Tag Archives: step

Marvelous Thanksgiving at Home!

I have to start this post with a quick Cyber Monday plug for 90+ Cellars! We are doing FREE SHIPPING on everything in our online store, so head on over and check out our wine selection! We ship to over 35 states, so click here to find out if yours is one of them!

It’s been quite awhile since I did a Marvelous In My Monday (MIMM) post! It’s been quite a weekend away from Boston, back in Connecticut to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. I certainly ate and drank plenty, but I also didn’t let any bad feelings get me down and keep me from continuing to enjoy myself. Though I weigh more right now than I ever have in the last few years, I also felt happier and more fulfilled over the course of this long holiday weekend than any Thanksgiving I can remember in “recent” history. And that’s certainly marvelous!

Link up with Katie today if you too are sharing the marvelous!

Marvelous is…being able to drive home Tuesday night. Especially given the snow we got on Wednesday! I worked from home that day so was able to beat (a little) traffic by heading out of Boston around 8PM on Tuesday. Plus I had a car buddy – I gave my neighbor Molly a ride too. The 1.5 hour ride took 3 hours, but according to her that wasn’t nearly as much of a delay as she experienced last year. And I was home in time to accompany my dad and Nana Connie (yes she was back!) to get my sister from t he airport at midnight.

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Foodie Pen Pals: November!

Do you ever have a workout that is just beyond awesome: one that is fun, challenging, and leaves you feeling great after? That’s what I had yesterday. I managed to leave work in time to attend my favorite Step class, and despite the fact that the routine was completely new, I was hitting almost every move and keeping up very well. At the same time, my heart was pumping thanks to the drills the instructor dispersed throughout the combos she taught us.

I was so hungry all day yesterday, and had to buy a Kashi bar from the gym vending machine (the cheapo in me hates doing that) to fuel up before the class began, but I know that I owe my great experience to the fact that I had a balanced snack beforehand. I’ve struggled through too many group fitness classes because I didn’t eat enough beforehand, and it felt great to know that thanks to my smart choice to snack beforehand, I had one of the best workouts I’ve had in awhile. Have you ever had a great workout that you attribute to proper fueling beforehand?

The main purpose of today’s post is to talk about Foodie Pen Pals! Lindsay and Allie have done a great job starting this program and organizing it each month. Here’s some more details, courtesy of a email I recently received from Lindsay:

  • “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 December 4th as pairings will be emailed on December 5th!”

I received a November Foodie Pen Pal package from the fantastic Tara of A Daily Dose of Fit. She’s a certified personal trainer and in my eyes, a certified fine-taste foodie as well, based on the contents of the cute package she sent me!

Tara took the time to write me a sweet card, in my favorite color of pen, explaining each item she sent me.

As I pulled item after item out of the box, I could hardly believe my luck. Tara sent me so much great stuff!

  • Garden of Eatin’ (LOVE the name) Sesame Blues All-Natural Tortilla Chips
  • Sweet Fire Salsa (made with PICKLES!)
  • PB&Co Smooth Operator travel packs
  • Raw instant breakfast cereal travel packs
  • Buckwheat
  • Nature’s Path Organic Bar (Mmmaple Pecan flavor)
  • Dark chocolate covered mix of almonds, milk balls, peanuts, and espresso beans

Thank you so very much Tara for the wonderful food! I am love anything interesting made with pickles, and blue tortilla chips are the best! The bar is going to come in handy for a pre-workout snack sometime soon, and the PB will travel well when I head to Florida this Christmas for the week! The most exciting part of the package for me is the buckwheat, because I plan to incorporate it into the recipe I’m using for the Great Blogger Cookie Swap!

I encourage anyone who is interested to participate in the Foodie Pen Pals program! I’m going to be skipping out in December because of my commitment to the Cookie Swap (my wallet can only handle so many shipping charges!) but I will be back and ready to go in January!

Have you ever had any kind of pen pal? In 2nd grade our class had pen pals in Alaska, and my pen pal’s name was Caitlin too. Pretty sure that’s why they paired us together! We bonded over our love of the Spice Girls.

Product Review: Attune Foods and Uncle Sam

I HAVE POWER! LET THERE BE LIGHT! My mom and I walked into my house this morning after spending the night in a nearby hotel, and were surprised to find that it was…warm?? I flicked on a switch, and lo and behold, our power was back! Take that, Alfred!

