I’ve been sitting here for over an hour trying to get in the right thought process to write this post. I’m not sure where to even start so I guess I’ll start at the beginning because according to Julie Andrews, “it’s a very good place to start.” (name that movie!) Last year I decided to host a blogger retreat and call it, Inspired Retreat. I had no idea that it would bring me closer to some of the best women/bloggers out there and make me want to get home all in the same moment.
I spent months and months planning and thanks to an inspired (no pun intended) friend, Lauren from Lauren’s Latest who helped to snag a few meal sponsors for us like, Krusteaz for a late girls’ night chat, Pacific foods (hooray for a healthy breakfast after yoga and before a morning on the slopes), and Star Fine Foods for a crazy awesome grilled cheese and soup bar the entire weekend came off exactly as I had imagined it. We even had one of our favorite stores, Real Foods and the only salt I use, Real Salt as sponsors which was such a thrill for me especially as the represent Utah in such a great way.
The home, thanks to Deer Valley, my ultimate favorite location in Utah got a surprise makeover before everyone arrived thanks to Rod Works. I know, it may seem a little over the top to have the home all decorated to some, but for me it was all about the little things, the details. The older I get the more I feel like that’s how I feel about life. The big things aren’t as important as the little details. Which is why Deer Valley hooked us up with a home that we could all sleep in together, to encourage us to get to know each other. The home was perfectly decorated which made everything feel so inviting. Plus, Real Foods Market, a local market that is all about giving a little love and education to the public about local, fresh, and real food had stocked up our kitchen with delicious foods that would keep us talking about what really inspired us all weekend long. Again, it’s in the details. The amazingly high quality food was exactly what we needed to get inspired about food again which is why we turned to a specific source. And trust me, we got inspired about food. It all started with a trip to Mariposa for dinner. (See the first photo in the post.)
I don’t love seafood. It’s not a secret and I actually really want to love it, it just hasn’t happened. I’ve learned to really enjoy some things, but oysters was never on the list. Dinner at the Mariposa was gorgeous and Deer Valley went above and beyond in their preparations for us. Out came the oysters for our first course and a few of us girls had never tried them so we decided what better time to bond than sucking down a chunk of oyster. Oh gosh, I can feel it in the back of my throat again. But!! I did it. And I’m glad I did, but I’ll let you take the others’ word for it that they were amazing oysters since I’m still working on understanding the delight in swallowing something whole.
Saturday was for sure my favorite day and if I could I’d relive it all over again. I’m not kidding. We started our morning with the amazing Lole who came all the way out to Deer Valley to do a yoga session with us. It felt amazing and I’m obsessed with their fitness clothing. (Hooray for having a shop in Utah now!) Back at the house we had literally the perfect breakfast. Kristy and Becky made my new favorite recipes for granola and Pacific Foods sponsored the rest so we had luscious yogurts, fruits, the fluffiest eggs ever by Lauren from Climbing Grier Mountain and it all totally hit the spot. I love real food for breakfast.
Then it was off to a crazy morning of skiing and we had all of our stuff supplied by Skis on the Run, which were some of the kindest people ever. It was FREEZING! But the experience was a memory and I’m all about the memories these days. Our hands almost fell of they were so cold but you cannot beat Utah for winter sports and beautiful lodges. Then, and this is my favorite part, we came back to the house where Star Fine Foods, Hamilton Beach, Wusthof and Heber Valley Cheese provided the most delicious grilled cheese and soup bar. You can find Alyssa’s tomato basil soup recipe, and Ashley’s chicken noodle soup recipe on their site. The Heber Valley Cheese is just incredible, especially the juustoleipa. And then we did nothing. Literally. We got out our Cookie Chips, sat on the couch and talked life, blogging, funny stories and real moments. We just hung out and got inspired by one another. There was zero awkwardness. No one was competing or jealous about numbers or sponsorships. We were literally a group of friends remembering what got us started in the first place, the food.
And because I’ve been talking for a while I think I’ll leave the rest for another day, but do check back as I have so much to share abou the amazing place we ate that night, the killer swag and of course the dirt on how I feel the event went.