Foodie Pen Pals

I first heard of Foodie Pen Pals last month, and I thought it sounded like a great idea. I send someone a box of treats and someone else sends a box of treats to me. Sounds like a win to me. I love receiving mail and I love picking out fun treats for someone else.

This month Michelle from Blogitness put together a box of goodies for me. I told her that I like pretty much everything and that I like to snack but I want healthy snacks since I am trying to lose weight!

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Michelle did not disappoint! In her note she told me that she wanted to send me items Pittsburgh related, but she said unfortunately pirogues, primantis and chipped ham don’t ship well. That stinks, I love a good pierogie. Instead she sent me some of her favorite to-go snacks, mostly healthy, saris candies. Sarris were the one item local to Pittsburgh that would make the trip.

Let me tell you these items are great. I haven’t tried everything yet, but I love the bars she sent. Luna peppermint chocolate, balance chocolate peanut butter and millville vanilla yogurt. She also included some low fat kettle corn, snack wells vanilla creme brownie bites, ritz snacks. And my favorite so far the Trader Joes dark chocolate mints!

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Thanks Michelle, I can’t wait to finish all these snacks you sent. I think I need to work out just so I can have one of these bars!

If you want to see what I sent, head on over to Amanda’s blog, Mandabear.

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If you want to join Foodie Penpals, I have included all the information below. Remember you don’t need to have a blog to participate!

Here’s what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every 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 treats! The spending limit is $15. The 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 are 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.

-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
-WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. - this is SUPER important so you get on the right list!

You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

***PLEASE NOTE: if you send an email, you WILL GET A RESPONSE within 48 hours. If you don”t….please re-send your email or contact Lindsay via Twitter (@LeanGrnBeanBlog). Last month we had a few emails get lost as spam so we’re trying to avoid that!

Five Things Friday

1. I am looking forward to an amazing weekend. Filled with family, friends and love. Baptising this little guy, is going to be amazing.

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2. Also happening this weekend, is having a friend, don’t worry he’s a professional, cut and color my hair. It desperately needs a cut and I haven’t colored it in forever.

3. I am starting a new fitness plan, and can’t wait to blog about it. I am going to be starting the Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution and adding that to my trainer & running plans. I also am planning on starting to workout in the morning again. I LOVE morning workouts, but I haven’t been able to get up before B in awhile. Time to start that!

4. I get to wear a pretty new dress and a favorite pair of heels this weekend. I hardly have a reason to get really dressed up anymore.

5. I have planned my first 5k, and I am super nervous. Anyone in the Boston area want to pace me. Good news I am super slow and will be like a wok for you ;)

What are you looking forward to this week?

February Photo a Day, Week 3

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Check out week one and week two.

Friday, February 17 – Time

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B had gotten up at 5 that day, so this is when we both took a nap

Saturday, February 18 – Drink

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One of my favorite beverages, Champagne

Sunday, February 19 – Something you hate

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Washing bottles. My hands are so dry that they crack and bleed sometimes.

Monday, February 20 – Handwriting

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Part of my to-do list for B’s baptism

Tuesday, February 21 – A fave photo of you

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No filter on this one. One of the best days of my life. I was actually so nervous (about walking down the aisle and not tripping) that I felt sick

Wednesday, February 22 – Where you work

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The boss’ office. He was taking a little nap so I couldn’t clean.

Thursday, February 23 – Your shoes

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We didn’t go out on Thursday so I never put on shoes. This is one of my favorite pairs of shoes. White chucks with hot pink piping.

Cake Pops

I have been wanting to make cake pops for a really long time. I decided to give it a try this week, unfortunately it was a fail…so far.

I used box cake mix, because I honestly wasn’t sure if it would work and secondly, I couldn’t find one recipe that used non-box mix.

I however never make box mix with oil and eggs. I use 10 oz of sprite and a pudding cup. It makes the cake light and fluffy, and back when I was doing WW, it was 3 points per slice.

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I lined my pan with foil, made the batter, and put the cake in the oven. When the cake was done, I immediately pulled the foil part out of the pan and put it on a cookie rack to help the cooling process.

Why I always start these projects at 9 pm is beyond me.

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Once the cake was cooled I broke it into pieces and put in 3/4 of a jar of frosting. Again, if this was successful, the next time I would make my own frosting.

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Here is where I believe things started to go down hill. I mixed the cake and frosting by hand, I don’t think it was evenly distributed. I couldn’t find our melon baller or cookie scoop and ended up making all the balls by hand. They ended up all being different sizes.

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I put the trays in the fridge overnight.
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The next part was the dipping process. I set out my chocolate and sprinkles and had all the sticks ready
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I melt the chocolate in a double boiler and didn’t really have time to take pictures. I dipped all the stick in the chocolate and then stuck them into the balls. I read that this helps the cake fall apart.

I couldn’t get the entire cake portion covered in chocolate. I didn’t have enough chocolate it seems, and the sprinkles didn’t look great.

Nick said they were good, albeit sweet, but tasted good.

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pretty right? not so much.

Yesterday I found my melon baller. So we are giving this one more shot. Here’s hoping this one goes much smoother.

