Listen, learn, and NOM: HLS part 3

The thing about traveling is that I never quite sleep the same as at home.  Add to that the fact that the following day is full of presentations, meeting people and great food and you get me half asleep and half excited at the same time.  Kudos to Lauren who was part of the early morning running group.  I have a lot of respect for anyone who gets up super early on vacation and do so with a significant time zone change.

After an Attune sponsored breakfast of cereal, fruit and tea, I was ready to start the day’s events.  While there are numerous events sometimes they are going on at the same time. Last year I thought it would be smart to split one session in half so I could see parts of both. Bad idea.  This year I had to pick one of each and just stick with it. It was hard since there were great topics being discussed.  I ended up in the following. (Please search for more complete recaps on other attendee blogs for these sessions. I’ve seen some great in depth recaps.)

  • Budgeting For a Healthy Lifestyle: A great discussion of tips, tricks, and the truths of how you can eat healthy. It is not impossible. It just takes a bit of planning and number crunching
  • Utilizing Social Media to Network and Make Friends in Your Area: Even a chatterbox like me nears help meeting people especially when it is blog based. I loved the input on meet ups, groups and online chats that I didn’t know about beforehand.
  • Blogger Safety – Sharing your life in a smart way: Eye-opening. I was extremely glad to have attended.  Being cautious in your everyday life can become automatic while it can be easy not to remember this online. I came away with knowledge that I find myself using within my own blog now.
  • Monetizing Your Blog (Without Selling Out): Blog meets brand meets world. While I am not looking to become a professional full-time blogger, I learned about how I can become better in terms of promoting myself, my blog and creating/strengthening ties with others. 

Dawn Jackson Blatner was the Quaker keynote speaker.  Her two presentations were about action mantras and R.A.W. (Realistic & Achievable Wellness.)  Dawn was an excellent speaker who made you pay attention since she was talking to you and not hollering at you.  I’ve tried to watch others do presentations on tv before and if someone is too loud and pushy I will change the channel.  If this was a tv show, I would have watched it until the end.  Part of her second presentation was about flexitarianism, which I actually first learned about from Emily.  Overall her presentations were quite interesting. Sidenote: I also ended up getting a free copy of her book on Sunday morning! YAY for new recipes!

Overall it was a great day of learning, relearning and of course the food.  Last year’s food, and the focus on healthy options, was quite impressive.  This year it was quite tasty as well.  I didn’t take pictures of everything but managed a few including my long lived snack apple that was extra crunchy! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! goes the apple in the quiet room.

Clockwise starting top left: my extra loud snack apple w my corny sign and the corner of my traveling   that added PA to the list; sandwich line w misc veggie options; my lunch w grilled veggie wrap, Great Harvest veggie sandwiches, mixed green salad and an AMAZING chickpea/quinoa/red onion salad that I MUST figure out and was GF too!; breakfast was designated happy hour by the coasters

I didn’t mind the options being vegetarian because while I am not a vegetarian Darth Husband and I eat a lot of veggies on a normal basis. One thing I missed though was cheese.  Dinner ended up solving that problem…PIZZA!  Lauren, Emily, Kristin, and I did some research and scouting about for what people were doing for dinner. After awhile we found a place and ended up making reservations for four at Slice.  The plan was a quick wine stop since it was BYOB and a walk to the restaurant.  We walked to a local liquor store since places like CVS didn’t sell wine in Philly.  That was something new to me. Chicago has different licensing rules. So after that walk came more walking.

After that was more walking.

More walking followed that.

Keep in mind I was in sandals.

Finally we got to Slice and I could stop whining about my feet no longer liking my sandals was ready to eat. The restaurant ended up being amazing.  Being from the Chicago area, traveling and pizza can often end up disappointing.  This was FAR from it.  We were treated extremely well even before we mentioned the blogs.

It took us awhile to decide on which pizza to get since there were so many choices that looked amazing as well as that I’m a pain and don’t like goat cheese.  Lauren, Emily and I ended up half  Margherita (“San Marzano tomato sauce topped with fresh mozzarella & finished w/ basil”) and half  Georgio (“San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni & portabella mushrooms.”)  Kristin got one with artichokes, vegan cheese and black truffle oil (photo-less.)

Lauren, Emily and I DESTROYED this pizza.

We were also treated with a salad, Pear & Goat Cheese (“Spinach topped with grilled pears, goat cheese & candied walnuts, finished with balsamic vinaigrette.”)

It was a nice combination of flavors, minus the goat cheese that I deliberately left in the serving bowl.  The dressing was a bit bold but a surprising bold that made me think “wow this really finishes the salad.”

Slice was kind enough to let us eat, drink, and talk without feeling rushed. Overall it was a great experience.  If I lived in Philly, this would definitely be a must-go place for me.

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