March FPP Reveal Day!!

When I opened the box this is what I saw and my heart was already happy!

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Lets start with the awesome chocolate!!! Finding chocolate for this girl that is not processed or super bad for you is always a challenge.  This is a new item to me and I really enjoyed it! I had some as a snack on the mini vacay that Wayne and I just took :)

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  Almonds are always a great snack that fills me up and lasts due to the protein in them :)

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I have to admit that I was a little nervous to try this Lara bar.  I am not usually a fan of items with cherry in them.  I was really surprised that I liked this bar.  I am glad that Alexa sent 2 :)

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I don’t know how she knew, but Alexa sent on of my favorite treats that I only let myself have about once a year!!  They are for sure not on my normal clean eating plan, but sometimes a little splurge is needed!  I was proud of myself for making these last 10 days! Hehe

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The first item out of the box that Wayne reached for were these tasty snickerdoodles!  They were delish!  And free from the 8 common allergens so I could eat them with no concerns!  Yahoo!

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And the Mango!  I am a huge fan of mango!  I was spoiled with eating fresh ones on my many ventures to Costa Rica over the years!  In my own trips to Trader Joe’s, I actually had not spotted these treats till one day last week!  I am sure they will be a staple soon in my own pantry :)   (I am pondering how to cover them in dark chocolate and have them as more of a dessert treat sometime!!!)

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Justin’s Nut Butter is one item that I REALLY enjoy but hate paying the price for, so I especially love it when my FPPs send along some :)
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Thank you again Alexa for such an amazing package!!!

If being a Foodie Pen Pal sounds like something YOU would like to get involved with, here is how it works!

-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 & UK 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 the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

Have a blessed day!

~Esther~

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Reveal day!

THIS WAS SUPPOSE TO POST YESTERDAY BUT I RAN INTO SOME TECHNICAL CHALLENGES.  I AM STILL HAVING SOME ISSUES TODAY UPLOADING PHOTOS SO I AM POSTING THE WRITING AND I HOPE THE PICS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON!

YAY, the pics are working now!

It is that time of the month again to reveal what my amazing Foodie Pen Pal sent!!!
This month my FPP was Kristin :)
She is from the New England area so she sent me some delicious items I have been enjoying :)

When I first opened the package there was a really sweet note.  She explained she picked up several of the items for me at some of her favorite local stores! YES!
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My husband spotted some chocolate right away and wanted to dig right in.  Poor guy had to wait while I took some pictures :)

She sent an amazing assortment of food items and a new magazine I have never read before.
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Chocolate covered anything (well maybe except bugs), is pretty amazing to me, so some chocolate covered cashews AND popcorn were so amazing! My hubs and I finished them off last night after doing some rearranging of furniture in my office! It was hard work and the treat helped ease the sore muscles :)
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Kristin was so thoughtful and took into consideration my food limitations and likes/dislikes.  She sent along a bag of Pirate’s Booty.  I have had it before, and already knew I liked it, so I let my hubs have the bag (small size) and he also enjoyed it.  I haven’t had any since I moved away from Chicago 5 years ago, so I will need to see if I can find it here in Houston.
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Kristin also took time to look over this blog to see that I am a ‘runner’ and sent some of her favorite running fuel supplies!  A really yummy looking granola bar from all natural ingredients, and some gel shots and power energy blasts to help me stay energized during long training sessions.  She also offered herself as a source of wisdom should I need one while I am training for various races!!!
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She also sent along some tea which I have already been enjoying in the evenings!
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Thank you so much Kristin for your sweet and thoughtful package!  You did a great job!

If being a Foodie Pen Pal sounds like something YOU would like to get involved with, here is how it works!

-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 & UK 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 the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

You can click HERE to sign up for March!

Be blessed!

~E~

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Valentine’s Day

Well, the babies and I have been busy this week getting a special gift ready for their mom and dad!

