Friday, August 29, 2014

August Foodie Pen Pals Reveal Day

Wow can you believe it's almost Labor Day?! Where is this year going? This is going to be the best 3 day weekend ever because the BF is coming, and I haven't seen him since the 4th of July! Wayyy too long!

Anyways, today is also Foodie Pen Pals reveal day, so I'm happy to share the Foodie Pen Pals package I got this month. 


This was my sixth pen pal exchange and my third month in a row. I'm on a roll! This time I was paired with Kristina from York, PA. She doesn't have a blog, but she put together one of the most thoughtful and cute foodie pen pal packages ever! Seriously, look at those awesome (and informative!) explanatory star post-its. And that "hello" note card? I died!



- Coco Lite Multigrain Pop Cakes: These vegan rice, wheat, and corn flour cakes are super crispy, low in calories, and made with simple ingredients. Perfect!
-Late July Organic Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips: I've never tried these, but my housemates all said they are yummy so I'm excited.
-Nuts About Granola Muddy Waffles Granola: Stroopwafel in granola?! Mind. Blown. 
-Wegman's Caribbean Black Beans: Love black beans and I love that these have a sauce built right in. Instant meal! 
-Blind Spot Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Peanut Butter: A local peanut butter that looks ah-mazing. 
-Wegman's Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette: I eat a salad almost every day for lunch so I'm always looking for new ways to spice it up, and this will be great!
-Wegman's Wonder Water: "To wash all the goodies down." How cute it that?

Thanks so much for the incredible package, Kristina!

I love Foodie Pen Pals and highly recommend it to anyone who's considering signing up for the next exchange. I'm signed up to participate again in September and I can't wait! If you'd like to join too, click here to learn more and sign up by September 4th.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Throwback Edition

Happy Wednesday! Not only is it time for another Workout Wednesday (WOW) linkup, it's also our first ever themed linkup! We are kicking off with an awesome theme: Throwback Wednesday. Totally makes me think of this classic Nelly and Kelly Rowland song a friend posted for Throwback Thursday last week. It's been stuck in my head ever since, and is hopefully stuck in your head now too. You're welcome.


If Dilemma and other throwbacks aren't your thing, you can post whatever you want because hey, it IS a party. But if you like the idea of following the weekly theme, you can find them all here: http://femmefitalefitclub.com/workout-wednesdays-link-up/.

For my post this week, I'm sharing my Free August Workout Calendar circa August 2013. 



It was really interesting to see what a difference a year makes in my workout routine. The biggest differences are probably 1) how much  more consistent I was with my workouts and, 2) how much less running I was doing back before I decided to become a real runner in 2014. I was honestly in way better shape last summer, so I definitely need to try to incorporate more HIIT and strength training, while still working towards all my running goals.


Now it's your turn! Put your favorite old school jams on and join the party!



Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 


Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.


Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/curleedst/workout-wednesdays-link-up/ ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.


GRAB OUR BADGE CODE: 


<div align=”center”><a href=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/?page_id=5741″ title=”Femme Fitale Fit Club”><img src=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/10411245605_4348135958_m.jpg” alt=”Femme Fitale Fit Club” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>



Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Things To Love About Santa Barbara

T.G.I.F! I am so excited for this weekend, mostly because it means I'm only ONE WEEK away from seeing the bf for the first time in OVER A MONTH! Gahh this whole bi-coastal thing is terrible!

Since it's Friday, I'm linking up with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up for What?! for the Friday Five Linkup. This week's theme is "5 Things to Love About ____". As Mich as I've missed the bf and my friends back in the DC area, I know that I've been lucky enough to move to an amazing new city. So to remind myself of that,  I'm sharing 5 things to love about Santa Barbara.


1. Running

Before I moved to Santa Barbara, I was just starting on my 2014 goal to be a real runner and was still not the biggest fan of running outside. Being able to run in perfect weather along the beautiful California coast has changed all that, and the course views definitely helped get my through my first 10-mile race.


2. Beach Volleyball

Santa Barbara has TWO beaches with permanent volleyball nets set up for public use, a great city rec league with doubles, triples, and fours beach volleyball for all levels, and a really great pick-up volleyball scene at East Beach. It's great exercise AND you get to be at the beach, getting a tan, and enjoying the great views (Of the ocean. Not the people. Although...).    



3. Delicious Mexican Food

I've complained a lot about the lack of good Asian food options (can I get a decent Korean barbecue and Chinese noodle shop please?) but one thing there is a ton of in Santa Barbara is delicious Mexican food. We have really great cuisine from all over the globe in DC, but the freshness and authenticity of the Mexican food here is definitely superior.  


