Category Archives: Dinner

What I Eat in a Day – IIFYM

As I’ve mentioned before I follow a IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) based diet. Rather than count calories, I count macros – fats, carbs, and protein. I eat a certain amount of fat grams, carb grams, and protein grams every single day. For me, these numbers are always the same every day no matter what my workout is or if it’s a rest day.

The purpose of IIFYM for weight loss (or even maintenance or bulking) is to eat healthy foods but still eat treats and what you love in moderation. I try to eat at least 20 grams of fiber a day. In order to hit that number, I need to make sure I’m eating enough veggies and fruit. Once I hit my protein and fiber for the day, I usually have enough carbs and fats left to have a treat that I enjoy.

Basically, it’s about not depriving yourself and enjoying what you love while still eating healthy foods the majority of the time.

Please note that my macros were specifically calculated for me based on my height, weight, activity level, and goals. What works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Without further ado, here’s what I typically eat in a day (every day is slightly different but this is just a normal day’s food).

Vitamins

First thing I do is start my day out with my daily vitamins.

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Breakfast Pre-Workout

I start every morning out with one cup of coffee. I use one Stevia in the Raw packet and one tablespoon of sugar-free creamer.

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And yes, I write the date I opened my coffee creamer on the bottle. I’m weird about expiration dates.

For breakfast, I had scrambled egg whites with asparagus, spinach, red onion, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge. I also had Fage plain Greek yogurt with one Stevia in the Raw packet mixed it. I topped it with thawed frozen berries and a little bit of Special K Protein cereal.

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I cook the veggies on the stove first and then add the egg whites.

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Snack Post-Workout

Right after my workout and before I taught my Women on Weights class, I had a Pro Pudding.

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Lunch

For lunch, I had a salad with butter lettuce, carrots, Applegate gluten-free chicken tenders, crouton and bacon bits topping, and honey mustard Greek Yogurt dressing.

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I also had a bowl of veggies with garlic veggie drizzle.

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And a bowl of watermelon and a mandarin orange.

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Snack

Yummy Snack peanut butter bar.

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Dinner

For dinner, I had salmon, veggies, brown rice, and cucumber dill Greek yogurt dressing.

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I also had an apple with a little bit of whipped peanut butter and a mandarin orange.

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Treat

For an after dinner treat, I had a Light & Fit Caramel Fudge Pretzel Greek yogurt.

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My after dinner treat usually varies. Most of the time it’s a Yasso Greek yogurt bar. Sometimes if I have enough carbs and fat left, I’ll have a Snickers ice cream bar.

Most days, I eat fairly similar. Lots of eggs, veggies, fruits, salads, lean protein, and my favorite Kodiak Cakes waffles.

After a day of eating, my macros were pretty much spot on.

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I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of all my food.

  • What did you eat today?

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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.

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He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

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

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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.

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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.

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(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!

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  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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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!

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  • 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).

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

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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?

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Coffee

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Recipe loosely adapted from Popsicle Blog

Yum!

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

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

10 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Recipes

Holidays with Del Monte – Cinnamon Cranberry Pear Sauce Recipe

I have partnered Del Monte to bring you this post and great giveaway! All opinions are my own and I only partner with companies and products whose products I stand behind.

Good morning, friends! Only three more days until Christmas!

I think December is probably the month that I bake and cook the most. We have so many parties and get togethers with family during the holidays that I’m always baking or cooking something!

I recently partnered with Del Monte (the makers of premium canned vegetables and so much more) to share with you some fun stats on what Americans love to eat during the holidays. They just published their Del Monte Comfort Food Index, which ranked the Top 10 Holiday Comfort Foods.

1.  Potatoes (mashed or scalloped):  84% (percent who feel “comfort” by eating the food)
2.  Pie:  82%
3.  Baked goods (cookies & muffins):  81%
4.  Macaroni & cheese:  75%
5.  Cake:  71%
6.  Casserole:  69%
7.  Stews and hearty soups:  68%
8.  Meatballs (with or without pasta:  65%
9.  Sweet potatoes (mashed or cut):  61%
10.  Cornbread:  60%

This year, Del Monte is spicing things up by adding a mouthwatering, modern twist to some of your most-beloved holiday recipes. By getting creative with fruits and veggies, they are making these time-tested recipes more delicious (and extra good for you!).

Going through the Del Monte America’s Recipe site, I discovered some recipes I’d like to try out for this year’s feast.

We recently went to a family party so I decided to make one of my favorite holiday recipes to bring – cranberry sauce! I love cranberry sauce and I wait all year to enjoy it.

I used a creative recipe from Del Monte – cinnamon cranberry pear sauce! The name alone sounds amazing!

