The big highlights from IDEA Blogfest in LA

The last few days have been nothing short of incredible. I got back into the Bay Area in the afternoon yesterday, and although I was tired, I was completely energized and inspired from my trip down to Southern California for IDEA BlogFest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention. (And yes, I was so happy to see Dave and my little Rudy after several nights out-of-town — they both greeted me at the airport with big smiles.)

BlogFest highlights via A Lady Goes West blogJust a snapshot of some of the great people, who collided at this ultimate fitness event …

You see, I did many things while away in LA …

  • I spent time networking with fellow healthy-living bloggers.
  • I chatted with fitness professionals from far-and-wide.
  • I did new-to-me workouts.
  • I learned more about nutrition.
  • I ate some great food.
  • I collected tons of swag.
  • I tried out new fitness products.
  • I spoke in front of my peers as a presenter.
  • I made some new friends.
  • I ran into some old friends.
  • I did box jumps in the middle of a massive expo hall.
  • I spilled FroYo on my pants.
  • And I loved every single minute of every single day.

Because I have so much to share that I can’t wait to incorporate into the blog and pass on to all of you, I’m going to recap the nitty-gritty details from BlogFest and the fitness lectures over the next couple of weeks. Get ready for nutrition tips, blogging tips and of course, fitness tips.

Today, we’re going to start with a look at the highlights from my trip, as well as cover my usual weekly workout recap. 

My first time attending IDEA BlogFest in LA

IDEA BlogFest is in its second year, and this was my first time attending. BlogFest activities took place on Thursday and Friday, and all BlogFest attendees were also granted admission on Saturday and Sunday into the IDEA World Fitness Convention, which just happens to be THE biggest fitness convention of the year.

I arrived into LA on Wednesday afternoon, hopped in a Super Shuttle and went to the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, which is just a few steps from LA Live, the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the conferences were taking place. I immediately met up with Heather, my wonderful roommate, and she showed me our comfortable room on the 13th floor, where we spent nearly no time at all, save for sleeping a few hours each night. (I didn’t think buildings were supposed to have 13th floors, by the way, but they do!)

Heather and I spent the next four days together, attending fitness-related sessions, sweating, learning and soaking up as much of the experience as possible. Although I learned so much valuable information, I can honestly say that the highlight of this trip did not take place in the Convention Center. In fact, the highlight was the relationships I built with other gals in the blogging world.

Nice dinners out with some lovely lady bloggers

On the night I arrived in LA, Heather and I went out to dinner to The Farm Beverly Hills, and I was able to finally meet the super-sweet Gina, as well as be introduced to Jess, Giselle and Katy. (Although Katy and I technically met for the first time long ago when I worked in public relations back in Orlando). 

BlogFest blogger dinners in LA via A Lady Goes WestBloggers and one incredibly tasty ahi tuna salad for dinner on night numero uno.

We went out to dinner with nearly this same group of ladies on Friday night as well, adding Bobbi and Hollie into the equation, and these by far were some of my favorite moments of the trip. These gals were friendly, real and offered me great advice, in addition to the laughs.

Suffice to say, Heather was the perfect roommate and partner-in-crime for all of the activities. We laughed together while avoiding washing our hair at all costs, and she supported me in my quest to eat all-the-samples every single time we walked through the expo hall — just like any friend would.

BlogFest was full of lectures, presentations and workouts

On Thursday and Friday, we joined the BlogFest attendees to listen to lectures by fellow bloggers and experts. We completed a few workouts, like Kaia FIT, Gabrielle Reece’s HIGHX, Jillian Michael’s BODYSHRED, Zumba (my FAVORITE workout of the week) and more, ate great food from sponsors and perused the expo hall to pick up samples, learn about the latest products about to hit the market and watch fitness demos. We also had a couple of after-hours networking sessions, in which we got to change out of workout clothes, exchange business cards and have a glass of wine.

