Tag Archives: Blogging

March Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

If you haven’t already noticed, I LOVE to go crazy with themes.  Whether it is for Lindsay’s Foodie Pen Pal Program, or a birthday party, if there is a need for a theme, I am there 150%.  So after all the fun I had last month with my Valentine’s Day box, I was excited to throw something together for St. Patrick’s Day.  See what I put together for Brie over at A Foodie’s Recipe Box.

This is my fifth month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, and it is fun, fun, fun! If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post.  It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)
For the month of March, I received my package from Katie of Baking and Swimming.  She put together a small collection of her favorite things which ended up being a perfect balance between sweet treats and heathy snacks.
FPP March
Most of what Katie packed in the box was new to me (except for the Girl Scout Cookies, of course).  So each and every bite was an adventure.
I was most excited to try the White Chocolate Peanut Butter.  I have seen so many different versions of this stuff around the blogosphere but have never had the pleasure of picking up a jar for myself.  And let me tell you, this stuff is AWESOME!  Pretty much tastes like Nutter Butters, especially when you spread it on graham crackers.  Divine :)  And to wash it down I took a sip of the Sparkling ICE Pomegranate Blueberry flavored water.  So delicious and refreshing!  I am going to have to be on the lookout for this stuff.  All of their flavors sound amazing.
Next, Harper and I dug into the Peanut Butter filled Pretzels and Girl Scout Cookies (though not at the same time).  Both were scrumptious and a big hit with the entire family.
Katie also included a few meals of convenience, which as a mommy of an adorable toddler and a part time music teacher, I extremely appreciate these days.  Since Katie is from Texas and is a self-proclaimed Tex-Mex lover, she sent me a package of her favorite tortilla soup mix.  I am looking forward to jazzing this up with some shredded rotisserie chicken and topping it off with some grated cheese and sour cream….yum!  Katie also sent me her favorite muffin mix for an easy breakfast on the go.  This is going to be a great activity for Harper and I to enjoy together.  All you need to do is add water and bake.  Doesn’t get more simple than that :)
Finally, Katie indulged my S’mores addiction by sending me a delicious and nutritious Pure Protein Bar (which came in very handy the other day when Harper took an unexpected nap in the car on the way to the grocery store.  Hungry mama locked in the car until sleeping baby wakes = potentially cranky mama.  Thank God for snack stashes!).
Thanks Katie for an awesome box! I hope your pen pal was as generous to you as you were to me :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal? CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

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February Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

It’s been a while since I have participated in Lindsay’s Foodie Pen Pal Program.  I took a break during our big move until I felt settled and organized again.  I missed getting and giving my monthly boxes.  It feels so good to be back ;)

This is my fourth month participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Program, and it is fun, fun, fun! If you want to learn more, check out my first Foodie Pen Pal Post. It will give you all the details you need to know to sign up :)
For the month of February, I received my package from Jennifer of Food Gourmet the Healthy Way.  She was so thoughtful to include all local goodies from our shared state of California.  There was also a nice balance of sweets and healthy treats.
fpp- february
After two weeks of clean eating, I was looking forward to a some sweet indulgences, but nothing that would throw me completely off my routine.  So Jennifer’s box was the perfect balance.
I was most intrigued by the big bag of salt water taffy.  So many beautiful colors and yummy flavors to choose from.  I grabbed a handful while I continued to open up the rest of the box.
The next thing to catch my eye was the jam.  There is nothing more delicious than homemade jam.  And anything strawberry is an immediate favorite.  I can’t wait to spread this on everything from bagels, to muffins, to toast.
I recently fell in love with Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons and these Coco-Roons could be its identical twin.  Soft and chocolately, it’s hard to keep my hand out of the bag.  I can’t wait to try some of the other flavors.  Hello Almond and Strawberry PB & J!
And finally, a bag of local dried apricots.  My favorite snack.  So sweet and chewy I love to pair them with a salty counterpart like a handful of nuts.  Get’s me excited for summer and the prospect of fresh apricots.
Thanks Jennifer for an awesome box! I hope your pen pal was as generous to you as you were to me :)

Interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal? CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. Who knows, I might be your next Foodie PenPal :)

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Guest Post: February Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

As I mentioned in my original September Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Post, the Foodie Pen Pal Program is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.  This month I was paired with a blog reader named Caitlin House and was more than thrilled to pack up a box of goodies to send for her sixth Foodie Pen Pal experience.  Since Caitlin doesn’t have a blog of her own to share her goodies on (although I LOVE her writing and encourage her to start one), she has offered to write a short guest post about what she received (and she even included a few pics!).

