Sunday Meal Planning and Foodie Pen Pal!

Sunday Meal Planning and Foodie Pen Pal!

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Thankful Thursday and Foodie Pen Pal

Thankful Thursday and Foodie Pen Pal

Happy Thursday!

We had a fun day yesterday morning at ArtBeast in Downtown Sacramento.  It’s a super cute little art studio type place where you pay for your child to basically explore their artistic abilities.  One floor has tons of different arts and crafts stations.  One floor is all dress up.  One floor has a gymnastics room and equipment for them to explore.  They also have an outdoor play area and several different classes.  The Love Nugget of coarse LOVED it!  He ran around like a crazy man though moving from easel to table back to easel and finally the kitchen room where he played most the time.

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Double fisted painting!

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Obsessed with taking the cap off and on

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The Love Nugget and Keenan playing with the light table.

What made it even more fun was that we met up with Melissa and her son Keenan.  Melissa has a wonderful blog called Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy and I highly recommend checking it out!

 

We had such a fun morning but unfortunately the afternoon was not as great.  The Love Nugget decided he did not want to nap any more than the 10 minutes he did in the car so that made for a long afternoon.  I had hoped to get some cleaning and baking done but… that didn’t happen.  On top of that we spent a lot of time sitting in the bathroom while he read book after book.  It’s become his favorite potty time activity which after reading up on a few potty training tricks last night, is going to stop soon.  Anyway, it was one of those days where I just felt overwhelmed with household chores and taking care of The Love Nugget.  It happens, I get that but I haven’t quite figured out how to deal with it.  When The Hubby got home I had a little breakdown listing off all the reasons I was frustrated.  The wonderful husband that he is, saw that I needed a break and quickly got to work helping me finish putting away laundry, straighten up, then took The Love Nugget down to play so I could check some emails and catch up on blogging.  Love that man so much!  Thankfully, today is shaping up to be a better day already!

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Riding on his four wheeler!

Speaking of today, I’m linking up with Jessie at Jessie Loves to Run for Thankful Thursday as well as Lindsey at The Lean Green Bean for Foodie Pen Pal Reveal.

 

FPP post Foodie Penpals

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The two are going hand in hand today since I’m Thankful for this wonderful program that Lindsey has put together.

I started participating in Foodie Pen Pal in August of last year and love joining in every month.  Here’s a little about the program,

Here’s just a little information on the program but you can read all the details here.

  • 5th of the month, you will receive your pen pal pairing via email. You will send a package to someone different from whom you receive.
  • Your package is 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.
  • 15th of the month, you put your box of goodies in the mail.
  • Last day of the month, reveal the Foodie Penpal package you received in a post!
  • Open to bloggers and blog readers.

It’s been so fun to not only get a package every month, but to put together a few of my favorite things and send them to someone else.  I’ve been pretty thankful that I’ve gotten some great packages from some awesome Foodie Pen Pals!

Here’s just a few photo’s of things I’ve received,

August

September

October

Awesome packages full of goodies!

This month was no different!  I was paired with Kelsey who lives in Northern Minnesota.   She was so sweet to find so many gluten-free treats that I could enjoy while continuing my Paleo challenge.

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When the box arrived, I was so excited because I had salmon to make for dinner and the balsamic dill sounded like the perfect sauce for it.  AND… it was delicious!

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The Love Nugget enjoyed the Blackberry sauce the next morning mixed in with his Greek Yogurt.  Wish I could have as well but still no dairy for me 🙁  I’m thinking this sauce would be good stirred into a little champagne though…

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I’m a huge fan of hemp hearts so seeing this little package in my box made me happy!  I love to sprinkle them on smoothies, bake with them, add them to salads, you name it, I love it!

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The hot chocolate and the tea were enjoyed while in Tahoe which was the perfect thing to have while in the snow!  Oh and can you believe I’ve never had Nutella!?!  So I was excited to see a small pack that I could sample before purchasing a full size.  I’ll be popping it open when my Paleo Challenge is over!

