Monthly Archives: January 2012

Five Prized Possessions

Good Morning! Happy last day of January. The weather here in Chicagoland is going to be up near 60 degrees today. That’s crazy for January!

Yesterday, my son Jacob brought home a paper from school titled “My Most Prized Possessions.” His class had to pretend that they were pioneers going on a trip and could only bring five of their most important things.

Here is the five things Jacob picked to bring:

  • My android powered Samsung Dart (phone).
  • My phone charger
  • A portable power outlet
  • WiFi
  • My phone case

Seriously?!! He’s 10! When did kids start growing up so fast? Today’s kids are so technology savvy. If that were my list when I was 10, it would look more like this:

  • Barbies
  • Books
  • My family
  • Candy
  • My cat

Children are so different today than they were when I was young. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around.

I guess I should have expected this from Jacob though. He is the one who went online and signed up for college courses. And then the college called me to find out when he would be starting. You better believe that we went to the library and got a book and a DVD on internet safety after that one.

It’s seem like kids are in such a hurry to grow up these days. Enjoy being a kid!

Today’s Workout

  • 15 minutes elliptical
  • Cardio Tone & Fit class

I have been forgetting to wear my heart rate monitor watch lately, and today I remembered to wear it. My heart rate was¬†definitely up doing the cardio part of today’s class.

Do you see Jacob’s face in the background. Apparently my love of self pictures disgusts him.

When I walked into class this morning, people had the steps set up. I was like crap, I accidentally walked into step class and now it’s too late to sneak out because everyone has already seen me. Obviously, I don’t enjoy using the step very much.

But it turns out that we were just using the step for the cardio portion of the class. So, I sucked it up and set my step up. Now my calves hurt.

Heather’s Gym Etiquette Tip of the Day:

  • You can’t “save” a machine – Leaving your dirty sweatshirt, Kindle, and water bottle on top of the elliptical and then going to the weight machines, does not “give you dibs” on the machine. You can’t use two machines at once. There’s about six elliptical machines in the gym, and five are in use. There’s no “machine saving.” Jeesh.

After the gym, I came home and made a bagelwich with roasted potatoes and carrots from last night’s dinner and grapes.

Questions of the day:

What are five of your most important possessions?

If you have kids, does yours have a cell phone? What age do you think a child should get one? I think it’s good for kids to have a cell phone for emergency situations, like if they’re at a friend’s house or sports practice and need to reach you.


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

My Top Ten Workout Songs

It’s Monday! I hope that you all had a great weekend!

Danny recently uploaded his CD collection onto the computer and onto our iPods, so I have had quite the assortment of music playing when I run. Some songs have taken me by surprise when I’m on the treadmill, like Bone Thugs N Harmony or Sisqo’s¬†Thong Song, but a couple of songs I’ve added to my usual playlist because they make me run faster.

I’m not very good about putting new music on my iPod, but here is a list of the top 10 songs I like to listen to while running.

  1.  The Show Goes On РLupe Fiasco
  2. The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas
  3. ¬†Gettin’ Over You¬†- David Guetta¬†featuring Fergie
  4. Super Bass - Nicki Minaj
  5.  Cupid Shuffle РCupid
  6. All of the Lights - Kanye Weat
  7. Dynamite - Taio Cruz
  8. J’adore Hardcore – Scooter
  9. Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit
  10. Re-Arranged - Limp Bizkit

At first I was skeptical of running to Limp Bizkit, but it’s so high energy that you can’t help but run fast.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump
  • 15 minutes elliptical

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat right when I wake up to get my metabolism up and running. Today for my mini breakfast #1 before going to the gym, I had coffee, a clementine, and an orange Greek yogurt.

For mini breakfast #2 after the gym, I had a bagelwich, pickle slices, and chocolate milk.

I haven’t done BodyPump in a week, so it felt nice to get back into the groove today.

After breakfast, I made a list of some groceries to pick up. I dislike grocery shopping. If I had the money, I would have no problem paying someone to pick out my groceries and deliver them to me.

After Jaden got out of school, we headed the grocery store. They were out of the regular size flatbreads that I use for pizzas, so I picked up these mini flatbbreads.

I figured I could just make a super mini pizza, and it would be fewer calories. But it didn’t quite work out like that. After I realized how small they were, I made two veggie pizzas for lunch. I topped my flatbreads¬†with sauce, red onion, green pepper, spinach, mozzarella & feta cheese.

This is one of my favorite meals to make because it’s so easy and a great way to get a lot of veggies in. And if you’re making them for the whole family, then everyone can choose their own toppings.


