Category Archives: Dinner

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I took the kids to the splash park and they had such a fun time playing in the water.

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The splash park is perfect for the summer because it’s close and free!

After the kids played for a couple of hours, Jaden and I left to go grocery shopping.

I picked up two Chobani yogurts – watermelon and peach. I ate the peach one for dinner and while it was good, it didn’t have enough peach chunks for me!

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I also picked up some ingredients to make a salad for dinner.

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The thing I love about salads is that you can customize them to your tastes. You can throw anything that makes you happy on a salad. Sometimes, I love topping my salads with pickles.

Yesterday for dinner, I had an amazing spinach salad that was so simple to make yet tasted restaurant quality.

I started with a big bowl of spinach and then I added grilled chicken, blueberries, strawberries, feta cheese, and honey roasted pecans. I topped it with Bolthouse Farms strawberry merlot dressing.

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It was the perfect dinner for a hot summer night!

Have a great Monday!

  • Favorite salad topping?
  • Favorite salad dressing?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Recipes

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

It’s the last day of school which means the unofficial start of summer!

I haven’t done Friday Favorites in a while so I thought I’d talk about a few favorites today.

  • CrossFit

Of course, I have to start with CrossFit as a favorite! As of yesterday, I have been going to CrossFit twice a week for a month. Yesterday’s workout was tough. I just talked about how I’m trying to run less and part of our workout of the day yesterday was to start with a mile run – figures! Really though, I don’t mind running short distances.

Our workout was a one mile run, five minutes straight of dumbbell snatches, and a plank for as long as possible. My mile time was 9:18. I did 82 dumbbell snatches in five minutes, and held the plank for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Afterwards, I was so dead. I brought Powerade Zero with in the car to drink after my workout and at that moment, it was the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. I’m only smiling because I was so darn excited to drink that Powerade. In actuality, I could barely move. :)

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  • Lemonade Sparkling Water

I have mentioned my love for sparkling water a few times and I’ve tried just about every brand and flavor there is and have finally found an absolute favorite.

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The Glaceau Fruit Water in Fizzy Lemonade is the best flavor I have ever tried. I have only found it at one grocery store near me so I always make sure to stock up on them!

  • Meal Planning/Meal Prep

It’s so much easier during the week to plan out meals ahead of time. Life is always so busy with work, the gym, crossfit, baseball, and the kids’ activities. I find it helpful to make a meal plan and prep what I can ahead of time.

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I eat a little different than my husband and kids so I find it easier to prep my meals ahead of time so I can cook their dinner and then mine is ready to go!

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I usually only prep meals for two or three day in advance. My favorite is to cook chicken and green beans ahead of time. Then I make some instant brown rice in the microwave and add the chicken and green beans. I also have a few Premier Proteins smoothies ready to go after a workout. I have a small insulated bag than I usually carry with me to the gym.

  • Skinny Cow Salted Caramel Pretzels Bars

Most evenings as a treat, I have a Yasso Greek yogurt bar but for some reason my normal grocery store stopped carrying them. Instead, I picked up the Skinny Cow ice creams bars and they are amazing.

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So good and portioned controlled so I won’t eat an entire pint of ice cream!

Have a great weekend!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • What are your favorites things today?

 

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Filed under CrossFit, Dinner, Fitness, Working Out

Stubb’s BBQ Sauce Review and Giveaway

May is National Barbecue Month and in honor of this month, Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q sent me some coupons to try out their authentic, premium sauces, marinades, and rubs.

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I put Danny in charge of picking out the barbecue sauce and he picked out the Hickory Bourbon flavor. It’s made with real bourbon and hickory smoke.

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Stubb’s is the only nationally available BBQ sauce brand to have the Gluten-Free Organization Certification seal and doesn’t contain any high fructose corn syrup, msg, or gluten. The full line of Stubb’s products contains 7 sauces, 5 marinades, 2 injectable marinades, 5 rubs, 4 cookin’ sauces, a moppin’ sauce, and a wing sauce. Pretty much there’s a sauce, rub, or marinade for any of your barbecuing needs!

