Archive | August, 2012

First Foodie Pen Pals Reveal!

31 Aug

Friday in the houuuuuse! Why is today a particularly awesome Friday? 1) I am getting ready to go down to Virginia Beach with Stef to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (Mini Marathon for me!), 2) It’s payday!!, and 3) It’s the end of the month, which means Foodie Pen Pals Reveal day! As I told you in a previous post, Foodie Pen Pals is much like a pen pal program except it involves food, which makes it soooo much better. After you sign up, you get a pen pal assignment to whom you send a package with yummy local foods, gourmet treats, or homemade yummies (there’s a $15 limit). You also receive a similar package (not from the same person, however) and it is just a great way to try new things, get recipe ideas from new people, and just connect with other foodies around the country. If you are interested in participating, you may click the ‘join’ button on the right side of my page!

Before I reveal what goodies I received from Rebecca S. of Los Altos, California, I want to break down my really great breakfast this morning. After packing my lunch, I was running a little short on time and wasn’t really inspired to do any specific kind of breakfast, so I headed for the raw oats and Kashi Go Lean. Plain old cereal and milk was just not doing it for me, but I was out of fresh fruit. Howwwwever, I did have frozen fruit and so it was smoothie time!

In went:

  • 2 handfuls of frozen fruit (mixed berries from Costco)
  • a couple heaping spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
  • a drizzle of agave nectar
  • enough vanilla soy milk to get everything nice and blended

Andddd, voila!

Easy way to spice up the morning.

Now it’s time tell you about my very first Foodie Pen Pals box! I received the box a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t tell you guys about it, per the FPP rules. But now it’s reveal day!

So excited for my first FPP box!

Like I mentioned earlier, my box was from a girl in California named Rebecca. This was her first time doing Foodie Pen Pals as well, so she sent me an email and made to sure to ask me about anything I liked and didn’t like so she could put together a box I would love! Here’s a peek at all the goodies:

A quick inventory:

  • pack of her favorite flavor of Trident gum
  • to-go, pre-packaged peanut butter (that didn’t last too long!)
  • Gogo Applesauce (something I had never seen before!)
  • package of TJ’s microwave popcorn
  • Kashi TLC trail mix bar (you guys know how much I love those!)
  • Two boxes of dried seaweed for snacking
  • a few bags of tea
  • 3 Starbucks Via packets
  • chocolate milk box (like a juice box, but chocolate milk!)
  • can of Trader Joe’s Cafe Mocha coffee
  • a really yummy fair-trade, organic chocolate bar
  • amazing, lavender-scented bar of soap
  • an adorable Mickey Mouse notebook, with a little love from California and a sweet note inside!

What a haul, eh? It was so cute that everything was small and designed for a super busy lifestyle, perfectly suited to me! I even snuck some of her treats in my lunches during the month without telling you guys. I have been saving the Gogo Applesauce for this weekend’s 5k as a post-workout snack and I will be sure to tell you what I think about it.

Thanks for a wonderful first experience with Foodie Pen Pals, Rebecca! And thanks to Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean for organizing this each month. Please click on the button on my right sidebar to check it out!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If you don’t hear from me over the weekend, it’s because I’m having way too much fun at the beach with my boyfriend. I’ll fill you all in as soon as I get back, promise! Happy weekend 🙂

Just Can’t Get Enough

30 Aug

Heyyy! Check the time, everybody! I’m posting before ten – woooot! I am excited about the fact that I can get all my laundry folded, take a shower, and maybe even read a little bit before I have to go to bed. Simple pleasures.

I was eager to get to my lunch today because of my yummy leftovers from last night. After getting all my various containers out, I realized that I had packed a veritable feast for lunch and there was no way I was going to eat it all.

I devoured the couscous and pita without pause and then started nibbling my way through the rest of it. The carrots and apple ended up being a post-workout snack, though.

