Life Lately

Good morning! Happy National Coffee Day!!

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I don’t usually celebrate all those National “Whatever” Days but National Coffee Day is a different story. I’m willing to celebrate a day when places give out free coffee just because it’s September 29th!

So thank you Mcdonald’s for my free coffee this morning. Does anyone remember when McDonald’s used to have free coffee Mondays?! Those were the days…

My favorite coffee mug:

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I love all the Charlie Brown holiday movies and Jaden got me this mug for Christmas last year from Barnes and Noble.

So, what has been going on in my life lately? Well, I got a job promotion! Yay! I will now be working full time mostly afternoons and evenings so it will be quite an adjustment in our household.

I haven’t worked full time probably since my oldest son was little so it’ll be a quite different for me. Before, my concentration was always my kids but now that they’re getting older, I ready to go back to work full time.

To celebrate, Danny and I went to Lucky Monk over the weekend.

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I had hazelnut crusted talapia with orzo salad which was delicious.

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I don’t usually order fish when I go out to a restaurant because although I like fish, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite but this tilapia was really amazing especially with the hazelnut crust.

I also celebrated by buying a new workout tank and sports bra from Victoria’s Secret.

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I’m in love with the sports bra which is strappy in the front. I really wanted it in black also but they didn’t have any in stock. And how cute is that tank?!

Food wise, I have been loving overnight oats lately. Probably the wrong time of year since it’s starting to get cooler out but oh well. I like what I like. :)

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I have been making pumpkin pie overnight oats with Quaker oatmeal, pumpkin pie Greek yogurt, almond milk, mini chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You just stir it all together and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It’s perfect for those days I’m in a hurry in the morning because I can just grab it out of the fridge and eat it in the car if I need to!

So pretty much, I’ve just been working, working out, and living life. Would you like to see a picture of our cute doggy, Baylee?!

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Please notice I said cute and not good. Because she is a destroyer!!

She was crate trained as a puppy but we’ve been trying to leave her out of her cage during the day because she’s usually only home for a few hours at a time. Sometimes she’s really good and sometimes she does this:

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That’s the insides of a packing envelope if you were wondering. And she knew she was so naughty because she refused to look at me when I got home!

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We want to be able to leave her out of her cage so Danny has started taking her for a walk early in the morning to help her get some energy out. We also have the Kong dog toy which we put a treat or peanut butter in to keep her busy for awhile.

At least she’s not chewing the furniture, right?!

And that’s what’s been going on in my life lately! Have a great day!!

  • If you have a dog, is he/she crate trained?
  • What’s going on in your life at the moment?

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

WIMI Patella Knee System + Giveaway

I received this product at no cost to me. I only work with companies whose products I believe would be beneficial to my lifestyle as well as my family’s. All opinions are 100% my own…and my husbands. 

Good afternoon! I hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday!

Recently, I was contacted by WIMI Sports & Fitness to try out their patella knee strap and compression sleeve system. Perfect timing because Danny has been suffering from knee pain quite a lot lately, so I thought he could really benefit from trying this product.

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The WIMI Patella Knee System is a combination of two products in one – a patella strap and a copper infused compression knee sleeve. The copper helps to ease the pain and speeds up the healing process by helping correct patella tracking and reducing the forces going to the kneecap and patellar tendon. The knee sleeve also helps with enhanced blood flow and oxygen delivery.

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As someone who has to wear compression sleeves every time I run, whether it’s one mile or 10, I can vouch for the benefits of compression sleeves.

It’s a perfect solution for people who deal with runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis. And besides running, it can used for a variety of other sports and weight lifting.

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The unique design of the double patellar strap uses two compression tubes.  The lower part targets the patellar tendon while the upper part targets the quadriceps misalignment while still allowing the full range of motion.

The patella knee strap comes in five sizes and the knee strap is easily adjustable. Danny used the patella knee system and liked that it stayed in place no matter how active he was or how much he moved his knee.

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He also liked that you can wear the patella strap and compression sleeve separately depending on the amount of your knee pain.

Overall, the Wimi Patella Knee System is a great product that really has a unique design to help you get relief from pain and help you get back to the exercises you enjoy. You can order your own knee compression system on Amazon. You can also enter below to win one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US residents only. 

I love the technology that goes into making these products and how helpful they are to people who are very active or to people who suffer from injuries.

