Monday Randomness

Hello friends!

Yesterday, we got our Christmas tree!


We didn’t end up cutting one down this year so we just went to Menard’s and bought a small pre-cut tree.

It’s a little smaller than we’re used to but it was a lot cheaper and a good size for our living room especially when all the new puppy wants to do is eat it and knock it over!


We had fun decorating the tree and I tried out a new cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog.


I made her Funfetti Cookies Supreme which are frosted sugar cookies.

I didn’t add sprinkles to the cookie dough mix. I just let the kids decorate them after they were frosted.


It was my first time making frosting from scratch and I couldn’t believe how easy it was! These cookies were soft baked and so good.

Danny also put up some more Christmas decorations yesterday. I was very excited about a light-up deer that I bought on Black Friday…until Danny actually put it up. It was tiny!! Baylee was bigger than the deer!!

I guess I didn’t read the box very good and thought it was a larger light-up deer. Nope. It was only 24 inches tall.




I also planned out my week using my Erin Condren planner. I usually write everything out on Sunday night and add stuff as need throughout the week.


If you’re interested, you can save $10 on your first order with my coupon code:

This morning I went back to the gym. I was so happy to get back after a week of eating too much and not working out enough! Back on track!

Have a great day!!

  • What did you do over the weekend?
  • Did you put up a Christmas tree yet?



Filed under Family Fun, Recipes

Weekend Pictures

Our weekend in pictures.





Everybody loves the puppy:



Christmas tree farm where we didn’t end up getting a Christmas tree…but had fun anyway:



Baylee loved her sweater:


Now we are off to actually buy a Christmas tree! Enjoy your Sunday!

  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • What did you do this weekend?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Family Fun

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


First, I have to share some pictures of our new puppy, Baylee! Jaden took this picture with his camera and I think it’s so adorable!



Jaden just loves her. :) Having  puppy is almost like have a baby – she pees whenever she wants, she chews everything, she wakes up in the middle of the night, she wants lots of attention. But she’s also so cute and so much fun.

Danny and I started our morning with a workout at the gym. We got in a good full body circuit workout and then I came home to bake and cook!


We are going to my grandparent’s house today to celebrate Thanksgiving and tomorrow I cook dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom. I baked cookies for the kid’s room at the gym, the fitness desk at the gym, and for dessert tomorrow.

I made the Reese’s butterscotch cookies from Sally’s Baking addiction that I always make.


I also made chocolate chunk cookies.


I’m bringing carrots for dinner today and made an extra batch for dinner tomorrow.


These carrots are so good and easy to make! I buy the carrots julienned and add butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

Anyone going shopping tonight/tomorrow? I won’t go shopping today on Thanksgiving but Jaden already talked me into taking him to Petsmart bright and early tomorrow so he can get some stuff for Baylee!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  • Are you cooking today?
  • Favorite Thanksgiving food?
  • Are you going Black Friday shopping?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

A Wedding and A Puppy!

Hello, friends! What a crazy awesome weekend it’s been! On Friday night, we got the biggest November snowstorm in Chicagoland in 120 years.



We also attended my cousin’s wedding on Friday night and luckily we made it to the hotel before the snowstorm started. The front desk had hangover kits waiting for us when we checked in which I thought was such a great idea.


The hangover kit included a bottle of water, Tylenol, crackers, band-aids, and candy.

Danny and I:


The wedding was so much fun. The food was better than typical wedding food – salad, mostaccioli, Italian beef sandwiches, pizza. Yeah, I ate a lot.

My cousin in the middle was the bride. Her and her husband got married in Vegas so the reception was all Vegas themed.


The best part was that there wasn’t a wedding cake. Yes, I was happy there wasn’t a wedding cake. Because there was a donut table.


Donuts are a billion times better than cake. I have a strong love for donuts.

My stepmom and dad.


My stepmom just got her hair cut and I love it. I kind of want the same haircut.

We had so much fun at the wedding and I’m glad we ended up getting a hotel room because there was so much snow!

We left the hotel on Saturday morning and stopped at Danny’s parent’s house to pick up the kids.

When we got home, we had an early Christmas present delivered!!!


A puppy named Baylee!! Isn’t she adorable?!

Danny and I have thought about getting a dog for a long time and have been looking at adoption shelters for the past few months. Jaden has been wanting a dog forever and ever and even made a pretend dog out of a cardboard box.


We found Baylee at the Fetching Tails Foundation through the PetFinder website. We filled out an application and I thought we’d have to wait awhile before hearing back but we heard back the same day. The lady who fosters the puppies asked when we could come meet her and we went during Danny’s lunch break the next day. We originally wanted to wait until the weekend but the lady said the puppy had a lot of applications on her and probably would be adopted by the weekend.

