Monthly Archives: July 2012

July Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

I have been anticipating writing this post for weeks and it is finally here! Yippee!!!

I don’t know if you have heard of the Foodie Pen Pal program, hosted by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean but basically, instead of writing letters to a pen pal, you exchange a box of food goodies instead. When I heard about it, I knew it was something that I HAD to participate in!!

The Lean Green Bean

While I was more than excited from the get go, my husband was a bit leery of the idea. He saw how much energy and thought I was putting into the box of goodies that I was preparing for my pen pal and figured I would probably get stuck with a box of lame-o stuff that I would want to trash. I am happy to report that it was 100% NOT the case 🙂

Not only did my pen pal, Jean Edwards send me a package filled with divine goodies but she also included some treats for my kids which I thought was beyond precious!!! Thank you Jean, they LOVED the gummies and the chocolates!!

Jean lives in Vermont and many of the items had a Vermont theme to them, which was so neat. Take a look!!

Just to break it down, here is a list of the items I received,

  • Vermont Pure Maple Syrup, Fancy Grade
  • Box of Vermont Chocolates
  • 2 small Vermont Jams
  • Mothers Caramel rice cakes
  • 2 Kashi snack bars
  • Chocolate Coconut Lara Bar
  • Annie’s Gummies for my kids
  • Chocolate truffles for my kids

All of this was sent with a thoughtful hand written note!!

While everything was delicious, the syrup is hands down the best of the best that I received!! Holy crap, I don’t know what I will do when I run out of this stuff because regular syrup just isn’t going to come close to tasting like this. BEST. SYRUP.EVER!!!!!

Coming in a close second were the box of chocolates. They were so tasty and had cute little designs on them. How I managed to only eat one per day, is beyond me!

So cute, right!!

Once again, I just have to say thank you to Jean Edwards for making my first month as a Foodie Pen Pal such a wonderful experience. Jean, if you are participating next month, I am certainly jealous of whoever is lucky enough to be paired up with you :-).

I am already signed up to do this again in August(can’t wait!!!) and if you are curious to learn more about it(do it, do it, do it!!!) here are some additional details. Foodie Pen Pals is open to bloggers AND blog readers!!

(Taken from The Lean Green Bean website)

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Have you participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program before?

Have you ever had a regular pen pal with whom you exchanged letters regularly?

When I was in elementary school, I had a pen pal from England named Claire. I lost contact after a couple years but often think how interesting it would have been if we had kept in touch longer.

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A Weekend Away

Here it is, Monday morning and my wonderful weekend away is already behind me.

Why is it that when you are anticipating a trip, time seems to draaaaag by and as soon as you reach your destination time flies like no other?! Granted, it was a short weekend trip but even if I had made it a week long getaway it would have seemed like only a couple days. I guess what they say is true, time flies when you are having fun!!

And fun was had!! Even if it was in a laid back, relax all weekend kind of way. I feel like I should fib a little bit and talk about how Stephenie,(my best friend) and I lived it up all weekend….going out partying, staying up until 2am and sleeping in until 12pm but honestly, that sounds like the farthest thing from fun in my eyes. Rather, it was just a laid back, no expectations kind of fun!! The BEST kind in my opinion!!

Come along, let me give you a look into my weekend!!

After a two hour flight delay and many huffy puffy sighs from myself I finally made it to Baton Rouge. Yes, I am one of those annoying people who show their impatience through sighing. Real mature, I know!! Just be glad I am not showing you my text messages sent to my friend in waiting…ha!! After a little retail therapy, Stephenie and I headed to grab a bite to eat and back to her house to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

With wine of course……….

On Saturday we had plans to get pedi’s in the morning and then head over to The Melting Pot in the evening.

Pretty Toes!

Once we were done with our pedicures, we both realized how hungry we were, being that it was 1:30 in the afternoon and no breakfast had been consumed that day. Oops. No problem…we just headed to a little Mexican restaurant and split an order of beef fajitas and a basket of chips and salsa. We thought we were being smart by sharing but I think we might have gone overboard on the chips. We were Full with a capital F!!

I didn’t get pictures of the food but I did get some portraits of us. These were taken specifically for the purpose of practicing our “fake” smiles. Come on, you know you have one, too 🙂

Sadly, we never did make it to The Melting Pot. We still don’t know what it was about our Mexican food lunch but it left us full to the point of MISERY and I promise, we didn’t eat THAT much!!! On a TMI note, we were both quite burpy all evening and couldn’t even fathom forcing any food down our throats. Instead, we rented The Vow with  Channing Tatum and dined on his hotness instead!!!

