Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day + WINNER!

First, I want to wish my wonderful husband Andy a very happy birthday today!!! Yes he was a Boo Baby (born on Halloween)! I am so thankful to have such an amazing man who loves me and my boys and takes such great care of us. I love you Babe!

I had another amazing month of Foodie Pen Pals!  First I'm going to tell you a little bit about Foodie Pen Pals and then I will reveal the goodies!



The Lean Green Bean

Here’s 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.

If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by November 4th as pairings will be emailed on November 5th!

This month I was lucky to get paired with Jacquie from Bee Morse Farm! And boy did she send me a box full of goodies!!! I'm sooo excited to share with all of you!




One thing I love about Foodie Pen Pals is the handwritten note that comes with it! Jacquie included a recipe and most of the ingredients were in the box! Most of the items she included were from her state of Maine which was really awesome!!!


Ok I know all you care about is what was actually IN the box! :-)


  • Annie's Bunny Grahams. My boys loved these! And yes...I will admit that I ate some too! Very yummy!
  • Peanut Butter Persuasion Cookie. Well this was the first thing to go! My husband and son Sawyer got a hold of it while I wasn't home...and ate the entire thing!!! So I didn't get to try it! :-( But I heard it was good!
  • Maine Salt Water Taffy. Oh my! This is sinful! So yummy! How did she know that I love taffy?
  • Glee Sugar-Free Gum. Yes between me and Sawyer gum doesn't last long around here! :-)
  • Raye's Mustard. Mustard from Maine! I'm not a big mustard fan but the hubby loves it!
  • NoNuttin Granola Bars. Chocolate Chip and Apple Cinnamon flavors! I loved that these were made from all natural ingredients, were peanut free, and tasted yummy!
  • Moose Bee Granola Bar. This was one of my favorite items! Sooo yummy! I am sad I can't get these where I live! 
  • Bee Morse Applesaucy. This was homemade by Jacquie at her farm. And it was the BEST applesauce I have ever tasted! My son Hayden LOVED it too! We just opened it yesterday...it didn't last long! :-)
  • Blue Potatoes from Aroostook County. These potatoes are local to Jacquie. An interesting fact she told me...almost 50% of the potatoes by McCain and Lays are from Aroostook County! And I tell you they make a fine potato salad! :-)
  • $10 bill. These were for Jacquie's favorite chips by Late July....Summertime Blues. She couldn't fit them inside the box so she sent money for them...so sweet! So far I haven't been able to find them but I saw on their website that Fresh Market carries them. We have a Fresh Market being built right now so these will be my first purchase from there for sure! 
  • Ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice Muffins: Pumpkin Spice Cake Mix, Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding, Maine Pure Maple Syrup,  and Pure Maine Maple Sugar. And yes! I made the recipe! All of you who know me know that I am NOT a cook. But I tried these and they were a huge hit with my hubby who is a huge pumpkin fan! And yes...I will share the recipe with you below! ;-)
Ingredients all mixed together and waiting to be baked!

The finished product! They aren't pretty but they tasted amazing!!!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (recipe from Bee Morse Farm)

Ingredients

1 box spice cake
30 oz. pumpkin
3.4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. maple syrup
1/2 c. canola oil
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix cake mix, pumpkin, pudding, and vanilla.
  3. Add eggs, oil, spice, and maple syrup to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Scoop into muffin pans. Sprinkle top with brown sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did! :-)

Thanks so much Jacquie for such an amazing box full of goodies!!!!

I also need to let you know who won the BIC Bands giveaway!!! 



Congrats! Please email me your mailing address at mindy@roadrunnergirl.com so I can get your new BIC Bands out to you! :-)

Happy Halloween everyone! Have a safe and fun time today!

QOTD: Do you have any yummy pumpkin recipes? Please share with me in the comments!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Carving Time!

Most of you know it but Halloween is my favorite time of year! I don't know if it has to do with the fact that it's the day before my birthday AND my hubby Andy's actual birthday but I love it! I don't like the scary stuff but I love the cute pumpkins, jack 'o' lanterns, ghosts, spiders, and black cats! I decorate my house for Halloween as much as I decorate at Christmas time!

It's a tradition in our house to carve pumpkins with my husband's parents and sister and her hubby. We live in the south and the weather is unpredictable in temperature this time of year (usually it's still pretty warm outside) so we are limited to carving our pumpkins no more than a few days before Halloween or they will rot. And if you've ever dealt with a rotten pumpkin then you know it is NOT fun...yuck! We also don't buy fancy carving kits or tools. We use a black sharpie, an ice cream scoop, and a sharp knife.

So here are the Road Runner Girl Steps to Carving a Pumpkin!


  • Draw a rough draft of your design. This year the boys got to draw their own design. In the year's past my hubby would do it. But the boys are getting old enough and were so excited to design their own pumpkin carving design!


Hayden's Design

Sawyer's Design (drawn by Hayden...he just told him what he wanted)
  • Draw the design on your pumpkin. Andy drew Hayden's design on his pumpkin and Aunt Katie (Andy's sister) drew Sawyer's design. 


