Foodie Pen Pal – February

Boy did I get lucky this month!  I was paired with reader Laurel and holy cow did she outdo herself.

Check out this letter that she sent…so pen pal like!

And here are some of the goods in the box….

Here’s another shot of the treasure…

And now the breakdown…

Yogurt pretzels – these were opened almost immediately as they’re such a great snack!
Dirty chips – also gone within moments of when the bf got home
Blueberry cinnamon bread – gone
Sunflower seeds – opened but still hanging in there
Pacific cookie company – no clue where I got the willpower to hold off on devouring this
The tea, the sun drops, and the trail mix are still unopened.  They’re all a great snack so I’m waiting to enjoy them at a time when a portable snack is needed.
The artichoke hearts haven’t been used yet, but they will surely be enjoyed soon.
Not pictured – Trader Joe’s dark chocolate with cookie spread filling (GONE!) and two packets of Almond Butter (yum!)
The textiles – I love that Laurel included items other than food.  The towels (or at least I’m using them as towels), the beaded berries, and the little satchel (love that word!).

Awesome job Laurel, many thanks!

Such a fun thing to do in what is typically a pretty bleak month.

Does this sound like something you’d like to do?  If so, here are the details…

Pen pals are assigned on the 5th of the month (so you need to express interest by the 4th). The spending limit is $15. Items must be shipped by the 15th of the month. Your package must include something written (this could be anything from a note to a recipe).

If you are interested in participating for February, please email Lindsay at and include the following:
Your full name
Your email address
Your blog name/address
Your twitter handle (if applicable)
Whether you are a US resident or Canadian resident

Remember you can do this whether you’re a reader or a blogger.  I definitely recommend it, so give it a go!


Where did the weekend go?

Anyone else feel like they blinked and the weekend was gone?

I guess there’s not much I can do about it, so happy Monday!  I hope the weekend was kind to everyone.

My weekend was a fun one.  Saturday I got to see a friend who I hadn’t seen in at least a year, so that was great!  Saturday night I went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday and had one of the latest nights I’ve had in AGES.  the late night wouldn’t have been such a big deal except for the fact that I woke up around 7a on Sunday.  Blech.  But it was well worth it and then I slept like a baby last night.

This week is going to be a busy one, but I’m ready for it.  Spin Odyssey is this weekend and so I’m ready for the weekend to get here already!

I taught on Saturday which as usual was great.  My ipod is in the car but once it’s in the house I will post the ride.  I took an existing ride but just freshened up a few of the songs.  I find that a lot of the time a song that is new will sound great when the ride is new but just plain old stale a few months later.  Some songs are more timeless than others, that’s for sure!

I received confirmation today that my Wednesday spin class is going away.  I will teach it this week, but that’s it.  As I mentioned before, I’m perfectly OK with this, actually a little happy to have another night to myself.

And now it’s back to work…

Stay tuned tomorrow for the February Foodie Pen Pal post.

We made it

To Friday!

Such a looooong week!

Class last night was good.  While not full, we worked hard and quite a few people told me I kicked their a$$.  Which I’ll take.  Between you and me, I kicked my own too!

At TRX yesterday I opted out of quite a few of the leg exercises since a) I was still sore from tuesday b) I had taught on Wedneday night and c) I needed to teach again last night.  Even without doing most of them, my legs were tired!

I used my “Don’t Back Down” ride, which is all about strength and endurance.  Getting to where the hill is hard and then pushing past it, not letting yourself back down.

Tonight – Enrique Iglesias featuring Ludacris – Warm up
Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson – Starting our climb, adding resistance every minute or so, ending the song at about an 8/10 and coming out of the saddle. A nice solid/heavy hill. Difficult but do-able.
Raise Your Glass – P!nk – Staying on this 8/10 hill, let’s do 30 second sprints. First two back in the saddle, third staying out at 3.
Monster – Lady Gaga – Still on the hill, alternate 1 minute seated with 1 minute standing
Hey Baby – Pitbull – Continue the pattern from the previous song but for 30 seconds each. Make sure riders didn’t magically lose their hill. Encourage them that if at any time it feels like it got easier to add resistance back on.
If Today Was Your Last Day – Nickelback – Last song on this hill, 3 30 second sprints. Mix up whether you take them in the saddle or out at 3.
Switch – Will Smith – Not sure of the artist Recover. Whole song recovery, as breathing normalizes and HR come down, play around with cadence on the flat.
Walk This Way – Aerosmith and Run DMC – Take 2 on the hill. Back to building the resistance up to an 8/10. I told my class they could try for a 9 if they wanted.
Push – Cat deLuna and Akon – 30 second sprints again. In the saddle, out at 3 or at 2. Your call, but there are 3 of them.
Quixote – Bond – Back to the 1 minute seated/1 minute standing combo.
Open Your Eyes – David Guetta featuring Stereo MCs – Continue the 1 minute intervals.
If I can’t Have You – Kelly Clarkson –  Final set of sprints on the hill. Usually the seated ones are the hardest so I’ll do the first two out at 3 and the last in the saddle.
The Pretender – Foo Fighters – Take it to a flat and pick up the pace. All out sprints on the chorus. Final sprint goes to the end of the song.

