FPP reveal and an AWESOME offer!

Hey guys, happy Friday!

As you may know, I participate in the foodie pen pal program run by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean.

Every month, Linsday pairs all participants with a partner in their respective country. You are assigned to send your partner foodie gifts not to exceed $15. Then, on the last day of the month, she hosts a reveal day on her blog for everyone to share! (If you are interested in signing up, it is a bit different for December- she is having people donate to charity for Hurricane Sandy. I am assuming it will resume back to ‘normal’ in January. The sign up info is on her blog linked above).

I actually didn’t get my pen pal package until yesterday afternoon, so I haven’t had the opportunity to try any of the items (Lindsay has us send our packages by the 15th every month to allow time for delivery and the recipient to try the stuff). Here’s what I got:

11.30 fpp1

11.30 fpp2

11.30 fpp3

11.30 fpp4

First off, I am super appreciative of this package. I signed up to connect with other Canadians and to try new foods. The SkinnyGirl Granola bars sound yummy and delish, but I don’t normally eat granola bars, so it might be awhile before I get to those. I also don’t use sweeteners. The ginger chocolate I might save for a brownie recipe or something; ginger is way too sophisticated of a taste for me! All this things I will probably use when I am playing around in the kitchen for recipes. We shall see. Thanks, Kim! 🙂

Yesterday’s workout:

I wanted to make sure I could get in some cardio last night before my meds kicked in, so I ran to the gym real quick and busted out a cool 22 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the row machine. I have been so off my Best Body Bootcamp workouts this week, but I have still pushed myself pretty hard, and have been sore the last few days (I haven’t been sore from any of the workouts from this Round of Bootcamp). My treadmill workout consisted of a couple repeats of intervals: decreasing the time with each interval while increasing speed.

11.30 workout

The row machine I haven’t used in AGES. I thought it felt pretty good last night, but soon learned this morning when I tried to scratch my back, that I am super sore. woo hoo!

So here’s some pretty exciting news…..


I was recently contacted by the people at pv.body- they started a monthly subscription program where subscribers take a quick fitness quiz and receive a package every month with one workout top and one workout bottom specifically chosen to fit their fitness activities. The best part is that they use top brands- EVEN LULULEMON– and upcoming brands as well. For just $39 a month, you get over $130 worth of fitness attire! Anyways, they contacted me to see if I was interested in participating in the program. I of course said yes, AND I want to share this awesome stuff with you guys!

If you click on THIS LINK, you will be directed to the pv.body website to sign up. Not only that, but through that link, you will get 20% off the regular price of $39. Act quick, because today is the LAST DAY that monthly subscriptions are offered at this price! If you sign up today, you will be locked into the $39 price. But, starting December 1, subscriptions will raise ten dollars to $49/mo. (You can still save 20% after today- so long as you click on the above link that I have provided).


I have already signed up- but since it is a new program, they do not yet ship to Canada. I am having my box sent to my parent’s house in NY so that I can still be involved in the program. Trust me, I’ll be doing a review post AS SOON as I get it! If you do live in Canada and want to be a part of the program, I highly recommend you sent the wonderful people at pv.body an email 😉

In case you don’t feel like scrolling up, Here’s the link again!

*Note: I got an email today from the company stating that the 20% discount is not currently being applied at check out due to technical issues. They have let me know that anyone who signs up through my link with be refunded the 20% AS SOON as the technical issue is fixed!*

What do you think of monthly subscriptions? To to subscribe to any? Favorite workout from the week?

Thursday Things

Hey there.

I don’t have much to share today. I have been feeling like crap, so a lot of moping and napping and complaining to the dog.

I DO have a recipe to share, though. Yesterday, I made crock pot turkey pumpkin chili. It was pretty good, but maybe a little on the bland side. I’ll share the recipe anyways.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 diced red pepper
  • 1/2 diced green pepper
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (16 oz or so) beans- I used a 6 bean blend, but you can choose black, kidney, navy, etc….
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup stock (I had chicken on hand. I used this because it was a little thick)
  • salt
  • pepper

What to do:

1. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet.

2. Throw everything in the crock pot.

3. Eat.

Honest to God, I don’t think it could get any easier. I topped my bowl with a bit of shredded cheddar- it was a nice compliment once it was stirred into the chili.


