March Foodie Penpals

This was my second month of Foodie Penpals and I got a great box from April. I apologize in advance for the iPhone photos.

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April sent me a sweet card, sometimes I think this is the best part of the boxes

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She also included little notes with each item. The first is Muscadine Jelly, a deep south staple, which is great with peanuts butter :)

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Dried peaches, I actually am not a huge fan of dried fruit, but I love these! A great low cal sweet snack.

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Well, I finally tried a nut butter, and I am a fan, and I loved the honey peanut butter. Hint: it goes great with the jelly.

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I haven’t used these yet, but I certainly plan on using them for easter. How cute are they?

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Veggie Chips, holy delicious, I loved these.

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Last but not least caramel popcorn. We actually got this in our Citrus Lime box a few months ago and Nick ate it. My turn for a serving. I haven’t eaten it yet, but I bet it will be delicious.

Thanks again April, I loved the box!

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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!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of 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 April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

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

Thursday Things: loving my life

I am linking up with Averie for Thursday Things.

Life is pretty good right now, no complaints from me.

1. I signed up for another 5k. Hopefully there will be at least one before this, however this one is pretty awesome. It is the Color Me Rad 5k. Seriously take the 2 minutes to watch the video, that alone will put a smile on your face. I am running the race on May 26, in Hartford CT. I can’t run the Boston race because of conflict. However if you want to run the CT race and join my team (Cupcake Kelly’s) let me know!

Also, whoever runs the Color Me Rad twitter is hilarious.

Just do yourself a favor and sign up, if you don’t have fun I will buy you a beer.

And this is the inspiration video they posted:

2. Blogging Friends.

I never would have though that I would have met people that I have a ton in common with and talk to on a regular basis, or other moms who are looking for mom friends through my blog. But I did. I have met some wonderful women through my blogging and I am so grateful for that.

Last week we had a playmate with Colleen and her son Lyle who is 5 weeks younger than B. It was a beautiful date and I had a great time. I hope Colleen and Lyle did too! I hope once the weather gets back to being beautiful we can have more of these. Especially when the boys are older and more able to interact with one another.

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I also have made a great friend with Caitlin, a foodie and fitness blogger who of all places lives 15 minutes away from Nick’s family. She wrote this great post about blogging friends, and I might be a bit biased since she mentions me, but I have to agree with her, blogging has brought so many more benefits than I ever anticipated. And whole Cait and I have yet to meet, it will happen ASAP since I am in CT so often.

3. I am still grateful for my real life friends and family. Many of them have been my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to running and blogging, and I am eternally grateful for that.

4. I am grateful for such a happy baby. Even when he is sick he is in high spirits.

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I also opened one of his Christmas toys that we had no room for so we had put in the closet until we needed a new toy, well because every sick baby deserves a new toy :)

5. Somedays I think I should have been a party or wedding planner. I am enjoying putting together my sister-in-laws bachelorette. That’s all I can say since she might read this.

What things are you loving about your life lately?

WIAW: Sick Edition

I have been feeling under the weather for the past few days, which means my food choices have been the same.

I eat my usually breakfast, but I don’t have coffee, instead I have some sweet orange juice. I usually hate juice and only drink it if it is fresh or I am sick.

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I also had the tea from my March Birchbox.

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Not a fan, way too sweet for me.

I prefer black tea, so I went to the store and picked up a few things for myself. Including k-cup tea.

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I have also been eating a ton of soup, pretty much every lunch & dinner since I have been sick.

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As much as I love homemade soup, I just don’t have the energy when I am sick, add chasing around a baby that is trying to crawl and is also sick, and I am too exhausted to cook.

Of course I have been drinking lots of water and using popsicles and cough drops to help sooth my sore throat.

I am hoping this passes quickly for both B and I.

At least it’s not weather like last week, because otherwise we’d be missing this.

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Birchbox Review: Month 3, March 2012

Check out months one and two. Then sign up to get your Birchbox subscription here. For $10 a month you get 4-5 beauty products picked just for you!

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The theme for the March birchbox was about getting out of the winter funk and sprucing up your routine. This month is about taking your beauty routine to the next level and getting rid of those lingering beauty annoyances.

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From left to right.

1. Tea Forte® – skin-smart Teas

These are antioxidant teas in cherry marzipan, honey you and cucumber mint, are to help your skin look more radiant. 15 Tea bags for $6.

2. Apothederm™ – Stretch Mark Cream

Perfect, this lotion is supposed to fade stretch marks within a matter of weeks, only time will tell but it smells nice and isn’t leaving my skin dry. Full size $89.95

3. Nia 24 – Skin Strengthening Complex

Again, this is an item that will take a few weeks to show it’s true colors, it is supposed to help repair skin from the inside out. So far I love it. Full size $85

4. Color Club – Nail Lacquer in He Loves Me

Another great neutral color, I love light pinks! Great for this wonderful Spring we are having. Full size $8.

