Author Archives: runeatplay

Circuit Workouts

Good afternoon, friends! How are you today? I must tell you, I am so sick of the snow. I hate snow. If I never saw another snowflake again, I would be perfectly happy. I am counting the days until spring is here!

I have been really good about getting my diet back on track this week, with the small exception of going out to celebrate my dad and stepmom’s birthdays on Tuesday night. Let’s just say there was a lot of Mexican food and margaritas involved. But I am a firm believer of everything in moderation.

I made sure I was back on track Wednesday morning. Before work, I had plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with a packet of Stevia and topped with raspberries.


I love eating this for breakfast because it’s starts my morning out with a lot of protein!

I went to the gym this morning, but I decided that it was in my best interest to hold off on the Bikini Body Mommy workouts for a few days. They are great short workouts but the amount of jumping and squats involved has really been hard on my body on top of the other workouts I’m doing.

I was a little bit disappointed because I made it 40 days straight without missing a workout but I’m really trying to listen to my body and do what’s best for it.

I still managed to get a good workout in, focusing mostly on upper body and core work. I found a circuit workout in the Sarah Fit book and added a couple more exercises to it.


My circuit consisted of:

  • single leg bicep curls x 20 (10 each leg)
  • triceps dips with feet on a stability ball (I forgot how hard these were!) x 12
  • chest presses on stability ball x 15
  • bentover rows x 15
  • upright rows x15
  • dumbbell deadlifts x 15

I rested about 2 minutes in between each circuit. I did the circuit three times each.

Then I moved on to a core circuit. For this circuit I did:

  • Russian twists with a medicine ball x 16 (each side)
  • single leg heel touches x 10 / double leg heel touches x 10
  • bicycle crunches x 15 each side
  • plank 30 seconds
  • dumbbell side bends x 20 (each side)

I did this circuit three times, resting one minute in between.

After the gym, I stopped at Target where I found these individual bags of Jack Links on clearance.


I love the Jack Links and always buy the big bag. I have never seen the individual bags at my Target and suddenly there was a bunch of boxes on the clearance shelf. Where did they come from?!

Now I’m at home sipping on some Cinnabon coffee and getting a few things done. I’m working on a workout for my first Women on Weights class that I’m teaching next week!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite kind of food? I love Mexican food. I could eat it everyday.
  • Do you ever do circuit workouts?
  • Favorite ab exercise?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Booty Workout and Birthdays!

Hello! How are you all today?!

This morning I went to the gym and started with the Bikini Body Mommy cardio workout. These workouts usually require a lot of jumping moves which I was really feeling today. By the time I was done, my Achilles tendon was killing me.

I tend to have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to working out and often decide to push through when I have pain instead of stopping. I realize that this is not a good thing. Moral of the story: do not be like me. If you are injured or have pain, take it easy!

I know something is wrong with my Achilles and I know the jumping exercises aren’t helping. I really am going to try my best to take it easy. The nice thing is that a lot of exercises can be modified so I don’t have to jump. My plan is to lay off the jumping but still do what I can.

After the cardio workout, I worked on glutes. Lots of booty exercises!


I did:

  • step-up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • single leg hip bridges
  • sumo squats with a leg raise
  • donkey kicks
  • single leg deadlifts
  • squats

I did each exercises between 12-25 reps, depending on the exercise. I did three sets of each exercise. Then I foam rolled and stretched. It was a really good workout that left me tired and sweaty!!

Even though I still wear my FitBit Charge HR all day long, I use my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor to keep track of my exercise. I feel like it’s more accurate.

Yesterday for some reason, my Fitbit registered that I climbed 45 flights of stairs!


I definitely did not climb 45 flights of stairs. I didn’t really do anything different than I normally do so I can’t figure out why it thinks I’m climbing so many stairs. This is the first time it’s ever counted so many stairs. Interesting!

Hopefully it’ll be a little more accurate today.

Today is my dad’s birthday and tomorrow is my stepmom’s birthday. A big happy birthday to my dad and Sue!! Can’t wait to celebrate!!

PicMonkey Collage

Have a great day!!

