April Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

I cannot believe tomorrow is May already! April was my 5th month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal program dreamed up by the lovely Lindsay at the The Lean Greenbean.


I got the honor of mailing her a box for April, so head over to her blog to see what I sent and check for the low down on foodie pen pals.

Now on to what you really want to see. What did I get?? Nicole from Apple and Arteries sent me tons of fun stuff. FPP is seriously like having a birthday every month. I love packages, and I think in this digital age Lindsay and her great idea might be signal handily saving the Post Office.

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My box o’ goodies included:

  • Trail Mix – an always welcome box edition. You can never have enough trail mix and granola
  • Barefruit dried pears – Love these! I’ve had the apple ones, and Iove them in oatmeal and cottage cheese. And there is no sugar added! Just the crunchy, crispy pears.
  • Tazo Tea in Refresh and Passion – again always welcome! I drink like 4-5 cups of tea a day. Mint in a fav or mine, and the passion was great iced – as suggested by Nicole. Great idea!
  • Extra gum – I ditched the gum habit for a while and recently picked it back up. This pack was gone pretty quickly.
  • Odwalla bar – super protein. Perfect since I’ve needed to up my protein intake and have extra snacks with me.

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  • My favorite the Penzy Spices! She sent me the Spain and Singapore blends. I used the Singapore in my Spicy Pinto Portobello Burgers and it was amazing! The spain blend was sprinkled on some balsamic marinated mushrooms and other veggies for grain bowl one night. I have tons of signal spices, but no blends – this was so easy and perfect for some of my recent meals.
  • Nicole also has these awesome pens for her blog. Better than business card!

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Besides getting a box of goodies every month. Foodie pen pals is great for introducing you to new blogs and people. Getting to know Nicole now, I found we have a lot in common – she got started by trying to learn some of the science behind a healthy lifestyle.

Get on board! Fill out the form and contact Lindsay via this link by May 4th to join in. Its only $15 max to play and the experience every month is priceless!

What was the last thing you got in the mail??

Happy Monday, and last day of April!

Dusting myself off and getting back on the horse

I’m feeling good this Friday morning guys! By 8 am, I had already gotten in some exercise (elliptical + core), made my own cashew nut milk (so easy guys!), and then used that nut milk in a smoothie, and was already headed to work.

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Maybe it’s the maca powder in my smoothie.

Or maybe it is the fact that the past 2 days have been amazing. I’ve lunched with the amazing Tara Stiles, been actually loving my low intensity workouts, attended a Spring Vegetable cooking class with an idol The Regal Vegan where I made new friends, and last night had an amazing avocado themed like 10 course Mexican dinner cooked my an award winning chef (there will be a more detailed post on this).

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Yoga Love

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Learning to cook (and eat) gorgeous spring veggies

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I guess life is easy when you are enjoying Avocado Cheesecake.

Do you guys remember those choose your own adventure books?? I loved those.


I would pick to go into the cave with the bear, and if it turned out not so well then I would just turn back and pick the other route. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, life does not work that way. Great job these books did in prepping me for adulthood. Note to self – don’t let future children read these. Or if they do and get their arm chewed off by the bear in that cave, then teach them tough love – no going back, sorry kid. Figure out how to climb out of that whole now with one arm and their other spewing blood, and the bear chasing you down still.

Sorry got a little worked up for a minute –

So last year, I made a decision. I spent tons of money and worked hard to start my adventure in nursing and helping people live well. All set to start in one month, I was going to be done in just one year with my second bachelor’s. Then, both bb and I would be starting our careers, doing what we wanted, and officially entering adulthood next June. Yeehaw!

Not so fast Ashley – you can’t get approved for loans because you have way too much already.

Did not see that ending coming to this adventure. I thought I was a good investment. I would be doubling my salary in order to pay back those loans, AND I have always had good grades, AND I was pre-health already.

After exhausting every option, and then spending Monday and Tuesday laying on the floor crying – I rallied. I realized those books did teach me something after all – YOU CHOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. I can spend the next year in this fetal position, with raccoon eyes, and pitying myself. Or I can get up and make the best of it. I still have a lot going for me – I still have my job in neuroscience research (thank god my replacement bailed literally last minute), I get to keep living with bb, and I get to stay in the glorious NYC a little bit longer. Not so bad, right?

Yes, my future is stalled and sort of in the balance. But I’m trying to remember everything happens for a reason and make the absolute best out this situation.

I have to say this has been one of the biggest set backs and road blocks I have ever experienced.

Welcome to life, Ashley. It only took you almost 25 years to get here – Now, what are you going to do with it??

I’m choosing positivity! And I’m going live the crap out of it, no matter what the shit pickle is.

Here are some wise words to live by – carry them with you into the weekend.

“Water flows freely, smoothing rocks in it’s path without getting stuck or caught up. let your life flow like water and smooth the rocks.” Tara Stiles

Anyone else in a pickle recently?? Or have some words to live by they would like to share?

What do have planned for the weekend?? I’m going for relaxing after the draining 10 days I’ve just experienced. Between health issues, money, huge life changes, arguments, misunderstandings, etc I need some sleep, yoga, and maybe a massage. I also would not mind if someone wanted to come cook for me : )