A quick FYI for my CT readers – one of my favorite spots for unique cocktails and tasty small plates in the Hartford area, Cuvee, is holding a special third-anniversary party at 7PM on Thursday 8/30 at their location in West Hartford’s Blueback Square. But there is ALSO a special VIP event with complimentary drinks, champagne tastings, apps, and more from 5-7PM. If you want to win a chance to attend, text BUBBLY to 37798! Maybe I’ll see you there!
I’m so glad you guys have been enjoying my HLS ’12 stories so far! When we last left off, I’d had a great Friday evening at the Cocktail Party, but was ready to hit the hay at my usual earlier hour.
I woke up after a bad night’s sleep (I never sleep well in hotels) and was STARVED! Heather and I headed down to breakfast and quickly encountered a problem…nothing vegan, except fruit. Fruit does not a fine breakfast make, so Heather had to spend money at the hotel’s overpriced little shop to buy a KIND bar to add some staying power to her fruit. I felt so badly that she wasn’t able to enjoy a yummy breakfast, and disappointed that HLS hadn’t considered that they may have some vegan attendees. In fact, I’d consider it to be MOST likely at this kind of conference! Heather did a good job of holding her head up high though and we made plans with a bunch of girls to go to Whole Foods for lunch later…something to most definitely look forward to.
Flash fruit photography.
I felt almost guilty that there were in turn so many options for an everythingarian like myself. Wild Harvest did indeed provide a delicious spread incorporating the five finalist recipes from their Breakfast Showdown. The winning recipe was announced as well, and I literally yelped in delight (and got some confused looks) when I saw that my roomie, blend, and fellow sometimes-CT resident Kelly had won!
I’m totally not surprised – after all, her recipe was Greek-inspired (she sends me Greek treats…love her), and Greek is always a WIN to me.
Umm, SOO freaking good, OMG! Definitely my favorite recipe too – Wild Harvest made a good choice!
I sampled all but one of the other recipes – a yogurt parfait, a potato/veggie hash, and maple turkey sausage. Black coffee on the side, le duh. My hunger monster was raging this entire weekend. It was hard to honor it – I am used to a much smaller breakfast. However I ate slowly, tried to enjoy and tune into my body, and gobbled every last bite of my meal below.
And cheered for my friend’s win!
Giant plastic gift card WHAAAT!
In the morning I attended a session on Hosting a Virtual Challenge with Amanda. I didn’t intend on holding any challenges on my blog, but thought I would get good info about “spreading the word” about my blog, what I write about, and me in general. That was certainly true, but I also got inspiration to perhaps do a challenge someday – maybe a more official take on #AmazingMe! Is that something you guys would be interested in?
I also got to spend a lot of time hanging out with REEBOK! It was great to see Kathryn and Johnice again and show them that I was rocking the gear I’d received at the Reebok event I attended in May at their HQ!
Lisa, me, and Heather showing the world that the sport of fitness has arrived!
Kathryn was doing a great job manning the booth and as usual was a multiple-camera-using maestro. She’s clearly used to being around bloggers!
I received Reebok Crossfit socks and have been wearing them for my workouts the last couple of days (not the same pair – ew). They’re so soft and stretchy!
Of course socks are small potatoes compared to the other gift every HLS attendee received – a pair of Reebok RealFlex Fusions!
Me (left) and Heather (right) reppin’ the neutral shoe colors with the bright accents!
I can’t believe how generous Reebok has been to me since I received my first pair of sneakers from them (the black ones pictured above) in May. THANK YOU REEBOK!
My collection 😀
I can also thank them for another chance to try Crossfit! We received black Crossfit headbands, lined up, and listened to the Crossfit coaches explain to us what Crossfit is, why it works, and some of its basic moves.
Me with the lovely Katie – I’m rocking my headband!