  • For  those of you that have a FitBit Charge, does it overestimate stairs?!
  • Do you rest when your sore/injured or do tend to push through?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

It’s Monday! I’m glad today is Monday because I feel like it gives me a fresh start after my horrendous week last week.

I’m back on track with my eating and workouts.

Yesterday, Danny and I went to the gym and worked on chest and triceps.


Everyone has their own way of working out muscle groups – full body, upper body, lower body, biceps & triceps, etc. I usually workout the “pushing” muscles together – chest and triceps. These are the muscles you use for pushing exercises such as chest presses or push-ups.

I workout the “pulling” muscles together – back and biceps. These are the muscles you use for pulling exercises such as lat pulldowns and rows.

Then, I have a shoulder day. I incorporate core and leg exercises throughout the week depending on how much time I have to workout. The bikini body mommy workouts incorporate a lot of leg exercises and I still do some of my physical therapy exercises. My hip and quad still tend to get sore very fast so I take it a bit easier on the legs.

Today, I got back on track with my workouts and worked on shoulders. I did:

  • dumbbell front/lateral raises
  • shoulder press machine
  • plate front raises with a twist
  • kettlebell upright rows
  • overhead dumbbell presses
  • cable lateral raises
  • around the worlds (can be seen at 8:00 in the video)

I also did the bikini body mommy strength workout, walked, and did a little bit of stretching and foam rolling. When I woke up yesterday my quad was seriously killing me and I’m not quite sure why so I’m trying to take it a little easier on leg exercises.

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

Lately, before a workout or on the days I work, I have been eating Straw Propeller Oats for breakfast. I love that these oats help keep me feeling full for a long time especially when I’m working.

Straw Propeller was awesome enough to send me four of their oats flavors to try out.


The four flavors I tried were Cherry and Chia, Apple Crisp, Maple Oats, and Orange Cranberry.

Of these four, my favorite was the Apple Crisp. It was delicious! I loved the chunks of apples, walnuts, and white chocolate chips.


I love that Straw Propeller Oats use only real ingredients without additives or preservatives. Their oats are also gluten-free. And I love all the add-ins in their oats!



My all-time favorite oats are their PB&J oats. I can’t even describe how good these are – peanuts, strawberries, and peanut butter chips. I could seriously eat these everyday.


I buy the PB & J flavor at Target. Target and Whole Foods are the stores near me that I’ve found them at and they carry some great flavors!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a specific workout plan?
  • Do you like oatmeal? Favorite?

Straw Propeller sent me the four oatmeal flavors to try for free. I purchased the PB&J oats on my own. All opinions are my own. 


Filed under Breakfast, Product Review, Working Out

An Off Week

Good morning.

I am so glad that today is Sunday, even though I did wake up at 6 am. I just can’t seem to sleep in on the weekends. This past week has been a really off week for me – diet and workout-wise.

There was no school one day, Jaden was sick a couple of days, my work hours changed slightly. I pretty much ate everything in sight all week and missed two workouts this week, and I never miss a workout!!

I was working until 2 pm on Wednesday and Fridays. Now, I’m working until 3 pm, which means I can’t workout after I get off work those two days because I  have to be home to get the kids off the bus.

Danny usually goes to the gym at 5 am during the week, so I can’t wake up early and go. I suppose my other options are to wake up early and work out at home or workout in the evening. I planned on working out Friday night but I forgot it was bingo night at Jaden’s school.

This week, I plan on focusing more on what needs to be done – planning my meals better so I don’t eat a whole bag of jelly beans (yes, that happened this week) and figuring out when to fit my workouts in.

I completely realize that people work full time jobs and have things a lot harder, but no matter what your schedule is, if it’s something you’ve been used to for years then it’s going to mess you up if it suddenly changes.


Of course, my first priority yesterday morning was to get to the gym!


I started with the Bikini Body Mommy Fit Test because I am a little behind on that workout.


I was happy because I improved all my scores from the previous Fit Test. It’s about an 8 minute workout, but it’s killer. Danny did it too and we were dead at the end. Dead. You’re only resting 10 seconds in between each exercise so it really keeps your heart rate up!

