Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blend 2015 Recap Day #1 & #2



Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Blend Retreat 2015 in Boulder, Utah. I was hesitant at first to go but I thought it would be a good excuse for the whole family to go check out Boulder. I knew that taking my 8 month old with me would make it a different experience and I sort of figured that I would be one of the older people there. I was but that's okay.... :)

The retreat was held at the Colorado Chautauqua, which is a National Historic Landmark. It is located in a stunning setting at the foot of the iconic Flatirons. This place was really cool and I'm sort of a history nerd so I loved reading about the history of the Chautauqua movement in our country (google it!). The Colorado Chautauqua's mission is to "... preserve, perpetuate and improve the site and spirit of the historic Chautauqua by enhancing its community and values through cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences.  CCA provides lodging, programming and venues for private events in the historic Chautauqua buildings and grounds."


We definitely have plans to return and explore some more! Here are some pics of what the grounds look like:

There is a great General Store where you can get coffee, ice cream, light snacks and souvenirs. 

This was the cute 1 bedroom cabin we stayed in. 

All of the decorations and furniture are updated and clean but with kind of  a shabby chic craftsman style (if that's a thing!).

They do have pet friendly rooms, we brought the whole family! That's our babies travel bed, don't worry she didn't sleep on top of the crate.

A nice little kitchen with a full size fridge and gas stove. 

Plus, a microwave and coffee from Boulder's Ozo Coffee company. 
There is also a Dining Hall, located on site since 1898, that serves up Colorado bistro cuisine. They were the ones who catered the food for Blend all weekend and it was delicious!  My husband checked out the food first by ordering a salad and mushroom flat bread to go on Friday night. Meanwhile, I headed over to the first event of the weekend:

FRIDAY:
The evening started out with a cocktail reception sponsored by Sizzlefish, WANU, and 34 Degrees (their new Toasted Onion and Poppy crackers are awesome!). WANU was featured in the cocktails so I tried the WANU Royale: Prosecco, watermelon, rosemary, and watermelon raspberry WANU water. Sizzlefish had delicious smoked Alaskan salmon on 34 Degrees crackers, so good! Dinner was delicious too but I had to snag a to-go box because my little one needed her mommy! The food was all from the Chautauqua Dining Hall and I tried the pesto polenta, herb salad, roasted fingerling potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts!





Photo courtesy of: Lindsay's List
The three amazing organizers of Blend: Janetha, Lauren, and Lindsay


SATURDAY:
Saturday morning was beautiful and sunny and started out with an early boot camp class sponsored by Gnarly Nutrition. Boot camp style workouts are not my favorite but I went anyways!

Photo courtesy of : Lindsay's List

After class, I went to go check on and nurse my baby and then walked over to a wonderful breakfast sponsored by some of my favorites like Love Grown Foods, Justin's, and FlapJacked. Somehow I didn't take any pictures of breakfast but it was really good! Justin of the nut butter company Justin's, showed up (it's a Boulder based company!) to talk about how he started the company and that was a neat story to hear!

Next up was a hike to the Flatirons sponsored by Detour Bar. My husband, dog, and daughter all tagged along and it gave us a chance to try out our new Osprey Poco Plus carrier, which we love! It was fun swapping new mom stories with Janetha and meeting another local CO blogger, Karissa

After the hike, there was a snack break sponsored by Earth Balance (another local company!). There was also an Expo set up where you could meet many of the Brand Reps from the sponsoring companies. 

The rest of the afternoon and evening was free so we headed out to go explore downtown Boulder's Pearl Street. Boulder is known as the "Napa of Beer" apparently, so we had to check out at least one of the breweries. We picked West Flanders Brewing Co.  based on the yummy food menu and were very happy with our choice! 

The Brew Burger with Point Reyes Blue Cheese



I tried their Citra IPA

Jake had their Mac & Shroom!




Friday, May 15, 2015

Date-Apricot-Coconut Granola





Granola! It's a favorite around here and we go through it way too quickly......and it's not the cheapest thing to buy so I like to make it whenever I can. Like the cookies, it's an easy thing to prep while my baby is napping and then it gets to take its sweet time in the oven while the rest of our day goes on. This one is extra yummy because it has dates in it (which I love!). 

This weekend I'm excited to be going to the Blend Retreat 2015 #Blend2015! The last blogger event I attended was Foodbuzz a couple of years ago. I'm excited to see how this event will be and checkout Boulder for the first time! The whole family is coming so our schedule will be pretty chill. I'm really looking forward to the yoga class on Sunday morning!



Date-Apricot-Coconut Granola

Ingredients

  • Unrefined virgin coconut oil, for brushing
  • 6 cups walnut halves
  • 3 cups steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix walnuts, oats, pecans, almonds, seeds, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. In a medium bowl, gently beat egg whites, maple syrup, and coconut oil with a fork, taking care to keep foam to a minimum. Pour egg white mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands to evenly coat.

4. Transfer mixture to baking sheet, spreading it out so that it’s slightly thicker toward sides. (This will prevent granola at edges from sticking during baking.) Bake granola mixture for about 25 minutes, then rotate baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes longer. Remove baking sheet from oven, carefully mix granola with a spatula and continue to bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes (or until the crispiness that you want!)

5. Let cool on a wire rack, then transfer to a large bowl. Add dried cranberries, apricots and dates and mix thoroughly to combine. The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 


*slightly adapted from Health Magazine


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