4. Urban Wine Trail


The Urban Wine Trail is a collection of over 20 wine tasting rooms and even some production facilities located close to downtown Santa Barbara. I love that there is such a big and accessible wine tasting scene so close to the heart of the city. Not all of the wine is great (Deep Sea is actually probably the worst, but it has the most instagramable background) but the ambiance and experience is awesome. Definitely one of my go-tos whenever I have friends in town.


5. New Friends

Finally, even though I miss all my friends back East, I have met some pretty amazing people here, including these crazy girls. Plus, moving to a city where I don't know a single person has really forced me to get out of my comfort zone and work on that whole personal growth thing.


Q: What are 5 things to love about your city?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nike Clearance Sale Finds

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Are you excited for another Workout Wednesday (WOW) linkup with Diatta Harris from Femme Fitale Fit Club, Sheila Simmons from The Frugal Exerciser, Natalie from Clean Eating Teen, Jenn from Comeback Momma, and yours truly?

In case that's not enough excitement for you, I also wanted to share that Nike.com is running a promotion for an extra 20% off clearance items with the code BIGTIME!



Because I have champagne taste and a nonprofit sector job budget, I'm always looking for a deal and am super into this seasonal sale. Here's what I picked up this time:


Now that I'm taking more yoga classes, I need more tight fitting tanks that won't flop around during all that bending. I like the bright color and pattern on this one.



I love the look of built-in-bra tanks and the back of this one is especially cute.


The higher-rise waist and wide waistband is perfect for avoiding downward facing dog induced plumber's crack.



This is a fun color and the seams on the back looks like they'll be very flattering.


And here's a few more picks that I just barely managed to keep out of my cart.






The sale goes until August 26th, but things tend to sell out fast so head on over to check it out ASAP. Oh an Nike didn't pay or perk me for this post, and none of the above links are affiliate links. I just love sharing a good deal!

Q: What's your favorite tip for saving money on cute fitness clothes? Besides not buying any. Because that's clearly not an option :)

Now on to the party!



Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 


Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.


Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/curleedst/workout-wednesdays-link-up/ ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.


GRAB OUR BADGE CODE: 


<div align=”center”><a href=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/?page_id=5741″ title=”Femme Fitale Fit Club”><img src=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/10411245605_4348135958_m.jpg” alt=”Femme Fitale Fit Club” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>


Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend Highlights: Beach Volleyball and the Best Grilled Cheese Night Ever

Whoa how is it Monday already? I had a super busy but equally amazing weekend thanks to a visit from these lovely ladies:



Alia and Julia both went to Vassar and played on the volleyball team with me, so you may recognize them from last year's Vassar Volleyball Reunion. They both live on the East coast and it was both of their first time'[s in Santa Barbara, so I was excited to show them a good time.

On Friday night we went to the Rebelution concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was my first concert at the Bowl, which is a gorgeous open air venue with a view of the sunset over the ocean.



Confession: I'm not the biggest reggae fan and never heard any of Rebelution's music until I started studying up on Spotify the day before the concert. But I LOVED the show! They have a great trumpet and incredible saxophone player, which is totally not something I associate with reggae. Good music plus a fun vibe and some pretty amazing people watching made for an awesome night.

On Saturday, my friends hung out at the beach with me all day while I played in the annual The Lime and The Coconut Beach Volleyball Tournament. The Lime and The Coconut is a cool coed doubles tournament where you register individually and play with multiple partners during pool play. The top two men and women with the best records in pool play then get matched up with a random partner for a single elimination playoff bracket.



I actually won my games with all four partners and went undefeated in my pool. Then, after waiting around about an hour for playoffs and playing a few more pick up games for fun, I immediately lost in the first round. Oh well, at least there was plenty of free beer to help me drown my sorrows rehydrate.

After the beach, we had the BEST post-tournament "snack" ever: cheap and delicious tacos and tamales from the famous hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, La Super Rica Taqueria.


Next, we cleaned ourselves up and took a short rest before a super-fancy dinner at Julienne and a fun girls night out on the town. 

On Sunday, we recovered from all of Saturday's rich food and fun with a delicious light picnic brunch at the Santa Barbara Mission Rose Garden.  


And then went right back to eating rich food at THE BEST grilled cheese night ever.


Our Vassar classmate Greg is in grad school in Santa Barbara, is an awesome party host, and basically a gourmet chef. At my subtle "hey you should probably have a dinner party when Alia and Julia are in town" suggestion, Greg agreed to host a build-your-own grilled cheese party with fancy ingredients. We're talking sage browned butter, triple creme brie, maple blueberry bacon, and caramelized pears. Oh and did I mentioned that Greg CONFIT-ED A DUCK! There was duck confit grilled cheese! 

