I’m Attending Fitbloggin 2014

It’s a weird year that I don’t have a bunch of trips peppered on my calendar by this time.  I even had a co-worker stop by and tell me that they are “disappointed by” my calendar… it’s that empty!

Right now, there’s only one trip that’s really set in stone, and it’s that one trip that I take every year that I can’t possibly miss out on…

Fitbloggin 14 | No Thanks to Cake

This year, I wanted to make sure that I talked about the event early enough that you guys could consider attending.  It’s that good.

So, what is Fitbloggin?

The Fitbloggin conference is hosted by the amazing Roni Noone and is held annual to celebrate men and women committed to fitness, healthy living, and blogging. Roni is a phenomenal woman, who has not only lost weight and changed her life, but she runs an incredible brand and multiple websites including Roni’s Weigh and Green Lite Bites.  Roni and her mighty support team host this year annually and has created this open community of such incredible men and women.

Official Conference Photo (Source)

Official Conference Photo (Source)

I heard about Fitbloggin for the first time while reading Kenlie‘s blog.  Her comments really painted a picture of a family of people with common interests, a learning session, and a wonderfully life-changing experience.

With Kenlie’s recommendation and nudges from my dear blogger friend Hilary, I made plans to attend!  I also had the chance to meet the lovely Ashley, Dawn, and Lauren in person for the first time, marking the beginning of such wonderful friendships.  Having just lost the bulk of my weight, I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to be around like-minded people, folks that blogged their journeys just like me, and people that were succeeding and (at times) struggling, just like me.

Fitbloggin ladies | No Thanks to Cake
I’ve written many recaps of my experiences at Fitbloggin over the years.  You can read all about them below.

McCormick I Heart You  (2012)

WOW: Fitbloggin Workouts (2012)

What I Really Brought Home from Fitbloggin (2012)

Five Days of Fitbloggin Posts (2012)

Fitbloggin Secret Santa Reunion (2012)

Fitbloggin 2013:  Expectations, Travel and the Doughnuts (2013)

WOW: Fitbloggin Fitspiration (2013)

Fitbloggin: The Newness of It All (2013)

Fitbloggin: The Blogs and the People You Should Meet (2013)

Fitbloggin Holiday Brunch (2013)

So… why am I talking about Fitbloggin again?  Well, if you are a blogger, and have means to attend… I really think you should join us in Savannah on June 26-29.  Attending Fitbloggin has really helped me take my blogging to the next level and has helped me to navigate through the crazy process of losing weight.  I come home every year with a renewed focus, introduction to new brands I love, and with fresh bonds with the most amazing people.

Let’s Talk for a Second about These People… Here’s a small glimpse at some of the wonderful bloggers I met in 2013..

Fitbloggin: The People | No Thanks to Cake
And, there are so many more not pictured above… To me, there is nothing more wonderful than being able to send a quick email to my girl Monica to discuss our passion and what we’re doing to get there, to be able to count on the lovely Emily for fashion advice when I need it, to be able to applaud and support (another) Emily for her blogger bravery as she posts her vlogs about overeaters anonymous, and to cheer on Alan‘s amazing feats as he completes his first triathalon.  Let’s not forget being able to meet Hilary and Dawn’s beautiful baby girls last winter…

Fitbloggin Peonies | No Thanks to Cake
While I may have interacted with these amazing bloggers even if I hadn’t met them, the fact that I met them at one of the most impactful events I attend yearly makes the moments that much more spectacular.  These are my people, and I’m so excited to see them this summer in Savannah.

If you are looking to grow your healthy living blog… Consider attending Fitbloggin.

If you are looking to learn more about the business of blogging… Register for Fitbloggin.

If you are ready to meet the most fantastic people who have overcome the very same challenges you are working toward… For pete’s sake, come to Fitbloggin!

To register for the event, click here… and tell Roni that No Thanks to Cake sent ya!

Are YOU coming to Fitbloggin this year??

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A Night on the Red Carpet

When Sunday rolled around, it was Oscar day!!!  I was able to secure us a hotel close to the Belcourt Theatre where we got dressed together before the event.  With an early morning flight, staying downtown was beyond a good idea…

How cool was this view from the hotel?  I’m not at all a sports fan… but I can appreciate a beautiful stadium.

