COACHELLA Survival Guide

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This will be our sixth year going to Coachella, and every year we get a little wiser in attending the festival. I can still recall our first Coachella in 2014, where we almost got our wristbands cut before even entering into the campground. We’ve camped for three years, stayed in a hotel once, and this will be our second year staying at an Air B&B, it’s safe to say we’ve been through it all (except our tent flying away, my husband is pretty good at staking down our tent).

Let’s start with the biggest key of survival, your stay. You can choose to camp, hotel, or airbnb, all are great options based on what you are looking for and willing to spend. We camped for three years, and it was the time of our lives, but now at 26 I will NEVER camp for Coachella again, it’s pretty rough tbh. Camping is rough because you don’t get much sleep, the sun and your neighbors wake you up at 6 am and you probably don’t go to bed until 1 or 2am. However, camping is a vibe like no other, and you are so close to the festival.

If this is your first Coachella, or your first time going all 3 days, or you’ve had a rough prior experience, here are some of my favorite tips to get you through this magical and hectic weekend.

 

1. Hydration

This has got to be the most important factors to your weekend. I’ve seen so many people pass out at festivals for not being hydrated. Aside from passing out, your body gets extremely sluggish when its not hydrated. The desert sun is no joke, and neither are the countless beers from the beer gardens. You have to make sure you are staying properly hydrated from the morning you wake up, to going to bed. There are two ways I love to stay hydrated.

  1. Liquid I.V-If we’re friends, it’s safe to say I’ve given you a Liquid I.V before, or you’ve seen me post about it excessively.  The reason why is because it works. One hydration multiplier is equivalent to THREE water bottles, More hydration, less trips to the bathroom! I always stock up before festivals and make sure the squad stays hydrated. Save 20% off your order & get free shipping with my code “Jessmarquezz” by clicking on this link -> Order Liquid I.V
  2. Vibedration CamelPack- If you don’t already own a camelpack for festivals or hiking, get yourself one now! My favorite company to order from is Vibedration! I’ve ordered two and have gotten two of my friends one as a birthday present so we all stay hydrated. They have super fun ones with designs and serve as a backpack to hold essentials like chapstick, gum, etc. The best part is, you’re wearing it (or your man is haha), and your hands are free slash you are less likely to leave it behind like you would a Hyrdoflask. I also have a discount code that saves you 10% off by using “Jess” at checkout Vibedration Hydration Packs
  3. FREE Water- The festival has free water refill stations, if you have a hydration pack you can fill it and have it for some time.
  4. $2 waters- You can also get water bottles pretty cheap at Coachella. They also offer a cool incentive, if you bring back 10 empty water bottles to recycle they give you a free water bottle. You’ll be surprised to see how many water bottles you’ll find in spots other than the recycle bin.

2. Surviving the Dust/Allergies

If you are someone that gets allergies, do NOT forget to pack your zyrtec or claritin! There is also a lot of dust floating around especially when walking in and out of the festival, pack a bandana or a mask to prevent sneezing and your allergies going rampant.

3. Sun Protection

Like I mentioned above, the sun is no joke! It might not feel as warm when you head into the festival that you think you can skip out, but do not! Not all of the tents are shaded so you will be directly under the sun for many hours. Apply facial sunscreen under your makeup and apply it to your whole body. I would even recommend bringing one in and sharing it with a group, just make sure it is one that is allowed. I believe they don’t allow aerosol spray but I could be wrong. Lipbalm with SPF is also key because your lips will burn. Sunglasses, and hats are also great ideas to protect you from a possible burn.

4. Portable Charger

Okay I’m including this on my list to remind myself. Every year we say we are going to bring one and forget. TBH my phone is on airplane mode most of the festival and I only pull it out to take pictures and record parts of sets. If you are planning on meeting friends at some point in the day, this is where a portable charger will be very convenient. Since the service is kind of spotty at Coachella, your battery will drain as it is searching for service, hence why I keep it on airplane mode. It’s also great to make sure your phone has battery in case you get separated from your group and you need to contact someone. Which brings me to my next point….

