Category Archives: Breakfast

Proud Mama

Good afternoon!

I was up early this morning at about 4:50 am for work. My alarm is set for 5:05 am but my body naturally wakes me up at 4:50 am. I get terrible sleep the nights before I have to get up early for work because I am paranoid that I’m going to sleep through my alarm. Okay, alarmS. I have three alarms set and I still don’t sleep good!

Right from work, I met Danny and the kids at Jacob’s high school for a special awards breakfast.


One of Jacob’s teachers nominated him for a “Panther of the Quarter” award which is awarded to students who have gone above and beyond in some aspect in the classroom whether it be for good grades, leadership skills, responsibility, etc.



I was so proud of Jacob! He rarely talks to me about school so I was so happy to see him receive this award. He got a certificate and a pin. I was one proud mama! I wasn’t allowed to hug him at school but he said we could high-five when he got home. Teenagers.

When we got home, my brother dropped off my niece, I got Jaden on the bus, and then headed to the gym. I am really tired today and wasn’t really feeling it at the gym so I just stuck to an hour of cardio. I did 20 minutes on the arc trainer, 25 minutes on the treadmill, and 15 minutes on the Stairmaster.

My favorite snack lately has been a Honeycrisp apple with the Jif Whips salty caramel peanut  butter.


I was planning on buying the regular Jif Whips peanut butter but the only flavor my grocery store had was the salty caramel. I debated buying it and I’m glad that I did because it’s delicious.


The rest of the afternoon will be spent working on my Halloween costume. Only two more days until our annual Halloween party and my costume is taking longer than I thought it would!

Have a great day!

  • Favorite cardio exercise?
  • What time do you wake up during the week?
  • Have you ever tried flavored peanut butter? Favorite? I love the Jif Whips in pumpkin spice but sadly I haven’t been able to find it this year.


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness

Only Five More Days


We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)



I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.


I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.


It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?


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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:



Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.


I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.


During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.


On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.


My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!


I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?




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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

First Day of Fall – All Things Pumpkin + A Giveaway!!

In celebration of the first day of the best season of the year, I’m doing an everything pumpkin post! Happy first day of fall!!!

It’s really no secret that I’m a huge lover of pumpkin and I love eating everything pumpkin from September until the beginning of the holiday season. Today, I’m going to share some pumpkin products I love and some pumpkin products I’ve seen while out and about.

There’s even a great giveaway from Puffins. :)

Doesn’t it seem like there’s more and more pumpkin products every fall?! They’re taking over!! I love it.

  • Pumpkin Puffins


I saw these on the Puffin Facebook page and I was so excited. I love peanut butter Puffins and I was very excited to try out the pumpkin Puffins.

Barbara’s, the company that makes Puffins, offered to send me some coupons to pick up a box of pumpkin Puffins and Danny found them at Target.

They are delicious. They are awesome on top of pumpkin Greek yogurt or with milk. There’s really no wrong way to eat cereal.

Enter my giveaway at the end of this post to win coupons for a free box of Puffins cereal!

  • Pumpkin Spice Yogurt

I loved topping pumpkin yogurt with the pumpkin Puffins – they gave the yogurt that nice bit of crunch.

I have found a few different pumpkin yogurts and they are all good.

Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice:


Dannon Pumpkin Pie:


I’ve had the regular Chobani pumpkin yogurt and the Chobani Flips Pumpkin Harvest Crisp yogurt which was amazing.

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It has pie crust pieces, pecans, and glazed pumpkin seeds! So good!!!

  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee

I wait all year to enjoy pumpkin spice coffee for a short time. I love the Green Mountain pumpkin spice coffee.


New this year, McCafe has pumpkin spice k-cups.


Equally as delicious.

And of course, we cannot forget Starbucks pumpkins spice lattes. Or PSL – as they are normally abbreviated.


I actually haven’t had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks in a couple of years because surprisingly, they weren’t my favorite. But Starbucks changed their recipe this year to include real pumpkin so I figured I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did because it was delicious.

The PSL is definitely a special treat and not a daily coffee drink.

  • Pumpkin Spice Quaker Oats


These are delicious! Danny found this oatmeal for me too and I love him for supporting my pumpkin habit. I love that it has a perfect pumpkin spice flavor without being overpowering. Perfect for breakfast or pre-workout.

  • Kodiak Cakes Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Minute Muffins


What is this?! It’s a chocolate pumpkin muffin in a cup! Genius! All you do is add water and cook! This is another item that I could consider a treat because it has a very large amount of carbs – 50 grams. But the delicious combination of chocolate and pumpkin makes it worth it. :)

  • Libby’s Pure Pumpkin


We can’t forget pumpkin on our pumpkin foods list! Canned pumpkin is great for many things – muffins, pancakes, and my favorite – pumpkin chocolate chip waffles!


I used Kodiak cakes waffle mix, pumpkin, and chocolate chips to make this tasty waffle.

