October 17, 2013

Better Blog Retreat

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Earlier this month I got to spend the most amazing four days tucked away in a cabin in the mountains of Park City, Utah with some of my favorite blogging girlfriends. I love going to blogging conferences, but my favorite part about them is after the conference — when we’re back in the room, in comfy PJs, and all piled around a laptop sharing tips, asking questions, learning new tricks, helping, and inspiring one another. These stolen moments are few and far between at a regular conference, but impact they have — feeling encouraged, refreshed, and motivated — make the entire trip worthwhile. How great would it be to get to spend a whole conference just doing that?!

A few weekends ago Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod and Heidi from Foodie Crush made that happen.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

They invited us to their very first Better Blog Retreat at a gorgeous Anthology Storied Destinations vacation home nestled right in the mountains of Park City, Utah. This secluded home is accessible only by a ski slope or a hidden tunnel! But it’s still close enough so you can walk right to downtown Park City and all the cute shops and boutiques.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

The house was incredible! It was 5 stories, sleeps 15 people, and had more rooms than I could count — including a theater and it’s own spa and sauna. Right in the house! :) Here were my digs for the weekend with the best roomie ever, Jenny from Picky Palate. :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

There were so many goodies waiting for us when we arrived! :) Was so excited over the beautiful gift baskets from Harry and David. It felt like Christmas morning. :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

The house even had its own elevator!! It definitely came in handy with our luggage since we were on the 5th floor, lol! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Like any good food blogging retreat, there were treats everywhere. :) How fabulous are these cupcakes from from Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery??

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

The adorably sweet Sandy Coughlin from The Reluctant Entertainer made her famous baked brie with ingredients from Wisconsin Cheese and Harry and David. You guys. My life was changed. I will admit that I somehow made it through my 30+ years and have never had baked brie. I don’t know HOW I let such a travesty occur. If I could go back in time and find the Amanda that let that happen, I would spank her. This was seriously one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. And the way Sandy did it, it was so simple to whip up. You could have a jaw-dropping, life-changing, everyone’s-talking-about-it appetizer with just a few simple ingredients in just 10 minutes. And everything but the brie can kept in the pantry for surprise guests!

The recipe is coming to her site soon, but for now, here’s one of her similar recipes: Baked Brie with Cranberry Relish. I will for sure let you know when the recipe is on her site because I will be making it immediately!! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

On our first morning in Park City, we woke up to a winter wonderland! Everything was covered in a blanket of snow.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

We were there at the perfect time. It was such a treat to be able to experience Utah’s stunning fall colors and a frosting of fresh snow.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Lisa

Loved bundling up inside, curling up on the couch, and watching the snow fall silently on the mountains.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Jenny

For breakfast, Chobani arranged an amazing yogurt bar for us. They whipped up their yogurt creations from their Chobani SoHo cafe menu. There were so many delicious ingredients and toppings! My favorite was the pistachio and dark chocolate creation. And oh my goodness, look at this peanut butter and jelly one!! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Maria

After breakfast we all piled into the theater room to start the day. :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Kelley

Everyone in the group had something unique to contribute. We spent all day learning from one another. We just kept bouncing from topic to topic. Such an honor to learn from these talented ladies! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Maria and Heidi spoiled us! They prepared amazing dinners for us every night. I nearly died when they brought out the burrata! Have you ever had burrata? It’s like mozzarella cheese, but when you cut into it, more gooey cheese falls out. The first time I had it was when we were in Italy, and I seriously about fainted the first time I saw it happen, lol! If you ever see it on a menu, get it for sure!! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Delicious Caprese Garlic Bread topped with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, chopped basil and DeLallo balsmic glaze.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Rachel

Loved eating all our meals together with this sweet group of friends.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Kristen

After dinner we curled up back in the cozy theatre room to watch a movie. Of course Ryan Gosling was involved! ;)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

The next day there were more goodies from Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery! Loved these brownie and samoa cookies.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

How gorgeous are these fall cupcakes??

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Dying over this caramel apple cupcake!! It was definitely a sweet weekend :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Rachel

We spent the morning in yoga pants, cozy sweaters and scarves, comfy boots and sharing more about what we love.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

And taking breaks for selfies ;)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Learned so much from these ladies and had so much fun just hanging out for a weekend. We got some much needed downtime. It truly felt like a vacation because we just stayed bundled up in the house all weekend in comfy clothes! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Heidi

Maria and Heidi surprised us with another treat!! On Saturday afternoon, they had Zante Spa come to the house and give everyone spa treatments.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

I had the most amazing back massage of my life and a glorious foot massage!

