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Op-Ed by Ashley Dingeman

The DZ Farm Meet the Chefs Event took place this past Sunday, October 12th, and I had the pleasure of attending on behalf of Saratoga.com.

After reviewing the invitation, I had a good idea of what to expect when I arrived at the farm, but reality blew out my prior expectations. The beauty of the property was completely overwhelming at first, initially making you forget where you were.

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Saratoga is recognized for a variety of reasons, from horse races to spas to fine arts and music. Yet, what about a round of applause for 'toga and its vast ethnic cuisine? On October 11, Saratoga Food Fanatic and Network Saratoga are teaming up to present the FIRST annual Saratoga International Flavorfeast, giving your palate the opportunity to try something new!


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If you haven't done or seen these things, then you're not doing Saratoga right. I've compiled a list of things, i.e. places to go or eat and activities to do, that I, and most of Saratoga, consider a crime if you haven't at least tried. So grab a seat and read through this list. If you find something you haven't otherwise heard of, you're welcome, because I've just made your weekend plans for you.

Saratoga: Health, History, Horses and...Having Fun!

Make Candle Collective your family's favorite new destination for fun this summer!

Local fashion leader opens new designer-focused shop in downtown Saratoga that will feature luxury consignment at off Broadway prices!

Flower children, gypsy queens, festie-heads, and bohemian goddesses have joined forces to create the foundation for this year's summer trends. Think lace, burn out tees, thrift-inspired frocks, destroyed denim, mix-match patterns, headbands galore, silky bell bottoms,and fringe- put it all together and what do you get? The cool-girls closet for Summer 2014.

Craving more free time? Does your busy lifestyle make it difficult to get daily tasks done and still have time to enjoy your family and leisure time? If so, then this is one business you will surely want to take advantage of.

Brown's beach was a family favorite for many years for residents of Saratoga county, as it was one of the only public access swimming beaches with shallow water and a sandy bottom on Saratoga Lake. To everyone's dismay it was closed in 2007.

Luckily, Brown's beach was bought by the Town of Stillwater in May of last year. Since then they have been working feverishly to get the beach open and ready for visitors sometime this summer!

Swimming won't be the only attraction either! They have big plans to bring the beach back to its former glory and maybe even better!

Metzger Heaven and Earth.pngSaratogaArtsFest, Saratoga's annual celebration of the arts, officially kicks off its 2014 season with the grand opening of the ArtsFest Center and Gallery in downtown Saratoga Springs.

As the festival's headquarters, the center sells festival admissions packages and merchandise, provides ArtsFest information, and exhibits works of many area visual artists including: Takeyce Walter, (painting), Jack Metzger, (found-object sculpture), and Rebecca Kane (photography).

The Center's hours of operation are:
May 27-31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
June 2-7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
June 8, closed
June 9-15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The center phone number is 518-871-1379.

In the age of the internet, people these days are becoming increasingly aware of "miracle" cures for everything under the sun--many of them natural remedies--because we'd rather practice self care than schedule a doctor visit over every little thing.

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Wouldn't it be great if your body was strong and healthy enough that the common cold, allergies, back pain, headaches and the effects of aging couldn't ail you? That is the goal of self care. Your journey toward optimum health includes nourishing your body with local, whole foods, detoxifying and treating your body with holistic medicine and freeing your mind and spirit through movement and through stillness.

But how do you know what you're doing, really? There are so many "natural" products, potions and lotions screaming at us from the shelves and being pushed by friends who sell this or that. Unless you're an expert, it can be difficult to decipher between trusted information and shoddy advice when it comes to self care. Trial and error can sometimes work, but wouldn't it be great to have a strong foundation and some guidance as you continue along your self care journey?

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