January Foodie Penpals

I’m finally back in the game for Foodie Penpals! It’s been months since I was able to participate in the penpal program, but I’m excited to reveal this month’s package!

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First a little info about this fun Penpal program:

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-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 treatsThe spending limit is $15The 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 & European 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!

This month I was paired up with Megan from The Lyons Share Wellness! I was really excited when I opened her package!

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She sent me lots of goodies including: 

Chocolove: Cherries & Alomonds in Dark Chocolate

Flavrz Drink Mixes

 

Justin’s Nut Butter…….I had never tried these, and now I need to find a way to get my hands on more! So good!

Perfect fit Protein Cookie

Peeled Snacks dried apple slices

Near East Whole Grain Couscous……Easy to make in the microwave after work!

Oatmega Bar, Kind, Larabar, and a Garukabar

-Veggie Wash Spray…….Very convenient!

Thank you, Megan, for another great month of Foodie Penpals! I loved everything in this month’s package!

 

Bestowed Box {1/14}

Happy Monday! How did ya’ll start your week? I started mine with a good breakfast and a strength workout.

DSC_1205I had two whole grain Nutrigrain Waffles and some mixed frozen fruit.

And one of my favorite coffees!

DSC_1206Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee has been my new favorite way to begin the mornings. I think it is funny that we are in mid-January and I’m still loving anything pumpkin I can get my hands on! I guess I didn’t get enough of it during the fall months?

For my strength workout I completed this simple circuit:

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I also warmed up with 10 minutes on the elliptical.

After my workout, I refueled with a Peach Chobani with a little granola.

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While I ate my yogurt, I finished Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent series, and I plan on starting the last of the books tomorrow. I’m having a bit of a hard time with these books. I’m emotionally attached to the characters, so I start to feel as if I’m in the book, but that’s one of the things I love about reading!

Anyway, after I finished the book, I met up with my friends in the caf for lunch. I had a small bowl of clam chowder with a couple crackers crumbled on top.

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It was alright. To be honest, I prefer the Progresso version over whatever this kind was.

After lunch, I checked my mail(and I had a package that I’ll share in a bit), and stopped by the campus Starbucks for an iced Passion tea.

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And then I made a quick trip to Wal-mart to buy the components I’ll need for my uniform at my new job! Ahh! I’m so excited! When I returned from the store, I watched Ellen while I tried out one of my Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Cookies.

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They were good. Much better choice than the other cookie options out there.

Then dinner was another salad, but no picture. It was basically the same as last nights, but with diced boiled egg for some protein. I had a some reading to do for homework, so I decided that I would have a little ice cream to fuel my studying.

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And remember those reusable baking cups I was sent last month to review? Well, they are also great for portioning out ice cream. This was my new favorite by Blue Bunny: No Sugar Added Bunny Tracks! MmmmMmmMmm!!

And that package I mentioned earlier? I finally renewed my Bestowed box Subscription, and I received my  January box today!

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I can’t wait to try all the goodies in this months box! Everything looks fantastic!

Now I’m sitting down to watch X-Men Origins while snacking on some toast. Catcha later gaters! 😉

 

 

New Job

Looks like a forgot about my blog this past week! Oops!

Anyway, today seemed to be a busy Sunday, with a few exciting things happening!

I started out with some Quaker  Low Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal with MaraNatha almond butter and grapefruit for breakfast.

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And coffee.

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We went to the 9:30 service at church this morning, and we went to college group afterward. After church, we were all really excited for IHop.

I ordered the Simple & Fit 2-egg Breakfast. It came with scrambled egg substitute, 2 slices of turkey bacon, dry wheat toast, and a side of seasonal fruit. I really like the Simple & Fit options at Ihop. I have tried several different items from this portion of the menu, and have not been disappointed.

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After lunch we headed back to campus, and I got ready for a job interview! I have been looking for a job since we returned to school, and I recently was scheduled an interview to be a server at a local restaurant. I was really excited, but also extremely nervous at the same time. One of my best friends put together my interview attire today. I think she did a nice job, don’t you?

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And……..I GOT THE JOB!! I start training in the coming week. I’m am truly looking forward to yet another new adventure in my life!

After I returned from the interview, I had some apple slices.

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I then decided to round out a productive day with a short workout. I jumped on the elliptical for a short 30 minutes, and completed a mile within that time span.

I was still really hungry after my workout so I made the best version of a quesadilla when all you have is a microwave.

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I used a whole wheat Mission Tortilla, and a Weight Watchers pepper jack cheese stick. It was decent. I also had another cheese stick on the side.

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A while later, I met up with my friends in the caf. I made a simple salad at our salad bar. It contained romaine, grape tomatoes, carrots, olives, shredded cheese, red & green bell peppers, croutons, and Italian dressing.