WIAW: Boston Organics and a New Dinner

For today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I have two things to share. The first is that Nick and I have started getting fresh fruit and veggies from a company called Boston Organics. It’s a company that delivers fresh and organic produce to your front door or office weekly or bi-weekly. It can be as a little as $24 per month.

It is actually pretty awesome. You can pick items you never want delivered, and the stuff you get is great!

A few examples:

bananas
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oranges, apple and kiwi
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broccoli
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red leaf lettuce and carrots
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Unpictured is the sweet potatoes and onions. We get the bi-weekly small box and it is perfect for the 3 of us. All you have to do is put out this bin on your delivery date and they fill it for you.

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They also included this handy magnet that tells you how to store everything.

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This program is great because you can change your box size, cancel the program completely or skip one delivery with just 48 hours notice. No binding contract. They definitely did not pay me for this, but I would recommend it if you are within the parameters of delivery!

With the fresh broccoli, I made a pinterest recipe, and will write a post about that later, but it wasn’t as great as I was hoping.

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The S Word.

On a rare occasion I like to get out, just by myself, and get my nails done. Usually it’s because of a big event we are attending, so it is nice to get some time to myself and get a little pampered.

B’s baptism is this coming weekend so I took the opportunity to get out today since Nick was home. Usually, I like to read blogs or a book or just relax. I like to go to places where the ladies working talk to each other instead of making small talk with me.

Today, however, I went to my usual place and for awhile it was silent. Then another customer came in and talked the whole time. To me, to the women working, to the customer that came in after her… what got me thinking though, was when the woman doing her nails couldn’t open the bottle and the customer said it’s fine you can just use clear polish. Okay that’s normal, but when the woman finally got the bottle open and said “I win”, the customer said, “I’d rather be dainty then strong”.

Maybe it’s because of the women I choose to have in my life, but I’ve never heard such a young woman put down having strength. Why is it such a bad thing to be called strong?

I love weightlifting and strength training more than running because I always feel stronger after. Whereas in running it takes me a lot longer to produce results. I am proud of the weight I can lift. I am proud of the strength I have been able to hold on during my pregnancy and the strength I was able to build back since giving birth.

I would rather have this

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than to be called dainty instead of strong.

I don’t think being a woman and being dainty are synonymous. I think you can be a beautiful classy woman and still be strong.

Five Things Friday

1. I am thankful that this winter is so mild compared to well any winter, but especially after last year. I am able to do a track workout in February tomorrow morning, and I am weirdly excited.

2. I am so glad we have great parents. The past few weekends either my mom or Nick’s mom has given Nick & I a few hours alone so that we can have a date night or meet up with friends. We even have a few nights out planned for the next few weekends as well.

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3. I love my happy baby. I love even more that while I am out with a friend for lunch, I get this picture.

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4. This weekend I am going to try my hand at making new desserts. Maybe even cake balls. Any tips?

5. I am thankful my husband takes all these treats to work so they don’t stare me down all week :)

February Photo a Day Week Two

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Check out week one.

Friday, February 10 – Self Portrait

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Trying on dresses for B’s Baptism

Saturday, February 11 – Makes You Happy

There were many things.

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An early morning hardcore sweaty workout

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Starbucks Splurge

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Party Animal

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Date night with the hubs

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Tasting wine flight

Sunday, February 12 – Inside Your Closet

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The shoes and purse section

Monday, February 13 – Blue

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I didn’t realize until we got inside the store that almost everything for B is blue. Stroller, Jacket & Bundleme

Tuesday, February, 14 – Heart

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B’s special VDay shirt. Mr. Snugglesaurus

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My valentine

Wednesday, February 15 – Phone

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Our house phone, which only gets telemarketers.

Thursday, February 16 – Something New

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B’s new toy from Aunt Caty

Lifestyle Changes, 1 Month Update

Lukemom

I’m cheering mom on!

I honestly felt like I had slacked this month, that maybe I hadn’t done enough, or I ate too much when we went out. Let’s be honest counting calories at restaurants is hard.

Lets just start with the stats.

Weight – down 7 pounds!

Right Arm – Same

Hips – down 1.5 inches

Waist – down 3.1 inches

Right Calf – down .6 inches

Right Thigh – down .5 inches

Clearly numbers don’t lie. This is much better than I expected, and my inch loss in the waist was definitely surprising to both my trainer and I. The hard work is paying off.

I had a chat recently with some girlfriends, about counting calories, I have come to realize that I HAVE to do it. I can eat healthy, but since I am home every day the desire to snack is definitely increased. If I don’t keep myself accountable I will snack all day long. Even if it is healthy foods, they still have caloric value.

I think in addition to this “snack” revelation it is also important to note that healthy foods should still be eaten in moderation. Before I started counting calories I would eat healthy foods and wasn’t as conscious of my portion control because it was a healthy food. Check out this article from Shape magazine, that breaks down healthy foods and why it is still important to count calories for healthy foods.

In terms of workouts I have been running and mixing in strength training. I am trying to increase my mileage and train for some races.

I am a little nervous with what the next month will bring. We have a lot of obligations out of state and I am hoping I can keep my calories in check and my workouts strong!

In addition, I am super proud of Nick who has started to weigh his portions and count calories to lose 20 pounds and he is down 5.4 pounds, yay!