Since we missed our much anticipated dinner at The Melting Pot we decided the next best thing would be a delicious brunch to fill our bellies before I had to head to the airport to come home. After much research we decided on a place called, Mason’s Grill. When we arrived it was mega busy so we figured we had hit the jackpot as far as good food was concerned!

After looking over the menu I decided on the Belgian waffle and egg plate served with choice of a side item. I chose the fried grit cake filled with jalapenos and cheese.

Looks pretty darn good, right?!

While it was not a bad meal, it also wasn’t the best. I was pretty disappointed because I was expecting it to be something special with all the hype it seemed to have received. The grit cake lacked flavor and my waffle wasn’t fluffy like I am used to. I guess I can’t complain too much because it did fill the belly and their eggs were actually quite delicious.

Shortly after brunch, it was time to get my rear to the airport but not before we took some parting pictures……

My goofy self 😉

And for a real one…..

As you can see, I had a great weekend!! It was far from the kind of fun we had 10 years ago but I wouldn’t trade my life now for all the freedom in the world. I may only get one weekend a year to be “kid-less” but I would have it no other way. As much as I enjoyed every second of the weekend with Stephenie there is no joy that will ever compare with seeing my husband and kids after a couple of days away from them!!

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With a weekend full of food indulgences, I am more than ready to get a few days of healthy eating under my belt. As much as I enjoy a good splurge meal here and there, multiple days of eating badly just leave me feeling terrible!!

Here is to a day full of fruits and veggies and some good old fashioned sweaty exercise!!!! Yep, I am talking about you, jump rope circuit!! Obviously, I didn’t work it into my weekend plans but I am not letting myself off that easy!!

Are you a patient person or do you find yourself more on the impatient side like myself?

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Baton Rouge Bound

Hello there, Friday!!! It is SO good to see you :-)!!

The countdown is over and in a couple hours, I am headed to the airport and jetting off to Baton Rouge for the weekend. I have decided to let go of the mom guilt and anxiety and enjoy my weekend to the fullest!!

While I will miss this………

I will in no way miss THIS!!!

My daughter’s room could rival a tornado any day of the week!!

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BREAKFAST

Yesterday, I realized that I had TWO almost empty jars of nut butter!! Lucky me, except that it made it hard to pick which one I wanted to use for my end of the jar overnight oats. Peanut butter or almond butter…..oh, how can I choose?! Easy, I flipped a coin like any normal person would;-)!!

Heads for almond butter, tails for peanut butter.

 And the winner is…dun, dun, da dun……..

PEANUT BUTTER!!!

I love me some overnight oats and always feel like I am eating something decadent for breakfast when I have them. How fitting for today, right!! Plus, they are extremely filling so I won’t have to worry about eating unhealthy airport food to tide me over.

I am stashing my favorite Luna bar, the Chocolate Dipped Coconut flavor in my purse just in case my tummy gets to rumbling on the plane ride over. That should be more than enough seeing as it only takes about an hour and twenty minutes to get there.

Okay, gotta run!! I am all packed up and now is the perfect time to get some extra snuggles in with my family!! See y’all Monday:-)

If you had been the one choosing would you have picked the almond butter or the peanut butter for your overnight oats jar?

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Filed under Breakfast, Family, Food and Recipes

Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

Hey, Hey, Hey!!!

This morning, I am going to get straight to it and let you in on a new pancake recipe that I tried last weekend and hope to make again this morning.

Pancakes are definitely one of my favorite breakfast foods but I usually only eat them when I am treating myself. Let’s face it, they aren’t exactly a healthy food, especially when topped with butter and syrup….until now!!

Last Sunday, I had a craving for pancakes but I didn’t really want to start off my day with something so calorie laden and heavy, especially since I had already completed a workout that morning. No way did I want to ruin all my hard work!!

I have a couple recipes in my files for “protein” pancakes but most of them require a processed protein powder of some sort and I am not here to lie……pancakes are just not pancakes with protein powder in them. I don’t care what anyone says. It.Is.Not.The.Same!!! I love the idea of added protein but I still want them to taste good!!

After searching around on the internet, I found a recipe that looked quite fabulous at Weelicious. After checking out the ingredients, I realized I could whip them up in no time and have a delicious AND healthy pancake breakfast!!! Score!! I did make a couple changes but nothing drastic…..just some minor changes in ingredients and amounts.

Original Recipe adapted from Weelicious.


Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

makes approximately 10-12 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup oat flour(I used oats and ground in a food chopper)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • butter or oil for pan

Directions

  • Put eggs, cottage cheese, vanilla and honey in a bowl and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients together and stir.(I put them in my magic bullet to easily combine)
  • Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and lightly coat with butter or cooking spray.
  • To test when pan is ready add drops of water and wait for them to sizzle and disappear.
  •  Once skillet is ready, add two tablespoons of mixture for each pancake and cook 1-2 minutes on each side until pancakes are set and golden brown.

I served my pancakes with the toppings of almond butter, chia seeds and a tablespoon of fancy grade pure Vermont maple syrup. Wow….that stuff will take any pancake to a whole new level!!

** On a side note,  I am super excited to share when and how I received the syrup in just a few days. Stayed tuned for that….you won’t want to miss!!

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Tomorrow I leave for Baton Rouge and I feel my mommy anxiety starting to set in. Why does this happen to mom’s? We give so much of ourselves to our kiddos but when it comes time for a little “me time”, we start feeling a bit of guilt. At least I know I do. I know my husband will do a wonderful job of taking care of them but probably not as good as I do it ;-). I keep reminding myself that I will only NOT see them for ONE day. Sheesh…one day is no big deal. I will see them tomorrow morning and I will be back Sunday evening. I can do this….even when their little faces are crumpled with tears. Seriously, little kids know how to get you where it counts. Okay, time to sigh and breathe………..

If you will, send  some positive, no anxiety, no guilt vibes my way. It is MUCH appreciated 🙂

What is your favorite breakfast food?

Do you experiment to “clean up” some of your favorite non-healthy foods?

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Filed under Breakfast, Food and Recipes, recipes

WIAW #6 + Jump Rope Fat Blaster

Here we are again, half way through another week. That means the countdown continues for my weekend getaway!! Two more days and I am Baton Rouge bound. I might want to start thinking about getting some packing done today!!

I did think ahead and do some planning for getting in a workout while I am gone. Whether I do it or not will be another story but hey, if the feeling strikes, I will be ready to go!! I figured quick and effective is the best way to go but it also has to be fun. What is more fun than going back to your childhood and sweating it our with a jump rope!! I love jump roping and find myself asking why I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to. Besides, it is an incredibly portable piece of workout equipment!

Years ago when I was working with a trainer to get in tip top shape for my wedding, I was re-introduced to the jump rope. At first I could barely get it over without getting myself all tangled up in it but with some practice I was able to get it down quite nicely. I actually turned into quite the jumper and was even able to bust out a few tricks with the rope. Though my skills are a bit rusty, I am still pretty decent and find that when I do use jumping rope as my cardio workout, I have lots of fun. So, now you know what inspired this workout!!!

Fat Blasting Jump Rope Workout

2 minutes jumping rope

10 pushups

60 second plank

10 lunges(each leg) with front kick

2 minutes jumping rope

10 tricep dips

60 second wall sit

10 double unders

*repeat circuit 2-3 times, resting one minute in between

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 WIAW #6

Breakfast- After a hard core lifting session this morning I was ready for something to fill my belly. Nothing sounded better than eggs, except maybe eggs topped with cheese so that is what I went with. One whole egg and one white, topped with some provolone and eaten open faced on a piece of toast. So good!!

Snack: My eggs kept me full for a good while but I did find myself getting snacky(not necessarily hungry) and I went in for a few pretzel crisps. This buffalo wing flavor is might tasty!!

Lunch: Now this meal is where it was at!! Grilled portabella’s topped with feta along side a green salad. I had never made these before and was a bit worried about how they would turn but let me just say, my worry was wasted. This was the best homemade lunch that has touched my lips in maybe……EVER!! My husband hates mushrooms of any kind but when I sent him a text of the picture, even he said it almost made him want to try them…..almost!

Snack: Around 3pm I started craving something sweet and since there is a frozen yogurt place just up the road from my house, I figured the kids and I would give it a whirl.  I decided to go with a small kids cup size to keep my portion under control and it was just the right amount. I went with a mixture of cheesecake and salted caramel yogurts, topped with a few extra goodies.

Dinner: After my fabulous frozen yogurt, dinner seemed quite boring in comparison and honestly, it was. It was really healthy which is great but for some reason, I couldn’t get excited about it. Must have been due to the fact that my lunch was SO.VERY.GOOD!!!

I hope you enjoyed and as always I want to thank Jen at Peas and Crayons for hosting the always fun “What I ate Wednesday” for those of us who love to write about our food and those who love to read about it! 🙂

What was your favorite gym-time exercise as a kid?

Mushrooms. Love Em’ or Leave Em’?

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Filed under Fitness, Food and Recipes, WIAW