Questions of the day:

What songs do like to work out to? Do you like listening to music when you run? I do for the most part, but there’s sometimes when I like to run without my iPod.

Do you like grocery shopping? Are you a coupon cutter?

What’s your favorite pizza topping?


Filed under Uncategorized


Last night, Danny and I went out to celebrate my best friend Jenny’s 30th birthday. (See Mom, I told you that I had friends). The night wouldn’t be complete without a self-pic in the car at the gas station before the party.

Jenny and I have been best friends since we were 12 years old. Is that crazy or what? I’ve put up been friends with her for 18 years?! Just kidding. She is my best friend in the world and I love her!

A couple pics from a few years ago of Jenny and me:

I miss my long hair.

The night started out with a surprise party for Jenny at her sister Kathy’s house. We talked and ate while we waited for her to get there.

The birthday girl arrives!

From Kathy’s house, we took a limo to a nearby bar/club to dance the night away. I don’t really go out¬†very often, mostly because I am a baby and like my sleep, but when it’s your best friend’s birthday, you have to go out. And I’m glad that I did because I had a great time.

And it doesn’t hurt when you have a limo driving you around.

We had a great night out, dancing and having fun. I seem to have self delusional thoughts that I am a great dancer, but as anyone can tell from this picture, I definitely don’t have the moves like Jagger. But I still like to dance and have fun.

The night ended with a 2 am run to Taco Bell for potato tacos. And that made me happy. Sometimes a girl has to have her potato tacos.

Do you like going out? When was the last time you went out? I honestly like staying home. But going out every once in a while is fun too.

Can you dance? Can you teach me?


Filed under Fun, Uncategorized

Crayon Art

Crayon Art

Last night and today, the kids and I worked on an art project that I found on Pinterest. Crayon art!

I bought two cheap canvases at Hobby Lobby to use for the crayon art. Then, we peeled the paper off crayons. Jeesh, that was a project! I swear they use super glue to attach those crayon labels. I was so frustrated that I finally resorted to using my teeth to get the dumb paper off the crayon.

Next, I hot glued the crayons in a circle on the canvas, and let the kids go to town using the blow dryer on the crayons. They held the blow dryer right above the crayons without actually touching the crayons, and I tilted the canvas so it would drip.

The kids had such a great time making this project, and it was fairly inexpensive. I had crayons and a hot glue gun at home, so I just had to buy the canvas.


This morning, I woke up about 7:00 am, and had a clementine and a Thinkthin bar. I love the chocolate toffee nut flavor.

Then, I went to the gym and completed two miles on the treadmill before heading to yoga. Yoga was a little difficult today. We used stability balls and balanced them on our feet and legs while doing sit-ups. I definitely got a workout with yoga today.

For lunch, I had a bagelwich with the cranberry peach jam that I recently bought. I really like this jam. It was sweet but not too overpowering.

I¬†also had pickles, carrots with hummus, and a glass of Silk chocolate milk – 5 grams of protein! I like how¬†the Horizon chocolate milk tastes better, but the Silk milk is dairy-free. It’s good, just not as chocolately as Horizon.

Tonight, Danny and I are getting together with some friends, and I am making my orzo and spinach salad¬†to bring. It’s so good. I can’t wait to eat it!

Questions of the day:

Are you crafty? Do you like doing art projects? I actually love to just color.

Are you cooking any good recipes this weekend?

I recently started a Facebook page for Run Eat Play. Check it out here!


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

Gone but Not Forgotten

It has been a rough few days around here for us. Danny was on a business trip in North Dakota since early Tuesday morning. On Wednesday night, our dog Tyson got really sick. I say “our” dog, but Tyson is truly Danny’s dog.

Danny had Tyson before we even meet. Tyson was like his child. And Tyson loved Danny. I have never seen a more loyal dog in my life – he would often wait until Danny got home from work before he would eat. Tyson might have been a big fierce looking dog, but he was such a sweetheart.

When I got home from yoga on Wednesday night, Tyson was extremely bloated and collapsed¬†in the middle of the back yard. And Danny was thousands of miles away. Thankfully, my dad came over and took us to the vet. My stepmom stayed with the kids, and my father-in-law found an emergency vet. I don’t know what I would have done without my family. Thank you.

We didn’t get home until midnight – thankfully¬†with Tyson. Danny got home Thursday morning, and we took Tyson back to the vet because he was still sick. They took x-rays, and Tyson ended up having what appeared to be a tumor that was most likely cancerous.