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Caitlin House…

From the moment I received Heather’s email letting me know that she was my Foodie PenPal match for February, I was thrilled.  She started off asking me loads of questions regarding my food and drink preferences.  This level of interest in my favorite things blew me away!  My favorite meal of the day? Brunch.  Do I prefer coffee or tea?  Love them both, will always love coffee more.

When my box arrived on Valentine’s Day, it was amazingly fitting for the love-filled holiday.  Heather put incredible thought and effort into the box she sent me.  It was stock full of delicious goodies and each item had a sweet hand-written note attached.


My favorite part of the box was the accompanying recipes (three in all!). There were recipes for the homemade Dried Cranberry Shortbread Hearts (taste amazing!), Tomato Basil Bisque to match the Hearts Crackers, and Heather’s own Homemade Tomato Sauce to serve with the Valentine Pasta.

Shortbread Hearts 2

Heather’s choices had amazing variety while still having certain items play off one another. The cranberry shortbread was amazing to eat along with a cup of the Red Velvet Coffee. And for a truly relaxing pairing, I loved the Lori’s Ojai Lavender Lemonade and a piece of Strong Dark Chocolate by Chocolove. YUM.  FoodiePenPal Feb Collage

And to cover my brunching addiction, Heather sent me granola that tastes like dessert!  I seriously cannot keep my hands out of the bag of Love Crunch, a sweet granola with dark chocolate, strawberries, and raspberries. In fact, my hand is navigating from keyboard to bag as I type…

Overall, Heather made this month my most memorable FPP, yet!  Her thoughtful box went above and beyond in delivering new-to-me treats, fun recipes I can recreate, and wonderfully sweet and personal touches.  She even sent a “love” cookie cutter, so I can put a little extra love in my next cooking adventure. Thanks so much, Heather!

FebFPP Love

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Feelin’ the Love…

Some people might consider February to be the month of love.  But for me, it was May that was overflowing with awesome blog-love!  I feel so honored to have been recognized by my peers for three new award nominations.  Truthfully, writing this blog is rewarding enough for me, but knowing that people enjoy and appreciate it is a nice little bonus :)

After starting my What’s in the Box? link party, I have come across so many phenomenal blogs.  I have enjoyed getting to know the bloggers and sharing in each others excitement about our weekly CSA boxes.  I met the three bloggers who have nominated me through my link party and am having a blast swapping recipes, tips and ideas about our produce.

Inger Wilkerson, of Art of Living Naturally, nominated me for my second Versatile Blogger Award, and my third VBA came from Bibliopharm.  The other award is from Year of Healthier Living, who nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Being nominated for these awards comes with some responsibilities (which you may remember from my first nomination).  First and foremost, I want to thank Inger, Bibliopharm and Year of Healthier Living for their generous nominations.  The blog-love is definitely mutual and I am grateful to be sharing this blogging journey with you.  Secondly, I get to nominate 15 more bloggers and make them aware of their nomination.  So here we go…(in alphabetical order, of course).


1.  Adventures of the Kitchen Ninja– Ever wonder what a hakurei turnip or sunchoke is?  Well today is your lucky day because CSA Share Ninja has come to your rescue.  Julianne, AKA “the Ninj”, has a passion for food- reading about it, growing it, preparing it and eating it and she wants to share her skills with you!  Not only does Julianne post delicious and mouth-watering recipes using fresh, seasonal produce, but she offers great insight into fruits and veggies for which we may be unfamiliar.

2.  Agrigirl’s Blog–  Tammy of “Agrigirl’s Blog” writes about a lot of different things.  She enlightens people about life, leadership and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  But what I love most about Tammy’s blog, are her t3 reports, or “Tammy’s Top Ten”.  Tammy reports on everything from kitchen utensils, to holiday ideas, to life lessons, all bundled up in an organized and informative list.  I have learned so much from Tammy’s blog and I know you will too.