Baylee is a lab/retriever mix and has seven brothers and sisters. She is only 11 weeks old. The puppies were born under a porch in Mississippi and just left there, uncared for by the family that owned the dog. The puppies got a skin infection from being abandoned but luckily it was treated and they are all fine!

The Fetching Tails Foundation took the puppies back to Illinois to foster with the deal that the family would spay their dog so this wouldn’t happen again.

We went to meet Baylee and she was the sweetest puppy in the world and we knew immediately that she would fit into our family. We wanted to give the kids a puppy for Christmas but this was happening a lot faster than we thought so we just decided to make Baylee an early Christmas present.

Our application was picked out of all the others because I am home a good portion of the day and puppies need lots of attention and to go outside a lot. I work 5 hours on Wednesday and Fridays which is the longest stretch of time that I’m gone but Danny comes home for lunch daily so Baylee won’t be home alone too long.

The lady from Fetching Tails said that she needed to do a home visit and meet the kids. We set it up for Saturday afternoon. She said that as long as everything went good she could leave Baylee with us on Saturday!

We told the kids that the post office called and said they got an early Christmas present for the kids that had to be delivered so it wouldn’t sit at the post office. Jaden waited anxiously for the delivery. I was so excited to see his reaction because he has been dying for a puppy.


When the lady arrived with the puppy wrapped in a blanket and a Petco bag, Jaden was so confused. He thought whatever the lady had in the bag was for him and Jacob and didn’t realize that the puppy was the delivery! I finally had to ask him what the lady was holding. He said a puppy. And I said yes, a puppy that’s going to live with us!

Once it finally dawned on him what was happening, he was so excited!! Jacob was just as excited too!

So, we are now the proud owners of a puppy named Baylee. :)



Puppies are definitely a lot of work and so far everything is going good. She has had a few accidents but we have puppy training pads and we bring her outside often.


One of the requirements from Fetching Tails is that we sign her up for puppy training classes. We have already spoke to the puppy training place and she will start classes when she is 5 months old in February. She will also get spayed in February.

We are crate training her and my brother-in-law’s mother-in-law was nice enough to borrow us a crate, toys, food bowls, and a puppy harness.


Baylee likes her crate. She naps in it and sleeps in it at night. We currently leave it open at the beginning of the night and she sleeps about half the night and then gets up to go potty and play a little bit before going back to sleep. Having a puppy is a lot like having a baby!

She loves to bite and chew so we have been working on that and have lots of chew toys for her.

We are so happy to have a dog in the house again! And the kids were so happy for their early Christmas present!


Have a great day!!

  • Do you have any pets?



Filed under Christmas, Family Fun

Workout and Lunch

Good afternoon! Only one week until Thanksgiving – I am super excited! I’m excited for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, carrots, pie, and all the food. :)

This morning, I went to the gym and did a glute and cardio workout.

For glutes/legs I did:

  • sumo squats
  • jump squats on the bench
  • glute kickbacks on the cable machine
  • split quads
  • deadlifts


After those exercises, I headed to the indoor track to walk/run for about 25 minutes. I started out walking one lap and running one lap. Then I walked one lap and ran two laps. Then I walked one lap and ran three laps. I did this up to four laps and then finished with walking two laps.

I finished up my workout with 20 easy minutes on the stationary bike. Ever since my hip surgery last year, I have found that I use the stationary bike more to cool down and keep my hip mobile.

Post workout was a protein shake and then home for lunch.

My lunches have been pretty boring lately. I have been eating the exact same thing for about three weeks. I tend to eat the same lunch for a few weeks and then change it to something else for a few weeks.

Lately, my lunch has been a big salad with carrots, tortilla strips, and Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing.



I also had a bagel thin with three egg whites, provolone cheese, and fruit preserves. On the side, I had snapea crisp. It’s my favorite lunch.



My breakfast and post-workout snack usually contain a lot of protein so my lunch is a little more carb-heavy.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday – Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding tomorrow night and then we have something super exciting on Saturday – stay tuned!!

Have a great day!

  • What do you usually eat for lunch?
  • Favorite glute or leg exercise? I love deadlifts. 



Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Family Fun and Workouts

Good afternoon! I hope you all had a great weekend!

On Friday night, I went with my grandma, aunt, and sister-in-law to a byow (bring your own wine :) ) dinner and craft show.


