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March Foodie Pen Pals!

I am officially no longer a resident of Athens, GA. Tear. I have been moving and cleaning ALL day so that’s why I am extreeemely late getting this post out. But better late than never, right?!

The Lean Green Bean

This was my first time participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program, and it was so fun! I love trying different snacks and goodies, and picking them out for someone else was just as awesome. I received my package from Rachel, and immediately tore into it. Check out what she sent me.

look at all that yummy stuff!

Now a look at some of my favorites. First up, Snickerdoodle Soft Cookies from Trader Joes. These things were so delicious. I have a serious addiction to cookies. I think these were gone in about 5 min. tops.

So good.

I also got these Coconut Macaroons. Again, gone in 3 seconds. Just can’t help myself!

This was actually the first time I've ever had a macaroon. Now I might be addicted.

These tortilla chips were surprisingly addicting. I spread some Laughing Cow cheese on a few of them. Yum yum!

I loved these green bean crisps! Crunchy and healthy.

Also in the package was an assortment of teas (some even caffeine free!), a delicious trail mix from Trader Joe’s, and an energy bar. I’m pretty sure I loved every single thing I got. Thank you so much Rachel!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every 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 are 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 Penplas is open to US & Canadian 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!

Larabar Craze.

It seems like every blog I come across and every fitness magazine I read just raves about Larabars. Sooo, last night when I was shopping for my Foodie Pen Pal, I gave in and bought the Blueberry Muffin kind.

I still ate the whole thing. 🙂

This may be blasphemous for the foodie world, but I was not a fan. I’m sorry! Usually I love bars of any kind, but I think I was expecting some sort of crunch, and these bars just don’t deliver.

Have no fear, I’m not giving up on them completely. I’ll just have to try different kinds until I find one I love! I think Carrot Cake is up next!

I do loooove Luna Bars though. The Iced Oatmeal and Blueberry Bliss are my favorites! In fact, they are kind of addicting.

WORKOUT

After work today, I headed to the gym and completed this! I’ve got to learn how to make this look more presentable. One step at a time. 🙂

Time

Speed

Incline

0-10

6.5

1.0

10-20

8.0 for 1 min. 15 sec.

4.5 for 45 sec.

1.0

 Do Jump Rope Circuit (see below)

 

0-5

6.5

1.0

5-10

4.0

5.0

 

30 Minute Jump Rope Circuit

 Do each exercise for 60 seconds.  Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise.

Jump Rope

Jumping Jacks

Jump Rope

Mountain Climbers

Jump Rope

Squats

Jump Rope

Wall Sit

Jump Rope

Plank

Jump Rope

Wall Sit

Jump Rope

Plank

Jump Rope

Step Ups

Jump Rope

Box Jump

Jump Rope

Wall Sit

Caffeine Withdrawal

Withdrawal. Is. For. Real.

I gave up caffeine over the weekend, and this is seriously how I feel.

Minus the rather large nose. And long blond hair.

I had originally planned to give it up in Thailand, but I am SOOO glad I decided to do it now instead.

And here’s why:

  1. I will save at least $10/week by not buying Diet Mt. Dew. Ridic, I know.
  2. I will not feel like this my first week in Thailand. It’s currently 90 something degrees over there. Could you imagine? Going through this withdrawal in the middle of summer. Yuck.
  3. Numerous health concerns. Just Google it and hundreds of websites come up. I can’t possibly read all those, so I’m just going with “too much caffeine is bad.”

So even though I have a pounding headache, am ridiculously lethargic, and am craving the taste of a Diet Mt. Dew, I think it was the right decision.

But moving on…I went home this past weekend to good ole Byron and had a really good time! Even though I can’t sleep past 8:00 a.m., there is nothing that beats my bed at home. It is glorious.

My weekend was pretty tame though. I just hung out with the parents and my uber energetic niece while managing to eat my weight in Cinnamon Honey Bunches of Oats. No joke, I went through an entire box in 36 hours. Me + Cereal = Dangerous!!

When I got home last night, I decided to make another batch of cupcakes just because. These were sooo good!

FlufferNutter Cupcakes (from How Sweet It Is)

photo from "How Sweet It Is"

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup peanut butter morsels

2/3 cup marshmallow fluff

As always, I managed to finish off three of these bad boys before they even cooled. No time for that when there is peanut butter involved. 🙂

Ahhhmazing Black Bean Burgers.

I cooked a thank-you dinner last night for my roommate. Her dad works for Delta and was able to help me out with my Thailand ticket, so I wanted to do something nice for her. But that means it’s official. I’m off April 7th! I CANNOT wait! Also, Lacey arrived safely and has started her own blog to document her travels. Check it out here!

But back to my dinner. Delicious black bean burgers. Omg, they were so good. I’m a little impressed with myself. I followed the recipe exactly though, so I guess I really shouldn’t be.

Black Bean Burgers (from Nutritious Eats)

1 (14 ounce can) black beans, washed & drained
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats blended in food processor
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup finely diced onions
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced

I made them into sliders since all I had on hand was some Arnold’s Mini Sandwich Thins. Then I heated up some broccoli and baked some Ore Ida Sweet Potato Fries, and voila! Ahhhmazing dinner. And I have two more left for lunch! 🙂

Check out my fortune from yesterday. I took it as a sign that Thailand is a good idea. You know, because Thailand is the top of the world and all.

"We're on top of the world..."

Also reminds me of this song. Which I first heard in Motocrossed. Gotta love those Disney Channel originals!

Day in ATL

Friday was my best friend in the entire world’s last day of work, so I went to Atlanta to celebrate with her! Lacey and I have been best friends since 9th grade and roomed together all 4 years of college. I don’t see her nearly as often as I would like, but that is about to change because we are headed to Thailand!!! Lacey is flying out on Monday, but I won’t be leaving until the beginning of April. What in the world is she going to do for a month in Thailand by herself? I’m trying to encourage her to start a blog so I can find out. I think I’m in the “obsessed with blogging” stage.

We spent Friday night at some friends’ house catching up and playing Just Dance. I had never seen this game actually played before. It was hilarious! Saturday morning we got up bright and early to go to Lacey’s hair appointment at James Madison Salon before getting a much needed pedicure at Eminence Salon. It was the largest nail salon I’ve ever seen!

Lacey getting beautified.

After that, we wandered over to Nordstrom Rack, where I fell in love with some Sam Edelman shoes that I cannot afford.

Aren't they cute?!

Then off to World Market! I had never been here before and loved all the international foods and snacks. I left with some Thai Chili Pop Chips and some Coconut Rum Green Tea. They also had this fun tasting event for St. Patrick’s Day. The Guinness bread was sooo good!

How fun!

Today was slightly less exciting. It pretty much consisted of McDonalds, grocery shopping, and a whole lot of algebra review. Gotta get ready for that certification test!

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