I used the Stubb’s hickory bourbon sauce to make grilled pork chops. Actually, Danny made the pork chops. I’m the cook in the family, but he’s the griller. :)

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I took four boneless pork chops and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. Then I put them in a Ziploc bag and added a good amount of the Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon BBQ sauce. Straight outta Texas.

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I let them marinate in the fridge for about three hours and when Danny got home from work, he put them on the grill. One plain pork chop for Jaden!

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Jaden actually ended up surprising me and asked to try the BBQ sauce after the pork chops were done. Usually he’ll only eat ketchup. All the ketchup.

We also made grilled greens which are amazing. I just added a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to the green beans and threw them right on the grill.

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Danny added more hickory bourbon sauce to the pork chops as they were grilling and they came out delicious and juicy.

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I also made myself a rice, chicken, and green bean bowl and dipped my chicken in the BBQ sauce.

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I loved that the sauce had a great flavor and little kick without being spicy. Danny and Jacob loved the hickory bourbon BBQ pork chops and I know the sauce was two thumbs up when even Jaden asked to try it and actually ate it!

Stubb’s BBQ sauces would be great on salmon and even on a BBQ chicken pizza! Yum!

In honor of National BBQ Month, Stubb’s is giving one reader a chance to win three coupons for free Stubb’s products! Enter below!

Giveaway open to US residents only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Stubb’s provided me with coupons for free BBQ sauce at no cost to me. All opinions are my own…and Danny’s…and my kids. 

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Filed under Dinner, Product Review

Anniversary Date Night – Shaw’s Crab House

Happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all those running the Boston Marathon today!!

Saturday 

On Saturday evening, Danny and I went to Shaw’s Crab House to celebrate our anniversary.

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We went to the Grand Crab Buffet which they only have on Saturday nights on the upper floor of the restaurant. The Grand Crab Buffet is definitely pricey but it includes all you can eat king crab legs. If you’re a crab leg fan then you know how delicious but expensive they are!

Even though it was expensive, the food was delicious, and it was something special we’d only do once a year for our anniversary (or maybe birthday?! ;) ).

Besides the amazing king crab legs, there was tons of other food. Danny isn’t a huge seafood fan so I was proud of him for trying some of it. Luckily, it’s not all seafood and there’s other foods as well.

There was a couple different kinds of salad, crab cakes, shrimp, crab tarts, sushi, and snow crab legs.

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The waiter brought mini lobster bisque soups with a mini grilled cheese on the side to our table.

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I love lobster bisque soup. I had it the first time about two years ago and I fell in love with it!

There was also lobster and spinach mac & cheese, beef tenderloin, parmesan crusted chicken, carrots & parsnips, au gratin potatoes, fried shrimp, oysters, and more.

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The king crab legs were by far my favorite.

And of course there was dessert. Most of the desserts were mini sized so I figured I should try lots of them!

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There were peanut butter cookies, creme brulee, red velvet cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, brownies, coconut macaroons, pecan tartlets, cake pops, and more.

Overall, the meal was amazing.

After dinner, we met up with my friend Jenny and her boyfriend, John, for a few drinks.

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We got home late and picked the kids up from my dad and stepmom the next day. It was an amazing anniversary with my wonderful husband.

Today

I went to the gym this morning and worked on legs.

Some of the exercises I did included:

  • leg press machine
  • calf raises on the Smith machine
  • walking lunges
  • squats
  • deadlifts
  • step-up to knee on a bench

After my leg exercises, I walked one slow mile on the treadmill. My Achilles still hurts so I’m going to wait another day or two before I try to run again.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever been to?
  • What’s your favorite food?

 

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Filed under Dinner, Working Out

A Birthday Dinner at Gordon Biersch

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, my dad joined Danny and me at the gym! I was excited to have my dad come work out with us and he came on our hardest day of the week – leg day!

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Yesterday was the first day I did lunges with a barbell since my hip surgery. I was a little wobbly but they went pretty good.

We also did the leg press machine, sumo squats, calf raises on the Smith machine, plate squats, and step-up to kickbacks on the bench. My hip and adductor were really feeling it by the time we were done, but it was a great workout!

Later yesterday afternoon, we went out to dinner to celebrate my grandpa’s 79th birthday!

