Monthly Archives: July 2014

Foodie Pen Pals July!

I am finally back on track with Foodie Pen Pals.  In May I forgot to sign up in time so I had to wait till June.  Then for some reason, the girl I was paired up with in June never said she received my package (although the tracking info said it was received), and I never received the package that she said she sent!
Then when I signed up for July there was a fluke and it did not register me!! Ahhh
Thankfully Lindsay (the founder of the FPP program) came to the rescue and was able to set me up with a WONDERFUL FPP who also had some technical glitches!

I was set up with Maggie!  She doesn’t have a blog, but you CAN follow her on Instagram or Twitter!  And you should go follow her right now!

Maggie was fabulous from the start with emailing me and asking about what I can/can’t eat, and the things I like and dislike!  And she sent out my package so quickly!  It was really great and I ended up having the perfect snacks for my recent trip up north!

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Sweet little note!

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These sweet (no pun intended) pineapple chips rocked!  The hubs broke open the bag right away and loved them!
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I have had LÄRABARs before, but never the Renola! It was fabulous!! I can not wait to get more!
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Kind bars and Justin’s nut butters are among my favorite snacks!

Maggie, you did AMAZING!  Thank you SO much for getting me fantastic snack treats! You rocked it!!

If you want to get involved with the Foodie Pen Pals 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 & European 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!

If you would like to be a part of this amazing program you can sign up HERE by Monday, August 4th.

Have a healthy day!

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Quick fitness update. . .

The past few weeks have been pretty nutty.  I thankfully have been able to stick with most of my fitness routine and goals.  The only thing I have been slacking with is running.  I have still been a regular at my body pump classes, piyo, swimming and keeping up with my July challenge! And let me just say, this July challenge is kicking my BUTT!  It has been really good, and really hard at the same time!!  I was very happy to find out that I was the weekly winner for the challenge the past 3 weeks!
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If you follow me on twitter, then you might have seen that a friend has asked me to help her train for a 5k!  I am beyond excited for this!  We are looking for a race in the fall to have as our goal!  We managed one workout last week and we are going for another workout tonight!  She is really excited and nervous at the same time!  Our first workout she didn’t think she could run long, and so we just did a few min of running with walking breaks! She did great!
I know she will do great at this!  I can’t wait till it is a little cooler outside so we can take our runs out of the gym!

In other news, I got this cool shirt in the mail, and I will be sporting it soon!
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And last week I got to meet my friend’s new sweet baby girl and take her FIRST selfie!!!IMG_8465

Oh and my computer is finally fixed, so expect some more updates soon!

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Five Things Friday…Dream races!

Many years ago when I first really got into running, the lure of races seemed exciting, but also impossible.  At the time my health was not that great, and I was still deep in the eating disorder that held me captive for 20 years.  I did manage to pull off a handful of races before I went to treatment and was fully on the road to recovery, but the races after treatment have been so much better!  They caused me to dream again, and realize that running a half marathon is NOT impossible like it seemed so many years ago!  8 down and many more to go!
Lately I have been slacking with my running.  Mix the southern summer heat with just plain old life stuff, and running has been on the back burner.  I have been really wanting to get back out there, and I know that racing is one way that motivates me to keep going.  So I am taking some time to look at my dream races again and get my running mo-jo back!!

1. Maui Half Marathon
This has been on my radar for over 10 years now!!! My goal is to get there in the next 3 years!maui Source

2. Rome Marathon
I mean, if I am going to go to Italy, I might as well run a race right?
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(Elizabeth, if you are reading this, we are still ON for this!!)

3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon
As soon as I heard about this race a few years ago I knew it was one I wanted to do!  I have already finished several other races with the Rock ‘n’ Roll organization, and they have been fabulous races!  Plus, my bestie lives close enough that I could see her too, so win-win!
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This *might* happen in 2014, but if not, then 2015 for sure!

4. Isle of Harris (Scotland) Half Marathon
My family heritage includes some Scottish roots, and I have always wanted to visit.  Seeing some of the amazing races and the views of Scotland in pictures has made me want to run there even more!!!  And I have a client from Scotland, so I can get all the inside info I need 🙂
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I mean, who WOULDN’T want to run here?!?

5. Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon
This looks like one amazing race! Running on the eve of the Summer Solstice! Wow!  That just seems incredible!  And I am sure it is perfect running weather too!
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Yes please!

Have you ran any of these races?  Or any international races?
What is one of YOUR dream races?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Before I travel…

I have this thing…before I travel (especially flying), I have to clean.  And not just surface clean, but deep clean everything!  I don’t know why, but I have been doing it for a while now.  Monday  night as I began to do laundry I realized I was about out of my homemade laundry soap.  So I picked up some supplies yesterday!  When I got home from work I made a new batch!  For me I like to know what I am putting on my body (clothes, bedding, towels), and I don’t want to pay a fortune for it.  I have used some more natural detergents in the past, but they were more than I really wanted to pay.  I finally got brave last year and made some laundry soap.  It was a HIT!  Both the hubs and I LOVE IT!  It is pretty inexpensive to make, smells great, and I have a peace of mind about what I am using to wash my clothes.  (This is in NO way judging anyone who uses any other type of laundry soap!  This is just what works for my family).

Ingredients:
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Use equal parts of each powder ingredient then use a grater to shave in the soap.
The Oxi Clean comes with a small scoop and measures out about 13-14 scoops.  I use the same scoop to measure the borax (about 1/2 the box), and the washing soda (almost the whole box).
I scoop them all into a shoe box sized plastic container.  Between each layer of powder I shave in some soap, then blend it all together.
Overall it takes about 15-20 min to make, most of that time is spent grating the soap.
I usually only use one bar of soap, but since I have been having some sleep issues I added an extra bar of lavender soap in hopes that it will help me sleep better!
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I use a smaller scoop for my laundry, or if I use this one I only use it 1/3 full.

Breakdown
Washing Soda – $3.19
Borax – $3.79 (1/2 the box = $1.90)
Oxy Clean – $7.52
Dr. Bronners bar soap – $4.69 (2 = 9.38)

Total = 21.99

14 cups of each product = 42 cups x 3 loads per cup = 126 loads

Price per load = $0.17
(Only $0.14 per load if only one bar of soap used)

Comparison with other brands I have used in the past:
Tide powder – $0.22 per load
All – $0.21 per load
Seventh Generations – $0.21

Well it is back to cleaning and packing before I travel up north! Oh speaking of traveling, I was featured on a travel blog today, Your Fit Trip!  You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/wybesther

Do you have any pre-travel rituals?
Have you ever made your own laundry soap?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

2 weekends in 1…

As life would have it, I’m going to be unexpectedly out of town next weekend. So that resulted in me packing a lot into this past weekend! It was fun, but ended up being so exhausting that I didn’t hear my alarm Monday morning and woke up AFTER I was supposed to be at work! Oops!

Anyways, here’s the run down:
Saturday: Pet sitting responsibilities, gym for body pump, quick run & Piyo.20140714-162605-59165244.jpg

Then a quick shower before getting my hair cut!

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Next was a quick meeting with a new client which went well. Home to change my clothes  & pick up the Hubs, then off to a little housewarming party for some friends!
I dropped The hubs off at home so he could get to work and I headed to a birthday party for my favorite baby girl!

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Then back to pet sitting duties and home to bed!
It took me a while to fall asleep but I managed to get 8ish hours!!! That’s a miracle!!

Sunday: Got up and went to church, made it to my pedi/wax appt!

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Then the Hubs and I headed to “A Day in the Country” concert. When we
arrived at 1 we found out the main groups weren’t going to be playing till 7 pm…and it was HOT! So we decided to go home and come back later.

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The Hubs headed home and I did errands & got groceries. Went home and took a nap then headed back to the concert. It was much nicer weather and a great evening!

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20140714-172718-62838923.jpgParlamee

20140714-203336-74016906.jpgGloriana

20140714-203335-74015338.jpg20140714-203338-74018871.jpgSheryl Crow

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20140714-203722-74242175.jpgRascal Flatts!!!!

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It was a wonderful evening, and I really enjoyed the show!!
Came home and passed out from exhaustion!

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Found out I won week 2 in the July challenge I am participating in!!! Let me tell ya, there are some TOUGH challenges!!!

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Started off the day with some major greens after some not so healthy weekend food consumption!

How was YOUR weekend?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-