 

We started with a blank canvas…literally :)

IMG_7114I picked out some paint colors that I thought would be cute.  I did not want to do the traditional blue and pink for boy and girl. I have to say, I like glitter paint, but if I am to do this kind of project again, I would not use it.  I would use regular paint, and then put a layer of clear glitter paint over the finished product.  Live and learn.

IMG_7115We worked on Miss A’s first.  In my mind the ‘O’ in the word ‘LOVE’ would be a perfect circle.  Well, doing art with 14 month old twins, that did NOT happen.  Ha.  So I had to improvise.  I think they turned out alright.  The feet were pretty easy to do and in the end I really like how these turned out.  I hope their parents love them too :)

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By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Color Run

So I have joined another challenge for 2013! It seems like everyday there is some sort of challenge that I am partaking it!  I really need to start being better and writing about everything and what I am learning!

Anyways, I happened across this super great blog which I know will help me stay on top of running this year.  I did my first race of the year this past weekend.  I used it as my first of 13 (at least) races that I will do this year.  Jill has set up an amazing way to add in extra races by doing virtual races 6 different times this year :)  I just joined the challenge so I figured I would make the Color run my first race and virtual race too!
Jill even crated a super fun running bib to wear.  I didn’t actually wear this once since I had a bib for my Color Run.
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About the color run:  A few people have asked how it went.  Overall it wasn’t a horrible experience, but I am not 100% sure if I would do one of these again.  Maybe I would try it with a different organization.
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Since I have done many races (more than 20 but can’t remember the exact number right now), I feel I can tell if a race is well organized or not.  In my opinion, the size of the race does not have to mean it is more or less organized.  I have been in races as small as 100 people, and as large as 45,000!  Certain organizations have been putting races on for many years, and they are usually VERY organized, even if they are in different cities. For example, the Rock ‘n Roll race series is amazing! I have completed 5 of my 7 half marathons with them, all in different cities!  I could see where that could lead to some confusion since there are SO many competitors and spectators.  However, each and every time, I have been impressed at the flow of this very well oiled machine! But I digress….So back to the color run.  One aspect that I really did like was that a friend was able to pick up my race packet.  Since I live on the other side of town from where packet pickup was going on, my friend was gracious enough to pick it up for me.  Color in Motion even provided a waiver to sign for someone else to pick up your packet.  Another great aspect was that I only paid half price for the race.  I was able to get a voucher through Living Social so that was pretty cool :)

A few things I would have done differently.  First being the parking!!! The even was held at Reliant stadium, which is a pretty popular place to hold events.  I am not 100% sure the number of participants in the race, but somewhere around 1,200.  For Reliant stadium, that is really not a lot of people.  So why were we sitting in ‘parking traffic’ for almost 30 minutes and not moving??  In the end my friend, her brother and I just got out of the car and walked to the start line.

I know it was only a 5k, but some of us just need water along the way.  The course only had 1 water station, and when we arrived (and we were in the middle of the pack), they were out of water and handed us small dixie cups with ice.  Ice? Ok, not to be dramatic, and maybe I am not the norm, but it is hard to run with ice in my mouth.  I felt I was going to choke.  I ended up tossing my cup to the side along with many other people.

Then there was the color stations.  I knew this was a color run, and that I was going to get colored starch thrown at me while I was running. However, right at the start line the crowd was going a little crazy and the starch was going everywhere, and the guy in charge of releasing each wave said to not inhale the starch! Well that was not what I wanted to hear.  Each color station was about 15-20 feet long and there were people along the sides throwing the starch on all of us. They were each wearing masks and I can only imagine they had a hard time breathing.  During each color station, I had to hold my breath as I ran through.  If I was in charge I would have had people all along the race course every couple hundred feet throwing the color on people.

