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*This post is sponsored by Balance Bar.

Another successful Blend Retreat — and even better this year! I’m SO glad I had the opportunity to attend Blend this year again on behalf of Balance Bar. The retreat itself really radiates balance in that it’s not overwhelming and offers everyone time to do and enjoy what they really want.

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I actually feel like I got to know many more people this year than last year — and have some really great conversations with some amazing women.

Sometimes, you just need hours on end to connect with people in order to really experience quality moments and conversations. Socializing is a big part of Blend and even though, I always get a little nervous about lots of that — it turned out to be just what I needed.

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I arrived really early in Denver on Friday but luckily was picking a few girls who needed a ride so I had instant friends for the day! Honestly, that’s just how this thing is — friends in a hot second!

We drove into Boulder and had lunch at The Kitchen – and it was pretty amazing. I had the portabello hummus sandwhich with fried gouda cheese. To die for!

We were finally able to check in around 3pm and kick the retreat off with a trail run/hike ride behind our cabins at Chatauqua — which was just gorgeous.

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Friday night, we had a big dinner sponsored by Quest Nutrition — and everything tasted amazing from the roasted brussel sprouts to the polenta and chicken. There were also delicious samples of the best salmon I’ve ever had in my life from Sizzlefish (I could’ve eaten a whole plateful!)

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It was also a chance to get dressed up and have a fun cocktail party before dinner. Had a good time getting to know my roommates Melissa, Heather and Giselle!

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We were up early Saturday for boot camp with Kindal, who was representing Gnarly. She really pushed the group, especially after the last night’s cocktails AND the high altitude in Denver for those not used to it. I caught this video on Instagram:

A video posted by Ericka Andersen (@ericka81) on

After working up a sweat (and it was pretty cool in Denver), we had time to chill out and get ready for more fitness — a two hour hike! It was a lot for one morning so everyone was throwing back the water and of course refueling with delicious Balance Bars that I was handing out!!

Thankfully, the weather report was wrong and we had a TON of sunshine! It was actually the perfect day for a hike and felt awesome. Lots of uphill (obviously) and gorgeous scenery to take in.

Giselle (who I met at Fitbloggin ’13) and I mostly stayed together and chatted a lot about all kinds of stuff. It’s kind of like a long run — you will get to know someone really well! And that’s kind of what this weekend was about so I was glad.

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Saturday afternoon we ventured down to the Boulder Farmers Market (AMAZING!) — and I realized how sad the ones I usually go to are. I had the best samples of my life!

Saturday night, a big group of us went down to Upslope Brewery for a music festival, then to Aji downtown for dinner. The food was awesome and we had a great time getting to know each other — but man was I ready for bed that night!


Sunday morning, I had to venture out to Starbucks and find some wifi before heading back for yoga with Bhakti Chai (which I LOVED, by the way!) at 8am. It was a really great session outside in front of the mountains. The weather held up, thankfully, and it was just what I needed to start the day.

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We then had another amazing breakfast and I got to meet even more people I hadn’t yet over the weekend. There were only about 100 people at Blend but it’s amazing how hard it was to meeting every single person.

I was glad to chat with Lindsay (founder of Blend!) for a bit, as she’s always crazy busy running around planning (plus her whole family was there!). We also got to hear from Justin (THE Justin) of Justin’s nut butter — so cool! Here’s a shot of him with Blend co-founders Lindsay, Janeetha and Lauren:

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After breakfast, it was time for the closing ceremony — where everyone is entered into a drawing and wins some free stuff. Can’t say no to that!

It was so sad saying goodbye to so many wonderful people but I was heading to hang out with one of my best friends for an extra day in Denver so that was exciting!

I was able to find my balance this weekend, after months of being in a bit of a funk. Getting out, socializing, doing healthy stuff, making new friends and fueling with good food (like Balance Bars!) was everything I needed.

Hope you enjoyed the weekend if you were there! If not, let me know if you have any questions about Blend in case you want to go next year!

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