We did a 5-minute WOD (Workout of the Day) complete with 7 air squats and 15 jumps AMRAP (as many reps as possible). I didn’t count my reps because it was interfering with counting each squat/jump, but during the WOD my row’s coach came around and showed me how I could get lower if I just pushed my knees out a bit more. REVELATION! I seriously am excited to do squats in my group fitness classes now (I know, did I just say that?).
Photo courtesy of Meg – look at me air squat!
After the WOD I couldn’t help myself – had to personally thank the coaches for their services 😉 and get a private air-squat lesson from AJ!
AJ helping me learn how to do wall squats. Sneaky blend photography!
After Crossfit I hung out with its champion, Rich Froning. He was way shorter than I’d pictured.
The other morning session, Blogging with Brands, was especially fun because it was another chance for me to see Fitfluential CEO Kelly Olexa serve on a panel! And hang with her after 😀
Aunt Kelly, you rock!
Skipping out on conference lunch to visit Whole Foods was so worth it, especially to see how happy it made my love Meg, who doesn’t have Whole Foods back home in Canada.
As usual I filled a big container to the brim with millions of ingredients, including falafel, curry potatoes, sesame tofu, PICKLES, mounds of grilled veg, and way more than I could ever remember.
Good lunch, great friends. Photo from Heather.
After lunch we attended a couple of other sessions, including I Am the Blogger in Your Neighborhood (with Meghann, Clare, and Holly), which reassured me that I am definitely on a good path with my local CT involvement and that it will continue to bring me many opportunities (in fact, I have a special announcement for you all tomorrow that falls along those very lines, dun dun dun…). We also caught the tail end of The Fuzzy Grey Areas of Blogging (which had a great hashtag, #HLS50Shades).
In between those two sessions, Heather and I hit the hotel gym for a 20-minute workout. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t experience anxiety at HLS from being away from my normal workout routine. The Crossfit WOD was way less intense (due to the short length) than I’d pictured, and I just felt like I needed to sweat and get moving. Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between whether or not I get these feelings because I WANT to work out or because I feel like I HAVE to. I completed 20 minutes of varied inclined treadmill running (a little over 2 miles) while watching some kind of SportsCenter-style show (the machine had five channels…) and called it a day. I did feel quite amazing afterward and woke up with sore quads the next day!
After the Chobani dinner that night, I came back rocking a lovely wine buzz. The photo above is courtesy of wine and Coupon Cabin‘s BlogHer sponsor booth.
I woke up after a better night’s sleep feeling completely indecisive over whether or not I should go to the hotel gym for a workout before Heather and I hit the road. I felt as if I should work out and that if I didn’t do it RIGHT THEN, I wouldn’t later when I got home. I got up to get ready, and was dragging ass the whole time. Let’s pack this bag, let’s gather these toiletries. Finally I realized that I didn’t want to go to the hotel gym. I wanted to wait until I got to my home gym later that afternoon and do my beloved sweaty StepMill routine and have an arm day. So I listened to my wants, not my shoulds. And later that day when I had a kickass workout at my home gym, it felt great!
Heather and I had the unfortunate task ahead of us of saying goodbye to all of our friends 🙁 our time together was so short! Meg has promised to come visit CT. She has always wanted to come here apparently! And CT has always wanted to see her visit!
Heather and I visited a Boston cafe, thinking cup, that had been recommended to me on Twitter. We took our heavenly pour-over coffees into a park to enjoy and spotted two bloggers we hadn’t said goodbye to (or really met well) yet – Teri and Holly!
Teri is sooo J. Crew.
Heather and Holly made connections over journalism, and Teri and I bonded over our love for the South (she lives in NC just 20 minutes away from my relatives!) I only wish the four of us could have spent more time together during HLS! After the fortuitous meeting, we departed for a heavenly vegan brunch (but that’s a story for another post) and bid goodbye to Boston…that is, until I go back this Sunday 😛
Have you ever tried Crossfit and/or any Reebok products?
Have you ever been stuck in a situation in which your dietary restrictions were not accommodated?
Are you Whole Foods-deprived?