April Foodie Penpals

The Lean Green Bean

Heather from Better With Veggies sent me this months box of goodies!

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When I first opened the box, I was so pumped to the coconut water. I also noticed that the box smelled nice and fruity. I picked up the coconut water and it was empty. There was no puncture hole in the container so I’m not sure what happened. The quest to try coconut water is still on.

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I am not a huge fan of jerky, meatless or otherwise, so this was just okay to me.

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I literally squealed with delight when I saw these. I have been dying to try the garlic gold nuggets, good news, it’s fantastic!

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Nori Bites – Raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, distilled water, raw sesame seeds, fresh lemons, raw nori, fresh garlic, herbs, sea salt, cayenne

I loved the cracker base, but the nori taste was really salty and I didn’t love them together.

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Fuzzy Kisses – Raisins, raw almonds, dates, raw walnuts, coconut, distilled water

These were great, I wanted Nick to try them, but he missed out because I ate them all.

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Cheribundi – cacao cherry juice, this was okay. A little too tart for me, Nick on the other hand LOVED it.

I loved the box Heather sent me. It was packed with stuff I had never tried and I am glad I got to try lots of new and different things.

Check out what I sent to Lizzie at The Weekday Vegan!

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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 its 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.

If you’re interested in participating for May, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

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

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I’ll see if we get enough interest this month!

***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!

Fitness Friday: What I’ve learned from Best Body Bootcamp

I am sad to say the end of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp is upon us.

I learned a ton about myself.

1. I can do these exercises. I was worried that the plan she had written for us would be too hard for me. While some exercises were extremely difficult, I was able to complete them, in the correct form. My trainer has also noticed how much my strength has improved, especially my core strength.

2. I do better when I have a plan written out for me. Not that I can’t or won’t do the work on my own, but having different sets written out for me keeps the strength training fresh and interesting.

3. I need to set goals for myself that are outside physical fitness. Part of Tina’s program was having 2 goals a week.

Mine fluctuated between a few. Being in bed by 11 pm, No desserts, Drinking 100+ oz of water a day, Getting ready for the day immediately after working out and observing orthodox lent.

Drinking 100+ oz of water, getting ready for the day immediately after working out were ones that were a little easier, I just needed to remind myself to do them and not sit around during nap time. Orthodox lent I only did for one week, and it wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated.

The two hardest goals were getting to bed by 11. 99% of the time I did, but I still wasn’t able to fall asleep. Sweets are my kryptonite, especially dark chocolate. I have tried to only have one square a day.

4. I can do anything I put my mind to.

5. I am stronger than I think.

6. Those someday goals, will become next year goals.

Thursday Things

1. My little munchkin is finally crawling! He had been pulling himself up on things even before he started crawling. I think he will be walking in no time.

2. Nights out with friends are not the same as they once was. I, for one, was a mess the next day. Nick and I had a full day planned and it was pouring. If we didn’t have plans I would’ve stayed in bed most of the days. Although I did bounce back quicker than I thought I would.

Also a lesson in photos.
This is what you look like when you’ve been dating less than a year:

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Caitlin & Conner

This is what you look like when you are engaged:

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Casey & Mark

And this is what you look like when you’ve been married for 4 years:

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Nick & I

Special.

3. I have the itch to plan a vacation. I want to go to the beach, who is with me?

4. I am so excited for this weekend. I am finally meeting Cait! I am also attending my sister-in-laws bridal shower. So pumped for the champagne tower, and obviously celebrating her big day.

I also have this dress to wear. Love.

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source

5. I need a pair of nude pumps. Where are your favorites from?

6. The top secret bachelorette plans are almost complete. June 9th, get here.

What I Wish I Had Known

I am sure there are a million things that can fit into this list. And maybe someone did tell me these things, but I just don’t remember. Basically mom word-vomit about things that have irked me lately.

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I cannot stop buying baby shoes!

