Race Review: The Color Run

Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining a group of my friends for the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” — The Color Run!IMG_5393

As described on The Color Run website, this race is “Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer.”

The Color Run Graphic

We made it to the start line around 8:15am, which I was a tad worried about since the Race Start was scheduled for 8:30am. However, no worries necessary because since the Color Run is such a large event, they sent off groups of people in waves to run the race.IMG_5399This was my only real dislike about the event. I heard that last year they had sign ups for your Race Start time, but this year it was more “free-flowing”. There were people who were finishing the race by the time we crammed our way up to the Start Line at 9:30am. It felt quite unorganized.

Once the race because we were all quite enthusiastic over the matter. I have run a few races in the past, but there is something special about just getting outside, doing something active (and sparkly) with your friends on a Saturday morning. Sure, you might not be setting any PRs or blowing away the competition with your 7:30 min/mi, but if that’s what you’re going for, you’re missing the unique experience offered by the Color Run. This is about your friends and family joining together for some fitness and FUN.image1The color stations were spread out over the entire course: pink, orange, yellow, blue, and SPARKLEYes, I know sparkle isn’t a color, but it should be. I’m still not 100% positive as to what the concoction is for the color, but we imagined it being something like cornstarch or really fine chalk. (GOOD NEWS: It comes out of clothing really easily. Not so much the glitter, though I didn’t mind!)image2image3The course was jam-packed due to the overwhelming amount of runners/walkers. I loved seeing so many people together laughing, jogging, and enjoying their time along the race. 🙂IMG_5451Once we crossed the Finish Line, we were greeted with a sparkle packet, a color packet, and a Color Run medal! There was a huge party at the end with big color throws, sparkle tosses, and fist-pumpin’ music!image1 (1) Team DyeHard had a BLAST! We crushed the race, doused ourselves in color and glitter, and enjoyed our time together.


definitely recommend this race to anyone who wishes to enjoy an exciting, fun race with their friends and family. If you’re looking for a more solo-running, competitive atmosphere, then you might want to skip this one. However, I encourage you to gather your friends and give it a go.

After all, this truly is the #Happiest5k on the PLANET 🙂
Thank you, Color Run!

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East End Market

Call me Captain Jack because I just found treasure.
That line was disgustingly cheesy, I know, but you need to understand how incredible this place is.East End Market

Rejoice! Calling all foodies, yoga moms, and business men on lunch! Plus, everyone in between. East End Market, located in Audubon Park District in Orlando, Florida, is absolutely a hidden gem.

The Market showcases some of Central Florida’s top food entrepreneurs, tradespeople, artists, and chefs. The two-story structure is home to a dozen merchants, a large event space, a demonstration kitchen, an incubator kitchen, offices, retail shops, a full-time, award-winning caterer and a world-class restaurant.

East End Market is not only a hub for local food and culture, but also a community space fostering creativity and collaboration.

Inside the MarketThe entire property was stunning. There seems to be something for everyone: coffee, sushi, smoothies + juices, a bookstore, craft beers, local farm produce, bakery items, floral + plant gifts, and MORE. Seriously, something for everyone!

Of course, I had a few of my own favorites that I would LOVE to share with you all.

Skyebird

SkyebirdSkyebird 2This place was my favorite (with a close runner up). Skyebird captured my attention immediately– the colorful display of produce and teas, the mouth-watering menu, and the fresh atmosphere. I simply had to give it a try. After checking out the menu, and getting a few recommendations, I went with the Skye’s Favorite Smoothie. Skyebird's FavoriteNot only do you get the opportunity to pull up a chair and watch the magic happen, but the beautiful part about the “magic” is that they actually are slicing and dicing the fruits and veggies in front of you! How many smoothie/juice places have you seen that just pull out a container of pre-sliced produce that makes you wonder how long it was sitting there? Now that is fresh. I would also love to add that the adorable glass jar it comes on is your to-go cup! If you bring it back for a refill, you get $0.50-off your drink!All Things DeliciousThe staff was amazingly friendly and happy to help with decision-making, which I often need help with. My smoothie tasted wonderful and from some of the “regulars” I talked to agreed that the menu items were always fresh and delicious. I highly recommend swinging by Skyebird when visiting the East End Market.