By mid-afternoon, I was feeling really lethargic and was contemplating not going to the gym for my Zumba class. I was still debating it all the way to the gym, but decided to muster up the motivation and go. Of course, after the class, I was really pleased I went and had a lot more energy than when I went in. If you have a choice, ALWAYS go for the workout (unless you’re sick, there’s an emergency, etc.). I promise that you’ll be so happy you did.

When I got home, I munched on the carrots and apple to take the edge off while I prepared dinner. The whole bus ride home, I had been craving that delicious egg wrap I prepared earlier in the week. This time, I added lots of veggies and left off (read: forgot) the sliced avocado.

Don’t worry, it was still super delicious.

In the pan:

  • 1 sundried tomato and basil chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s
  • a few handfuls of frozen veggies
  • 2 scrambled eggs, salted and peppered
  • a handful (yep, you read that right) of shredded cheddar cheese

I toasted the tortilla in the toaster oven while cheese was melting in the pan and that made it even better (who really likes a cold, limp tortilla, right out of the fridge?).

I think I got a little overexcited with the veggies, though, because I had quite a bit of difficulty getting the wrap to actually wrap. So I had to eat some of the good stuff before the tortilla would fit around the whole thing, womp womp.

I just can’t get enough of that combination of eggs, tortilla, and cheese. That Trader Joe’s sausage is quickly becoming a favorite, too.

All right, folks – I would stick around and chat a little longer, but I am just so excited by the prospect of actually getting my chores done (I have been dumping my laundry onto my bed in the morning and then pouring it back into the basket, unfolded, for three days now)! I know you’re jealous of how exciting my life is.

Hope you all have had a wonderful day, can’t wait to check in tomorrow! Shout-out to my readers from EIGHT different countries today! Sending some blog love to the readers in America, Canada, Israel, Brazil, Bahamas, Indonesia, Philippines, and Italy!

Good night, all 🙂

False Alarm

30 Aug

Well, hello Thursday, it’s nice to see you. Not because I like Thursdays, but because it means tomorrow is Friday. I warned you all that I was going to be antsy this week, and here it is. I woke with a huge start this morning, panicking because I thought I had slept through my alarm. When I checked the time, the clock read 6:12 AM. False alarm! Unfortunately, my alarm clock was due to go off only 18 short minutes later, so I didn’t even bother going back to sleep, though I stayed in bed until 6:30. Don’t you hate it when you wake up before you’re supposed to, but it’s not early enough to merit going back to sleep? If I’m going to wake up unnecessarily early, it should be at four or something, so I can roll over and catch a few more zzz’s before the alarm goes off.

Breakfast this morning was an English muffin PB&J, with some chia seeds sprinkled on top. I had a few apple slices alongside, which was a refreshing complement to the richness of the peanut butter. For some reason, I am on a serious sugar kick this week, which might explain why I have been feeling so groggy in the mornings. Definitely need to lay off the sugar.

You know it’s bad when the first thing your co-worker says to you in the morning is, “Wow, you look like you didn’t get any sleep last night!” I’m thinking about doing a little nighttime yoga before bed, to get my body relaxed and hopefully promote a more restful sleep. Also, I think I just need to get to be earlier, period. I stayed up past midnight again, reading this Danielle Steel novel, and I am paying for it today. Goal tonight is to be in bed by 11!

Quick Question: Do you have difficulty falling asleep at night/waking up in the middle of the night? What are some remedies you use?

 

Back to Back

29 Aug

Hellooooo! Time for another evening recap and I am excited to tell you all about the really great dinner I made (really easy, I promise!). But first, we go to lunch, where I packed a variety of different things in order to satisfy my picky appetite of late. The main attraction was an arugula salad with cucumber, tomato, feta, and avocado. I also toasted a piece of pita and filled it with hummus, before cutting it into slices.

This, along with an unpictured peach, filled me up for lunch, but I got a little rumble in my tummy around three o’clock so I busted out some afternoon snacks of cucumber slices, baby carrots, and trail mix.

