July Foodie Penpals

Thank you to everyone for the texts, messages and comments on Sunday’s post. I didn’t get back to everyone but your comments and messages were very much appreciated.

Also, remember the Sparklysoul discount code is available for you to use until Monday, August 6!

Now onto this months foodie penpals! I received my box of goodies from Heather at Ohaya Bento!

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I always love a themed box and Heather did not disappoint! She picked out some fantastic items from a local German festival and market.

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Cranberry Mustard! I tried mine on turkey and chicken burgers. I will admit I was skeptical, but it was delicious.

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Spaetzle! I have been eating this since I was 15 and worked in a kitchen, I haven’t made this batch yet, but I plan on making it this week.

And s Heather said, you can’t have anything from German town without having a bag of Haribo gummies, and the little box is tart fizzy candies. I have to portion control this ;) and save it for long run days haha

Have you every had any of these items?

Check out what I sent to Melissa at Brooklyn Locavore (it is her first foodie penpals so show her some love)!

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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 August, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

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

Do you like to sparkle when you sweat?

As you all know I am running a half-marathon for Team in Training. In order to help with my fundraising, my favorite headband company, Sparkly Soul Headbands, has offered my friends, family and blog readers!

First, let me tell you, I have tried every headband on the planet, and this is the only one that will ALWAYS stay put on my head during short runs, long runs, strength training and cross training.

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wearing one of my favorite ones at the Color Me Rad


Sparkly Soul™ Headbands are really (yes, really!) non-slip …and sparkly! The patent pending design makes certain your headbands stay in place — no matter how intense your sports and fitness activity. It is the comfortable solution for all you athletic fashionistas! Functional and chic, they can be worn from the gym to the office to a night out. Sparkle It Up!

Sparklysoul

Visit www.sparklysoul.com and enter in coupon code “KELLY” at checkout to receive a 10% discount and 15% of your entire order will be donated to My Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraising – the discount code will only be valid from July 30-August 6, 2012.

http://www.sparklysoul.com

If you place an order, leave me a message and you will be entered to win one free headband!

how do you mourn a lost relationship?

Forgive me today, My mind is all over the place, and therefore my words are too. Typically I don’t read blogs that are all happy all the time. I also don’t like being a downer or complainer, but sometimes our emotions get the best of us. Let me also preface this with saying that friend relationships are completely different than romantic relationships, and this isn’t geared toward that at all

Fitness Update & Guest Post!

Hi Everyone! I know I don’t usually post on Saturday’s but I have two important pieces of information.

The first important piece of information is my guest post for one of my favorite running bloggers! Pavement Runner is unplugged this weekend and asked that I write a post for him. I obviously agreed, and wrote about how I fell in love with running. Head on over and read my story and leave some love!

The second piece of information is:
I have been terrible at my weight loss updates, it has partially been because I have been a little bit frustrated, but also because my workouts have been pretty similar as of late. I usually do between 1 and 3 workouts with my trainer a week, depending on our schedules. 1 is a TRX workout (IN LOVE) and the others are usually HIIT workouts.

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pre baby

We have both seen definite improvements over my form and my abilities in the past year.

I also run 3 times a week. I have been doing my short run at home on the treadmill, I do an informal track workout with some of my TNT teammates and then finally my long run with TNT. Frankly, I had a lot of doubt in the beginning with my ability to actually run a half-marathon. But now, regardless of how slow I am, I am seeing improvement and loving it.

So that brings me to one important piece of information…I am finally down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I know for some moms it takes a few months, but weight loss has never been easy for me. The funny thing is, my heaviest weight, was probably pretty close to my weight when I was pregnant. It took me three years to lose weight prior to pregnancy, but one year after pregnancy. Improvement, right?

I still have a decent number that I would like to lose, but I am proud of where I am today!

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one year after baby!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Fitness Friday: Christine’s TNT Story

Hi everyone, today we have an awesome guest post from Christine at Love, Life and Surf. She has great, thought-provoking posts, so make sure you check her out!

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Hi Cupcake Kelly readers! I’m Christine and I live in New York City with my two sons and husband. I blog over at Love, Life, Surf where I talk about the things in my life and that I love – primarily family, fitness and surfing.

I was so excited to hear that Kelly going to run the Nike Women’s Half in October with Team and Training and I wanted to share my Team in Training story with you.

After I had run three marathons, my body was feeling a little beaten up and run down. I started thinking about doing a triathlon – I’ve always wanted to do one and I thought it would be a great way to mix things up. But frankly, I was scared. Was I athlete-enough to do it? A former colleague of mine had been actively involve with Team in Training and encouraged me to consider training with Team in Training.

Originally, I signed up to race the St. Anthony’s triathlon in April 2005 with Team in Training, which is supposed to be a great race, but a little thing called a dislocated shoulder kept that from happening. Instead, I rehabbed my shoulder and continued to work with Team in Training. I pushed my race date back to July when I completed the NYC Triathlon.

I signed up with Team in Training for a couple of reasons.

1. “Together we can train to beat cancer.”

