See It to Believe It: Best Deals Ever

One of the first places I like to go when I’m home in Pennsylvania is our local discount grocery store. I always get phenomenal deals on healthy hidden gems!

There’s plenty of non-healthy items too, which sometimes make their way into my cart as well. What can I say?

Many of the items are so cheap because they are near their expiration date. Some are actually past their ‘best by’ date. But I’m always shocked at the amazing deals I can get. The dates don’t usually bother me.

Here’s a recap of some of this week’s finds. You have to see it to believe it!

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MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter, $3.99. Typically $6-8.


IMG_6325Vita Coco coconut water latte drink, $0.59. Typically $2-3.


square bar vegan protein bar

Squarebar organic vegan protein bar, $0.99. Typically $2.50.


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Wild Friends organic chocolate sunflower butter, $3.99. Typically, $8-9.


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Purely Elizabeth blueberry hemp granola, $1.79. Typically, $6.99.


Puffins peanut butter chocolate cereal

Puffins peanut butter and chocolate cereal (like adult Reese’s Puffs!) for $1.29. Typically $3-4.


And perhaps the biggest surprise of all…

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Freaking Oatmega Bars!! This is the company I work part-time for in Austin. I could NOT believe I found them up north in Pennsylvania — in such a random place, nonetheless. I texted my manager immediately. $0.99 for these babies… typically closer to $2 each. What a steal!


Sweets and Beets

I had the most amazing long weekend at home. Seeing my friends and family truly made my birthday/Memorial Day weekend one of the best yet. I’ll be posting a full recap soon!

But for now, tell me:

  • What’s the best deal you’ve gotten lately on a health food item?
  • Would you eat something past its expiration date?

My Favorite Ways to Work Out at Home

It’s my Friday! Tomorrow I’ll be hopping on a plane and flying to Pennsylvania to spend my birthday/Memorial Day weekend back home. I’m so excited.

Although I was just home for a quick business trip, this will be more of a vacation. It’s much needed. On my agenda is a whole lot of friends & family time, plus eating, drinking, and enjoying a few days without work.

While I’ll definitely be in vacation mode, that’s not to say I won’t also be getting some workouts in. I’ll go crazy if I don’t!

Here are my favorite ways to work out when I’m home:

  1. Running my old trails. Nothing beats running at home. I spent a lot of time out on the trails training for my half marathon, so it’s always good to be back. Plus, I know the area like the back of my hand, so I can just zone out and go for it.
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  2. Walking with my Mom. One of our favorite things to do is go for walks together. Hopefully the weather will allow for some good ones!
  3. Doing an exercise video. I’ve built up quite a collection of Jillian Michaels DVDs, all of which are waiting for me at home. They’re quick, tough, and effective!
  4. Yoga at my favorite studio. Lauren and I used to occasionally take a yoga class together at my favorite studio downtown. If our schedules align, I’m looking forward to meeting up with her for yoga, coffee and baked goods on Friday.
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  5. Pickup games. Though it’s been a while since we’ve been able to get everyone together, I used to love playing pickup games of soccer or volleyball with a huge group. Flashback to summer vacations, for sure.

I’m hoping this weekend will be a perfect balance of relaxation & celebration. That’s what it’s all about, right? Let the fun begin! 8)

Sweets and Beets Your Turn:

  • What’s your favorite way to work out when you’re traveling?
  • Any big plans for Memorial Day Weekend? I’m SO looking forward to burgers on the grill!

Unboxed: My Foodie Swap Box

If you’re an avid health food blog reader, you may know my friend Georgie from In It 4 the Long Run. Not only is she the Community Manager for Bai, but she runs a personal blog that always has the most gorgeous food photography, and delicious vegetarian-friendly recipes.

Georgie was awesome enough to start a group of like-minded bloggers called Bloggers Gonna Blog. It’s been a really fun resource & great way to get to know new bloggers!

A few weeks ago, Georgie suggested a Foodie Snack Swap idea. Um, obviously I was in. Everyone in the group was randomly assigned another blogger to send a box full of goodies to.

foodie swap

My swap buddy was Christina of The Blissful Balance. Christina’s blog is another awesome resource for healthy recipes (avocado fries, 5 ingredient cookies, psychedelic swirl peanut butter brownies?!), as well as lifestyle things like fashion and travel. She’s great at talking about what balance means to her .. and I’m all about that!

When I opened my box, I was ELATED. It’s so cool how I basically got a present from an almost-total stranger, but she was able to know just what I like! 🙂 Thanks, Christina. I’m still working my way through your goodies!

Chia Bars

I have always wanted to try these! At 100 calories, 5g sugar and 4g fiber, these are a perfect little snack. Christina sent me Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana, Acai Berry, and Mango flavors. Chocolate Peanut Butter was my fave so far! The texture reminded me a bit of a fruit leather.

Justin’s Nut Butters

A classic! Right away, I opened up the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor – a big treat for me. It’s basically nutella, so I’m not gonna not eat it with a banana. I also love the Maple Almond Butter & Honey Almond Butter, which I received in my box. I stashed these at my desk for random snack-attacks.

