Healthy Living Summit 2013

Sept 16, 2013

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend! I had a really amazing time at the Healthy Living Summit this weekend, but it really flew by! I wish I was back there with all my blends (blogger-friends) right now!

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Instead of doing a couple days of re-caps I’m going to try and cram all the fun stuff from HLS into one blog post for you all, and hopefully, tomorrow share some of the important things I learned from the sessions on Saturday.

This year, the Healthy Living Summit was held at the Hilton Minneapolis. I flew out of Chicago on a 7 am flight and by 9 am I was getting off the light rail and walking to the hotel. To save a little money (and have way more fun) I found a group on the HLS Facebook group looking for a 4th roommate and joined in with them. Best. Decision. Ever.

My roommates were Ari, Nicole and Kristi and we got along SO well. They all knew each other already, but I felt like I just clicked in their group and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Hoping to go visit them in Phoenix soon!

After meeting my roommates, walking a bit around downtown, picking up my “swag bag” and putting my stuff away in the room it was about time for my PicMonkey presentation! I was a little nervous, but I knew I could talk about PicMonkey forever so I was ready to go. I’ll do a post next week going over what I said in my presentation for everyone who couldn’t be there (and all of my readers!) but I think it went pretty well!

After my presentation, I met up with my roommates and Emily and we headed out to try Fulton’s Brewery, which was about a mile walk from the hotel.

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The brewery itself was really cool, and they let us taste all the beers before making our decision. They even had a drink where they combined ginger ale with beer and it was AMAZING.

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Since the brewery doesn’t serve food, they schedule food trucks to be outside so you can grab some food as well. Nicole got us all some nachos to share and we had a great time chatting.

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Once we got back we all changed for our dinner “mini-mingles.” One of the new things at HLS this year was the inclusion of a lot more mini-mingles, which you signed up for. I signed up for dinner at Spoonriver with a big group of bloggers so I could get to know some more people. I didn’t get any pictures… but I had a great time getting to know some bloggers that I’d never met before and eating some AMAZING food. Seriously. If you’re ever in Minneapolis, I highly recommend eating at Spoonriver.

Since the restaurant was right next to the cocktail party, we headed over and were amazed at the location. This year the cocktail party was held at the Gutherie Museum, and the view from the balcony was gorgeous! My photos didn’t turn out well but here’s one of just a little bit of the view:

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At the cocktail party they had a game going where you were given a card when you walked in and you had to find your match. My card said “Oprah” and after a little searching I found my Gayle: Emily from More Than Just Dessert. I loved the idea and it was a great way to meet someone new, and get everyone talking to one another. After the cocktail party and some dessert at the hotel bar, we all hit the sack for a long Saturday.

Saturday morning I woke up a little before breakfast and headed out on a 30 minute walk around Minneapolis to wake up. The downtown area seemed pretty small and therefore very walkable, which is nice. It was also SO weird to me that there were no people around. I noticed this on Friday as well, but the sidewalks seemed empty to me compared to Chicago! I guess I’m just too used to the big city?

Breakfast was back at the hotel and then it was on to all of the sessions for the day! I won’t be re-capping them all, but if you head over the The Healthy Living Summit website, you’ll find the agenda, some “live blogs” of the sessions and hopefully some re-caps coming up soon!

Once the day was over, my roommates, Kammie and I headed out to dinner at The Local, which was a really cool Irish pub restaurant that apparently, for four years running, has poured the largest volume of Jameson Irish Whiskey in the world! Pretty cool. We all got drinks and dinner and had a great time in our little “private room.”

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After dinner we headed over to Hell’s Kitchen to try out some of their signature cocktails since they have house-infused alcohols. I invented my own drink (couldn’t decide) and got a White Russian made with cinnamon vodka and vanilla vodka. It was pretty good, and we had a great time chatting with our group, and a bunch of other bloggers who met up with us there.

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So good to see Emily! (photo courtesy of Emily!)

Sunday morning we were up and ready for the 5K “Fun Run” (aka walk/run) and headed to the Sculpture Gardens to check it out and, in true blogger style, get some good pictures. I didn’t get many on my own phone so I’ll have to share any I steal from friends on my Thursday Thoughts post.

I did, however, get a shot with Emily again! Haha thanks for being great about photo-sharing, Emily!

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After the fun “run” we headed down to breakfast where we ate, talked with as many people as we could, and eventually had to say way too many goodbyes. We realized at breakfast how many people we wish we’d had more time talk with with over the weekend, 2 days just isn’t enough!

I spent the rest of the morning packing, talking with my roommates, getting some froyo, and then off to the light-rail which took me to the airport! I hated saying goodbye and wish the weekend could have gone on forever. I had such a great time at the Healthy Living Summit this year and I’m so thankful I decided to go, and that I could!

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to all the bloggers I met this weekend and any of you that came up to me and said you love reading Peace Love & Oats. I may not be great at taking compliments, but they really meant the world to me. And of course a HUGE thank you to Heather and Julie for all their hard work putting on the summit this year!