That Time I Was Invited to The White House

Ahhh, it was so awesome!!

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And what an honor. Being invited to The White House was definitely one of the coolest blogging opportunities I’ve ever had!

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On Tuesday morning, I attended an event at The White House, along with 150 other bloggers, to learn all about the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign. I also got to spend some time with some fellow blog buddies: Brittany, KathAnne, and Liz.

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Once we passed through security (it was similar to airport security), we found ourselves in a long hallway with candid shots of various Presidential families over the years.

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I especially liked the photos of the Presidential pets!

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I even snapped a special pic of Eli, the macaw, for my favorite little bird lover.

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We also had some time to snap some photos– bloggers in The White House!!

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Soon, we were led into a large room for a reception.

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Of course, I needed to try the coffee.

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Heyyy, just having some coffee and tea at The White House, NBD.

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After that, we all headed into a nearby ballroom to listen to various talks from key leaders from the Let’s Move campaign, including officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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Let’s Move is a program developed by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010 to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity. It includes a ton of initiatives– developing dietary guidelines for schools and even childcare centers (I actually stopped this morning to look at the menu at Quinn’s daycare and sure enough it included a note about adhering to USDA guidelines), increasing physical activity in schools, adding salad bars to schools, encouraging kids and family to get outdoors, and so much more. Let’s just say, the folks at Let’s Move have been really busy over the last 6 years!

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We heard from Dominique Dawes, co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, three-time Olympic gymnast, and mom of two. (Her youngest daughter’s name is Quinn!) I remember watching her at the 1996 Summer Olympics as part of the Magnificent Seven, so it was really neat to hear her speak live in person– and she was really funny! She joked about motherhood– how she still wears and loves pantyhose because of the control top and how sitting in over an hour of traffic that morning was like a vacation away from her kids–and she spoke to many of the same mom challenges, like sneaking veggies into her kids smoothies, pouches, and even ice cream. My favorite piece of advice from her: Teach physical fitness to kids when they’re young– just like brushing their teeth– so it becomes part of their everyday life.

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Other highlights include the new Team FNV (fruits and veggies), a program that recruits super influential people like actors and professional athletes as a way to endorse fruits and veggies and get kids excited about eating them. Definitely check out their website and Instagram feed. Both are great! And this focus group with the First Lady and Will Ferrell was absolutely hilarious!!

After that, we took a quick break. Please note the President seal on the hand towels in the bathroom. Yes, I snapped a photo. #nerdalert

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When we returned, we enjoyed a live cooking demonstration from the Executive Chef of The White House. She made Tuscan Kale Salads in mason jars. (I love the idea for garbanzo bean croutons!)

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And then it was time to hear the First Lady herself speak!

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Michelle Obama was exactly like you’d expect: Poised and professional, but down-to-earth and totally relatable. In the video below, she talks about her own struggles with getting her family to eat better.

She also had some great remarks about the importance of nutrition in our children’s lives. She said it’s on us. It’s our responsibility and sometimes we have to make our kids do things they don’t want to do. (Mal and I already say this exact thing at least once a day to Quinn!) If your child said they didn’t want to go to the dentist, you wouldn’t let them skip their appointment, so why would you treat nutrition any differently? We’re the adults and we decide what to feed our kids, so it’s our responsibility to feed them well. She said it’s our “secret weapon” as moms. I definitely felt inspired and plan to make some healthy changes in our family’s diet.

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The event concluded with a stroll across The White House lawn to explore the Kitchen Gardens.

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Fresh veggies and herbs were already blooming!

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Visiting The White House was such an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Thank you, POPSUGAR Select, for the opportunity!

36 Comments

  1. OMG!!! That looks awesome. And Dominique Dawes — my favorite gymnast ever. I’ve been a gymnast since I was 5. Holy crap. Dominique Dawes. She’s the best.

    But then it gets ever more awesome with Michelle Obama whom I LOVE. Seriously. Love her.

    This is so amazingly cool!

  2. WHAT?!?! BEST post EVER!!!! Seriously awesome! LOVE that Mrs. Obama was so frank in sharing her struggles. Makes me realize that everyone has similar struggles as a parent! Can’t wait to see the recipe.

    P.S. Drinking anything out of a White House China tea cup? Boom!

  3. Holy smokes, what an experience!! I cannot imagine visiting the White House and love healthy living bloggers were invited – it shows what an impact you have on your community! What an honor.

  4. This is just so amazing. What an incredible opportunity, Tina! Well-deserved (obviously). Thanks for posting both of those videos – the focus group one was hilarious (favorite comedian is Jimmy Fallon… hahaha) and I seriously could watch and rewatch her talk at the White House over and over again. She’s so inspiring, amazing, composed, relatable and FUNNY!

  5. OMG! That is such an awesome experience for you! I am very jealous, but in a good way. Congratulations on being selected for that opportunity. I would love to meet the First Lady or at least hear her speak. When did all of this happen?

  6. Amazing!
    What an opportunity 🙂
    Love that feeding kids healthy foods is a mothers “secret weapon”.

  7. I’m so happy you made it to the most famous house in the US! 😉 What a fantastic event and you looked great. Anytime spent with FLOTUS is worth it. Love your dress!

  8. What an awesome opportunity!! As someone who majored in political science and works in dietetics I love all of this- so cool! I’m glad Let’s Move! reached out to bloggers to spread awareness about their initiatives. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. A fun bird-related thing is happening in DC right now that your son might love! There are mom and dad bald eagles at the National Arboretum, and they are waiting for eggs to hatch. There are live webcams on them all day, and while it’s usually pretty calm, hopefully soon the baby birds will make an appearance 🙂 This is the link to the website!

    http://dceaglecam.eagles.org/

  10. Oh wow, this is so amazing! With a background in Health and Nutrition I love that our first lady has made this epidemic a priority! Go Michelle! Such an amazing event you got to go to!

  11. Isn’t it amazing? My son & I had lunch with the First Lady at the Whitehouse in 2013 because he won the Kids Healthy Lunchtime Challenge http://www.pbs.org/parents/lunchtimechallenge/home/ and my daughter won last year and she and my husband got to experience the same thing. We had a personal meeting with FLOTUS & got to meet the President as well. She does a lot to help get our kids healthy, but it’s our responsibility as parents to teach them when they are young to make good choices for themselves in the future.

  12. This is SO cool! What an experience for yourself and all of the other bloggerss! It must have been so eye-opening to know that idolized families endure the same struggles as we do!
    Ps. Dominique Dawes was my IDOL as a kid! I was a HUGE gymnastics nerd yet I couldn’t do a handstand haha 🙂

  13. Wow, Tina! This is incredible!!! I was getting goosebumps just reading about it. Thanks for sharing it with us. I’m definitely going to give those mason jar salads a try!

  14. Yay – you wore the red dress! Looks like you had a blast 🙂 The video with the First Lady and Will is too funny – favorite part is at the end!

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