Marvelously Half-Blended

by Sara on May 20, 2013

Greetings from the middle of nowhere!


The dairy cows are mighty friendly ’round these parts.

I spent last night in Twin Falls, Idaho—which happens to be the home of Chobani’s largest yogurt plant!



Naturally I had to celebrate with a cup of yogurt when I arrived at my hotel.


Fresh from the farm! 😉

Have you tried the new Flips yet? They’re like a portable dessert—except healthy enough not be dessert, if that makes sense. I absolutely LOVE the Almond Coco-Loco flavor, which comes with coconut yogurt, dark chocolate chips, and almonds.


So good!

Anyway…it’s Monday! But I’m guessing that you’re not here for me to tell you what day of the week it is—you want to know why the heck I’m eating yogurt in a hotel room in cow-ville. 😉

Well, I have a little story to tell. Remember how I was supposed to fly to Salt Lake City for the Park City Blend Retreat last Thursday? Umm, that never happened. I made it to Park City…eventually, but only after driving nearly 500 miles and getting lost 4327 times.


I don’t think I’ll be taking a road trip by myself again anytime soon. 😉

So here’s what happened:

On Wednesday evening—the night before I was supposed to fly—I met Meg and Laura for mid-week mojitos at Bardenay.


While we were sipping and chatting away, I started to feel abnormally tired and achey, but I just chalked it up to the fact that I’d weight trained my legs for an hour earlier that day.

After drinks,  I ran out to Target to pick up some last minute essentials (ahem, snacks) for the trip.


By the time I’d arrived home, however, extreme exhaustion  had set in. My body temperature had rocketed to a very warm 102 degrees; my eyes were bloodshot; and I was shaking uncontrollably.

NOT a good prognosis for travel!


When I woke up the next morning, it was worse—103 degrees. As much as I wanted to board the plane to Salt Lake, I knew the 100+ passengers I was supposed to fly with wouldn’t be too keen on flu exposure. However the thought of missing Blend—an event I’d been excited about since booking my ticket last January—was devastating. And not only that, but I felt awful leaving Meg—who was already en route to Salt Lake City—alone.

Long story short, I canceled my flight, said a zillion prayers for a speedy recovery, and then planted myself on the couch all day and chugged…

PicMonkey Collage

I’m not one to take medicine at the drop of the dime, but NyQuil and DayQuil were my best friends during that 24-hour period.

I also watched Les Miserables, which is a movie that’s been on my must-see list for months.

les mis main

I have a hard time sitting through long movies (this one is close to three hours!), so I opted to wait and see Les Mis on Netfliix. I’d heard such great things about this movie, and really, really wanted to love it.

I feel like I’m in the vast minority, but I simply wasn’t enamored,  even though I adore musicals. I’ve never seen Les Mis on stage before, so maybe that had something to do with it? Perhaps knowing and loving all of the songs beforehand would’ve made me feel more connected to the film?

I thought it was a decent movie with some beautiful songs, but I felt restless (even with a fever!) as I watched and thought it was too long. (I must say that I thought Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” was absolutely gorgeous, though).

But I digress! By the time my fever broke Friday afternoon, it was too expensive to rebook my flight to Salt Lake.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 1.35.09 PM

$537?! Yikes! I could fly to Europe for that amount! No way-hosay. I was determined to get to Park City for the final day of Blend, though, so I packed up the car Saturday morning and embarked on my first solo road trip.

Of course, six hours of driving required some serious fuel…


No road trip is complete without fast food ice cream amiright? When I was young, my family would always stop at Dairy Queen or McDonald’s for a cone on road trips. To this day, it feels like a necessity.

While I was eating my ice cream, I realized I’d over-shot the turn to Salt Lake City! Since I was already 45 minutes past my exit, I ended up taking a detour, which tacked on another hour to my trip. Finally, six hours later, I was in Park City.

Hyatt_Escala_Lodge_at_Park_City_usn_2I may have missed over half of the Blend Retreat, but arriving at the gorgeous mountain-side destination more than made up for it.

Later that night, I met Annette, Meg, and Linz for dinner at Cafe Rio.


Love these ladies!