  • Fiber One Pumpkin Bars


Of course, it’s best to get your fiber from fruits, veggies, and whole grains but a little Fiber One bar never hurt. These little bars are full of pumpkin goodness.

Next up, I had a pumpkin product that wasn’t my favorite but I’m including it because maybe you’ll love them.

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s


These were not that great in my opinion. I brought them to a family gathering and everyone thought they were just so-so. I ate some but I’d never buy them again. Sorry, M&M’s – not all pumpkin products can be winners.

I also have one pumpkin product that I didn’t buy even though they look delicious.

  • Hostess Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


I saw these at Target but didn’t buy them. When I went back this weekend, they were all gone off the shelf. Must have been good.

And those are my pumpkin products for this first day of fall! There seems to be some many pumpkin products this year but these are the ones that I have really been enjoying!

Don’t forget to enter below to win a coupon for a free box of Puffins!! US residents only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barbara’s sent me coupons to get a box of pumpkin Puffins at no cost to me. They also sent me extra free coupons to use for the giveaway. All opinions are my own. 


Filed under Breakfast, Giveaway, Product Review

I Went to Bodypump!

Good afternoon!

Over the weekend, Danny and I attended a wedding on the 66th floor of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower!) in Chicago.

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The view was absolutely beautiful.


We had such an amazing time. It was Danny’s cousin who got married and unfortunately the few pictures that I got of the bride and groom came out blurry but the bride’s dress was gorgeous.

Danny and his brothers:


We had such a fun night and stayed out late dancing, eating, drinking, and having fun.


The following morning before we picked the kids up from my mom’s house, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts. Sometimes you just need a donut in your life and that’s okay.


Dunkin’ Donuts just came out with the new Reese’s peanut butter square donuts and I was determined to try one. They also have the pumpkin cheesecake donut squares so of course I had to try one of those too.

Even though I was most excited to try the Reese’s donut, the pumpkin cheesecake donut was so much better. I didn’t really like the taste of the peanut butter inside the donut so it wasn’t my favorite. But the pumpkin cheesecake filling was delicious!

Now that I’ve tried those two donuts, I can move on with my life.

Yesterday, I went to Bodypump!!


I haven’t been to Bodypump in over a year since my hip surgery in July of 2014. I was nervous to go but one of my friends was taking the class, so I decided to go with her.

My hip was fine. It tends to get sore but it’s really my knees that have been bothering me. I took it really easy on  the squats and lunges and didn’t go down very low which took some off the pressure of my knees.

I realized how much I missed bodypump!! It was a great class and I enjoyed it but I don’t know if my body could handle it on regular basis but it was a nice change yesterday.

Have a great afternoon and don’t forget to enter my Van’s Cereal Giveaway!

  • When was the last time you went to a wedding?
  • Do you like donuts? Favorite?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Working Out

Van’s Cereal + A Giveaway!

Van’s Foods sent me their two new cereals to try at no charge to me and are sponsoring this giveaway. I only blog and share products from companies I like, enjoy, and stand behind. All opinions are my own…and Jaden’s. :)

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

As many of you know, I am a huge cereal lover. Sometimes I love it a little too much. :) I am also a huge lover of Van’s Foods products (they have the best waffles!) so I was very excited when Van’s offered to let me and the kids try out their new cereals – Cocoa Sensation and Blissfully Berry.


Each serving of cereal contains 17 grams of whole grain and 5 grams of fiber. They are great with milk or on top of yogurt (my personal favorite) or you can enjoy them like Jaden did – straight out of the box without milk!

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As a mom, I love that they don’t have any artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, egg, dairy, or corn. They are perfect for kids like Jaden who have food allergies. And the kids just love that they taste awesome!

They are also gluten-free which is great if you or your children are gluten-free.

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Silvana Nardone of Silvana’s Kitchen has come up with two great recipes using the Van’s new cereals.

Crunch Chocolate-Banana Sweet-n-Salty Snack Mix

Makes: 8 cups


3 cups Van’s Gluten-Free Cocoa Sensation Cereal

1½ cups plantain chips or banana chips

1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or coconut flakes

1 cup roasted salted almonds

½ cup raw pistachios

½ cup dried berries, such as cranberries, cherries or blueberries

½ cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients.

PB & Berry Blast Snack Mix

Makes: 8 cups


3 cups Van’s Gluten-Free Blissfully Berry Cereal

1½ cups gluten-free pretzel sticks

1½ cup roasted salted peanuts

1 cup freeze-dried strawberries

1 cup dried blueberries

In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients.



To celebrate the launch of their new cereals and back to school, Van’s is giving one reader the chance to win a Back-to-School giveaway featuring coupons for free Van’s cereals, a Van’s tote, and water bottle.

Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Breakfast, Giveaway, Recipes

Weekend Update

Good afternoon! How was your weekend?!

On Friday night, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for a bonfire.


I was really good about sticking to my nutrition plan all week and over weekend except for Friday night. I indulged a little bit while we were visiting with family and had a couple of glasses of wine. :)

I went 33 years without ever drinking wine and then I discovered that there are some wines that I actually do like and now it’s my weakness. Wine and chocolate – what else do you need in life?

