April 2012

Unjunk Your Food

April 30, 2012

Sometimes packaged food is necessary, a quick meal or a snack while out and about. Of course we all try to choose healthier options but when Naturally Savvy offered to send the book Unjunk Your Food for review I was anxious to read about some new healthier options.




My favorite example? Newman’s Own Candy versus Rolo’s.  I love the occasional treat but tend to not keep it around, when you compare the ingredient list in the Newman’s Own Version versus Rolo’s it is quite surprising. Newman’s actually contains real chocolate. There is something that seems so wrong about eating a chocolate product and seeing it doesn’t actually have really chocolate in it. Gross!


Yes I would love to eat healthy 100% of the time, but that is just not realistic. I enjoy my treats, especially salty foods and this book helps me find the options that are free of chemical preservatives, food colorings, artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, and trans fats.


This month’s Foodie Pen Pals came at the perfect time, at the start of our moving weekend. It was perfect snacks that I enjoyed throughout the weekend since we were driving all over the place and healthy food was not exactly at the top of the list.


I immediately dug into the Metromint Chocolate Mint water. Oh so yummy. I love this water but rarely buy it since it is almost $1.50 a  bottle. A bit too expensive for water but so darn good.


A huge thanks to Christy of Chocolate Covered Diamonds for sending out an awesome box.  


Foodie Pen Pals (1 of 3)


Foodie Pen Pals (2 of 3)


Foodie Pen Pals (3 of 3)


Christy went with an Earth day theme and picked companies with natural and environmentally friendly products. Love this idea! Thank you so much Christy.


Want to join Foodie Pen Pals?

1. On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to promptly contact your penpal for a  mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.  (This means you need to send out an email within 72 hours to make contact!!!) Please be mindful of your matches dietary restrictions if they have them. ie, if they’re gluten free, don’t send them wheat bread…or if they’re vegan, don’t send them bacon…it’s also nice to ask if there’s anything they really don’t like, so that you’re not sending them a package full of coconut stuff if they hate coconut…Consider asking your match if they would like to receive healthy snacks, treats or a mix of both.

2. You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. This will ensure everyone receives their goodies in time to post about them. PLEASE make sure you get your box in the mail on time. Feel free to mail it earlier if you can. It sucks if someone can’t post on the day everyone else does because they haven’t gotten their box yet. 

3. On the last day of the month you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!  I will also hold a linkup party on my blog so that everyone can add the links to their posts and they’ll all be in one spot, making it easy for you to hop around and check out what other people got! Feel free to write your post as soon as your get your goodies if you want, just don’t publish it until the end of the month

4. The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15.

5. 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!

6. You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (US participants- Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!) If you’re mailing something breakable, please make sure it is well cushioned to avoid breaking!

7.  If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for the blogger to feature on their blog to show off what they sent you. 

8. If two readers get paired together, no one has to worry about writing a post :) Just enjoy your goodies.

9. BE SURE TO THANK YOUR PENPAL FOR ALL OF THEIR THOUGHT & EFFORT!  Seriously, this should be a no brainer but you’d be surprised how many people I hear complaining that their penpal never even said thank you or even let them know they got their box.

10. If you’re on twitter, you can use the hashtag #foodiepenpals when tweeting! Tweet up a storm, friends. Don’t forget the "s" on the end- #foodiepenpals, not #foodiepenpal.


It has been at least a month and a half since my last Sunday Sights and Finds post, and I have a few fun things that I have found and am loving.


Glass Containers



I am slowly getting rid of all the plastic containers and replacing them with glass, between BPA and the containers looking like they had seen better days I figured it was time to make the switch. Although when you only have one set and a few random pieces you realize how much you use! I am trying to cut down on the number of baggies I use and need to go get more containers! I don’t have enough to put away leftovers, portion out fruits, veggies and snacks.



Dove Clear Tone Deodorant




I love this deodorant, I have it in my gym bag. It goes on clear, smells great, and makes your skin so smooth.







Vitalicious sent me the 50 calorie mini Vitacakes. They are chocolaty and are great just a bit cold since I keep them in the freezer.



