One Very Long Day

by Meghann on August 20, 2011

After months of planning, hours of pulling my hair out, and schmoozing sponsor after sponsor ( I <3 you Quaker!), I’m proud to say the actual session portion of the conference went off without a hitch.

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Yippee! :)

BUT, I can’t even begin to tell you how long or crazy of a day it was. Insane. Absolutely insane. ;)

Mostly because my day started before 5:00am. That’s the time I agreed to meet a bunch of fabulous bloggers for a long early run. Can you believe how many smiling faces were up to run between 8 and 14 miles at 5:00am this morning.

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Told you it was insane. ;)

Ashley (our fearless leader who organized the run) gave the group the final instructions of where to go before we were off and running.

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I had to be back at the hotel by 6:30, so I hung back and did the 45 minute out and back route. As a group we ran up Market Street before running into the path that leads to the famous Kelly Drive. It was a very quiet, spooky run. I was extra happy we were in a large group and not running by our lonesomes – that would have been even more spooky and unsafe.

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On my way back I ran into the shorter 6:00am group. Turns out there were just as many crazies willing to get up at 6:00am to run as there were for the 5:00am group.

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I finished the tail end of the run with my new friend Alyssa. She’s a Philly local (Florida original) who holds a mean 9:00 minute conversational pace. We spent the last 4.5 miles covering everything from being a twin (her twin sister and her both live in Philly!) to engagements (she has a great engagement story that had me gasping for air with shock and laughter). There is nothing better than running and meeting new people. :)

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We were a little short of my 9 mile goal, but I’ll take it. :)

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I had to shower and change very quickly to head downstairs and help set up for the day. We still had morning check-in for all the stragglers who couldn’t make it yesterday afternoon.

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We also had a gorgeous breakfast display thanks to our amazing friends at Attune.

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Lots of fresh fruit, eggs, Stonyfield Yogurt, milk and Uncle Sam’s Cereal for everyone.

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We even had a special gluten-free section for all our friends with special dietary needs.

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I made a small bowl of Uncle Sam’s Cereal, fresh fruit, and blueberry Oikos (which I ate standing up and running around like a mad woman) while everyone was piling in for the day.

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I so wish I could remember the name of the blogger who gave me the mini pumpkin spice donut, but it was amazing.

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I started getting very nervous about having to speak in front of such a large crowd for the opening remarks. I decided to jot down a few notes, so I wouldn’t leave anyone. The strategy worked out perfectly – I was able to say what I needed to say and didn’t leave anyone out.

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At 9:00am I welcomed everyone to theĀ 3rd Annual Healthy Living Summit.

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I was soooo nervous, but the notes really did help. I need to remember that when I try to ‘wing it’ in the future.

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The rest of the morning flew by.

We had some fabulous sessions…

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My sister and brother were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor…

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(they worked their tails off as volunteers the past couple of days in exchange for a free ticket)

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I got to see my friends….

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(I heart Katy!)

And before I knew it – it was snack time!

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Quaker provided their new Smashbars for everyone. They’re like rice krispie treats with extra add-ins. I enjoyed the nice crunch of chocolate and pretzel in mine.

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Frito-Lay had a mini photo booth with fun props set up. Dierdre and I were craving tire sized pancakes after this.

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I started to crash around 11. The run and early wake up call were catching up to me and I needed caffeine stat! Theodora completely saved the day with an iced coffee that I downed in minutes.

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I had the pleasure of introducing Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD for both a mid-morning workshop on action mantras and for her keynote slot following lunch.

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Dawn was amazing. She wrote The Flexitarian Diet and I whole heartedly agreed with a lot of what she had to say. My favorite line was to be “pro-plant, not anti-meat.”

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We had one last round of sessions after the workshop.

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At this point I stumbled upon Katie. She was giving away homemade cookie dough balls (yum!) and offered a dark chocolate chip one to me (I later found her again for a double chocolate dough ball).

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Lunch could not have come soon enough! I was getting hungry (and snacking on one too many dough balls).

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We had a display of various salads and sandwiches for break. All of the bread was donated from the local Great Harvest – probably the best thing about the whole conference!

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All of the sandwiches were vegetarian, four of the 5 were vegan, and we had a gluten free salad station on the side for our gluten-free guests.

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I tried the grilled veggie and balsamic tofu sandwiches and the chickpea quoina salad. The sandwiches were a little dry (and lacking salt), but the bread was amazing!

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Shana shared her sun butter crunch balls for dessert.

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I had one and enjoyed the crunch from the granola and chocolate covered seeds.

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I also nabbed a bite of Evan’s brownies.

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He told me they were gluten-free, nut free, milk free,and refined sugar free, but, luckily, they weren’t taste free. :)

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Dawn spoke again after lunch and I took a cue from Sabrina to relax.

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The Quaker snack break at 3:10 was my next large obstacle.

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Quaker has been great to work with. Many thanks to Jenn for helping us through and supporting us along the way!

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The snack break had rice cakes, veggies, hummus, and…

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Naturally Nutty Nut Butters!!!