Vanderbilt Stadium | No Thanks to Cake

Something you can note by the picture.  It wasn’t the most beautiful day in Nashville.  A wintry ice storm was brewing, but we didn’t let that stop us!

Which dress did I choose to wear?

When I was deciding which dress to wear, I went with the dress that was most comfortable.  The one that I didn’t feel like I’d have to wear spanx, and the one that was just so incredibly beautiful.

Who was I wearing, you ask?  Badgley Mischka 

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

Yes, for the first time since I took dance classes back in grade school, I wore sequins!  And… I even used fake lashes for the first time.  I’ll definitely be using these again!  So fun!  To prep for the night because I knew I would be showing some skin, I also got a spray tan.  Safe sun FTW!

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

With the cold and rain outside, you’ll see my hair deteriorate as the evening goes on, but there were some curls in the hair when we left the hotel.  

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

We were dressed in a flash and met in the lobby for some cocktails before we headed over to the Belcourt.  We had our own special car service of sorts… Donna’s 17 year old son Zach made sure we arrived at the event safely!

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

It was raining HARD when we arrived, and the Belcourt had made sure that they had men with golf umbrellas to escort us in.  And, as soon as we popped into the tent, the step and repeat was ready for us!

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

We had our picture taken and then worked our way into the event.  Because Donna is on the board for the event, we ended up with fabulous VIP tickets, including lovely prime seating, access to a VIP lounge, and amazing goody bags.

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

A Red Carpet Evening Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

We popped into the VIP lounge to grab a few cocktails and some hors d’ouevres.  It was here we also ran into two of my favorite guys, Doug and Ron.

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

As we were checking out the venue, we had a chance to scope out the entire theater.  Behind the screens is where the VIP lounge was located, and each of the theaters had been transformed into an elegant Oscar viewing party.

A Red Carpet Evening Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

We made our way to our seats as Ellen took the stage, and noted the lovely roses that had been set out for the guests.

A Red Carpet Evening Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

The Oscars were fantastic, and getting to see my friend shine at her favorite event of the year was PRICELESS.

A Red Carpet Evening Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

This was the best night I’ve had in a long time.  It is so fun to dress up and look gorgeous.

A Night on the Red Carpet - Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

I feel like most days, I get caught in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life… it’s fun to take a moment to just be fabulous.  It was the perfect getaway, with the perfect dress, and two of my dearest friends.  Thanks, Donna and Jaede, for sharing this special night with me.  xoxo

A Red Carpet Evening Belcourt Theater Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

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A Fast Weekend in Nashville

It is incredibly hard to believe that I haven’t been home to Nashville in more than a year in a half.  Technology makes it so easy to stay in touch.  I get to text and talk to all my favorite people, all the time…. but to see them was just AWESOME.

There was a flight sale that popped up from Frontier Airlines, add in a special event hosted by my friend Donna… and the weekend was booked!

Side Note: The hard thing about going home is that it is impossible to see everyone. I have so many college friends, work friends, people I’ve met over time that I would have loved to have seen… but there just is never enough time. Next time, I definitely need more days… (and yes, I know I’ve said this before)

I flew out on Friday night after work, arriving incredibly late but getting able to pop in and visit with my friend Angela and her husband.  I spent the night with these awesome (still) newlyweds, and then Ang and I planned for lunch the next day at one of our favorite places.

Rocking Chairs Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

Did you know you can hang out in rocking chairs at Nashville International Airport while waiting for your luggage? Love it…

Last time I was in Nashville, my very favorite restaurant Rumba was in the process of closing forever, but in doing so they transitioned some of their favorite menu items to their sister restaurant.

Jacksons | No Thanks to Cake

I was thrilled to see that Jackson’s is now carrying both the Rumba mojitos as well as the Barros Luco.  Angela and I had to get there and to have our favorite Rumba dishes… just as delish as I remembered them to be!  Nashville peeps – - If you haven’t tried these, go to Jackson’s now!

Jackson's Nashville | No Thanks to Cake

After lunch, I headed across town to catch up with Jaede and Jen.  Both are mothers to adorable little ladies, so while we visited their 2 and 5 year olds busily played together.  So cute!

