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Archive for April, 2012

I’ m not usually too forgetful but today I definitely was. I got up to go to the gym at 5am and had a great workout. I came back showered, ate my oatmeal and rushed out the door to get to work. I got to work and as I started to walk up the stairs reality hit me. I forgot my laptop at home. Flash forward to 5 minutes later as I was back in my car and driving 30 minutes back home. I’m working at home now since there was no way I was driving back again. Ugh is all I have to say. I had a ton of work to do and it’s so much harder to do on a small screen.

But in better news I get to reveal my Foodie Penpal box for April. I got paired with the lovely Maureen over at Organically Mo. She sent me a box of lots of goodies including a ton of new to me things that I’m super excited to use. Also check out Amy and what she thinks about what I sent her.

Here’s the great things I got from Maureen.

Lemons – I LOVE lemons and these ones were nice and juicy just like I like them. I definitely used these in some dishes already.

Chocolate Soap – It smells so good. I haven’t had the chance to use it yet but am VERY excited to try it.

Justin’s Dark Chocolate PB Cups – SCORE! I’ve tried the regular chocolate ones and was thrilled to see these bad boys in here. Get in my belly!

Applewood Smoked Salt – I haven’t had the chance to try this yet but am planning something soon. I promise this smells SO good. My co-workers were commenting on how strong and delish this smelled.

Amazing Grass – I’ve been wanting to try this FOREVER and haven’t ever picked any up. So this was a great treat that I’m excited to try.

Trader Joe’s Fruit Bar – These are usually always in my drawer or bars and stuff. My fabulous penpal must have been reading my mind or looking in my drawer because I was fresh out of these. Yum!

Lemon Lavender Cookies – These were made with Almond Meal and I must admit I loved the texture. I’ll need to bake with that soon. I can’t say I’m sold a 100% on the flavor. I would have liked to taste a little more lemon and less lavender.

If the great box I got doesn’t convince you. You can check it out for yourself.

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 & UK 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!

***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

To participate, just click here and fill out the participation form. It must be completed by May 4th to participate in May.

 

 

 

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Last night we had dinner plans at one of my favorite places – Pluto’s. It’s not fancy or extravagant. You can get great food for less than $10 a person. Did I mention they have the BEST design your own salad areas EVER. You pretty much pick your greens (mixed, iceberg or spinach), meat if you want it (chicken, tri tip, turkey, etc.) and then you get to pick 8 toppings. Yes you read that correctly – 8 toppings! They have everything pretty much under the sun that you may want to add to your salad. Look at this bad boy I got.

Before, After and Curly Fries - YUM!

Oh and did I mention that is the side salad that costs like $5. That side salad was enough for like 2 of my normal salads. I’ve never ordered the full salad I wonder if they serve it in a wheel barrel. So good – everything is fresh and their vinaigrette are tasty. I went with the Gorgonzola vinaigrette tonight and may or may not have had quite a few of these garlic curly fries. Oops.

After a great dinner we walked over to Golden Gate Park where we went to the Academy of Science. I really enjoy the Academy of Science. I’ve been here so many times but still love going and walking through the exhibits.I was never super into science in school and took the bare minimum I needed to. I guess I like things better when they aren’t forced upon me. Must be my rebellious side coming out.

Scenes from the night.

I will say watching them get an ostrich ready for taxidermy last night was cool but at the same time gross. FYI – all animals are donated (already dead) to the place they don’t go out and kill them. They have many cool exhibits like the aquarium (my favorite) and lots of info on conservation and stuff. If you’re ever in SF I definitely recommend it. If you can make it to Night Life, held on Thursday evenings for the 21+ age group its a great way to go without the crowds of kids and you can score some adult beverages and live DJs while you wander around.

Great Thursday night. Now to a few things I’m loving on Pinterest because it’s Pinterest Friday of course!

Not Sure If I would Wet My Pants of Not Adventure

Includes All my Favorites in One Dish Recipe

Source: thesepeasarehollow.blogspot.com via Megan on Pinterest

Must Try for my Next Party

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This week has been a week of busy, busyness. I feel like I’ve been on the go for weeks and it’s only Wednesday. At least hump day means the weekend is just around the corner.

I was at Trader Joe’s and Safeway today because our house was in desperate need of some replenishing. We were scary low on everything. I’ve been eating spinach and carrots to get my veggies in because we were fresh out of EVERYTHING. It was a sad site in our fridge and cabinets.

Have no fear we are now busting at the seams. I couldn’t even fit all the produce I bought in the drawers of the fridge. I assure you that is a good problem to have. When I shop I can’t help but look at what others put in their carts, I’m curious. I always wonder how people come to buy what they buy.