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

After we were all relaxed, we cozied up by the fire.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Love, love, love these girls!! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Gina

It was our last night, so we took lots of pictures. :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

Lori and Sandy are so cute! :) They kept trying to get a picture together, but they couldn’t stop giggling, lol! :)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

The Utah girls! Kelley, Heidi, Dara, and Maria.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

On our last night together we were in for yet another wonderful treat — the executive chef from Deer Valley Resort came to the house and prepared a special dinner just for us.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Rachel

The food was amazing. The atmosphere was perfect.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah Photo via Maria

I couldn’t have asked for a better evening.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

The next morning we woke up to fresh Kouing Aman pastries from Les Madeleines for breakfast.

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

If you’ve never had Kouing Aman, I’ll just tell you. It’s phenomenal. It should be physically impossible how much butter is packed inside each flaky layer of dough. The outside is caramelized in sugar for a crisp crust. It’s what a “cronut” wants to be, but never quite got there. If you ever seen one in a bakery, grab it immediately! It’s worth standing in line at 4 am for. ;)

Better Blog Retreat in Park City Utah

So grateful for every minute of our weekend in Park City with this amazing group of friends. I came home feeling refreshed, energized, and excited. Will never forget our time spent here!

Better Blog Retreat Girls: Heidi, Sandy, Kristen, Amanda, Jessica, Jenny, Rachel, Maria, Ali, Lindsay, Kelley, Gina, Lori, and Dara (And Lisa, not pictured! :) xoxo)

HUGE, huge thanks to Maria and Heidi for making this happen. You girls are AMAZING!! :) They seriously did so much work behind the scenes to make the weekend truly magical. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And thank you so much to all of our sponsors who spoiled us all weekend! Anthology, Chobani, DeLallo, KitchenAid, Deer Valley, OXO, Whole Foods, Wisconsin Cheese, Harry and David and many more. All I can say is wow. Thank you!! :)



See More Posts About: Travel

38 Comments





1
Tammy October 17, 2013 at 5:58 am

I’m loving the photos. I’d love to go on a blogger retreat it looks like so much fun ! Thanks for sharing.

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2
Lisa Lst October 17, 2013 at 6:28 am

WOW! Now I wish I was a food blogger! Looks like you had a magical time and I can’t think of a better location. Which looks like that was the “Icing on the Cake” (please pardon the pun).

Thank you for sharing these amazing photos!
Lisa :)
ps-I hope you were wearing your Jelly Donut perfume and Body Mist :)

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3
Averie @ Averie Cooks October 17, 2013 at 6:29 am

Your photography is amazing in this post (as always) but just SO many images – must have taken you forever. Thank you! And what a wonderful experience. I’d love to be on a trip like this…maybe one day:)

All the great food (I know you’ve talked about your love of Kouing Aman before), the setting (hello winter wonderland!) and most of all hanging out with friends in PJs and shooting the breeze. Awesome.

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4
Mindy October 17, 2013 at 6:44 am

Amanda, I love all of these pictures! Thanks for sharing with your fans!

In picture #28 (28 down from top),
Where did you get that sweater and aqua top underneath?
I LOVE it!
Thank you in advance =)

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5
Amanda October 17, 2013 at 7:26 am

Thank you! :) They’re from a boutique near me called Altar’d State. They have a webpage! Brand is Love Stitch. Here is a link to the sweater: http://www.altardstate.com/shop/apparel/sweaters/honeycomb-hi-lo-sweater.html

6
Mindy October 18, 2013 at 5:54 am

Amanda:
Thank you!!!
That site is amazing. I can’t afford that lovely sweater at the moment, but I checked out their sale page and WOW! That is all I can say! I got a couple items that could tie me over until I can afford the sweater. Thanks for letting me know about this awesome site!!
I bookmarked it and signed up for their newsletter. Too bad they don’t have a store close to me (in Augusta, GA). They have one about 2.5 hours away, but website buying is just as perfect! Thank you so much! =)

7
shelly (cookies and cups) October 17, 2013 at 6:50 am

Everything looks just too amazing!! All your photos are fantastic…great group!

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8
Madison October 17, 2013 at 6:56 am

What an amazing weekend!!!!!! Full of friends and delicious food. Beautiful!

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9
Julia October 17, 2013 at 6:58 am

wow! I love your pictures! This looks like the perfect girls-weekend ever! The house is amazing, so huge and so comfy – simply perfect!

Julia

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10
Manderley October 17, 2013 at 7:07 am

Amazing weekend! You’re a lucky girls!

xoxo

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11
Amy @ The Nifty Foodie October 17, 2013 at 7:42 am

Oh my gosh… what an awesome weekend! Looks like such a blast! :-)

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12
Penny Hall October 17, 2013 at 7:48 am

Oh man, I read all of this tasting everything you described without the calories. I am trying to lose some weight and I truly thank you for sharing without me having to eat it and add calories to my day! Can’t wait for the Brie cheese recipe, having a early Thanksgiving in Kansas and want to make that for us the night before.

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13
Lori October 17, 2013 at 7:51 am

Looks like a great time. The house and setting are just beautiful.

So, how does something like this work in that, who pays for it? Do you each have to pay something towards the weekend?