BlogFest fun in LA via A Lady Goes WestIf there is a step-and-repeat, you can bet we’ll be ready to pose. And in need of a shoulder workout? Try this partner press on the bottom-right …

On Saturday, we attended a few valuable IDEA World Fitness Convention educational sessions and workouts throughout the day and went out to another nice dinner. Sunday morning featured two final sessions, before we each separately checked out and hit the airport to fly back to our respective homes. I mean, we just kept going-and-going-and-going until the entire event was shut down.

Overall, the trip was action-packed, and I hardly had a minute of down-time. I’ve walked away with tons of new knowledge about both of my passions — fitness and the blog world — and I’m eager to start putting all my new lessons into play.

And those were some of the high points. I’ll get to more of the good stuff and details later this week. But now, let’s move on to the regularly scheduled programming …

My weekly fitness and workouts recap

Every single Monday, I like to take a minute to look at how I did with my recent workouts, so here we go 

Weekly workouts via A Lady Goes West(Photo credit to Leah Bentley Photography, 2015.)

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Tuesday – Practiced one hour of BODYPUMP at home with weights
  • Wednesday – Practiced one hour of BODYPUMP at home with weights
  • Thursday – Took a one-hour Pure Barre class
  • Friday – Did a 45-minute bodyweight Kaia FIT class, a 45-minute HIGHX cardio/resistance class and a 45-minute Zumba class
  • Saturday – Did a 45-minute TRX class, a 30-minute BODYSHRED class and a 45-minute foam rolling/recovery session
  • Sunday – Did a 30-minute gentle yoga stretching session

What was good about my week of workouts?

New things! It felt great to have a break from teaching classes this past week. Overall, I did a few more workouts than normal, but also had a long foam-rolling session and an active recovery day complete with a very gentle yoga session on Sunday. During the IDEA BlogFest and convention, I tried several new-to-me workouts, like the partner workout with Kaia FIT, circuit sets with Gabby Reece’s HIGHX, challenging bodyweight moves with Jillian Michael’s BODYSHRED, advanced TRX moves and even a full-hour of barre. For a group fitness instructor who is usually teaching a lot of classes, nothing feels better than being a participant and getting out of my comfort zone. The highlight? Totally the fun of Zumba!

What could have been better about my week of workouts?

Nothing at all. This past week of movement was great. I enjoyed trying new things and switching up my regular workout routine. And that 45-minute rolling and recovery session? Just magical, my friends.

That’ll do it for today. While I’m normally off to teach at Orangetheory Fitness in the mornings on Mondays, I’m actually spending the day in Santa Cruz with Dave and the entire Warriors organization at an end-of-season celebration. So it will be a rest day for me, full of sun and fun.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more highlights and information from my time at IDEA BlogFest in LA. Have a good one!

*Please note: I was given a complimentary ticket to IDEA BlogFest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention in exchange for speaking at the event and posting about it. I covered my travel and accommodations. Fair trade? I think so!

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

What was your last workout?

Have you ever taken a dance class?

Ashley signature



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    What an incredible, awe-inspiring, and just exuberant few days of so many of the things (and people) we love in one place! I am so glad that we got to meet and hang out a bit! And now good luck getting back to normal, lol. Have a great week, Ashley!

    1. Hi Susie! That’s what I kept saying — nearly ALL of my favorite things in one place for a whole weekend? Awesome! It was so great meeting, and I look forward to sharing this blogging journey with you!

  2. I knew I would see a bright and cheery recap from you as soon as I landed. (I’m currently coming to you from my wonderful early morning layover in CHI… while scarfing an omelette.) Great way to kick things off! And I had such a blast with you! <3

    1. Hi Megan! Yes, you were definitely missed, but hopefully there will be a conference or trip in the near future where we can finally meet! Hope the doctor appointment goes well!

    1. Hi Lisa! Yes, I learned a lot and met great people. I hope you had a great weekend, lady! 🙂 More to come on all the things I found out at the conference …

  3. Ah this looks like the best weekend/trip ever! I’m so glad that you had such a great time. Can’t wait to hear more of your recaps 🙂 The pics all look so gorgeous. All you fitness ladies clean up really nicely! Hope you have a great week!

    1. Hi Katie! It sure does happen. At least it was at the end of the night and not at the beginning. 🙂 hehehhe! Hope you had a nice weekend, lady! Looked like beautiful weather for you??