I definitely recommend trying out Foodie Pen Pals!  It’s so much fun to share things you love with others and get some fun treats in the mail!  I mean, who doesn’t love packages?  Especially when they are filled with goodies!

QUESTIONS –

  • Have you ever just a had one of those days?
  • Do you participate in Foodie Pen Pal?  If so, what did you get this month?

What I Ate Wednesday + Two Tasty Recipes!

Good morning!

It’s Wednesday which  means I’ll be linking up with Jenn for another round of What I ate Wednesday. 

Peas and Crayons

I was much better at taking pictures of my eats yesterday so this should be fun!  Plus, I’ve got a yummy recipe for you guys! 

Yesterday’s morning I was up early and headed to the gym drinking a Fitmixer aminos on the way and while I was there.  I seriously love this stuff and was beyond sad when our supply ran out.  Not only was I missing the yummy flavor and energy burst it give you, but my muscles were much more sore than they had been after a few days of exercise without it.  I’m telling you, this stuff works! 

After the gym, I came home, showered, and whipped up a warm homemade pumpkin spice latte. 

So easy and it tasted just like the higher calorie Starbucks version.  Okay, probably not JUST like it, but very close! 

Pumpkin Pie Latte

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

1 tbsp pumpkin puree

1 packet of stevia

1/2 – 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup of dark blend hot coffee (I used Starbucks Sumatra blend)

In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat.  Add in the pumpkin puree, stevia and pumpkin pie spice.  Whisk until combined well and the mixture is warm and bubbly.  Pour into your mug of hot coffee and enjoy! 

For breakfast I popped a frozen flaxseed waffle into the toaster and mixed up some greek yogurt, almond butter, and protein powder.  I spread that over my waffle then topped it with a few thinly sliced apples and cinnamon.  Yum! 

We had plans to meet a friend at the Fountains to play so we were rushing out the door after breakfast.  I didn’t grab a snack for myself but did have time to run into Peet’s and order a Peppermint Mocha with soy 🙂 

I enjoyed my Mocha, while the Love Nugget played with his friend Keenan at Me Gusta and I visited with Keenan’s mom Melissa.  She has a wonderful blog called Fit ‘N’ Well Mommy and if you haven’t checked it out yet make sure you do, it’s great! 

After playing at Me Gusta, we took a little train ride which is always a hit with the boys 🙂

It was getting late and the Love Nugget was fading so I ran into Whole Foods to grab him some lunch before heading home.  Unfortunately he wasn’t really having it so we packed it up and made our way back home for nap time. 

While he napped, I made myself a simple lunch of Toast smeared with goat cheese and avocado along with celery and sugar-plum tomatoes.  Love that combo! 

It’s time for Foodie Pen Pal so I needed to make a batch of granola to send in my package. 

This is the recipe I wanted to share with you.  So tasty and extremely quick and easy to make! 

So good that I may have snacked on WAY too much of this after it came out of the oven and as I snapped photos of it.  Ooops! 

Luckily I had made extra just in case that happened 🙂

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

1 1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1/4 cup coconut (optional but I love it!)

2 tbsp Almond Butter (I used Maranatha all natural)

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand until combined well and the mixture is clumpy.  Scoop onto a baking sheet and pack down into a large, flat, pile.  I like to do it this way rather than spread it out so that the granola bakes in chunks rather than smaller pieces.  Bake for 10-12 minute flipping halfway through.  when you flip try not to break it apart too much.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before gobbling it up!  Enjoy!

Dinner last night was supposed to be Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie but I switched things up since I had purchased Tilapia at the store that day.  I made this Tilapia recipe and topped it with an apricot dijon sauce.  We also enjoyed some steamed carrots tossed with a little coconut butter, honey and sea salt.  It was tasty! 

 Sorry!  Horrible lighting in our dining room! 

After dinner I fixed a mug of my newest tea obsession.

If you like Sleepytime tea, and vanilla, you’ve got to try this!  So good! 

Later, the hubby and I shared this bowl of deliciousness.   

Non-fat greek yogurt mixed with a tbsp of almond butter, honey, cinnamon, chopped apples and topped with hemp seeds.  Perfect way to end the day! 