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14
Heidi @foodiecrush October 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

Amanda, the weekend wouldn’t have been complete without you! Heck, we never would have gotten the projector on the big screen working either! So grateful you made the trip, you have so much wisdom and knowledge and are always so generous to share. Thanks for making the weekend complete! XOXO

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15
Maria F October 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

Loveee this post. Made me giggle the whole time I was reading it. Looks so much fun!!!

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16
Cookbook Queen October 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

Looks like the funnest weekend ever!!

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17
Julie October 17, 2013 at 8:48 am

Absolutely beautiful pictures! It’s as if I was right there with all of you! Great blog!

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18
Maria October 17, 2013 at 9:15 am

Loved spending the weekend with you! I wish we could do it every weekend! xoxo

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19
Alyssa October 17, 2013 at 9:21 am

I want your life!! Looks like such an amazing time, but I would have gained 50 lbs in 4 days. Lol… I’m not kidding. I’ve always wanted to try food blogging since I love to cook and write, but I’m worried I wouldn’t have the time or attention span to devote to it. It looks like such a fun, close-knit group of women! :o)

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20
Jenny Flake October 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

PERRRRRFECT re-cap!! Loved spending the week with you! See you soon :)

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21
Sara | Simply Happenstance October 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

I was living vicariously through you girls through Instagram! What an amazing retreat! Love your recap!

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22
Lori @ RecipeGirl October 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Love it all! Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos and memories!

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23
Katie October 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Having just gotten back from IFBC a few weeks ago, and finding myself a little let down by the type of information that was shared, this sounds like the PERFECT antidote to a typical conference. What a treat to attend! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

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24
Judy October 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Give us some hints on how you stay so thin with all the awesome food available.

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25
Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness October 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm

This retreat looks like sooo much fun. Soo jealous! I totally agree with you that the best part of blogger conferences are the moments you spend bonding with other bloggers! And this retreat sounded like a blogger’s heaven on earth! I will definitely be making the baked brie and somehow going to come with a recipe like those amazing looking samoa cookies! Will this be open to more people coming next year? Because if so I would looove to go!!

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26
Lori Peuterbaugh October 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm

How fun!!! It looked amazing!!

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27
Cinda Rank October 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm

That was the most important thing, you had fun, ralaxed, and bonded your friendship!
How perfect! I am glad all of you had the time of your lives, relaxing
Is a good thing! Thanks for sharing
Makes us take a good look at how we should
Stop and Smell the baked goods!!! Lol!
Cinda

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28
Jenny October 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I guess I’m a little murky on the deets, or maybe I Didn’t read carefully enough-
but who paid for this? I see there were ‘sponsors’ for the events, but did you pay for this, or was it a paid event? I just look for disclosure with big events like this!
Lovely cupcakes!!!

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29
Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective October 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! Loved that cabin, too! :)

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30
Genell {Nel's Nook} October 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Thanks for sharing – it looks like you guys had a blast! I just started blogging but I can’t wait to start going to conferences and then maybe one day these fun non-conferences!

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31
Karyn - Pint Sized Baker October 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Looks like an amazing time! I was watching all the photos on IG wondering why I hadn’t heard of this conference. Such a great getaway for all of the ladies!

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32
Tieghan October 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Oh wow, what a fun and incredible trip! The whole weekend I was wishing I was there with you all. Learning and just taking it all in!!

You guys are one talented bunch! Thank you so much for sharing the behind the scenes! :)

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33
rachel October 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

It was SUCH an amazing weekend. I’m so refreshed and my heart so full! Loved getting actual time with you <3 Miss y'all already!

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34
Kelly October 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Amanda, this looks like a fabulous weekend. I recently “met” Rachel at a conference in Houston and became her friend on Facebook. She posted pictures from the conference, and I couldn’t believe it was snowing there while it was still 90ish degrees in Houston. The recap and pictures were great!

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35
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life October 21, 2013 at 7:56 am

What an amazing group of girls and how much fun it must have been to hang with them all weekend and chat blog stuff!!! I’m sure I could learn so much from everyone there! Maybe one day…

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36
Jessica @ The Budget Savvy Bride October 22, 2013 at 6:18 pm

This looks like the most fun, ever! I totally agree– I think the moments spent in PJs huddled on someone’s hotel room bed or floor to share our tips, knowledge and experience are my favorite moments of the blogging conferences. The people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made as a result of these blogging conferences are so special. In fact, I owe you a huge THANK YOU for the time you spent with me at Blissdom last year– it made a huge impact on me and my blogging confidence.
I don’t know when the next Better Blog Retreat is but I would LOVE to get on the waitlist, LOL! :) Thanks for all you do to share, encourage and empower others. You rock! xoxoxo

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37
Shaina October 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

It looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

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38
northern cottage January 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm

ummmm…so…..I REALLY want to GO WITH YOU next time….this looks absolutely stunningly amazingly wonderful! so stinkin envious of you talented girls ♥

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