Going to the gym this morning for a group fitness class felt awesome. I fueled with banana/PB and set off to Step (not Group Step, just freestyle). We did about 45 minutes of non-stop Step (I did take a couple of my own water breaks) and then 15 minutes of upper body weights and abs. I kept it light on the upper body because my arms are still a bit sore from the last couple days of weights I did. I felt SO great after and very flashy in my new Pink yoga pants with sequins on the butt (yes, very necessary).

I’m back at Whole Foods drinking coffee and working on the blog. I have a 10-page paper due in a month, but have been finding it hard to get past the intro paragraph when the blog world is offering me so much to do! I’ll go with it…for now. I thrive under pressure anyway!

Today I’m excited to share with you today a review of an Attune Foods product: Uncle Sam cereals! You may have heard of Attune through the fabulous Meghann or Anne. When Annelies (awesome name, btw) contacted me via Twitter and asked me if I’d be interested in trying some products, I jumped at the chance to experience first-hand what I’d been hearing about for quite some time on the blogosphere!

I received three flavors of cereal: Original, Honey Almond, and Strawberry. I’m happy to report that for both my mom and I, these did NOT disappoint. And from my mom, that means a lot – cereal is her nightly snack!

I decided to try the Original flavor as soon as I opened the package. I wasn’t really in the mood for anything sweet, so that sounded perfect to me. I mixed it with local Greek yogurt and it was an extremely satisfying snack, filled with TONS of fiber and protein! It’s hard to find a plain cereal that doesn’t taste like cardboard – for example, my mom loves FiberOne Shredded Wheat, but I can’t stand how bland it tastes. This wasn’t bland at all and would go great in a sweeter mix too, like flavored yogurt. I could even see myself adding it to ice cream…mmm…

Crazy night hair and PJ top, no big.

The next night I was already itching to try the Strawberry mixed with my Greek yogurt, so that’s what I did, and I couldn’t get over how amazing the real dried strawberries were. The cereal wasn’t overly sweet at all and the huge strawberry slices were so satisfying. This was my favorite of the three!

My mom tried the Original that same night and gave it her seal of approval too!

When I returned to a heat and power-less house from Tennessee on Halloween night, I was not itching for candy. Well, I was, but a sugar high right before bed wasn’t what I needed. Something with staying power was what I needed to keep me satisfied through shivering all night.

Sorry for the flash – no power!

I mixed the Honey Almond cereal with cottage cheese and it was AWESOME. Again, not too sweet at all, with whole almond slices in there to add to the satisfying protein from the cottage cheese.

I am not the biggest cereal person in the world, but Uncle Sam definitely has two new fans in my mom and I, so that’s saying something. She even has been choosing it over her usual shredded wheat!

I received these products from Attune Foods, but all opinions are my own. Thank you, Attune!

Have you been affected by Winter Storm Alfred? Have you ever tried Uncle Sam cereal?

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday! Yeah, I’m trying to keep it optimistic. I had a great, productive, relaxing weekend though! I’m still feeling very organized and efficient, so I’m even gonna organize this post by subject – oh goodness! Maybe next weekend’s recap will be organized by day – craziness! Or, the exact opposite!


I went to Group Step both Friday evening and Saturday morning. I really love the new release, and I can especially tell since I didn’t mind doing the same routine twice in 24 hours! I ran into Lauren and Casey again at the Friday class, so that was fun. And one of my favorite instructors was there Saturday in addition to his usual Friday class. For Sunday’s workout, I woke up naturally at the ridiculous hour of 7am. Luckily there was a Spin class starting around that time, so I headed straight to the gym to get my sweat out of the way. I hadn’t been to Spin in a few months, so it was HARD. It was nice to switch up my routine though – classes like this always remind me how good it is to not get too comfortable with a few types of workouts. Of course, always do what you WANT to do in terms of exercise, but today’s Spin class fit conveniently into my schedule and reminded me of how tough it can be! Despite the fact that I was disgusting afterward, I was in a great mood.


Friday night, I met my former co-worker and friend Tom for dinner at a restaurant in town I’d had yet to try, the Diamond, to use a SaveNowCT deal. I was pleasantly surprised! It’s one of those bar and grill places, so I didn’t think I’d be able to find any options that would be delicious and not too…fried? And salads from those places are never worth the money! But I got the blackened chicken quesadilla with extra salsa and it was awesome! It came on an herb tortilla, a nice touch, and when I asked them to go light on the cheese they definitely complied. The balance between cheese and chicken was perfect. Their salsa was so fresh and chunky, not the Tostitos-style I was expecting! I also had a glass of Salmon Creek Cabernet before my food came, and it really hit the spot. Such a delicious house wine! Sorry, no photos (left my camera in the car because I was running late after Step), but the lighting would have been awful anyway.