Jen and Jaede | No Thanks to Cake

As the night went on, Elizabeth and I quickly began to bond over fashion.  She is a five year old that spends most days (regardless of season) in cute dresses, skirts, and TIGHTS!  She’s quite fancy, in the most adorable way.

Accessories | No Thanks to Cake

Throughout the evening, Elizabeth began to decorate us up and make us beautiful.  While I kept asking if her recommendation of another neon hair extension or a new necklace was too much, she insisted it wasn’t… that it was “perfect.”  Oh, to be five and fancy again… 

I really had such a good time this weekend, and I definitely need to make sure I get “home” more often.  Love these ladies and cant wait to visit again!

Ice Storm | No Thanks to Cake

You’ve heard about Friday and Saturday… but Sunday was the fanciest night this girl has had in a long time.  Can’t wait to tell you more about it, and the ice storm that tried to get in the way…  Stay tuned!

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WOW: Yoga with the Dolphins

I don’t think I mentioned it to you guys yet…. but I spent last weekend in LAS VEGAS!  It was my sister-in-law’s birthday, and my brother decided to whisk her away for a weekend in Sin City.

Chandelier Bar Jason and Beth | No Thanks to Cake

Because I’m just a short two hour flight away… they invited me to join them.  I’m always game for a trip to Vegas, and these two are so fun that I thought it would be a great time.

When we were planning where to stay, Jason and Beth chose The Mirage because it had a beautiful pool and it was in the middle of the strip, close to where they wanted to be.

Before this trip, I had never even set foot in the Mirage so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  However, I never would have expected to find what I did on their website….

Yoga with the Dolphins Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

Check out that sign on the bottom right of the wall above… you’re reading it right.    The mirage offers YOGA WITH THE DOLPHINS.  Seriously.

Originally, I had looked to see if there was a gym available for use and found this gem.  I called the hotel the week before and made arrangements to be a part of this very special class.

We met at the spa before the class, and the instructor Willow walked us through the property and to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.

WOW:  Yoga with the Dolphins | No Thanks to Cake

As the group walked back into the habitat area, I was amazed by how beautiful everything was.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

It’s strange to see this type of habitat in Vegas.  After all, it’s usually all glitz and glitter and cocktails… and here I was in this serene pool area with the most beautiful of animals.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

Willow told us a little about the dolphins during our trek to the habitat.  The animals live quite the pampered lifestyle with personal trainers to work them out every day and staff that just adores them.  They also get to swim around a beautiful yoga practice three times a week… including my class this weekend.

When we arrived in the classroom, there were mats and towels set up for everyone to use as well as a bottle of water placed at each station.  Most of us were paying VERY little attention to the setup, as we were surrounded by these beautiful dolphins.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

The room itself had three large windows into the dolphin tanks, and our friends were swimming around us like crazy… saying hello in the windows and being playful with one another.

As the class got started, I had a hard time focusing on the poses as I was fascinated by the dolphins.  Willow warned us at the beginning that she would be offended if we were looking away.

WOW Dolphin Yoga Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

This picture above was actually taken from my mat.  UNBELIEVABLE view… like none other.

The class itself was really good.  It was a little more yoga than what I expected on a Saturday morning in Las Vegas, but it was just the right amount of exertion peppered with sun salutations and asanas, and of course, a few moments spent in “Dolphin” pose.

After class, I felt absolutely refreshed and empowered.

WOW Yoga with the Dolphins Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

I felt empowered because yoga always feeds my soul, and also because I was doing something fantastic for my mind and body while in the most indulgent city in the world.  There’s something empowering about that… it’s all about choice.

WOW Yoga with the Dolphins Mirage | No Thanks to Cake

If you’re in Vegas anytime soon, I HIGHLY recommend this class.  It’s just an amazing experience, one that I don’t know if you’ll have anywhere else.

The class is kept quite small because the room has limited space, and they only hold these sessions Friday-Sunday.  If you’re going to Vegas, call ahead to make sure you reserve your spot. The fee for the class is $50, and it includes an all-day pass to the spa area giving you access to the sauna, steam room, and hot tub area.  Let me assure you… worth every penny!  Such a cool experience.

Have you done any cool workouts while in Vegas?

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