Michelob ULTRA Fit Fest

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Michelob ULTRA. The opinions and text are all mine.

A few weekends ago, I traveled out to Scottsdale, Arizona to experience the very first Michelob #ULTRAFitFest! It was a weekend full of fitness activities, informative panels, recovery, live music, and more! It was actually the weekend before my wedding, but it was everything I needed to sweat out any remaining stress and recover for the big day.

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I got in on Friday and immediately went to a Gluteus Maxout class. I thought classes would be toned down because the weekend would be jam-packed full of fitness classes, but nope… that workout really set the tone for the whole weekend. I was SO sore the next day!

The whole experience was so cool because we got to pick and choose our classes through an app. You could customize your experience to be as active or relaxing as you wanted it! For example, one of my days started with Y7 Yoga in the morning, then a panel about Building Your Best Runner, a training camp, recovery at the Manor House where I got my hair braided, a nutrition panel, the WaveMaker workout with Gerren Liles and BODY by Kenny Santucci, and a fireside chat with Jera Foster-Fell about Defeating the Odds.

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This was all before Pure Golden Hour, a celebration with Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold! We also got to see a live performance by Kali Uchis!

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We also had delicious, healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Not pictured: barbecue, rice, beans, salmon, zoodles, and more… it was all so good!

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There was also an awesome pool party, but I didn’t get to jump in because I didn’t want tan lines before putting on a wedding dress! I wish I could have taken so many other classes too, like outdoor City Surf or the meal prep cooking demo, but spots filled up fast. I’m super passionate about fitness and nutrition, so I had an amazing experience. I worked every muscle in my body and was able to walk away with more knowledge about running and nutrition. I can truly say that this fun-filled weekend made both my body and mind extremely happy.

I’ll look forward to next year’s annual ULTRA Fit Fest!

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I wish I could’ve brought my camera around more, but below are some great shots by LYVISUALS!


Watters Bridesmaids Dresses

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Watters. The opinions and text are all mine.

Earlier this year, my bridesmaids and I visited the Watters headquarters to pick out their bridesmaids dresses! In May, they received all of their dresses, and this past weekend, I got to shoot a few of them in it!

This was one of my favorite shoots all YEAR because I got to capture my beautiful bridesmaids in their dresses for the first time! Not everyone could make it, but I'm happy to have been able to shoot Jen, Angela, and Kat!

 Left to right: Jen wearing  Deni , Angela wearing  Summer , and Kat wearing  Lottie

Left to right: Jen wearing Deni, Angela wearing Summer, and Kat wearing Lottie

I really loved that everyone got to choose a dress they liked from the Watters/Wtoo collections also! I wanted to be sure that everyone felt confident in how they look and feel in their dresses in September!

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Don't they all look so beautiful? I'm so proud to call them my bridesmaids! I can't wait to see the other three girls in their dresses also! I know everyone is going to look amazing!

South Carolina: Montage Palmetto Bluff

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Montage Palmetto Bluff. The opinions and text are all mine.

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A couple weekends ago, Montage Palmetto Bluff graciously hosted a group of us at their property. The itinerary was so carefully planned out so that we could experience our next few days through the eyes of the guests who come back again and again to this beautiful resort. We rode horses, shot clay targets, kayaked, tubed in the May River, rode our bikes around the neighborhood, and so much more! I felt like I was living a whole summer in only a few days! And the inn itself has the most gorgeous decor... Even the residences were beautiful, and even though they were mainly second or third homes for a lot of Northeasterners, they were fully and impeccably furnished. Hopefully, my blog post does the experience justice, and you'll be able to relive the trip with me.

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Day 1

On the first day, we checked in and relaxed a bit before going on a tour of the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy. The property is 20,000 acres, and they are extremely passionate about keeping the ecological and environmental integrity of the lands the same as it was before they built upon it. In fact, more species thrive here now than before. Scientists actually come here to conduct studies of wildlife that they don't have access to anywhere else (like the Northern long-eared bats, which have never been seen this far south).  

