{HLS ’13} Minneapolis, MN!

I can’t believe after a year of planning and excitement, the ’13 Healthy Living Summit is already over! Regardless of how much I’ve done this year,  (travel, job change, races) I feel like it was just yesterday that I entered the HLS ’12 cocktail party knowing not a single soul. All I can say is “wow” what has changed in a year.

It was so great coming back to the summit knowing the planning committee as well as some familiar “blends” (blogger + friends). In particular, Melanie and I got especially close this year. So when I found out HLS was going to be in her home city, I knew I’d need some extra time chillin’ with my twin… In the twin cities. (Too corny?)

I arrived from Boston on Thursday afternoon and was cheerfully greeted by Mel at the airport. After a quick trip to the Mall of America,  we headed to Lake Calhoun for a nice leisurely walk so we could catch up.

Here’s the funny thing about blends… You can be states apart and still know everything about them. From what they made for dinner the night prior to what trips they’ve got booked this year, it’s like you’re constantly updated on their lives! A little jet-lagged and feeling “plane dirty” I was about ready to relax in my comfy clothes and have some din-din. And that we did. I got to meet Mel’s lovely husband Dana (whose fantastic travel agency booked my whole trip to MN!!) and gentle giant of a dog, Moose.

Friday Morning and HLS festivities were in full force! From mini-mingles to fit-mingles, this year was chalk full of activities to keep you meeting new bloggers and brands.

Don’t even think about sitting up in your hotel room alone. Not an option.

I was wicked excited to get to attend the Wild Harvest test kitchen and behind the scenes tour which began first thing Friday morning. We learned about where WH is sold (my fellow New Englanders- Shaws!), what other brands are categorized with WH (Culinary Circle, Everyday Essentials) and SO much more. My favorite part was learning about the sensory lab and how foods are tested for customer satisfaction… Num num Cherry Vanilla Granola anyone?

Is that Tara and Katie I see? 🙂
{Wild Harvest Organics/Naturals, Everyday Essentials & Culinary Circle}
Sensory Lab!
Yummy turkey burger sliders that they made for us!
It was now almost check-in time at the glorious Hilton, Minneapolis, which was ever so kind to all of us healthy living bloggers! But no time to rest and put my feet up, it was now time for our Refuel session and workout with Nancy Clark, RD sponsored by the Got chocolate milk? campaign.

Let me tell you, bustin’ out an Insanity workout in a hotel conference room? Challenging… But definitely gave me some great ideas for body weight exercises. And I may as well have called this the “day of fitness” because to finish off the Friday mini mingles, I was jazzed when asked if I’d  lead my very ownTrendy Trainer fit mingle! I scoped out a nearby park prior to leading the troops, which turned out to be a great idea. Minneapolis is scattered with beautiful greeneries, fountains and sculptures for a casual walk/runs or a simple book reading sesh.

Back to the hotel I went for a quick shower and I before you know it I as Übering myself to a fabulous Thai dinner with some fabulous friends. My first time trying Green Curry… Amazing!! This was really my first chance to breathe, have a glass of wine and enjoy the company of my fellow HLSers.

Thai Green Curry at Kindee Thai. Uh-ma-zing. 
Jen and I 🙂 

I seriously don’t know how I got so lucky. I met Katie and Becky for the first time this and instantly fell in blend love. The three of us and Melanie were roommates this year and saying that we had fun would be a gigantic understatement.

When you join together those that have similar passions, you quickly find connections deeper than you could ever imagine.

It’s like I’d known these girls for years. 

All the one liners, laugh-till-you-cry moments and simple blog support is something I will honestly cherish forever.

Enough with the sap. And on to day 2…


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