Danny and I worked on back and biceps and honestly it was a so-so workout. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was tired from being up early, my eye hurt (turns out my contact was ripped in half in my eye), and my leg was really bothering me.

We got through all our back exercises and half of our bicep exercises until I threw in the towel. My eye was killing me and I had to go home to fix it. Plus, I was just plain crabby.

After the gym, we stopped at Target where I bought Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn in the frosted sugar sugar cookie flavor!


I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to try it today. I imagine it’s going to be delicious. They also had a lemon drop kettle corn flavor but I was a little unsure about that flavor.

On today’s agenda is the gym, grocery shopping, and working for a few hours later. I really need to get back on track with my eating and workouts this week!

Have a great Sunday!

  • Do you ever have “off” weeks? I usually have off days, but rarely off weeks! Too much good food!
  • Did you do anything fun this weekend?
  • Favorite popcorn flavor?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Good morning – it’s Friday! How is your week going?

Let’s jump right into today’s favorites!

Friday Favorites

  • Cascadian Farm Fruitful O’s cereal

I am such a cereal addict. I purposely buy cereal for the kids that I don’t like because I can eat so much cereal without a problem. It’s addicting. I try to not even start eating it because I can eat about 75 bowls of cereal.


I tried these Fruitful O’s and they were delicious so of course, I had to eat tons of them. I figure they’re better than Froot Loops though, right?!

  • In Death Book Series by JD Robb

I love the In Death series by JD Robb (who is actually Nora Roberts). I have been reading the series for years and years and Obsession in Death is the 40th book in the series.



The nice thing about this series is that you can pick up any book and not be lost with the story line. Of course, you’ll understand more if you’ve read the whole series but each book can be read as a single story.

  • Whole Foods Sushi

Whole Foods sushi is my favorite sushi. It just is. I love their California roll but my second favorite is the Philadelphia roll.


I love that Whole Foods uses brown rice because I am not a fan of white rice. I love the how much more flavor brown rice has not to mention how much better it is nutrition-wise. White rice is so bland and unflavorful to me. Yay for brown rice sushi!

  • Race Season!

Spring is the official start of race season and I am officially signed up for my first 5ks of the year!

I haven’t run a lot since my hip surgery and haven’t really been running at all lately since my Achilles tendon still bothers me. My goal is to take it really slow and just ease back into running at my own pace. I think it’s going to be quite a shock after not running for so long but I’m going to do my best.

The first 5k I plan on doing is the is the Bunny Rock 5k in Chicago.


I was lucky enough to win a free entry on Facebook! Right now, I’m about 75% sure that I’m going to run this race. We have something going on the day before and the day after is Easter. I plan to start walk/running soon so I will see if I’ll be ready in time for this race.

My next race which is a 100% for sure race is the Run Like a Mother 5k.


I have run this race for the past 4 or 5 years and my grandma who had both hip replaced is planning on walking the race so I really look forward to doing this race again!

Those are my favorites for today! Have a great Friday!

  • What are your Friday Favorites?
  • Any plans for the weekend?




Filed under Breakfast, Race, Running, Working Out


Good afternoon!

Last night for dinner, I made baked chicken and veggie fajitas.


I love easy these are to make and how delicious they taste. Mexican food is my all time favorite food!


I had quite the workout today! I started with 15 minutes on the elliptical and then I did the bikini body mommy cardio workout twice. I can’t believe it’s day 44 for the bikini mommy challenge already! Halfway through.

After the cardio workout, I stretched and rode the stationary bike for a few minutes until the Women on Weights class started. I used to take this class every single Tuesday up until my hip surgery. I haven’t taken it since my hip surgery in July so that’s about 7 months.

I wanted to take the class today since I will be teaching it starting in March just to get the feel of it again. We did arms today including biceps and triceps. Nothing too much for my hip although it did kill my wrist.


782 calories burned during today’s workout. Post workout, I had a Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Refuel protein shake.

After the gym, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some eggs. When I got home, I proceded to drop the entire bag of eggs on my front porch.

Of course, every single egg broke…except one.


He was the strong egg. He wins at life. He is my lucky egg and I will keep him forever and ever…or until I eat him tomorrow morning.

