It’s Tuesday morning and I’m sitting here at the kitchen table, watching two kids drink the leftover milk from their cereal bowls and listening to Porter poop.  I’ll give him a few more minutes and then change his diaper.  There’s a science to it all.  A poop science.

I couldn’t even open my computer the last two days.  The thought just exhausted me.  So instead I spent the time catching up on sleep (we got home around 4:45am Monday morning!!!), laundry, texts with Lauren and Janetha and, of course, listening to all the stories from the grand time Henry and Clara had with their grandparents.  They want us to run off and go to more of these Blend things.

Which brings me to this past weekend.

Blend 2014.

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(I’ll write about Blend for the next few days as if you have no clue what the retreat is and as if you haven’t read any other recaps.  Basically, I’ll write as if you’re my mother reading.  Hi mama!)

What IS Blend??

The original concept for Blend came out of my desire to meet two bloggers who I LOVED (still love): Janetha and Katie.  The first thoughts were that we would meet up for a girls weekend and that quickly escalated into what it is now – a healthy living bloggers retreat where 100+ women can travel to a fun location, eat together, work out together and just have fellowship.  That’s what Blend is – online friends who pay money to give bear hugs out to other online friends.  Ha.  I love it.

Three years later, Blend is prospering, lives have been changed (seriously, just ask some of the people who moved to Colorado after the first year), Lauren is now a co-partner and we’re already planning the 2015 retreat (May 15-17th in Boulder, CO).  It’s amazing how much God has blessed this event.

Planning a Retreat

Before I get into the actual 2014 weekend (come back tomorrow), I first need to say that Blend is a partnership.  This means that I have other people helping me behind the scenes and that we all own the company together.  Yes, I had the original idea, but that idea wouldn’t have left the ground had Janetha and Katie not agreed to come onboard.  I could have NEVER done this alone.

Last year, Katie found out she was pregnant and decided to pass the baton to Lauren.  We all mesh really well, pulling off each other’s strengths and filling in the gaps of weaknesses.  A true team – it’s been that way from the start, just plus or minus some people.

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Planning a weekend retreat is hard work.  SO much goes into the logistics…I’m not sure people realize!  To plan, you must:

  • Decide on a location
  • Decide on menus
  • Negotiate terms/fees with location
  • Acquire sponsors
  • Negotiate terms/fees with sponsors
  • Promote sponsors via posts/social media/to your attendees
  • Set an agenda and create an event that people want to attend
  • Make attendees happy
  • Make sponsors happy
  • Acquire swag
  • Graphic design (t-shirts, logos, banners, website)

Plus so much more…and we haven’t even talked about the actual weekend yet!  I’d say I put about an hour of work in EACH DAY for the past 4-5 months just for Blend.  Hundreds of emails and probably a thousand texts.  There were times when I questioned whether we’d make enough money to cover expenses, times when I questioned whether I handled a company correctly and times when I wanted to slam my computer shut and walk far, far away.  Oh, and on top of all this, I was usually nauseous from the pregnancy or, as was the case for the past two months, I had a newborn in my arms.  My co-partners had their own sets of handicaps: Janetha was (is) pregnant and Lauren changed jobs and just had ACL surgery.

Challenging….planning this year’s retreat was particularly challenging.

But we did it!!!!

And I gotta say…we did a damn good job.

I post about all this not to toot my own horn (or Janetha’s or Lauren’s) but to set the stage for the PHOTO recaps that I’ll share over the next few days.  Blend 2014 was one for the books and it took a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make it that way.  The feeling that comes from accomplishing something GRAND, something that brings people together in a special way…it’s like no other.

I’m just lucky to be a part.

QUESTION:  Have you ever planned an event?  Have you attended a blogging conference?

splendid…lindsay

  1. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says:

    You all are amazing. You put together one of the best and most unique events that I ever have attended. There’s definitely some sort of secret sauce :-) I wish that I could have come this year but will have to work on attending next year!

  2. Jayne @ www.busybarista.wordpress.com says:

    Wow simply cannot thank you enough for your hard work, this weekend was really simply stated one of the best I have had in an incredibly long time period. I absolutely loved the people first and foremost but the location, the events, the swag, the sponsors, the food. It was all to die for! Cannot wait to come back next year!

  3. Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift says:

    Event planning can be insane! I did first-year experience (the New Student Orientation programs) for 2 years, and it was fun and crazy and SO rewarding. Looks like yall did a fantastic job, since Blend was clearly a huge hit…wish I could have been there, but here’s hoping for 2015! :)

  4. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says:

    Lindsay, you gals did such an amazing job with everything this year! I kept wondering how you all were doing it with your various distractions/changes. ;) I felt so blessed to be able to be there. Thank YOU for all of your time and energy that you put into Blend to make it such a memorable weekend. xoxo

  5. Beth @ The Small Victories says:

    Thank you so much for putting on such a fantastic weekend. (Lauren and Janetha too!) I had such a great time and met some girls I know I’ll be in touch with long after the weekend, and knowing these ladies makes reading everyone’s blogs in the morning that much more meaningful. I hope you get to enjoy some well-deserved time off soon!

  6. Nicole @ Fitful Focus says:

    I can’t thank you ladies enough for the incredible weekend! This was my first blogger conference/retreat ever and I had the time of my life! Thanks to you all, I discovered so many new healthy brands, added a bazillion new blogs to my feed, and most importantly, have made friendships that will last a life time! Can’t wait for next year!!

  7. Stephanie says:

    This past weekend was my 2nd time attending Blend Retreat, and I had an amazing time! Thank you for putting in so much work to plan a wonderful “blogger/friend girl’s weekend”. None of this would have been possible without you, Lauren, and Janetha. I used to plan band tours, which I’m sure is not really the same thing. But I still understand that the logistics of planning things can be extremely stressful. Kudos to all your hard work and dedication to make this event what it is. I will definitely be seeing you in Boulder next May.

  8. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    Lindsay, thank you SO MUCH for all you do to make this happen! I can’t even imagine putting something like this together, and you did do a damn good job! So great to meet you, and I can’t wait for next year!!

  9. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More says:

    I appreciate every hour, minute and second that you put in to make this weekend happen! I loved feeling like I could at least (kind of) give back this year by helping you guys on Thursday. I know you all work so hard to make it happen, the least I can do is unpack some boxes and pack some swag bags! love you!!

  10. Kanoelani says:

    I loved Blend & I want to thank you for that! You, Lauren & Janetha are all amazing women! I’m a non blogger but never felt less than for not blogging I always felt like I belonged & I loved that feeling. I’m coming back for sure. And many of the bloggers have been encouraging me to blog myself & I am thinking & praying about doing it bc b4 Blend I was contemplating it. Thanks friend Blend was amazing! :)

  11. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) says:

    Yes and yes to both of those questions! Though I was so sad to not be able to attend this year, I am so glad you all had a great time and that the event was perfect for all. Can’t wait to see the pictures and I’m definitely hoping to be able to attend next year! xoxo

  12. lindsay says:

    you know i know how much work goes into these things! I race planned for years. It’s HARD! but you my friend are amazing and we are so blessed to know you. THANK YOU ALL!

  13. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    This was my very first year at Blend, and just looking around, I could see there was a tremendous amount of work, effort, and love involved. Thank you so much for doing it, along with your team. I very much appreciate it, and I really enjoyed meeting you all. Mad love, big props, and public bananas to you.

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