So other than those little things I would change if I could, the race wasn’t bad.  I am thankful I had a friend to run it with :)

Here are a few pics from our race.  I can not take any credit for them.  They were all taken by my friend’s husband!  Thanks Jon :)

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By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Yummy Recipes :)

So I have been doing a little baking lately and have found and changed a few recipes that are SOOO yummy! Many of you have been asking for the recipes and so here they are :)

First are Banana, Zucchini, and Chocolate chip muffins!!
I had been using this recipe from Simply Recipes for a while now to make banana bread.

Banana Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Method

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Yield: Makes one loaf.

So that is the basic recipe! Well a few weeks ago I had a lot of extra zucchini from the farmers market and was not sure what I was going to do with it. I thought about it and decided to make zucchini bread. When I got home from work I realized I also had several bananas that needed to be made into bread. Then the brilliant idea of making one loaf with both ingredients flew into my brain! Ha, mostly because I did not want to have to make 2 different types of bread and have lots of dirty dishes.
Well that bread turned out amazing, and I was able to share it with a few friends who also thought it was very tasty.

So a few days ago, I once again had more zucchini and bananas to use and I was going to make more bread. Well this time I also saw on the side of a Chobani container a way to cut the oil out of recipes. Instead of 1/3 cup oil, I used ¼ cup of the Chobani Chocolate Chunk Yogurt. I am sure that any greet yogurt would do :)

So this is the recipe I used instead of the plain banana bread one listed above (which still makes amazing banana bread!)

I stared adding zucchini into the mix and last night added some dark chocolate! So yummy and only 70 calories a pop.

Banana Bread Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour for a loaf or 25-30 min for muffins.

INGREDIENTS
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter (I substituted this for 1/4 cup of Chobani yogurt. Use plain or the chocolate chunk)
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 1/2 to 3/4 cup. I only used ½ a cup and I might even cut it down more next time, especially with the chocolate chips and the chocolate chunk yogurt.)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (I use Trader Joes multigrain baking mix or almond flour)

METHOD
No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter (or yogurt) into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
(This is where I add 3 chopped zucchini 1/4 chopped dark chocolate chips)
Add the flour last, mix.

Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan or 2, 12 space muffin pans. Bake for 1 hour for the loaf or 25-30 min for the muffins.
Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Yield: Makes one loaf or 24 muffinsIMG_6877

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And the other amazing recipe some of you have heard me talking about are Flour-less Zucchini Brownies!! I found the recipe over at Delighted Momma. I pretty much follow the exact recipe, but I might use a different type of nut butter.

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of almond butter. You can make your own if you want to save a few bucks.
  • 1 1/2 cup of grated or chopped zucchini. I used a shredder and then chopped it up into really small pieces.
  • 1/3 cup of raw honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. I used gluten free chocolate chips.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix everything together.
  3. Pour into a greased 9×9 baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Well that is all!  Happy baking :)

~Esther~

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Foodie Pen Pals January!!!

Today is the day!  Yahoo!!! Time to show off what my amazing foodie pen pal sent me this month :)

My FPP, Candace,  was a newbie this month and she did a fantastic job :)

The day the package arrived was a super long day for me away from my house.  When I walked in the front door I was so excited to see it I almost forgot to give my hubby a hug!
As soon as I opened the box and saw this I knew it was going to be great :)
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First there was a super sweet note explaining all the contents and why Candace picked each item!

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Reading over the note made me mouth water!  Since it had been a long day and I still had to make dinner I dug into these amazing snax right away!  They have a great flavor and you can tell they are healthy, but I thought they were delicious!

IMG_6024  We also dug into these awesome treats!  I shared half with the hubby.  Yum!  I got these before from a FPP and they rock!!

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I am not sure why this pic won’t turn the right way..haha opps, but no matter what direction it is this stuff is amazing!  I love cashews and have attempted to make my own cashew butter a while back, but it is not easy to transport.  This little pack was just the size I needed to take on my recent trip to Chicago.  I ate it with an apple while I waited for my delayed plane.  IMG_6023

I have not tried this tea yet, but it smells amazing!  I put it in my tea cupboard but I keep forgetting to try some.  (I just put a note in my phone to have some tonight!)