Tyson couldn’t walk, was depressed, and still had a bloated stomach. Making the decision to end a pet’s pain is extremely hard. On one hand, you love your pet and want them around forever. On the other hand, you don’t want your pet to suffer.

Tyson was the best pet anyone could ask for. He protected us when Danny wasn’t home. He’s was Danny’s baby. The kids loved playing with him and adored him. He led a long, full life, and we love him. He will always be in our hearts.

Jacob made a very nice picture for Tyson:

My favorite picture of Tyson:


With everything that has been going on, our schedules have been a bit askew, but should go back to normal soon.

I had a follow-up appointment with the nutritionist yesterday. She said that I’m eating pretty decent and am doing good adding protein to my diet. I still need to work on the sweets and making healthy choices at restaurants.

She gave me a few handouts, including one on behavior modification. Such as eating fruit instead of candy hearts, or calling someone if I feel like I’m going to eat something that maybe I shouldn’t. Everything is fine in moderation, as long as I don’t overdo it.


I was going to go to the gym this morning after I dropped the kids off at school, but Danny woke up before we left, so I decided just to drop them off and come back to spend the day with Danny.

So, instead of my planned workout, we went out to breakfast. Yum.

I debated getting the oatmeal, but I really didn’t want it, so I splurged and got a skillet with eggs, broccoli, onion, cheese, and hash browns. The carb lover in me wanted those hash browns. I think I would have been perfectly happy with a plate full of hash browns.

After breakfast, we did a few errands, got Jaden from school, and picked up Baby McCutie. How can you be sad when you see this face?!


I also picked up some cranberry peach jam at TJMaxx. I’m excited to try it. It’s weird to buy jam at TjMaxx, but the Harry & David’s peach preserves that¬†I bought there last time were really good.

I’m going to try to make it to the gym later today, and tomorrow should be back to normal with yoga in the morning.

Questions of the day:

Do you have any pets?

Any fun (or unfun) plans for the weekend?


Filed under Breakfast


Rest in Peace, Tyson. We love you.

We love you, Tyson.


Filed under Uncategorized

How to Cut a Pomegranate

Pomegranate Seeds.

 They first time I ever saw a pomegranate, I was like what the heck is that thing and what am I supposed to do with it?

Then I learned that inside a pomegranate are seeds, and it’s the seeds that you eat. They are actually really sweet with a little bit of a crunch.

Once I learned that they were seeds inside, I was like well, how do I get them out?

This is the easiest way that I found to get those little seeds of yumminess out of a pomegranate.

First, I cut the pomegranate into fours. I would use a cutting board, not a paper plate like I used because it can get a little messy.

The I put all four pieces into a bowl of water and lightly scrap out the seeds with my fingers. Discard the outer shell or peel or whatever it’s called. I found this to be the easiest way to get the seeds out.

There will be little white pieces of the pomegranate left, so I just pour the seeds into a strainer and give them a quick rinse. Get rid of any little bits or yucky seeds left behind.

After they’re strained and rinsed, I shake the excess water off and then put them into a bowl.

And yes, my pomegranate seeds are in a dinosaur bowl. That’s how I roll.

I like to eat the pomegranate seeds as they are, but they’d be great in yogurt or oatmeal too.

I tried telling the kids that the pomegranate¬†seeds were delicious candy, but after¬†trying¬†them, they didn’t believe me. Oh well, I tried.

Do you like pomegranates? How do you cut them? If you don’t like pomegranates, do you like ice cream. I do.


Filed under Recipes

I’m Productive!

I had the most productive morning today.

  • Out of bed by 5:30 am – Check
  • Showered and dressed by 6:00 am – Check
  • Dishes done and lunches made by 7:00 am – Check
  • Kids at school by 9:00 am – Check
  • Errands and grocery shopping done by 10:30 am – Check

I know that most people do this on a daily basis, but I’m usually just rolling out of bed by 7:00 am, so this was productive for me. I feel so…accomplished. And awesome.

Coffee played an important roll in my productivity this morning:


I was up earlier than usual this morning because my brother had a job¬†interview early this morning, and I said that I’d watched Baby McCutie Darling for him. She arrived just in time for breakfast:

The only downside was that I missed BodyPump this morning. But I figured that it’s for a good cause. Maybe if my brother gets a new job, he’ll take me out to dinner. That’s usually how it works right? Get a new job. Take your sister out to dinner. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

I plan on going to BodyPump tomorrow night instead and going to yoga tonight.