5. Designate a Meeting Spot

Losing a friend at a festival is one of the most worrisome experiences ever. This happened to us last year and I had the worst anxiety from it! Once you walk in pick a meeting spot in case one of you gets separated from the group. Having the meetup spot picked out at the beginning will also make it easier for you to meet before sets if you split up to see other people (which will happen, we all have different taste and you should never miss someone you truly want to see).

6. Comfortable Shoes

I’m the queen of comfort when it comes to my shoes at Coachella. Pictures from the ankle up have been the motto, as I was wearing chucks or comfortable sneakers with a cute outfit. You know those influencers you see at coachella with heeled booties, yeah they’re not there most of the day, those people come into the festival for a couple hours and often change their shoes after getting a good picture. Personally, I would not recommend sandals either unless you want to end up with a broken toe nail and dirty feet. However there are some grassy areas where I’ve gone barefoot and let me tell you how amazing that feels. Last year was my first year wearing Doc Marten boots to Coachella and those were lifesavers, they make your outfit look even better and your feet are protected. Just try to break them in before, and wear thick socks.

7.  Rent a Locker

Renting a locker is SO CLUTCH. This last year was the coldest Coachella I had ever been to. I ended up spending $40 on a blanket because of how cold I was. I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold, and although the desert days are Hot, the temperatures can drop at night and the wind is pretty intense at night. If you rent a locker with some friends, you can split the cost and shove a light jacket to use at night. Also it’s a good spot to save your merch so you don’t lose it. Oh and buy your merch the first day, the lines multiply as the days go by!

8. Bring Cash

Card is accepted almost everywhere, but you will come across some water bottle stations or popsicle stops where they only accept cash. Having a couple single dollars makes it easy. Also if you happen to accidentally lose your card, having cash will be nice.

9. EAT

I know it is really easy to forget to eat when going to festivals #guilty. I typically make sure I eat something dense before going into the festival to hold me up just in case we don’t get a chance to sit down for food. I’ll make sure my breakfast is heavy on protein and carbs cuz carbs are energy. There are sooo many delicious food options at Coachella catering to all sorts of diets….I can already taste the crab fries.

10. Pack Bathroom Essentials

Wipeys are essential to festivals! Keep your hands clean and also take them with you to the bathroom. The bathrooms near the Sahara tent are always pretty clean and have toilet paper, but carrying wipeys and hand sanitizer just in case is a must. Tissues are also great to carry and can serve as toilet paper if there is none.

11. Take Breaks

Our first coachella we were savages who survived front row of A$AP Ferg. Now that I’m 26 I don’t feel the need to be so up close and crowded by people. The stages are massive so you can see and hear perfectly. Take breaks and sit on the grass, and look around it’s one of my favorite sights to take in. There are a lot of cool Air Conditioned lounges, my favorite is the Heineken House (21+), because they typically have some well known lit D.Js playing. There are also lounges exclusive to card holders like American Express. Another spot to get some shade and AC is the Yuma tent which is definitely a vibe.

12. Explore the Grounds

Personally, I like to go in with extra time to wander the festival grounds. Every year the artwork is different, I scope out spots to take pictures and play in the immersive art. If you’re staying at an AirB&B or a hotel, give yourself ample time to get to your shuttle and into the festival, it always takes more time than you think. We normally go in earlier the first day to explore because as the days go on you get more tired and lag.

13. Bring Some Sleep Aids

Getting enough sleep or rest is as important as staying hydrated. It can be difficult to fall asleep after a music festival, pack some melatonin, an eye mask and even ear plugs to tune things out. CBD is also great to pack to relax your body and mind.

14. Earplugs

This will be the first year I bring my earplugs to Coachella. Ever since I started doing Spin obsessively, I began wearing earplugs to class. I went to Escape for halloween and my ears were so sensitive to the sound. You know the ringing after festivals….thats noise induced hearing loss YOU WILL NEVER GET BACK. As someone who has taken Audiology courses, and has neglected protecting their hearing for years, I vow to protect my ears when I can. I already know I have some hearing loss, it only gets worse with age so pack them in case. The music still sounds great especially if you have a good pair, I prefer Eargasm Earplugs.