Like I said, it went over well, but it’s definitely a tough ride and not the most exciting.

And now I’m just enjoying the fact that it’s Friday and anxiously awaiting 5pm so I can put work behind me for a few days.


I could probably make TGIT the subject of my post every Thursday.  This week however has felt very looooooong.

So let’s see…I’m bringing back some of the fit talking today.  Phew.

I got back to TRX on Tuesday and was definitely sore the next day.  I’m back at it today at lunch time and given that I’m still sore, it should be interesting.  Has anyone tried the new TRX product which is kind of a stick with a band attached to it?  (Great description, I know.)

Yesterday was my Wednesday night spin class.  I took over this class in January.  I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again.  This particular class is at a gym that is just…different.  It’s a chain, but the habits of these members are very different.  Plus, while there’s a somewhat strong spin program in the mornings (6a/9a), my Wednesday class was the only evening spin class.  I worked out regularly at this gym for a few years so I saw what the evening spinning program used to be, and it’s a little sad to see how it has fizzled.

They brought me on to replace a lackluster instructor.  Things started well with 10-15 people in the class.  Still not great, but OK.  However it was also January and we all know that gyms are at their most crowded after the new year.  Since then the class has hung in there, but it’s gotten to more around 8.  As an instructor, this doesn’t do it for me.  I can totally fake it and give you a great class, but the energy just isn’t there.

Knowing this made it hard to motivate to teach.  Just yesterday I expressed this to my mother and then said that I didn’t want to give up the class, but if they took it from me, I’d be OK with that.  Not to mention that while it used to be convenient, now that I’m working from home, it’s a bit of a pain to get to.

Yesterday I showed up for the class and while I was stretching pre-class I was approached by the manager (who I really like).  She told me that there has been interest in a Friday Zumba class, but that management said they can’t add a class unless they lose a class.  She asked how my numbers were (which she already knew).  I said not so great and that I completely understand if they want to cut the class.  She said it was pretty likely.

As bad as it sounds, I’m kind of happy about this.  I’d love to focus a bit more on my personal fitness goals and by teaching only 2 classes a week, it may be easier.  This way I’m open to sub at my discretion, but the obligation is reduced.

They’re supposed to get back to me, so we’ll see.

In terms of those fitness goals, I’ve been toying with the idea of training for a half marathon.  I don’t think I like running that much, but I do want to set a goal and then push myself to achieve it.  My superstar runner sister feels that it’s doable and she said she’d even put together a training plan for me.  I told her I’d decide after Spin Odyssey, but I’m thinking it might be a good idea.

And now Spin Odyssey.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I was chosen to be a presenter (aka an instructor).  The event is six hours and I will be sharing the second hour with another instructor.  Having just overseen a 3 hour ride, I know the pressure that comes with trying to coordinate music and make sure there are no repeats.  Imagine that when 2-3 people are teaching per hour for 6 hours.

My music was due last Sunday and it was stressful.  My goal was to keep things fun and upbeat.  Since a few Spin O participants read this blog, I’m not going to share my music just yet, but I will let you know that it does mix in some standbys with some newer songs.  I think it should be good.

So now that you’ve read a ton of text, I’ll end this.  Off to teach tonight so I’ll try to post a ride or two tomorrow.

Happy Thursday!!

Two days in a row

Well look who it is, it’s me.  Yup, two days in a row.

Can’t say I have much spin/fitness related stuff to say, but I’m still here.  As I mentioned last week, I’ve given myself some off time, but do plan to get back to things today.  First up, TRX at lunch.  I haven’t taken this class in a couple of weeks so I’m ready to get back to it.  More to come on that…

Happy Fat Tuesday!!

With all the chaos that’s going on, we decided to go ahead and book the vacation that we’ve been talking about for some time.  Our original plan was to go back to Jamaica.  It’s easy and we know what to expect (great beaches and fabulous weather).  However I randomly started searching for something else and we ended up taking a leap of faith and booking a trip to St. Thomas.  So if you’ve been and have any tips, please share.