Wood for Good Daily Clean





Method cleaning products work so well, natural, they smell great and are really affordable. This was $5.99 at Target and has my dining room table nice and clean and the almond smell is fantastic. Scott was laughing about how excited I was about this. He just didn’t understand how good it really smelled.



Greenbone Biodegradable Dog Bags




I am going there. Talking about doggy business but these bags are great! They are biodegradable dog bags that work really well.


Kiss My Face Sunscreen




I am a pale blond girl and sunscreen is needed! I wear it on my face every single day all year long. Being 31 I am concerned about any past sun damage and I want my face to age as slowly as possible! They sent me this to review and I love it. Not greasy, I am using it in place of my moisturizer and reapply if I am heading outside.


Any new recent finds?


Chicago Eats: MityNice

April 28, 2012

I spend a few days a month in Chicago for work and normally I head straight from the airport out to the ‘burbs but this past Monday and Tuesday we were actually working and staying downtown! I got to walk one of my favorite cities, enjoy some cool but sunny weather and most importantly try a great new place for lunch.


We wandered Michigan Avenue a bit and then I remembered that Water Tower Place had recently renovated their dining options and they had put in a cafeteria style area and a sit down restaurant that have a lot of global inspired flavors. Both are Lettuce Entertain you concepts and we ended up choosing MityNice for a sit down lunch where we could go over a few things before meetings.


I am so glad we stopped here! They had a delicious berry iced tea and some really great and healthy menu options. There special of the day was a kale super salad, I love a restaurant with options like that. I was tempted by the French Onion Soup, piping hot, cheesy and broth filled goodness. It was delicious.





Knowing that a cup of soup wouldn’t be enough I opted for the veggie burger made with portobellos, spinach, pumpkin seeds and parmesan cheese. I ate about 3/4 of it and really wanted to eat the whole thing but I was full. The sweet potato fries that were crispy and thin added to that fullness too.





My coworker insisted that I grab a picture of his fish and chips because they were some of the best he has ever had, flakey and tender with big pieces of fish. He was happy.




We had great service and I would go back for dinner sometime, they had a great cocktail menu.

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Fitness Friday: Getting Ready at the Gym

April 27, 2012

Last week of Bootcamp. Those 8 weeks went fast! I was crazy busy, had a few work trips, a surgery, we sold a house, and we moved. But I still managed to get most of my workouts in, except for when I was off because of surgery. I feel strong and am really glad I […]

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Travel Thursday: Switchbacks and Mountains- Granada

April 26, 2012

Another found post from our Spain and Portugal trip in November 2011, enjoy Granada!     Tuesday afternoon we drove from Madrid to Granada, a four and a half hour drive through amazing mountainous roads. Switchback after switchback, even though it was mostly dark the views we breathtaking. My Mom is afraid of heights and […]

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Wine Wednesday Kopke Port

April 25, 2012

Another post written by Scott, my port loving fiancé who would  drink port for every beverage. Anytime we open a wine he asks if it is going for to be port. When we picked up our wine club through Swirl for February he was beyond ecstatic!   When Mellissa bought 2 bottles of Port home […]

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Nature Box

April 24, 2012

I love foodie mail, especially when it comes in the form of a box full of normal sized healthy snacks. Naturebox is a subscription that shows up monthly for $19.95, you get 4-5 full size snacks.     These came in handy during our move this week! It was nice to have quick, healthy and […]

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Spring Orzo Salad

April 23, 2012

The birds are chirping, the trees finally have leaves, a lot of things are starting to get nice and green. This is the perfect salad for a Spring get together, fresh vegetables, pesto, orzo and it makes enough for feed 8-10.       Print   Ingredients ½ box orzo 1 lb bunch of asparagus, […]

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Gym Eats

April 22, 2012

I belong to Lifetime Fitness in the Twin Cities and feel like I pay quite a bit for that membership. While it is expensive it does have a lot of amenities and locations and my goal the past few weeks is to take advantage of all of them. Since we are moving this weekend and […]

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