January 2013 Foodie Penpal Reveal

Good morning, friends!

Today is Foodie Penpal reveal day for January, and I’m excited to share the treats that Lindsay from NYC sent me this month.

January 2013 Foodie Penpal

First up?  New York Taxi Treats!

New York Taxi Treats

Shortbread taxi shaped cookies… how cute are these?

New York Taxi Treats

They were pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a shortbread cookie, with a little added lemon flavor.

The other treats in the package included a Baru chocolate fluffy marshmallow pop, Boules de Miel lavender honey drops, and Sarabeth’s raspberry key lime spreadable fruit.

January 2013 Foodie Penpal

How delicious does that marshmallow pop look?  I am saving that for a cheat day when I’m really craving it, so I haven’t tried it yet.  The lavender honey drops aren’t really my thing – I’m not really a hard candy person – but I did taste them and think it’s super cool they are from the French cooking school that Linday’s boyfriend started.  Finally, I love, love, love the Sarabeth’s spread!  The lime flavor was subtle and just right – I don’t like when lime is too overwhelming.  I can’t wait to have more of it over the next couple of weeks.

Interested in joining Foodie Penpals?  Here’s how it works!

Foodie Penpal

–> On the 5th of the 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 can choose 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 & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only.

If this sounds fun to you, just CLICK HERE and fill out the form to participate!  Remember anyone can participate whether you are a blogger or not, which is one of my favorite parts of this program. 

Thank you, Lindsay, for the fun treats this month! 

P.S.  Today is the last day of my 31 Day Abs Challenge!  Get that last timed plank in there, and rock your last Tabata Thursday with all plank jacks.  Finish strong today!

Random Things + Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread

Hey guys.

Some things to mention:

— Did this 40 minute elliptical workout from BBB last night, followed by my ab challenge.  10 burpees > ab ladder > 10 burpees > ab ladder > 10 burpees… phew!  For the cardio work, I ended up increasing the resistance a little more on the last round to 12.  I was sweaty!

— My friend Lindsey at work yesterday told me she joined the Y, and it may have been the highlight of my day.  #gymproblems

— New dress, via Old Navy:

Old Navy Dress

Wasn’t sure how I felt about the horizontal stripes, but I think I can pull them off.  I feel like every single item in the store had horizontal stripes on it when I went shopping last week!

— I’m really bad at twittering.  Seriously though, I’ve been ON twitter for a while now, but never actively using it.  I’m TRYING to use it more to bump the blog numbers and be more involved in this “little” online health & wellness community.  Anyone want to give me a crash course?  Tweet me so I’m forced to learn?  Or at least follow me?  K, thanks.

— Dinner last night:

Meatless Tuscan Baked Zucchini

Made the zucchini boats again, this time with barley.  Love, love, love.  Can’t wait to eat leftovers for lunch today.

Recipe time!

This is a recipe I made so long ago (it feels), but I just haven’t gotten around to posting yet.  I baked this around New Year’s I think, because I was just craving baked bread and wanted to use up the rest of the cranberries from when we made our cranberry pomegranate Christmas punch.  As you probably know, I’m not a bad cook or baker, but I’m not very creative or ‘go with the flow.’  I’m just not good at figuring out what ingredients to just ‘throw together.’  I would say about 90% of the time, I do follow a recipe, and if I post the recipe I do give due credit by linking to where I found the original recipe in the first place.  This recipe, however, I actually did just kind of do!  I had a recipe from a cookbook that I don’t even remember the name of, and I played around with the ingredients to make it my own.  I think this was delicious, if I do say so myself, and Katrina and Slesh tried it when we went over for a dinner date recently.  They gobbled it right up, so I think they liked it too!

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A teeny bit of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup cranberries, halved
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg, milk, and applesauce.  Stir into the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the cranberries and chocolate chips.
  5. Transfer to a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread

The cranberry and chocolate chips together were mmm, mmm, mmm.  Nom, nom, nom.

Are you on Twitter?  What do you use more, Facebook or Twitter?  Are you someone who tends to follow a recipe or are you more go with the flow when it comes to cooking?

Time for work!

Weekly Workouts

I’m back with my weekly workouts post, as promised.  Gonna get right to it!

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts
Last week’s workouts can be summed up with one phrase – sore galore!  The theme of Best Body Bootcamp Phase 2 (weeks 3 & 4) is endurance.  My strength workouts this week really challenged and fatigued my muscles.  Hence – sore galore.

100 reps workout while the rest of the world was watching the Patriots lose

Sunday Night Workout

20 minutes of treadmill sprints, then taught Dynamax Bootcamp


Two A Day!  Took Liz’s Kickboxing class, then taught one of the timed circuits from BBB.  This one was a bit challenging to teach since everyone has a different pace when it comes to a “how many rounds of these moves can you do in 12 minutes?” workout, but I decided to write the moves out on the white board and bring it into class.  Genius!

bbb timed circuits

Off day

Taught the other timed circuit workout in my class.

Rest day

Two rounds of the deck of cards workout while visiting Jen!

Deck of Cards Workout

And of course, I threw in most of the 31 Day Abs Challenge moves as little extras throughout the week.

This Week’s Workouts
Here’s the plan for this week!

  • Sunday:  Rest day
  • Monday:  Cardio + abs
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day!  Taking kickboxing, then teaching BBB timed circuits.  I may end up changing some of the moves a bit this week to add some variety to class, but it will be the same premise.
  • Wednesday:  Trying a piloxing class with Shannon!  I’m psyched!
  • Thursday:  Teaching BBB timed circuits again.
  • Friday:  Rest day OR cardio of choice OR repeat the 100 endurance reps
  • Saturday:  Rest day OR cardio of choice OR repeat the 100 endurance reps

Plus the last week of the Abs Challenge!  Here’s today’s if you haven’t busted it out yet!

Monday Morning Ab Burner Week 5

How are your January workouts going?  What’s on the agenda for this week?

Have a great night, everyone!