I ordered the “award winning” Chicken Salad, which came highly recommended by Annette.


Wow. It was honestly one of the best Mexcian-inspired salads I’ve ever had. Beneath the greens was a melted cheese-topped tortilla, rice, beans and char-grilled chicken. Everything was topped with guacamole, queso fresco, and an absolutely amazing creamy cilantro vinaigrette.


I can’t stop thinking about that vinaigrette!

Afterward, we stopped at  Java Cow for a sweet treat.


First-time cow riders! 😉

I was still feeling ice creamed-out from earlier, so I ordered an almond milk cappuccino with a shot of stevia-sweetened hazelnut syrup.


It hit the spot!

The next morning, I finally had a chance to meet some of my favorite “blends” in person. I  feel as though I’ve known many of these ladies for years, simply from reading their blogs. It was truly wonderful—and exciting—to give them all a hug!

IMG_0307The twins! (Lori and Michelle)



IMG_0309Meg and Heather


While spending time with amazing (and inspiring!) women was definitely the highlight of my 24 hours in Park City, the product perks were pretty nifty, too.


Oh, and then there was Sunday morning’s seriously sweaty workout, and seriously delicious breakfast.

But I’ll tell you more about those things on Wednesday. :)


I want to give a special shout out and THANK YOU to Janetha, Lindsay, and Katie, who worked tirelessly to create a truly amazing conference! You three are incredible! <3

I hope you have a marvelous Monday, friends! Be sure to check out the other MIMM posts at Healthy Diva Life!


p.s. I ended up driving halfway home Sunday (missed turn-free!), which explains why I was eating yogurt in a hotel room last night. 😉


I want to know…

Is there a movie out there that everyone seems to love that you don’t think it all that great?

I’ve never understood the fascination with the Twilight movies! The same goes for The Princess Bride—just could never get into it.

What’s your favorite way to eat yogurt? Favorite flavor? Brand?

Have you ever taken a long road trip by yourself? What’s the longest road trip you’ve taken?


What’s the best thing YOU ate last weekend?


  • Jessie

    Oh my goodness, Sara! I am so happy you’ve started feeling better. I cannot believe you drove the six hours to get there. You were one determined lady on a mission. No stopping you haha. Glad after a missed exit and detour you were final,y able to get there safely.

    Just like you, i too am not a fan of the twilight movies. I don’t find any of the actors to be attractive early. Didn’t understand the big craze when the movie first came out, and still don’t haha

    Favorite wAy to eat yogurt… With Barbara’s puffins, apple slices and peanut butter or in my overnight oats

    Best thing I ate last week… Mr ricotta cheese, sweet potatoes, almond butter, fiber one or Barbara’s puffin cereal mix :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Jessie–you’re so sweet! <3 Ooh, I'd love to try ricotta with sweet potatoes, Puffins and almond butter—sounds absolutely amazing!! Hugs!

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    You don’t like the Princess Bride?!?! We can’t be friends anymore 😉 Haha but seriously, that was my favourite movie when I was a kid. I must have watched it 100 times. I recently made Rob watch it as he’d never seen it, and watching it now as an adult makes it seem quite unrealistic!

    I’m glad you got to Blend in the end! It was very responsible of you to cancel your flight :) I can’t wait until we can finally meet! xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, okay, how about we watch The Princess Bride when I visit you in London? I haven’t seen it since middle school, so maybe you can change my opinion. 😉 xoxo

  • coco

    you’re a brave girl taking a solo road trip! I’ve never done that, maybe I should one day! :)

    I’m obsessed with the soy yogurt I get from WF lately… it made possible my dairy free endeavor.

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Coco! Which soy yogurt do you like? I always enjoy trying new flavors/brands! Happy Monday!

  • Khushboo

    A solo road trip?? I sure am impressed, Sara…glad it was worth it :)! Also good call on stopping for ice cream- I think you more than deserved a mid-trip treat! Blend sounds like such a blast & I’m looking forward to reading more recaps! I was thoroughly envious of the Chobani breakfast based on the pics I saw on Instagram!