3.  CSA for Three–  Looking for some cooking inspiration for that chard?  Need an idea on how to yumm-ify your kohlrabi?  Well, then head on over to Michelann and Tiffany’s blog where they have an everlasting supply of delicious recipes that incorporate fresh, organic and seasonal veggies.  Sound a little too healthy for you?  Don’t worry, these ladies are all about balance and always find a way to sneak in some chocolate, a cocktail or bacon :)

4.  Curly Bug– In the midst of raising two boys under 5, this stay at home mom finds time to blog about crafts, gardening, and delicious, healthy food (another fellow CSA lover).  After reading through her adventures with her boys, I think its safe to say, that she might just be one of the world’s most fun moms!  What other mom do you know builds a bubble in the backyard?  And her boys…too cute!  Check out some adorable quotables from her 2.5 and 4.5 year old sons.  They are sure to make you smile :)

5.  Enjoy It–  Elise’s blog is one of the first things I read when I get up in the morning.  I love following along as she creates new projects, shares her blogging knowledge or writes about her relationship with her military husband.  Elise is always up to something and there is no doubt I often find myself living vicariously through her.  From painting her walls, to decorating her desk, to whipping up another homemade pizza, she can’t help but be creative.  And I admire that.

6.  Epicurean Mom– A mother of two that makes gourmet meals that look this beautiful?  Yeah, she exists.  And her food is not only  delicious it’s healthy too!  Katie is passionate about using fresh, organic and local produce and even grows fruits and veggies in her own home garden.  So whether it’s pizza, burgers or dessert, you can be sure Katie’s recipes not only taste good, but they are good for you too!

7.  Fresh Veggies in the Desert– When I first came upon “Fresh Veggies in the Desert”, I knew Sharlea and I we would be fast friends.  She’s a momma of an adorable 3-year-old, a great cook, and loves everything about Community Supported Agriculture.  And although writing about fresh produce can seem boring at times, Sharlea always finds a way to make it enjoyable and funny.  PS:  her salads look absolutely killer!

8.  Gourmet Veggie Mama–  The name of Lauren’s blog couldn’t be more perfect.  Not only does this Gourmet Veggie Mama whip up some awesome cuisine for grown ups (cocktails included) but she is making some delicious homemade meals for her little one too.  And the fun doesn’t stop there.  Lauren is constantly sharing great parenting info, gardening tips and more.  Her blog tagline reads, “A blog about having it all”…and by the looks of it, she truly does :)

9.  The Little Green Playpen– Dee of “The Little Green Playpen” has become my resource for all things organic.  She posts on everything from organic beauty products, to green kitchen utensils, to organic cleaning products.  A mother of a 5-year-old little girl, Dee also informs parents about the best organic products for children.  I appreciate all the time and effort Dee puts into her posts.  They are full of important information on how to live naturally, successfully.

10.  Living Simply Gluten Free– Having dabbled in and out of the gluten-free lifestyle over the years,  witnessing people who are living full lives without gluten inspire me to make a change.  Sherrie of “Living Simply Gluten Free” is cooking up some delicious gluten-free dishes and each post has me venturing closer and closer to saying goodbye to gluten for good.  Her Asparagus Pasta Carbonara and Black Bean Guacamole Tacos give me hope for a gluten-free future.

11.  Made By Mike– If you can get a sugar high via the internet, than “Made by Mike” may be to blame.  With pages and pages of decadent desserts, Mike is the answer to every sweet tooth’s dream.  But don’t worry, he always makes sure you are full from a delicious dinner before the baking begins.  Or you can get the best of both worlds and enjoy a Toasted Cheese and Tomato Soup Cupcake (don’t knock it before you try it…).