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On Monday night this week I was able to make the quinoa spaghetti! It was so yummy!  I made some homemade sauce filled with colorful veggies (red & yellow peppers and spinach).  IMG_6022     IMG_6618 IMG_6624 IMG_6622

Along with a great salad made from many treats found at the Farmers Market, it was a super healthy and filling meal!!!IMG_6627

Thank you again Candace for everything!!!!

If becoming a foodie pen pal sounds like something you would like to try, head on over to check out Lindsay’s blog.  She is the founder and creator and does a great job keeping up with it every month!  Thank you Lindsay for all your hard work!!!

Here is more specific information:

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 & UK 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 the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

If you want to sign up for February, click HERE!

Have a happy and healthy day!

E

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Chicago Weekend!

FRIDAY:
Well I made it to the airport with plenty of time. By the time I walked to my gate I was feeling hungry. I saw an organic salad bar in my terminal, so I got a salad. Friday’s #cleanstart2013 challenge was to fill your lunch plate with at least half veggies. So I got pretty much all veggies on my salad. It was really good, and I am glad I was able to get it.

Of course the flight was delayed. They kept saying we are going, nope, we are staying, we are going now, just kidding, we are staying. Ok, we are finally going now. Ha the joys of flying.

Arrived safe and sound in Chicago and it is COLD!!! I forgot just how cold it can get here.
After all my flight delays my plans for meeting friends for dinner were pushed back a bit, but I finally made it and met up with a few wonderful friends from my college days! It was so great to just sit and chat about life, memories, and the new adventures we are all on these days! These are the moments in life that I really cherish the most :)

Saturday was a been BUSY day!! I got up and drove up north to meet some of my cohort from grad school. Most of the group I have not seen in about 6 years!!! It was so great to sit, chat and catch up while eating at an amazing breakfast place that I have missed while being in Texas. I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a while. We were the 4th group to go through the program, so there were certainly still many kinks they were working out. Looking back and remembering all the funny/challenging stories of what we went through together certainly was fun and reflective.
Thanks girls for meeting up! We better not wait 6 more years to do this again.

After breakfast I drove back to the H house and waiting for my lovely friend Kari to arrive. She was so sweet and drove several hours from Indiana just to spend a few hours with me. It was really sweet and I am so glad I was able to see her gorgeous face! We went to lunch and Target. I am so thankful for her, and the friendship we have had the past 12.5 years! These are the kind of friends that everyone needs to have :)

Love you Kari!

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We had a fun lunch and the food was amazing! It was one of the best salads I have tasted in a while :)  Although I was a little bummed when I looked up the nutrition information.

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Since I have been blessed to stay at the H house several times, I took the opportunity to babysit the 3 H kiddos while mom and dad had a little party to go to. We had so much fun. We made pancakes and all 3 kids helped me make the batter. After making each kid a pancake in the shape of the initial of their first name, they think I am a professional pancake maker! It was hilarious :)
We had a nice dinner, and then played shoots and ladders before we headed to bed. It was such a fun evening! I was so glad I had a chance to hang out with A, C, and K :) They are such fun kids!

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Sunday was wedding day! I woke up to some wonderful smells coming from the kitchen. Katie had prepared this amazing looking french toast on Saturday afternoon to bake Sunday morning. Everyone helped prepare breakfast and with setting the table. It was a small feast. The AMAZING french toast that pretty much melted in my mouth, yummy eggs, turkey bacon and orange juice! It was such a treat to sit down to breakfast with an amazing family!

