Monthly Archives: July 2016

BlogFest and Idea World Convention Recap

Hi there friends! Wow, week out in LA was amazing!  I feel like I could write many posts about everything I did and learned, and I might do more posts in the coming days, but for now, I want to share with you my top 10 favorite experiences! These are in no particular order.

10. Sponsors – As part of BlogFest we had AMAZING sponsors & swag this year. Siggi’s, The Watermelon Board, Vital Proteins, GymGo, General Mills, Pure Protein, Silk, La Croix water, Propel, Kelloggs, Gerolsteiner, Xsense, Manitoba Harvest, TRU Falvors, Vega, SweetSpot, Yni, iBand, American Lamb and I am sure I am forgetting someone. Our swag bag was so heavy it was hard to lug around for too long. My roomie and I took them back to our rooms as soon as we were able! Whew!

9. Blog Fest Sessions – I am still absorbing the information that was presented to use over the 2 days of BlogFest. We learned about several different brands and what they look for when they are working with bloggers. Had a session about SnapChat, which I downloaded, but I still have NO idea what I am doing with that. Haha. We also had a really great session about food photography. I can not wait to use the information I received to improve my pictures! I know they need a lot of work!
Two of the most valuable sessions we had were a round-table discussion where I was part of a group that discussed blog design and also a peer review session. I will be implementing some of the information I took in on my blog soon, so be on the look out!

8. Idea World sessions – On Saturday and Sunday we had the opportunity to attend sessions that were part of the Idea World Convention. We had so many to choose from, and it was honestly really hard to decide on what I wanted to go to. I ended up enjoying ¾ of the sessions I attended. I learned about the brain on exercise, more about NASM coaching vs training, more about foam rolling and the benefits, and then had a session with a guy from Houston who opened a gym and also does cooking classes and dinners there. The name sounded really familiar to me, and it turns out one of my friends goes to that gym! Small world.

7. Expo – What an amazing part of the experience. There were hundreds of vendors and I ended up walking away with so many free items that I had to buy an additional suitcase to bring everything home. All of the vendors I talked to were really sweet and passed out great information along with the many samples!

6. Accommodations/weather- The hotel that was closest to the convention and held some of the activities was the JW Marriott at L.A. Live. It was a GORGEOUS hotel and had a beautiful view of LA. I had a fantastic roommate, and we had a blast. The weather was also wonderful. Most of the days it was sunny, mid 70s and a cool breeze. Compared to Houston’s summer weather, it was a nice reprieve.

5. Food- What can I say about the food we had??  Several people I intersected with over the course of the convention mentioned that those of us at blogfest were the best fed people there.  Looking back through my photos I can say that I have to fully agree with that statement.  We were so fortunate to have amazing food provided by our sponsors and some meals given to us by the convention.

4. Outside activities – On Sunday I participated in the ‘Safari’ walk around LA. It ended up being a 5 mile, 4 hour walk with a guide. Ken was very knowledgeable and gave a great tour. He had tons of information about the city and specific buildings and landmarks. The architecture was also really beautiful inside and out.

3. Motivating & inspiring speakers – Idea World gives out awards to different people each year for their contributions to the health and fitness industry. We heard from the winners as well as the selected speaker, former Olympic swimmer, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen. Her story was very inspiring and a reminder to be grateful for each day, and to never let anyone tell us what we can’t do.
Jenna Wolfe also talked to our group about not waiting to do things. There are 2 moments, now, or to late. Very engaging, funny and inspiring talks from very courageous women.

2. Workouts – All I can say is WOW! Doing workouts with Gunner Peterson, Jillian Michaels and the BeachBody Live team were all so different and challenging in their own ways. They defiantly had us all sweating like crazy!

1. Friendships – What makes any trip great? For me it is all about who I am with!  Coming to blogfest I really didn’t know anyone outside their blog, social media account or the SweatPink group!  I was blessed to have an amazing roommate, finally meet some of my favorite bloggers face to face and meet many new faces!  It was fantastic to get to sit down and chat, laugh and share life with these amazing ladies!

This trip exceeded each expectation I had and I can not wait to get to stay in touch with the wonderful people I met and use all the information that I learned!

A bonus to the trip was getting to spend some time with my brother-in-law and his family for his birthday!

And a double bonus, I won an apple sport watch from General Mills Bell Institute!


And in case you missed it, one of my amazing Sweat Pink sisters, Laura, just published a book full of healthy desserts, and they are simply AMAZING!  Check it out here!

I hope you enjoyed a little taste of what I experience while I was in LA!

Be filled with health and joy!

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Foodie Friday…sort of…

Hello friends!  I am back from LA, BlogFest and the Idea World convention!  It was a FANTASTIC experience, and I will be posting a recap very soon.
Since I arrived home we have had no electricity in 1/2 of the house, which has made things a little interesting.  Mostly lack of light and internet.  Haha. Hopefully that will get taken care of today!  My kitchen is also still not fully functional! The kit/dining room currently are in a state of disaster.  That should also change this weekend when I have time to unpack more and get things in order!
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I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our Pinterest interest themed week!

