My Paleo Experience with Thrive Market

It’s like Christmas morning!

So, I have to admit – I have a new obsession… ThriveMarket.com. At least it’s a healthy obsession, right?!

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Thrive Market is an online grocery store where you can purchase organic and non-gmo products 25%-50% off the regular retail price you may find in physical grocery stores. Not only do they carry organic products, but you can shop by values too such as Paleo, Vegan, or Raw. They have pre-packaged snacks, ingredients, health and beauty products, and even pet products. This membership online community has opened up my world!

You can try Thrive Market one month for FREE! You can shop all you want and don’t worry, you will be addicted in no time. Once your free month is up, they will charge you a membership fee. Now the membership fee is about $60 for a whole year. I was unsure if this was the right move for me because it does sound expensive, but once you see how much your saving per week or per order, you notice that you really are saving money. Your membership fee will also feed a low income family which makes me feel even better about my choice.

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As many of you know, I am Paleo. Shopping in regular grocery stores is always a struggle because I can never seem to find products that are paleo friendly unless if I make everything from scratch which I don’t have time for. So, when I go to regular grocery stores I usually end up spending my money on things that aren’t as healthy for me. Thrive Market makes it so easy to find paleo friendly pre-packaged foods and helps me stay on track with my diet during my busy work weeks. It has truly been a lifesaver for me.

A few of my favorite paleo Thrive Market buys:

Green Pasture Cod Liver Oil + Butter Oil Blend

Thrive Market Brand Ghee

Simple Mills Cookies (The Chocolate ones are amazing!)

Thrive Market Brand Bone Broth

Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour

Thrive Market Coconut Oil

Not convinced? I don’t want to sound too much like an info-mercial, but I want to share with you how thrilled I am to be talking about this service. Every week to every other week I order ingredients and snacks from Thrive Market. When I shop in physical stores all I need to focus on now is buying fresh ingredients such as meat, fruit, and veggies. It’s made shopping so much easier and the bulk of it gets delivered straight to my door. If you aren’t paleo, no worries. They carry vegan, gluten-free, and raw items to focus on living a healthy life.

Show me your finds at Thrive Market. I find new items every week! Follow me on Instagram to see some of my foodie posts from time to time using ingredients from Thrive Market.

XoXo,

Crystal

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Boho Beautiful Positive Movement Tour Stop – Rochester, NY

For over a year now, I’ve been watching Boho Beautiful’s every move on YouTube. I have envied and admired the couple wishing I could be just like them. They get to live outside of the box, leave the 9-5, do yoga while traveling the world – one YouTube video at a time.

Early Spring, I discovered on their blog that they were looking for people to submit ideas for where to travel within the United States. They wanted to put together a tour that would help benefit local animal shelters in those cities. I decided to send them an email, telling them that Rochester should be one of their stops and to benefit my friends’ animal rescue. Little did I know, 2 months later they’d accept my invitation.

Juliana and Mark of Boho Beautiful conduct yoga classes all over the world and put DIY yoga videos on their blog and YouTube channel. In order to make this 9000 mile trip around the United States, they sell merchandise and get donations via patreon.com. They are currently living out of a van after selling their house and all their belongings to travel. They are free souls – something I wish I could be.Image result for boho beautiful patreon

They told me a date to shoot for on their tour and I was off to find a studio to use for a 2 hour yoga class. After some searching, I came upon Neutral Yoga – a studio that just opened a few months prior. Annie, one of the owners of the studio was such a sweet person to let us use her studio as well as help us promote/sell tickets. Something I would have struggled with by myself otherwise.

Image result for neutral yoga studio rochester n

Fast forward to last weekend – October 14th, Boho Beautiful arrived in Rochester for our event. We knew a rough estimate of about 20 people that had already purchased tickets online. As the event was about to start, we had a line out the door. Some of them were walk-ins who didn’t pre-purchase a ticket, which we were more than happy to let them in. We moved yoga mats around in the room to fit more people and before we knew it, we were maxed out at 38 people. We couldn’t have fit another living soul in that room even if we tried. It was so exciting to see the number of people who came out to help support Janine and to meet the Boho Beautiful duo.

 

Juliana took us through a nice vinyasa yoga flow for about an hour and a half. We then had a meet and greet with both her and Mark at the end. From the ticket sales and in person monetary donations, we raised $600 for Janine the Bean Rescue! It was certainly a successful event and we raised more than I thought was possible.