15. Plan, yet go with the Flow

Going with a group is the highlight of Coachella, however it can be pretty difficult at times. If I could tally up how many hours we spent at the Beer Gardens last year waiting for people to meet up, I would have seen 4 extra sets, not going to lie sitting down with an IPA is also nice. The truth is you and your group are going to have different music interests, don’t be afraid to be eager to watch an artist you have been anticipating. Since I’m a Virgo, I plan out my whole weekend set list the moment it drops on the app. I just have them planned out in case, but once you are there, be ready to let things go out of plan. Check out a new artist you’ve never seen, last year was my first time seeing Rufus Du Sol & now I listen to them weekly. That’s the magic about Coachella, it’s such a versatile festival, you can discover so much new talent!

With that being said my biggest piece of advice to survive Coachella is to get lost in the music, take all the pictures you want, catch the sunset, dance with all your closest friends and tell the people around you that you love them, catch you on the Empire Polo Grounds in April!

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xoxo,

Jess

 

 

 

Whitening Sensitive Teeth at Home

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I’ll start this out with my before and after….

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If you know me, you know I love big, white, pearly teeth like Pauly D’s. Something about a big, white smile, that stands out makes me happy. As someone who drinks coffee 5 times a week, I noticed my smile getting a little dull. I decided to do something about it, which led me to try Smile Brilliant. I am honestly so happy I began to use Smile Brilliant, because the results were immediate.

I’ll preface this by saying that I have experience in whitening my teeth before. I’ve used crest white strips in highschool, and I can recall some of the shivers I felt from the sensitivity. I have also whitened my teeth at a whitening center, which was an amazing experience but more costly. I got the same results from whitening at home with Smile Brilliant, than I did when I went to a teeth whitening center. The best part about it was the ability to do it from the comfort of my own home, before getting ready for the day or night!

The best part about Smile Brilliant, was that you whiten using customized trays designed for your teeth. In your smile brilliant kit, you will receive product to create your own impressions. The instructions are easier to follow than I thought! Once you create your impressions you send them to the lab, where they make your custom trays. Having custom trays ensures you whiten your teeth in the most optimal way! The whitening gel is able to get into all the crevices of your teeth.

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This is what comes in your whitening kit. You get the Base and Catalyst to create your own impressions for your teeth. Once your impressions come in then the fun part begins….the whitening. As you can see from this picture, your kit comes with whitening gel as well as desensitizing gel which is used after whitening.

 

The desensitizing gel was such a great component to the kit. Sensitivity is one of the biggest worries when it comes to whitening your teeth. I have areas on my teeth that are pretty sensitive from over brushing (the area by the root of the teeth near the gum). I’m not going to lie, I was worried I would experience discomfort in that area of my teeth when whitening and I did NOT get any tingles or shivers.

 

I did about 7 whitenings with the product spread out over the course of three weeks. What I love about this product is that you can create your own schedule for whitening based on what you want. If you have a big event like a wedding coming up, you can whiten day by day leading up to the big day in the comfort of your own home and pajamas. I also like the fact that I have a couple syringes of product left so I will use them to touch up my smile before a social event.

 

Here is my before and after of using the product

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Because I loved my results so much, I want to share this with my family, friends, and followers to give you an opportunity to try Smile Brilliant.

Click the Link : www.smilebrilliant.com/g/jessicaochoa

ALSO use “jessicaochoa15” to receive 15% off sitewide!

 

Christmas Date Ideas in Southern California

Tis the Season! I love Christmas, I’m the kind of person that envisions Christmas right when Halloween is over. I love the lights, decorations, vibes, everything about Christmas. From the smell of my Christmas tree walking into my house, to the classic movies we watch every year. I have compiled 5 Christmas date activities worthy of checking out this holiday season.

Ice Skating at Hotel Del Coronado

Location: Coronado / Cost: $30 online $35 in person

IMG_1781Iceskating is a must during the holiday season. There are so many ice skating rinks all over Southern California worth visiting, but my personal favorite is at the Hotel Del Coronado. The rink is spacious, and the quality of the skates is great. I love skating here because you are skating by the sea, the ocean and palm trees are in the background….only in California! The hotel is iconic and worth exploring while you’re there.

