April 2013 Foodie Penpal Reveal

Hey guys!  I have so much catching up on the blog to do between recapping our North Conway adventures and sharing my wonderful experience at The Studio Empower last night.  I just haven’t had time yet between everything I have going on at work this week and catching up on hours of emails just from being away one weekend.  Yep, you read that correctly.  Hours.  Plural.

But I’m not complaining because there are lots of exciting things going on behind those emails!  I just feel a little behind and know I over-committed myself this week.  I would normally write “what else is new?” but I have honestly been so much better about that.  Anyways, I want to share what I received this month in my Foodie Penpal package, then it’s back to the grind!

Here are the goodies that Aimee sent me:

Foodie Penpals April 2013

— First up were pistachios from Publix, a southern grocery store chain.  Tim and I brought these along to North Conway last weekend and munched on them as we drove through the Kancamagus Highway.  My favorite part MIGHT be that they say pistachio MUSTACHIO on them.  Amazing.

Pistachio Mustachio

— Next you can see the strawberry pepper jam from a farmers market held at Emory University every week.  Aimee wrote she picked this one for its unique flavor, and I can’t wait to try it.  I kind of want to bake something with it?  Thoughts?

— Local honey was next, from the Savannah Bee Company.  But this wasn’t just any honey… it’s CHEESE honey.  Perfect timing since I’m hosting wine and cheese night on Thursday!

— Finally, another Publix treat.  Organic wheat crackers that were inhaled in about 2.5 seconds flat.  Yum!

Aimee was a fun penpal to have because she lives in Atlanta, and as you guys know I was in Atlanta last month for work.  She also is a former Bostonian, so we had a few things in common as we found out in our email correspondence!  Aimee also took the time to make me a perfume!  She makes bath and body products as a hobby and thought she’d throw in a little something extra.  It’s white tea and ginger… super fun.

Homemade Perfume

I’ve said it before, but I would like to reiterate that receiving my foodie penpal box to the doorstep every month is just thrilling.

Interested?  Sign up!

Foodie Penpal

–> On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean.  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, Aimee, for my fun treats this month!

F&F Weekly Fare

And I’m back.  Time to chat about food and prep for the week ahead.  Mondays are definitely a day to get organized and think out the week ahead if you haven’t already.  Sidenote, I am terrible at making these food post titles sound interesting.  Meh.

Anyways, here’s a peak at some highlights of last week’s grub, keeping in mind that I do not photograph everything I eat. 

Weekly Fare - 4.21

In order from top left to bottom right:

  1. Salad – greens with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and raisins
  2. Yummy breakfast at Uncommon Grounds – the all veggie scramble with a side fruit cup
  3. Turkey, barley, and veggie chili
  4. Chicken artichoke skillet
  5. Protein cookies
  6. Friday night pizza from Comella’s
  7. Balsamic quinoa salad with grilled chicken

I didn’t include our NH food in this recap since that will be its own post!

This week’s meal plan is looking like this:

Meal Plan Week of 4/28

And the grocery list like this:

grocery list week of 4/28

We only did some of the grocery shopping and food prep for the week last night since we got in somewhat late, but I’m guessing this week we are going to come in around $85-$90 total.  Definitely higher than what we usually spend, but we bought organic chicken, needed a few “stock up” items, and this week’s meals have extra veggies in them.

What was the best meal you ate last week?  Looking forward to any upcoming meals this week?  How much do you typically spend on your groceries each week?

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start, and you’ve set some healthy intentions for the week to come!

Weekly Workouts: Back At It (Kind Of)

I am really bumming that it’s Monday.  Tim and I had such a great time in New Hampshire, and I really didn’t want the weekend to end.  I’m just glad I have three fun events this week that are making this Monday bearable (blogger fitness event tonight, Jillian Michaels on Wednesday, Wallingford roomie wine and cheese night on Thursday).  I’ll be posting a weekend recap, but for now let’s talk Weekly Workouts.  After splurging all weekend, it’s time to get back on track!

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week was my first week “back at it” after my week of rest.  I put “back at it” in quotes because while I did have some good workouts and it felt good to be back at the gym, I still was taking it easy, especially on my upper body.  I still didn’t do any pushups/chest work, and I used lighter weights than normal.  My shoulder is feeling better so I think I made the right decisions.  Another observation I made after taking 7 days of rest was that it took my body a few days to “adjust” being back into things.  I wasn’t as gung-ho and excited as I thought I would be?  Either way, here’s what last week looked like:

Sunday:  Headed to the Y and did 40 minutes on the elliptical, 3 rounds of Tina’s lower body burner, and 2 rounds of Best Body Bootcamp core work

MondayAt home workout!  Did two rounds of the same jump rope & core workout I did a couple of weeks ago.  I also added in some light upper body exercises to strengthen my shoulder and lots of stretching.

15 minute jump rope & ab circuit

Tuesday:  Taught my class with a mini circuits theme.  Each “round” consisted of one cardio move, one compound strength move, and one core move.  The entire class incorporated stability ball exercises, until the end when I had everyone finish with partner work.

Wednesday:  Was the first warm spring day in a while!  I was craving fun colors and being outside.  I threw on my new Reebok t-shirt and blue capris and went for a light run around the neighborhood.  My run ended up being around 2.5 miles, but it really was a very light jog – my legs were very sore from the beginning of the week!

Reebok Tee

Thursday:  Taught my Circuit class with a 3-2-1 style total body workout.

3-2-1 Style Interval Workout

Friday:  Off day.  I went for another sports massage on Thursday night (I might be addicted now), and my massage therapist did a TON of trigger point work on my back, neck, and shoulders.  She said I would be sore the next day and recommended not working out.  So I didn’t.  I went out for pizza instead.  🙂

Saturday:  Lots of walking, exploring, hiking, etc. in New Hampshire!

North Conway - Boulder Loop Trail

This Week’s Workouts

Here’s the plan (at least for now!) for this week:

  • Sunday:  More walking around NH – my legs are sore!
  • Monday:  I am SO excited for my workout tonight.  I was invited to try a class at The Studio Empower in Newton with trainer Sebastian Lagree.  I’ve never done a workout on machines like the Megaformer M3’s, so I’m excited to try something different.
  • Tuesday:  Two A Day is up in the air depending on how my shoulder is feeling.  I may try to give it one more week before returning, but I’ll definitely be there next week for Cinco De Mayo theme classes!  Either way, I’ll be teaching my interval class at 7:30.
  • Wednesday:  I took a half vacation day for Jillian Michaels, so I am going to try to do a quick cardio session after I leave work.  If not, then it will be a rest day.
  • Thursday:  Teaching my interval class.
  • Friday:  Off or TBD
  • Saturday:  Off or TBD, depending if I do a workout on Friday.

How did last week’s workouts go for you?  What’s in store for this week?  Anyone taking advantage of the nicer weather for their workouts?  Has anyone done a Pilates workout on the Megaformers before?

I’ll be back later today with my weekly food post… see you then!