About the Venue: The USS Midway

Now, I mentioned that my company calls the competition ROCKSTAR… well, the guitar trophy isn’t the only music-themed part of the event.

Rockstar | No Thanks to Cake
The main event for all attendees is a private concert in a super-cool venue.  Last year, you might remember that I had a chance to attend the Rockstar concert on Alcatraz.  Just when I thought that venue was the ultimate space for a concert… my company reserved the USS Midway.

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
The USS Midway is a World War II naval aircraft carrier that is now situated just off the coast of San Diego.  It serves today as museum and commemorates its service on the Pacific.  But for the night, it was transformed into a rockin’ venue for our private show.  The bands had been announced a few weeks earlier.  I was thrilled to hear that Train was the headliner, and Nico and Vinz were the opening act.

USS Midway | No Thanks to Cake
Like Rockstars, we traveled to the show via yacht.  Now, they had warned us to dress warm for the evening as it could be cool on the water… Unfortunately, San Diego has been having a super hot spell, so these warm clothes weren’t really needed.  (A warning for the sweaty pics that will follow)

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
As we arrived at the Midway, there were a bunch of photo ops that followed.  We took a picture of our entire region together, and this part is crazy… I got a private meet and greet with Train.  (WHAT???)  That was pretty cool, although… I had nothing prepared to say.  So, I simply introduced myself and posed for a quick pic.  Unfortunately, these pics were taken by the professional photog, so I don’t have a copy to share… but if I get a copy, I’ll share them!

The USS Midway museum is full of aircrafts… some of which you can climb in and take pics.  You could also tour the ship, but in the excitement of it all, I was more interested in visiting with my co-workers and rehydrating after the being super hot on the yacht ride!

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
When they took us up to the main flight deck… I was SO impressed with the stage.  After dinner and the announcement of the winners, the fun began.

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

And, the sun started to set, which allowed for me to take the prettiest pics of the planes on the deck!

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake

Nico and Vinz kicked off the show, but before we knew it, it was time for Train.

About the Venue | No Thanks to Cake
The show was so amazing… I’ll tell you more about it shortly. To Be Continued…

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About the Competition: Rockstar

Wow.  As I sit down to write this post, I don’t really know where to begin.

I’m just getting home and back to reality after a whirlwind of a week in California. I know I posted some quick-hit posts about being in Cali and competing… but I’ll tell you all about it today.

So… I work for an amazing company. They do crazy things for their employees sometimes, and they like HUGE SPLASHY recognition programs, specifically sales competitions. This one is such a big deal… that they call it Rockstar.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

I work in sales, so most days you’ll find me consulting with customers about how my products can revolutionize their business in some new and exciting way. So… when I had the opportunity to participate in a contest featuring the way I sell, I jumped right in.  You may remember that I participated in this contest last year from this post (and the four other posts I wrote about the trip I, II, III, and IV).

What I was tasked with doing is preparing 4 customer scenarios and developing a full presentation of products and services to “sell”.  Each scenario was 5-7 minutes, performed with no notes, and scored by a panel of judges on all sorts of specific criteria.  It’s intense to say the least, to pull all this together and still get your day job done.  But so worth it!

Each round of competition, the customers changed… so, I got to prepare 13 of these bad boys. During each round of competition, you’d pick a scenario out of a hat, one of the 4 you’d prepared… and then have 5-7 minutes to show your stuff!

Rockstar | No Thanks to Cake

That’s me with my girl Jade after the regional competition… you’ll see lots of pics of Jade as I recap this trip.  She’s amazing and so much fun!  I wish she lived in Denver!

So, after winning amongst my local team, beating out the remaining people in my department regionally, I along with 12 others got invited to participate with all of the competitors in the West.

This is where it gets splashy and fabulous…

On Tuesday, they flew all the regional winners into Southern California into gorgeous San Diego to compete. We took over the beautiful Loews Coronado Island, as there must have been about 200+ there. If you’ve never been to Coronado Island… wow. It is absolutely lovely.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

My company is very big on making sure we got VIP treatment the entire time, so we stepped off the buses to find the paparazzi ready to take our pics, a step-and-repeat for us to pose in front of, and goody bags to pick up as we register.

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After a poolside cocktail party and a welcome dinner, it was time to get a good night’s sleep for the competition the next day.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

I competed at 9:18am the next day (thanks for all the well wishes, y’all!) and nailed it. It went even better than planned, and I walked out knowing that I’d be moving onto the next round. I love that feeling… when you perform so well, when your preparations pay off. It just feels awesome!

Also awesome, I got this Diet Coke during lunch… coincidence??

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

With a few hours to kill, I got a quick chair massage, visited with co-workers, and waited patiently for the winners to be announced – - and I was so excited when my name was called to take the stage for my region.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

As a finalist, we had more work to be done. We were given another fresh scenario and had an hour to prepare for the next round. That 60 minutes went by completely fast, and before I knew it, I was back on stage… hopeful that I’d remember all the details of what we’d prepared.

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

While my performance was strong, I didn’t end up winning this round… but GOSH! I had so much fun along the way. And, to be named “The Ultimate Mountain Rockstar” for my region was totally enough!  Playing up the whole “Rockstar” theme, the trophy awarded at the end of the night was a guitar signed by the bands who performed… mine was a pretty mint green bass, and I couldn’t be happier!

