This past weekend was hands down one of the best EVER! I attended the inaugural BlogFest at IDEAworld with #sweatpink, which is a health and fitness blogger’s dream. Thursday and Friday were full of sessions for BlogFest, and Saturday and Sunday were for IDEAworld (put on by IDEA Health & Fitness Association). Those who didn’t attend BlogFest spent all four days at IDEAworld.
BlogFest was in Anaheim, Calif., which is only about an hour South of where I live (West Los Angeles). Living so close, I had no excuse not to go! Not that I needed one, because I was all in once I heard about it. I am an ambassador with #sweatpink (Fit Approach), which is a health and fitness blogging/social media community based out of San Francisco, but it is worldwide! I finally got the chance to meet the amazing ladies behind #sweatpink- Jamie, Alyse, and Becky (there are others, but these are the ladies I speak to most). I also got the chance to meet Kelli from IDEA (and the blog Happsters). She and I have exchanged correspondence since I became an IDEA inspired blogger, and I hosted a Sugar Free Summer challenge back in June with IDEAfit! We’ve chatted about my sugar addiction, so it was great meeting her in person!!
I’ll keep my recap short and simple with my highlights of the weekend:
- We learned how to blog about meal prepping from Laura Klein (Organic Authority). I’m not really a food blogger, but I’ve been following Laura on Twitter for quite some time, so it was great getting to hear her speak about her successful blog!
- My good friend Jessica from Healthy = Happy attended the convention from Cleveland, so she and I got to spend the weekend together, which was awesome! She and I talk almost every day, and it’s sort of a funny story. We went to college together in Ohio back in 2008, and we both worked with our college newspaper. We stayed Facebook friends over the years, and I went to her for advice when I started blogging in December. We are ambassadors for a lot of the same blogging communities (like #sweatpink), and now we’re really good friends! So it was awesome having her out here in California.
Jess & I at yoga
- We skipped the opening ceremonies and went to Huntington Beach for a couple hours (Jessica, her boyfriend Mike, and my friend Christiana from Spilling Coffee n Dropping Things, whom I had met that morning when she drove me to Anaheim). We ate at In-n-Out since Jess and Mike had never had it before! I recognize that I’m a health blogger, but come on, it’s In-n-Out haha. No shame.
- At BlogFest, we heard from amazing, professional bloggers like Whitney English (To Live and Diet in LA), Tracy Hollywood (Fleishman Hillard), Kelly Olexa (founder/CEO FitFluential), and Rita Berry (The Blog Genie).
- There was a HUGE expo at the convention, and I had the opportunity to meet with SO many amazing people and try out so many awesome products! I probably spent most my time at the expo. It was a blogger’s dream, because many of the companies are newer and looking for social media exposure, which is where a partnership with a blogger comes in. I am obsessed with everything health and fitness (obviously), so having all these people and products in one place was great!
- We had a #sweatpink networking hour, which was great for meeting our other #sweatpink sisters (and a few brothers!). We got some more free stuff, I got to meet Jared from Subway, and exchanged business cards with other bloggers.
- Saturday, we got to learn some phenomenal blogging tips from Cassey Ho (Blogilates), Ashley Long (Ater Wynne LLP), Jessica Mishrah (Beaming With Health), Katy Widrick (KatyWidrick.com), Julie Fagan (PB Fingers), Gina Harney (Fitnessista), and Monica Olivas (Run, Eat, Repeat).
- Jillian Michaels (Fitness Guru; formerly on The Biggest Loser) gave us some pretty awesome health and fitness tips. I’ll admit, I was never a big Jillian Michaels fan. She always seemed too intense. It definitely taught me to not judge ANYONE, because Jillian Michaels is AWESOME! She is so real, so honest, and I love her philosophy of healthy living. She believes in educating our kids about health, not just telling them what to eat and not eat. And she is hilarious! I really enjoyed her keynote.
- I had the opportunity to take Tara Stiles’ yoga class. Tara teaches at Strala NYC, and she is a pretty famous yoga instructor, so I was really excited! During her class, something really awesome happened: I was laying on my mat chatting with Jess, and Tara came up to me and said, “Hi! I just wanted to give you a hug!” – and she hugged me! In a room of hundreds of people, she randomly hugged me. It was seriously SO awesome haha. I was super star struck, and even more so when Tara retweeted me. 🙂
- We had a BlogFest party which was another networking event. I was able to chat with some bloggers whom I hadn’t met yet, so it was great! Afterward, a bunch of us went to dinner at Fire + Ice in Anaheim. It was super fun!
- Saturday was full of great IDEAworld sessions, but I spent most the day at the expo. Like I mentioned before, I really enjoyed trying new products and chatting with the people behind them!
- I met some awesome ladies at the FXP Fitness booth. FXP Fitness created the first weighted Hula Hoop, and they’re training people to become instructors. I love hula hooping, and I’m pretty good at it. The creater, Niece, and I were hula hooping together, and she showed me some pilates moves. I realized I could add hula hooping to yoga, and make a super fun class out of it! So I decided to become an instructor!! I have training in LA in September, so be on the lookout for my updates! I cannot wait to start teaching. It’s a serious workout! I’ve never been one to love the gym – fitness needs to be fun for me – so I am beyond excited about this!
BlogFest was full of great information and great people, and I have no doubt that I love blogging! I’ve been a writer since the third grade, and I’m happy that I get to write every day. I cannot wait for next year!
Oh, and we got a TON of free stuff!!
I’m sure there are a ton of things I am forgetting to mention, but I’ll leave you with this:
If you’re trying to decide if you want to go to IDEAworld & BlogFest next year, GO! 🙂
- Did you go to IDEAworld or BlogFest this year? What was your favorite part?
- Are you planning on attending next July 2015?