 

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

Location: Riverside / Cost: Free

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Although the Mission Inn festival of lights is not that big, it is such a beautiful display of lights and very romantic and cute to visit. The hotel is also very historic and worth visiting. There are also a lot of cute outdoor christmas shops and spots to get hot chocolate and snacks.

Tip: Visit the Riverside Food Lab when you’re there, its a 2 minute walk from the Mission Inn, save your appetite and grab dinner!

 

L.A Zoo Lights

Location: Los Angeles / Cost: Value Night $15, Premium Night $ 22

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So much fun! Lots of walking and intricate light displays. I’ve only been here once but each year it keeps getting bigger and better.

 

Christmas on the Farm & Bainbridge Circle

Location: Peltzer Winery (Temecula), Bainbridge Circle (Murrieta)

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Believe it or not, Temecula has high Christmas spirts. There are so many different christmas stop spots. Two of my favorite are Peltzer Winery and Bainbridge Circle. Peltzer Winery has an Ice Skating rink and has a ton of festive activities for all ages.

Bainbridge has been a tradition for some time, Ed and I have gone together the past 8 years, this will be our ninth…wow. You can tune your radio to the designated radio station and drive through it, or find parking and walk around the magical street. There is a lot of traffic due to the popularity so be patient and don’t forget your Christmas spirit when visiting.

 

Here are some other recommendations I’ve seen, but have not had a chance to do! Comment below any of your favorite ones worth visiting, even in other states!

 

-Enchanted @ Descanso Gardens

-Moonlight Festival @ LA Arboretum

-Newport Beach Boat Parade

-Queen Mary Christmas

 

 

4 days of Vegetarian Eating (With Meal Ideas)

I remember many years ago I asked my husband what he would do if he came home and we were having only salad for dinner. The conversation went something along the lines of him mimicking Salad and then proclaiming how much he loves meat. Well fast forward to a few years later and here we are at Trader Joe’s gearing up for a week of plant based/vegetarian eating. I say vegetarian because we did have products that contained dairy such as yogurt, whey protein, and tomato basil soup.

I’ve watched several Vegan documentaries and I have gained a deep interest in finding alternative ways of eating. Today there are so many substitutes on the market, that make eating meatless a breeze. I found so many of these substitutes to be more appetizing than their regular meat friends. Doing this challenge with my husband was fun, it got us excited to try new recipes.

I will admit, eating meatless did take a lot more preparation and planning. The only reason it was more difficult, was because it was a new routine for us. We have mastered our standard meal prep, but trying something new gave us both a desire to learn new ways of eating.

One thing I did wonder was if my workouts would have been compromised due to not eating animal protein. In order to combat this, I made sure to eat sufficiently, and take in a lot of nutrients through vegetables and nuts.

We really enjoyed eating this way and we both said there were certain meat substitution products we would make key purchases. Ideally I would like to move towards a pescatarian diet in the future. I will continue to explore other plant based/ meat substitution products. Do you think you could challenge yourself to not eat meat for a week? If you are already a meatless eater, what are some of your favorite meals?

If you would like to see some meal ideas and tips to get inspired, keep reading!

Lunch #1

I didn’t take a picture of my lunch, but it was delicious, quick, and easy. We bought the Italian meat-less sausages and prepped them the night before. As a side, we had steamed broccoli and cherry tomatoes on the side.

Dinner #1

Tomato Basil Soup from Costco (contains dairy), I cooked lentils and added them into the soup for extra protein. We also roasted broccolini in the oven with balsamic as a side, and a piece of whole grain toast to dip into our soup.

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Lunch #2

I made fajita bowls without meat! Cut up bell peppers and onion and put it to sauté with chipotle sauce. I purchased canned black beans and Israeli couscous to add to the fajitas. It was my first time trying Israeli couscous and it was delicious, I can’t wait to use it again. Like I mentioned, one of the best parts about this week of eating was trying lots of new things!

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Dinner #2

TACO TUEASDAYYYYYYYYY!!!