About the Competition | No Thanks to Cake

Overall, it was an amazing few days… and such an awesome opportunity to showcase my sales skills and to meet our executive team.  I am so appreciative to work for such a fantastic company, to have experienced such a cool event, and to attend the concert that followed that evening. I’ll tell you more about that in future posts…

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Currently: June

It’s that time of the month again!  Let’s catch up on what’s going on “Currently”…

Current Book:

I completely devoured this book last month from Emily Giffin.  And, it even showed up in my PopSugar Must Have box this month!  If you haven’t read it, now’s the time!  Perfect for the beach!

PopSugar Must Have Box | No Thanks to Cake
Current Music:

Prepping for the Lionel Ritchie concert (O-M-G… Amazing show!), I bought Lionel’s Tuskegee album, which is a compilation of duets with major country music stars.  Think Endless Love with Shania and Stuck on You with Darius Rucker…  So good!

Current Guilty Pleasure:

Planning for my trip to Fitbloggin, I did a little too much shopping.  And, I stumbled into Charming Charlie’s.  Seriously, don’t ever go just at that moment when it starts to rain…  you’ll buy way too much.  You’ll have way too much time to look at all their treasures.  You’ll even insist on walking out wearing one of the necklaces you like the most.

Charming Charlies | No Thanks to Cake

Current Nail Color:

This week, I switched my polish.   I’m rocking the Lapis of Luxury… a pretty, pretty periwinkle by Essie.  And, I kinda love it…

Essie Lapis of Luxury | No Thanks to Cake

Current Drink: 

Savignon Blanc… Still obsessed and it goes down like water for some unfortunate reason.  I drank a few glasses at the cute little Truffle Table this week with the ladies.  Loved it.

Sauvignon Blanc | No Thanks to Cake

Current Food:

This chicken.  I could eat it every day for some time and not get sick of it.  And, it’s so pretty plated up.  My next dinner party… yes, this is what we are eating!

Grilled Lime Chicken with Avocado-Corn Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Also…  Pssssst!  I’m a finalist in the Fitbloggin California Avocado Cutting Edge Culinary recipe contest and will find out later today what I win! Will keep you posted…

Current Favorite Show:

True story:  I don’t really like TV.  I think there are so many other things to do rather than watch it… I don’t watch any of the hip shows.  I just watch my old standbys and if I miss them, I really don’t worry too much.

But… there’s talk that me and a few of my gal-pals are going to go see Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Theater in Denver, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!  Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, after all…

Sound of Music Favorite Things | No Thanks to Cake

Current Outfit:

Oh, if I look back at this month and the recent Fitbloggin shopping… there’s a lot of fun dresses that came out of recent trips.  After all, my favorite conference of the year has me traveling to the sweaty surface of the sun… so a girl’s gotta be breezy in some dresses.

Nordstrom Rack | No Thanks to Cake

Dresses  | No Thanks to Cake

Nordstrom Rack:  I didn’t realize you were so dangerous.  Well played.

Bizarre Happening:

I told you earlier that I don’t watch TV… and now, well… I’m confessing that I am SO not a pet person.  But I met this dog, and it’s weird.  I just like her.

French Bulldog | No Thanks to Cake

Her name is Lucy and I spotted her at the Hanuman Festival last weekend… and since then I’ve been running into little French bulldogs everywhere.  Is this a sign??

Current Online Find:

These aren’t new finds for me, but I thought I’d share two of my Fitbloggin faves with you that you need to start reading NOW!  This is just a sneak peek of what’s to come next week when I leave Fitbloggin and begin gushing over the fab people I’ve met.  In the meantime, meet Alyssa and Ashley!

Have you met Alyssa from Double Chin Diary? yet?  Well… she’s agreed to room with me at Fitbloggin this year, and didn’t really expect me to bring the luggage that I did, surely.  Her story (along with her sister April’s) is awesome, inspiring and always teaches me something new, while at the same time making me realize I really should live near the coast.

Double Chin Diaries Alyssa | No Thanks to Cake

Another MUST-READ is Fierce Forward.  If you haven’t met the lovely Ashley yet… watch out, because she is incredibly fierce and fiercely authentic.  Her warm and bright spirit makes her a pleasure to be with… and I love her rocker style.  So hippie chic, and I’m so glad to call her a friend.  I got to see her and new friend Meagan at the Hanuman Festival last weekend, and so excited to be spending time with her again in Savannah!

Fierce Forward | No Thanks to Cake

These are just two of many men and women I’ll be visiting with at Fitbloggin… I’ll share more in my recap!

Current Words of Inspiration:

This simple phrase is one I utter daily.  When I wake up in the morning, I verbalize that I am grateful for things that are yet to happen.  “I’m grateful that I had a great day.”  “I’m grateful that my presentation went well…” etc.

Grateful | No Thanks to Cake

And every day, at the end of the day, I get to smile and appreciate again in reflection how great the day was.  Try it… it works.

Current Mood:

In the words of the man, the artist, the legend, I’m…Easy Like Sunday Morning | No Thanks to Cake

Divider

View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently: May

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

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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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