12.  My Daily Creative–  Drawing is such a special talent.  To be able to translate your imagination on paper in a way that is beautiful and detailed is truly an art (hence the name…).  Sarah from “My Daily Creative” never ceases to amaze me with her daily posts of her work.  From chalk drawings, to crayon doodles, she leaves me speechless.  So I have decided, that when I grow up, I want to be an artist like Sarah :)

13.  The Plastic-Free Chef–  I have done my best to rid my house of Tupperware (using Pyrex storage containers instead).  I ask for paper bags at the store (as I often forget my reusable…tisk, tisk).  But Mary Kate, who is 17 by the way, is the plastic free queen!  I have learned so much from her in the short time I have been following her blog it is amazing.  And we are talking about more than just new storage ideas.  Mary Kate teaches you how to make pretty much everything plastic free and as a result, is my heroine!

14.  Poor Girl Organic–  All too often, people say that they don’t eat organic because it’s too expensive.  Well, apparently they haven’t read “Poor Girl Organic’s” blog, who shows folks how you can eat organic, healthy and fresh, on a budget.  Not only does she share her cooking adventures with her readers, but she breaks down the budget for each meal.  That way you can see how much of a deal eating organic really is!

15.  Project Mommy Brain–  After giving birth to Harper, I experienced (and continue to experience) the symptoms of mommy brain.  But as this mommy points out, mommy brain is more than blank stares and forgotten information.  Mommy brain is the wonderful ability to tap into “thoughts and reflections about life and humanity that surface in the everyday acts of raising [children]”.  Melissa of “Project Mommy Brain” touches on everything from natural child-birth, to breastfeeding and beyond in a beautifully articulate and poetic way.  Her words inspire me daily.

After nominating 15 other bloggers, I have to reveal 7 things about myself.  So here it goes…

1.  I teach music to babies.

2.  I have a weakness for all things S’mores.

3.  I am passionate about working with people with Down Syndrome.

4.  I want my next car to be a Jetta SportWagen (I am SUCH a mom…).

5.  I think Pit bulls make excellent pets.  (I have 2 that currently live in Ireland with my mom)

6.  I earned my first pay check at the age of 3 (by singing on a Taco Bell commercial).

7.  My husband and I met at church.

That’s enough about me…now go and check out those awesome blogs!

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The Liebster Award

My whole life I have been a self-starter.  I have a competitive spirit but mostly with myself.  I always set the bar high and reach for the stars.  I like to think that I don’t need someone to pat me on the back and tell me I did a good job, but when it happens, it sure does feel good :)

Last week I received a post on my Facebook page that read: “Hey, I’ve nominated ‘In Her Chucks’ for a Liebster Blog Award”.  The message came from Anna at Piper’s Run, a blog about being a mom, a wife, working out and many more things.  I was extremely honored by the gesture and couldn’t wait to find out what the Liebster Award was all about.

After reading a bit more about the award on Anna’s blog, I learned that the Liebster Award is given to bloggers who have inspired their peers through their work.  The award takes its name from the German word meaning “beloved, dearest or favorite”.  Wow!  That definitely put a smile on my face :D.  As I read more, I found out that not only do I get to accept this award, but I get to pass it on to 5 more blogs that inspire me.  So in alphabetical order, here are the top 5 blogs that motivate me.

1.  Changing my Destiny:  If you are looking for some wonderful ideas on how to makeover your life, look no further than Addison’s Blog.  She writes about everything from DIY crafts and projects to weekly meal planning and grocery shopping.  My favorite series is her Eco Challenge.  For the month of March she promised to try one eco tip a day to move herself in the direction of being more eco conscious.  And she is inspiring her readers to do the same, including me.  Some of her suggestions include starting a garden, joining a CSA, and trying this most amazing new shower head.  Thank you Addison for teaching us all how to live a little bit greener :)

2.  Damsel in Dior:  When I want to grow up, I want to be as fabulous as Jacey aka Damsel.  As a mom on the go, I rarely get the chance to dress up, do my hair or get an ounce of make up on my face, so I have decided to live vicariously through fashion blogs.  I know that sooner or later I will get the chance to take a shower for longer than 5 minutes, get the time to blow dry my hair and maybe even go shopping for a new wardrobe.  And when I do, I’m taking all of Jacey’s advice.  Her blog is fun, fashionable and fancy.  Thank you “Damsel” for keeping me up to date on what’s hip!