1. The car will become your best friend or your worst enemy.

It is my best friend when I am driving anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours because B will sleep the majority of the trip if I plan it right. But the 5 minutes home from the grocery store every week. It is a sight, loud singing and noise making, windows open. I just need to make it home so I can get him in his crib and get him to take a real nap

2. The comparison game

I have never been one to really give a crap about what other people think of me. Ever since B came along I have been reading other blogs, how much baby weight has she lost. Why is her baby doing X younger than when B did it, The list goes on and on. And for the first time in a long time, I started deleting blogs from my reader, and people that I followed on twitter, frankly it was just too frustrating.

3. Finding mom friends is like dating, but worse.

I am the only one of my close friends with kids, and I knew finding mom friends was going to be something that I would have to do. I thought going to the park or to a class repeatedly would help, so far nothing. I have made one IRL friend but unfortunately our schedules aren’t that close and we don’t live close enough to be like “hey, lets go to the park today at 11″. Mom friending is hard because you have to be completely vulnerable and that person may not care for you one bit, or vice versa

4. What you do in your free time is completely different then what you thought it might be.

For the first 5 months of life B rarely took a nap longer than 30 minutes, and I felt like I was always running to do something. Shower, eat, workout, laundry, cleaning, etc… I had these grand plans in my head about how life was going to be. Now that B is closer to a year those things are more likely to happen, aka working out, showering and eating during one nap, it was a long road, some days I still choose to work out and nap over working out then showering.

5. Your friendships will change

No matter what you do your friendships will change. Those without kids will never fully understand what your life is like and you will never go back to your pre-baby days. This absolutely does not mean you won’t have any friends with no kids. I still have great friends that do not have kids and are very understanding of the fact that I have a child, but those days of going out to the bar on Saturday night for hours, well they take lots of planning, and lots of Advil. I will say though, my circle of friends has gotten significantly smaller, and I am happy with that, I have cut out a lot of the bs friendships. Frankly, if I had to put in 100% of the effort pre-baby, I have put in 0% post-baby. I just don’t have the time pr the patience.

6. Judgmental non-moms

Maybe this is just me, but I have encountered so many people who have implied that because I am a stay at home mom, I have all the free time in the world. Wrong. While being a SAHM is not the same as a desk job, and you will never hear me grumping about how I had to get up at 730 and feed B his breakfast then go play, it also doesn’t mean that I don’t have a schedule that I like to stick too. Also, am not home all the time.

This is all worth it

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What do you wish you knew about motherhood?

April Photo a Day, Week 3

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Check out weeks one and two.

Tuesday, April 17 – Something you don’t like

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warm water & chipped nails

Wednesday, April 18 – Hair

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I wish I had shorter hair again

Thursday, April 19 – Orange

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Orange spoon and yogurt face

Friday, April 20 – Something you drew

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Draw Something game with Caitlin, I know your jealous of my skills

Saturday, April 21 – Bottle

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I want to bottle this up

Sunday, April 22 – The last thing you bought

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Tank from Lululemon

Monday, April 23 – Vegetable

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Roasted Asparagus, yum

April Photo a Day, Week 2

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Check out week one!

Monday, April 9 – Younger You

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I couldn’t pick just one

Tuesday, April 10 – Cold

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drinking some cold water

Wednesday, April 11 – Where you ate breakfast

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at the counter

Thursday, April 12 – Stairs

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stairs at my in-laws

Friday, April 13 – Something you found

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shoes for my sister-in-laws wedding

Saturday, April 14 – How you feel today

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nervous watching this game

Sunday, April 15 – Sunset

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sunset in the Caribbean

Monday, April 16 – Flower

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flowers on my comforter

Fitness Friday: music

I think it’s safe to say we all know that I work out at home 90% of the time.

I love to listen to music when I am working out alone, but I need music that pumps me up.

Here’s the problem, I have been listening to the same playlist for years, with a few additions here and there. But I need new music and badly. Here’s where you come in, give me your favorites. and I will share some of mine.

Godspeed – Anberlin

That’s What You Get – Paramore

1000 Julys – Third Eye Blind

Help a girl out, what are your favorite workout songs?