    My favorite way to eat yogurt right now is in a near-empty PB jar. As for combo I can’t seem to get enough of plain Greek with applesauce, roasted almonds, cereal (bran flakes), vanilla essence & honey. The best thing I ate all weekend the oatmeal raisin cookie at Starbucks- love them, especially with an iced soy americano on the side!

    Have a great Monday, Sara :)!

    • Sara Stewart

      I agree–those oatmeal raisin cookies are SO good! I still need to try Greek yogurt in a nut butter jar—sounds heavenly. Happy Monday, Khushboo! xoxo <3

  • Lillian_SeizeTheLatte

    Solo roadtrips can be intimidating, fo sho! I gradually worked up to my longest one over the course of a few years: I drove from Philly to Boston and, later, from Chicago to Philly — but my longest haul was three days by myself. It was brutal, and it required loads of caffeine. I’m pretty sure I single-handedly kept the world’s coffee growers in business during that trip. :)

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better and that you had an awesome time at Blend — that’s fantastic! :) Have a lovely Monday, darlin’!

    • Sara Stewart

      Wow, three days of driving sounds exhausting! I completely agree—massive doses of caffeine are definitely necessary. My only problem with chugging coffee is that it makes me have to pee every 30 minutes! Ha…TMI? I’m serious though. I had to stop at least once/hour. THANK God for truck stops! <3

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    I’m glad you were able to make it out to Blend! And taking a road trip by yourself – you were definitely determined, weren’t you? I’ve never taken anything longer than an hour by myself – my sense of direction is terrible, so I know I’d get lost!

    Favourite way to eat yogurt: Going to the States and stocking up on Cho 😉 I’m going to have to keep my eye out for those flips next time I’m over the border! And eating it in frozen form is pretty wonderful too!

    Best thing I ate this weekend: a salmon club sandwich (salmon, maple smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and a little smear or tartar sauce on a pretzel bun)

    • Sara Stewart

      Oh my gosh, I’m totally craving a club sandwich now! I’ve never tried one with salmon, but it sounds incredible! Happy Monday, Sam! <3

  • Hannah @ Clean EatingVeggieGir

    I am so glad that you finally made it to Blend!! How EXTRA disappointing that would have been if you had missed it all :(. It looks like you met a lot of great bloggers AND got some great freebies, too!

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, girl! Happy Monday! <3

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    Wow a 500 mile drive? The longest I’ve ever driven totally by myself is probably like an hour and a half. But once I drove 8 hours with my friend in the passenger seat – that was a long day!!

    I’m so glad you finally made it to Blend though – it sounds like it was a blast with so many awesome bloggers in attendance! I’m seriously kicking myself for not going.

    I wasn’t totally enamoured with Les Mis either. I thought it was a really beautiful story and it made me cry like a baby, but it just didn’t totally capture me. I’m glad I saw it, but I don’t know if I’d see it again.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your time at Blend! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      I really hope you go to Blend next year! Even though I was only there for the very end, it was still the best blogging conference I’ve attended. Are you planning on going to HLS this year? Hugs! <3

  • AnnaTheApple

    Ahh what a nightmare! Glad you’re feeling better but how rubbish that you felt so ill. It always happens at the worst of times :(
    But you made it in the end, wahay! And jeez 6 hours of driving on your own? I literally can’t navigate further than like 20 miles. I get lost driving to the shops – I’m actually not even joking. I had to ring Ben on the way to the mall because I didn’t know how to get there. Ben laughed at me. Major kudos to you, independent lady :) You definitely deserved that ice cream.
    The Blend Retreat looks like a lot of fun, and how lovely to meet up with so many bloggers. And the swag looks AMAZING. That alone I’d drive 6 hours for hehe. I think I’m sort of joking…
    I did enjoy Les Mis when I saw it in the cinema. I had no idea of the story or anything but it just got me all choked up and emotional. But I agree it was too long. The whole rebel fighting scene dragged in my opinon.
    I had BBQ ribs last night. Hands down best thing I’ve eaten in a WEEK. One of my favourite meals by far.
    Have a good start to the week! xx

    • Sara Stewart

      Oh my gosh, Anna, you should have seen me trying to navigate with my cell phone! It was extremely dangerous, as I was holding my phone with one hand, and steering with the other. Not to mention, I was barely looking at the road. Eep!

