle be dammed. Kidding, it’ll just be covered in fabric for the summer, and I am a-okay with that. 

So, I set up a new workout on Wednesday and completed it outside in the blazing heat. I did it one complete time through and then speed-walked 3 miles in the evening to round out my day. Speed-walking is my new cardio love. I’m going to be so pro. Anyways, I woke up Thursday morning with the most satisfyingly sore legs, I knew I’d found a winner!

This workout is a circuit workout. You complete Round 1 as many times over and over without stopping within 7 minutes. When your alarm goes off, stop and pant and drink water for up to 90 seconds, then move on to Round 2. Seven minutes later, you can drop to the ground begging for a popsicle or you can do it all over again, your choice! Just keep moving. Remember, you’re only moving for 7 minutes, so go from one move to the next as seamlessly as you can, working as efficiently as you can while keeping good form. You’ll thank yourself when it’s all over! 

Here it is! Let me know if you try it (you can tag me on Twitter or Instagram or just shoot me a comment or email). 

springtime leg torcher circuit workout // treatswithatwist.com

 

Other than workin it, I’m really looking forward to Blend Retreat! I’m leaving on Wednesday for Colorado to visit my family and friends there, and then the conference starts Friday night! I can’t wait to meet up with my best Blend and have an amazing gals weekend together. I’ll be there representing Chex cereals, which is just amazing! The weekend is full of hiking, yoga, workouts, and getting to know other healthy-living bloggers and I truly cherish that time. I can’t wait! 

After Blend Retreat I have SO many fun and exciting things coming your way! I’m partnering up with Sabra dips and attending an event with them. I’ll bring you several recipes using their dips too over the year. Love! And then some other secret but amazing things too! I’m so excited for you! 

Oh and thank you for all of your entries in my KitchenAid giveaway! The winner via random drawing was Cindy!! 

Note: I am not a professional trainer, I’m just a workout fanatic that knows how to put together a sweaty workout. Use your judgment and be safe. 

Fabulously Fit Friday 62

It’s time for Fabulously Fit Friday!! I can’t wait to share with you my latest health and fitness endeavors (and some random things I’m pretty psyched about too). 

Fabulously Fit Friday 61// treatswithatwist.com

I’m about ready for new shoes! Omg I promise I’m wearing pants!

How have you been?!

I’ve been really all over the place, fitness-wise. Last time we played this game I was ALL about redoing the Bikini Body Guide…weeellllll….

I did for 3 weeks. And then, I hit a major wall. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I hated that feeling! I loved the community, I loved all of the Instagram inspiration! And yet, I just couldn’t do it anymore (mentally, not physically…though some physically).

So, no beating myself up, it was time for a quick change. I transitioned into restorative walks around my block, racking up lap after lap. I also was finally able to get back to my yoga classes!

I hadn’t been to yoga since February! I know! It broke my heart, because I was doing it at home, but there were so many obstacles in my way when it came to getting to class. All of February, we got hit with ice storms. I was sick off and on (my husband and I both got epic sinus infections in February, and we were quite the miserable pair). And then when I wanted to go, sometimes I just couldn’t wake up and sometimes I realized there was going to be a sub and I really didn’t want to go then.

Anyways. Point is, I got back to my Friday morning advanced yoga class and my Monday night all-levels yoga class. And on Wednesday evenings, I still go to Spin!

So, no worries, I was definitely still working out. I also am following the Bikini Series by Tone It Up. It’s one of my favorite events that they do, and it’s totally free and you can do all or some or none of the workouts. I just love their community and love aiming for wonderful goals (100 miles by summer!).

  Fabulously Fit Friday 61// treatswithatwist.com - 2

Ok! Now that you’re updated on my fitness world at the moment, I have a few random wonderfuls to share!

1. Have you seen the stamps at the post office lately?! There are Farmers Market themed ones that I just L-O-V-E and make sending off hand written letters even more delightful. Go get some.

2. Lilly Pulitzer for Target starts on the 19th of this month and I am DYING. I just love the Hamptons prep look that everything is drowning in. I want I want!

3. I finished all of my booking for the Blend Retreat that is coming up in May! I’m so excited!! I went to the retreat last year  and had just the best time. This year I’m attending as a blogger sponsored by Chex gluten-free cereals and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s just going to be the best weekend with tons of friends and networking and it’s in my original home state, Colorado, so I get to go early and see my dear family and friends. Heart = full.

