April Foodie Penpals

As many readers know I have joined up with one of the most popular food exchange programs in the blogosphere and am ready to post about another month of treats.  If you’re interested in getting in on the fun, visit Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean and all the details of Foodie Penpals.

The Lean Green Bean

I was paired with Nicole of Nicole On A Mission to send treats. Please pop over to her blog to read about what I sent. I was a little tardy getting it to her and I’m still so sorry for the delay, but hopefully all the homemade treats made up for it?

MY treats were sent by Tamiera of The Life For Less, and she sent some unique and thoughtful items.

  • The World Market soda was awesome, a strange, but yummy combination of various tropical infusions. Normally I’m not a soda drinker, so this was a treat, something I wouldn’t buy for myself.
  • My gopicnic I have no broken into yet, but given it’s a healthy snack I will appreciate it in the immediate future while I navigate my 10-weeks of diet and exercise under lock and key.
  • The colander was my favorite item probably. As I live alone I often hate breaking out my giant version for small meals. This will come in quite handy for mini meals and snacks, as will the bowls for setting aside ingredients as I create.
  • The butterfly cookie cutter is super cute and I plan to use it this spring, along with the containers, which I have nothing in mind for at the moment, but I’m sure when I need them I’ll be glad they’re there!

It was nice getting items that were not all food, they last longer and I can use them in more ways. Since I’m building my arsenal in the kitchen they were all great additions.

Now I ask again, do you want in on it next month? Well, here is the formal 411:

-On the 5th of the month, you 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 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 size and how fragile.(Don’t forget about flat rate boxes)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. ***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

What’s Beautiful?

I normally do not post on the weekend’s, but I had to share this information with you as I feel it’s an important step in my current fitness journey.

How many times have you asked yourself, am I beautiful? What is beautiful? How can sweat and muscle be beautiful for a woman? Do I have to wear pink or a skirt to be feminine?

Well Under Armour is redefining the female athlete. If you think you would be a good ambassador for this mission, or if you are looking for a fun fitness challenge, check out their latest campaign “What’s Beautiful” going until the end of June. At the end of June several finalists will be chosen (by UA selection as well as fan favorites) to move on to become the ambassadors of UA in 2013! Share your passion and commitment to your goal via photo, video and social media, and it could be you!

Last night I completed two challenges. #1 From the Mountaintop. Where I declare my goal:

Yes ladies and gentleman I am going to complete the 100 push ups challenge! I have negative upper body strength, so this should be interesting. I completed 20 modified pushups Thursday night for my assessment for the 10-week program I referred to yesterday. More on that soon, I promise. Currently, I can’t fathom doing 100 in a row, but that is what makes this something worth doing and success will taste much much sweeter.

To aid me in this process I completed another check mark for UA, by making a board on Pinterest called “What’s Beautiful”. I’m using my board to find images to push my thoughts on fitness and beauty. Trying to find things that I normally wouldn’t do, but can still inspire me to be my best and remind me of all the diversity in the world.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with an image I created at a workshop I attended yesterday. The focus was on sexuality as a trigger for women in recovery. One of our exercises was to explore the warrior within and to illustrate our inner warrior. Mine is wearing black leggings, sandals, a tunic top with lacing, I have long braided hair with laurels at the top and I’m carrying an arrow and a net. Of course I’m among the trees and birds.

How do you define a strong, beautiful woman?


Friday Food : Fruity Cake Cookies

Greetings! You are the first to be let in on a little secret. I have signed up for an intensive 10 week program through my place of employment in connection with an area hospital. Included is working with a registered dietician and personal trainer. We start Monday April 30, 2012. What does this mean? Well, it means we’re not going to be talking cookies and cakes for a while kids. As a last hurrah, I went searching through my cabinets and the interwebs. And I came across this gem of an idea, of course presented with a ROJ twist. Cake cookies!

What is a cake cookie? Well it’s exactly what it sounds like it would be, a cookie made from cake mix. A few weeks ago I was given a free box of white cake mix for spending xyz dollars at the store. I usually don’t use white mix for my cakes, so I was at a loss for when to use it. When I came across cake cookies, I figured, why not?

Fruity Cake Cookies

What you will need:
  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup mix-ins (candy, fruit, nuts, etc)


  1. Preheat oven to  350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl combine cake mix, oil, egg, water and mix-ins
  3. Stir until well blended and a ball of dough forms
  4. Place dough in balls on cookie sheet
  5. Bake for15 minutes
yields 2 to 3 dozen cookies depending on size

Photos & Comments:

While these are cookies, I figured there was no need to go completely crazy. I used egg whites instead of full eggs, I used extra virgin olive oil as my oil and I used dried fruit instead of candy as my filling. In fact when all is said and done, here are the nutrition stats per cookie (my batch made about 30 cookies). If you make them smaller, you will have more cookies and of course they will have fewer of the “bad” stats below.

Calories:   103
Calories from fat:   28
Fat:   3g
Saturated fat:   less than 1g
Trans fat:   0g
Sodium:  119mg
Carbohydrates:   14g
Sugar:   12g
Protein:   .5

I made a few in the toaster oven (note the last photo, upper right corner) and they did not fair so well. I also found the cookies do not seem cooked when they first come out of the oven, but they will harden, so careful not to over bake!

After eating one I can’t say this is going to become a normal recipe for me, but if you have cake mix and left over mix-ins and are not sure what to do, whip up a batch. They are good, different from a normal cookie consistency though.

I wish I had saved it! On Pinterest someone suggested strawberry cake mix with white chocolate chips. If the idea interests you, come up with your own combinations. Pineapple with cherry?  Spice cake with nuts?

Have a safe and happy weekend everyone!  I will be racing, running, volunteering, seeing family and enjoying life. Try to do at least the last part for yourself too.