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On this tour, we attempted to release a 2-year-old turtle into a pond, but there was an 8'9" alligator coming towards us, so our guide Justin saved it for another time! We also looked into a bird nest and found newly hatched chicks! Then we walked through the forest, where Justin taught us about all the different trees, plants, animals, and even gave us fun facts about the history of the land. I really loved how passionate he is about his job, and I would later find out that everyone who works here is passionate about Palmetto Bluff. The area is what attracts the best of the best, whether it's a sommelier, boating tour guide, or property manager! 

In the evening, we visited a 5-story treehouse that overlooked the marshes. It was an incredible view! We saw people fishing on the dock, and blue and green as far as the eye could see.

After our sightseeing, we went to eat dinner at Cole's, which had stunning views of the marsh! I couldn't stop staring out the window at the humongous trees! I felt like we were in a safari treehouse. And when the sun was setting... oh wow. After dinner was bowling, which was in the same building! What a fun restaurant!

Day 2

The second day, we woke up dark and early! Yep, we kayaked the May River as the sun was rising. We even saw dolphins! All the while, our guide was telling us about the habitat, oysters, fish, and birds in the area. Another passionate soul, as I was telling you about! 

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In the afternoon, we went to the Palmetto Shooting Club where I went clay target shooting for the first time! I'm actually pretty scared of guns, but it was a good time, and I managed to shoot a few targets down! Eeek. 

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Octagon Porch

During our downtimes when we could get breakfast or lunch at leisure, I was always drawn to the Octagon Porch. The porch seating is GORGEOUS! And it just opened up in May! It used to be a regular porch, but the staff noticed that people liked to hang out there a lot and would even ask to bring their meals from the restaurant into this area. So they turned this space into a dining area. I love how much thought and attention they pay their guests! I think it's so impressive they noticed an area could be better utilized and turned it into something people loved even more.

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After lunch, we spent the entire afternoon on the water! We got on a boat and headed to Page Island, where we ate snacks and relaxed. On the way there, our guide had the BEST stories that kept us laughing, and, again, we learned so much about the history of Palmetto Bluff! More and more, I fell in love with the area and the people!

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As we headed to back to the river for some swimming, the skies opened up, and we actually had a blast jumping off the dock and tubing the rest of the way home! That's what I love about South Carolina - the storms pass quickly, and it's as if they never happened! 

After our Page Island excursion, we still weren't done! We got cleaned up and then went on a May River cruise down to the quaint town of Bluffton.

We got to take a bike taxi tour through the streets, where learned more about the antebellum homes, historic churches, and history of the town.

Our final destination in Bluffton was FARM, one of the best farm-to-table restaurants I've eaten at in awhile... everything was amazing! I love that the restaurant carefully selects their partners based on mutual respect for the land, the animal, and the people who tend to them.

Day 3

My last full day started with a late morning trail ride. The stables were so stunning and built from the perspective of a horse! It was my first time horseback riding since 5th grade, so I was a little intimidated (I have a fear of being kicked by a horse), but the horses were so gentle and had such fun personalities! 

After the trail ride, I went to get my 90-minute massage at the spa. I fell asleep and woke up sooo refreshed!

After a bit of relaxation time, we headed to the inn fire pit to enjoy an evening sampling of Culinary Heirlooms. "Each evening, the culinary team shares one of four items that they have determined to be culturally significant in the gastronomic history of South Carolina’s Lowcountry." They have shrimp & grits, frogmore stew, Hoppin' John, and grilled oysters. This night was oysters!

After that, they drove the bar cart over to us, and we got to taste the resort's Signature barrel-aged Artillery Punch.

Afterward, we had our farewell dinner at Octagon Porch and s'mores back at the fire pit! What a beautiful ending to our trip! 

I hope you were able to relive this weekend with me! There was so much to see and do, and I loved learning about Lowcountry culture! My friends at Montage Palmetto Bluff were also gracious enough to provide me with a promo code to give to all of you: Reserve two nights in a guest house suite or cottage accommodation and receive a third night complimentary for select dates in Summer. Click here to book with the promo code KarenL!