Author Archives: runeatplay

Valentine’s Day Food and Treats

Disclaimer: I received the PRE 100% grass fed beef at no charge for part of a Valentine’s Day post. As usual, I only work with companies whose products I stand behind. All opinions are 100% my own…and Danny and Jacob’s. :)

Hello!

I have a fun post for you guys today – Valentine’s Day food and treats! I have always said that I believe Valentine’s Day is for celebrating all those in your life that you love – your spouse, significant other, parents, grandparents, kids, neighbor, etc.

I have a few fun Valentine’s Day food ideas that you can give to others as a gift, cook for those you love, or even cook together with someone. My little helper for a lot of these recipes was my son Jaden.

20160130_131520

He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

First up, is a super easy breakfast idea – heart shaped pancakes!

20160130_083135

These pancakes are super easy to make. All you need to do is make pancake batter or use a pre-mixed batter and put it into a Ziploc bag. Push all the batter into the corner of the bag and cut off just the very tip of the bag.

On a hot pan, use the batter in the Ziploc bag to make a heart shape and fill it in. Cook a few minutes on both sides and you have a cute heart shaped pancakes. This is great for kids but really who can resist a heart-shaped pancake?!

  • PRE 100% Grass Fed Beef

Steak is always a great gift! Danny and Jacob love steak and when PRE Brands contacted me about their 100% grass fed beef I was so excited to have Danny and Jacob try it out! It would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner or just a great gift in general.

20160128_103716

Here are some of the things I liked about the PRE beef:

  • the whole package is transparent so you can see both sides of the meat. Often with cuts of meat in the grocery store, you can only see one side of the meat. PRE has a 360 degree view so you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • it’s vacuum sealed which leads to a consistent quality and temperature, and a long shelf life.
  • it’s sourced from the top 10% most trustworthy sources in the world,making it extra fresh and tasty
  • PRE Brands uses a trademarked “15-point Obsessive Pick Process,” putting every single cut under a microscope, resulting in the very best quality and taste.

20160128_103558

(Baylee really really wanted that ground beef!)

While I don’t eat beef myself, I do believe in feeding my family quality, fresh, trustworthy food and PRE lives up to that. And Danny and Jacob can vouch for the taste – they both loved it!

I used a grill pan on the stove to cook the steaks medium-rare and the boys feasted on them with mashed potatoes. They both gave them two thumbs up!

20160201_174934 (1)

  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

20160130_152242

This was my first time ever making brownies from scratch and they turned out delicious! I found a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Jaden and I got to work making them! (Sally’s Baking Addiction has the best dessert recipes I have ever tried!)

I was worried at first that making brownies from scratch would be hard to make but they were fairly easy. You just have to make sure that measure ingredients perfectly when baking – that’s why I always measure ingredients with my food scale.

We made the brownies and then made the cream cheese topping. We swirled them together for some delicious red velvet cheesecake brownies. Just make sure that you don’t over swirl!

20160130_131506

20160130_152256

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally, we baked chocolate chip cookies because they are delicious and who wouldn’t love receiving fresh baked chocolate chip cookies?! (And yes, it’s another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

20160201_114259(0)

These cookies are perfectly soft and melt in your mouth. Just to be sure not to overbake them!

20160201_114306

You could add Valentine’s Day sprinkles to the cookies batter or just use them to decorate the plate!

  • What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
  • Do you have any Valentine’s Day food or treat recipes to share?

 

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Family Fun, Fun, Product Review, Recipes

Birthday, Coffee, Workout

Hello friends!

Birthday

Over the weekend, Danny and I went out to celebrate my best friend, Jenny’s, birthday.

15143

We’ve been best friends for 22 years since 7th grade.

15147

We went to Seasons 52 and had a wonderful dinner. I didn’t get a picture of it but I had the cedar plank roasted salmon with roasted vegetables & crushed potatoes, dill-mustard sauce, and grilled lemon. It was amazing and the dill-mustard sauce was the best sauce I have ever had. I could have ate just that sauce and been happy. Hungry but happy. :)

The waitress brought out a tower of mini desserts with a candle in the top so we could sing happy birthday.

20160130_221349

Those mini desserts were also amazing. The flavors: key lime pie, pecan pie, Belgian chocolate s’mores, mocha macchiato, chocolate peanut butter torte, and raspberry cannoli. Yum.

_____________________________________________________

Coffee

My UpCup came at the perfect time because I just ordered a bunch of coffee from Keurig.

