Tag Archives: healthy living summit

Healthy Living Summit–2014

I have some exciting news to share. . .


I’ll be speaking at the 2014 Healthy Living Summit! It’s September 11-14, 2014 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Remember the awesome time from HLS 2013?

I’ll be leading a plugins workshop. And you better believe I’ll be talking about my favorite one. Winking smile 

The agenda was posted yesterday, so take a look and plan to be there!

Registration opens June 4, 2014, so mark your calendar –> and heads up: they are limiting it to 100 bloggers!)  

PS: Are you going? Want to be roomies? Smile


Filed under Uncategorized

HLS13: Blogs in Transition Recap

While I was at HLS 13, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel presentation with Alicia from The Wannabe Foodie and Marissa from Where I Need To Be.


We talked about Blogs in Transition: Embracing your blog. . .


This was our panel description. . .

As we all go through our blogging journeys, we realize that blogging has its ups and downs. Though we are all in different seasons of our own blogging journeys, you’ve probably felt the difficult yet exciting challenges blog growth of any sort can add to your plate.  How do you deal with the changes you face as your blog changes without starting to resent your blog and throwing in the towel?  This panel will focus on finding (and keeping!) your blogger voice,  how to develop a consistent blog schedule, how to stay active and engaged with your blog readers, as well as review a few of the best apps and tools that will help you stay on top of your game.  The panel will also offer simple ways to give your blog and brand some TLC and re-engage your readers and followers.


If you are interested this is the link to our Prezi presentation.

Also, Mindy from Just a One Girl Revolution did a great job live blogging during our panel. . . so you can check out her post as well!!

Alicia started us out by talking about how bloggers can find their unique voice:


Write a blogging mission statement
The voice and personality you use is your brand
Be authentic, not perfect
Write the way you speak
Coin your own phrases
Think beyond your writing and make sure your design and everything on your blog is an accurate reflection of you and your brand

Then, Marissa took over and talked about staying consistent with blogging and posting without feeling overwhelmed.


Be realistic
Spend time brainstorming each month/week
Create a calendar
If you have a busy week coming up, think ahead and plan for it.
Utilize guest posting

Then, my turn! I started out talking about approaching companies. . .


Just ask!
Approach companies you want to work with
It’s ok if they say no
Don’t put out too many requests at one time
Don’t forget to say thank you!

And then I chatted about some simple tips for updating/re-designing your blog

Header from Pic Monkey –> super easy to design and do on your own. You can also pay a designer as well.
Social Media Buttons –> link to my how to make your own post!!
Add/update Pages – utilize your Top Posts to figure out what people are searching for and looking at  on your blog to make it more user friendly and easier to find things. 
Update your sidebar: add badges, plugins, etc.

And finally, I went through a list of some plugins that I use and love. . .

About Me 3000 –> about me widget on your sidebar
Akismet –> for spam
Alpine Photo Tile for Instagram
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Broken Link Checker
Comment Luv –> posts a link to the most recent post when a person comments on your post, a great way to spread the blog love.

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Comment Reply Notification –> a good reminder to check and make sure that your plugins are working!! Check out
my post for step by step details here.
Google Analytics –> my post on how to set up this plugin and why you should have it!
Gravatar Widget –> displays your gravatar
nrelate Related Content –> displays other posts your readers might be interested related to that post. . .
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Tweetily –> Tweets old posts for you. A good way to be 1. active on twitter without having to actually be on Twitter and 2. promotes old posts that readers might have missed the first time around.
Twitter Follow me box
Ultimate Follow me plugin by Free Blog Factory
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Thanks ladies for a great panel presentation/discussion. And a special thanks to Melanie for introducing us and getting HLS started!! Smile 


Check out my other HLS recap posts if you are interested–> HLS13 – the swag, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.


Filed under blog, Recap

HLS13–the swag

I have two more HLS posts for you: 1. the stuff and 2. my presentation recap <—coming later this week!! Smile 

Total blogger fail and I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the stuff. . .So a HUGE thanks to Hannah for some of these pictures. Winking smile

I was blown away. like, for. real. by the amount of swag that we got. I have never been so happy that I have lived close by otherwise there was no way that I was getting everything home.


Upon checking in, we received a bag full of products, samples, coupons. I mean, that thing was stuffed. Here is Caroline’s pic of everything. .. 


Most amazing was that there was a full size Nature Box –> which I have always wanted to check out. ..

hls swag 2

and a kona kase box. ..which was nice to see because I enjoyed my 1st one so much!!

hls swag 3

In addition to that bag, our sponsors, basically set up shop outside of our conference room, and were so happy and gracious to share their company and products with us.


At first I was a little nervous to approach them, but they were all so nice and welcoming, I had nothing to be nervous about! I usually explained what R4C is about, made sure to give them a business card, and then chatted about their company, and then they would make sure that I got lots of products to check out.