  • Cut off the top...dig out the mush and seeds. Yes this is the grossest part to me. But my boys love it! 


  • Scoop out as much of the rind as you can for pumpkin pies! A lot of people don't do this part. They just get the guts out of the pumpkin and leave all the pumpkin goodness! We love pumpkin pie around here so none of our pumpkin insides get wasted! ;-)

  • Carve...finally!!! As our boys are too young to handle sharp knives we do this part ourselves. ;-)
  • Take pictures of the final product! This is probably the most important step! ;-)




So our pumpkins are definitely unique this year! The boys are super proud to see their designs on them! And that's what it's all about...getting the boys involved and having a good time! Mission accomplished!

QOTD: Do you carve pumpkins? Any steps you include that I left out?

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Weekly Chase...Birthday Week!

I had a great weekend! My birthday is on Thursday and I celebrated a little early! We also carved pumpkins! I'll recap my weekend for you tomorrow! :-)

Today it's time for the Weekly Chase! This is a weekly goal setting post that Melissa at Live, Love, and Run started and I love linking up with other bloggers! Link up with us...you will love it!!!


Here are my goals from last week:

  • Goal #1: Start training again and run slow and steady. Check! I ran 3 miles on Tuesday and 10 miles on Friday. Friday's long run was the best one I've had in a while. I kept my pace slow and steady and it was great! My hip is still sore but doesn't seem to be getting any worse.
  • Goal #2: No snacking after dinner. Check! I did pretty well with this! The only day I didn't do well with this was on Friday when I ate cake at my friend's house to celebrate my birthday.
  • Goal #3: Stretch and foam roll every day. Success! I made sure to do this to help my sore hip. And I am planning on doing this every day now that I am marathon training.

Here are the goals (and reoccurring goals) for this week:

Goal #1: No snacking after dinner.

Goal #2: Stretch and foam roll every day.

Goal #3: Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. I've been slacking on my water intake lately and I really need to get back on it. Especially since I have a 16 mile run on the schedule for this weekend. 

Goal #4: Make Halloween fun for my boys. It's my favorite holiday! The boys are dressing up to go trick or treating and I am going to dress up with them for the first time! It will be fun!

Goal #5: Make my hubby's birthday fun for him. Yes my husband's birthday is on Halloween! And mine is the next day! It's hard to really celebrate his birthday because we are always so busy with trick or treating. But I want him to feel special on his special day! :-)

So there are my goals! Feel free to keep me accountable by asking me on Facebook or twitter how I'm doing with my goals! 

QOTD: What are your goals for this week?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Runner Spotlights #11

This weekend has been a weekend full of celebrating! Friday night, while my boys and hubby went camping, I went to my best friend Rhonda's house and stayed the night. She cooked me a birthday dinner and baked me my favorite cake....red velvet with cream cheese icing! Yum!


Then last night my sisters came into town and we went to dinner to celebrate my birthday (which isn't until Thursday November 1st) and my sister Christy's birthday which was this past Thursday. It's been fun!

Right now it is time for another runner spotlight! If you are interested in being spotlighted on my blog please send me an email at mindy@roadrunnergirl.com!

Today I am spotlighting Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness! She is a fellow FitFluential, SweatPink, and GirlsGoneSporty Ambassador and is an inspiration to so many! I'm excited for you to learn more about her!



Name: Jill Conyers
State: Ohio

When and why did you start running? I started running in 2006 simply (so I thought) because I had no reason not to. My husband ran his first marathon and when we went to the expo we met Dean Karnazes. It was a small race and the expo was not too busy so Dean kindly took the time to chat with us. He was just so “real” and listening to him talk about his experiences made you believe in the impossible. Then, I read Dean’s book, Ultramarathon Man. After that I decided I really didn’t have a good reason not to try running. My goal was just one race to prove to myself that I could do it. That one race was the Grape Stomp Half Marathon. Little did I know that seemingly simple decision would change my life. Years and many miles later I can’t imagine not running.

What is your favorite race and race distance? My favorite race distance is kind of a toss up between a 10k and a half marathon. With that said, after this fall my favorite distance may be 31 miles and beyond!

What is your race day routine? My race day routine has varied little over the past few years.  The pre-race dinner is pasta. It’s the only time I eat pasta and I enjoy it thoroughly. Race morning I stick with my everyday routine of up at my usual 4:00 a.m., coffee and computer time. Then specifically because it’s race day breakfast is a whole wheat bagel with almond butter and a banana. I get dressed in everything except my running shoes and leave for the race. At the race I put on my running shoes, bib and timing chip. Before the start I warm up for 15-20 minutes, kiss my husband, line up for the start, turn on my Garmin and get butterflies in my stomach. My routine gives me comfort and I stick to it as closely as possible for every race.

What is your most favorite piece of running gear? Aside from the can’t-run-without-gear like shoes (Saucony) and running clothes (Nike and Lululemon are my favorites) my favorite running gear is my Garmin.  I’m a data person and I use the numbers the Garmin provides to improve and motivate my running.

Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running? I follow a vegan diet and have never felt better. You can read about my personal experience here at Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet. I take a few supplements daily (i.e. multivitamin, calcium, Vitamin D, etc.) but what I see as specifically for running is taking Spirulina Energy Bits or powder daily.

What do you wish you’d known when you first started running? The importance and benefits of consistent cross training and speed work. I've implemented both consistently for almost 2 years and haven’t had any major injuries and have experienced more success and improvement than ever before. I also wish I would have realized the food-to-performance connection. It’s not just about getting enough calories to fuel a run. Quality calories make all the difference.

What is your fondest running memory? There are many! Crossing the finish line for the first time, running my first ultra, every time I set a new PR, running Hawthorn Half Day Relay with my husband, the first time I placed in a race are all favorite I-will-never-forget running memories. But, my all time favorite memory is the day I truly appreciated the feeling of how running makes me feel like I can do anything. Running has given me the gift of a self-confidence that I have never had before.

What is one thing that most people do not know about you? Moat people don’t know (and would probably be shocked) that there was a time when I had purple hair and wore nothing but black. Thinking about it now makes me laugh.

Before I go I want to invite everyone to link up with Fitness Friday. Every week I blog a link up post for sharing your health and fitness related blog posts. Through linking up I've made new friends, introduced my blog to new readers, learned new things and found an amazing resource of support and encouragement. You can find the details here for Fitness Friday and to see how it all works and comes together check out Fitness Friday || Test Your Limits. Run Beyond aMarathon.



Here are all the different ways you can connect with Jill!


Blog: Fitness, Health and Happiness http://jillconyers.com/

Thanks so much for sharing with us Jill!!!

QOTD: What did you do this weekend?


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cows and Dogs and Pecans, Oh My!

Yes just a few things I encountered on my long run yesterday! I ran with my friend Paige. We met at her house and planned the route so our two water stops were at her house too.


The good news...this run felt great! I made sure to keep my pace around 11:30. The first 7 miles were fabulous! Around mile 7 I started getting pretty tired but I made it!

The route was one of my favorite ones. It's in the country and so we saw lots of cow pastures with cows in them. The cows looked at us like we were crazy...especially when we yelled "Good morning" to them lol!


We also had to run by the same house three times...and there was a dog there. Luckily the owner was sitting in her garage and kept the dog from attacking us but he barked at us like crazy! He didn't look like a mean dog but you never know. 

And I know you are wondering about the pecans right? Part of the route was on a road with lots of Pecan trees...and all of a sudden pecans started falling onto the road! Luckily we didn't get hit in the head by one but we were nervous lol!

I also tried a new gel today...2nd Surge Gel which came in my Kona Kase this month. I will be doing a review of the Kona Kase soon so stay tuned for that!


The gel was a chocolate flavor. It was so good! I loved that it had all natural ingredients and protein in it. I may be switching to these because I really liked it!


Overall this run was great! I had a blast running with Paige and catching up! My hip was pretty sore after the run but I iced it, rolled, and took some Aleve and it seemed to help. Next week's long run is 16 miles...yikes!!!! ;-)

Tonight my two sisters are coming into town!!! It was Christy's birthday last Thursday and my birthday is this Thursday so we are celebrating both of them tonight by going out to dinner! I'm excited! :-)

QOTD: What are some interesting things you see on your run routes?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fitness Friday...Marathon Training Week 4!

I'm not really sure why this week felt so busy (I only subbed one time this week) but it was! Regardless of how busy it was...I tried to get my workouts in.

  • Saturday- #plankaday 2:17, Walked about a mile in the corn maze
  • Sunday- #plankaday 2:09, Wall Sit 1:31 (um yeah I totally did this wall sit in a dressing room when I was out shopping lol), 22 push ups

  • Monday- #plankaday 2:32, Wall Sit 1:33

  • Tuesday- #plankaday 2:14, Wall Sit 1:21, 24 push ups, 3.12 mile run in 31:24 average pace 10:04


  • Wednesday- #plankaday 2:07, Wall Sit 1:32 (I did this one in the classroom while the kids were at PE!)

  • Thursday- #plankaday 2:08, Wall Sit 1:03, 26 push ups

  • Friday- #plankaday 2:00, Wall Sit 1:30, 10 mile run

I'm still loving my #plankaday and #WickedWallies wall sits. I also ran on Tuesday for the first time in 9 days. The rest has helped my hip but after running Tuesday it was still pretty sore. But by Wednesday it felt better although I can still feel the soreness some. Today I am running a long run of 10 miles...I'm going to take it slow and easy. I'm really hoping the hip does ok. I'm expecting soreness the rest of the day but hopefully it will be barely there on Saturday. It's crazy how old running shoes can cause aches and pains like this! I don't like it!!!

Yesterday I got to go on a fun field trip with Sawyer (my kindergartner)! We went to Wales West...which is a place that has a locomotive coal train and they decorate it according to the season. We got to ride two trains, pick out a pumpkin and decorate it! It was fun! So here's just a few pics that I just couldn't refrain from sharing! :-)



QOTD: What kind of stretches should I be doing for my hip?

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