January Foodie Penpals

I am SO excited to be a part of Foodie Penpals with Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean!  I signed up to be paired up back at the beginning of the month and I have been so excited to post about the awesome goodies I received 😉

First though, I sent my box to Janet over at From Cupcakes to Caviar.  Check what I sent here.

Now on to to the awesome part … I received a box from Kim at Living Domestically.

My favorite part was the sweet handwritten note that she included with it!  So thoughtful and personal :)

There were SO many goodies in the box.  Most of which I had never tried before.  

I was most excited to try the seaweed snacks.  I had never had them before but I had wanted to try them forever!  I have to admit though … not a fan.  BUT my 1/2 Korean husband chomped them up 😉

I LOVE the caramel popcorn and have been snacking on it off and on since getting my box.  I have a love affair with caramel so this was an awesome surprise.

I found the sleepytime green tea to be really thoughtful … Kim said in her note that it might help during my long nights with Emmalyne.  I told you she was sweet!

I really enjoyed the Extra desserts gum.  It was perfect for me to start chewing later at night what I was craving something sweet but had already had my “treat” for the night.

So … like what you see?  Want to be a part of February’s Foodie Penpals with Lindsay?  Here’s the scoop from the Lean Green Bean herself 😉 

  • 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. *US Residents only please at this time- hopefully we can expand soon!*

If you’re interested in participating for December, please send  an email to Lindsay at theleangreenbean@gmail.com and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)

She will need to hear from you by February 4th as pairings will be emailed on Feburary 5th!
I had so much fun with Foodie Penpals this month and I am definitely participating next month!  You should too 😉
Have you ever participated in a foodie penpal type event?  I did back in December with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

1/2 Marathon Training Plan

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If you had a busy weekend here is a quick recap of what we were up to:

Some of my fabulous readers asked me to post my 1/2 marathon training plan so here it I go!  I plan on following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Plan for this race.  I chose Hal because:

1.  I successfully completed my first 1/2 marathon using his beginner’s plan.

2.  I am trying to PR so the built in speed work and tempo runs should help me with that.

3.  I am not yet an experienced enough runner to make my own plan.

The Go! St. Louis race is April 15 so my training is broken down as such:

A couple of notes about my training:
  • I still plan on doing CrossFit 2-3 times per week.  I will probably do it on my “easy” runs.
  • I will be teaching BodyFlow weekly … either on Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday so I will adjust accordingly.
  • I definitely want to make sure I am still lifting weights and doing yoga for cross training
  • I adjusted some of the long run days because I know we have a commitment that day.
That’s pretty much it!  I did my 5 mile run yesterday and average 9:45 min/mile!  Super excited and it makes me think that my 10 min/mile goal pace might just be attainable 😉

Have you run a 1/2 marathon?  If so, did you use a training plan?

Winning the Mind Game

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Running for me has always been a mind game.  I tell myself that I can’t and so I don’t.  I tell myself I’m slow, so I am.  But change is in the air my friends.

When I ran my first (and only) half-marathon my goal was just to finish.  I had battled an upper respiratory infection the two weeks before it so my time was very negatively affected.  I ran it in 2:45 at roughly 12:20 minutes/mile.  Turtles can run faster 😉  BUT I finished and that was my goal.  

Two months later I got pregnant and my hopes for a February 2011 half marathon were put on hold.  After I had Emmie in October I began looking for a new race to conquer.  I decided on the Go! St. Louis 1/2 Marathon in April 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited!  This time I have set a goal of 10 minutes / mile and at first that self-doubt started creeping in saying there’s no way you can do it.

But guess what?  I ran my first sub-30 minute 5K yesterday.  I averaged 9:36/mile!  For some of you speed-demons that might seem a snail’s pace but for me it was amazing.  And hard.  Haha.

Around mile 2 I started to mentally think I needed to slow down, that I couldn’t keep that pace.  My head was telling me I couldn’t but my legs and heart were telling me I could.  I chose to ignore that whiny voice in my mind and let me legs carry me to the finish.  Overcoming that internal Doubting Debbie was a huge step for me.  A step forward to believing in myself as a runner and athlete.  I learned that I could do a lot more than I was giving myself credit for.  I learned that I can push myself harder.  And it feel good.

I am still setting a goal of 10 minutes/mile for the 1/2 but now I know I might just be able to do more.  I am going to push myself harder and believe in myself more and just see where my legs end up taking me.  :)  

Have you doubted yourself and realized you could do more?  

**I have been getting some questions about my 1/2 marathon training.  I am working on getting a post together soon!

S’Mores Brownies

There is nothing better than the marriage of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.  Growing up s’mores were one of my favorite treats.  As an adult I think my love affair with them has grown.

The other weekend I wanted something sweet.  Something decadent.  Something amazing.  And thus s’mores brownies were born.

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These brownies are pretty out of this world.  We had friends over to watch football the day they were born and the common consensus was that they are highly addictive.

Be careful when you make them … the whole pan seems to disappear immediately.

S’Mores Brownies

by Madeline G.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: dessert

Ingredients (12 brownies)

    For the graham cracker crust

    • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed
    • 1/4 cup Stevia
    • 1/3 cup Earth’s Balance, melted

    For the brownies

    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/4 cup vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup Earth’s Balance
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 3 eggs
    • 3/4 cup Stevia
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup apple sauce
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

    For the topping

    • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
    • Grease an 8in x 8in baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    For the graham cracker crust

    • In a small bowl combine the crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and Stevia. Press into the bottom of the baking pan.

    For the brownies

    • Cream the Stevia and butter together until fluffy. Mix in remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
    • Fold in chocolate chips.
    • Pour on top of graham cracker crust.
    • Bake for approximately or until 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Top with marshmallows. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch carefully … they burn easy!
    • Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
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    Featured Blogger Friday: The Chic Geek

    Today is the second Featured Blogger Friday!  Today I am featuring Mal from The Chic Geek!  Her blog is super cute so make sure to check it out :)


    Hello all! I am Mal from The Chic Geek, and am delighted tobe this week’s featuredblogger!

    Out of Madeline’s 3 Fs (food, fitness and family!) I decided that I wouldwrite a bit about fitness for my guest post (I write a whole lot about food onmy own blog, so this is a nice departure for me).

    I, like so many others have made a New Year’s resolution toget back into my fitness regimen. I am usually good about exercising everymorning, but at the end of 2011, my routine fell a bit by the wayside. I wentin search of new things to mix up my routine and not dread getting out of bedearly so I can exercise before work.
    This led me to discover the new trend of hooping! On a whim,I decided to order a travelhoop (which disassembles for easy storage or if you want to take it withyou) and level one of HoopnoticaHoop Dance.

    The DVD is slow and easy to follow and they teach you thebasics of waist hooping, hip hooping, how to do halos (hooping with your handsover your head) and other fancy tricks with your hoop. Be warned, there are alot of shots of one of the instructors hooping in a big open field which areabsolutely hilarious and will make you lose concentration momentarily!

    Once you have thebasics down, you don’t really need to watch the DVD anymore, I find myselfhooping and practicing the different moves while watching the morning news, orwhen I’m hanging out in the evenings, and I never really look at the clock as Ido when I’m on my stair stepper machine. You absolutely feel it in your abs thenext day! 

    I have never tried using a hoop for a workout.  Have you?