It was good that I had such a filling snack because I ended up taking back to back group classes at the gym today. I walked over from work to make it in time for the six o’clock Body Pump class and decided to stay for the Zumba class right afterwards. Body Pump was fine, though I’m still struggling through the leg sets for some reason. Definitely going to up my weight on the chest presses, because they were a piece of cake today. Man, oh man, was Zumba killer today. A lot of people have disdain for Zumba classes, because they don’t consider them much of a workout, but they’ve clearly never had my instructor – I’ve had more energy after running five miles than I did after this super high cardio class. Needless to say, when I left the gym I was sweaty and disgusting and in serious need of food.

I was excited to get home and get started on dinner, because I had been fantasizing about how I was going to make the Israeli couscous I had bought from Trader Joe’s. Lucky for me, I stumbled on this fabulous recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod and I couldn’t wait to cook it up. I tweaked it slightly, using only one large zucchini and one summer squash for the roasted vegetables, adding olive oil, salt, and pepper to the chopped veggies before sticking them in the oven.

While those roasted for 30 minutes in the oven (at 400F), I cooked up the whole box of couscous, which ended up being a little under two cups, dry. I made the sauce by taste, loosely following the Two Peas and Their Pod guidelines. I really like lemon juice and wanted a little bit of citrus, so I added that in. I also decided to chop up some parsley and sprinkle that on top. When everything came together and was coated in dressing and chunks of feta, it looked good enough to eat (one would hope)!

And eat it, I did. I served myself up a bowl and inhaled it. I had worried about the couscous, because some of the pieces got a little too dark while I was toasting them, but it ended up being great because the darker pieces added some nice color to the dish, along with a roasted, nutty flavor that I really enjoyed.

Luckily for me, I have leftovers! Three guesses as to what will be in my lunchbox tomorrow…

The recipe I used was a really great jumping off point, because it gave me some direction, but it definitely flexible enough to adapt to what you have available and what your taste preference are.

Well, now that my tummy is happy and the clock is headed towards eleven, it looks like it is time for me to sign off and bid you all a good night. Good night, good night!

Guilty Pleasures

29 Aug

Good morning and thanks for stopping by! It’s Hump Day and I am really looking forward to the three day weekend. I was a big groggy this morning, because I had stayed up a little too late reading this:

 

I had never read a Danielle Steel novel before, but now I’m beginning to understand why. For those of you not familiar with the author, Danielle Steel is a wildly successful author of romance novels. According to Wikipedia, she is the 4th best-selling author of all time. Let me tell you, I never would have guessed by the book I’m currently reading (or trying to read).

Seriously, how many ellipses does one need on a page?

I would describe her writing like literary candy: it doesn’t provide any nutrition and is full of empty calories, but it goes down easy and tastes really good! I can’t believe I have gone this long without reading one of her books, as chick-lits are some of my very favorite guilty pleasures. I would say that they’re great beach reads, but I don’t remember that last time I was at the beach. The only reason I grabbed this one in the first place is I saw it at the gym and was out of reading material at home. Time to download some books for my Kindle, methinks. Any recommendations?

As I was saying, today’s wake-up was a little rough, but I got myself ready in plenty of time to pack lunch and make some breakfast. Today was a yogurt bowl, filled to the brim with plain Greek yogurt, raw oats, some Kashi Go Lean, a sprinkle of chia seeds, sliced strawberries, and a drizzle of agave to sweeten things up a bit.

 

The yogurt was a little hard to find, hidden under all those other goodies!

 

Time to put down the book and get to work, as I have lots on my plate today. My boss is working on a second edition of his book, so I am editing like crazy this week! Can’t wait for Labor Day weekend to head down to Virginia Beach with Stef!

Quick Question: What are your guilty pleasures? Do you have a guilty pleasure that nobody knows about?

 

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