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We went to a restaurant called Gordon Biersch. They are a restaurant and brewery. We go a few times throughout the year with my family and my grandparent’s have a point card where you earn points for every dollar spent.

They finally saved up enough points for a free brewer’s dinner for ten people. The brewer’s dinner consists of a tour of where and how their beer is made and a five course meal with a beer pairing for every course.

I’m not a beer drinker but Danny loved all the different beers. The food was amazing. Each course was presented and then the employees and chef of the restaurant explained what each course was, the type of beer, and why it was chosen to be paired with that particular course.

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I admit, I didn’t pay much attention to the beer information but I paid attention to the food information!

Our first course was salmon cakes with remoulade.

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I’ve had crab cakes before but never salmon cakes. These were amazing. They had a salmon taste but I liked that it wasn’t too overpowering. I only ate a little of the remoulade because it was a little too spicy for me.

The salad came next. It was a spring mix with a house-made vinaigrette.

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The star of the salad was the breaded artichokes and pretzel bread with brie cheese. Lucky for me, Danny doesn’t like artichokes so I ate his. They were delicious.

After the salad, we had two main entrees. The first was a sirloin steak with leeks, asparagus, cauliflower puree and a wine red reduction.

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I am not a steak eater at all but I was brave and tried the meat. I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Usually the texture of steak turns me off but this meat was so tender and really flavorful. I had three bites of it and then gave the rest to Danny.

I am also not a huge cauliflower fan, but the puree was absolutely delicious.

After the steak, was a seafood course. This was probably the best course of the night.

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It was pecan crusted halibut with butter sauce over roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Amazing.

I like fish but I usually stick to salmon or tilapia. After having the halibut I wouldn’t hesitate to order off a menu next time we went out for dinner. The pecan crust and butter sauce really took it to the next level.

All the food items we had for dinner were specially prepared by the chef so they aren’t even on the regular menu. Too bad because I would order any of them in a heartbeat.

Finally came dessert. We had fresh berries topped with house-made whipped cream, a cookie crumble, and beer caramel sauce.

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This was the perfect dessert. It was satisfying and sweet without being overly sweet. And since Danny isn’t a berry fan, I got to eat his too. :)

By the time we left, I was stuffed. It was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had and the prefect way to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What was the best meal you’ve ever had?
  • Favorite food?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Working Out

St. Patrick’s Weekend Fun

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

Saturday morning, we had a nutrition fair at the gym I work at so I was working all morning. I didn’t get a chance to workout because my family was coming over on Saturday evening to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and I had to get home to start cooking!

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My cutie niece:

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We really seemed to like those glasses.

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I made corned beef, cabbage, boiled potatoes, and carrots for dinner.

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I have made corned beef a few times over the years and usually I don’t eat it. I tried a bite a couple of years ago but didn’t like the texture. I tried it again yesterday and actually liked it. I think I might have cooked it a little better yesterday because it was a lot more tender. I ate two small pieces and then filled up on chicken Caesar salad with bowtie pasta.

Of course, we also had to have pie since it was Epic Pi Day on Saturday. We got a mint chocolate pie.

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Sadly, I thought the pie was just okay. It was extremely sweet and minty. Overly sweet and minty. I gave my piece to Danny to finish. Then he laughed at me for not eating the pie crust. I don’t like pie crust and I never eat it. I just eat the pie filling.

On Sunday, we made it to the gym. We worked back and biceps and I tried out some KT tape on my wrist.

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KT tape is an elastic tape made for muscle, ligament, and tendon pain relief and support. Since my wrist usually bothers me the most when we do biceps, I thought it would be a good time to try it out.

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There are videos online on how to apply it. Since it stretches, the tape has to be applied with different degrees of stretchiness. The KT tape provides neuromuscular feedback that relaxes stronger firing of muscles and tendons.

I think they KT tape really helped with my wrist pain. I made it almost the whole workout pain-free. Towards the end of my workout, I tried doing a plate twist bicep curl and I immediately felt a pain shoot through my wrist. Any twisting motion really seems to bother it.

Overall, I think the tape really helped and I’m going to try it out on my Achilles for running.

Today

Today at the gym, I did a full body circuit workout that left me tired and sweaty.