This is what I’m now dreaming of…

I might not come back 😉

Back to the Fit Talking and Eating later/tomorrow.



I swear, I’m still here

Holy blog slacker!!

I’ve been really bad about posting and honestly, it’s just that things have been busy and the blog has fallen to the bottom of the totem pole.

As I mentioned, last Thursday was my Spin Odyssey fundraiser.  This was our second year doing it and while it’s not the hardest thing to manage, it does involve a fair amount of work and a lot of details.  It went well.  Not as good as last year but since it’s raising money for a good cause, really any money raised is great.

It was a long day though.  A full day of work followed by an event that went until 11.  Plus, as I was getting ready to leave the house around 3:45, Miss Minnie started acting weird and gave us a little scare.  The issue passed but the whole night I couldn’t stop worrying about her.  She’s fine though and the event is over.  Phew.

Next up is Spin Odyssey itself.  I didn’t realize just how soon it was until I was chatting with someone at my class on Saturday and she pointed out that it’s in two weeks.  Yikes!  Considering that I’m just not feeling spin much these days, it should be interesting.  I’m hopeful that it will reinvigorate me.

I may still be a bit sporadic with the posting but I will definitely do my best.

Be well and we’ll chat soon!



Taking time off

Aside from teaching on Wednesday evening, I’ve decided to take this week off.  I’m tired and my body hurts so I’m kind of excited about taking it easy.  Of course if the desire to work out comes up, I’ll oblige it, but we’ll see what happens.  I also have about a million things that need to get done.

In all honesty, I’m not looking forward to teaching on Wednesday.  For whatever reason I’m feeling a bit spun out.

I think I’ve also realized that while I LOVE teaching, I don’t really love taking classes anymore.  I don’t really like this realization and am hoping that it will change.

Here’s my view right now…

Rough life

Kind of makes it hard to work when I’d rather just do what she’s doing.

I’m going to keep this short because I have to get back to work but just wanted to wish all my lovely readers a Happy Valentine’s Day (whether you support the holiday or not, I’m sending love your way).


Holy spin rides!

OK, I really don’t feel like making the rides pretty right now, so plain text is just going to have to work.

I’m doing this a bit from memory so the rides will likely be in order from most recent to oldest.

Sunday (my portion of the 3 hour ride, which had to be cut drastically short to end on time)

I Get So Emotional – Whitney Houston – Warm up
Did you not expect this?  I ended up skipping it a) because of time and b) because the first instructor put his ipod on only Whitney before class and it was overkill.
House Tabata (featuring Coach) – Tabata sprints
First time using the coach and could only think of Chris saying she imagines him to be very hot.  I told the group that, they laughed.
Hanuman – Rodrigo y Gabriela – Quick flat, light hill, or jog
Led Zep Cover – from Girl with the Dragon Tatoo – Climb
The quality on this song was HORRIBLE and it just sounded like noise.  I actually apologized for playing it.
Showdown – Black Eyed Peas – Climb, up to 2 for the countdown, then out to 3, then back to the saddle
Take Care – Drake and Rihanna – Climb
This is How A Heart Breaks – Rob Thomas – Sprints
80s Ultimix 3 – Climb
I was all excited to use this because it was a 13 minute mash up of many songs.  When I listed on iTunes, it sounded good.  When it played in class, it did not.  Lesson learned, listen to the whole song in advance.  Also had to cut most of this due to time constraints but I was OK with that.
Wannabe All Night Long – Michael Jackson vs Lionel Richie – Climb
Quixote – Bond – Tabata climbs
This was going to be tabata sprints but when I had to pull the last climb, I switched it up.
Till I Collapse – D12/Eminem – Climb
Thought this was appropriate as the second to last song of a 3 hour ride.  Had to nix it due to time.
The Pretender – Foo Fighters – Sprints


Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO – Warm Up
Only Girl in the World – Rihanna – Climb
Music is Pumping – Porn Kings – Run
Da’Dip – Freak Nasty – Climb
Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon – Climb, pickups on the chorus
What a Night – Kontrol & Lil’ John – Climb
Give Me Everything – Pitbull/NeYo – Climb/Jumps
Hold Yuh – Gyptian – Climb
Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Climb
Hot N Cold – Katy Perry – Flat with Climbs on the chorus
Pretty Fly – Offspring – Climb
Sweat – David Guetta and Snoop – Climb

I think I still owe you the ride from last Thursday but honestly, I’m tired and just can’t type them up anymore.  We know it will be used again, so I can just post it then. 🙂

Weekend recap

I’ve completely been slacking on posting playlists, which I apologize for.  I PROMISE I will post them all later today.  I will also post my playlist from my part of the 3 hour ride yesterday.  I kind of considered it a fail, but that’s just me. I’ll still post it and comment on why I wasn’t a fan.