The “gold sponsor” of the HLS13 was Wild Harvest


They were ah-mazing! They were all super nice and down to earth, very easy to chat with. . .and most importantly (to my husband), sent me home with 2 bags of animal crackers. Smile 


Sargento Cheese was there handing out cheese sticks and these super cute little cheese stick holders. ..


Almonds from Blue Diamond –> so many good flavors. I had never had these single serve packs before. . . they are so so good!! I have only tried a couple so far – but the coconut is awesome.


Ninja Kitchen was there and telling everyone about their newest blender – the Ultima Blender. Whoa. that blender is amazing. And yes, I am holding the blender because it was that cool. And they were handing out superfood snack bars. <—holy deliciousness.


and Driscoll’s Berries. <—which you guys already know how awesome they are and how I am totally going to turn into a berry because of how many I have eaten. And total fail because I haven’t done anything with them except for eating them, because they are just so. darn. good.


A huge thank you to ALL the sponsors of HLS13 –-> can’t wait to see you again at HLS14!!


Filed under blog, products, Recap

HLS–Day 3

The final day of HLS13 –> started with a 3 mile run/walk to the sculpture garden. I had the chance to catch up more with Elizabeth and Danica!!


I also got a chance to catch up more with my blog alter ego –Stephanie at Running4Beer!

And hang out more with this sweet girl, Hannah!


And we had to do some fun shots at “the spoon.”




Followed by a trip to Caribou Coffee. . .


Then, after breakfast and a few announcements (HLS14 is going to be in Madison, WI!!) and I won a fun prize pack from Energy Bits (full details on all the swag coming tomorrow. Winking smile). . .

It was time to get packed up. . . Thankfully, Melanie and I were able to fit all of our berries and luggage in one trip!


Lots of hugs goodbye and I was headed back to Mankato. .. 

And when I unpacked Luke’s bag from the Lake and time with Aunt Laura, I was surprised with these .. . .


Aren’t they the cutest cookies? We are headed to Vegas together for a long weekend on Thursday!!


And if that wasn’t awesome enough, I had this package waiting for me from Blue Diamond and The Trendy Trainer. Smile


Luke was super happy to be home with Mom and Dad. . .


But since we all felt like this after a long weekend. . . we made it a early night!


A super huge thanks to the wonderful ladies who organized and ran all of HLS13, Julie and Heather –> and the whole dream team! You all did a fabulous job. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it! Smile Looking forward to HLS14!!


Filed under blog, Recap

HLS13–Day 2

Becky and I were up bright and early to get in a long run before the conference. She was an excellent route guide and running partner.


7.5 miles done!


After some Caribou and breakfast. . .


it was time for my panel: Blogs in Transition. . . with Alicia and Marissa, and Melanie, who did our introduction!!


It went really well!! I am working on the full recap so if you were there and missed something, or you weren’t able to be there –> you can still get all the details. Smile 

Afterwards, I attended a few more sessions. Got to meet Lauren –> who works for KIND bar!!


Meanwhile, Luke was having a fabulous time at the lake with the grandparents and Aunt Laura and Aunt Jenny. . .


After an awesome lunch (the food was fabulous!), I spent some time hanging out with Kim –> so sweet in person,  just like her blog!!


And totally random, but you know you are in a nice hotel when they have salt scrubs in the bathroom!! Fancy!


Then, we went on a long walk around the city. . .


And afterwards, it was getting towards the end of the day and the vendors were cleaning up. . . and Driscoll’s had so much fruit leftover! Since Melanie and I are both local, we offered to help them out. And OMG, we got so much! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Thank you so much Driscoll’s and Laura!!


After the end of the conference, we just hung out. . . and then decided that we were having so much fun just hanging out that we would just stay in for the night. So we walked around the block and picked up some drinks, Chipotle and had a girls night in. . .


I finished off my evening with one of Becky’s homemade peanut butter cups. So. good. drooling over this picture right now. . . thank goodness Becky makes them super easy to make.


Day 3 recap coming tomorrow!! Smile


Filed under blog, Recap

Weekend Update: 9/15/13–Healthy Living Summit

This weekend I was at the Healthy Living Summit. And it was so. much. fun. Smile 

This was my 1st blog conference, my 1st time speaking at a blogging conference, and my 1st time sharing a room with 4 girls. Winking smile I wanted the weekend to start off on the right foot, so I made a batch of my chia peanut butter power bars to share. . .


Luke and I spent Friday morning hanging out and I had a body pump class to teach before we headed to Minneapolis for the conference. . .


We met Grandma and Grandpa for lunch. . .


And then I headed off to downtown Minneapolis. . . the conference was at the Hilton. And check out our view – 24th floor!



After hanging out at the hotel, checking in to the conference, attending a round table discussion about blogging 101, and getting ready. . . we headed off to dinner at Kindee Thai


I had the delight of sitting next to Hannah and Kim.


And Jen, Becky and Melanie.. .


