Friday, March 30, 2012

March Foodie Pen Pals

Hi friends! It's time for another Foodie Pen Pal post! This was my second month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal's program and it was so much fun. This month I was paired up with Ashley the Unintentional Vegan!  I was excited to try some of the vegan and gluten free goodies that she sent to us.  I consider us pretty adventurous, so we were ready to see what Ashley sent!

I'm always excited when my foodie pen pal box arrives!

A wonderfully sweet note from Ashley!

These are all the goodies she sent!I was so excited because I had seen some of these products but I had never any of them yet.

These were just as delicious as they sound.  Sour apple chips!  I will definitely be picking these up again. Rylie and I opened these one afternoon and shared the whole bag.  Love the sweet-tart flavor.

Rylie noshing on sour apple chips and playing on the ipad.

We had this tasty treat for dessert on the very night that we got the FPP package.  Rylie was a huge fan of the texture and I was a huge fan of the rich chocolate flavor.  Plus, as a parent you I love the fact that it was sweetened with fruit juice!

This was another huge hit with the kids.  I opened it to eat one afternoon and they both helped me gobble it up.  Mama=2 bites.  Rylie and Rowan=the rest!  Want to see the ingredient list?  Its on the front package there.  Awesome, right?  If I see these out I will definitely get some for the kids, especially Rowan.  Who knew?

This bar seemed intimidating.  Look at all the descriptions.  Vegan, kosher, uncooked, no refined sugar, non GMO and soy free.  Plus it says LIVE FOOD BAR on the front.  Then I opened it up and saw this.

It was a blue-ish green.  I took a bite...awesome!  I am not just saying that either.  It tastes like a cashew cookie flavored Lara bar, but even better.  Richer and nuttier.  I was amazed and excited.  It has spirulina in it (which likely gave it the green color). Spirulina has all kinds of awesome benefits, I found some info on it HERE.

Meatless jerky you say? How can this possibly taste meaty.  Well for many years now I've enjoyed meatless products but I've never had meatless jerky until now.  Despite my years of experience and enjoyment with meat free "meat" I was a little scared to try these. I think it was the texture.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The flavor was awesome.  SO smokey and spicy and the texture was SPOT on.  Definitely felt like I was gnawing on beef jerky.  The hot and spicy was a clear favorite, but I just love anything spicy.

 Dairy free chocolate bar was a WIN.  The texture was a little dryer than most chocolate bars but the flavor was the same, if not better than many chocolate bars I've tried.  This was another huge hit with Rylie.  She believes that this is HER chocolate bar.  She's eating her way through it piece by piece.

Last but not least a Zico coconut water.  I had tried coconut water before (different brand) and not cared for it.  This time I put this one in the fridge and made a Zico cocktail after a long morning run.  Zico + apple juice + a splash of Sprite Zero = a delightful and hydrating morning drink.  Perfect post-run to re-hydrate me.

Thanks so much Ashley!  We really enjoyed trying all of the goodies you sent.  Ya'll hop on over to Ashely's awesome website and blog.  She has amazing recipes for delicious and healthy vegan food.   Come join us, it's SO much fun. Here is some information on Foodie Pen Pals if you want to participate!

-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 Penplas 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 will also find contact information on that page for the UK branch of Foodie Penpals if you’re a blogger across the pond!
You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th

Lastly, hop on over to Cupcake Kelly's to see who I sent MY FPP package to.  I love reading Kelly's blog.  Plus she has an adorable baby boy!!  Have a great weekend ya'll!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekend Countdown

It's Friday! So happy the weekend is here. What have you got planned? We don't have much besides sleeping in and a date on Saturday night thanks to my little sis Julianne. No clue what we are doing Saturday evening, but I can't wait for time alone with the most handsome man in the world :)

I thought I'd kick off the weekend with a little countdown. I see these posts on some of my favorite blogs and had to join in. So here we go! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...weekend!

5 Pictures I Took This Week

Just having a little fun at Hobby Lobby with my girl.

My cute little baby boy.

You've got to love technology.  Rylie thinks MY ipad is her new toy.

When I vacuum Rowan pulls out his baseball bat and vacuums the rug too.

Every week after speech we go to Starbucks and get Rylie a cake
pop if she does well.  It is the highlight of her week.  Just look at
the excitement! I think she believes it an edible wand.

4 Observations From Bootcamp Week One

1. Planks are no joke. I'm not kidding. There are a million different variations and they are so good for your core. I did a few Straight Arm Planks with Leg Lifts on Monday and my abs were feeling it the next day. Try doing some of THESE planks today.

2. Stretching will have to be a must everyday. I have been loving the awesome variety in the bootcamp workouts, but every single muscle in my body is sore and tight. Stretching makes my muscles happy. I always forget to stretch until I'm so sore I can't walk. Must remember to stretch. For good stretches check out THIS link. I bookmarked it!

3. Strength is in numbers. I check the Facebook Best Body Bootcamp page several times a day for tips, awesome discussion and motivation. These ladies are like me, small kids, busy lives, sleep deprived, and we are all rocking the bootcamp one day at a time! It's a wonderful thing!