It was a fun girl’s night and I even got to paint a cute mason jar. That’s about the extent of my painting skills. Those are supposed to be snowflakes that I painted on there…

On Saturday, both the kids had doctor’s appointments and I got my first peppermint mocha of the season. Jaden got a kid’s hot cocoa with soy milk and at kid’s temperature. Such a Starbucks connoisseur.


I like the peppermint mocha but I’m not a huge fan of mocha coffee so it’s not my favorite but I do enjoy it every once in awhile.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. We did a glute and shoulder workout.


Our workout included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • reverse lunges
  • hip thrusts on the bench
  • shoulder presses
  • bent arm lateral raises
  • cable front raises

The weather was really nice yesterday so Danny started putting up the Christmas decorations.


It’s always better to put them up when it’s nice outside rather than when it’s freezing and snowing! And I heard we’re supposed to get some snow this weekend!

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick cardio workout before running some errands. Post workout, I had a protein shake.


Always trying to get that protein in!

Have a great day!

  • Are you creative or artistic? 
  • What did you do this weekend?


1 Comment

Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Rainbow Light Children’s Gummy Vitamins

Happy Sunday evening! I hope you all had a great weekend!

As a Moms Meet blogger, I was recently sent some Rainbow Light vitamins for the kids to try out.


We received the Rainbow Light Bear Essentials and Power Sours Multivitamin Gummies. Jaden was very excited to try them out.


These multivitamins are specially formulated with key nutrients as well as an extra boost of Vitamin C. They contain:

  • 400 IU Vitamin D to promote calcium absorption and to help support healthy bone and muscle development
  • 60 mg Vitamin C for immune and antioxidant support
  • 30 IU Vitamin E for immune and antioxidant support
  • 5000 IU Vitamin A for immune and antioxidant support
  • Vitamin B Complex for energy production and nervous system and brain function

20151115_122020 (1)

I loved that they came in little individual packets because they’re great to put in my purse if I forget to give them to the kids at breakfast. I can just grab a packet out of my purse on the way to school. And the single-serve packets preserve freshness and purity.


Rainbow Light multivitamin gummies are gluten-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, and nut-free. That about covers all the basic allergens. :)

I think these are a great vitamin to give to your kids to make sure they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients that they need. The kids love the taste and I love that they are 100% natural – made without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and additives.


To learn more about Rainbow Light and all their products be sure to check them out on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

  • Do you take a daily multivitamin?
  • Do you kids take a daily multivitamin? 

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Product Review, Uncategorized

Erin Condren Life Planner + Coupon!

I am now the proud owner of a Erin Condren life planner.


Apparently, Erin Condren is like a thing. These planners have this huge following which I didn’t even know about until I immersed myself in the life planner cult that exists on the interwebs.


There are thousands of Etsy stores dedicated to Erin Condren planner stickers. There are websites, YouTube videos, and Instagram pages solely dedicated to decorating and living that planner life.

Me, I just like to plan my day.

I first discovered the Erin Condren life planner on someone’s Instagram page. I saw it a few other places and decided to check out the website. Every since I was in high school, I have loved using a planner. We have a giant dry erase calendar that I use now to keep track of all of our schedules but I thought it would be fun to start using a planner again. It makes it even more fun that you can buy stickers and washi tapes to decorate it.


Erin Condren planners are a little pricey but high quality (check at the end of this post for a coupon code!). But honestly, if you’re using it every day then it’s totally worth it.

The Erin Condren planners start at $50. I picked out my favorite which was personalized with my name. I paid an extra $5 to have the months of October, November, and December added rather than having it start in 2016. I also ordered a set of markers for $10.


I opted for the new horizontal layout. Erin Condren used to only have a vertical layout but they recently started offering a horizontal weekly layout which I loved way more than the vertical.


So, you get a monthly calendar and then a weekly spread.


The Erin Condren planner also comes with a lot of extra goodies – post cards, printed and blank stickers, and a blank monthly book to keep track of important ongoing dates.




I was lucky and checked the website the last day that they were offering a 25% off coupon. That definitely helped with the cost. And if you’re using the planner every day or so for over a year, it breaks down to a few cents a day.

After I ordered my planner, I discovered that you could order stickers for it on Etsy. I admit, I was excited and got a little crazy ordering stickers.

Some people go all out decorating their planners. I wanted to make mine fun and creative without going overboard. The first set of stickers I ordered were Christmas countdown stickers and Christmas stickers.



I mean, how cute are these?!?!

I also ordered these cute workout stickers.


I also went to Hobby Lobby when the scrapbook stickers were 50% off and bought a few different ones along with some washi tape to use for decorating.