20160201_124524

I ordered a 24 pack of Golden French Toast, a 22 count variety pack (Caramel Vanilla Cream, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Wild Mountain Blueberry), two 12 packs of Peppermint Bark, a 5 pack of Southern Pecan, a 5 pack of Butter Toffee, and a 5 pack of Raspberry Chocolate Truffle.

20160201_125252

Yes, that’s a lot of coffee. The Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite flavors and my grocery store stopped selling it after the holidays so when I saw the Keurig website had it, I had to get two boxes.

This morning I tried the Raspberry Chocolate Truffle in my favorite coffee mug.

20160202_120219

Usually, I’m not a fan of chocolate flavored coffee but this flavor was really good and didn’t taste too chocolatey. I also like that Keurig offers 5 packs of coffee. That way to can try it out without committing to a whole bunch of it.

Workout

This morning at the gym, I did a chest and triceps superset workout before teaching my Women on Weights class.

I did the following exercises:

  • Barbell chest presses
  • Triceps dips with feet on bench
  • Dumbbell chest flies
  • Barbell skull crushers
  • Decline chest press machine
  • Tricep rope pressdowns

And that’s all for today! Have a great day!

  • Are you a coffee drinker? Favorite coffee?
  • Any workout today?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dinner, Fitness, Uncategorized

Chuester UpCup

I was sent the Chuester UpCup at no charge to me for my review of the product. All opinions are 100% my own and I only work with companies whose products I use and stand behind. 

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

I have a great new product to share with you guys today – the Chuester UpCup.

20160128_122008

My dad works with a guy who recently purchased one of these cups and thought that I would be interested in them. He gave the owner my contact information. Tom, the owner of  UpCup’s sent me a cup to try out the next day.

The UpCup originally started out on Kickstarter. Kickstarter helps creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. In this case, it was the UpCup. The UpCup was created by Tom and Jillian Kashul, two entrepreneurs from Chicago. The UpCup got funded and is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Okay, so what is the UpCup?

20160129_084354

The UpCup is an on-the-go mug that is double walled to keep your drink hot and your hand cool. The lid and sleeve are made of medical grade silicone. Since it is glass, you don’t have to worry about chemicals from plastic leaching into your glass. It holds 14 ounces which is perfect for your morning coffee!

I bring coffee with me to work so I was very excited to try this mug. I usually used a stainless steel to-go mug but I always felt like it kind of changed the way my coffee tasted.

The UpCup is the perfect on-the-go mug. It’s glass so I can see how much cream is going into my coffee and since it’s double walled, the coffee stays hot but the outside stays cool so you don’t burn your hand.

I put my coffee in it around 8:20 am and headed to work.

20160129_084259

By the time I was finished drinking it around 9:45 am, the coffee was still hot. Yay!

20160129_090841

This is definitely my new on-the-go coffee cup. It’s also great for tea and you could even use it for water Since it’s glass, it is dishwasher and microwave safe.

You can learn more about the UpCup on their website and buy your own on Amazon.

Have a great day!

  • Do you use an on-the-go mug?

2 Comments

Filed under Product Review, Uncategorized

Shoulder, Core, and Cardio Circuit Workout

Good afternoon! This morning at the gym, I did a great circuit workout involving shoulders, core, and cardio.

20160128_085707

Here is the workout I did:

Untitled

I completed each circuit four times and I finished up my workout with an easy 12 minutes on the stationary bike.

I love incorporating the speed ladder into my workouts. It’s a great way to do something different and challenge your body.

20160128_090629

Post workout, I had this Powerful Yogurt protein drink that Danny recently found at the grocery store.

20160127_152831

I have never seen these before, so I was excited to try it and with 20 grams of protein, it’s perfect post-workout. The vanilla maple flavor was delicious!

When I got home, I took Baylee for a walk since the weather is halfway decent.

20160128_105514

She’s getting big!

After our walk, I made lunch.

20160126_130617

Egg whites with a little bit of reduced fat cheddar cheese, whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, and sugar snap peas. So good!

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite core exercise?
  • What did you have for lunch today?

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Circuit Workout

Good afternoon!

This morning at the gym, I did a great circuit workout before teaching my Women on Weights class.

20160126_092623

I did the following circuit four times through:

  • 400 meter row
  • 10 box jumps
  • 10 kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell farmer’s carry on track (hold heavy kettlebell in one hand and walk on the track, switching hands halfway. Great for obliques!)