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That stuff went fast!

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Luckily, I was able to try a few flavors before they were all gone.

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We ended with giveaways and a round of applause – yay!!!

Time to get our party on!

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I met Annelies (from Attune) and my fellow Attune ambassadors (Anne P., Heather, and Monica) for Happy Hour and appetizers at Smokin Betty’s.

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The Anderson Valley appealed to me.

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I almost chugged this beer. It was needed.

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We ordered an array of apps and shared. It ended up being just enough food for everyone to classify it as dinner.

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I had been craving gelato ever since we walked by this place the first day.

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Kath, Allison (I hope I got the name right – if not I’m sorry :/) and I walked over to enjoy a small bowl.

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I had 1/2 Burnt Sugar and 1/2 Hazelnut. It was perfect.

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We joined a few other bloggers at El Vez for drinks.

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It was fabulous chatting with all the girls, but I had to call it a night. Only one more day of HLS to go!!!

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sana August 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm

You are seriously a rockstarrr! Great job!!!

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2 Katy @ Fit In Heels August 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Um, holy CRAPOLA this summit looks RIDIC!!!!!!!! WHERE is it??? And HOW can I be there next year? You did such an amazing job, everything looks absolutely fantastic! What did you speak about? I love so much about this post, from the early morning run (awesome!!!) to the breakfast, the flexitarian’s quote “pro-plant, not anti-meat”, to the guest speakers, the goodies, the quaker smash bars, the beer, gelato, and friends. Well done, you must feel so awesome!!!

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3 Lisa August 20, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I second Sana–the conference looks AMAZING! I am so jealous of the giant vats of peanut butter!

Ps. Shana’s blog url is http://foodofmyaffection.wordpress.com/ in case you didn’t have a chance to get it. :)

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4 Meghann August 21, 2011 at 7:02 am

Thank you Lisa!

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5 Candice August 21, 2011 at 12:25 am

Looks like you are having so much fun! And all your hrs work is paying off! I Soooo wish I could be there right now! Next yr….

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6 Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real August 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

Great job putting together such an awesome conference! I had an amazing time this weekend and met lots of new friends. Just wanted you to know that all your hard work was appreciated.

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7 Julie @ Wearing Mascara August 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

Great job this weekend! Wish I could have been there.

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8 jassy August 21, 2011 at 12:41 am

organizing an event can really be hectic :) HLS 2011 is already successful with all the participants and events :)

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9 Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) August 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

I can’t believe you were on your feet all day after running 9 miles before dawn. Lady, you deserve a round of applause. And about a hundred cookies :)

i hope you get some serious sleep tonight! I will be dreaming about tubs of nut butters myself…

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10 michelle August 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

It looks like you put together a great event. Congrats!

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11 Khushboo August 21, 2011 at 1:25 am

Wow I can’t believe you organised the whole thing, you deserve a medal! Hope Sunday goes off as smoothly!

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12 Marissa Elliot August 21, 2011 at 1:32 am

ahhhh there are so many typos in this post!!!

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13 Meghann August 21, 2011 at 7:04 am

I know I was half asleep when I published. Going back to edit now.

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14 mel August 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

Seriously? Give her a break

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15 Sarah August 21, 2011 at 6:56 am

I love the early morning runner pic. That looks like so much fun. This blogging community is full of rare breeds. And I love it! So, great you all got to get together!

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16 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

Wow! It looks like it was a very long and exhausting day! But at least you got tons of treats from other bloggers :)

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17 Allison @Cant Wait For Breakfast August 21, 2011 at 7:14 am

You got the name right! The gelato was seriously amazing!

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18 carissa August 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

Looks like a fantastic time! You are superwoman! Congrats!

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19 Lee August 21, 2011 at 7:43 am

Great job coordinating the summit! You did a great job. Wish I could have been there.

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20 Sarah @ EatRunGarden August 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

Sounds like a lot of work but also a lot of fun.
I really wanted to go this year but I wasn’t sure about money so I chickened out. Maybe next year. Have fun today.

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21 Alyssa August 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

Great recap of an insane day– glad everything went so well! Thanks for the shoutout/picture/link love, it was a great run. It has me set on finding a running buddy! Very happy I finally got to meet you :)

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22 melissa August 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

You did the most amazing job! It was so great seeing you! Very impressed! xo

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23 Alaina August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

You ARE a rockstar for all that you put together for this conference! Looks like it’s been such a great success! :-)

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24 Marlow August 21, 2011 at 9:05 am

Yay for gluten free options!

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25 Ali @ Ali Runs August 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

Congrats on a very successful event! Every other blog I have read just raved about how amazing it was! Time to relax now! :)

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26 Dina August 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

The food looks amazing! Don’t think I could pull myself away from a nut butter tasting. :)

So cool to see that many runners get together to run.

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27 Cait's Plate August 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

All the food just looks so incredible! Especially that mini spice pumpkin doughnut!

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28 Hillary August 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

I can’t even imagine how much work this took to put together. Way to go, Meghann!