I went to church with Katie and little A and helped out with the Sunday school lesson. After church I had to get my stuff together to head out to get my makeup done and to get some different shoes.  Katie and the kiddos were leaving soon after I did, so I had to say goodbye to them before I left for the wedding!
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I was just going to try to pick up a pair of non-flats at Payless. I plugged the info into my GPS and headed on my way. Little did I know the GPS was taking me to Payless Liquor, NOT Payless Shoes. Ha! Oh well. I didn’t have time to be driving all over creation looking for the right place so I happened to be driving by a Wal-mart and just ran in and grabbed a pair. Looking back, I should have just skipped that thought all together and just stuck with my flats!
I finally arrived at Angela’s house and started to make her and her hubby some of my famous mashed potatoes! I used to make them all the time for her when we were roommates back in the day! So she had been waiting a LONG time to have this tasty treat :)
While the potatoes cooked A went to town on my face! I have come a long way with wearing makeup. I still don’t have a clue half the time what I am doing, but now I own eyeliner and black mascara, so I guess I am making steps in the right direction :)
Of course, Angela did an amazing job. She is a rock star :) I am so thankful for good friends who can help me look my best for important events like this wedding.

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Wedding Time!!

Well it was SUPER cold out on Sunday and my winter coat didn’t really go over the dress and shall very well, so as I walked from the car to the church I was freezing! Of course this is usually the coldest weekend of the year in Chicago. The weather on Saturday was actually not to bad, and was almost 50 degrees and sunny. On Sunday it was 15 but felt like 3 degrees. I can not believe I managed to live in this weather for so many years. I am so not made for cold weather!!!!

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The wedding was beautiful! I am so thankful I was able to be here for this special day for one of my best friends! The only awkward part was besides the bride and groom, I didn’t really know anyone except for a few family members of the groom. At the actual wedding, I didn’t talk to anyone except the groom who I saw for a few minutes before the ceremony started. It was short and sweet and to the point. I really liked the bridesmaid dresses and what they were carrying. The were holding little mini lantern like lights with some flowers inside! So pretty and in all the weddings I have been to, I have never seen anything like it before :)

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The reception was a lot better. I was able to connect up with the groom’s family and we chatted and caught up. I have not seen them in years, so it was great to see everyone :)

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I hung out for a while and then decided it was time to go back to the H house so I could do a load of laundry and pack. As soon as I was packed again I took a shower and went to bed.
Got up about 6:30 and finished getting ready. It was even colder out than it had been on Sunday. I can’t remember the last time I was in below zero weather. YUCK! I am so glad I don’t have to deal with that kind of weather on a daily basis. There was also a dusting of snow on the ground. Enough snow and cold for me for a LONG time.
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The flight home was delayed for maintenance issues. I was not really surprised. I think I can count on one hand the number of times a flight has had no issues. And I have flown a LOT!
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Finally made it home and back to my babies!!! I missed them! As soon as I walked in the door they were reaching for me and wanting me to hold them. What a blessing to have such a great job!

Workout Review

Workouts for January 13-18
Well, this week was pretty good with my workouts! I was really proud of myself for pushing it and getting in some sort of workout Sunday-Thursday (Friday if you count the almost 2 miles I walked in the airports).
Here is a little recap:

Sunday: I went to the gym and knocked out week 5, day 3 of my 5k training plan. In 31 min I did 2.3 miles. Averaging 13:29 min mile. It was a little challenging since I have been out of running longer times, but I was happy that I did it. It was a great start to the week and it helped after taking Saturday off from the gym. I also did some major organizing and cleaning at home, so that blasted even more calories.

Monday: Zumba was tonight! I am finding that I am beginning to get more comfortable with some of the moves and I don’t feel like I am a complete idiot the entire class. The instructor is so sweet and encouraging and I really have enjoyed her instruction. :)

Tuesday: Another day of 5k training. Week 6, day 1. I have started doing some sprints after the completion time with the training program that will hopefully help get my pace a bit faster. I completed 3.2 miles in 43 minutes. Averaging 13:26 min pace.

Wednesday: This was an easy workout day. Just 15 min on the elliptical and then I did leg weights.