On Saturday, we drove out to a new Trader Joe’s that was just built about 20 minutes from us.

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I like Trader Joe’s but I don’t love Trader Joe’s. Even though it’s more expensive, I prefer Whole Foods. I did pick up this spinach and cheese stuffed shells meal to try out. We’ll see how it is!


On Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym together.


We haven’t worked out together in awhile because he’s training for the Chicago Marathon in October so running has taken up a good portion of his time. He’s up to 18 miles on his training plan and ran 13 miles on Saturday. I can’t imagine running 18 miles!

Today, I had my check-in for Best Fit Body. My weight is the same from last week. I did lose 6 pounds last week so I really wasn’t too disappointed. What I am happy about is that my clothes seem to be fitting better and I feel good. A number on a scale doesn’t often give you the whole picture. I also take progress pics every week and it’s nice to see the change in the pictures and not focus on the number on the scale as much.

For breakfast this morning, I had a Chobani pear and cinnamon Greek yogurt.


I can’t remember if they had this flavor last year but I’m pretty sure they did because I think I remember eating it. I love the combination of the pears and cinnamon!

Have a great day!!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Are you a wine drinker? Favorite? 
  • Do you shop at Trader Joe’s?


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

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This morning, I was in the mood for pancakes, but I didn’t have any pancake mix so I decided to use oatmeal instead. I used to make oatmeal protein pancakes all the time and was definitely glad I made them this morning. They really hit the spot!


For my pancakes I used:

  • one packet of brown sugar and cinnamon Better Oats
  • about 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon of PB2
  • 1/2 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

I added the oatmeal and water into a bowl and microwaved it for about one minute. Then I whisked in the egg whites, PB2, and mini chocolate chips. I cooked the pancakes on a heated griddle for about 3 minutes on each side.

This recipe is really easy and satisfied my cravings for pancakes! I also like to add protein powder to the mix if I have it on hand for that extra punch of protein.


Since, I didn’t have any protein powder, I had some plain Fage Greek yogurt with berries to get some extra protein.


I’m off to teach my Women on Weights class. Have a great day!

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Pancakes or waffles?


Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

An Afternoon at the Zoo

Good morning!

Yesterday was my first check-in for Best Fit Body. I am doing a six week program and I check-in every Monday. I officially started the nutrition portion on Thursday and ate good all weekend long. On Monday, after four days, I was down 1.4 pounds. :)

I have also been taking progress pictures which is a great way to see your progress rather than just relying on the scale.

At the gym yesterday, I did a chest and core workout followed by a HIIT workout.


I decided to try the treadmill for my HIIT workout and I felt really good during the running portions.


I think taking a break from running has helped all my soreness and I was able to complete the 30 minute HIIT workout on the treadmill. I was worried by ankles or quad would start bother me and I’d have to switch to a lower impact machine but I felt good!

Breakfast before my workout was plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet and topped with raspberries and blueberries.


Is anyone else super picky about their berries?! I always find the biggest firmest blueberries to eat and get rid of the rest. I can’t stand the squishy blueberries.


This morning, I taught my Women on Weights class and then the kids and I packed a lunch and headed to a small, local zoo.


We spent the afternoon at the zoo, watching the animals and eating lunch.


Later this evening, I’m going to CrossFit. Have a great day!

  • When was the last time you went to the zoo?
  • Favorite animal?


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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Working Out

Easy Workouts and Peach Oatmeal Yogurt Parfait

Good morning!

I’ve been taking it pretty easy the past few days since my calves were still tight from Saturday’s race as well as pain in my quad and ankles. I’ve been sticking to upper body workouts at the gym and today my calves finally felt better so I did some cardio at the gym.

My quad is still sore so I did really light and easy cardio: 25 minutes on the arc trainer, 20 slow minutes on the treadmill, and 12 minutes on the stationary bike.


All while watching the Kardashians because you have to pass that cardio time somehow. :)

This past weekend, Danny got some new shoes for marathon training and of course I had to get myself a new pair. I found a pair of Nikes for pretty cheap and I decided to get them since I have been wearing my old Nikes for everything and they’re getting some wear on them.

I wore them to the gym today and the kids wanted me to take a picture of their shoes too.


Danny got Brooks Ravenna 6 for his Chicago Marathon training.


I’m debating whether or not I should go to CrossFit tonight. I missed Tuesday so I haven’t been all week but we’re running a 5k on Saturday so I don’t want to be too sore for the race.


I made a delicious breakfast the other day. I used to make this all the time but I haven’t made it in forever – peach oatmeal yogurt parfait.


You can check out the recipe here. It’s really easy and so good. I cut up a peach and mixed it with a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon. Then I added oatmeal to the bottom of the jar, added the peaches, a few blueberries, and topped it with plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet.

The warm oatmeal and cold yogurt make such a delicious creamy combo!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite brand of shoes?
  • Favorite breakfast?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out