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29 Joanna @ braverealworld August 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

You did a great job organizing everything, thank you! And, even though you said you were super nervous for your welcome talk, it didn’t show at all. I remember thinking how well you spoke.

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30 Shannon @ Mon Amour August 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

Looks like such a great day! Congrats on pulling this off by yourself!

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31 Amanda August 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

All your posts make me want to go to this conference next year! I would love to meet all of the fabulous bloggers….will I be kept in the loop as long as I’m following your blog? Thanks! :)

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32 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) August 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

Looks like you are all having such a blast! You’ve done a great job organizing it, Meghan!

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33 Alex August 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Glad it all worked out as well as it did. Amazing pictures and stories from all over the blog world.

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34 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake August 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Congrats Meghann, it looks like everything turned out perfectly! You should definitely be voted MVP of the blogworld! :-)

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35 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups August 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

The best conferences always keep you really well fed. This looks like it fits the bill! Congrats on another successful day!

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36 Cynthia @ Cynthia's Adventures August 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

It was fun reading all about HLS this weekend on twitter or on blogs!! Great job organizing everything :)

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37 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Holy cow what a busy day!! It all looks so much fun though!

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38 Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing August 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

It was such a great weekend, Meghann. Thank you so much for all your hard work (and for the doughball shout-out ;) )!

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39 Shana August 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thank you for putting together such an amazing event! I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun! My favorite part (aside from the snacks!) was the recipe development seminar. All of the speakers were so informative and I feel like I learned so much! Thank you again!

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40 Erin @ Big Girl Feats August 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I had such a great time at my first HLS! Thanks SO much for your hard work in allowing bloggers to come together and learn/hang out/eat delicious food :) I had such fun meeting new bloggers and seeing friends. You should be very proud of yourself! (and El Vez = amazing!)

I hope it’s okay if I post the picture with me on the left at the lunch line on my blog (with credit of course!).

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41 Ash Bear August 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

You did a wonderful job pulling everything together! Thanks for the shout out and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves on the run, even though it was dark! :) I may have to borrow that picture. :)

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42 Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke August 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I’m a Philly local that couldn’t make it to the HLS this weekend but recognized one of the girls in your pictures from Facebook. Alyssa is engaged to someone I went to high school with…what a small world! I’m so glad the whole thing weekend went well for you!

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43 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife August 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

oh WOW! What a day. Looks like it went perfectly. NICE work :)

And that food looks totally delish!

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44 Nikki August 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Wow… It all looks so great! Great work on the organization! I have heard all good about #HLS on all the blogger’s blogs that I frequent that went! Kudos!

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45 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I just wanted to tell you that you did an AMAZING job on this conference!! It was incredible- seriously, all your hard work totally paid off. Kind of bummed I didn’t get to chat with you more, but just know that it was awesome and you deserve major congrats!!

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46 Victoria (District Chocoholic) August 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Running at 5 am is not insane. It’s normal. Except the days I start earlier (love 4:30 am runs). Hope you get a nice long nap soon!

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47 Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I am so glad to hear the HLS went well!!!

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48 Jamie @ getalivingsense August 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

So jealous of you guys being in Philly! My whole fam is from there, and I was just there 2 weeks ago…I LOVE El Vez and Capagiro! Great choices! :)

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49 Taysa August 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

This is really funny…I spent the weekend camping in Anderson Valley, visited the brewery yesterday for the second time, and am currently wearing a t-shirt of theirs AND drinking the beer. I was very excited to see you had chosen it! :)

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50 Meghann August 22, 2011 at 12:06 am

Dude! I want an Anderson Valley shirt! Too cool. :)

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51 Julie @SavvyEats August 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

Way to go, Meghann! HLS weekend ROCKED :)

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52 katie August 22, 2011 at 8:27 am

HLS was so fun! I was so happy to attend and will every year now! THANK YOU again and everyone else for the amazing weekend and hard work you did for this!!

I really hope I get to personally meet you next time Im at a event like this and you are attending!

xoxo

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53 Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) August 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

Awesome Recap! This was my first year attending, and I absolutely adored every second of the conference, and everyone I met. Thank you for working so hard to create a forum for us all to come together and discuss what we love and are passionate about!

P.S. I couldn’t tell you were nervous when doing introductions! Great job!

P.P.S. Burnt sugar and I are meant to be together… One of my top 5 flavor obsessions! :)

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54 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas August 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

I had so much fun at HLS this weekend, Meghann. Thank you so much for everything you did to organize! I hope you have a few days of relaxing lined up! :)

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55 Jessica @ Bay Bay Bites August 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Looks like a great spread! Congrats! I hope I can go someday. :)

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56 Hilary August 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

You deserve a rest! Great organizing work!

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57 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 23, 2011 at 12:29 am

I’m exhausted just reading this…and you were living it!

Congrats to you for pulling it all off!!

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58 hannamay August 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

Nice pictures! It was fun reading all about HLS this weekend on twitter or on blogs!! Great job organizing everything!!

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59 Claire Z. August 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Isn’t Dawn the best? I’m proud to say she’s my dietitian (and pal).

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