 Okay, off to start the day today!  Hoping the Love Nugget will want to go to the gym today so I can take Spin and Piyo.  Wish me luck! 

QUESTIONS –

  • Do you make your own granola?
  • What’s one yummy thing you ate yesterday?

October Foodie Pen Pal

Happy Halloween!

We’ve had a busy week already!  Good thing it’s half-way over!  The past two mornings we spent some time at the car dealership waiting for my car to be fixed.  So it was rush, rush out the door and breakfast on the road.  Today it was nice to have a little breakfast at home but not much since we are headed to Stroller Strides for a special Halloween class!  Fun!

The Love Nugget will be dressed up in his “Mini marathoner” outfit.  Fun!  That will probably be the extent of our Halloween activities for this year.  The Love Nugget is at a funky age where he’s too young to take trick-or-treating (in my opinion) and we are being bah humbug with trick-or-treators at our house.  I mentioned it before but we just don’t live in a neighborhood with a lot of young kids and it’s usually teenagers who aren’t dressed up who come to our door.  I know, we are like the Grinches of Halloween!  Next year will be much more fun since the Nugget will understand it more and maybe we will have moved to a new neighborhood 🙂

So, on to something fun!  Today I’m finally getting to share something I’ve been wanting to since it came in the mail.  My foodie pen pal box!

FPP post Foodie Penpals

I love this program and enjoy not only receiving a box full of goodies from someone, but sending a box as well. This is my third month of participation in Foodie Pen Pal and if your interested in the previous two reviews you can check them out here and here.

This program is really fun and is organized by the amazing Lindsey over at The Lean Green Bean.  Thanks Lindsey for putting together such a fun way to try out new foods and get to meet new folks!

This month I was paired up with Joy who lives in a small town in Oregon.  She makes the most adorable hair clips over at Lucky Cupcake.  Make sure to stop by and check out her craftiness!

She took a lot of time and consideration into putting my box together.  When she asked what types of foods I liked, I mentioned that I love chocolate, healthy foods and trying new products from different locations.  She did such a great job of finding some fun products that I really enjoyed!

My box was filled with yummy, local, healthy treats.

A new to me bottle of Raspberry Wine.  Sounds delicious and I think I’ll try it out mixed with a little sparkling wine.  Maybe a holiday cocktail?  Yum!  There was also a yummy jar of local seedless blackberry jam that the Love Nugget and I enjoyed with some almond butter.  The hands down best bread I think I’ve ever had was in the box too.  Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Bread!  Holy goodness!  The hubby and I ate this with some pumpkin butter from Apple Hill.  So good!  However, I’d have to say my favorite (the hubby’s too) thing in this amazing box of goodies were these adorable little chocolates.

Seriously they were almost too good to eat!  But… that would defeat their purpose so of coarse we had to eat them!  Oh wow were they good!  I was a little saddened once they were gone because I wanted more but then we stumbled upon them at a new sweet shop in Roseville!  Yay!

Here’s just a little information on the program but you can read all the details here.

  • 5th of the month, you will receive your pen pal pairing via email. You will send a package to someone different from whom you receive.
  • Your package is 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.
  • 15th of the month, you put your box of goodies in the mail.
  • Last day of the month, reveal the Foodie Penpal package you received in a post!
  • Open to bloggers and blog readers.

Seriously check it out peeps!  Sign ups for next month are going on now and it’s super fun!

Well, we are off to enjoy some Halloween fun today!  Hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Questions

  • Are you dressing up for Halloween?
  • Do you participate in Foodie Pen Pal?  If so, do you like it? 

September Foodie Pen Pal

Happy Monday!

I know I promised more of a weekend recap that last nights “date night” post but… I have something much more important to discuss first.

FPP post Foodie Penpals

Last months Foodie Pen Pal review!  In case you missed it, in August, I joined an awesome free pen pal group over at The Lean Green Bean.  It’s a really neat program that Lindsay organizes and hosts for anyone who wants to join.  Thanks Lindsay for organizing and hosting!