Since I was feeling super crappy, I decided not to head to the gym. But, being the fitness junkie that I am, I couldn’t NOT do anything (especially since it wasn’t my designated day off- I know, I know “listen to your body” and all that crap, but I wasn’t dying, I just wasn’t feeling like the normal stellar Jen.) I decided to get in some strength at home. In my pajamas. This is what I managed to get done:

  • 2 sets of 12 squat presses
  • 100 pushups
  • 50 leg lifts
  • 3 rounds of an arm series (12 reps of each move: bicep curl, hammer curl, overhead press)
  • 3 rounds of gliding lunge series (10 reverse lunges and 10 side lunges- each side)
  • 3 sets of 10 overhead reach presses on each side (holding weight in right hand , right foot crossed over left, perform an overhead press, reaching the weight directly up and over your head to the left. You’ll feel this in your obliques)
  • 3 sets of 10 deadlifts on each leg
  • 3 mile walk with the dog
  • 100 stability ball sit ups
  • 100 crunches

I actually broke a sweat getting this done because I limited my rest periods (felt that was necessary since I was not doing any cardio)


-I reintroduced carrots back into my life. Totally forgot about those suckers. They’re pretty good.

-I thought people in the states were rude, but boy, the people here are way worse (at least the ones I have come across). I have been shoved out of the way. People have cut me in line. They do not say ‘excuse me’ to anything. Ever. It sound like an irrational complaint, but dude.

– Except for the cashier at Wal-Mart yesterday (of all places). He was super nice.

– I saw another celebrity look-a-like at the gym Tuesday. This time it was Guiliana Rancic. I have also seen every Canadian twin of my Boston gym friends at the gym here. I think I am just having withdrawals. Haha ok, so my Boston gym friends will get a kick out of this: You know how I don’t go to group ex classes here? Well, a prime example: I walked past the studio on my way to the equipment the other day, and the girl was leading them in heel taps on the 4-count. It was NOT a senior class. Ugh, so sad.

-The lock on your garage door is backwards. I feel like an idiot every time I try to use it.

– I have a recurring dream of going back to the all-girls high school I went to in CA for my freshman and sophomore year. I often wonder how different my life would be if we never moved to NY. My first thought is always about how much fatter I’d probably be.

– Mint M&Ms. Buy them.

– I always dance to the intro music of The Mindy Project. It’s my favorite. Plus, I think Mindy and I would be really good friends.

-Ah, friends. I miss them. And home. And Target.


A treadmill workout! And music! And..well just read.

Here’s the treadmill work I did (2x through!) last night

3 minutes of running, 2 minutes of running, and 5 one-minute sprints with a minute walking between each interval, 2x.

Then, I somewhat followed Workout C from Best Body Bootcamp. I did three sets of 10 reps for each exercise; after each set, I did as many partial reps as I could (going halfway through the contraction). I didn’t move on to the next exercise until all sets (with partials) were completed.

  • Barbell squats on the bosu
  • Barbell side lunges on the bosu
  • Stability ball barbell chest presses
  • Stability ball barbell skull crushers
  • Barbell overhand grip standing row
  • Barbell underhand grip standing row

I also saw a celebrity look-a-like while I was at the gym. Brownie points if you know what this guy’s from:


So, all day I have been listening to this song:

And when the base kicks in, I can’t help but dance like this:

In other news, I’m on a medicine to supposedly fights infections (I feel fine, but my doctor gave it to me just in case). Side effect? No booze. For 10 days. I’m going to be a ball of fun this weekend. All homework and no fun makes Jen a dull girl.

Other ramblings:

-I went to Teavana for the first time today to try and find some peppermint tea. The girl working there was such a complete female dog- and I don’t mean this kinda female dog:

I mean THIS kind:


Never going back there again. Good thing I saw a DavidsTea place is opening up in the same mall.

-Hello, new best friend:


-Extreme Cougar Wives. Seriously? That was 60 minutes of my life I’d like back.

– I am going to invent washers and dryers that do their specified jobs for.the.same.length.of.time. I hate when I do a load of towels, then put them in the dryer, and put another load in the washer. Then, when the washer is done, the wet clothes have to sit and wait for the dang towels to get all fluffy and dry.

[Sidenote: We are covering the Theory of Constraints in one of my courses this week, and they gave that exact ‘problem.’ Smart people of the world, why have you not fixed this yet?!]

– Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Abby from The Amazing Race looks like the actress, Kim Raver? (from Revolution,



No? Ok, I’ll shut up then.

– I saw a commercial today for a new Words With Friends board game. Last time I checked, it was Scrabble.

-Other songs that have made it into this week’s weekly rotation:

Random, I know.

Now, after having a dinner that has resulted in pesto burps, I must be off to the gym!

BBB update, cookies, and christmas!

It’s a new week, people. Not a fun new week, however. Sure, it’s cyber Monday, but it’s also back to school for me. 2 more weeks of this nonsense and I am DONE!

The last few days have been pretty fun though:

There were 2 good workouts- Saturday was a combination of strength circuits and short cardio bursts (all done at home) and Sunday was a nice long spin at the gym. On Friday, I got my new armband in the mail, so I was finally able to use my iPod touch yesterday. I loved it! It’s super minimal, has awesome no-slip fabric(?) and has a small pocket for a key!..or money!..or both!


