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Healthy Living Summit Recap #3: The Conference

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healthy living summitAt this time last weekend, I was getting ready to head to Minneapolis for The Healthy Living Summit.  How crazy is it that it has already been a week since this awesome experience?  We’ve talked about the amazing sponsors and swag, and I reviewed all of my seriously delicious Minneapolis eats.  Now…let’s take a look at everything else!

hls 9I left for Minneapolis on Thursday evening and stayed in Des Moines with my brother.  Then I made the four-hour drive from Des Moines to Minneapolis on Friday morning.  Well, it was supposed to be four hours, but it ended up being close to five with horrible road construction (hence the picture above of the miles and miles of stand-still traffic).  It was not a good way to start out the day.  But luckily, things only got better from there!

hls 8I arrived in downtown Minneapolis around 2:00.  I checked into the Hilton, met my fabulous roomie Kim, and checked out the awesome views.  After getting to know one another a bit, Kim and I met up with Amanda, Sam, and Gina.  We walked around downtown and explored the sights.  After a couple of hours, Kim and I headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Kindee Thai and for the HLS cocktail party at the Guthrie Theater.

100_0211A couple of pictures from dinner:

100_0215I sat next to Katie

100_0214…and Kim.  I met so many other awesome bloggers at dinner, too!  Seriously, I loved every single one!

At the cocktail party I also met some fellow Iowans…

hls 2Hi Mollie!  Yes…we were a bit goofy! 😉

…enjoyed drinks and an amazing view of Minneapolis…

hls 1…and collected tons of business cards.  I am so excited to have so many new blogs to check out!

More cocktail party pictures:

100_0217Kim, Sam, Amanda, and Gina

100_0218Kim, Katie, Becky, Melanie, Caroline, and Jen.  Pretty ladies, am I right?

Following the cocktail party, Kim and I went back to the hotel and crashed.  Seriously, we were out by 11:00.  We are such party animals ;).  It was a good thing we went to bed early though, because we had a busy Saturday ahead of us.  Kim started the day with a run on the treadmill, while I walked my 3.00 miles.  Then we headed down to the second floor of the hotel to visit with the sponsors and attend some really great blogging sessions.

100_0220hls 4I attended the following conference sessions: Blogs in Transition: Embracing Your Blog, From Blog to Job: Utilizing Your Personal Blog to Elevate Your Career, The Organized Blogger, Using Your Platform for a Cause: Philanthropy & Blogging, and Blogger and The Brand: A Best Practices Session for Building Relationships.  I enjoyed every session that I went to and took important pieces from each.  A quick run-down of my favorite takeaways include:

1. The importance of being authentic and realistic about blogging, of developing a blogging mission statement, of utilizing plug-ins (I can’t wait to start trying some of these!), of backing up your blog, and of developing a working calendar for blogging.

2. The importance of reaching out to companies/brands that I love and developing strong relationships with a few brands instead of trying to work with every single brand.

3. The total awesomeness of Coffitivity.  I seriously love this.  I have been using it at work since I got back from HLS and I am hooked.

4. The wonderful opportunities that we, as bloggers, have to work with charities and causes that we are passionate about…and how to go about getting started.

5. How to reach out to brands that I am interested in working with, how to develop relationships with these brands, and how to properly review products on my blog.

After the conference sessions, Kim and I went to dinner with Danica, Kelsey, Laura, and Emily at The News Room.

hls news roomPicture courtesy of Emily

And that was it for Saturday night.

The weekend ended on Sunday morning with a 5k run/walk to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

hls 3I loved walking with Becky…

hls 5…and spending my last hour with this amazing group of ladies:

healthy living summit 2Photo courtesy of The Healthy Living Summit

I had a seriously awesome experience at my first #HLS!  And for those of you who are wondering…next year’s Summit is in Madison, WI.

Have a FAB weekend, everyone!  I will be spending my weekend with my daddy, and I cannot wait!

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{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Lisa C. September 20, 2013, 9:06 am
    That does look like tons of fun! Was the conference specifically for healthy living bloggers or just healthy living in general? What a beautiful group of ladies. Thanks for your blog- it's an inspiration in healthy living. Keep it coming!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl September 20, 2013, 9:37 am
      Thanks so much for the kind words...they are SO appreciated!! And no...while a lot of the attendees were bloggers, anyone who is interested in healthy living is welcome!
  • blonde hair blue eyed runner September 20, 2013, 9:17 am
    Wow what an awesome experience, so glad you got to meet such great ladies!!
  • Erin September 20, 2013, 9:44 am
    Looks like you had a wonderful time!!
  • Ang @ Nutty for Life September 20, 2013, 10:08 am
    Love your cocktail party outfit! So cute. Sounds/looks like a great time! Have a good weekend!
  • Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog September 20, 2013, 10:20 am
    This looks like so much fun and you seem like you really learned a lot. I'd love to go to one of these conferences... I'm seriously considering going next year now that you said it's in Madison. I went to undergraduate there and am absolutely in LOVE with the city.
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl September 20, 2013, 2:23 pm
      Oh you should definitely go if you are familiar with the city. I am sure you would have a blast!
  • Lisa September 20, 2013, 10:21 am
    You all look like you had a ton of fun! I love reading the recaps, although I wish I could've attended still! Hopefully we get the chance to meet up in the future! So glad you had a blast at the conference!
  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health September 20, 2013, 10:43 am
    I really want to meet you all the ladies! Hopefully sometime in the future.
  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes September 20, 2013, 10:45 am
    Aww this looks like so much fun! I'd love to do something like that someday.
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness September 20, 2013, 11:04 am
    I hope you have a wonderful weeken with your dad!! It looks like time with the ladies at the conference was fun, traffic not so much!
  • lizziefit September 20, 2013, 11:36 am
    This looks like so much fun! I want to go next year! So this Coffivity thing.. it's just background noise to help productivity?
  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 20, 2013, 12:08 pm
    I love reading these recaps because they seriously help with the withdrawals. It was an awesome weekend, and I can't wait for another chance to meet all the wonderful ladies again.
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats September 20, 2013, 4:44 pm
    Sounds like you had such a great time! Jealous you got to hang out with Kim and Becky, two of my favorite bloggers. One year I hope to make it to this conference :)
  • Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl September 20, 2013, 8:49 pm
    Reliving last weekend through your post makes me miss hanging out with you so much! I wish we lived closer to each other! Have a great weekend with you dad and wish him luck!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl September 20, 2013, 10:55 pm
      I wish we did too!!! Hopefully we will definitely get to hang out again in the near future! And thanks, I will do that! : )
  • Jamie H. September 21, 2013, 5:54 am
    Looks like an inspiring weekend! I attended this conference once and it was amazing!
  • katalysthealth September 21, 2013, 9:11 am
    Looks like such a great weekend! Totally jealous you got to spend it with such awesome ladies
  • Brittany September 21, 2013, 6:03 pm
    AHH I SO WISH I WENT TO THIS!! What a blast!!!! Soooo jealous!
  • Eating 4 Balance September 23, 2013, 1:52 pm
    It's so neat seeing pictures of you all together. It's like-- hey! I recognize her... and her... and her :) Kind of surreal to see a whole bunch of faces that I usually associate separately. Haha. I'm glad you linked to the girls' names so I can check out some new blogs too!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl September 23, 2013, 2:08 pm
      It was WEIRD be around so many bloggers at once! ;) And they are some GREAT girls with awesome blogs, so you should definitely check them out!
  • makingthymeforhealth September 24, 2013, 5:56 pm
    You ladies are all so pretty! I loved reading your recap- I really wish I could have gone. Hopefully next time!

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