 

 

Juliana and Mark are beautiful, selfless people. We are so lucky to have been graced with their presence. They helped the rescue in a huge way, bigger than we thought was possible. I do hope we can meet again one day.

Love & Light,

Crystal

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The Spirit Room – Rochester, NY

Friday, October 13th:

Shane and I thought it would be a fun idea to check out this new bar that had just opened in downtown Rochester. We parked in an empty lot that only cost $3 and we took a romantic stroll down a darkened alleyway. No one was around, almost something out of a horror movie. We come upon a doorway that was opened into a purple lighted room – the bar. As we walked in, we noticed old photos hanging, skulls on shelves and voodoo dolls strewn about the room. The music drowned out the voices to only a small whisper as you heard the clinking of glasses against the bar. We took a seat on the side of the room as we watched the tarot card reader go from table to table. Glancing at the menu, it was pork taco night. My favorite, but not Shane’s – so we decided to settle and order a nice tall banana pudding and a few drinks to pass the time.

The Spirit Room is probably one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to in the United States. I had never seen anything like it. It had a haunted, American Horror Story vibe with a hint of New Orleans history. I felt right at home. The bar tenders were so polite and friendly – I believe one of them were the owner of the bar who I’ve heard is the best new bartender in town! Just saying…

I also enjoyed that they have a different menu every night. So, one night may be pork taco night – another might be Nashville Hot Chicken night. The menu is constantly changing with the seasons and the days of the week. So if you are looking for a haunting good time any time of the year – check out the Spirit Room. You will not be disappointed!

xoxo,

Crystal & Shane

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Farm Market Hoppin’

No matter what time of year it is, a trip to a Farmer’s Market can always be a great date idea. Whether your going just for fun or to grab some ingredients for something you two want to make, it is a nice way to spend time together. In this post, I wanted to include some Farmer’s Markets worth stopping at across the United States with a focus on western Upstate New York. I’m sure you have one you’d like to add, so feel free to post in the comments section below!

 

Schutt’s Apple Mill – Webster, NY:

Photo credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4jq0ad9LnKE/UIw1cMw1laI/AAAAAAAAAUc/HjyzU5gOevA/s1600/download8.jpg

Schutt’s Apple Mill is the best place for (you guessed it!)…apples! Every kind of apple you could possibly imagine is sold here year round. You can pick and choose your own in the many barrels on display OR buy them by the bushel. They also sell fresh pressed apple cider AND hard cider. Not only is it full of apples, but it is a very large gift shop, too. Handmade and specialty gifts, spices and teas, jams and honey, everything you can think of.

Bauman’s Farm Market – Webster, NY:

Photo credit: http://aicontent.agentinsight.net/f/content/254/7016bf4bc71d4c1f92d7f1ede18162eb/600×450.jpg

On our first trip to Bauman’s, we were expecting a typical run of the mill family owned farm market. We were surprised to find a fun place that actually kept us occupied for a while. Not only looking at all the different produce and products they sell, but we went during the fall season to find their homemade haunted house! It was small, but it was a nice and creative touch to give their customers something else to do while they are shopping.

Aman’s Farm & Market – Irondequoit, NY:

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/965WCMF/

Aman’s doesn’t just sell flowers and produce, they sell beer! Yes, over 100 different kinds of beer in fact. This place can be your one stop shop on the weekends.

Wickham Farms – Penfield, NY:

Every year Wickham Farms has a “Sunflower Festival” where you can stroll through 1000’s of sunflowers. From Red Velvet Sunflowers to the REALLY BIG ones, they have them all. This farm market also has a café and ice cream shop, kid activities, petting zoos, and so much more throughout the year. You can easily spend a few hours here if you really want to.

City of Rochester Public Market – Rochester, NY:

Photo credit: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/

The Rochester Public Market is of course the go-to place in downtown. You can try different foods from all ethnicities and purchase produce from all the local farmers in the nearby area. They have special events each month and many food truck rodeos (my favorite!).