Wait, let’s go back to my at-home workout on Saturday. 3 words: Single. Leg. Burpees. I have officially added that to my list of all-time favorite exercises. We were meant to do a lot of burpees in this phase of BBB, but after doing Workout A last week, I just wasn’t feeling the layout, so I rearranged it for my Saturday workout. Lots of single leg burpees mixed in with other compound exercises. By the end of my workout, I was walking around like I just got off a horse. FANTASTIC!


I haven’t really been in the mood to follow the Best Body Bootcamp workouts lately, but I am thinking of vaguely following them (at least the strength portion) this week and getting in a LOT of my own cardio through running, spin, and kickboxing. Hey, since I’m on the topic of cardio AND it’s that time of the year where getting to the gym can be hard, I thought I’d share THIS post with you. It’s a lot of cardio exercises you can do to get your heart rate up up up! And you can do them from the comfort of your own home. You are so welcome.

On Saturday evening, I headed over to Leigh’s for a Calgary blogger meet-up. It was super fun! There were about 10 of us, and it was really nice to put faces to names of bloggers I have been checking out lately. Plus, it felt REALLY nice to be able to socialize. You have no idea.

I ended up bringing a batch of my favorite crack no-bake cookies. Alison asked me to post the recipe (you may regret this, Alison!) Here it is:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 stick butter (that’s in American butter. For you Canadians, it’s 1/2 cup butter)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter (don’t substitute with other nut butters, it really doesn’t come out right)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 cups quick oats (you can use cook and serve, but it really changes the consistency)

What you do:

1. Put the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa in a large saucepan and bring to a boil (stirring constantly). Allow it to boil for 1 minute.

2. Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter, vanilla and oats until fully incorporated.

3. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on foil or waxed paper and allow to set and cool completely.

4. Eat all of them and then make another batch to share.

At the meet-up, we also did a white elephant gift exchange. I lucked out (ALL the gifts were awesome) and went home with a few goodies:

Some locally made toffee- which I ate half of last night and it was deliciously yummy and fantastic


Some lemony soap shaped like a wedge of pie


And some handmade Christmas cards. Love the glitter!


This AM, a couple of packages arrived from my parents. Yippee!!!!!!!! I love getting stuff in the mail 🙂


Ok, ok. One is for me, and the LARGER one is for Tyler. Mom said we could open them right away, so I tore mine open. [Do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to leave Tyler’s unopened until he gets home from work?! Ugh, the agony]

I already knew of one thing that was in my package- so I really did have to open it right away. My mom made us a beautiful tree-skirt!


She’s a really awesome quilter, so I have no reservations in pimping her skills on the blog. If anyone wants her to make something for you, I could totally hook you up. (With a commission of course)

Then, some other really sweet goodies:


Soap in a coat! The bar of soap was wrapped in wool felt that acts as an exfoliator. It smells of delicious lavender.


A cute little snowman! He’s already up on the mantle 😉


A luxuriously soft infinity scarf and headwrap. Now I have an excuse to get dressed and leave the house today to shop.

And, without further ado, I would like to wish my parents a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 46th anniversary today!!!!! (SHIT, that’s a long ass time)

And good luck to my dad who is having surgery today- a wonderful gift to give your wife on your anniversary. Let’s just hope mom doesn’t make nice with the wine before having to drive him home! (kidding, mom. Sort of. Not really.)

My First Umba Box

Black Friday in Canada……just not the same. I don’t care what you say.

What have I been up to lately, you ask? Thanksgiving consumed me over the past two days. Here’s what we had:

It was pretty delicious. And I didn’t take a single picture. And Tyler and I went to bed last night moaning and groaning in pain. For the record, it’s not that I ate a LOT, it’s more the fact that I ate creamy and indulgent foods that my stomach isn’t used to. There aren’t enough Tums in the world to fix that problem.

HOWEVER. (it’s in all caps because it’s important) I managed to squeeze in a nice gym session yesterday afternoon once most of the food prep was completed


A 5k run on the treadmill and a serious set of weighted lunges (front, bulgarian split squat, reverse, curtsy), and hamstring curls with overhead presses.

My legs felt tired (which means they felt GREAT) so I was pretty pleased with the workout. To be honest, I think that’s the first time in my life that I’ve worked out on Thanksgiving day. Usually, I hit the bars pretty hard the night before (aka: the best night of the year to go out) and I pretty much stay in my ‘jams all day for Turkey.

The night before, I prepped my Thanksgiving nails:


Oh, and I got my first Umba Box in the mail! I think this thing is a great idea- it’s a monthly subscription box that has unique handmade products. This month, I got some cool stuff!





Now that my belly is filled with protein pancakes, I gotta get ready for the day and head down to the Christmas Market! Have a great weekend

PS: Only two more days to sign up for a holiday cookie swap. Let me know if you’re interested by sending me an email at jtougas77(at)gmail(dot)com