      BBQ ribs sound so good right now! It’s been ages since I’ve had them, but I think that needs to change asap. It was one of my favorite meals when I was little—especially coupled with corn on the cob!


  • Lindsay Cotter

    i’m so glad you still got to come! But we really need another weekend, yes? LOVE YOU!

    • Sara Stewart

      We definitely need another weekend! I’d LOVE to visit Austin! Or how about a Hawaiian vacay? 😉

  • Sally

    So glad you got to go, at least for part of the time! The Idaho girl in you came out in that road trip!! Your Park City hotel looks like a fabulous place! xo

    • Sara Stewart

      It was amazing! I’d like to take you there sometime! <3

  • Miss Polkadot

    Thumbs down for that nasty nausea sneaking up on you right before leaving for Blend. Kudos to taking up that huge road trip on your own. Admittedly, I’m a tad scared of driving such long distances on my own which might be due to my dad’s hyper-cautious attitude and warnings rubbing off on me. I’m glad it worked out well for you and you know I’ll have to agree to ice cream being the best fuel for such a trip.
    While I’m definitely a bit jealous I’m SO happy to hear you enjoyed your time and Blend and am excited to hear more.

    One movie that I felt I should rave about because everybody did but couldn’t agree with was Eat, Pray, Love. The book was great but the movie … lacking. Same goes for P.S. I love you. I was SO bored by the movie and both were ones that I watched at the cinema so I couldn’t just leave ;).
    Oooh, it might make you happy to hear that the best thing I ate [as part of a meal] this weekend was avocado. Yes, I finally dared having it as is and not in a baked good like a while ago. I may or may not finally get why you’re liking them so much.
    Happy Monday, Sara!

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, girl! <3 I'm so excited that you tried avocado this weekend! I love eating it sprinkled with sea salt. It's so simple, nourishing, and delicious. Also, if you haven't tried avocado toast yet, I highly recommend you do! Sending huge hugs! <3

  • Allison @ Life’s a Bowl

    Oh major bummer about being sick and not just sick with a cold, but the flu?! Sorry to hear about your lost travels but at least you made it and it’ll make for a good story in the future… Hopefully next year [when I join in on all the fun] you have easier travels! I picked up some Cho Flips for the first time over the weekend cause they were on sale but I haven’t seen the coconut almond or key lime yet… Those two are high on my list to try! Ryan and I saw Gatsby last week and thought it was good, but not great. Leo was a stud as usual but I didn’t think the music fit with the movie – I’d definitely listen to the songs if they popped onto the radio but I think it took away from the old movie feel :/

    • Sara Stewart

      Ooh, I’m glad you found the Flips! The Coconut Almond is my favorite, and I love the key lime yogurt (but can’t eat the graham crackers since they’re not GF)! I felt the same way about the music in Gatsby–it was totally out of place. I really enjoyed the costumes and cinematography, though! Happy Monday, girl! <3

  • Ashley

    I have pictures on that cow! 😉 So sorry to hear you were sick, but I’m glad you got to make it for part of the time. Missed you gals! xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      I missed seeing you, too! I hope you go next year! <3

  • Courtney Violet Bentley

    I am so happy you made it Sara!! I would be in your same position and I am glad to see all the hiccups on the way there made up for it! I love Salt Lake City its so pure there and so clean! I hope to make it next year, I would have gone this year but my best friends wedding was the same weekend! Hope you are 100% feeling better and if not I’m sending you lots of health! Have a great week and enjoy all of your goodies! Love + Shine Courtstar

    • Sara Stewart

      I love Salt Lake, too! It’s absolutely gorgeous, and you’re right—so clean!