Here’s a few details about the program:

  • 5th of the month, you will receive your pen pal pairing via email. You will send a package to someone different from whom you receive.
  • Your package is 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.
  • 15th of the month, you put your box of goodies in the mail.
  • Last day of the month, reveal the Foodie Penpal package you received in a post!
  • Open to bloggers and blog readers.

For more info check out The Lean Green Bean.

This month I was paired up with Stephanie who just happened to live just 30 minutes away in a neighboring town.  Since she is a native Californian, she decided to send me something that is made in abundance here and that I love 🙂

Wine!  That’s right, my foodie pen pal sent me not one, but two bottles of wine!  I was beyond thrilled to receive such a fun package.  Stephanie browsed my blog a little and noticed that I was a fan of vino so she decided to send me a package of something she knew I would for sure enjoy.  One of her favorite wineries is Tobin James in Paso Robles so she chose a unique drink called a Tobentini which is 3 parts of Dream Weaver (their sparkling) and on part Liquid Love (a late harvest Zinfandel).  Stephanie emailed me and without revealing what it was, told me to be expecting my package the next day.  So I was home when the post man knocked on my door with a dripping box.   Oh no!  I signed for it not sure of exactly what to do.  Unfortunately, the bottle of Late Harvest had shattered during shipment.  Still, I was excited to have a bottle of sparkling to taste!  I emailed Stephanie to thank her and mentioned the broken bottle.  She got right back to me and said she was contacting the winery.  Within an hour she emailed me again and said they were sending another bottle!  She is so awesome!  I was even more surprised when it arrived two days later.  Talk about speedy delivery!  Can’t wait to see what next month brings me!

I’m linking up with the monthly Foodie Pen Pal Crew over at The Lean Green Bean 🙂

August Foodie Pen Pal

Happy Fitness Friday!

Happy Labor Day weekend to you all as well!  Any fun plans?  We have a few things planned but pretty low key.  A birthday party Saturday, a visit to see my grandparents Sunday then finish painting the guest room on Monday.  I’m sure the weekend will fly by!

This week for workouts, I had hoped to do more but between the stitches coming out and my needy little guy, it just didn’t happen.  Here’s what my week consisted of.

Monday – Nike Fitness app workout and 45 minute elliptical

Tuesday – Boot Camp

Wednesday – 30 minute elliptical and abs

Thursday – Ran outside 5 miles

Friday – Killer Kardio workout.  (See below)

Source

I have been dying to try this Killer Kardio workout since pinning it on Pinterest.  I got all my stuff ready last night and set my alarm for bright and early so I could head to the gym and try it today.  I woke up a few times last night thinking I had missed my alarm.  I was really excited to try this one and it was a good one!  I added a 5 minute warm up jog at the beginning but other than that I followed it exactly.  I left drenched in sweat and feeling great!

While I loved this mornings workout, my favorite this week was the boot camp class I took on Tuesday.  Sometimes her classes can be too slow for me but this particular class was an awesome fast paced circuit with some added outdoor running!  Awesome!

So last month I joined the coolest thing ever!  It’s called Foodie Pen Pal and it was created by Lindsey over at the The Lean Green Bean.  It’s a super fun program that matches you up with a foodie pen pal each month.  You send a goodie box to a pen pal and you get a box of goodies in return!  How cool is that!

foodiepal stamp2 August Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Here’s a few details about the program:

  • 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. You will send a package to someone different from from whom you receive.
  • Your package is 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.
  • 15th of the month, you put your box of goodies in the mail.
  • Last day of the month, reveal the Foodie Penpal package you received in a post!
  • Open to bloggers and blog readers.

For more info check out The Lean Green Bean.

This month I got a wonderful box of goodies from my foodie pen pal Catherine!

So many good things that I love!  A bag of Flaxseed meal, a jar of ground cinnamon, a new to me dark chocolate bar and a jar of my favorite nut butter, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter!

She also included a recipe for Pumpkin Cookies that I can’t wait to try!

Being a foodie pen pal was so much fun and I’ve already signed up for September!

QUESTIONS – What was your favorite workout this week?  Have you participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program before?

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