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!
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).
We, of course, stopped for sushi on the way. When in Boulder, you must eat! I think that’s what they always say…
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!!!!
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.
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…
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.
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!
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
Note: This post was sponsored by Chex. They sponsored my attendance to Blend Retreat. All opinions are my own.