I had lunch Saturday at one of my favorite places, Whole Foods, with a couple of fellow marketers. We had a great conversation and already have plans to meet again around the holiday season to restaurant-hop for the blog – they loved it!

Sole cake with spinach and butternut squash puree.

I do love me some Whole Foods trips on Saturdays – they’re always giving out the best samples! I had the above dish the second after I walked in. It was perfect! The squash gave it such a nice, fall feel. Check out the cute little foldable spoon! I also had half of a chocolate chip cookie buttercream sandwich sample from the bakery. WOW is all I can say. I devoured it before I could get a photo.

I’m barely skimming the surface of what was in here but I do remember that there was: edamame, falafel, roasted veg, many bean salads, cabbage crunch salad, and eggplant!

I had to restrain myself once I got to the salad bar, as usual, and get a little container. That didn’t stop me from piling over a pound of food in there and finishing every last bite.

After lunch I went to my favorite package store. I have to be honest that they are only my favorite because I can always count on them to have free wine tastings on Saturday afternoons – and wouldn’t you know it, I found just what I was looking for, a free wine tasting. I rarely buy alcohol, unless I am at some kind of tasting, so I couldn’t leave without a bottle. I went for the most festive bottle, which, ironically, Katie blogged about last night!

Pinot noir!

Fun right? I like to buy a bottle if I find something I like at a tasting, and save it for whenever an occasion comes up, like the BBQ I attended last weekend. Who knows when I’ll break this bottle out, but I now have it and a bottle of chianti waiting in my house’s “Caitlin Reserve”!

Saturday’s dinner came courtesy of my dad and his best friend, who headed to my favorite Mexican restaurant in the state, Loco Perro, to pick up some delicious takeout for the Tennessee vs. Alabama game. I ate my meal on the floor in front of the fireplace (trying to keep warm – dammit it is getting too cold already for me). Unfortunately Tennessee did not fare well against Alabama, but we weren’t expecting a win. Still, there was the usual amount of anger, yelling, and head-shaking that accompanies any game that Tennessee loses. My dad is a die-hard fan – one of his retirement dreams is to live there and attend sporting events every single day. He doesn’t need much to be happy! I guess that’s where I get it from 🙂

Shredded chicken quesadilla, salsa, black beans.

Sunday’s eats were extremely routine (except for dinner, which I will post about later). Of course I spent the morning studying at Daybreak with Toasted Coconut coffee (I had Mocha Java on Saturday). I got so much done, and I’m so ahead of my work!

I did manage to get a photo of a random snack though…Good Neighbors black bean dip and baby carrots.


On Saturday I did a little shopping and pampering. A cute boutique in my town, Silver Dahlia, was having a huge one-day customer appreciation sale. Everything was 20% off, and all clearance was 50% off. I got two more charms for the charm key chain on my car keys. The books and the Class of 2011 charm are the new ones, and the other four I collected this summer! Unfortunately I now have no more room for charms. Probably a good thing, they’re a little pricey, at $3.95 per charm. I’m not sure what company makes them, but if anyone wants to know I can find out! I got my sister one for her birthday too.

I got another key chain too. I liked its message! And the other side says “Life is Good”.

After seeing an awesome nail color on Jenny’s blog last week, I found out the name of the color (OPI In the Espresso Lane) and went to my favorite nail parlor to get a polish change. I love polish changes – they are $4 cheaper than manicures and I think they look just as good! At the end, I got a little free massage with a warm piece of a plastic-like material around my shoulders. It felt sooo good, since I was already pretty cold.

Thanks to my dirty workout top for serving as my photo background…

I also saw two movies this weekend, 50/50 and Ides of March. I’d highly recommend both! “50/50” was very well done and not too depressing, despite what some (*cough* my parents) may have thought from the premise. “Ides of March” wasn’t what I was expecting exactly, but I still really liked it. I love me some Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling. In terms of female actresses, I really like Anna Kendrick, Marissa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood, so there was a lot to like about these movies.

Today I caught up with a lot of my shows and started a new one – Revenge. I LOVE THIS SHOW so far. I’m already almost three episodes in! I’m a big fan of Emily Van Camp from the “Everwood” days, so it’s good to see her back on TV.

That recap ended up being a lot longer than I thought it’d be! Props to you if you read it all. Even if you didn’t, maybe you can answer a few questions for me…

Have you seen any of the movies I mentioned, or “Revenge”? How about “Everwood” – any hidden fans out there?

Are you aware of the money-saving powers of the polish change?

What was your best workout, meal, and/or purchase of the weekend?