I wholeheartedly believe in Team in Training’s motto. My life has been touched too many times by cancer but it is something that we can come together to beat. I was happy to be part of a team that was raising money for such a worthy cause. Plus, as I would learn after I joined Team in Training, a close family friend was diagnosed with leukemia that year so the experience meant just a little bit more to me.

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NYC Tri Start

2. Safety and support

My husband wasn’t interested in doing a triathlon with me. He had been my training and race partner through our three marathons and I needed to find someone to support me through triathlon training. Plus, I felt safe swimming, biking and running for hours on end knowing that I was part of this larger group with dedicated coaches and mentors supporting us with detailed training plans and clinics on things like how to change a flat tire, open water swimming, nutrition and transitions.

3. Dedicated pool time

Finding dedicated lap swim time in a decent pool is hard in New York City! I admit, one of the main reasons I was drawn to Team in Training was knowing that there were regular swim practices when we would have the pool all to ourselves. No more jostling for lanes, sprinting to pass swimmers in your lane, etc.

However, I came away from the experience with so much more. By the end, we were a team. No doubt about it. We supported each other during our practices and we supported each other during the race. I remember struggling as I approached Harlem Hills in Central Park during the race. But then I saw my swim coach standing there cheering me on and running with me up the hill. I don’t think that I would have gotten up there without that extra encouragement. The support of my coaches and team pushed me to challenge myself and train hard, harder than I ever have before, but I knew that if I fell, they would be there to catch me.

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NYC Tri Run

But the most important thing I walked away with were the stories. We shared so many stories about how our lives had been affected by cancer, who we were racing in honor of and why we were a part of this team. We heard the stories of our teammates who are cancer survivors and it made you want to dig a little bit more and a little bit deeper.

I’m so grateful for my experience. The NYC Triathlon is one of my proudest accomplishments and one of the best races of my life. While it’s been a long time since I raced with Team in Training, in the back of my head, I know that there will be day when I will be a part of the Team again.

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NYC Tri

For more information about Christine, follow her here!
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If you would like to donate there is still time!

Playlist Thursday: Vacation Songs

First things first, we have a giveaway winner to announce. This is my first video so I apologize for the quality. Also, I was on my way out the door to team track workout, so I apologize for my appearance!


Did you win?

Don’t worry, if you didn’t you are still eligible for the amazing prizes I have coming up!

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts.

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Here is the format via Pavement Runner:

Something Old: These will be songs that are at least 5 years old. I know that isn’t too long to be considered old, but music turnover happens quickly.

Something Current: These will be songs that have been released within the past year. I know, but you have to give me some leeway here.

Something to Consider: These will be songs that are not typically heard on the radio and may be by artists you’ve never heard of or considered running to. This is the wild card category, can be old or current.

Today’s theme is: Vacation. Songs that make you think of being someplace else, or songs that make you think of traveling!

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Toto

Title: Africa

Side Note: I have always been obsessed with this song, definitely reminds me of traveling.

Quotable: “I hear the drums echoing tonight. But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation. She’s coming in 12:30 flight. The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation.”

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: Owl City featuring Carly Rae Jepsen

Title: Good Times

Side Note: Clearly, I am still a teeny bopper at heart, damn these songs are catchy.

Quotable: “Slept in all my clothes like I didn’t care. Hopped into a cab, take me anywhere. I’m in if you’re down to get down tonight.’Cause it’s always a good time”

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: The Beatles

Title: Back in the USSR

Side Note: I took Russian in high school and have been wanting to visit ever since.

Quotable: “Been away so long I early knew the place. Gee, its good to be back home. Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case. Honey disconnect the phone. I’m back in the USSR. You don’t know how lucky you are, boy”

Chocolate Melting Cake & Cupcakes

For B’s first birthday I had grand plans to make a huge cake and B’s smash cake.

However, it was too big of a plan. I just didn’t have time to do everything I had planned. So we bought a cake for the adults and I made B’s smash cake and cupcakes.

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ordered cake

For the cake I ordered I got a white cake with vanilla frosting, so I went with a chocolate cake for B’s cake.

I started with a devils food cake.

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1 cup buttermilk

Whisk together 3/4 cup of boiling water and 3/4 cup of cocoa powder. Cover and set aside.

Mix together 6 ounces of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

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Add 3 eggs one at a time and cream together until light and fluffy.

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Sift together 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add this mixture alternating with 1 cup buttermilk to the other mixture.

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Add cocoa and water mixture until smooth.

I made the cake batter first and set it aside. I should have made the ganache first. Oh well, still turned out delicious.

To make the ganache place 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring.

Put 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted.

Let the chocolate sit at room temperature for 1 hour or 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Once all the ingredients were ready I poured half the batter into a 9 inch cake round and the rest into cupcake molds.

Fill each device 3/4 of the way. For the cupcakes I add one tablespoon of ganache on top of the batter, then I poured the rest of the ganache into the cake pan.

Cook the cake and cupcakes at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

I decorated the cupcakes with vanilla frosting and B’s cake with whipped cream.

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he liked it ;)

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the cupcakes, yum!

A Fancy Dinner…or Two.

First, go check out the Healthy Living Summit Blog. I am honored and ecstatic to be one of the top five contenders for the Wild Harvest® Breakfast Showdown!