I really love my Erin Condren planner. I have only had it a week or so but it helps keep me organized and lets me have a little fun with being creative without too much of a time commitment.

If you would like to order your own Erin Condren life planner, you can use my coupon code to get $10 off your first order when you sign up!

Have a great afternoon!!

  • Do you use a planner?


Filed under Product Review

Hot Chocolate 5k 2015

Saturday – Hot Chocolate 5k Expo

On Saturday, Danny, the kids, and I drove to Chicago to pick-up our packets for the Hot Chocolate 5k.


Jaden loved the inflatable marshmallows.


The expo had some chocolate samples, hot chocolate samples, and marshmallows. The hot chocolate was delicious! We picked up our bibs first and then got our Hot Chocolate jackets.


The jackets come wrapped in plastic and they tell you absolutely not to open the plastic or you will not be able to exchange it if you need a different size. Instead they have a try-on section with tables set up with  different size jackets. So people take turns trying on whatever size they need to make sure it fits. If it doesn’t fit, you can exchange your unopened jacket for a different size. Exchanges were at the expo only.

I made my way to the try-on section and found a women’s size medium jacket to try on. It fit perfectly so I was happy. I was also excited because I registered for the race early enough to get an embroidered jacket that said Chicago 2015 Finisher.

We finished up at the expo and went home. When we got home, I opened my jacket and took it out of the plastic to put on. I put my hands in the pockets and one of my hands kept going right through the pocket – it wasn’t sewed close!! Basically there was a giant hole in the pocket which made it unable to put anything in including your hands.

I was really bummed because this is a more expensive race and I was really looking forward to wearing my embroidered jacket. I did contact the Hot Chocolate race on Facebook about it and they said to contact them on Monday about exchanging it. I’m glad they’re fixing the problem but that probably means that I’ll have to mail the jacket back and wait for a new one in return. So, I’m super bummed about that.

Sunday – Hot Chocolate 5k

My in-laws watched the kids for us since we were in the first wave for the race and had to be up early. The Hot Chocolate race is a 5k and 15k – they both start at the same time and in the same corrals but there are two waves. I thought this was a good way to organize it since they said 45,000 people signed up to run.

We were in wave 1 and corral D so we had to be in our corrals by 6:45am. We woke up right before 5am and left soon after to get to Chicago a little after 6am. We pre-paid for parking online so parking was easy. The parking lot wasn’t too far from the start so we walked over.


I used the porta-potties twice before we headed to our corral.


I was a little nervous about the 5k and 15k runners starting together in the same corral but honestly it wasn’t too bad. I saw on Facebook that 65% of the runners ran the 5k and the other 35% ran the 15k so it really wasn’t too overcrowded. The 5k and 15k runners ran together until we split apart at mile 2.8.

Prior to the race, Danny KT taped my knee and both my ankles. My ankles have been bothering me when I run lately so I made sure to tape both of them. I wore my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 12s which I absolutely love. I received these shoes from Mizuno as a FitFluential ambassador and I love them because they are a supportive shoe and I need all the support I can get.


Danny and I did not run together since he is quite faster than me but we did start in the same corral together. I was nervous about the weather because it was only supposed to be around 30 degrees and I hate the cold weather. I get so cold it’s ridiculous. But it ended up being closer to 40 degrees. I was cold while we were waiting but I warmed up fairly quickly while we were running. I bought throw away gloves from the Target $1 spot but I ended up wearing them the whole time.

This was Danny’s first run since the marathon. Well, he ran a mile on the treadmill once or twice but this was his first distance over a mile and first race since the marathon.


Our corral had 10 minute mile pacers for the 15kers and I thought it would be a good idea for me to stick with that group for the 5k. I tend to start out 5ks way too fast and really lose energy quickly. I was hoping that by sticking with the 10 minute pacer, I wouldn’t start out too fast.


I stuck with the 10 pace group for a little over a mile. At that point, I felt really good (better than I expected with my knee and ankles) so I decided to speed up. I decided that it would be my goal to either stay in front of or with the 10 minute pacers and not let them pass me up.

The first mile was pretty much unground in a tunnel. By the time we exited the tunnel, the cool air felt wonderful. The first two miles went by so fast which was nice. At mile 2, I started to slow down a bit. Surprisingly, my knee felt perfectly fine but my right ankle was killing me. About a quarter of a mile before the finish, there’s a giant hill. It’s terrible.

It’s not even that it’s super steep, it’s more that it’s so long. It just slowly slowly climbs up and at the top there’s a race photographer. Nice. I bet those are some great pictures. That hill really killed me. It was hard and I could feel myself slowing down and just wanting to stop.