Thursday: The weather finally cleared up from all the rain and I got to take the babies out for a nice long jog/walk. In 48 min we went 3.25 miles. The trail we went on was full of hills, so the pace was a LOT slower than I have been running. My focus for this day of week 6, day 2 of 5k training is to gain more endurance. The official training run was only 33 min, and I managed to do about 2.10 miles in that time. Overall my average pace was 14:45.
A wonderful reason I love running with the twins is that they think they are going fast! They love it and have a blast, which helps the time go faster.

Friday: Walking in the Houston and Chicago airports…

I did not really planning to get any workouts in during my weekend in Chicago. I didn’t even bring my workout gear with me on the trip, which is HUGE for me. I always get at least some sort of workout in when I am traveling. My plan was to just enjoy the time I have with my friends. I feel this is just one more step in the right direction in terms of my continued recovery.

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Back to the blog!

Hello everyone!  It has been an eventful few weeks, and I have not been doing that great at keeping up with the blog.  I have been working on getting home internet, which will help a TON, but have run into some issues along the way that root back to my identity theft.  Since my identity was stolen I can not even begin to count the hundreds of hours I have had to spend on the phone for simple reasons, such as getting the internet hooked up.
This is what happened in a nutshell last Friday: I called to finally have proper internet at our house…and according to the agent I spoke with everything was all ready to go, even after I alerted her that my identity had been stolen and they would probably need to verify it was really me. Several minutes after hanging up thinking that everything was a-ok, I receive and email saying that they were not able to process my order and to call them. So I called and a fraud specialist came on the line to say I needed to call (#A) and give them the correct information. So I call #A and they give me #B to call. I call #B and it is just an automated system with lots of options that I do not need. So I call #A back to see if they can help me. The next agent I spoke to said #A was incorrect and to call #C. So I call #C, and what do you know, it is a recording to tell me to call #B!!! So I call #A again, and get a different agent, and after I explain I already called #B and #C, he says that those are wrong and to try to call #D (M-Th) or #E (Fri). So I call #E and it gives me an automated message with a NEW number to call, #F. I call #F and it is the same automated system from #B with a bunch of information that is NOT helpful to my situation. Can we say ANNOYING!

I eventually look up the company and they have a location here in Houston and so I call them, hoping to at least get a real person on the phone! After another lovely automated system, I finally reach a real person and I am transferred several times before I actually reach a person who can answer my question. After ALL that I need to submit my request in writing and mail it to GA!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH

Speaking of identity theft, two weekends ago my car was broken into!  Ahhh again.  Not a fun experience at all! Not cool robbers, not cool.
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So, needless to say, it was not a fun middle of the weekend.  I was at a birthday party for a sweet 2 year old.  My car, along with one other car were broken into.  Such a huge pain.  I rarely carry a purse, but this day it had been pouring down rain and so I actually had one.  Once I arrived at the party it had stopped raining and I figured I didn’t need my purse then.  When I realized the window had been smashed in, I saw that my purse (and two new umbrellas I had just bought at Target) was missing!!! AHHH.  Right away I was on the phone with the bank canceling my cards.  In the few minutes from the robbers taking the purse and me calling the bank they managed to buy a tank of gas.  Everything else was canceled before they did any more damage.  I didn’t have any cash, just my license, a few gift cards and some random club cards and library cards.
Overall it was just a huge pain to get everything replaced.

My words of wisdom from this experience:
1. Don’t leave your purse/bag in the car, no matter how safe the area.
2. Have phone numbers for financial institutions you have cards with (banks, credit cards, etc) in your phone.  It makes it so much easier to call and have the current cards canceled and new ones sent.
3. When getting a quote for a replacement window, call multiple places and also find out from your insurance has any deals.  Even though my deductible was too high, I got a price through my insurance agency for a fraction of the price from the same company who wanted to charge me an arm and a leg.
4. Breath! As much of a pain as it is to deal with all of this, I am SO thankful that no one was hurt at the party.

If anyone has any more questions regarding stolen information or identity theft, let me know.  I am somewhat of an expert these days.

Well, that’s all folks :)

~Esther~