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Cinnamon Cranberry Pear Sauce (from Del Monte)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) Del Monte Pear Halves in 100% Juice
  • 1 12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

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Directions

  1. Drain pears; reserving juice; chop pears.
  2. Combine juice, pears, cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon in a large saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat.
  4. Gently stir in vanilla extract. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

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This recipe can out perfect and tasted amazing.

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So, just how important is comfort food during the holidays? Very important. The survey also found:

 *46% of Americans agree that their family “shows love and comfort through food.”
 *44% of Americans look forward to the food more than presents during the holidays. (Totally true in my family!) 
 *62% of Americans say that they are “traditional and like to make or eat classic comfort recipes in the same way every year.”  
* 38% of Americans say they “like to change things up and prefer modern twists on favorite comfort foods.”

1.  Potatoes (mashed or scalloped):  84% (percent who feel “comfort” by eating the food)
Skinny Scalloped Potatoes (recipe)

2.  Pie:  82%
Peach Slab Pie (recipe)

3.  Baked goods (cookies & muffins):  81%
 One Bowl Carrot Oat Muffins (recipe)

4.  Macaroni & cheese:  75%
 The Best Macaroni, Cheese and Peas (recipe)

5.  Cake:  71%
Individual Mandarin Tin-Can Cakes (recipe)

6.  Casserole:  69% 
 Cheddar Corn Casserole (recipe)

Green Bean Casserole (recipe)

7.  Stews and hearty soups:  68%
Shrimp and Corn Stew (recipe)

8.  Meatballs (with or without pasta:  65%
 Meatball Pasta Bake (recipe)

9.  Sweet potatoes (mashed or cut):  61%

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pear, Sage and Browned Butter (recipe)

10.  Cornbread:  60%

Golden Sweet Cornbread (recipe)

Find more of Del Monte’s top-rated, family-approved holiday recipes here: Del Monte America’s Recipe site.

I’d love to hear which of these recipes you want to add to your holiday dinners! Let me know in the comments below. 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Dinner, Recipes

Glutes, Legs, Shoulders, and Biceps

Good afternoon, friends! How are you doing?

I’ve been busy working, working out, and getting ready for Christmas!

Danny and I worked out on both Saturday and Sunday together at the gym. On Saturday, we did a leg/glute workout.

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Some of the exercises we did included:

  • deadlifts (my favorite!)
  • leg press machine
  • goblet squats
  • split squats
  • weighted hip thrusts (another favorite!)

We also did a HIIT workout on the Stairmaster and I was dead by the end! I stepped at level 20 for one minute then I recovered at level 5 for two minutes. I did that for a total of 7 times. Even though the workout was only 21 minutes, it was killer!

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On Saturday night, my mom watched the kids for a few hours while Danny and I went out to dinner.

From gym date to dinner date :)

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We went to Maggiano’s, an Italian restaurant, and then stopped at Woodfield Mall.

On Sunday, we were back at the gym to work shoulders and biceps.

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Some of the exercises we did included:

  • preacher curls
  • lateral raises
  • cable bicep curls
  • upright rows
  • cable hammer curls
  • plate front raises

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It was another good workout!

Yesterday, I did a little bit of Christmas shopping and then I spent a long time wrapping presents.

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I don’t mind shopping but wrapping isn’t my favorite!

I also find myself wishing for snow. Not because I love snow (because I don’t) but so the ground in our backyard will freeze! We have been having a warm December in Chicagoland so far and our backyard is a giant mudpit!

Of course, Baylee has to walk in all the water she can find so I have to put her in the bathtub to rinse her off when she comes back inside!

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Have a great day!

  • Are you ready for Christmas?
  • Any snow in your area?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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First, I have to share some pictures of our new puppy, Baylee! Jaden took this picture with his camera and I think it’s so adorable!

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Jaden just loves her. :) Having  puppy is almost like have a baby – she pees whenever she wants, she chews everything, she wakes up in the middle of the night, she wants lots of attention. But she’s also so cute and so much fun.

Danny and I started our morning with a workout at the gym. We got in a good full body circuit workout and then I came home to bake and cook!

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We are going to my grandparent’s house today to celebrate Thanksgiving and tomorrow I cook dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom. I baked cookies for the kid’s room at the gym, the fitness desk at the gym, and for dessert tomorrow.

I made the Reese’s butterscotch cookies from Sally’s Baking addiction that I always make.

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I also made chocolate chunk cookies.

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I’m bringing carrots for dinner today and made an extra batch for dinner tomorrow.

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These carrots are so good and easy to make! I buy the carrots julienned and add butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

Anyone going shopping tonight/tomorrow? I won’t go shopping today on Thanksgiving but Jaden already talked me into taking him to Petsmart bright and early tomorrow so he can get some stuff for Baylee!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  • Are you cooking today?
  • Favorite Thanksgiving food?
  • Are you going Black Friday shopping?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

Thursday Randomness

Good afternoon, friends! I feel like I haven’t been around all week. I’ve just been busy with life.