Nashville Farmers Market at Bicentennial Park – Nashville, TN:

When we lived in Nashville, I just loved coming here for lunch and to stroll around the park. Inside the market, there are many restaurants you can grab a bite to eat and there is also a food truck or two sitting outside for visitors (I miss the Grilled Cheeserie!). My favorite part of this farmers market was the garden center where you could make your own terrariums. I loved looking at all the different plants and ideas for my own future garden. Read more on my previous post: http://www.datesinthestates.com/2016/12/11/nashville-tn-parthenon/

Midtown Global Market – Minneapolis, MN:

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In the last place of Minneapolis you’d expect a farmers market, there is the Midtown Global Market. The building also has offices and other businesses in it, but the lower level is full of different vendors. The vendors sell many different ethnic foods and crafts, even clothing. When I lived in Minneapolis, this was a popular weekend stop for me.

Maplewood Produce & Greenhouse – Shippensburg, PA:

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In this area of Pennsylvania, you will find many different Amish and Mennonite farm markets. This one in particular is one of my favorites. Their prices were great and it was a large store with amazing homemade fudge, pies, bread, and produce.

Comment below and let us know of your favorite Farm Markets in your area! We may just stop by! 🙂

Peace & Love.

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A Day Trip in Letchworth State Park

On the first day of Fall, we headed an hour out to visit Letchworth State Park in the hopes of seeing some Fall colors and enjoying the nice weather while we could. Even though it was the first day of Fall, it felt like one of the hottest days of the year in New York. We were boiling, but that wouldn’t stop us from taking in the sights – even if we stayed mostly in the car!

 

Mount Morris Dam Overlook

We drove to the Mount Morris entrance and as we arrived to the park, there was a line of cars anxiously waiting to pay the $10 car fee and explore the area. We drove to the first picnic area to eat the lunch we had brought at the Mount Morris Dam Overlook. It was a pretty busy area – not the most relaxing spot for a picnic. The overlook had a nice view though of the Dam, although I was surprised by how dry it looked with all the rain we’ve had this summer.

 

The Gardeau Overlook

We packed up the remnants of our lunch (it is a carry in/out park) and drove to the next overlook – The Gardeau Overlook. The overlook itself was blocked by a lot of bushes and trees, but still had a nice view of a little fall color starting. At this overlook there are a few trails, but we decided to get back into our car and look for a better spot.

 

Tea Table – Wolf Creek

We stopped at the Tea Table area which was a busy spot for visitors. There were even more trails here as well as an ice cream/grille stop. From here we could see the river more clearly and begin to get a nice look at Big Bend. If you’d like, you can walk to Wolf Creek from here – a beautiful spot to stop and cool off.

A photoshoot I did for my cousin at Wolf Creek a few years ago – isn’t she beautiful?!

 

Big Bend

Big Bend was one of my favorite stops. We watched some of the rafters set out on their grand white water rafting adventure. Big Bend is known for its steep cliffs and jagged rocks. It was as beautiful as I had imagined it would be.

 

Lower Falls

Next, we drove to Lower Falls. We parked and walked down the couple hundred steps to get to the viewing area of the falls. If you prefer not to hike the stairs – there is an easier viewing spot, but we wanted to get as close to it as we could. As we climbed back up the stairs, my legs were burning – a fantastic workout!

 

Inspiration Point

Finally we drove to Inspiration Point – the stop I had waited for the entire drive. I saw photos of this place on Pinterest and was excited to see this spectacular view in person. It was just as beautiful as it was in the photos of online. I could have spent all day in this place.

 

Middle & Upper Falls – Glen Iris Inn

Our last stop included both the Middle Falls and the Upper Falls. We also stopped to see the gift shop at Glen Iris Inn. At this point after hiking the falls, we were exhausted from the heat and decided it was time to say goodbye to the park. It was a beautiful day and Letchworth is the perfect park to not only hike the 50 miles of trails, but to just drive through. It surely is the Grand Canyon of the East.

 

The Beachcomber – Conesus Lake

After leaving the park, we wanted to cool off and see Conesus Lake – somewhere I spent every Summer when I was younger. We stopped at the Beachcomber for some refreshing drinks and to have dinner at the waters edge. It was a wonderful ending to our day.

All the Love,

Crystal & Shane

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Fall Date: National Apple Harvest Festival

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We all know Fall is a wonderful time of year for picking pumpkins…

Corn mazes & hay rides…

and of course: Apples!