Have a great day!

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Filed under Fitness, Giveaway, Product Review

Saturday Favorites

Good morning!! Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Saturday. This was supposed to be a Friday Favorites post but I’m turning it into a Saturday Favorites post.

First off, I want to apologize for my lack of blog posts lately. I have really been slacking. I have been blogging for a little over five years and lately I feel like I’ve become pretty boring.

My life pretty much consists of: workout, work, spend time with family, eat, sleep, repeat. Kinda boring. However, I really do enjoy blogging and if there is anything you would like me to write a blog post about, I am open to suggestions. Actually, I would love some! :)

Also, I have been working a lot more. My niece, who I’ve watched since she was born, started kindergarten this year so I am able to work more hours at the fitness desk at my gym.

My gym also started offering our Fit for Life program twice a year and I just started training a new group for that program this week, as well as teaching my weekly Women on Weights class. I am also doing all the administrative tasks for the program which is a lot of work and I’ve recently been exploring how to use Excel.

So between working and being boring, I’m really trying to focus on coming up with more blog posts. And you can never go wrong with a favorites post so here it is.

Saturday Favorites

  • You Had Me at Pumpkin Spice T-shirt

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My sister-in-law, Crystal, who is also my favorite for finding the shirt in my size, picked it up at Target for me. I checked two Targets and neither one had a medium but luckily Crystal found it. And really, could there be a more fitting shirt? :)

  • Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes – Crunchy Peanut Butter 

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Did you know that Kodiak Cakes made a crunchy peanut butter flavor?!

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At first, the crunchy pieces in the waffle kind of surprised me (yes, even though it says crunchy peanut butter) but after a few bites, I warmed up to them. I added a few mini chocolate chips to the mix and topped my waffle with peanut butter. Because you can never have enough peanut butter.

  • Nourish Snacks

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I bought these at Target to eat at work and I fell in love with them. My favorite is the  Cinn-Sational cinnamon spiced apples and almonds. They are the perfect size for a snack and to throw in my purse. They are a little pricey per package -$1.99 each and they’re only sold singly. I wish they came in a box of six for cheaper.

But they’re good so I keep buying them. The Cinn-Sational flavor isn’t always in stock so I also get the Berry’d Treasure granola bites which are delicious.

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  • Sling Shot Hip Circle

I have been having issues with my hip and glutes lately so my friend at the gym let me borrow her sling shot.

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The sling shot is used to activate the hips and glutes when doing certain exercises. It helps improve technique and strengthens hip abductors and external rotators. It also adds intensity to the exercise. I definitely plan on ordering my own sling shot soon!

  • Two Faced Lip Injection

I get the Ipsy glam bag every month which is a monthly subscription bag. I pay $10 a month and get a cute bag filled with makeup, skincare, and beauty samples. Sometimes there’s even full size products.

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I love getting all the little samples because that way I can try out products without committing to buying the full size, full price item. If there is a sample product that I love then I will purchase the full size item. Each bag is always worth a lot more than $10.

This month, I was so excited to get the Too Faced Lip Injection gloss in my Ipsy bag! I have been really wanting to try it and I was super happy that it just happened to come in this month’s bag. It’s supposed to dilate the blood vessels in your lips making them plumper. I like it. :)

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Those are all my favorites for today! Have a great weekend!!

  • I would love to hear some of your ideas for blog posts and I would love to hear some of your favorites! Please share!

 

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Filed under Fitness, Friday favorites

Back Day Compound Set Workout

Good morning and Happy Labor Day! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Danny and I did an awesome back workout at the gym on Saturday. We did compound sets which I love because they keep your heart rate up and since you’re doing exercises back-to-back, you finish your workout faster. Also, you work the same muscle in different ways.

*Both supersets and compound sets involve doing at least two exercises back to back, but a superset works two opposing muscle groups (ie. back and chest) while compounds sets target only one area of the body (in our case, back).

Warm-Up

First, we warmed up with 1000 meters on the rowing machine.

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Back Compound Sets Workout

Perform the two exercises back-to-back, resting 1-2 minutes in between each compound set. Repeat each compound set for desired amount of reps and sets. Danny and I did between 10-12 reps and did each compound set for three sets. 