And the curry was excellent!!


Next was the cocktail party at the Guthrie theater. . . such a cool location!



The photo booth was just as awesome as I thought it would be –> definitely a highlight. Winking smile


I had the best time with this group of girls as my roommates: Caroline, Becky and Melanie.  –> they totally made the conference officially awesomesauce.


This post is already super long and I have a lot more to tell about my awesome weekend. . .Day 2 recap tomorrow. Smile


Filed under Recap, weekend update

Friday Favorites: 9/6/13

Happy Friday!! After a super short week, it is nice that it is Friday and almost the weekend again, right?

We are just hanging around home this weekend. .. on my to-do list: Farmer’s market, play time and dinner with friends tonight, half marathon training *officially* starts this weekend with a 7 mile run, practice BODYPUMP 87 (that lunge track is killer!), and make fruit pizza!!

Here are some of my recent favorites to share with you on this lovely Friday. . .

This sunrise this morning –> breathtaking. . .


Friends. Aren’t friends just the best? I am incredibly lucky to have a great group of girlfriends that are always there for me when I need them. And it doesn’t hurt that they love Luke almost as much as I do. Smile 


Cookie butter. Why did it take so long for me to get a jar of this stuff? I know it shows me eating it with graham crackers (super good) but lets be real- this jar was mostly eaten with a spoon. Winking smile 


I was loving these frozen drinks at the Lake this year. They are so easy too – just throw them in the freezer and after a few hours you have a perfect adult slushie drink.


New workout tops –> this one is from my Mom. Just because. Isn’t that the best?


Cleaning helper. There are no more words. Clearly a favorite.


Giveaway winnings from Erica at 4 The Sake of Cake. BTW these chips are delicious.


The newest BODYPUMP release (87) –> awesomeness.


And the Healthy Living Summit is only a week away!! I am so excited for my 1st ever blog conference, as well as, participating on my 1st ever blog panel.

If you are headed to HLS13, make sure to check out my panel discussion on blogs in transition: embracing your blog –> basically talking about how to grow your blog. . . I am going to be talking about social media, approaching companies and easy blog re-design tips. I’d love to see you there!! Smile 

What are you up to this weekend? And tell me one of your Friday favorites?


Filed under body pump, Friday

HLB Blog Tip Thursday

Hey all. Happy Thursday!! And Happy 4th of July!!

If you follow Healthy Living Blogs like I do, then you know that every Thursday they do a “Blog Tip Thursday,” where you get new tips and tricks for your blog. This week, I am guest posting!! So, head on over and check it out! Smile 

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Also, while you are there, check out the Healthy Living Summit coming to Minneapolis in September. I’ll be there! And I am participating on a blogger panel about growing your blog. I’d love to meet you. Smile 

ScreenHunter_85 Jul. 01 15.39


Filed under blog

Friday Favorites: 4/12/13

We all know that it is the little things that add up to the big things in life. . . so this week a few of the “little” things that are making me happy lately. . . . Enjoy!

That Luke has started saying Mama to me! He has been babbling it for a while. . . but now has started to say it specific to me. And I love Dada just as much. Heart melting.

My impromptu vacation snow day yesterday

It was snowing hard yesterday, but we live in MN. . . so I got ready for work and loaded Luke up to go to daycare and hit the road. I had to drive slow, but we made it to his daycare, just in time for his daycare to let me know they were closing for the day! (In their defense, the snow was supposed to get worse throughout the day.) And Scott had some important meetings for the day. .. so Luke and I got an extra day together. Not my ideal start to a vacation day, driving an hour in the car in the snow. . . but it turned out to be a great day. We played, ran errands, I got in a 6.5 mile run during nap time, and took a body pump class at the YMCA while Luke hung out in Child Watch.




Yes it is April. And it is supposed to be April showers bring May flowers, but how can you be upset when it looks so pretty?

Gel manicures


I hardly ever get manicures, but when I do, I love the ‘new’ gel manicures. . . nails that are dry as soon as you leave the salon and least forever? Yes, please! My color yesterday – Princesses Rule. Smile 


HLS 2013

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I have been selected to speak on a panel at the Healthy Living Summit this September in Minneapolis. I have never been to a blog conference, so I am super excited about attending one and now speaking at one!! The panel will be a discussion on intermediate blogging. . . making the transition from beginner to expert!


So, I know that lots of people have lots of followers on twitter, but I am still super excited that I am 1 person away from 100 followers on Twitter! It is a big deal for me. Smile I have just started over the past few weeks being more active on twitter and love it. I did a tweet chat about #blogsmarter earlier this week and that was awesome too.

 ScreenHunter_26 Apr. 12 08.32

Do you follow me on Twitter? (https://twitter.com/runs4cupcakes)

If you do I’ll be your BFF. . . ok, not really, but I will follow you back! Winking smile 

What have been your “little” things this week?


Filed under Friday