To make myself feel better, I made some Cinnabon coffee.


No, coffee mug, I’m not purr-fect. I dropped all the eggs.


Today at the gym, a women made a comment to me in passing that really lifted my spirits. It got me thinking about how little complements or words of encouragement can go along way.

To her, it was just something she said to me in conversation but to me, it meant a lot more. It lifted my spirits and made me feel good. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves, we don’t take the time to realize the good attributes we possess.

An older man came into the gym the other day and talked about how when he was doing some ab exercises, two women told him he was doing such a great job. The man said that comment made his whole day and he spent the rest of the day feeling good. I’m sure the two women didn’t think about what they said again but the man remembered it the whole day.

I think we are so busy in life that sometimes we overlook the opportunity to pay attention to those around us and compliment them on a job well done. Even something as simple as, “I really like your hair today” or “Great job doing those lunges” can really make a person’s day.

I’m going to try to really make the effort to notice those around me and pay more compliments to people, and it doesn’t even have to be a compliment, words of encouragement also go a long way!

And those are my thoughts for today! Have a great afternoon!

  • When was the last time you complimented someone?
  • When was the last time you received a compliment?
  • How do you stay positive?




Filed under Dinner, Fitness, Working Out

iFly Naperville

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

On Saturday afternoon, we took Jaden to iFly in Naperville. This was part of his birthday present.


I bought a gift card from Costco which included two 1 minute flights and the option to view your video online. It cost $40 at Costco. The price for the same package at iFly is $70.

I made reservations ahead of time online. I picked the time 1:30 pm and you’re supposed to arrive one hour before your scheduled time.

We got to iFly about 12:30 pm. We checked in and signed a waiver. We also paid an extra $10 to add a “high flight” for the last 20 seconds or so of the last flight. It might seem like a lot of money for only a few seconds but the high flight option is totally worth it. The instructor takes you almost all the way to the ceiling.

Then we went upstairs and watched other people taking their turns until they called the 1:30 pm group. There was about 15 flyers in the 1:30 pm group. The ages ranged from kids to adults. There were three kids in Jaden’s group and him and another boy were probably the youngest.

We watched a short video on how to hold your body when your flying and what to do once you’re in the wind tunnel. Then the instructor came in and went over the hand signals.


The wind tunnel is very loud and you are unable to hear so the instructor communicates with you using the hand signals.

After the video and instructions, all the fliers suited up.



Jaden wore a bodysuit, safety goggles, and a helmet. They also give you the option of wearing ear plugs. Once everyone is suited up, they all go into the wind tunnel waiting area and sit on a bench.


We couldn’t go in with Jaden since we weren’t flying but we could see him the whole time. Each person goes into the wind tunnel with the instructor for one minute. It was so fun watching everyone fly around!



After one minute is up, you exit the wind tunnel and go to the end of the line. Once everyone has flown once, they get one more one minute flight. This is where they do the high flight option.



Jaden and the instructor started spinning and off they went!

After the second flight, you go back and sit down until everyone has had their second turn.

Jaden was so excited when he got out and ran to give us a giant hug.


Overall, it was an awesome experience. Jaden had so much fun and already wants to know when he can go back!

On Saturday night, Danny and I took the kids to dinner at a hibachi restaurant.


They have never been to a hibachi restaurant and I knew they would love it. They loved seeing the fire and watching the food being cooked in front of them.


We ordered so much food and I left so full! It was so good. I was surprised that Jaden actually tried a bite of everything on his plate. All he really ended up eating though was two servings of steamed white rice.

It was a great day, a delicious dinner, and a nice way to spend Valentine’s Day with my family!

  • What did you do this weekend?



Filed under Dinner, Family Fun

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I forgot to mention some good news the other day – starting in March I will be getting my own group fitness class to teach!

Many of you know that I was teaching BodyPump before my hip surgery. After hip surgery, I don’t think BodyPump is something that I will return to teaching because the high amount of reps were hard on my body and my cartilage is already starting to wear away.