So let’s see.  The weekend started off nicely.  Friday night we had dinner with friends at a place called Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza.  It’s a chain, but it’s new to this area.  Everyone in our group thought it was great.  Have you been?

Saturday was busy.  I taught my usual 10a, then had a group ex meeting at noon.  Then Minnie had a grooming appointment at 2, which gave me some dog-free time to run errands.  Busy busy.  Then picked her up and went home.  My sis came out to visit around 6 and a few of us feasted on gourmet pizza (via the best chef) and watched the Voice and drank wine.  Tangent: I gave the Voice a shot after the super bowl and did not like it at all.  Watching it on Saturday night with friends was WAY better.

Sunday was a bit hectic in that I hadn’t yet done my music for the ride at noon, plus I wanted to make some peanut butter granola to bring with.  My mind has been spacey, so if I haven’t mentioned it, I hosted a 3 hour ride on Sunday to raise money for Spin Odyssey.  We had a full house (24 bikes) and raised somewhere around $700.  Woo hoo!!  There were 3 instructors, all unique, which was great for the riders.  I think it was a huge success and worth the craziness associated with planning it.  On to the next.

Sunday evening the aches started to creep in.  My hips and knees were just achy.  It wasn’t horrible but it also wasn’t great.

I rode the first 2 hours on a StarTrack eSpinner.

There are 22 of the standard bikes in the room plus 1 for the instructor.  However it was overbooked so I figured I’d grab two of the eSpinners from the cardio section of the gym.  I believe the bike itself is the same as the newest NXT but I’m not sure.  We kept the bikes unplugged so the screen was dark.  Anyway, this is the same sort of bike I had ridden last Sunday.  Last Sunday the ride when seated was smooth, however as soon as I came out of the saddle it was a bit jerky/bumpy, so I assumed something was wrong with the bike.  Well, both of the eSpinners felt the same.  Therefore I’m thinking there must be some reason that it rides like this.  If any readers have any clue, please enlighten me.

So here’s the recipe for the granola (thanks to Peanut Butter Fingers again)

Peanut Butter Granola (Makes four 1/4 c. servings) Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. oats


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.
  • Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture.
  • Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
  • Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 7 – 8 minutes until granola is slightly browned.
  • Let cool until granola is crunchy.

And now the chaos continues.  Next up is a benefit for Spin Odyssey on Thursday and let’s just say I need to find some restaurant gift cards for the silent auction IMMEDIATELY.  I hate this part 😦

Will be back later with the rides.  Promise.

I am back

This week has been exhausting!!

I am back in CT and trying to get back to a routine.  Trying.

Monday through Thursday I was in my usual rural PA haunt.  The days were filled with non-stop meetings in a conference room with no windows.  It was rough.  Meetings ended on Wednesday but then I had to take care of everything that had been on hold for the past two days.  Nothing like an 8a-6:45p work day.  Ugh.

Minnie is lying in the crate behind me snoring a bit.  I tell you, a dog’s life is HARD.

Having never had a dog before, it’s definitely going to take some getting used to.  I thought that I’d work from home and she’d just lounge on the floor behind me.  Good in theory.  In actuality, she wants to play and will find just about anything to play with.  So it’s a learning curve but I’m trying to mix up play/walk/crate and I think it’s working.  We’re trying to make sure the crate isn’t punishment but it is handy when I just need to know where she is.  Good thing her crate is HUGE so it’s not like I’m trying to jam her in to a shoe box.

Having been away, there was no spinning since Saturday.  I returned just in time yesterday to teach my Thursday night class.  I have to say I wasn’t really feeling it.  I was tired and it was hard to breathe and my legs felt sore.  All good though, it’s done with.

I used the B*tch song that I had mentioned a while back.  I just prayed that no one noticed what they were saying but at the same time I had to stifle a chuckle quite a few times.  I will try to post the ride later today.  I think I owe you quite a few rides and for that I apologize.

I am SO happy that it’s Friday.  SO!  It will be a busy weekend but hopefully it doesn’t fly by too quickly.  The weekend will wind up with a 3 hour spin ride on Sunday to raise money for breast cancer research (Spin Odyssey).

I hope you all have wonderful weekends!!