 

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I also couldn’t resist grabbing a few fries to have with my salad. Everything in moderation!

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Now we are sitting down to a game of Quelf(has anyone else played this? SO MUCH FUN!), and planning on watching She’s the Man. Talk to ya’ll later!

So I Think I Can Dance?

How has everyone’s weekend been? Mines been busier than I expected, but it’s also been a lot of fun.
I started out my Saturday morning with a good bowl of oatmeal.

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It was one package of cinnamon swirl oatmeal, green tea leaves(from one if my Bestowed boxes), a banana, and a scoop of almond butter. It had been a while since I had oatmeal, and it really hit the spot.
After I let my breakfast settle, I ran 5 miles on the treadmill while I had laundry going in the dryer. BTW, I hate doing laundry, especially at school!
After my run, I showered and made some lunch.

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Egg whites with salsa, and Taiwanese rice cakes.
After lunch, my roommate and I made a Wal-Mart run before watching a couple movies with our friends.
We headed to the caf for dinner. I had some kind of seasoned chicken, cooked carrots, and Mexican rice.

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The caf food is really hit or miss, but last night it was pretty decent.

After dinner we had decided to try out a ballroom dance class. One of my friends teaches it, and I had been telling her I would come for a while. Confession: I can’t dance. At all. I was really nervous going Into the class, but I ended up really enjoying it! We learned basic steps of the Waltz, Tango, and Cha-Cha. I’m really looking forward to attending more classes. I’m glad I tried something new!
The rest of the weekend was filled with fun with friends before we head back into the school week. Hope everyone had a fun weekend.

Momentum Challenge

About a month ago an organization called HealthCorps reached out to me. They are a non-profit organization that is fighting childhood obesity. This movement was originally founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife, Lisa, in 2003.

When the organization first contacted me, they had asked me to test out their free iOS app, Momentum Challenge. I downloaded it a couple weeks ago, and I have really enjoyed playing around with it.

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You can login using E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. You can also connect to friends and followers through these forms of social media.

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When you login it takes you to your newsfeed, and shows your recent accomplishments and that of your friends.

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Based on the challenges you have completed, your profile with display a ranking and overall points. You receive points through daily challenges.

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Each day has a specific challenge.

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And then you can choose your Daily 5 from a long list of different nutritional, physical, and mental challenges. Point rewards can range anywhere from 5-20 points.

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And the more points you earn and progress you make, you can earn badges. I don’t have very many as of now, but I’m working on it. 😉

I strongly suggest downloading this app. It gives simple, manageable challenges for each day to help you improve your health one step at a time. This is a great app to download for your kids also because it gives them a chance to earn points as added motivation to make healthy choices. It’s time to fight childhood obesity!

Tired Muscles

Oh boy, am I sore! Swim practices are really getting to me! I have now realized how out of shape I am in the water. As much as my body wants to skip out halfway through practice, I force my mind to remind myself that I can do this; I am STRONG enough! This applies to the challenge of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as many other things in life.

Before heading to practice I fueled up with an apple.

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We had a killer set today:                  Total Yards: 3600

-10×100 Free

-6×100 Pull

-8×50 kick

-4×25 Underwater

-12×100 Free/Stroke/Speed

-8×25 No Breath

-100 Cooldown

 

I had to be super speedy getting ready this morning, and I needed quick protein before class. I mixed Blue Diamond Almond Milk with a half scoop of chocolate protein powder.

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It gave me a fast form of recovery fuel, but I was still very hungry for real food. Unfortunately, I only had enough time to race to class.

After class, my only thought went to food! I went back to my dorm room and prepared egg whites topped with salsa, and some frozen berries.

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I didn’t take a picture of lunch, but I had a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mustard, and an apple on the side. After lunch I worked on some homework, and read more of Divergent(I cannot put the book down!). I then went down to the “home” gym we have in my dorm, and did 15 minutes on the elliptical, and 15 minutes on the treadmill. I covered about two miles with both of the machines combined.

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I also received a special treat from my Secret Sister. My friends and I started a Secret Sister  thing together, and we get a new one each semester. Mine left me a note that read, “Have yourself a merry little J-term.”, and left a tube of mini Reese’s. Whoever it is, thank you!

After my run, I was craving carbs and salt so I had some Multigrain Club crackers.

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About an two hours and several chapters of my book later, we all met up for dinner in the caf. Still no picture, but I made a simple salad, and I had a banana on the side.

After dinner we met up with a group from church, and played board games while drinking hot chocolate. It was a fun way to end the day.

I just got back, and as I write up this post I am trying one of my Sun Cups.

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They look identical to Reese’s, but with a distinct sunflower seed taste. I enjoyed them.