      Thanks for your well-wishes, Courtney! I hope you had a wonderful time at your friend’s wedding! Happy Monday, love! <3

  • Claire @Keeping Up With Claire

    I’m happy you made it-I was stalking you and Meg on Instagram all weekend long in total jealousy over all of the fun times you guys had! 😉 I TOTALLLLLLY know how you felt about getting lost-when I moved to Florida, I drove alone (unless Bentley counts, but he slept most of the time so he wasn’t helpful). I got lost in South Carolina multiple times and I wanted to cry. After 17 hours in one day, I swore I would never drive more than 3 hours alone again, haha. I also used to make the 6 hour road-trip frequently from Connecticut to Maryland when I was working at ESPN to go see my friends and family. This is why I do not like driving anymore, haha. I hope you’re safe at home now beauty! <3

    • Sara Stewart

      Oh my gosh, the drive from Maryland to Florida must have been exhausting! Kudos to you for doing that solo! I definitely broke down in tears numerous times, too. But I guess it was a character-building experience?! 😉

      I’m not home yet–just about to hit the road, and praying a missed turn-free drive. Haha. Happy Monday, love! xoxo

  • Sara Stewart

    I missed you too, Sophia! <3 I bet the road trip from Genoa to Paris was beautiful! I'd love to drive through Europe sometime–it would be so fun to stop in the small towns, check out the cafes etc. I'd be in heaven!

    I love that your dad quotes The Princess Bride! I think I need to watch it again–it's been years, but I remember thinking it was really wacky/silly when I saw it the first time. Maybe I'd love it now!

    I'm so sorry to hear you haven't been well! <3 Toast, porridge, and gelato sound like good remedies, though; I'm glad you're on the mend now. And please tell me more about this handsome man you met?!!! Eeee! xoxo

    • Sophia

      Genoa-Paris was breathtaking- I would be Love to do it again when you finally move to Italy 😉 I am picking up slowly, wish my recovery was a bit faster though especially now I’ve met this gorgeous man!!! He’s the new chef at the restaurant I work in, and he’s Australian :) I can’t wait to get to know him more! Lots of Hugs Sophia

  • Missy

    Way to Rally! Srsly I had a 103 fever once and I thought I was dying.
    Best thing I ate last weekend was a peanut buttered pickle.

  • julie

    I LOVEEEEE impromptu road trips!!! it sounds like this one was awesome – so exciting that you made it there! if i hadn’t just gotten back from Ireland I totally would have made my way there – Park City is gorgeous and when I was there for a weekend (in college) the ice cream place was such a hot spot!

    Hope you’re feeling better lady! xoxo

  • purelytwins

    you are a trouper!! you get bonus points for making that trip to Park City!! we are so honored to be able to chat with you at breakfast! keep us in touch with your tummy issues and remember we are here for you :)

  • Brittany Nettles

    I’m so happy to see the you recovered and made it! You look like you truly had a phenomenal time. I hope that I can make it to Blend one day. Until then, I’ll sit back and live vicariously through everyone’s photos! Have a great week!

  • Nanna

    Boo boo boo, I just wrote a long response and then my internet conked out when I pressed post, so it didn’t go through. Hmph. Round 2… I’m impressed that you drove all that way having been so ill just hours before! You go girl! Airfares are far too outrageous- it’s maddening. I’m a fan of plain yogurt because I like to POUR on all sorts of toppings, and when it comes to movies, I’m also not a fan of things like Twilight… Les Mis didn’t float my boat either, but I really enjoyed Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger. The longest road trip I’ve dono solo is 15 hours (never again, please!), and the best thing I ate this weekend was sweet cream ice cream with salted caramel sauce. I would have loved to have had that salad of yours though 😉

  • Bekki

    I will have to try flips…look yum!!

  • runwithspoons

    My goodness, girl… I have to say that I definitely admire your determination! I’m not sure I could have done a long road trip like that by myself, but I’m glad to hear that it paid off for you in the end :) Blend sounds like it was a really amazing time, and I really wish that I could have gone to meet some of my favorite bloggers there – you included! The airfare was kind of crazy from un here, though… but hopefully next year I’ll be a little better prepared with finances.

    I couldn’t help but smile at your mention of McD’s on road trips, because it was exactly the same for me when I was younger. That was like the one place that felt safe with my allergies, so my parents would always take me there whenever we travelled. So many fond memories of chicken nuggets, fries, and sweet ‘n sour sauce :)

  • Annette Perkins

    It was great to meet ya!! Isn’t Cafe Rio THE best?!?!?

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