4. Sephora sent me a 15% off coupon. Crap. Let the list begin. I’ve handed them all of my cash and cards. 

5. I’m an emotional wreck lately and need to apologize times a thousand to my husband, who thinks I’m crazy. Like, I got the sweetest gift from our friends, and I was tearing up all over the place. And then I wanted enchiladas for dinner (I’m pretty sure the last time I had enchiladas I was in college…) and I cried. Like…what?!

 

I hope you have a great weekend! Tell me about you favorites lately! What are you doing with this beautiful weather? What random things are you excited (or crying) about?!

 

Did I use enough exclamation points in this one?! Ugh! Sorry! <– again 

Fabulously Fit Friday 61

It’s Fabulously Fit Friday!! Let’s talk fitness, healthy stuffs and the weather finally getting nice enough to expose my ghostly legs to the world.

  Fabulously Fit Friday 60 // treatswithatwist.com

Well I did it! I finished the 12 week Bikini Body Guide! I’m so excited that I did it too!

 

The last week, my motivation suddenly dropped to the floor. I had so much trouble even finishing my workouts. Chanting “last week, last week!” didn’t even help. But, I did it, finished semi-strongly, and I fell like I really accomplished something amazing.

 

My sister-in-law and I decided we’ll just start right over, call it week 13 and do the guide all over again (which I’ve seen some ladies do on IG). I figure I’ll do this either:

  1. all the way to week 24 OR
  2. until the Tone It Up: Bikini Series begins and then I’ll just dive into that

 

I’ve been looking forward to the Bikini Series ever since I did it last summer. I felt SO amazing and motivated while doing it, so I’m ready for that feeling again.

  Fabulously Fit Friday 60 --1 // treatswithatwist.com

Week 13 for me has been a bit of a struggle. I powered through the first workout on Monday, did some HIIT running intervals outside on Tuesday, but then I became quite sick to my stomach on Tuesday night… Wednesday I did just the “arms” portion of the “arms and abs” workout to prevent my stomach from acting up again, then Thursday I walked the dogs for some exercise, and ended up with another gut-wrenching stomach ache on Thursday night (that could have been because I chose to have ice cream for dinner though).

I’m hoping it’s just stress and acid because I’ve been VERY stressed out lately. I figure this weekend I’ll wind down, evaluate my lifestyle and try to solve this and get rid of it.

 

So what have you been doing with the beautiful weather?! Is it beautiful where you are? I was shocked to be able to wear shorts last week and even get “hot” while exercising outside! I’m sure my legs won’t be so scary white for long once my pigment kicks in.

What are your fitness goals at the moment?? 

Fabulously Fit Friday 60

It’s been awhile, but it’s time for Fabulously Fit Friday! I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve been up to for the last three weeks, fitness-wise! 

Fabulously Fit Friday 60 // treatswithatwist.com

[my green protein pancake and coffee breakfast]

So! I’m officially on Week 12 of the Bikini Body Guide starting Monday! I can’t believe it! YES! That is the last week of the program!

Am I ripped and totally sexy now?

Um, no. 

My husband and I had to sit down and have a serious talk. You have to understand, I’m not the type of person to eat crappy delicious food and cookies all night, so it’s really hard when I’m already eating healthy and working out to get results from a program. I also have a lot of hormonal shit at play here. So, yes, it isn’t fair and I’ll never get those results that I dream about. 

But that doesn’t stop me from trying! I’m replanning some of my meal and snack choices, along with some help from my husband with analyzing my habits and choices. And I think I’ll eventually feel like I’ve done all I can do and be happy with that. 

One of the things we talked about was stripping things back to basics. As in, instead of an apple with peanut butter, just eat an apple. Instead of celery with hummus, eat the celery. I get caught up in a lot of extras (toppings, swirls, add ins, dips, etc). I’m a foodie for Pete’s sake! But I like the idea of stripping things back and starting over for awhile. I need to really get back to tasting the basics. 

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Anyways! My days have been filled with lots of varied workouts, Monopoly Junior with my husband in the evenings (while he rolls his eyes and humors me), lots of crafty moments, and begging for sunshine. 

I’ve been trying to incorporate a Tone It Up workout into my day, either right when I get up, or right when I get home from work, because it’s a very short burst of exercise to mix up my day. Also, I’m trying to get in a little yoga (even if it’s just stretching) as often as possible…and I’m trying to decide what to do after next week when the 12 weeks of BBG is officially over. 

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