After I dropped the kids off at school, McCutie and I ran a couple of errands. First, we went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some supplies for some super secret crafts.

There’s a grocery store in the same parking lot as Hobby Lobby and this is what I was greeted with when I turned the corner:

A giant cow. Random. And weird.

Valentine’s Day Fun

Valentine’s day is coming up! Danny and I don’t usually do anything big – maybe just go out to dinner or exchange small presents. Sometimes I like to make him something for Valentine’s Day – something that doesn’t really cost anything and comes from the heart.

I had this idea a couple of years ago: 365 days of Love.

I cut out 365 hearts and wrote different things on each one – favorite memories, things I love about Danny, love quotes, etc. Then I put them all in a gift bag, and every day of the year he took out one heart and read it. That was there was enough hearts to last all the way to the next Valentine’s Day.

It cost didn’t cost anything because I had paper at home, but it was time-consuming cutting out all the hearts and writing on them. I just started a few weeks before Valentine’s Day and did a little each day.

Easy, peasy. And so sweet.

I’m trying to come up with something cute for this year.

Questions of the day:

What time do you usually wake up?

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What do you do? Any crafty ideas?¬†I think that Valentine’s Day is celebrating the people you love, not just your significant other. I usually get the kids¬†a little treat or a card for my parents.


Filed under Family Fun

I Heart Hearts

I always¬†seem to wake up in the morning with a lot of will power, and then it slowly dwindles as the day goes on. I ate really good all day yesterday and then Danny came home and¬†suggested Chili’s for dinner. Okay, let’s go!

Chips, salsa, soup, salad, & a few stolen fries later, and I was stuffed. And I still broke down and bought a bag of candy hearts. I was doing so good resisting those darn things.

I have a problem with eating holiday candy – candy cane tootsie pops, candy hearts, jelly beans. Okay, I just have a candy problem in general. Except for Peeps – those things are just gross. But they’re fun to watch explode in the microwave.

After Chili’s, we stopped at Target and picked a new bouncer toy for McCutie Love Butt. Danny put it together, and I helped supervised.



This morning, I had my usual clementine when I woke up.


  • 12 minutes treadmill (walking/jogging)
  • Cardio fit & tone class

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do cardio myself this morning or take a cardio fitness class. I ended up spending a short time on the treadmill before going to the cardio class. I usually do cardio on my own on Tuesdays, so the fitness class was a nice change.

This¬†was only the second time that¬†I’ve taken the¬†cardio fit and tone class, and I really like it. I like how it mixes cardio with light weights and then ab work.

After the gym¬†and I came home and mixed up some strawberry Greek yogurt, almond milk, and oats to chill in the fridge while I showered and got ready. I know that some people don’t like cold oatmeal, but I actually prefer cold yogurt and oats to hot oatmeal.

I got a little wild this morning by topping my oats with granola and peanut butter Cheerios. See, sometimes I get a little crazy with my food.

Do you like cold oatmeal or hot oatmeal? Or do you hate oatmeal? I hate raisins.


Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

I Workout

Monday! The weekend is officially over and it’s back to the work/school week. After such a busy and fun weekend, today was pretty low-key. I woke up feeling a bit under the weather this morning, not really sick but just like I could feel a cold coming on. After I was up and about for a while, I started to feel a bit better.

Workout: BodyPump

Before going to BodyPump today, I had a Kashi blueberry waffle with a little bit of peanut butter. I brought a Odwalla chocolate protein drink with me to the gym for after BodyPump.

BodyPump went good today even though I wasn’t feeling 100%, but I didn’t stay to do any cardio today. I figured that would be pushing it. I’ve been doing good with The Commit to be Fit Challenge at my gym with a total of 27 workouts over the last three weeks! I’m pretty proud of myself!

And not all of those are hard workouts – sometimes it’s just 20 minutes of walking or a yoga class, but every workout counts!


Lunch today was pretty much the same. I know that you were probably expecting some sort of fancy and¬†exotic lunch. Well, sorry to disappoint you but it was a bagelwich, as usual. With good ol’ egg whites and Muenster¬†cheese (not to be confused with Monster cheese – I’d stay away from that scary cheese). I also had carrots and pita chips with hummus for dipping.

I just reread my Monster cheese joke, and I apologize for the lameness of it. But I’m still leaving it because I secretly think it’s hilarious.

What’s your favorite cheese? I like cheddar because you can put it on anything, but Muenster and provolone are my favorite on sandwiches.


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Uncategorized