Did you just start singing the Willy Wonka golden ticket song? I know I did! I really need to buy that movie...
So you might have heard if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or follow any other amazing bloggers that will be attending, but Blend Retreat 2013 registration opened up last night! I'm excited to share that I got a ticket!
You might be wondering what all the fuss is about, or why the melodramatic-Blend-changed-my-life posts are necessary, so to explain further, here is a guest post I did last summer after Blend Retreat 2012 for Healthy Living Blogs, in case you need a little more convincing why you should attend this retreat or any other blogging conference for that matter.
PS I met the lovely Katie from Healthy Diva Eats who hosts MIMM or Marvelous in My Monday link-up that actually motivates me to do positive blog posts on Mondays. That is a good thing, friends!
What the HLB Community Means to this Semi-Health Nut
To be honest, for the longest time I didn't want to have anything to do with the words "healthy living blog."
To me that meant that I had everything figured out health-wise and was trying to tell others what to do and how to be healthy. I mean, I don't have it all figured out.
I don't eat healthy all the time.
I don't exercise enough (at all) some weeks.
I eat copious amounts of raw cookie dough.
Who am I to be labeling myself a "healthy living blogger??"
My name is Amanda and I've been blogging at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut for over two years. (eek!) I share my newfound love of running, my obsession with baking cookies, and my two cents on living a well-rounded life.
Then there are those, like me, that are still plugging away at their relatively old blog. I never wanted blogging to be at the center of my universe, but seriously, shouldn't I have made a bigger impact in the world than I have thus far?
I knew I wanted to make a change and grow myself personally. That meant doing something completely out of my comfort zone.
I finally decided to get out from behind my blog (a New Year's resolution) and meet some other "healthy living" bloggers in person at the most spectacular event of my blogging life Blend Retreat 2012. I had no idea how it was going to work or how I was going to get to Boulder, Colorado, but I was excited. I even made business cards (that I ended up leaving at home...dangit).
|Not the most professional...but I had fun making them!|
To a girl from Nebraska, the Denver airport was downright terrifying. I was literally shaking, although the shaky plane ride could have been to blame (I kept saying to myself "I did not die. I can do this."). I made it through the airport, found my bags AND found the shuttle I'd booked, so I figured I could make it through meeting some new people!
I found the other Blend Retreaters and was blown away!
What a feeling it is to be surrounded by people I can relate to! These were all mostly food and fitness bloggers, so right there we had things to talk about. It was also awesome to take a picture of my dinner...and no one thought I was weird!! I could get used to this!
|New friends Sarah, Heather and Katie (roomie!)|
I made real friends at the retreat. I felt like I could be myself and talk about the ups and downs of my food and fitness life. I realized that these ladies weren't perfect, just like me. We are all trying to just figure it out and share our story along the way. I was so dang comfortable there I could barely stand it! (Seriously, I wore a sports bra the entire weekend, ditched my make-up bag, and never did my hair. That, my friends, is comfort.)
|Heather (photo credit!), Christine, Me|
Nope. Not weird.
I've gained a new-found confidence in my blogging.
I've been able to open up more about my struggles, about my faith, and be the real Amanda.
It's not just the Blend Retreat people that I've fallen in love with. That was just a starting point.
I've met so many amazing people through blogs and Twitter. I'm learning so much about the things I'm passionate about and learning to better connect with people.
I decided it was okay to be a part of a community of people who were mostly trying to better themselves and were a little obsessed with the newest food and fitness items to be had. I can deal with that. Scratch that. I want to be a part of that!
What does this Healthy Living Blogger community mean to me?
Learning a whole lot.
Oh! And food samples.(Can I say that?) I absolutely adore the companies that realize bloggers really do have an impact on the world and can influence those reading their blogs.
I recently did my first company sponsored giveaway for Chobani and not only did my readers love it, but the Chobani reps I've worked with are amazing individuals who care about us foodie bloggers. (Ek another label I always wanted to avoid..."foodie.") It also helps me give back to the awesomely supportive readers I have and appreciate so much.
I hope you all appreciate this community of people as much as I have learned to!
And if you are debating on going to a conference or retreat due to the fact that you are nervous about meeting new people, do it. Seriously, if I can do it, YOU can do it! You will not be disappointed. <3
*~Amanda aka Semi-Health Nut~*What does the Healthy Living Blog community mean to you?
Have you gone to a blogging retreat or conference before? What kind of impact did it have on you?
I'd love to connect with you! Check out my Diary of a Semi-Health Nut blog, follow on Twitter, "like" on Facebook, or follow me on Pinterest!
For more about Blend Retreat:
Blend Retreat Kicked my Booty post
WIAW at Blend post
Blend Retreat: Out of my Comfort Zone post
Thanks to Lindsay, Katie and Janetha for making Blend Retreat happen!
|(I cannot for the life of me remember if I took this picture or not..let me know if this is your pic ladies!)|