May Foodie Penpal Reveal

Another month down – May, where did you go?

Next month our little one will be 2!!!!! 2 already!

This month, Kyla from Kitchen of Ky had me as her Foodie Penpal, and she hooked me up!

My husband picked up the mail just before dinner time so I opened the package right away. I dug into Boulder Canyon “Red Wine Vinegar” Chips – they were quite tasty and to our surprise Lilly really liked them too! We don’t buy a lot of chips so when we do, we don’t mind if Lilly has a few. I have to admit, I was really taken back that she liked the flavor.

I also opened the Blue Sky Cheery Vanilla Pop – so yummy. I’ve had this before but it’s not something we have on hand too often. It was a nice treat.

Two days ago, I opened the Bite Cookies – they were great. I’d totally buy these to have on hand or as a snack on the road. Again, I let Lilly try the “cookie” and she wanted more.

I have still yet to try the Dragoba chocolate bar and the Havlah Pistachio Bar – but they sound delish.

Thanks Kyla – I loved the little note you sent too. Cheers!

This month, I sent a Foodie Penpals package to Allie over at True Tales of the Toronto Actor – you can check out her blog to see what I sent her.

Wanna participate as a READER or BLOGGER ? Check out The Lean Green Bean Blog and see some details below.

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 to get involved!

And here’s to the last day of May! Where did you go?

Piper’s Run (a.k.a Anna)

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)

What I Ate Wednesday isn’t new to me. I’ve been following a few blogs that participate in this but I have yet to do my own WIAW…so here it goes.

Jenn at Pea’s & Crayons started this link – from her blog this is what “What I Ate Wednesday” is about all about:

  • Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
  • It isn’t about Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt (good thing or my post would fail today)
  • WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so much more.
  • Celebrate blogging. Celebrate Food. Celebrate Individuality.

To read more about What I Ate Wednesday, check out Jenn’s blog at Peas & Crayons

Last night, my husband made Aloo Chana Soup from The Garden of Vegan cookbook. [We also have How It All Vegan]. So I ate this for lunch it today for lunch. Breakfast wasn’t anything fancy – Multigrain Cheerios with skim milk with my daughter.

On Wednesday’s we have a little Farmer’s Market in the Town my office is in; Kentville. It’s always a great place to grab a bite to eat, run into people and support local farmers, crafters and businesses. I am slightly addicted to the Veggie Spring Rolls and bought two!

I could easily go back for more and would have no problems pounding them back. And, no I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. My husband is the Vegan in the family.

I had two plain rice cakes with peanut butter as an afternoon snack and then when we (Lilly and I) got home we munched on some fresh watermelon – or “MELON” as she calls it. Sorry, no pics.

For dinner, I had planned on heating up some of these amazing veggie burgers. I found the recipe on Oh She Glows (one of the first blogs I ever came across). You MUST check these out, here;  they are easy to make, full of delicious foods and easy to bbq or bake. Don’t get discouraged by the list of ingredients – I swear these are worth it. I added some herbed goat’s cheese which Lilly decided she loved 🙂

I had also bought some spinach at the farmers market today, however I left it in the fridge at work. We had little to no spinach in the house, so what I thought would be an awesome salad was rather weak in the main ingredient 😦 AND, to top it off, I burnt the walnuts – not my night.


Anyway, this was my first attempt at What I Ate Wednesday. Next week, I won’t burn anything and will have better pictures.

What did you eat this week?

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my May Foodie Penpals Reveal!!!

My first 5k and so much more {guest post}

Hello Piper’s Run followers, my name is Jennifer and I’m your guest blogger for today! 

Anna asked if I would be willing to write about my experience leading up to and running my first 5K race, in the Bluenose Marathon 2012. 

A quick background on me, as I’m sure you’re wondering who has hijacked your Piper’s Run blog for the day. Anna and I have known each other since high school (95-98!) and have reconnected again on Facebook over the last few years as mom’s, which has been so nice. Funny enough, we bonded over the fact that we both married British guys and have shared travel tips over the last few years with travelling over-seas with toddlers to visit family!  Side-bar here Anna – this would be a great blog subject in the future!  Back on track, I have two little munchkins, my best buddy and sidekick Max (2.5yrs) and our sweet little baby girl Lauryn is just 6 months old.

Max and Lauryn

I’ve always been an active person, love to play all sports but my fave’s are probably Volleyball, Fastball and Basketball.  Never, I repeat, never, have I considered myself a “runner”.  In fact, I used to loathe any form of distance running and would avoid it at all costs!

What changed in my life to start running, you ask?!