    • wide grip lat pull downs x 10
    • cable face pulls x10
    • good mornings x12
    • bent over barbell rows (close grip, underhand grip) x10
    • single leg deadlifts  x10 each side
    • one arm dumbbell row x10 each side
    • half kneeling one arm cable row x10 each side
    • Superman Row x10 (click for video on how to perform)

Here are some pictures of the exercises Danny and I did:

Wide Grip Lat Pulls Downs

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Cable Face Pulls

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Good Mornings

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Bent Over Rows

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Half Kneeling One Arm Cable Rows

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We finished up our workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

On Sunday, my family came over for a make-your-own salad night. And pretzel rolls from Costco because they are delicious. :)

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Be sure to check out my Instagram for pictures and stories from this weekend!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite back exercise?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Pumpkin Spice

It has begun – pumpkin spice season has arrived!

There are two types of people in this world – those who love pumpkin spice and those who don’t. Obviously, I’m one of the ones who loves pumpkin spice (with the exception of the Starbucks PSL – for some reason I just don’t like it).

To me, pumpkin spice signifies the end of summer and the start of the fall season. And let’s face it, fall season in the best. Cooler weather, beautiful leaves, boots, hot apple cider, pumpkin farms, bonfires. What’s not to love?!

I’m going to share a few of the pumpkin spices items that I have found this year so far. I always wait until September 1st to start enjoying pumpkin spice because it just seems right. :)

First up, fall mornings must start with pumpkin spice coffee.

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I also found apple cider donut coffee at Target. I’m pretty sure Target should run for president. Target is the best.

Of course, you need pumpkin spice creamer in your pumpkin spice coffee.

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I also like it with the vanilla creamer.

This year, they came out with pumpkin spice Cheerios. I also picked up the Quaker pumpkin spice oatmeal which I also had last year.

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Next, on my pumpkin spice cereal list to buy is the pumpkin spice Special K. I love Special K but I’m waiting until I finish the Cheerios since I don’t eat cereal all that often.

The oatmeal is great on chilly fall mornings and I love adding the Cheerios to yogurt.

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Speaking of yogurt, Dannon has once again come out with pumpkin pie Greek yogurt.

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The Dannon caramel apple Greek yogurt is my all-time favorite yogurt but pumpkin pie is a close second.

Finally, is the FlapJacked Maple Pumpkin Mighty Muffin.

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This is also a great breakfast especially for on the go. Sometimes. before I head to work, I’ll make one of these to eat in the car. All you do is add water and microwave for about a minute. Simple and delicious!

I know there’s tons and tons of other pumpkin spice items out there but these are the ones I’ve bought so far! And pumpkin spice season is so short so I really like to enjoy it while I can.

Have a great Friday!!

  • Are you a pumpkin spice lover?
  • Favorite pumpkin spice item?

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Mother Dirt

I was sent the Mother Dirt products to try at no cost to me. All opinions are 100% my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe are a good fit for me and my lifestyle. 

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Mother Dirt skin care items. I was intrigued by the name Mother Dirt so I did a little research on the company and their products.

Mother Dirt

According to Mother Dirt, they introduce a whole new concept to the skin care world – embracing  the beneficial bacteria that exists as a key to healthy skin. We’ve always been taught that killing all bacteria was the way to be clean and healthy but what if this wasn’t the case?

Mother Dirt dedicates its research and mission to finding the benefits of restoring and maintaining helpful bacteria. Their approach to skincare involves understanding how ingredients and chemicals affect our skin microbiome.

Mother Dirt is the first time anyone has created skin care products to care for the good bacteria on the skin. All their products have been developed, screened, and tested for their compatibility with the skin biome.

I received three products to try.

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First, was the AO+ Mist which was Mother Dirt’s first product, launched in June 2014. They were unable to produce enough of the AO+ Mist for the demand and from there, other products were created.

The AO+ Mist is a live probiotic spray for the skin. The AOB (ammonia oxidizing bacteria) in the spray turns the sweat in our skin into healthy matter creating a healthy pH.

You mist it on twice daily as needed focusing on sweat prone areas. It’s great for after showers or before a workout.

Luckily, it’s kid friendly because Jaden was obsessed with the AO+ Mist.

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I use it after I shower and I throw it in my gym bag to use as needed.

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Next, I used the face and body cleanser which was my favorite product. I love it because it’s gentle, good for sensitive skin, and removes makeup. It’s a great light cleanser that still makes your skin feel fresh without being too harsh. And it foams which is always a plus in my book!