Running has always been a challenge for me and has never been easy. I felt fairly good this race and really wanted to finish strong. When I initially saw the finish line, I was like this sucks. That’s way too far. I hate running. My ankle hurts. I don’t care about anything. Whatever.

But I also really wanted just be be done so I pushed a little harder and crossed that damn finish line. I didn’t wear my Garmin so I had no idea how I finished. I felt like I did decent but slowed down a lot that last mile so I wasn’t sure.

My official time ended up being 30:46 and I was incredibly happy. That’s a good time for me and my last few 5ks haven’t been the best so I was proud of myself (which I think every runner should be whether your fast, medium, or slower. Crossing that finish line is always an accomplishment.)

My second reaction was if I only ran 47 seconds faster I could have had a 29 minute 5k. And then Danny was all like don’t do that to yourself. You ran great and you’re happy with your time so be happy. So, I am. I am very happy with my 30:46. My ankles hurt. I had hip surgery a year and a half ago. I have compartment syndrome in my calves. I overcome obstacles that other people might not deal with and I am proud of myself.

In case you’re wondering how Danny did – he ran the 5k in 23:02. He’s good.

After the 5k, I met up with Danny and we headed to the post party which was actually quite aways away but we were able to walk right up and get our hot chocolate treat.


We got a finisher’s mug with a cup of the world’s best hot chocolate, chocolate fondue with a marshmallow, a mini rice krispy treat, a bag of pretzels, hazelnut cookies, and a banana.



Please ignore my super crazy hair in this picture. It’s ridiculous.


It was freakin’ delicious. I don’t eat anything before I run a 5k so I was hungry! I ate the marshmallow, pretzels, and rice krispy treat with the chocolate fondue. Delicious. I saved the hazelnut cookies for Jacob and brought that banana home. Danny and I don’t like bananas so we saved them for the kids.

On the way back to our car, we saw that the second wave had started so we watched for a little bit and we’re able to see my sister-in-law and her cousin running. My grandma and cousin also ran the race but we weren’t able to see them.

Overall, I really liked the Hot Chocolate 5k. It is definitely one of my favorite races to date. The expo was well organized and there was no line for the bib or jacket pick up. They also offer an option of mailing your packet to you which I might do if I ever ran the race again. It’s cheaper to get it mailed than it is to pay for parking at the expo. I did enjoy the expo but having to pay for parking two days in a row is expensive.

Race day was also well organized. At first, we were unsure how to get into our corral since the roads were blocked off but they had a lot of people telling us where to go. The corrals were big and had lots of people but our corral didn’t feel overcrowded. There were tons of porta-potties and I only had to wait about two minutes in line.

After the race, the volunteers were handing our gatorade and water. I was able to find Danny right away after the race. We did have to walk for a little bit to get to the chocolate finisher’s mugs but it was worth it. There was no line to pick-up our chocolate. We did start in the first wave in an early corral, so I don’t know how the lines and wait was for people later.

I would definitely run this race again in the future and even the 15k if I trained for it!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite chocolate?



Filed under Fitness, Race, Running

Amazing Grass Super GreenFood

As a Moms Meet ambassador, I recently received some Green SuperFood from Amazing Grass to try out.


Each packet of SuperFood is full of necessary vitamins and minerals for adults and children. The single serving packets are great for on the go and make it easy to pour the contents in a cup of juice, water, or milk.

The Green SuperFood comes in some great flavors including chocolate, pineapple lemon grass, orange creamsicle, and many more. They even have seasonal flavors on their website!

We also received a shaker cup which Jaden loved because now he has a shaker cup just like mom. :)


Amazing Grass products are all USDA organic, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, and gluten-free. They contain vitamins, minerals, plant based protein, and phyto-chemicals which are leafy greens that assist the body in maintaining healthy organ function, detoxification, and immunity. That’s one healthy packed drink!!

We had fun trying out the different flavors of the SuperFood.


Jaden really liked the chocolate flavor while I enjoyed the orange creamsicle flavor. These packs of SuperFood are also great to add to a smoothie or even to use in baking.


These are also a great way to help kids get their vitamins and minerals. If your kids are anything like mine they hate eating their veggies, but SuperFood is a great way for them to get those nutrients that they need.

You can buy Green SuperFoods at Whole Foods or check out their website for more information. You can also check them out on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

  • What would you add SuperGreens to? I love them in a smoothie!
  • What’s your favorite vegetable?
  • If you have kids, do they eat veggies?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Product Review