Now onto our regularly scheduled post!

If you read Caitlin’s blog you know that she loves to have a good meal out, and so she was asked what her favorite restaurant is. Her response was J.Gilberts in Glastonbury, CT. J.Gilberts is a short ride from my in-laws, and since I was going to be down in CT for my birthday, I decided I wanted to give it a try!

The day started with a nice hot run around the neighborhood.

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My husband gathered some of our closest friends for dinner. The meal started with fresh bread and a peppercorn butter.

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To start my brother-in-law and I shared the Ahi Tuna Tartare. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture, but trust me it was amazing. I also started with champagne tasting trio.

For dinner, per Caitlin’s suggestion, I got the 4 oz filet combo with a jumbo lump crab cake. For sides I got grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes.

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My brother-in-law got the bourbon maple shrimp, so we made a little trade. It was all amazing. The filet was cooked perfectly and the crab cake was a legit crab cake. Not a lot of filler, the right way to make a crab cake.

Since it was my birthday Nick and I shared the Chocolate Velvet Cake for dessert.

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This should be where the story ends, but a little over a week later was Nick & I’s wedding anniversary. We usually just go out to a nice dinner, but it had been a long couple weeks of traveling and spending and we weren’t planning on really doing anything.

Then Ms. Caitlin posted a message about good old J.Gilberts and how she was eating there and had a coupon…she even said I could get the coupon too. From there it wasn’t too hard to convince the husband that we should celebrate our anniversary at J.Gilberts.

Again we started with bread, and we were going to order the Calamari, but because of the heat the breading wouldn’t stick to the calamari and they didn’t want to serve a sub-par dish. Instead we got a Caesar salad.

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That giant cracker thing, it was pure cheese, not really my cup of tea, but the rest of the salad was delicious.

Again, I got the 4 oz filet and crab cake, but I decided to get different sides, garlic broccolini and a loaded baked potato.

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Nick just got a bigger filet with smashed potatoes and lobster mac and cheese.

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I stuck with wine for dinner but both Nick and Caitlin rave about the Manhattan, I am not a fan of bourbon, but they claim it was one of if not the best.

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And that is how we ended up with 2 fancy dinners at the same restaurant in almost one week!

What is your favorite fancy place?

FLASH GIVEAWAY: DONATE FOR A CURE

As you all know I will be running my first half marathon on October 14 with Team in Training!

In order to make this happen I need help from everyone. Help to find a cure so that those who are living with a blood cancer can beat the disease and continue living their lives.

Want to help? Don’t have a lot of money? Here is a challenge.

Donate $7, yup just $7, to my page. My long run this week is 7 miles, so I am only asking for $7. That is one drink out with your friends, two cups of coffee, a cheap diner breakfast.

If you donated more than $7 you get more entries! Every $7 you donate is ONE entry!

What do you get? If you donate before midnight EST tonight you will get a pack of one thick and one thin of Sweaty Bands ($33 value) and one tube of nuun ($8 value).

If you donate by midnight on sunday EST you get the pack of Sweaty Bands.

A little information on the products, Sweaty Bands are a no slip headband, you can even wear them during your workout and out with friends! They were featured on the Today Show! Check that out here:

Nuun is hands down one of my favorite hydrating products. It is an electrolyte tablet that you put in your water. It has no sugar or carbs, and is a little carbonated. For me personally, I hate the taste of some refueling beverages because they are too sweet. Nuun you can dilute as little or as much as you’d like, and the carbonation really helps settle my stomach.

If you already donated you are in the running for the first prize.

Help us find a cure and donate today!

Also, you will get more fun pictures like this :)

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Playlist Thursday: Just Dance

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts.

Playlist thursday logo

Here is the format via Pavement Runner:

Something Old: These will be songs that are at least 5 years old. I know that isn’t too long to be considered old, but music turnover happens quickly.

Something Current: These will be songs that have been released within the past year. I know, but you have to give me some leeway here.

Something to Consider: These will be songs that are not typically heard on the radio and may be by artists you’ve never heard of or considered running to. This is the wild card category, can be old or current.

Today’s theme is: Dance-ability. Songs that make you move your thang.

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Title: Good Vibrations
Side Note: I have always had a not so secret crush on Mark Wahlberg. This video is where it all started.
Quotable: Yo! It’s about that time. To bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme. I’ma get mine so get yours. I wanna see sweat comin’ out your pores

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: One Direction
Title: What Makes You Beautiful
Side Note: I really wanted to hate this song, but damn it is catchy. I will always be a faithful boy band lover from the 80s and 90s though!
Quotable: So c-come on. You got it wrong. To prove I’m right. I put it in a song. I don’t know why. You’re being shy. And turn away when I look into your eye eye eyes.

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Luke Bryan
Title: Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
Side Note: I grew up a country music girl and will always be a country music girl. Luke Bryan has officially taken over that spot in my heart where Kenny Chesney used to be…damn those country men in their tight jeans haha
Quotable: Get up on the hood of my daddy’s tractor. Up on the tool box, it don’t matter. Down on the tailgate, girl I can’t wait. To watch you do your thing

What are your favorite dance songs?