I did each exercise back-to-back, rested about 30 seconds, and then repeated for a total of four times. I really like doing circuit workouts because they are a great way to combine strength training and cardio and are a great way to keep your heart rate up.

After teaching Women on Weights, I came home and had a cup of Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea in my favorite gingerbread coffee mug.

20160126_120642 (1)

I usually add a few drops of the SkinnyGirl stevia extract. My mom gave this to me and it’s perfect to sweeten up the tea a little bit.

Danny and I also got in some great workout this weekend. On Saturday, we worked shoulder and core. We did some of the hardest sit-ups I’ve ever done in my life. On the decline bench, we held a plate behind our head and did sit-ups. It might not look too hard but it was killer. I could barely manage two sets of 10.

20160123_102640

On Sunday, we worked back and biceps.

20160124_105308

We also did more plate sit-ups but this time we did them on the floor making it a little easier. Still hard but easier than the decline bench. If you have a chance, definitely try out these sit-ups!

Have a great day!

  • If you’re a tea drinker, what’s your favorite tea?
  • Favorite core exercise? I love planks!

 

8 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I am so glad that it’s Friday! I am ready for the weekend. I also look forward to the weekends because I like working out with Danny at the gym. Usually I prefer to workout alone but it’s always a nice change of pace to workout with someone else. We do things I might not normally do on my own, he pushes me to do more, and I can often lift heavier since he’s able to spot me.

Friday Favorites

I have a few favorites to share with you today. First up are a couple of beauty products.

  • Real Techniques Make-Up Sponge

20160121_104037

When the Beauty Blender was popular a few years ago, I asked for one for Christmas. At that time, they were expensive and could only be ordered online. I loved the Beauty Blender but then Real Techniques came out with a make-up sponge for a much more reasonable price – about $6.99.

I have been using this sponge to apply foundation and sometimes concealer for a long time and I love it. I don’t apply my foundation any other way. I went to Ulta yesterday to pick up a new one and they were buy one, get one free. Yes!

  • MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream

20160121_115733

Every since I turned 30 a few years ago, I’ve been more conscious about using eye cream. I might not feel old but my skin is 33 years old and I feel like it’s important to take good care of it. My skin is also very sensitive so I don’t mind spending a little bit more money on quality skin products.

I’ve been using this eye cream every night and sometimes in the morning. It’s provides moisture and helps with dark circles and fine lines.

  • Target Coffee Mug

20160118_154835

I love coffee mugs and arrows so this mug was perfect for me and I had to buy it when I saw it at Target. Danny doesn’t share my love for coffee mugs and says I have too many…it’s not my fault our cabinets are small. :)

  • Starbucks Jade Citrus Mint Tea

20160121_105537

I love this tea from Starbucks. It’s a nice change from coffee or great in the afternoon when it’s too late for coffee. I add one packet of Stevia in the Raw for a great zero calorie drink.

  • Skinny Cow Chocolate Mint Ganache Ice Cream Cones

20160121_113158

I might have been these in a Friday Favorites before but they’re worth mentioning again. They are so good. They are perfect for an after dinner treat.

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

  • What are your favorite things today?
  • Do you collect anything?

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Leg and Glute Workout

Good afternoon! How are you all doing?

I’ve been working and working out. Yesterday when I got off of work, I did an easy cardio workout. 30 minutes on the stairmaster followed by 15 minutes on the stationary bike.

20160120_161805

After my workout, I had a thinkThin bar. I really like the salted caramel flavor.

Today I did a great leg/glute workout.

I did 4 sets and 10 reps of the following exercises:

  • Resistance band walking squats
  • Dumbbell deadlifts – 60 lbs
  • Split squats – 20 lbs
  • Barbell hip thrusts – 60 lbs
  • Walking lunges – 30 lbs
  • Weighted donkey kicks – 5 lbs
  • Single leg hip bridges
  • Leg press machine – 165 lbs
  • Seated leg curls – 65 lbs

After my workout, I took a selfie:)

IMG_20160121_111113

And foam rolled.

20160121_100404

In puppy news, Baylee loves laying on the vent in the bathroom. If we ever can’t find her, we just check the bathroom and she’s usually laying on her favorite vent…or eating toilet paper.

20160121_111759

Today will be her second week of puppy training school. Danny takes her every Thursday for eight weeks. Even though she can be a naughty puppy sometimes, she’s actually calmed down a bit and is very smart. She already can sit, stay, give you both her paws, lay down, roll over, and high five. She also rings a bell when she want to go outside. All thanks to Danny.