Lineage

LineageIf there is good coffee, it will be found. I am a coffee fanatic and as soon as I walked into the market, Lineage was the first place I stopped. Lineage serves all kinds of coffee in various styles: French press, cold brew, pour over, and Chemex. Fresh BrewTheir incredible roasted coffees take on an art form when being brewed. The aroma lures you in as your walk by and begs of you to stay. When you stick around you’ll meet wonderful staff and down amazing brew. Relax and enjoy the experience. ahhhhh. 🙂

 Porch Therapy

Outside PorchSucculentsWhen first arriving to the market, I was greeted by the loveliest of plants and flowers sprinkled throughout the patio area. I noted the signage that indicated Porch Therapy was responsible for the beautiful display and that customers were welcome to pick any plant of their choosing and bring it inside for checkout. The abundant array of plants and flowers were such a colorful greeting into the market and Porch Therapy’s interior was no different. I had a wonderful conversation with the owner, chatting about her business, along with the ins and outs of the market. This place makes my “Top 3 of East End” with ease.Indoor Porch Therapy


East End Market was an experience. I love when places capture all your senses and allow you to enjoy the present moment! This is a place where community gathers, feasts, and learns. Speaking of learning, East End also has fun events and cooking classes for the public, if you’re interested! I highly recommend you check out East End if you’re local. If not, whenever you happen by Orlando and are sick of the theme parks, a stroll over to East End Market will not disappoint!East End Outdoor 2

I hope you find a local gem of your own! And if you have a favorite in Orlando (or anywhere really) leave a comment!

Cheers! 🙂

The Incredible Bulk [Nation]

I am probably a little too excited about this post. I’ll try to contain most of the excitement. This morning, Austin and I were roaming around Orlando and he said, “I have a surprise for you!”. We pulled into a shopping plaza and I saw it:

BULK NATION USA

Bulk Nation USAQuick background story: Last summer while working at an incredible summer camp, Muskoka Woods, we were allowed to head into town a few times a week and one of the highlights was the local Bulk Barn. I have yet to see anything like it in the States. So this was truly an exciting find for us and was reminiscent of our last summer in Canada.

Bins on bins on bins!
Bins on bins on bins!

This place is truly a gold mine. Strolling up and down the aisles, there is a plethora of options ranging from flours to butters to coffees, and everything in between.

I had to be very careful around all these coffee beans.
I had to be very careful around all these coffee beans.

I love that this store can appeal to everyone too. Paleo? There are bins full of coconut flour, almond flour, and organic, local honey. Are you Gluten-Free? Not only do they have bins of gluten-free products, but also a whole wall dedicated to Bob’s Red Mill products (I honestly didn’t even know some of these products existed and I’m a fan of Bob’s). Maybe you are a hardcore Organic consumer; there are plenty of organic options which are labeled with a bright green label. And if you have a major sweet tooth, you may not want to get too close, due to an aisle of chocolates and candies, which I walked through at a brisk pace.Bulk Barn Aisle

And let me tell you about the prices! I have a list in my phone of prices of products I use most often from the stores where I shop at most. Bulk Nation blew these prices out of the water. A 16oz jar of coconut oil is on sale for $2.99 right now (no, that is not a typo). TWO NINETY-NINE! They have a student discount available with valid student ID, so bring a college kid with you. Not to mention that they have a list of “Products of the Month” that have additional discounts on them. Finally, check out the website right now for a $5.00-off coupon for a purchase of $30 of more for the rest of August.

Make Your Own Nut Butters! Talk about fresh!
Make Your Own Nut Butters! Talk about fresh!

Once I reminded myself of that thing called a “budget”, my recipe-creating juices came to a halt and I agreed to grabbing just one bag of Vegetable Chips as a snack. FOR TODAY, that is.

Hello there, Delicious.
Hello there, Delicious.

Perhaps the best part of this mini adventure was the staff. We were greeted by every employee in the store. Also, since they have a specific system to bagging up your goodies, we were offered a little “training course” on their procedure. Although, there was some friendly banter about our memories at Bulk Barn, but luckily Canada is not down the street and this place is. 😉 We may have new loyalties now.

Oh decisions, decisions...
Oh decisions, decisions…

We had an awesome experience today at Bulk Nation USA. Sometimes fun surprises can happen in your own town. I am excited to have this new store in Orlando and it will aid with my Paleo recipe-making in the future!

If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post without stopping and running to Bulk Nation, well done, but now go hop in your car and get going! The Grand Opening will only last so long!!