WIAW: The B Edition & 9 month update

I will updated the stats this afternoon since B’s 9 month appointment is in a few hours! But until then here are a few photos from our monthly photo shoot.

I also have a food tutorial after the photos.

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a little smile

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I know that he has some drool here but I just love his expression

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this is about as far as we’ve gotten crawling wise

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and this right here is how I know this kid is going to be trouble, ha

First, how to make your own baby food.

I know a lot of people have the baby bullet, but I have the baby brezza. My MIL has the bullet and I just prefer the brezza, it makes a large quantity of food, if I had the bullet I would have to make his meals daily.

Our first one, the motor burned out, I called the customer service and they sent us a new one. We didn’t have to send the old one back, another plus for the brezza.

If I make a meat for B, I usually make enough for all 3 of us in the crockpot (i.e. pulled chicken) or I make a small amount in a pot. I bring the meat to a boil and then simmer for one hour. Then I add the hard root veggies like carrots and potatoes for another hour.

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While I was making the chicken, I put a bag of frozen green beans in the brezza. Another great feature is that you can steam and blend, just steam or just blend. You can steam anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

Since the beans were still frozen, I steamed the beans for 15 minutes then had the machine auto blend.

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Then I steamed and blended a bag of frozen corn. I layered the food in to go containers. I make one weeks worth of dinner and breakfast at one time, usually Sunday evenings.

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Once the chicken (and veggies if they are being used) I had the chicken to the brezza and just blend, I do not steam. I add the chicken to the rest of the meal. I put all 7 containers in the fridge, and at dinner I just microwave for 15 seconds, stir and serve.

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someone’s excited

I do the same for B’s breakfast. I usually do 2-3 different types of fruit. Although since we are moving into primarily table foods now, I don’t know how much longer I will be doing the food. I will probably just use the steam feature for items like carrots, potatoes and apples.

Here are some other foods that B loves:
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he loves waffles

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yogurt

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pear and banana

The 802

This weekend Nick was at a conference so I took B for the first time to my home state of Vermont. I don’t really travel home a ton, I don’t have a room at either of my parents, or a ton of friends that still live there, so it is usually easier for my parents and siblings to visit me. But I decided to be adventurous and take a trip by myself.

I made a few observations while on this trip.

Massachusetts drivers really are idiots. Not all of them, but a good majority, once I got about 45 minutes out of the city it turns into a 2 lane road, when someone passes you they get back in the right lane. Also no one rides your tail in the right lane. Well, one person did, but shocker they had MA plates.

There is nothing to do. Literally nothing, I wanted to go buy some local to VT goodies for my foodie penpals but everything was closed after 6 on Saturday and all day on Sunday. Whoops.

Except you can buy beer and wine in the gas station.
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Vermont really is beautiful.

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Don’t worry I wasn’t driving

I will never move back. As beautiful as it is, there are a multitude of reasons that I could never go back there, visiting is enough for me.

First, these driveways

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Dear Sister – please find a house with a normal driveway, thanks!

Second, I am not really nostalgic for the past. High School, with a few exceptions, wasn’t one of the best times of my life. Frankly, I would like to forget a large chunk of it.

Third, the closest mall is an hour away, and it’s not even great.

Fourth, after living in the city, I realize that’s just much more my speed. I like having lots of culture around me.

There are many more personal reasons, these are just touching the surface.

Do you live in your hometown? Would you want to?

April Photo a Day, Week One

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Sunday, April 1 – Your reflection

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Me and B

Monday, April 2 – Color

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I think I need more color with my workout wardrobe

Tuesday, April 3 – Mail

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dirty old mailbox

Wednesday, April 4 – Someone who makes you happy

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Obviously this little guy :)

Thursday, April 5 – Tiny

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Tiny little fingers

Friday, April 6 – Lunch

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The usual

Saturday, April 7 – Shadow

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B’s shadow

Sunday, April 8 – Inside your wallet

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money, cards, and a few mementos