Shopping and enjoying local: Parkesdale Farm Market and Ocean Blu Spa

November 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the days seem like they are going by in a blur. So much to do! Luckily it’s like we get an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. I did a little online Black Friday shopping, but not too much. I ran out to our storage unit on Friday to get the rest of the Christmas decorations while the boys all went to see Wreck it Ralph. I thought that I took a few photos there, but apparently there was no memory card in my camera.

We didn’t discover this until Saturday, when we headed to Plant City for a tasting event at Parkesdale Farm Market.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-8

This was the boys’ first time visiting Parkesdale and they were blown away by the strawberriness of it all.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-7

I thought I had all these great photos of the food that they had on display at the tasting, but then I realized that even though it seemed like my camera was taking pictures, it actually wasn’t. So then I ran around and snapped a few photos with my phone.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-13

Parkesdale has a great selection of pickled vegetables. I loved getting to try so many different ones and would have liked to have bought a jar of each!

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-9

My favorites were the Brussels sprouts and the beets.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-10

They also had all kinds of jams to sample.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-11

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-12

The kids loved the T.O.E. jam, which is sort of like a marmalade made with tangerines, oranges, and elderberry. My favorite was the Red Raspberry Jalapeno, and Chad loved the blackberry preserves.

They had so much more to sample, such as snack mixes, cheese curds, and a large variety of salsas. I wish I had pictures of it all…I thought I had pictures of it all. Everything was so good. Of course they also had the famous Parkesdale strawberry cookies.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-6

After sampling all the yummy products (including strawberry milkshakes for the boys and a pumpkin milkshake for me…I thought I took pictures, but no) we shopped for produce and picked up all our favorites from the samples.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-3

I also put together two gift baskets that I am sending to some special people for Christmas.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-4

It was great to see my friend Xiomara and my other blogger friends Steph and Kat.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-14

I would definitely recommend checking out Parkesdale Farm Market in Plant City. The boys and I plan to make a trip back this winter for strawberry shortcake (available mid-December through mid-April). In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the goodies we picked up on Saturday…

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-15

I was glad that I got to support a friend’s local business on Small Business Saturday. Thanks for inviting us Zee!

Like Parkesdale Farm Market on Facebook
Follow Parkesdale Farm Market on Twitter

We spent the rest of the weekend working on the house.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-1

Mack decorated about 80% of the Christmas tree all by himself.

Cal put together our little Christmas train.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-4

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-5

I was in charge of the Star Trek ornaments, which takes up the remaining 20% of the tree. We have quite a few.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-6

My favorite is this model of Deep Space 9, with six Federation mini-ships docked.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-8

On Sunday I took the boys back to the movies to see Rise of the Guardians.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-9

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-10

Mack loved it.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-11

Cal and I just thought it was okay. I thought it was way too long.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-12

The rest of the weekend was just spent being lazy, Christmas decorating, trying to come to terms with the fact that Thanksgiving is over. Today it was back to the routine. The boys went back to school. I got to ease back into the weekly routine by visiting my friend Taryn’s business, Ocean Blu Spa.

oceanblu

Taryn and I met at a BizMoms meeting and she invited me to come check out her spa and experience a treatment myself.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-14

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-13

Ocean Blu is very charming inside.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-16

Taryn has this lovely waiting room, but also has another “lounge” room where she can accommodate several people if you wanted to go with a girlfriend or small group. The treatment room was instantly relaxing.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-15

I had the Ocean Blu signature facial. I have only ever had one other facial, so I’m not very experienced at spa treatments, but Taryn was great. She is a mom of two so we instantly had lots to talk about. The service included a paraffin treatment on my hands (which were so dry and really appreciative) and a foot massage. Awesome.

Here is Taryn looking lovely and I am looking half asleep (very relaxed from my facial):

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-18

Thank you so much Taryn! I really enjoyed my facial and getting to check out the spa.

Ocean Blu has an introductory special of 50% off your first service, then 40% off your second, and so on until 10% off your fifth service. Taryn is extending this special to include gift certificates! If you are buying a gift certificate for a new client, then the cost is just 50% of what it would normally be. I took advantage of that and bought a gift certificate for one of my friends for Christmas. I felt pretty happy to buy a $90 treatment for my friend for only $45! My friend can then continue on with the introductory special pricing if she wishes, so her next service would be 40% off.

If you could use a little TLC during this hectic season, give Ocean Blu a visit. It definitely got my week off to a good start!

Like Ocean Blu Spa on Facebook
Follow Ocean Blu Spa on Twitter

(Disclosure: Ocean Blu provided me with a complimentary facial. All opinions are my own.)

The rest of the day was spent running errands, doing laundry, running boys around after school. Does anybody else feel like our lives have just been put on fast forward?

Cya.

Spectating the Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon 2012

November 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Sunday morning the boys and I headed out early to watch the Women’s Half Marathon in downtown St. Pete.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-1

We got there a little later than I had planned, due to forgetting that Snell Isle would be blocked off, but we got a great FREE parking space next to the Vinoy on Beach Drive. As we were walking towards the start we heard them playing the National Anthem and then the start. We stopped near the one mile marker and watched the pack coming.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-2

I watched many of my friends run by, all happy at mile one. IRunMommies!

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-19

The boys were really into spectating.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-3

After the pack passed us at one mile, we knew we couldn’t see them again until they had done the loop out in Snell Isle, so we headed to Starbucks to get some breakfast. I let the boys get hot chocolates and pastries.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-4

Then we walked back down to the Vinoy, passing the baby Jesus…

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-5

and picked a spot near the mile 7 marker.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-6

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-7

Tampa Bay Lady Blogger friends at Mile 7:

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-22

IRunMommies friends at Mile 7:

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-20

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-21

Yeah, I knew just about everybody running this race. It was great to see so many friends pass us, looking so strong. The boys helped me yell encouragement and rang cowbells while I held a sign.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-23

Thanks for the photo Carrie!

After most of the runners had passed mile 7, we took off across the city to try to catch them again at Mirror Lake. I ate my spinach and feta wrap from Starbucks while we walked.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-8

We got to Mirror Lake in time to see most all of my friends run past again.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-9

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-18

Then we hightailed it back down First Avenue South until we were just before the turn to the finish line and I caught up with my friend Ali who had done the 5K and was now spectating.

WHMIRM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-38

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-24

We watched all of our friends come around the corner towards the finish line, then the boys and I hit up the Hilton rest rooms and walked back down to the finish line.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-10

We congratulated everyone one their medals, then headed back to the car. We made a brief pit stop to check out Santa’s sleigh in the park.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-11

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-12

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-13

The race festivities weren’t over yet, because then we met up with a bunch of our friends at Harvey’s for brunch.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-14

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-15

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-16

I got the walnut chicken salad croissant sandwich and potato salad which I shared with the boys.

WHM My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-17

We had a fun and exhausting day spectating the WHM this year! It was bittersweet not to be running, but we still really enjoyed being a part of it.