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I have such sensitive skin and I love that this product doesn’t break me out or leaving my skin feeling extra dry and tight.

The Mother Dirt shampoo is fantastic because it helps cut down on the time between washes.

It’s sulfate free which means I can use it on my hair extensions! It leaves my hair feeling light and soft. It doesn’t feel too dry or weighed down. You can even use it without conditioner.

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Overall, I love Mother Dirt’s innovative idea of using the good bacteria that our skin needs. I loved all three products and would definitely repurchase all of them.

If you would like to try out the Mother Dirt products yourself, you can go to their website and use coupon code: Myblog25-GF37 for free shipping and 25% off your purchase!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever tried Mother Dirt products?
  • What are your thoughts on keeping good bacteria on the skin?

 

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Filed under Product Review

Back At It

Happy Friday!

Today is my youngest’s first day of 4th grade!

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He has a little bit of a cold, which Danny and I now have, but he was super excited for his first day of school. And at least it’s Friday so he has the weekend to rest.

Off to school!

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Side note: I am so good at adulting that I burned my face with a curling iron. My face. With a curling iron. And for the record, I am also one of those people that trips going up the stairs.

My oldest son starts his sophomore year on Monday.

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(I don’t even care that he’s not looking at the camera because just getting him to let me take his picture is a rare occurrence. And for some weird reason, he doesn’t like to take 2,968 selfies like I do and then pick the best one.) :)

Sophomore year means he’ll start driver’s ed. I can’t even talk about it because I’m in denial.

Now that school is back in session, I feel like I can get back on schedule. I’ll start working the fitness desk again next week and hopefully my sleeping and eating will get back on track. With all the vacations, birthdays, and parties this summer, I may have gained a few pounds. I try to avoid the scale and go by how my clothes fit instead. And since my clothes are feeling a little tight lately, I’m ready to start tracking my food/macros again.

In fact, my family has started a weight loss challenge between ourselves. It’s a good way to keep each other motivated. It also helps that the prize is $250.

I’ve been making sure to not overeat at meals. I’ve been making rice bowls with brown & wild rice, tilapia, and veggies.

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Soy ginger salmon with rice and veggies.

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Lettuce wraps with chicken and salsa. I also added some cheese because life is way better with cheese!

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I always make sure to save some room for treats too. Cutting out an entire food group or depriving yourself can often backfire so I make sure a treat fits into my calories/macros for the day.

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I like Baby Ruth but I’ve decided that Snickers are much better.

Danny and I have also been getting back to the gym on a more regular basis.

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Since Jaden was at school today, I was able to spend a little more time at the gym this morning. I warmed up on the rowing machine for a bit, then I took an impromptu Zumba class with a friend, then I did a kettlebell circuit, and finished up with an easy ride on the stationary bike.

According to my Polar A300, I was at 315% activity level by 11:15 am! I’ve never had my activity level that high – it must be from all the jumping in Zumba!

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This evening, Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding and on Sunday, we’re going to my nephew’s birthday party. It’s going to be a busy weekend!

Have a great weekend!

  • What are you plans this weekend?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

Rowing Machine Countdown Workout

After being on vacation and having some time off from the gym, Danny and I finally got back into the routine on Sunday.

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The workout was tough! It’s amazing how taking a little time off from the gym can make you feel like you’ve never worked out!

We did a leg workout which included: deadlifts, bench split squats with a pulse (at the bottom of the exercise), sumo goblet squats with a pulse, curtsey lunges with a pulse, and reverse hack squats.

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We usually do the hack squats backwards which targets the glutes a little more than a regular hack squat.

Monday I was back at the gym for a cardio workout. I spent about 30 minutes on the track doing a HIIT type workout. I alternated running laps, walking, doing speed skaters, squat jumps, and bench toe touches.

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My gym as space in the corners of the track for exercises so I was able to complete the whole workout without leaving the track. I finished up with about 20 minutes on the stationary bike.

Post workout, I took the kids to the park and had plain Greek yogurt with stevia and berries.

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On Wednesday, my workout had to be short since Jaden was going to an event at his school. High intensity workouts are best when you’re short on time and I did the following workout:

Rower Workout

I finished the whole thing in 14:23. I rowed for a bit longer and walked a few laps so with my warm-up and cool-down my workout was about 30 minutes. According to my heart rate monitor, I burned 300 calories.