5. Lulu Organics – Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder

This lavender scented dry shampoo helps revive your hair when you don’t have the time to wash, dry and style. Use yesterdays style and this dry shampoo! Full size $30

6. Supergoop® – Sunscreen Swipe

These items are great to keep in the diaper bag or my purse. I think it is easy to forget to keep your own skin protected when you are busy protecting your little one. You just take a wipe and use it in whatever area you need. For me it is great for my face, I burn easily and this has come in very hand when I forgot to protect my face! Pack of 40 is $34.

This is the end of my gift, but I have been so satisfied I am going to renew the subscription for myself.

March Photo a Day, Week 3

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Check out weeks one and two!

Thursday, March 15 – Car

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The first car accident I was ever in. 20 years later and I still remember everything

Friday, March 16 – Sunglasses

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Greece, 2007. Feels like this was a hundred years ago

Saturday, March 17 – Green

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Momma & Baby St.Patricks Day pride

Sunday, March 18 – A corner of your home

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The corner where I work out

Monday, March 19 – Funny

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He thinks it’s funny to grab momma’s phone

Tuesday, March 20 – Before/After

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Halloween, before & after baby

Wednesday, March 21 – Delicious

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One of my favorite easy meals, a salmon burger

Thursday, March 22 – Kitchen Sink

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A dream kitchen sink…

Fitness Friday: The Year of the 5k

I am declaring this the year of the 5k. I want to focus on becoming faster in this distance, and hopefully running a 10k by the end of the year. Like usual, my spring and summer weekends are almost all booked. So I have picked a few races, depending on where I am in New England, that I want to do.

I am hoping to do at least one a month, if not 2. I would love company for any of these races, or if you know of a race that’s fantastic let me know!

APRIL

April is hard because Nick has a conference, Easter and my sister-in-laws Bridal shower, all 3 different weekends.

• Sunday, April 1 – 9 am

o Run for the Troops 5k

o Andover, MA

o $25

• Saturday, April 28 – 10 am

o Glastonbury River Run

o South Glastonbury, CT

o $25

MAY

May is pretty free so far. I really want to do the color me rad 5k, but would love to do it with someone!

• Saturday, May 5 – 10 am

o Boston Marine Corps Honor Run 5k

o South Boston, MA

o $28

• Sunday, May 6 – 1 pm

o Spring Fever 5k

o Newburyport, MA

o $20

• Saturday, May 26 – 9 am

o Color Me Rad 5k

o Hartford, CT

o $35

JUNE

I can’t find any races for June, ugh. The first weekend is the Greek festival my husband plays at ever year. Then I have my sister-in-laws bachelorette and her wedding. If you know of any races in MA or CT let me know!

JULY

I’d LOVE to do the Take the Lake 5k since it’s my PR course, but I have to be in CT that weekend, so I don’t think I would make it.

• Sunday, July 15 – 8:30 am

o Take the Lake 5k

o Wakefield, MA

o $20

• Saturday, July 28 – 9 am

o Scottish Rite Freemasons 5k tun to benefit children with dyslexia

o Newington, CT

o $15

AUGUST

I could only find one race in August, but it’s on the same course as my PR so maybe this will be a good substitute for the actual race.

• Sunday, August 5 – 8:30 am

o Mystic Runners Swimsuit Classic

o Wakefield, MA

o $20

SEPTEMBER

I have both friends and family members doing the Warrior Dash in CT. I have done the Spartan Race in the past and would love to do this race.

• Saturday, September 22 – waves from 9 -3

o Warrior Dash CT

o Willington, CT

o $50 – $75

OCTOBER

Because I can’t think of a reason not to :)

• Saturday, October 13 – 8 am

o ING Hartford Marathon 5K

o Hartford, CT

o $25

Any of these races interest you? Join me! Or do you have any suggestions? Send them my way!

WIAW: Weekend Snacks & a cookie recipe

This weekend was full of new recipes and treats. I made the traditional corned beef and cabbage. I also tried my hand at Guinness cupcakes with a baileys cream cheese frosting. I made almond flour cookies and we tried a new at home popcorn recipe.

I was contacted by Swanson Health Products to try some of their products.

The first product was California Almond Flour. I have wanted to try almond flour for a very long time. The first thing I made was a coconut chocolate chip almond flour cookie.

First you need almond flour, obviously.

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Mix:

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup unsweetned coconut

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/4 tsp of salt

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In a separate bowl mix:

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp of vanilla

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Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then add 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.

I used a meatball baller to make the cookies, and placed them on an ungreased cookie sheet. I put them in the oven at 350F for approximately 10 minutes.

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The cookies essentially kept their shape and tasted like toasted macaroons, I honestly wouldn’t know that they were made with almond flour instead of regular flour. I won’t lie, every single cookie is gone. In the future I can only make these when we have guests or else I will eat every single one.

In good news they are only 89 calories per cookie.