    1. Hi Morganne! I miss my boys so MUCH heheheh! And yes, I’ve got a lot more to share about the weekend. Hope all is well with you, pretty runner lady! 🙂

    1. Hi Stacie! YES, I did have a blast. And yes, it’s totally worth the travel to go to. NEXT year!! Hope you had a great weekend:)

  4. I could not make it back this year so I am thoroughly enjoying and appreciating these recaps. Next year. I’m there. I will spill frozen yogurt on my pants along with you 🙂

    1. Hi Carla! Yes, it would have been great to meet you. Hopefully we’ll cross paths at a conference in the future. And yes, we can both have some spills together hahaha! Happy Monday!

  5. I have taken a dance class or two back in the day but it’s been a while. I bet it would be a lot of fun to get back into it as an adult. I agree with a lot of the comments above – your weekend looked fabulous! I enjoyed your insta updates 🙂

    1. Hi Doc! Oh my gosh, it felt SO good to dance. I’ve heard great things about Dance Trance in Orlando, although I never went. You should check it out!! 🙂 Happy Monday!

  6. I loved following your Insta updates over the weekend! It looked like such a great time and I can’t believe how many workouts y’all completed in a matter of a few days. I’m sure you’re looking forward to your rest day today! 🙂

  7. I just loved following along with all your fun adventures on IG over the course of the week! Glad you had a blast. I can definitely say that next year I’m going to make this convention a priority to attend! It looks like so much fun and is RIGHT up my alley. Looking forward to reading and seeing more of what you did and learned! Have fun in Santa Cruz today!

  8. It was great to meet you! I almost finished a recap type post but I was so exhausted after the flight back to the East Coast I didn’t get it done! That’s great you fit in PureBarre on Thursday – I was disappointed that I had 3-4 workouts on Friday but nothing on Thursday!

    1. Hi Cynthia! Yes, I barely finished this post last night, because I was so tired too, so I get it! And it was good to get out for Pure Barre on Thursday for sure and see a bit more of the city. 🙂 Hope you had safe travels! Great meeting you! 🙂

  9. I’m obsessed with your leggings in all your photos. Fun workout clothes make everything so much better : ) Last workout was an easy 7 mile run this morning and hopefully a 30 minute upper body circuit tonight! Hope you have a fabulous day!

  10. I am SO HAPPY that I finally got to meet you and Zumba it out with you for a minute. I only wish there had been more time…would have loved to chat more with you and maybe grab a bite to eat (or even go for a fro-yo date!).

    Anyway, I’ll let you know next time I’m in the Bay and let’s try and meet up – maybe I can even come take your class!

    Have an amazing rest of your week girl!


    1. Yes, Jamie!! Of course, you are as awesome as I expected. And those handstands… You go girl hahah! Hope you make it to the Bay soon! Thanks for putting together a great event for us all!

  11. I’m so glad I got to meet and enjoy so much fun with you over the week! Hopefully we can connect again soon since we live so close 🙂 Get some rest today. You earned it!

    1. Hi lady! We must meet up in Sausalito one day! I’ll bring my fur baby and you bring your real one hahah! It was amazing getting to know you! Looking forward to staying in touch! 🙂

  12. So glad we finally got to meet in person!! You rocked your presentation and I can’t wait to hang out next time (when hopefully we have a little more time to hang out!)


    1. Hi Liz! It’s pretty cool to spend time with bloggers who are interested in all the same things! And even cooler to spend time with people who are totally different. Hope you had a great weekend as well! 🙂

  13. I recognize so many of those bloggers. 😉 I always love new workouts, and this past weekend, I got to do kind of a ‘new distance’ when I did an Olympic distance triathlon with my brother and a couple friends. It was fun, in the painful sense of the word. Then I went and saw ‘Ant Man’ with my sister. I don’t normally love super hero movies, but this one was much more endearing than most, so it went higher to the top of my ‘movie list.’

