Shylah May Retreat

The retreat was the party of my dreams. It was exactly what I envisioned. From the decor to the yoga, sound bowl guided meditation, delicious food and florals, it was all so perfect. Last year, to celebrate the blog launch, I threw a brunch party. I thought that party was everything and more, but if I do say so myself, this retreat topped it. It wasn’t until September of this year, that I decided I was going to throw a retreat to celebrate the blog’s one year. I wanted the retreat to match the purpose of the blog – I wanted the girls to walk out of the retreat feeling good about themselves like I hope they do after reading the blog.

With that in mind, I didn’t want the focus of the party to be about looking cute for Instagram. I wanted it to be about how the girls feel from the inside out. I knew that some kind of workout was going to have to be incorporated into the party. Once I decided on yoga, the idea of a retreat formed shortly after.

I started a Pinterest and my creative mind was booming with ideas. I started to see a trend with all the posts I was saving to the “RETREAT” board. There were lots of pampas grass, greenery, lights, white fabric tents and robes. I’m really picky with colors and I didn’t want anything too bright or vibrant. I went with whites, nudes and muted colors with hints of tan, brown and green. Those colors gave off a laid-back, balanced and whimsical look for the retreat. To help with the aesthetics and relaxed mood, I gifted each woman with a soft white robe, matching spa slippers, a white hand towel and sunglasses.

I didn’t hire an event planner, rent any furniture or get a florist’s help. My sister and I both moved furniture we had in each of our houses, to make the background super cute with an outdoor living area. For the flowers and greenery, we bought all wholesale and not retail prices thanks to Plantscapers! Trevor, my sister and I foraged the pampas grass off the sides of the roads, the morning of! This may be illegal or totally frowned upon…oops! My step-dad is a handyman at heart, and totally saved the retreat by bringing my vision to fruition. He built the boho tent, hung up my macrame, hung lights all over the backyard, and built the CUTEST table for the DIY smudge stick station. Everything came together perfectly. My mom pinned sheer, white curtains together, to lace the outside of the tent and then decorated the inside with hanging lights. My sister decorated the front of the tent with our boho chairs and lots + lots of pampas grass. This became “the spot” for photos.

The DIY smudge stick table was one of my favorites. I had been planning this table since the very beginning. I foraged white sage, lavender and rosemary in San Diego so the girls could create their own with fresh herbs. It’s not hard to find it here, so picking them myself made it even more magical. We made smudge sticks out of crystals, palo santo, fresh herbs, feathers and rose petals. The girls got to take them home in white fabric laced bags along with matches that nestled in a glass, corked bottle. It’s all about the detail.

Since the retreat was from 11AM – 5PM. I needed to think of a way to keep the girls fed + happy the entire duration. I kept seeing on Pinterest these elaborate cheese boards and became obsessed. I needed my own. My sister, thankfully, took on this project. She did an amazing job! I bought two cheeses, one cheddar and the other brie. I also bought three meats – prosciutto, salami and sausage. We showered the board with fresh fruits, nuts, jam, paleo crackers, and paleo chocolate. Everyone kept grazing it, throughout the event. There was enough food for all the girls, it was perfect.

The first hour of the event was designated for girls mixing and mingling, getting all nestled in and settled. The next hour we laid out our mats and my Aunt D (who is a certified yoga instructor) kicked off the event with yoga. As a group, you could feel the energy in the backyard relax. What I loved most about it, was that we weren’t serious – we laughed and let our egos go. After, we pulled our robes out, got comfy and cozy with blankets, we nestled in for a guided meditation taught by Kelly Dalymple. She used reiki, and sound bowls to guide us into meditation. I had always wanted to do reiki so I was so excited for Kelly. She was amazing. I felt balanced and completely rejuvenated after. It made me present for the girls and the retreat.

Once we were guided out of meditation, Trevor and my friend Kyle got the party started by pouring us champagne and hard kombucha.  We all felt completely rested and the champagne got us super excited to chat. My girlfriend Dr. Amy Renslo got us all talking about pelvic health. It is crazy to see how many of us have similar problems or concerns! She gave us so many tips for painful intercourse, UTI’s and constipation. If you would like to find out more – check out the interview I did with her here. She was a hot topic! This conversation really got all the girls closer – we were laughing, having deep conversations and creating friendships.

We had an hour in between pelvic health with Amy Renslo and dinner so we made DIY smudge sticks, took photos and continued the champagne. Dinner was catered by TrueFoods Kitchen. We had pita bread and hummus to start, their kale salad after and finally the delicious spaghetti squash casserole. For desert, I bought a multi-layered and multi-flavored dairy-free, gluten-free, raw, vegan, and refined sugar free from Gypsey Crumbs. She did an amazing job. It was not only beautiful, but it was soo tasty. One layer was peanut butter and the other layer was vanilla cinnamon. It couldn’t have been a better combo.

It’s all about the last impression. The girls walked out of the party in their robes and slippers, holding the cutest goodie bags! The bags consisted of my favorite brands and products I use or consume daily. First being, Trilogy Rose Hip Oil. Their oil is 100% pure, cold pressed certified and is clinically proven to help the appearance of scars, stretch marks and wrinkles. A brand that you can trust and I can vouch for myself that it works. Next, were Perfect Bars. If you have seen my IG stories, you know Perfect Bar is my #1. My sister also sponsored the event with her cosmetic line, Maslen cosmetics! She donated her magnetic eyelashes to all the girls. Love, love the natural look of these lashes. They are easy to put on and you can wear them over and over again. They look natural and you save the bank. GENIUS. Vital proteins also donated their collagen peptides and matcha powder! Another brand that I absolutely live for and use every damn day. #guthealth. I gave all the girls CBD Oil Plus, because they are my favorite CBD oil brand! I use CBD every night before I go to bed – its helped clear my acne, calm my anxiety down, and balance my moods. OBSESSED. There were a couple of other goodies in the bags such as Lara Bars, under eye masks, and essential oils. All products that help in the self-care department!

Special thank you to my amazing parents Connie and Ralph who not only believe in me, but are incredibly involved in making my craziest dreams come true. A huge shoutout to my boyfriend Trevor, for helping me set up, clean up and capture the entire event for the entire 9 hours through his camera! Best boyfriend award goes to you! Thank you to my sis Karly, for staying up late and getting up early to help set up and help make my vision come to life. That cheese board was insane and I could not have made it that fucking beautiful. Thank you to my brother from another mother, Kyle Miller, for being my right hand man. You wore many hats at the party – you helped serve beverages and food, took over my Instagram, so I didn’t have to think twice about it, you took Polaroid pictures of everyone like it was your job and did it all with a smile on your face. You are so damn amazing. Thank you! My family is my team <3 It took a village for this party to happen – so thank you Fam for your time.  I also wanted to take a quick moment to thank each and everyone for coming to my Retreat, it would have been nothing without you, your vibe, your camaraderie, your support and your love. Here’s to the next year <3

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