When I go to the grocery store I almost always have a list, mentally or physically. I also have a plan on where to start and so forth so I only have to make one sweep around the store. I tend to stick to the perimeter of the store except for things like beans, pasta, oats and frozen fruit. I’m generally very prepared when I do my big shopping trips. Smaller trips I tend to mosey around and look at new stuff. I like to get in and out most days. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the grocery store but if you’ve ever shopped in a San Francisco store you know how busy and crowded they can be.

I had a friend ask me what I buy when I go to the store. I’m pretty boring and stick to meals that include the same things and always have some basics on hand. On any given shopping list here are some of the things that are normally on it depending on the season for the produce.

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Bread/Wraps
  • Beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, etc.)
  • Veggies (lettuce, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc.)
  • Fruit (Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Strawberries, Grapes)
  • Sliced turkey (from deli)
  • Cheese (sliced, shredded and string cheese)
  • Peanut Butter/Almond Butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Chicken
  • Grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.)
  • Sliced almonds
  • Ground Turkey

While that isn’t an all inclusive list its what usually rotates on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. My kitchen always has at least one of each of these if not multiple.

From now on my kitchen will also have these two finds from Trader Joe’s. OMG – so good. Buy them and eat them. I promise you won’t regret it.

There may have been one ten of these bad boys going on. Yum.

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I’m excited it’s Friday for a variety of reasons. You’ll be happy to know I finally dragged myself out of my bed and made it to spin in the AM. I feel great. Almost as great as when I discovered I had a PB jar that was perfect for some oats in a jar. SCORE! Top that with a nice cup of coffee and I had myself a fantastic little Friday morning.Here are some things I’ve been obsessing over all week. See a theme – they are all kind of summery. I’m ready for the summer – bring it on! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend; I’m off to start mine!

Impractical Shoe Find of the Week

 

Love this table runner x billion.

 

I’ve been loving zucchini lately. Stocking up on it at TJ’s to make this.

 

Somewhat practical shoe find of the week.

 

I want to try this!

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I woke up today feeling like it was Friday – I literally could feel the weekend at my fingertips. Then I got to work and looked at the calendar and nearly lost all my composure. It’s only Thursday. Does anyone else do this? It really has me in a funk today because I still have another day of work. Boo!

I’m looking forward to warm weather, a pool, BBQ, breakfast with friends, and maybe a glass of wine enjoyed poolside. I wish I got summer breaks like in school so I could do this every day. Too bad I have a big girl job and my warm weather lounging is cut down to two days.

Since I’m kind of in a funk due to my realization that I think I’m living in the future I thought I’d share a tasty treat I made this weekend. I’ve made black bean brownies in the past and I LOVE them. I love that you can cut the fat and up the fiber and protein by adding beans instead. I saw a variation of this recipe and knew I HAD to try it. I ran these by my mom, and Darren and they both approved.

Next time I want to cut out the flour and use almond/peanut butter instead to cut even more calories.

Chocolate Chickpea Cookie Bars

Pardon the blur. I was so excited they actually worked.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light margarine
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas , drained, rinsed, and pureed
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking dish till coated.
  2. Mix brown sugar and margarine till smooth. Add in egg whites and vanilla, then add chickpeas and chocolate chips.
  3. Toss together flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add to other mixture.
  4. Pour mixture into baking dish and spread evenly.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on oven).
  6. Take out and let cool.
  7. Slice and enjoy.

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Killer Arm Circuit

I haven’t run since the race because I despise the dreadmill and it’s been way too windy for my liking to run outside. So instead I’ve been hitting the gym and trying out some workouts I’ve made up and a few from apps on my phone.

Don’t throw things at me but I still have been unsuccessful in getting to the gym in the morning before work. It really is annoying that I can’t just pop out of bed like I use to. Ugh. I LOVE working out in the morning because it’s less crowded and I generally have better workouts. But for the life of me I can’t drag my butt out of bed anymore at 5am. Anyone have any tips or tricks that work for them? I really want to get back in the habit of morning workouts. I miss my 6am spin class and seeing the same 10 faces in the gym each morning.

I can attest that I feel this workout in my arms today. My muscles feel the burn. I burned quite a few calories in this bad boy too followed by a 20 minutes on the elliptical.It was a good one that I’m definitely going to throw in more often. I have a fun recipe for you guys tomorrow so stay tuned.

Killer Arms

3 sets of 12 reps with 8-10lb free weights

  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Standing V Raise
  • 30 second Plank
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Shoulder Press
  • 30 second crunches
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Renegade Row
  • 30 second Plank
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Dead Lifts
  • 30 second crunches
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Overhead Triceps Extension
  • 30 second Plank
  • 30 seconds Jumping Jacks
  • Bicep Curl
  • 30 Second crunches

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