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So this week I don’t really have a new recipe to share with y’all, but do not despair! I do have something amazing to share with you guys!  When I was in LA I had the privilege of meeting one of my Sweat Pink sisters, Laura!  She was kind enough to give me an early release copy of her new book, Sweets in the Raw.

I took one look at the book and new I needed to share it will you all!  I mean, the pictures made me drool just a little 😉

I mean, am I right?? These look amazing right? I can not wait to try each recipe in this book!!

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Awesome info from Laura’s website about the kind of ingredients used for the recipes!

You can pre-order your copy NOW and you will get it when it comes out in September!
(This is not an affiliate link.  I am just sharing an amazing book that I was gifted!)

You can also follow Laura on all her social media accounts!
blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | YouTube |

Do yourself a favor and go order the book! And then let me know what recipes you try and fall in love with!

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! :)
  • Join us next week for some Kitchen Cleanse themed recipes!

Be filled with health and joy!

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Long overdue update! 

Hi friends!

It’s been a bit since I have done a real update. 😳

It has been a really crazy few months. Every time I think things are going to slow down they seem to get even more crazy!
Back in March we started to look at houses again. It’s been a process on and off the last few years. We would look and find a house we liked and then it would sell super quick or life events happened that turned our focus away from house hunting.

This time it finally felt right, and for the most part things fell into place so much better.

When we began to look again in March, we had finally decided on the neighborhood we really wanted to live in. I looked at a bunch of houses with our agent and nothing seemed just right.

Then I saw a house and really liked the floor plan. My agent went to make an appointment but it was all of a sudden not available. I was bummed but knew there would be a better house for us.

My agent did some digging and found out that house was just removed from the market. So we ended up getting a chance to look at it and put in an offer. We got the ball rolling and were soon under contract!

For the next few weeks we did lots of paperwork, had the inspection and then the appraisal done. And then we reached our first real hiccup. The appraisal price was a bit lower than the asking price, and the seller wouldn’t budge. So we decided to walk away from that house. I was again really bummed but knew something would work out.

As it happens, the house across the way had just gone up for sale. And it was the same floor plan, and the correct price! So within 24 hours of walking away from the first home, we were under contract on the second home. Whew! I have to admit that I held my breath a little through the next 6 weeks as we world through all the paperwork and details again for the second house.
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June 24th arrived and we finally were able to close on the house.

Finally homeowners!


June 25th we celebrated our 5th anniversary and our flooring crew came in and ripped almost all of the floors! It looked really strange and I kept asking myself if we were allowed to do this! Haha
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I also had to order our new floors from Canada! (more on these and our other flooring choices soon)
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Since then they have been working on installing the floors, and on the weekends and evenings I have been doing lots of painting and doing other random house projects like putting in new towel bars, a pull out trash can cabinet, cleaning, unpacking, organizing and lots of laundry in our new washer/dryer!
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A few ‘before’ shots
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Guest bath reno (still to come- painting the cabinets)img_2100
Pull out trash can!  BEST part of my new kitchen so far! It was so simple to do! 🙂img_2102
Our closet got some new floor too!img_2101

We moved all our items from our old rent house to the new house on July 2nd. That was not a fun day, but we did it.  Since the floors were not finished everything went into the garage or the dining room!  Whew, we packed a lot in there!

Since pretty much all the floors have been in renovation mode, we have been camping out in the kitchen since it had some space and the floors are staying there (for now).

Of course to add to the already crazy feelings of living in a renovation, I’m heading out to BlogFest today.

Thankfully they finished the floors yesterday! Once I come back from LA, it will be time to move in all our furniture and get major unpacking done 🙂

 

More house pics to come once I get our furniture put in the house 🙂

Be filled with health and joy!

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Cranberry Quinoa Cake

Hello friends!  I feel like I fell off the face of the earth the past 2 weeks!  We have been DEEP in house renovations.  If you follow me in instagram, you have probably seen some of the updates!  Here are a few of my favorite things about the new house so far!

 

 

We received our appliances last Friday afternoon, but I still don’t have a totally functioning kitchen.  Thankfully I was able to use the kitchen at work to whip up a tasty recipe for you all!

I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our new ingredient themed week!

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I have to admit that as much as I love quinoa, I have never actually used quinoa flour before.  I was a little nervous that it was going to make the cake a bit bitter, but it turned out really well!  I adapted this recipe from one that a friend gave me.

Cranberry Quinoa Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 c Quinoa Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup crasins (or any other dried fruit)
  • 1 cup slightly chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4- 2 c applesauce
  • 1 organic egg, beaten
  • 1/2-3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1 c softened grass fed butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375* and oil a 8 x 8 glass baking dish
  2. Place nuts and crasins in a med bowl and mix with 1/3 of the quinoa flour
  3. In a large bowl mix together the remaining quinoa flour, salt, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Add the nut/crasin mix and the applesauce to the large bowl, mix well
  5. Add in the egg, sugar and butter, mix well
  6. Pour mix into the glass baking dish
  7. Bake for 40-50 min, or until a fork comes out of the cake clean
  8. Enjoy!

Side note- these can also be made into muffins, but cook for less time.  I have not experimented with the muffins yet so I don’t have an exact time for them!

 

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! :)
  • Join us next week for some Berry themed recipes!

Be filled with health and joy!

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