For dinner we decided to make vegetarian tacos. We used cactus, onion, and soy rizo for the tacos. We added avocado to the tacos and my husband also added vegan cheese to his. It was my first time trying Soy-Rizo and it was amazing, it was not oily at all like regular chorizo and had a great flavor. We also used Mission organic tortillas to put the tacos in.

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Lunch #3

Trader Joes sells this amazing Vegetable and Soba Noodle stir fry kit. We prepped this the night before and we also added Edamame to it to add more protein! The kit comes with veggies and a pack of soba noodles (not pictured), it also has a sauce you stir fry everything with.

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Dinner #3

This dinner was one of the easiest ones. To be honest, everything we typically cook is easy and efficient. We bought the Quinoa Cowboy burger patties from Trader Joes and cooked them in the oven. As a side we did green beans and side salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

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Lunch #4

I made my husband an Avocado/Chickpea/Edamame Toast. The night before I prepped the avocado and put it in a to go container. Luckily Ed has a toaster at work so he was able to toast his bread.

Since I don’t have a toaster at work, I ate at my second job. I asked the kitchen to make me fajitas without meat, so it has cactus, bell peppers, onion, tomato, with a bit of beans and rice, so yummy!

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Dinner #4

This was my favorite meal that we did! We bought the brown rice and yellow lentil spaghetti which is packed with protein and tastes just like regular pasta. We then used an “Autumn Harvest” soup sauce which had tomato and pumpkin and butternut squash. My husband also cut up mushrooms and onion and cooked it into the sauce. The final part was my most favorite, meatless meatballs from Trader Joes. They had such a delicious flavor, I was craving them the next week.

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Avoiding meat and dairy, is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on earth!!! You don’t have to completely cut certain things from your diet at once if you don’t want to, but you should strive to find alternatives. You never know if these alternatives are better tasting than the original ones. All the meatless substitutes we bought were better tasting than the original products are products we would buy over their originals. I’m looking forward to continue to find new ways of eating to reduce our environmental impact.

 

Must Visit Pumpkin Patches in Southern California

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I know I should have published this blog a lot sooner, since we are halfway through October but better late than never. There are still two weekends left in October which means there is plenty of time to visit a Pumpkin Patch before this season is over. Whether you are going with your boo, friends, family, or kids, these are my favorite Pumpkin Patches in Southern California.

5. Bates Nut Farm (Valley Center)

Address: 15954 Woods Valley Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 9am-5:30, Weekends 8:30am-6pm

Admission: Free, Parking $5.00

The only reason Bate’s Nut Farm is #5 is because I have never been there. However I have seen many friends go on Instagram, its big, and in a perfect location which is why I had to mention it on this list.  This pumpkin patch also has tractor hayrides, straw maze, and a petting coral.

There are plenty of options on picking a perfect pumpkin to take home and carve or to just decorate your house. There are also wheel barrows to take cute photos with as well. I will make it my goal to visit this pumpkin patch next year and check it out for myself.

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4. Tanaka Farms (Irvine)

Address: 5380 3/4 University Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday 9am-6pm

Admission: $4 per person, Children 2 & younger are free. Parking is free Monday-Friday. Parking passes need to be purchased on the weekends for $10, they sell out so it’s important to reserve them online.

Okay not going to lie, the reason I like this pumpkin patch is because of the Hello Kitty theme. I’m 26 years old and still a sucker for hello kitty decor. This pumpkin patch has become a lot bigger since we have gone in 2016. I would advise to go on the weekends, when they have an array of activities available such as pumpkin blasting, ATV rides, face painting and their own Tanaka Grill serving lunch.

Another thing I love about this Pumpkin Patch, is the U-Pick Vegetable section, you can pick and take home vegetables like Brussels sprouts, squash, zucchini, and more! It is a great opportunity to teach kids about eating vegetables and show them a good relationship with food! There is also a produce market stand, where you can take locally grown produce home, talk about farm to table!

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as you can see these photos are from 2016, my picture taking skills have improved since then so I apologize for the sub-par quality lol.

 

3. Pumpkin Station (Escondido)

Address: 13421 Highland Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92128

Hours: Monday- Sunday 9am-6pm

Admission: Free!