Photo credit: https://static.pexels.com/photos/4148/healthy-fruits-health-apples.jpg

Biglerville PA’s National Apple Harvest Festival is held during the first two full weekends in October with delicious foods, wonderful music, and more. The festival is a short drive from Gettysburg and Harrisburg, PA, located in the South Mountain Fairgrounds. They have a petting zoo, steam engine displays, orchard tours, car show, photo contests, and of course – all the apples you can eat! Even the Apple Queen will make her appearance.

Steam Engine Display

 

Car Show

For a reasonable admission fee you can spend all day with your loved one walking down the aisles of vendors and displays while eating your favorite apple dessert. One of my favorite parts of the event was the community photo contest. Something they do every year is encourage people to take artistic photos of the event and send them in to be chosen for their photo gallery. It’s amazing what some people can come up with and it’s a great activity to dive into your creative self to see what you can do also.

Some of my favorite foods at the Apple Festival were the apple chicken sausages, apple guacamole, apple pizza, and hot spiced apple cider of course! Stop by Hershey for MS, The Avocado Pit, and Boy Scout Troop stands for some of the foods listed. There are a lot of arts and crafts vendors as well. So if you like decorating for fall (who doesn’t?!) you can certainly find plenty of ideas and items.

Have a beautiful fall date with your loved one.

xoxo,

Crystal

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Fall Date: The Bloomsburg Fair

What better way to kick off the Fall season than to fill the air & your stomachs with delicious fair food?

Photo Credit: Bloomsburg Fair Facebook Page

Sept 23rd, 2017 kicks off this years 162nd Bloomsburg Fair in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. People from near and far come together to make this yearly 2 week event spectacular. Below, get an inside look at some of my favorite foods, drinks, and things to do at the fair!

Photo credit: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9e/34/bc/9e34bc6f474355e21f1c2ee17fe23990.jpg

The first thing I do every year when I walk into the fairgrounds is set out in search of a Kohr’s drink stand. They have the best Orangeade! I can’t get enough of it. I can drink it all day long while I walk around the fair. Kohr’s has a stand in just about every corner of the fairgrounds so they aren’t too hard to find and refill.

Pennsylvania is the birthplace for Yuengling Lager and since you can’t buy beer at the fair, you may want to opt for ice cream instead! Yuengling features multiple (non-alcoholic) flavors such as traditional chocolate and vanilla as well as their Black & Tan (a chocolate, caramel mix).

Photo credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8459/8027099900_2a3bdc0ab8_b.jpg

Coming all the way from upstate New York is the Fried Specialties food truck. If you want something fried, they are your go-to. My favorite are the cheese curds! (Although they aren’t as good as the ones at the Minnesota State Fair of course!).

Photo credit: http://www.gary-pang.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/bissinger-peach-dumpling-01-1024×576.jpg

If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Bissinger’s. They have amazing peach and apple dumplings. Grab some to take home and enjoy the fair in the comfort of your own couch. Some other long time favorites include: Top of the Beef, Denny & Pearl’s Pizza, Hewlitt’s Sausage, John the Greek Gyros, and Benton Apple Cider.

I used to love the carnival area, but now that I’m no longer a little kid – I really don’t enjoy walking past all the carnie’s and being whistled or yelled at. So I tend to avoid that area as much as possible, but if you would like to head towards that area and don’t want to walk – you can catch the Sky Ride. The Sky Ride is the ski-lift operation that hovers about 25 feet off the ground and goes from Midway to the Kiddie Section and back. It’s only $5 one way, or $7 round trip. I just like to ride it for the scenery and picture taking! Other than the sky ride, they also offer helicopter rides and carriage rides periodically.

Photo credit: https://photos.smugmug.com/Events/Bloomsburg-MOA-Rally-Recon/2010-073/894597890_UwS2i-L-1.jpg

Every school and club in the surrounding area tend to have an exhibit to feature their work at the fair. These exhibits can be found within the different buildings such as the Arts & Crafts, Agriculture, and Horticulture buildings. You can also find animals such as horses and cattle to dogs and bunnies. I enjoy walking through all of these buildings, but the dog building makes me sad. Seeing all the dogs locked up in a cage and in an un-air-conditioned building isn’t my idea of enjoyment. Oh, and they also make you pay to see the dogs. As you can tell, I am totally against stepping foot in there!

Seether

Anyways, at the Bloomsburg Fair you can catch tons of concerts and shows throughout the week. Figure 8 races, demolition derbies, Dock Dogs, and more. You may see comedians, musicians, and other performers from all over the world come to this event every year. I saw my first concert here in 2009, Sick Puppies & Three Days Grace! Since then, I’ve seen even more such as Seether in the photo above.