3.  Koko Likes:  I love Koko Likes…but probably not as much as my brother (it’s his girlfriend).  Her blog makes me smile.  Whether she is documenting her daily eats on her What I Ate Wednesday posts, sharing her favorite recipes or opening up about what it is like to be in love with a deployed soldier, Koko is always outgoing, cheerful and real.  I had toyed around with starting a blog for a while.  Unfortunately I let some fears about what to write, how people would receive it and other silly insecurities get in the way.  But after reading Koko’s blog, I was inspired to go ahead and take the plunge.  She taught me that as long as you are true to yourself, people will enjoy it.  And that was that.  So thank you Koko for setting the example of being true to yourself.  Because, there is no one else out there like you ;)

4.  Maison Interiors:  They say, home is where the heart is.  And where I can’t deny that statement, it doesn’t hurt to make that home pretty.  Audrey from Maison Interiors does just that.  As an interior designer and artist, Audrey has lots to share about how to spruce up your space.  She offers inspiration boards, DIY tutorials and links to the latest and greatest trends in interior design.  After reading her blog, you will be ready to update every room in your house to bring it up to its potential.  I’m starting with the bedroom!  Thanks Audrey for inspiring me to dwell in beauty!

5.  Zo Much Baby:  I’m pretty certain that when you look up the phrase, Super Mom in the dictionary, Jennifer’s picture will pop up.  A new mom of an adorable 10 month old boy, a full-time career woman, a PhD student a budding children’s clothing designer and a poet…this momma’s got it going on!  And she is willing to share her secrets with all of us.  Jennifer writes about everything from making a family budget, to learning how to balance your time, to the adventures of making your own baby food.  I can’t get enough of her honesty when it comes to dealing with the real life issues of raising a family.  Thank you Jennifer for inspiring me to be the best mommy I can be :)

Winners please keep the karma flowin’ and refer to the instructions below…

  1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.
  2. Post the award to your blog.
  3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value (It’s a great way to get to word out there about other blogs!!)
  4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have received this award.

Congratulations to all the winners.  Keep up the good work and thank you for your daily inspiration :)

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Hubby vs Hobby

Tonight, as I was sitting down to write my blog, Freddie came in and asked if we could veg out and catch up on our reality television (total guilty pleasure!). It is rare that we get the time to relax together and enjoy each others company these days. Especially with how busy he has been at work. So I jumped at the opportunity. Duh!

As much as I love my hobby of blogging, the hubby takes priority. And although I am well-known for staying up past my bedtime to work diligently on my daily posts, I have decided to join my two loves, who are already off in dreamland, for some family cuddles.

Nighty Night!

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First Steps…

So after months of toying with the idea of starting a blog I have finally taken the plunge.

I was never really in to the blogging world until my soon to be sister-in-law started blogging…and then I was hooked!  I would stare at my email inbox each evening awaiting her daily post…I couldn’t wait to read what she had to share.  Of course I might be biased because she is my family…but I happen to love her blog :)

So I found myself signing up for WordPress because I wanted to comment on a couple of her posts.  During the sign up process they pressure you into coming up with a username.  Well, in the past, I had cutsie usernames that included words such as princess and baller.  But now that I am much more “grown up” I couldn’t possibly rely on my “go to” usernames of the past.  So I wrestled with the username question and finally settled on bighlilh in a hurry (to represent the first letter of my daughter and my names).  But when I got serious about this whole blog thing I vowed to come up with something more clever, more catchy.  Little did I know how tough that would be.  So after hours of deliberation and enlisting help from my family, In Her Chucks was born!

Tennis shoes have always been a love for me…well maybe more of an obsession than a love at some points in my life.  I used to have literally hundreds of the same shoes in every color imaginable.  But as I have tried to simplify my life, I have settled down with Mr. Chuck Taylor and am loyal to him and his All Stars.  And now instead of having duffel bags full of shoes in my garage, I am happy with a shoe rack of Chuck Taylors in every color :)

I look forward to learning how to blog and sharing my life experiences with you (whoever “you” may be).  I am eager to share my lessons as a mommy, wife and homemaker and learn from each other how we can successfully navigate this journey of life.  And because I have learned that sometimes the terrain of this journey can be a little rocky and rough…I choose to always be ready with my comfy, cozy and cute chucks!

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