Dickinson’s Country Apple Butter

Christina noticed that I make toast for breakfast a lot. Like, 4x a week a lot. So to switch up my routine, Christina sent me some apple butter! I’m excited to crack this open — I think it will go well with my Trader Joe’s fig butter. : )

Madecasse Salted Almond Madagascar Dark Chocolate

This chocolate bar has been my savior at work. Christina, it didn’t melt! : ) I love a good quality dark chocolate bar, and this particular one is made with fair trade, heirloom cocoa. A chocolate bar that you can feel good about eating is right on in my book. =)

Sweets and Beets

I loved being a part of the Foodie Swap. I was able to try a few new things and enjoy some favorites. Thanks so much for my box, Christina! And thank you for organizing it, Georgie!

Berry Stuffed Pancakes Recipe

I don’t understand non-breakfast people.

For me, breakfast is the best part of the day. It’s non-negotiable. I will gladly wake up earlier than necessary if it means I get to enjoy a delicious breakfast.

I mean, who says leisurely breakfasts are limited to the weekends? On any given Tuesday or Wednesday, I can be found enjoying some elaborate pancake, oatmeal, or other breakfast dish.

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These Berry Stuffed Pancakes? So easy. So delicious. So worth the extra 15 minutes.

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Trader Joe’s Grand Opening in Downtown Austin

Last Friday, a new Trader Joe’s opened up in downtown Austin. Insert party emoji here.

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It’s a block or two away from Whole Foods headquarters (conveeeeenient!), adding to the list of places that I frequent on that block.

Nearby, you can also find Waterloo Records, Book People, Free People, Anthropologie, Lush cosmetics, Lululemon, and more. Basically, the block of 6th and Lamar is mecca.

On Trader Joe’s opening day, I obviously had to stop in and check it out.

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It’s a bit bigger than the existing TJ’s, and has some cute Texas-y touches.

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An employee told me that corporate didn’t do much advertising for the Grand Opening, but I’m pretty confident that it will take care of itself. Although Whole Foods is based here, Austin

And of course, this was my favorite part:

Matthew McConaughey Trader Joe's Austin

McConaughey represent!!

Matthew McConaughey lives here in town, and so you’ll see him represented pretty often on graffiti and stuff. His Dazed and Confused quotes are the most iconic here, since the movie was set & largely filmed here.

You can tell I geek out over this.

Matthew McConaughey street art

Creepy, but hey.

While I’m already a frequent visitor of the Trader Joe’s closer to my apartment, I can already tell I’m going to be a downtown TJ’s regular.

Austin’s 6th and Lamar area is a dangerous block, for sure. Goodbye, paycheck .. but hellooo, all-the-goodies. 😉

Sweets and BeetsYour Turn-

  • TJ’s, Whole Foods, or both? I’m an equal opportunity grocery shopper, myself.

Feeling Better + Feeling So Austin

Next Monday will mark my one year anniversary of moving to Austin. I cannot even begin to explain how this year flew, yet crawled by at the same time.

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SO much has changed in the last year. In some ways, I feel like a different person. All in all, this year has been incredible and I’m thankful for everyone & everything who has helped me along the way.

Recently, I’ve been identifying with this city more than ever. I really feel like I’m starting to belong. To give you an idea of what that’s like, here are some recent moments where I’ve felt so Austin.

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Best Week Ever Part 2: Best Friends Reunited

Fresh off of my surprise trip home last week, I was excited to have a visitor in Austin. My best friend from college, Sophie, came down to visit for a long weekend.

We hadn’t seen each other in a little over a year, so it was so great to get together again. In just about 4 days, we did and saw SO much. I think she got a great representation of Austin! 🙂

Some highlights of the weekend:

  • Burgers @ Hopdoddy — we both opted for vegetarian burgers and raved about how good they were. I chose the ‘Janis Joplin’ special which included a hemp patty, avocado, sunflower sprouts and cheddar.

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  • Post-hike happy hour @ La Condesa

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  • BBQ @ Salt Lick — I love bringing out-of-towners here because of the great vibes. Pack a cooler, bring a deck of cards, and wait it out in the sunshine.

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  • Hanging out @ Jester King Brewery

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  • Nitrogenated Cold Brew @ Cuvee Coffee

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  • Walking around Zilker Park, McKinney Falls, South Congress, the Farmer’s Market, and the Capitol.

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  • Lunch on the Whole Foods Roof (… obligatory.)

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  • Staying in and just talking, sitting on the porch, watching movies, and listening to 70s music — it was kind of great to just relax & hang out. It’s been too long!

All in all, I’m just so thankful I was able to see my friends and family all within the span of a week.

Between going home and having Sophie come visit, it was an unbelievably amazing week. I’ll never forget how happy it made me!

Sweets and Beets

Your Turn-

  • Do you ever get visitors from out of town?
  • What city is next on your travel bucket list?