What is your favorite thing to do or eat at the fair?! Comment below.

Thanks for reading. Best of Love,

Crystal

 

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Blink & You’ll Miss It – King Kong, Natural Bridge, VA

Photo credit: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/0e/49/f3/0e49f3347e25b802cdc90863df95c990–natural-bridge-king-kong.jpg

King Kong Statue in Natural Bridge, VA

Have you ever been so bored driving down an interstate that you randomly want to drive onto a back road and explore? Maybe you know what you are looking for and maybe you are just wanting to take a scenic detour. Well, on this one, 10 hour drive to Knoxville – sitting in the car that long felt like torture and we decided it’d be a good idea to stop and stretch our legs for a minute. For some reason, we decided to try and find King Kong. No, not the real thing – his statue that I had seen on RoadTrippers.com. If you haven’t downloaded the RoadTrippers.com app, you must! It’s perfect for long road trips so you can see what is around your area (no matter where you are in the US) and find something worth seeing. They even have restaurant and hotel suggestions all at a touch of a button. Type in your destination, turn on your location, and the app will generate a tons of attractions along your route so you don’t have to venture far.

We were approaching Natural Bridge, VA on I-80 and decided to veer off onto exit 180. The statue was supposed to be at the Pink Cadillac diner, but some odd years ago ( in 2012) it was moved and is now residing behind a fence at Enchanted Studios with the man who created it. The purpose of this statue wasn’t for tourists, but as an act of protest. The statue was to promote the local zoning protest that was going on at the time.

Humpty Dumpty used to apparently stand with King Kong at the diner. They were removed at the same time, but Humpty Dumpty is no longer able to be found. It’s a sad story, really. King Kong towered over buildings to protect his town and now is hidden behind a fence crumbling away.

Have fun on your scavenger hunt date!

xoxo Crystal & Shane

 

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Boho Beautiful Positive Movement Tour

As some of you may already know, I am so thrilled and excited to finally announce Boho Beautiful’s Positive Movement Tour is coming to Rochester, NY (because of me). Their charity tour stop in Rochester will be taking place at Neutral Yoga to benefit Janine the Bean Rescue.

It all began a little over a year ago, when I was so stressed with my last job that I needed an outlet. Yoga became that escape. Searching on YouTube for DIY yoga videos, I discovered Boho Beautiful. A wonderful YouTube channel that opened up my mind even more to health, mindfulness, and wanderlust. Little did I know, yoga would soon become a huge part of my life AND I would eventually get to meet my idols of Boho Beautiful.

Late Spring, Boho Beautiful announced on their blog of a charity tour to take place in the United States and they were wanting suggestions for where to go. I sent in a submission for them to put Rochester on their map, little did I know they would actually accept. So, here we are in late summer and just locked in the final details of our event and I am still in shock!

The event will be taking place at Neutral Yoga on Dewey Ave October 14th 11am – 12:30pm. All proceeds made from the event will be given to my co-worker, Janine the Bean Rescue, who rescues and feeds stray cats within the city of Rochester. The event will include a meet & greet and an hour yoga class!

Tickets may be purchased online: www.neutralyoga.com

For more information please visit:

www.janinethebeanrescue.org

www.bohobeautiful.life

 

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Colorado – Looking for Recommendations

To all our readers out there:

We’ve been thinking for months about where our “winter road trip” should be.
Disney & Cape Coral? (It was so great last year we want to do it all over again).
Southern Ireland? (Cheap flights during the winter).

After a lot of talking, brainstorming, and of course a little arguing – we’ve come upon the decision to take a road trip to Colorado!!!


Colorado, being one of the states I have never been to, I am both excited and clueless as to where to see first. Especially in December/January! We know that by driving from New York to Colorado we would like to stay on the East side of Colorado. We will also be staying in St. Louis, MO overnight as it is our halfway stop. Our top two activities we would like to do in Colorado includes seeing the Rocky Mountains National Park as well as relaxing in a hot spring. Not just any hot spring, but a hot spring in a cave would be the dream.

So I am reaching out to all of you other travelers and dreamers out there, where in Colorado would you like to see us visit? Leave some comments below and we will notify you as our trip plans progress to show where we’ve decided.

Dream on xoxo

Crystal

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