The other product I tried was coconut oil. Nick has been after me for almost a year to get some. The only place I can find it around here is Whole Foods, and it is so expensive there. So, I jumped at the chance to get it from Swanson.

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The reason Nick wanted it was for popcorn. We have a whirly-pop

So we always make our own popcorn, Nick however is the type of guy who researches everything, including popcorn. He read that it was best to use coconut oil instead of regular olive oil. Seriously this is the best popcorn I have ever had. I don’t think I will ever be able to eat movie theater popcorn again. I don’t think it needs any extra butter or salt.

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I can’t wait to make other delicious items with the coconut oil.

Lastly, I made a Guinness cupcake with bailey’s cream cheese frosting.

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Recipe for the cupcake, baked oatmeal and a coconut flour biscuit to come next week!

And of course everything is better with this guy around.

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All products were provided by Swanson Health products, all opinions are my own.

First postpartum race recap

On Sunday I ran the Ras na hEireann in Somerville. I was planning on running alone, but my friend ended up not feeling well so she ran with me instead of running at her usual speedy pace.

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The race was at 11, and frankly I just wasn’t prepared for how warm out it was going to be. This always catches me off guard, I am never prepared for warm weather. I can’t run in shorts. I just can’t do it. So I have an old pair of capri’s that don’t fit quite right, but they did the job, I wore just a tank but was planning on wearing a long sleeve tech tee, but decided not too last minute and felt self conscious the whole time.

Since I have spent the majority of my postpartum running inside my lungs definitely had to adjust. I felt like my lungs and my legs were finally in the groove after the first half mile. I took a walking break right before mile 2 and before mile 3. I regret them now but there is nothing I can do to change the past.

I thought I had a PR, but I went back and look at my old race times and my 2nd race is still my PR, from 2009. Goody. I think the only thing I can do from here is to register for more local races, get out there and run. While it is humiliating that people who are speed walking might pass me, and girls who are wearing jeans and flips flops might be ahead of me, I am doing my best. Although, in this moment of self-loathing, it’s hard to remember. Hopefully, I can get over it. Tomorrow I am doing cardio so I am hoping to run outside. Here goes nothing.

Also, I am super glad the race photographer got 0 photos of my, so the ones I am sharing are of the general course area.

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All photos courtesy of http://jimrhoades.com/12/rasna/

Birchbox Review: Month 2, February 2012

Check out my post about my first Birchbox here. Then sign up to start yours!

F0r $10 a month you receive 4-5 beauty products picked just for you!

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January’s box was my first so it didn’t have a theme. However February’s box was about focusing on yourself. The items were chosen to highlight the person using them and to give yourself attention, and frankly as a new mom this was something that I needed.

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From Left to Right.

1. Chuao Chocolatier – Spicy Maya ChocoPod

This chocolate at first wasn’t spicy, but if you waited a few minutes after your first bite and it hits you. It might have just been me because my tolerance for spicy is pretty low. But honestly, it just sat in my stomach and I felt poorly after. Not a fan. Full size $6

2. Birchbox Digital Download – Six free songs from Green River Ordinance

Green River Ordinance is an indie rock band, and I loved their music, I love discovering new artists or bands and this one sounds similar to one of my favorite artists. Great band.

3. beautyblender® – the original beautyblender®

The hot pink sponge helps you smooth out your foundation, so that you don’t need a lot or any touching up in photos. I use this everyday that I wear foundation. I use my brush to put on the foundation and then use the blender to smooth out any areas that look uneven. I think it makes a huge difference. I will be purchasing more of these when I need new ones. 2 pack $25.95

4. Jouer – Luminizing Moisture Tint

Like I have said before I have extremely dry skin, this moisture works wonders and adds a little glow to your skin! Full size $38.

5. EYE ROCK - Designer Liner

This is an item I haven’t used yet. These are perfect cat eye liners that you stick on your eyes. I haven’t had the opportunity to really glam it up, but next time I do, these are first on the list to use. 2 packs of 4 are $13.

6. Mineralogie® – Ultimate Cream Concealer

Another perfect pick for a new mom. This is a full coverage concealer that gets rid of under eye circles and any blemishes. This isn’t heavy like most concealers, I really loved it. Full size $16.

Convinced yet?

Fitness Friday: My first postpartum race

I am terrified for Sunday. I don’t know why, but I can’t shake this fear that my first postpartum race is going to be awful. I am running the Ras na hEireann 5k in Davis Square.

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I don’t think the race course is to terribly bad considering the other 5k’s I’ve raced. I think my fear stems from how long it has been since I have ran outside. Also, the race is at 11 am and the high on Sunday – 70. Not prepared, not one bit.

I am going to use this race as my baseline, that’s all I need to worry about, and if I have to walk, I have to walk. I am going to try to not beat myself up about it.

My plan is to walk to Davis as my warm up, run the 5k, get my beer, and walk home as my cool down. Should be a bit over 5 miles.

I plan on just relaxing on Saturday and trying to calm my nerves. Anyone else racing on Sunday?