Monday, May 23, 2011

Friendship, Slacking and a Gleek Retreat '11 Recap

Although I freely admit to being a slacker about things like cleaning out my fridge, weeding, and returning library books, I'm usually not a slacker about things I like to do, like writing in my blog. Lately, however, my life has been a whirlwind and I've been keeping up with most of it ok but my bog has suffered terribly in the face of a temporary job, applying and interviewing for permanent jobs, finishing (finally!) my degree, starting a volunteer job, trying to keep up with various yard and house projects, all while still feeding myself and the cats and keeping up with various friends and, of course, my life in social media!

This last weekend I attended the Gleek Retreat '11 with a bunch of amazing women bloggers from the West Michigan and the surrounding areas, and I decided I simply had to write a post about how much I enjoyed meeting everyone and how great all the speakers were! Not only was it great to be able to put faces to the twitter handles, I also learned a lot from all the presenters. Thanks to Katie, from Kitchen Stewardship, I might even try writing an eBook when my schedule calms down a little! Look for a review of her awesome eBook Healthy Snacks To Go coming up in the next week or so since she was nice enough to give me a review copy. I just glanced through it quickly and there are a few recipes I am dying to try!

I also wanted to take a few minutes to thank and talk about the wonderful sponsors of the Gleek Retreat:

Unfortunately I didn't get time to take advantage of a free facial from Therapon Skin Health while at the retreat, but I can't wait to try the samples that were included in our swag bags. Everyone who has tried them has been raving about them on Twitter!

We each received two full-size bottles of carpet and upholstery cleaner and a coupon for a free Big Green Machine rental from Bissell.

Mabel's Labels provided the bags our swag came in, as well as two adorable Bag Tags for each attendee with our blog names.

Island Girl Bags gave us each a purse-sized Kleenex holder or key fob in our bags in fun patterns. I got a Kleenex holder and it has found a happy home in my purse. Being a bag addict, I've been drooling over their website and thinking of hosting a trunk show sometime soon!

Everyone loves candy and Rudy Kazoody's, Specialty Candies and Gift Baskets of Rockford, tucked little goodie packets into our swag bags. Mine had the cutest little package of Haribo gummy bears in it I've ever seen! How cute are their Retro Baskets!

Roger's Jewelers provided a jewelry polishing cloth, something I desperately needed!

So far my favorite item from the swag bag was from Good Life Granola. This is the best granola I've ever had, hands down! It's positively addictive! Luckily it's made in Holland, MI and a lot of places around Grand Rapids carry it so I'll be able to get more with no trouble. It is available online if you don't live within driving distance of one of the retailers. I highly recommend you try it if you like granola- or even if you don't, it's that good!

Other thanks go out to Julie at Dutch Being Me for planning the retreat. I know how much work goes into pulling off an event like this and she did an amazing job! Haworth Inn and Conference Center in downtown Holland gave us a great deal on our rooms and they were lovely! They took great care of us all weekend with good food, a nice space and lots of coffee! We took a dinner cruise out onto Lake Macatawa on the Holland Princess and it was a good time although sadly I missed the on-board karaoke.   And last but certainly not least, I won my ticket to the retreat from Blog Conference Newbie along with a snack pack and keychain from Words to Sweat By and a pack of 100 beautiful business cards from tinyprints that I received tons of compliments on!

Even though it was all fun and educational, by far my favorite part of the weekend was the opportunity to catch up with my friend Stacy from My Life of What Ifs. We were friends in high school and in college and have kept in touch over the years but it has been a decade since we'd seen each other in person to talk and catch up. As with all truly great friendships, the years melted away within minutes and if we didn't get all the way caught up, it sure wasn't for lack of trying! Stacy is the one who inspired me to start blogging again and she has always been one of my favorite people. She is more amazing than she knows and I've always admired her and her perspective on life. Even though we stayed up too late talking, the time I spent with her was a true gift and hopefully another 10 years won't go by before we can do it again. 

Once thing I can tell you for sure is that it won't be another month before you see another new post from me! 


  1. I loved meeting you - I hope you join us for some West Michigan Blogger events - or maybe a little Lansing meet up with Stacy?!

  2. Thanks Jen, it was great meeting you too! I think both of those ideas sound great! I'm planning on the next West Michigan Blogger meeting if my work schedule allows!

  3. Thanks for the recap. I'm so very sad I wasn't able to make it. I definitely need to save that date for 2012.

  4. Definitely, it was fun! I was so happy I got to go. Looking forward to next year.

  5. Awesome! Its truly awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea about from this article.

    Look into my blog post - search engine optimazation

  6. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I
    appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the website is really good.

    my website: online marken outlet shop

  7. There is certainly obviously lots to know about this.

    I guess you produced some very good tips in Characteristics also.

    Feel free to visit my website Full File