This is one of my favorite pumpkin patches because it is also an actual farm. Pumpkins are grown in many shapes and sizes. There is a hay ride, which normally includes some valuable information on how pumpkins grow. Now the main reason why I love coming to this pumpkin patch, is because of the beautiful sunflower fields. There are so many rows of sunflowers and you are actually able to walk through them. Not only that, but they also have a U-Pick Sunflower Section, where you can cut down your favorite girasoles (spanish for sunflower) and take them home.

There are a few rows of pumpkins, but this pumpkin patch makes my list because I have always dreamed of frolicking through sunflower fields. There is also a small petting zoo! The best part is its free and you can take as many photos in the field as you want, just be gentle with the flowers and don’t pick any outside of the U-Pick area.

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2. Live Oak Canyon (Redlands)

Address: 32335 Live Oak Canyon Rd, Redlands, CA 92373

Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 9am-10pm, Sunday 9am-9pm

Admission: Pricing ranges based on the day you are visiting. On weekends, adults are $12, Kids 3-10 are 7$ and kids 2 and under are free, during the week it is two dollars cheaper for adults and kids. Parking is also free and plentiful.

This is definitely the best pumpkin patch in Southern California, it’s huge and there is so much to do! From the petting zoo, pumpkin cannons, corn maze, and all the carnival rides, this pumpkin patch has something for every age! One of the best parts of this pumpkin patch is that they sell alcohol and you can walk around with it. Nothing like enjoying a nice IPA while walking around the scenery.

Live Oak  sells individual tickets for each ride/attraction, each ticket is worth a dollar and the cost of the attractions vary. There is also a wristband option sold on certain days which allows you to take advantage of multiple attractions for an affordable price.

What drew me into this pumpkin patch, was the photo ops! Especially the two Pumpkin houses in the patch, they are aesthetic and can give you the perfect photo in seconds. I like coming to this pumpkin patch in the evening to get the best lighting for photos. Another tip, ride the train ride and I would save the train ride for the evening when they turn on the lights at the patch because it looks so dreamy with all the twinkle lights on.

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1. Peltzer Pumpkin Farm

Address: 39925 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591

Monday-Sunday 9am-8pm: activity times range by day

Admission: $2 admission for everyone, Children 1 year and younger free with paid adult

Pumpkin Patch on a Winery? Do I need to say more? This is Peltzer Pumpkin Farm’s 13th season and every year they add something to it, to make it the magical place it is today. This pumpkin patch is truly for all ages, there is face painting for the kids, pig races, and even wine for the adult. Peltzer offers one of the best wine tasting experiences in Temecula, with your tasting card you also get a bread and wine pairing.

Some of the activities you can take a part of at the Pumpkin Patch are Petting Farm, Gem Mining, Pony Rides, Tractor Garden (free), Train Ride, John Deere Mini Carts, and Carnival Games.

Every weekend in October they hold their October Nights event which showcases various food trucks at their food truck alley, as well as a Blacksmith Bar. Aside from all the activities offered at Peltzer, this pumpkin patch has beautiful twinkle lights, there are a ton of pumpkins to capture the perfect shot of the pumpkin season!

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Something in me

told me to go back to my “blog”. I just reread my first blog post back in 2017 where I said I was going to go for it. Well guess what, it’s 2019 and I never went for it. 2 years later and I’m in the same position wondering what could have been of this had I gone for it. Then all those similar thoughts seem to trickle in….”what if I would have made my fitness IG back in 2015 at the dawn of those profiles”, “what if I would have gone straight to grad school finishing my degree in 2015”, “what if I would have planned better and did not move back to my hometown after college”. Life will be filled with these moments of doubt and worry. I have found the easiest way to divert these thoughts is to focus on the good and the plentiful. It hasn’t been all loss since 2017, I got married to my best friend, we’ve traveled to about 4 new states and our dream destination of Thailand. I actually understand and enjoy sports. I finished my post bacc in speech and language pathology, I found a new fitness passion, spinning, while still staying true to my lifting roots. I’ve connected, inspired, and motivated people.