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I think its time to read more of my book! Seriously, read Divergent before the movie comes out!

J-term Begins

With the new year comes a new semester of school. At my college, all freshman are required to take J-term. J-term is a 3 week mini semester where we can take one class. I chose to take Christian Worldview, and I’m excited to see what I learn from this course!
Along with the start of J-term comes with more swim practices! My day began at 6:00 this morning when I jumped out of bed to get ready for the first swim practice of the year! After I wrestled with my swim suit, I quickly ate a Nutrigrain waffle before heading to the pool!

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I swam for an hour this morning following this set for 2100 yards:
-10×100 Free/Stroke/IM
-2×25 underwater
-300 Pull
-2×25 underwater
-10×50 Kick
-4×25 underwater
-100 cool down

After completing the set, I quickly got ready in the locker room. My class is at 9 AM, and so I was rushing in fear of being late. On my way to class I ate an individual package of trail mix.

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After class I was still hungry, so I went back to my room and made some egg whites.

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My class is only an hour each day, and aside from that and swim practice, I have a ton of free-time. My goal is to look for a job during this time. I need a job, so I might as well start the search when I don’t have much else to do!

After a few hours of trying to keep myself busy, I met my friends in the caf for lunch. No picture, but I was in the mood for cereal. I made myself a bowl of Cheerios with skim milk and a banana.
After a quick Wal-Mart run, I decided to do 30 minutes on the elliptical. And then I refueled with chocolate.

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I love these Unreal candies! All in moderation right?

I got my reading done for class tomorrow, and then a few friends and I walked over to Braums for dinner. I wasn’t interested in any of the typical greasy burgers or chicken on the menu. I decided on the Fruit & Yogurt Swirl.

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It contains plain yogurt, strawberries, banana, and chopped nuts. It was a good simple dinner.
Now we are sitting down to watch Dirty Dancing. I hope to get in bed by a decent time since tomorrow begins with another early swim practice. Talk to y’all tomorrow.

New York Baking Company Review

The New York Baking Company recently reached out to me to review one of their products. They asked if I would be willing to test their Silicone Baking Cups by Rizzi, and of course I said yes! These awesome baking cups are made of silicone, non-stick, and BPA free! They retail for a price of $8.95, and can be found on Amazon.

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I decided to make Krusteaz Cinnamon Swirl Mix. I quickly mixed up the batter, and poured them into the baking cups. After they were done baking, I let them cool before testing the non-stick claim.

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I was really excited to see if the muffins would come out easily. I have tried similar baking cups that did not uphold to their claims.

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However, these did not stick at all! They came out perfectly! I was so impressed with how easily they slipped out of the baking cups! I highly recommend these baking cups because they make baking easier, and are reusable! Thank you Rizzi for letting me review this awesome product!

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Disclaimer: The New York Baking Company provided me with this product in order to review it. All honest opinions are my own. 

A Movie Bet

I’m not a fan of snow. Call me crazy, but I don’t like this weather. As I said in my previous post, today is the day we were supposed to head back to school. However, we are snowed in, but should be able to get on the road tomorrow.

Anyways, due to our snow day, we decided to have some fun with it and sang a little karaoke, played Wii Sports, watched the remainder of the X-Men series, etc.
We have been watching a lot of movies this week for a reason! A friend and I made a bet on which one of us could watch more movies in the year 2014. I have an on going list….

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We will see who wins, but my bet is on me!
For dinner we had hamburgers. However, what do you do when you are out of burger buns? Put all the burger fixings in a tortilla!

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I topped my “burger” with tomato, lettuce, cheese, mustard, and ketchup. We also had some sweet potato waffle fries on the side. Yummy dinner!
We ended the day with more virgin piña coladas.

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Please pray for safe travels for us tomorrow as we head back to school. I’ve got a special post for y’all tomorrow! G’night!

Chocolate Gravy? Yes, Please!

How is this Saturday treating everyone? Mine began when I slept way later than usual, and had a delicious breakfast! Today my friend introduced me to chocolate gravy! What? Chocolate gravy? Yes! It’s like dessert for breakfast!

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We ate the chocolate gravy on biscuits with scrambled eggs and bacon! So good! Who says every meal has to be healthy?
Since this meal was technically lunch( we ate at noon), we sat down to watch Taken! This was my first time watching it, and it was soooo intense! I was on the edge of my seat!
Several hours later, we had homemade tacos!

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Topped with taco meat, lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and salsa. There was also a lot of chips and 7-layer dip!

I think it’s time for me to get back to my healthy eating and daily workouts. These past three weeks have been great, but I’m definitely ready to get back to the norm. We head back to school tomorrow! As weird as it may be, I’m kind of excited! Time to pack up, ad probably watch another movie before turning in! Talk to y’all when I get back to school!