4.  Thank God I workout at home.  If people were to see attempting to stay balanced while doing a split squat or bear crawling across my floor I'm sure they would get the laugh of their week in.  In other news, my looser jeans will probably thank me for those moves in a few weeks.

3 Blog Posts You Should Check Out!

1. Let's Be Honest
Love this post from my dear friend Jessi.  I was amen-ing her all the way through this post.  Let's get real ladies and gents.  It's not all roses, even if my blog (and others) may have you believe otherwise.  Honesty for the win.

2. Snickerdoodle Cake Batter Blondies
WILL happen in the near future.  I even have all the ingredients in my pantry. I just need an occasion in which I can have one and give the rest away.  Gracie always posts THE most amazing sweets recipes, plus she lives in NYC and I like to live vicariously through her on occasion.

3. 3 Steps to Committing to Your Workout Time
I loved this post about committing to a workout time because honestly it's something I struggle with.  Balance is SO hard to achieve for me.

2 Current Faves

1. Essie Turquoise and Caicos Nail Polish

This stuff reminds me of spring and I can't get enough of it. I picked some up at Target last night and rushed home to paint my toes and fingers. Instant spring-tastic fun!

2. Ken Burns: Jazz

This is a documentary that ran on PBS about jazz.  There are 19 hours of it available on Netflix and Jason and I have been making our way through it in the little pockets of time we have to spare.  I started watching it with Jason because I knew he'd like it, but honestly, I have SO enjoyed it!  Right now I can't stop listening to Louis Armstrong on Spotify.  How amazing is this song???

1 Thing I'm Looking Forward To This Weekend

1. A date night with my best friend!  Happiness!

Old pic, but one of my favorites.  This man is perfect for me!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Good morning! I'm so glad it's Wednesday, it's all downhill towards the weekend from here, right? This week has been great so far! Jason's birthday was on Monday (more on that in a bit), and I have been rocking the bootcamp workouts. I must say, I'm insanely sore. Not sore like I injured myself sore. Sore like I've only been running lately and haven't done any strength workouts in months sore. Today will be another full body weights workout + a little cardio. I'm thinking 20 min of tae-bo might be fun. What's your favorite kind of non- running cardio?  I'm a huge tae-bo fan from WAY back in the day.

So, Sunday night we got together for Jason's birthday and by his request I made a Chocolate Cherry cake. I used THIS recipe that I pinned on Pinterest. So easy and so yummy. I also found a guitar shaped cake pan at Hobby Lobby that turned out awesome! I'm no cake decorator, so I just slathered the cake down with dark chocolate ganache and sprinkles and called it a day.

Jason is the only one in our family that likes the chocolate/cherry combo but everyone else tried the cake (and ate around the cherries) and agreed that it was delicious.  My Mom also got a "regular" cake and for dinner we got Jason's favorite, take out from our favorite local restaurant, Thai House.

Besides a few jazz cd's and some guitar strings, I made Jason this super cute Daddy Star Wars kit from the kids.  I found the printables online for free HERE.  He loved it, as expected.  Plus I added a cool Star Wars shirt in there for him.  It was a great time.  I am SO blessed to call him my husband and my best friend!

Jason said his heart was so full on Sunday night because everyone made him feel so special!  I'm so thankful for my wonderful family, they make these occasions a million times for fun.

Elliot and Rowan wrestling with Papa.

Sooooooo cute!!

Rylie loved reading all of Jason's birthday cards with Mimi!

Ok, I'm off to get breakfast ready for the babies.  I hope ya'll have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Going to Bootcamp!

So, how was your weekend? Ours was busy as usual here. Jason and I always stay up too late and get spoiled by sleeping in late too. Thank the Lord, our kids seem to sleep past 8am on most days and we aren't complaining. We also celebrated Jason's birthday last night. He turns 40 years young today!! More on his celebration in my next blog post. Today also starts day 1 of Best Body Bootcamp!

Amy and I have been reading Tina's blog over at Best Body Fitness for awhile now, so when she announced that she would be doing a virtual bootcamp, we were excited! Each week there will be prizes and then a big cash prize at the end of bootcamp. Amy and I had fun reading over this week's workouts and planning some meals together. Each week I'll be posting an update on my progress and how I'm doing on my health and fitness goals.
Any encouragement or tips are appreciated! We are also still training for our Zooma 5k next month too, this bootcamp should be a great compliment to that training!

Well, I'm off to start my first workout. Have a great day friends, and if you know Jason, please be sure to tell him Happy Birthday! He's the most handsome 40 year old I know!

I love him!

Friday, March 2, 2012

February in Pictures (Instagram)

In case you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of this little app called Instagram. I have it on the phone and iPad and honestly it's like a visual Twitter, so fun. In February I joined a challenge on Instagram called Febphotoaday. I had so much fun challenging myself to come up with a picture for each day on the given theme. I thought it would be fun to recap the month of February in pictures on my blog, so let's check out my Febphotoaday Challenge!

This is the list of photo assignments for each day.

It was so much fun to see what everyone came up with for pictures this month. I hope y'all enjoyed a glimpse into my month on Instagram. Have a great weekend y'all!

life rearranged