After the craziness of having my second baby in two years, the hectic holiday season in 2011, then came the New Year of 2012. New Year Resolution you may be thinking? No!  We signed our toddler up to start swimming lessons the second week of January. Something I was SO looking forward to doing with my little buddy as some special (baby sister-free) time with just me and my boy.  It was the wonderful moment of trying on bathing suits 6 weeks after I gave birth that jolted me into reality that I NEEDED to start getting active again to feel even a little bit comfortable getting into a bathing suit on a weekly basis and actually being in public! It was the perfect motivator/reality check that I needed to get me going again.

I immediately signed myself up for a Saturday morning Core Strengthening  Boot Camp that started the first week of January. My train of thought here was – hey, I’m an athlete at heart, I can handle this boot camp. After my first class with our evil little instructor (she’s exactly like Jillian Michael’s!) I was knocked down but not out. I knew this would be difficult, but I have a crazy competitive edge in me that wanted to prove to myself and my instructor (whom I’ve grown to adore!!) that I could do this. So all winter long I’ve been going to a crazy little boot camp to keep myself humble and noticed that I was getting stronger every week.  While the boot camp was great, I felt I needed to do more.

Then came Anna’s blog, our beloved Piper’s Run.  Reading Anna’s posts about getting out for run’s all winter long and reminding us each week to get active, really struck a cord with me.  It truly motivated me to try running as a means of keeping active and getting healthy. So I hit the treadmill in my basement, squeezing in a 30 minute run when I could, while caring for two little ones at home with me all day.

I was worried that my same old feelings of “running is boring” or “I’m not a runner” would creep up on me as I went, but they didn’t! The most unexpected thing happened, I started to enjoy it!  It was giving me energy I needed to drive me through the day, it was clearing my head and making me so happy each day that I did it. This, only after about a month of running 3-4 days a week. 

It was this point that I think I emailed Anna to profess my love for her blog and thanked her for motivating me to get more active and running!  I shared my secret desire to enter the Bluenose 5K run in May with her and asked if she’d be willing to run it with me.  Of course she agreed (because she’s awesome!) and that’s basically how it all came to be.  I trained hard each week, keeping up my running and also still going to boot camp Saturday mornings.I won’t lie, I got more nervous during the weeks leading up to run, envisioning myself crawling up the side of citadel hill gasping for breath with everybody running past me! Ha ha.

A few weeks before the run I told one of my younger cousins (10 years younger and extremely fit athlete!) that I was planning to run and she signed up on the spot for the Bluenose as some added support for me.  If I surround myself with good runners in the race, maybe I would look like one too?! Or at least have somebody to pick me up and keep me going. 

My husband and son came with me on race day to be there in support of my big day. As Anna mentioned, we met up and it seemed like within minutes we were at the starting gates waiting to go. The butterflies were at an all-time high the moment before the race began. Once we went through the start gate, dodging and weaving around the walkers, we set a good pace. I felt great! Once we got past the first km marker and the crowds of runners started to spread out, we had some breathing and running space.

Things I loved immediately were all the spectators along the entire course cheering us on and waving to us. They really made you feel good! The volunteers with water along the run, located in JUST the right spots. My cousin and I seemed to get into the same groove and we started to run ahead of Anna (just a bit!!). We reached the bottom of Citadel Hill and for some strange reason I started sprinting up the hill. Other people were stopping as If they hit a brick wall and I saw it as a good opportunity to pass people!  We ran all the way up the hill, took a little breather for about a minute (walking), then got back into our sweet groove. Something about running around the top of Citadel hill on a gorgeous sunny morning was so energizing. I had a clear head the entire run and loved this feeling.  I took a mental picture of this moment in my life. Very cool experience.  Running down Citadel Hill was heavenly and the last leg of the race seemed like a breeze. My dear (did I mention younger and fitter) cousin decided to motivate me by challenging me to sprint to the finish line, which I am happy to say I somehow managed to do! 

I crossed the line in a time of 33:05.

I did it, I didn’t make a fool of myself and I think I looked like a “runner”!

I smiled a dumb smile all weekend long just thinking about it. I grabbed my baby boy after I crossed the finish line and took him with me to get my first ever Bluenose Medal.  What a truly awesome experience.

Max, hanging out on top of Citadel Hill while Mommy runs 🙂

I’ve decided to train and sign up for the Valley Harvest Marathon 10K race this October. 

Thank you Anna, for motivating so many people (I’m certain I’m not the only one!) and giving my kids a healthier, happier mom. It’s changed my life forever.


Motivation Monday #20

Motivation Monday #20

And something to think about……..

Pictures from Pinterest.

Guest Post coming tomorrow – Bluenose Marathon 5k by Jennifer!

Happy Monday!