Everyone took turns coming up with their most inventive flavor combinations, grilling it up on the panini press, and cutting it into bite-sized pieces for everyone to try. My favorite combination was fig, honey, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and goat cheese on sourdough. My most successful sandwich was chimichurri sauce, roasted red pepper, chorizo, jalapeno jack, and stilton on cheddar ciabatta. It was pretty much my favorite dinner party ever.

After dinner, a walk to the beach to watch the sunset was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.


Now back to trying to do a little more working hard and a little less eating hard.

Q: How was your weekend? What's the best thing you've ever put on a grilled cheese?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stadium Stairs Workout

Wednesday already?! This week is flying! 

As I've mentioned before, a group of my super cool coworkers have been heading down to the track for group workouts every Wednesday. After running sprints like the gear shift track interval workout, we also use the bleachers to pump up the intensity even more with some stair running and body weight exercises. So for today's Workout Wednesday (WOW) Linkup, find your nearest (and least creepy for you to be at) set of bleachers or even favorite flight of stairs for a stadium stairs workout.


1. Run to the top of the stairs 
20 triceps dips 
Jog back down 
20 sit ups

2. Run to the top, two at a time! 
15 wall push ups 
Jog back down 
40 Russian twists

3. Run to the top of the stairs
30 second plank 
Jog back down 
30 toe touches

4. Run to the top, two at a time!
30 second side plank
Jog back down
30 second side plank

5. Run to the top of the stairs
20 squats
Jog back down

30 bicycle crunches


6. Walking lunges to the top, two at a time
    20 shoulder push ups
    Jog back down
    20 double leg lifts

Q: Stair running-- love it, hate it, or hate to love it? 

Now on to the party!


Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 

Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.


Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/curleedst/workout-wednesdays-link-up/ ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.

GRAB OUR BADGE CODE: 

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/?page_id=5741″ title=”Femme Fitale Fit Club”><img src=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/10411245605_4348135958_m.jpg” alt=”Femme Fitale Fit Club” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>


Monday, August 11, 2014

Meeting Lorna Jane and Facing a Blogger Fear

How was your weekend? I had a great one thanks to a fun Saturday day trip to LA for my first ever Sweat Pink event: a book signing at the Lorna Jane Santa Monica store with the fabulous Lorna Jane Clarkson herself!

Confession: I was really scared about going. When I got the invite to attend the signing (and get $50 in merchandise credit. holla!) I was super excited and couldn't wait to meet my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors. Then on Friday, the freak out death spiral began. I didn't have the right clothes, hadn't met any of the girls, didn't know where to park, wasn't popular enough. It was basically like the night before my first club volleyball tryouts as a 13 year old, but without my mom to physically force me to get out of the car. But, in the spirit of facing my fears/leaning in/not being a giant baby I put my big girl pants on and hit the road.

I made good time and was the first Sweat Pink girl to join the fairly long signing line. They had snacks though, so I didn't really mind.


I met gorgeous fellow Sweat Pink girl Carmen from Latino Fit Club and took a quick selfie, but she had to run to another event.

I started to feel better when Alicia from Never Ever Been Skinny joined me in line. She was so nice and it wasn't awkward at all. We took turns popping in to the store to use up our merchandise credits. The store was so pretty, and I LOVED all the positive messages everywhere, not to mention the cute and colorful clothing.



It took me forever to decide, but I finally settled on this adorable inspirational tank plus the Believe Tank.


I also ran into Tiffany AKA Running Hutch and The Balanced Brunette Lyndsay. We all ran outside for a Sweat Pink Instagram pic.


Everyone was so nice and  easy to talk to. I also met some other great ladies in line (hi Raquel and Raz!) and was able to see the other more experienced bloggers in action. Tiffany is a connecting/networking genius and totally my role model! All in all, it was really good practice for me at being a friendly, outgoing, and social blogger/grown up.

After waiting in line for another hour or so, I finally got to meet Lorna Jane, get my book signed, and snap a photo. She was super friendly and I find her story as a female entrepreneur who started small and has really made it so inspiring.


I'm so glad I was able to attend my first ever Sweat Pink event and finally meet some of my fellow Ambassadors! Well worth the drive down to LA and mini panic attack, and i hope to keep connecting with more bloggers soon!

Q: What's your latest unnecessary 13-year-old-self like freak out? Do other people still have those? Is it just me?

Disclosure: I received merchandise credit through Sweat Pink in return for attending this event and writing a post. All opinions are all mine as always.