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It felt nice to get a great workout in and I burned 522 calories.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at all over the weekend?
  • Favorite pie?
  • Have you ever tried KT tape?

 

 

 

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Waffles for Lunch

Good afternoon! How is everyone doing today?

Day #1 of the DietBet went good. I stuck to my meal plan all day yesterday and had a small treat in the evening.

For dinner, I made chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Usually I just bake skinless, boneless chicken breast in the oven. But yesterday I used a grill pan and grilled the chicken for a few minutes on each side before putting into the oven to finish cooking.

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I think it turned out tons better than just baking it. And I just stuck the grill pan right in the oven so I didn’t even dirty another pan.

Today

This morning I went to the gym and started out with 10 minutes on the arc trainer. I did a circuit workout and then finished with 20 minutes on the elliptical. After my workout, I taught a Women on Weights class. By the time my workout and Women on Weights were done, I was a big sweaty mess. So, of course, I took a selfie.

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I hit my steps by 11 am.

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I think my Women on Weights class is going really good. I love teaching on the fitness floor rather than in a classroom.

After the gym, I stopped at Target to buy lettuce and carrots. I also was having an intense craving for waffles so I picked up a box of Van’s Power Grain waffles.

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I love these waffles because they have 10 grams of protein per serving and they taste great. They have a tiny hint of cinnamon which I love. I also got some blueberries so I could make a waffle sandwich for lunch. I love blueberries.

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I toasted two waffles topped them with one tablespoon of peanut butter and added some blueberries. This combination is absolutely delicious.

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After lunch, I drank my last candy cane coffee in a Halloween mug.#WinningAtLife

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I’m off to do some stuff around the house before the kids get home. Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you track your steps?
  • Favorite way to cook chicken or chicken recipe?
  • Favorite fruit?

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Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Race, Working Out

VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwiches

I’m back to teaching group fitness! Today I taught my first class since my hip surgery. I am no longer able to teach BodyPump but I am teaching the Women on Weights class!

Before I taught my class, I did a workout of my own. I did the elliptical for about twenty minutes followed by two rounds of the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout.

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I’m not back to doing the BBM cardio workouts yet, but the strength workouts aren’t a problem.

Before I went to the gym, I had a VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwich. Vitalicious recently sent me these new flatbread egg sandwiches to try.

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They’re the same company that makes the VitaTops which I love!

Today was the perfect day to eat one because I needed something fast, easy, and still healthy.

I had the cheese and veggie flatbread.

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They also come in turkey sauce and veggie sausage.

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The new flatbread sandwiches are between 120 and 160 calories each. They have 10-15 grams of protein, 7-9 grams of fiber, 1.5-3.5 grams of fat, and 160mg of omega-3 DHA.

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I love that these have a lot of protein and fiber because that’s what I struggle with getting enough of in my diet.

Danny tried out the turkey sausage flatbread. He even took a picture of it on his phone without me even asking him to!

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He liked the flatbread sandwich but he said that he would have preferred it with cheese. Luckily, the veggie sauce flatbread does have cheese!

These sandwiches leave the yolks in the eggs which is important because they contain lutein for eye health, choline for brain health, and omega-3 DHA for heart health. I’m usually not a huge yolk person but in a sandwich they taste great and have so many  health benefits.

These sandwiches don’t have any artificial preservatives,coloring, or cholesterol. They are available online and in the freezer section at the grocery store.

I’ve really been trying to stick to my healthy eating lately. Yesterday for lunch, I had leftover California roll from Whole Foods and a salad with the organic chicken tenders.

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I love this salad. I honestly eat it almost every single day.

For dinner, I made coho salmon which I also got from Whole Foods.

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I haven’t had salmon in so long. I seasoned it with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and dill. Then I cooked it in the oven in a foil packet on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I ate it with green beans and a sweet potato. Yum!

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Lots of healthy eats!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What is your favorite healthy breakfast?
  • Do you like fish/seafood? Favorite?

Vitalicious sent me these new flatbread sandwiches to try out at no cost to me. All opinions are my own…and Danny’s. 

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Fitness, Product Review, Working Out

Positivity

Good afternoon!

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

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

Today

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Positivity

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?

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

 

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