At first, I was upset about it, but honestly as much as I loved taking BodyPump classes, teaching the classes were a lot harder for me. Every BodyPump class is choreographed precisely to music so no matter where you go in the world the class will be exactly the same. Although the moves weren’t hard to learn, it was a little harder for me to be on exact count with the music if that makes sense. I’m not really a musically inclined person.

My new class will be Women on Weights which takes place on the fitness floor – no classroom, no music, just lots of strength training! I am very excited. I will be teaching Tuesday mornings which works out perfect!

Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day this year, I made Danny a Jack and Coke “cake”.


There’s a bottle of Jack Daniels in the middle, surrounded by cans of Coca Cola!

Danny and I were obviously meant to be together forever because we both bought each other a Reese’s peanut butter heart!


Danny also got me the donut coffee mug I’ve been wanting and a tub of Alpha Aminos, which I was very excited about – he knows me too well!


He also got me the cutest coffee mug that changes from asleep to awake as the coffee hits it! Very cute!



And last night at Whole Foods, we picked up some fresh chocolate covered strawberries that I will probably eat for breakfast.


We always get the kids a little Valentine’s treat and Jaden was very excited to get his.


My niece and Jaden made a really cute butterfly Valentine’s craft a few days ago.

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We used toilet paper tubes and covered them with scrapbook paper and added hearts for the wings.

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My niece had fun spreading the glue with a paintbrush.

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I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and remember, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all those that you love – moms, dad, grandparents, spouses, neighbors, kids, etc. Spread the love!!




Filed under Family Fun

Birthday Boy!

Good afternoon!

Today is Jaden’s 8th birthday!

PicMonkey Collage

I can’t believe my baby is eight years old! They grow up so fast!

Jaden woke up to a wall of balloons (they were tangled within seconds) and a special Dunkin Donuts breakfast.

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He picked out a cake mix and frosting from the store so I will be baking him a birthday cake while he’s at school. He really wanted that blue frosting.


After Jaden went to school, I went to the gym. I took a boxing fusion class on Tuesday night so my hip has been a little more sore than normal. I’m trying to take it a little bit easy. I made sure to foam roll before I started my workout today.

Today wasn’t my best day. I was just really sore and tired. I rode the stationary bike and did the cardio BBM workout. I foam rolled again at the end of my workout and stretched a little bit.

My hip is a lot more sore than it has been in awhile so I made sure to ice it as soon as I got home.

I’m off to frost Jaden’s birthday  cake! Have a great day!

  • Ice cream or cake?
  • Favorite flavor?


Filed under Uncategorized

Sick Day

Good morning!

Today at the gym, I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout. It was a new workout and a cardio day and it was tough! It definitely got my heart rate up!


I always use the Tabata timer app on my phone for these workouts. You just set the work time, rest time, and number of exercises and the app counts down for you.

Screenshot_2015-02-10-11-45-15 Screenshot_2015-02-10-11-43-49

I hydrated with tropical Nuun during my workout.


I love that these are so easy to just pop into your water. It has no sugar and a lot of electrolytes.

After the cardio workout, I did a few biceps and triceps exercises. My wrist still bothers me so I have to be careful with what exercises I do. Today, I did bicep/tricep supersets.

I did the following exercises:

  • concentration curls/overhead tricep extensions
  • single leg hammer curls/tricep dips on bench
  • dumbbell curls/tricep kickbacks
  • bicep curls with resistance band

That was as far as I got when my Fitbit Charge started flashing the name of my son’s school. (I love that you can see who’s calling right on your wrist!) It’s never good when the school calls in the middle of the morning.

Jaden had a very slight fever and wasn’t feeling well so I said I would come pick him up. I’m glad it was today and not tomorrow because tomorrow is my first official day at work. I picked him up and then we stopped at Target for some much needed coffee and a Sprite for Jaden’s tummy.


I also had a Rockin’ Refuel chocolate protein shake.


I know I mentioned these all the time but I am obsessed. They are so easy and convenient. And they have 30 grams of protein which perfect for someone like me who is always trying to get enough protein.

The rest of the day will just be spent doing a few things around the house and taking care of Jaden.

Have a great afternoon!

  • When was the last time you were sick?
  • Favorite thing to drink?


Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out