Today I thought I’d just share some randomness with you. :)

I’ve been working a lot. Taking Jaden to school before I go to work:

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We took the kids to the pumpkin farm just to walk around and see the Halloween sights.

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Honestly, we just buy pumpkins at the grocery store because it’s so much cheaper but we just like to walk around the pumpkin farm. I think we’re going back to the pumpkin farm next week with my family to go on a haunted hay ride.

The kids had fun at the pumpkin farm. Jaden found a gourd that thoroughly disgusted him.

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I just love his face in that picture!

Jaden checking for baby rattlers which were literally baby rattles.

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Danny and I got apple cider donuts which were amazing. Even though they were delicious and I wanted more, I’m glad we only got one each because I could have easily eaten half a dozen of those delicious, fresh, apple donuts.

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I’ve been working out and eating. I’ve been loving the Simply Balanced salmon from Target. I tried the chipotle bbq flavor recently. It was good but a little too spicy for my liking.

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I also made roasted sweet potatoes. My sweet potatoes never seem to turn out very crispy but I read online that you can add a little bit of cornstarch to them to get them nice and crispy. Unfortunately, I added a bit too much cornstarch but I’ll know for next time to use less!

Jaden has resorted to making a dog out of a shoebox and paper because he has been dying to get a dog.

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Jaden and I both have dog allergies but we’re okay with some dogs. We’re thinking about possibly getting the kids a dog for Christmas. We would like to adopt a dog from a shelter but we’re still researching hypoallergenic dogs. We would like a big dog and most hypoallergenic dogs seem on the smaller side. But we are looking into goldendoodles.

Jaden did do a really good making that dog. I was impressed. It actually stood on those paper legs and Jaden took it outside to play and everything. It only lasted about two days but it was a good two days. :)

Tomorrow I work during the day and then on Saturday, we’re having our annual family Halloween food and pumpkin carving contest! I can’t wait- it’s always such a fun day.

Here’s a few Halloween foods from past years:

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Have a great day!

  • Do you have any pets?
  • Did you have a pet growing up?
  • Do you carve pumpkins?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween, Uncategorized

Labor Day Weekend

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

Sunday

On Sunday morning, Danny and I did a back and shoulder workout with one of my friends from the gym. In the afternoon, we celebrated my nephew’s third birthday.

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He had a Minion themed party and my sister-in-law made the cutest Minion cake and other fun Minion desserts.

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She used Nutter Butters, Milano cookies, and Oreos to make little Minion cookies!

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Monday

After a weekend with lots of family, food, and fun, I was ready to get back to normal. On Monday morning, I went to the gym for a chest, abs, and HIIT workout. Then, Danny and I took the kids to the pool for one last summer swim.

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Yesterday was the last day the pool was open for the summer and they did duck races. For $5, you could buy a duck and they let all the ducks go down the slide and the first three ducks won a prize. Jaden picked out a green duck but sadly it didn’t win.

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It was still fun watching all the ducks race down the slide.

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After lots of cake and wine this weekend, I was more than ready for a healthy dinner. I decided to make spaghetti squash because I haven’t made it in forever. Spaghetti squash is such a great low-carb healthy alternative to pasta. And it tastes amazing!

I cooked the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After it cooled for a few minutes, I used a fork to pull out the strands of spaghetti squash.

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I added sauteed onions and spinach, marinara sauce, and reduced fat feta cheese.

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Delicious and healthy!

Have a great day!

  • How was your weekend?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?
  • Favorite veggie?

 

2 Comments

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

Coffee and Workouts

Good morning!

Yesterday

Now that the kids are back in school, I am back to working the desk two days a week at the gym. This means my schedule and workouts change a little bit, but I still try to fit everything in.

When I woke up the other morning, my heel was killing me. Great. One day of running outside and I already have an injury. My body really hates running. I have dealt with plantar fasciitis before and I am pretty sure that’s what it is. My plan is to take it easy on running until it feels better. I will have to find a different exercise to complete my HIIT workouts.

I taught my Women on Weights class on Tuesday morning and then Jacob and I went to Starbucks when he got home from school. There’s about an hour or so before Jaden gets home so it was nice to have some one on one time with Jacob.

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I got a cold-brew coffee with two splenda and he got a s’mores frappuccino.

I went to CrossFit Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I bought my workout clothes with me to work and worked out after I got off work. (That’s a lot of work in one sentence :) ).

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I worked glutes and biceps.

Dinner

Dinner had been my usual rice and chicken bowl but I’ve been adding brussels sprouts lately instead of my normal green beans.

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It’s a nice change but I still love green beans!

Today I have a meeting at work and then I’m going to try and squeeze in a quick cardio workout.

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite Starbucks drink?
  • What’s your favorite vegetable?

4 Comments

Filed under CrossFit, Dinner, Working Out