Hello!! I am back from California, barely got home and I’m getting ready to leave again! My friends have been joking that for the amount of times I have been in Cali this summer I just need to move there…it’s kinda true. At least for the months of July and August, I should have just gotten a temporary rental 😛 In the midst of preparing to leave, I want to share with you all my experience that I had at IDEA World fitness conference and BlogFest with SweatPink!
Let me just start by saying that it was AMAZING – so much more than I could have ever imagined. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go and connect with many other fitness professionals and bloggers.
I was so incredibly blessed to have the MOST awesome roommate – Katie aka SkinnyMinnie. She is a bikini competitor and was on prep the whole time we were in Cali. I bring food with me when I travel, but when you are a bikini competitor, its a whole other level. I have so much admiration for her and her hard work. She has an awesome e-book with recipes that you guys should check out on her blog!
I arrived in Cali on Wednesday. Katie and I actually ended up arriving in LA at the same time! So we were able to get to know each other on the shuttle ride to the hotel/convention center in Anaheim. We had only ever texted before that, so I was kinda nervous about meeting in person, but as soon as we met and started chatting, we really hit it off!
Once we got to the hotel, Katie went to go get a lift in, and I went exploring around the convention center. That place was huge! I checked in for the conference, got a huge goodie bag, and then went back to the room. I was trying to figure out where a grocery store was so that I could stock the huge fridge we had in our hotel room when my college friend Ari came to pick me up. She was in the area that day and we were able to see each other! I was so grateful that I got to see her along with a few other college friends. We had dinner in Downtown Disney (that place is overwhelming)
and Ari so graciously took me to the grocery store. I picked up somethings for Katie and I, and went back to the room to get to sleep as early as possible as the next day was starting early at 6am!
The first day was a lot of fun, but it was also long! It felt like 2 days, but it was only one. I got up to go for a run early at 6am before BlogFest officially started. I am still training for the half-marathon in October and being in California was certainly not an excuse to skip a run. It was a beautiful morning
I met up with some other people who were attending BlogFest while I was running and made some new running friends. I am used to running by myself so I was a little nervous about running with others, but it was so much fun!
This pic is from PavementRunner who organized the group run that morning. He is also the king of selfies!!
After changing my clothes, I got a coffee for Katie and I (we can’t live without coffee, she is a girl after my own heart) and headed over to the convention center for YOGA! It was so amazing to have 2 workouts completed before 8am. LOVED it. After the yoga session, we got started with the learning part of BlogFest and who better to kick it off than LORNA JANE herself!!!
I was dying inside, I could not believe that I was in the same room as this inspiring woman! I was obsessed with her clothing already (check it out HERE) and also love her #movenourishbelieve philosophy. It was so awesome to hear her speak on it LIVE and in person. If you are not familiar with her or her activewear, basically she is like the Lululemon of Australia. I hate to even compare her to Lululemon because the quality and fit of the clothes is so much better, and the person behind the business has a different outlook as well.
After we heard from some other bloggers, we had opening ceremonies where we heard Diana Nyad’s inspiring story as well as the story of Augie Nieto (which made me tear up). Talk about people who #nevergiveup!!! I was reminded during them sharing their stories why I love fitness. Not only does it transform you on the outside, it also transforms you on the inside. Plus the longevity and liveliness that fitness gives you keeps you young! I truly believe that fitness makes me a better wife, better sister and a better friend. I’m in a better mood when I workout on a regular basis, and I have become so much more disciplined.
ANYWAY – back to blogging…. after the very inspiring opening ceremonies, the HUGE expo hall opened! Holy cow was that place overwhelming. I walked in the door and the first booth I saw was Lorna Jane! (surprise surprise) I high-tailed it over there, and did plenty of shopping. I bought a few pieces that I had been eyeing online, and finally was able to see in person! We don’t have a store here in Seattle, so I always had to do all my shopping in California. Well, the girls at the booth told me the Seattle store is going to be opening in a few weeks! I CANNOT WAIT! I will be sure to post more about that here on the blog 😀 I got to meet Lorna, take my picture with her, and even have a conversation with her. I told her how much I admired her and her husband and the business that they have built together. The first time I visited a Lorna Jane store was last November, and I have been in love ever since. I also told her that I really admire the move, nourish, believe philosophy that she shares with the world. I am a #MNB girl at heart and it was so cool to meet her! (and of course the Aussie accent is to die for!)
I hung out at the booth a little bit longer and chatted with some of the girls working. The crazy part is I saw one of girls who helped me in the Lorna Jane store when I was in San Diego a few weeks ago. She remembered me! Crazy small world. I love my fellow MNB girls, and I can’t wait for the Lorna Jane store to open here!
I spent some more time walking around the expo hall, and then returned to sessions with other bloggers to learn all about how to be successful at blogging and share your passion. After that was over, I got to do PiYo with CHALENE JOHNSON herself!
Katie and I were front and center. It was so cool to get to do this workout with her live! For those of you who don’t know, PiYo is one of the workouts that I am certified in for group fitness. To be able to take a class that I am certified in and see how the creator herself cues people and leads the class was amazing. Not to mention it was a killer workout! I haven’t sweat that much doing PiYo in a LONG time. Loved it!
After PiYo (which was the 3rd workout of the day) we headed back to the room to freshen up for the SweatPink happy hour!
At happy hour we got to meet and talk with several big names in the fitness and wellness industry. We also were able to have some fun with a photo booth provided by Propel, and make new friends & network with other bloggers.
After we finished up at happy hour (and yes there really was beer and wine) Katie and I were famished, so we headed over to have dinner at a restaurant at the Hilton. They had a great menu which had lots of healthy options. Katie and I shared a shrimp & avocado cocktail, and I had a shrimp salad for dinner.
It was a great first day, so much more than I ever imagined. I got to meet 2 of my role-models (Chalene and Lorna), get my sweat on with my new #fitfriends that are also bloggers and learn a ton.
Tomorrow I will share with you what the rest of the IDEA experience was like, so stay tuned! You won’t want to miss it!