    1. Wow, Emily! Your workout sounds intense– glad you did it with friends and your bro! And you know, I never go to the movies anymore, so I haven’t heard of that one. Happy Monday! 🙂

    1. Oh Alyssa!! You are totally a real blogger!! You’d probably love to attend an event like this! Hope you had a nice weekend, lady! 🙂

  14. Love the recap!!! It sounds like it was SOOOO much fun and 10000% worth it. I can’t wait to hear about all the new fitness and nutrition info you learned, I can’t imagine a better place to be totally immersed in the cutting edge of it all. Next level, here you come!! 🙂 Also, well done on the Zumba! I have two left feet and couldn’t keep up with the moves enough to even break a sweat haha it should have become a YouTube embarrassment sensation!! xx

    1. Hi Jill! Believe it or not, anyone could be a rockstar when taking a class from the founder of Zumba hahaha! 🙂 You’d love this event!

  15. Wow, it looks like you had such an amazing time! And it’s so cool to see pics of you with Gina. Her blog was one of the first that I started reading, almost 6 years ago. I love that blogging brings people together like that!

    I can’t wait to hear more!!

    1. Hi Lauren! Yes, so much to see and do at the conference in so little time! You’ve got to go one day! 🙂 Hope you had a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Sheena! Yes, it was great to spend time with other people who share the love of the blogging world! Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

  16. I somehow failed to mentally connect the dots at BlogFest and realize you teach at Orange Theory. My bad, I would have loved to ask you about it (as I’m in the process of trying to land a spot at the one opening in my town).

    Glad to hear you had a great time. It’s hard to jam all the cool into just four days–just taking full advantage of the expo at IDEA could take a week!

    1. Hi Bain! Oh yes, I’ve been an OTF coach for a few months, because a new one opened up near me! The boot camp for instructors is very informative and only three days long, followed by teaching mock classes. Go for it!! It was great learning from you at the BlogFest! 🙂

      1. I’ve already gone through the interview part, and I’m excited for the instructor boot camp. Clearly I have a big mouth, so being afraid of the mic is not my problem (ha ha!). Cross your fingers and hope I can get those three days off from the day job?

  17. I really hope that one day I can expand my blog and be invited or attend an event such as this! So many like minded people in one place, it sounds like a blast. Im super jealous of all the awesome workout classes you got to try out… did you have a fave?

    1. Hi Niki! You should definitely try to attend next year! And the most fun workout was actually the Zumba class taught by the founder. My other faves were Gabby Reece’s workout and the TRX one. So hard to pick!! 🙂

  18. it was such a blast hanging out with you girls, and i’m so glad i FINALLY got to meet your beautiful face! hopefully i’ll see you again soon 🙂 xoxo

  19. This looks AWESOME! Seriously, I want to go! I see you met Whitney and Gina — I grew up with them in AZ! Such a small world! So glad you had a blast and you’ll have to let me know next time you are in LA!

    1. Hi Bethann! Yes, I actually saw that you and Gina were connected before, and she told me how you guys knew each other. She’s a sweetheart! And Whitney is too! 🙂 And I’ll definitely let you know if I make it back to LA one day soon!

  20. Blogfest sounds like a great weekend! Maybe I can attend one if I am in the US one summer! I’ve never tried a dance class; I don’t think I would as when I was young I was incredibly shy and I have horrible memories of being forced into a dance class in school which I hated! Not the same I’m sure but still… 😉

    1. Hi there! I think they make it a point in these dance classes to make all the moves fun, so you never feel like people are watching you! I was shocked at what a good time I had doing Zumba ehehheh! You should try one!!

  21. It sounds like you really made the most of your time at BlogFest! I agree that the networking and relationships made up some of the best parts of the weekend.

    You did a fantastic job on your presentation! It was wonderful to meet you, and I hope our blogging paths cross again in the future 😉

    1. Hi lady! It was so good to chat with you as well! And best of luck in all your fitness, training and blogging adventures! Let’s stay in touch! Have a fabulous day:)

  22. Still bummed I couldn’t go 🙁 Especially since it was even CLOSER to me this year! GAH! But thank you for the re-cap!! THE FARM is a delicious restaurant for sure!

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