central PA

Five on Friday: Thrift Shops

TGIF! Fridays are great for so many reasons - the end of a (traditional) work week, the beginning of two days to spend with family and friends, the day to finalize those weekend plans, and more. For Valerie and I, though, one thing we look forward to on Fridays is the potential for what the next morning might bring - thrifting! Now, it's unfortunately not something we get to do every weekend (hey, we're busy, people!), and generally by this time of year it's getting a little cooler and, therefore, we don't go as often (especially to those outdoor flea markets). But, the weather is still unseasonably warm and the opportunity for thrifting, whether at a thrift store, flea market, yard sale, antiques market, etc., is always on our radar. So, for today's edition of Five on Friday, I thought I'd share my Top 5 Thrift Shops in the Central PA region! As mentioned above, thrifting doesn't have to happen at just traditional thrift shops, like Salvation Army or Goodwill, so stay tuned for some other variations too.

With that said, here are my...

Top 5 Picks for Thrift Shops!

  1. Blue Mountain Thrift Store. This thrift store is located in Annville, PA. Don't be turned off by its unassuming location and building, however. Once inside, this place is bigger than it appears from the outside, carries an assorted, ever-changing inventory of furniture, household goods, clothes, books, and more, and I cannot remember a time when we've left here empty-handed!

Furniture at Blue Mountain Thrift Store.


  1. Williams Grove Farmers' Flea Market. You may have seen this flea market surface in one of Valerie's previous posts, so it'll come as no surprise that this is one of our favorite local thrifting spots. However, since that post, some things have changed - the lower portion of the flea market, which was held at the former amusement park, is no longer in operation. You can read more about this here. As sad as this is, the upper portion, maintained by the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association, is still in operation and has taken on many of the vendors that previously sold at the lower area. Therefore, while some of the amazing atmosphere is no more, the finds are still there! Bonus: as its name suggests, there's a Farmer's market there as well!

A stand at the Williams Grove Flea Market.


  1. Hampden Center Goodwill. Located in the Hampden Shopping Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, this is your typical Goodwill store. What sets this location apart, however, is its collection of home goods and housewares. Located in the back of the store (which is great because you have to pass by all of the clothes, where you're sure to find a gem as well, to get there), these items are neatly (well, neat for a thrift store!) organized by color, which makes any thrifting adventure even more fun :)

Hampden Center Goodwill.


  1. Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne. Valerie and I love, love, love this place. Located just over the river from us, it's a convenient trip to make, especially since they're open everyday! From the beautiful building to the many independent vendors, shopping here always proves to be a good time. There's always a variety of items to ogle, and even with this being an antiques shop, we've found many affordable items during our various shopping trips here. The photo below happens to be a shot of one of our favorite vendors located inside. If you get a chance to stop by this gem, be sure to check out Architecturally Speaking!

A vendor space from the Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne.


  1. Root's Old Mill Flea Market. This is another favorite and a place I grew up going to. Situated in a huge field, which allots for many vendors (and with many vendors, usually comes many great finds!), Root's (pronounced "Ruutz") is near Manheim, PA. Make sure you take time to go inside the barn too; there are more vendors inside! Located across the street from the Root's Country Market & Auction, you can literally spend the whole day here.. just make sure it's a Tuesday since that's the only day it's open :)

A table at the Root's Old Mill Flea Market.


Well, now I'm in the mood to thrift! The good new is today is Friday and we've got a pretty open weekend ahead of us.. I think I know what might find its way onto our agenda!

Have a thrifting gem you want to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

Eating Local!

DISCLAIMER: Today's post has pretty much nothing to do with design, but I wanted to share it anyway =) View of the farm fields.

So, although we have known about the idea for quite awhile, this is our first year as a member of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) thanks to my sister-in-law who asked us to become members and split a full share with their family. We are already about half way through the harvest season, but every time we get a new delivery (which is every week) it just makes me happy and that's why I wanted to blog about it today!

View of the Spiral Path Farm sign

So, first, I guess I should mention (specifically for any local readers) that the CSA we chose is Spiral Path Farm, a 255 acre family farm located in central PA. Spiral Path offers a "wide variety of certified organic vegetables, herbs and annual fruits", as they say on their website. And it's true, already this season we've gotten strawberries, sugar snap peas, radishes, spinach, green beans, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, yellow squash, and tons of lettuce and greens!

The neat thing about it is that you don't know exactly what you'll be getting that week, so it's always a fun surprise! And, even more awesome is that you get foods you may not typically eat or, if you are like us, possibly something you've never had. Which does present the issues of "well, how do I cook this?" or "what am I gonna make with this?" - but I think that's really the joy of it! One example of that for us was getting swiss chard. While I have seen and heard of swiss chard, I had never tried it or attempted to cook it. But Logan gave cooking it a whirl, and it was really pretty yummy!

Oh, and Spiral Path also includes several recipes for the specific food we get each week. Bonus!

Overall it's really a great opportunity to support a local family farm while getting extremely fresh organic produce delivered to you each week, and for a reasonable cost. How can you beat that? Plus, it shortens my time at the grocery store, which if you know me at all, is a huge plus!

A hand written strawberries sign.

The awesome thing about it too, is that they have Open Farm Days, which are, just as they sound, days when they open the farm up to their CSA members to come and have fun - you can pick your own fresh fruit, veggies and herbs straight from the plant, have the opportunity to see the fields where your organic produce is grown, buy other goodies from other local vendors (like meats, cheeses and breads), and of course experience a little taste of farm life. Not to mention, they also make it fun for the kids!

We, of course, went to an Open Farm day several weeks back with my sister and brother-in-law and our niece. Here's a bunch of photos from our day at the farm!

Isabella planting herbs.

Valerie and Isabella picking strawberries.

Ann Marie and Isabella with a full basket of strawberries!

Logan and Valerie with our basket of strawberries.

View of us walking by the sugar snap pea plants.

Close-up of the sugar snap peas.

Shot of the bread vendor.

Well, thanks for letting me share! And, if you aren't already, I would totally suggest becoming a CSA member! For a local CSA in your area check out www.localharvest.org!