She also likes to eat toilet paper and shoes, knock over the garbage can, dig in the mud, attack slippers if we’re wearing them, chew the wall, and latch onto your pants when you’re walking. :) Fun times with a puppy.

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Do you have a pet? 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

Chicken Enchiladas

Good morning!

This weekend, I tried out another new recipe – chicken enchiladas. If you haven’t noticed by now, I love Mexican food.

20160117_130504

I searched a whole bunch of enchilada recipes on Pinterest and just ended up piecing together ingredients I thought my family would like the best.

This recipes calls for cooked and shredded chicken. To make shredded chicken, I  just cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot with a little bit of water for a few hours and then shred them.

20160116_152451

Chicken Enchiladas         Serves 6-8

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cans (or 1 large) can of red enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 10-12 flour tortillas (or you can you corn tortillas)
  • Optional: green onion or cilantro for garnish

20160116_152921

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  2. Add cooked chicken and chilies to the onions and stir to combine. Stir in cumin. Add approximately 1.5 cans of enchilada sauce to the chicken and stir until chicken is coated.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream and two cups of cheese (save other cup of cheese for top of enchiladas).
  4. Remove from heat. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add enough enchilada sauce to just cover bottom of dish.
  5. Take a flour tortilla, spread a little bit of remaining enchilada sauce on top, spoon chicken mixture down middle of tortilla. Roll up and place in dish. Repeat for all tortillas.
  6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese over the top.
  7. Bake uncovered approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Optional: garnish with green onions or cilantro.

20160116_171142

Recipe loosely adapted from Popsicle Blog

Yum!

These turned out amazing! I can’t wait to make them again! :)

20160116_174601

  • What is your favorite food? 
  • Favorite Mexican food?

10 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Recipes

Weekend Workouts

Good afternoon! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

It’s cold here in Chicagoland so we’ve just been laying low all weekend – working out, watching movies, and trying out a new enchilada recipe (check back tomorrow for the recipe!).

Danny I went to the gym yesterday and did a great shoulder, core, and cardio workout.

IMG_20160116_104922 (1)

I wore this new workout shirt from Target that Danny bought for me.

20160112_164217

I love the mesh sleeves!

Saturday night, we rented The Martian.

martian1

I read the book awhile back and was excited to see that the movie just came out. I thought it was a really good movie and even the kids loved it!

Sunday morning we were back at the gym for a chest, triceps, and HIIT stairmaster workout.

IMG_20160117_103120

Danny was a badass with his tricep dips. I was not. :)

Our workout included:

  • chest presses
  • tricep dips
  • cable chest flyes
  • barbell tricep presses
  • decline chest press machine
  • cable tricep pressdowns

We finished our workout with level 20 on the Stairmaster for one minute followed by two minutes recovery. We did this for a total of 21 minutes.

I recently ordered new BCAAs from  bodybuilding.com that I’ve been drinking during my workouts.

20160112_113758

BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) help promote lowered body fat levels, increase strength, and improve muscle repair.

Well, that was pretty much our weekend! Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you seen/read The Martian?
  • Last movie you saw?

 

2 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Working Out

White Chicken Chili Recipe

Good afternoon!

I tend to make a lot of the same meals over and over again. Mostly because they’re quick, easy, and I know my family likes them. But that can get a little boring so one of my 2016 resolutions was to try out some new recipes throughout the year.

I tried my first new recipe of the year this past weekend – white chicken chili. It was outstanding!

20160110_125836

White Chicken Chili    Serves: 8-10

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound pre-cooked and shredded chicken breast (you can also use shredded rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 1 can ( 4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cans (15.8 ounces each) great northern beans (Do not drain. This will help thicken the chili.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Other additional toppings: tortilla chips, sour cream, fresh squeezed lime juice, avocado, jalapeno pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat. add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until tender.
  2. Stir in the broth, pre-cooked chicken, chilies, cumin, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Empty one can of great northern beans into a bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add to saucepan.
  4. Add remaining cans of beans to saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes.
  5. Top each serving with cheese and additional toppings as desired.

20160110_125840

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

*I used low-sodium chicken broth and low-sodium great northern beans to reduce the sodium content in this recipe.

This recipe came out amazing and I will definitely be making it again!

Have a wonderful day!

  • Do you make chili?
  • Favorite recipe?
  • Favorite place to find recipes?

4 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Uncategorized