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After the gym, I took Jaden to the library at his school. Only about a week and a half until school starts!

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Have a great afternoon!

  • If you have kids, when do they start school?
  • Have you ever used the rowing machine?

 

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Punta Cana Vacation

Hello! I haven’t posted in awhile because Danny, the kids, and I just got back from Punta Cana!

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We left Sunday July 31st and got home on Friday night. This was our first ever vacation that required passports so we felt super fancy. :)

Really though, it was a great vacation and we had a great time. And it was HOT. The first couple of days weren’t too bad because there was a storm moving through but after that it was very hot outside.

We stayed at the Now Larimar resort and had an all-inclusive package which included all food, drinks, alcohol, entertainment, and non-motorized water sports.

The kids had so much fun and loved swimming the the ocean (actually I think it’s the Caribbean Sea) and the pools.

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Danny and I tried out the paddle boarding which is harder than it looks.

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The kids loved the paddleboarding too and we also did kayaking and windsailing.

I loved that the resort had fun activities throughout the day. One of my favorites was when they brought a monkey out to the pool area so people could take pictures with it.

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I was so excited because I’ve always wanted to hold a monkey!

Another day they had a coconut party on the beach with a coconut throwing contest and coconut drinks served in coconuts.

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There was a foam party in the pool which was tons of fun. The foam was everywhere and they warned you to hold on to your child so they wouldn’t get lost under all the foam.

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They also had pool Zumba and bingo games.

One night there was a dance show which was fun to watch.

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After the dance show, they’re were crab races! The crabs looked so funny running with their claws up in the air.

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Jaden bought Danny and I this cute monkey all by himself with his own money and surprised us with it.

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One of my favorite things on our last night there was the beach party and fire show. We did the congo and limbo.

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Then we watched the fire show. It was amazing and I think I kept my breath held the entire time because I was afraid they were going to drop the fire or miss catching the fire, but they didn’t.

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I was a little worried about the food in Punta Cana because I heard mixed reviews about it and I was worried about the kids and if they’d eat anything. Luckily, the food was decent and we had no problems finding good things to eat.

I liked the chicken burritos.

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Jacob liked the desserts.

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And Jaden liked ordering Froot Loops from room service.

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Overall, it was a wonderful trip but we looked forward to getting home and sleeping in our own beds!

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Have a great afternoon!

  • What was your favorite vacation? 

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Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites

Good morning and Happy Friday!!

I have a few favorites to share with you guys today.

  • Baylee

First, is our puppy Baylee!

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She will be one on September 1st and even though we’ve only had her since November, it feels like she has always been a part of our lives.

Luckily, she has calmed down a lot since we first got her. She used to attack me as soon as Danny shut the front door to leave the house!

She is out of her puppy biting stage. She still likes to chew things if you don’t watch her closely but for the most part she’s a lot calmer. She has such a funny personality and loves water, being outside, other dogs, and bugs.

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She likes to pick up bugs very carefully in her mouth without killing them and bring them inside so she can play with them. Jaden found a tiny toad the other day and Baylee loved it. She wanted them to be best friends.

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  • Meal Prepping

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My nutrition and eating hasn’t been the best this summer. With the kids home, my schedule is so different. There has been birthdays, cookouts, vacations, and lots of food.

I decided to meal prep this week since we leave for vacation soon. It’s so much easier to just grab healthy food that’s already prepared. Once we get back from vacation, I plan on going back to following my macro-based nutrition plan.

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For my food, I roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, and broccoli in the oven and Danny cooked chicken on the grill.

  • FlapJacked Mighty Muffins

I think I mentioned these muffins before on a Friday Favorites post, but Vitamin Shoppe started carrying a new flavor – s’mores!

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I love these for a quick and easy breakfast. They only take a minute in the microwave and they are packed with protein.

  • Hair Extensions

I recently had a new set of hair extensions put in. I got my first set in March and they had grown out quite a bit. They also started to thin out from brushing them so I was ready for a new set.

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I have keratin bonded hair extensions and yes, they are quite expensive. But I love them and can’t believe what a difference they make in my hair.

Those are my favorite things for today! I hope you all have a great weekend!

  • What are your favorite things today?
  • Any plans for the weekend?

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