Category Archives: Family Fun

A Workout and A Wedding

Good morning! How was your weekend?

Thursday evening, I went to the gym while Danny stayed with Jaden for his swim lessons. It works out that the gym and swim lessons are in the same building.

I am getting a lot faster on the stationary bike now. I am able to actually keep it on the whole time and rode three miles in twenty minutes. Yay!


I also did a quick upper body workout while Jaden finished swimming. Hopefully I’ll be able to start driving this week so I’ll be able to go to the gym in the mornings again!

We had a busy weekend so I wasn’t able to make it to the gym at all.

On Friday night, we got frozen yogurt at Menchies.


I love having a frozen yogurt so close to us now but that also means we’re spending a lot of time there.

On Saturday, we went to Danny’s cousin’s wedding.


Sometimes I actually wear real clothes and not workout clothes. It’s rare, but it does happen. :)

Dress shopping (and jeans shopping!) is hard for me because I have a smaller waist and upper half and wider hips and bottom half so things don’t always fit me well. If the top fits then the bottom is too tight or if the bottom fits then the top is too loose. It’s a problem really.

Luckily, I managed to find a Calvin Klein dress that I loved and was a really good price. And it looked great with my crutches.


The wedding was so much fun. The ceremony was outside and of course I was dying from the heat but the reception was in an air conditioned tent.

Danny with his mom, brothers, and nephew.


The food was typical wedding food but my salad was really fancy, wrapped in a cucumber.


We had a great night and thanks to my dad and stepmom for watching the kids!!

On Sunday, we picked up the kids and then stopped at Friday’s for lunch. We don’t go to Friday’s often and I can’t even remember the last time we were there. Danny and I used to go to Friday’s all the time while we were dating.

I got miso chicken skewers which were delicious. I loved them, I just wished they’d add more veggies on the skewers.


Sunday afternoon, I was pretty wore out from Saturday and ended up falling asleep watching TV in the middle of the afternoon. Hip surgery has me spending lots of time in bed. I can’t wait to be better!!

Tonight, I have physical therapy and we’ll see about the driving and everything!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • When was the last wedding you went to?
  • Favorite restaurant?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Lunch

ginnybakes Review

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 

As a Moms Meet blogger, I was recently able to try out some delicious ginnybakes products. ginnybakes is a product line that makes delicious gluten-free, non-gmo, organic, and kosher dessert products. They also have a line that is vegan.

As someone with a huge sweet tooth, I appreciate the fact that ginnybakes products are healthier for me and my family. That means I can eat more of them, right? :)


I received a bunch of tasty looking products to sample. Jaden immediately wanted to try the chocolate chip cookies.

PicMonkey Collage

He loved them and ran outside with the bag to share with his friends.

ginnybakes has a few different cookies including: chocolate chip love, coconut oatmeal bliss, chocolate chip oatmeal bliss, and butter crisp love. We liked the chocolate chip love and chocolate chip oatmeal the best.


I also love that the cookies come in small individual bags. These are great to put in lunchboxes or to throw in my purse.


Besides cookies, ginnybakes also has other great products including bars and baking mixes.


Of course, I had to immediately make the lovely brownie bliss mix.


Jaden loves being my helper in the kitchen. This mix was great because it was super easy and kid friendly. To the brownie mix, we added one egg, water, and canola oil. The directions say to use coconut oil but since we didn’t have any, we were able to substitute the canola oil.


We put them in the oven and 18 minutes later we had warm, delicious, chocolatey brownies. So good!

There was also a peace love and crumble muffin mix that I can’t wait to try out next.


Another thing I loved were the ginnybars. Once again, these are a great product for at home or on the go.


There were so many delicious flavors: love & nuts, karma, love, & apricot, peace, love, & apple, and happy chocolate bliss. The bars are organic, gluten-free, kosher, non-gmo, wheat/oat free so you don’t have to feeling guilty about eating one…or two.

Overall, I loved these products. They’re a great choice for a healthy dessert or treat. Even if you don’t eat gluten-free, everyone can benefit from eating less wheat products. They are a delicious and nutritious treat with ingredients that you can feel good about putting into your body.

ginnybakes products retail for $5.99 for a 5.5 oz. box and can be found at some Costco stores, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, some Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s, Big Y, and Peapod stores. If you want to learn more about ginnybakes check out their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or Pinterest.

  •  What’s your favorite dessert or treat?


Filed under Family Fun, Product Review

Throwing A Sports Themed Party – Chicago Bears

My family is really big into sports, and Chicago has some really good sports teams – the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Cubs and Sox. One of our favorite sports teams is the Chicago Bears.

Who doesn’t love football season?! Even if you aren’t a big football fan, there’s just so much excitement in the air. Football kicks off the start of the fall season and our Sundays are usually spent having family over, watching the Bears game, and eating fun football food.

We love getting together as a family to watch football and especially the Super Bowl. Sometimes we like to go all out throwing football parties, so today I’ll go over how to throw a successful football party.

1. Invite people you like.

Parties are always better when you invite people that you like. :) It helps even more if they enjoy football. Even if they don’t enjoy football, invite them anyway - they can learn to like football.

There are so many ways to invite people to events these days – email, through Facebook, the evite website, over the phone. If you really want to surprise people, send an invitation in the mail.

2. Food

You cannot have a successful football party without food. People like to eat. If you can’t cook, don’t fear! Ask each guest to bring a dish to share or get the best football party food there is – pizza.



Always make sure there’s cake.

Picture 3988

3. Decorations

Decorations always make parties more festive and liven up the crowd. Many party stores sell football themed decorations and even have specific team decorations. Or make your own!


You can never go wrong with a Chicago Bears pumpkin.

Picture 2223

4. Games

Who doesn’t love a party game? Everyone knows that the most important commercials of the year come on during the Superbowl, so why not make a game out of it?!

photo 5

Last year, we played Superbowl Commercial Bingo. Everyone got a bingo card and when the commercial came on, they got to mark it on their bingo card. Fun was had by all!

5. Sports Clothing…and Props

Have people wear a sports jersey of their favorite team. If they don’t own one, that gives them the perfect opportunity to go shopping! And who doesn’t love shopping?

Picture 3789


6. Get the Kids Involved

My kids love watching the Bears on TV with their dad.

Picture 3792

It’s a great way for kids to learn about sports and maybe it’s even a sport they’d be interested in playing!

If you live in the Chicago area, the Chicago Bears are hosting Family Fest on August 2nd. The Chicago Bears Family Fest lets families watch the Bears practice under the lights on Soldier Field. There is also family-friendly games, live music, outdoor activities, giveaways, and fireworks.

family_fest_2012_photo_655x445_08 (Source)
The kids are also invited to the Staley’s Corner, the Bears mascot, for some fun activities, and the first 200 kids ages 4-12 will get the opportunity to have an autograph session with the Bears players! It’s a great way to spend the day with the family!

If you’re in Chicagoland, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Do you have any fun party tips to add? Favorite sports team?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fun, Uncategorized

Fourth of July 2014

Good  morning! I hope you all had a fun and safe Fourth of July!!

My morning started out with a very patriotic breakfast.


In the afternoon, we headed to my grandparent’s house to visit, eat, and relax in the sun.


It was such a perfect summer day yesterday.


We visited for awhile, played bags, and Frisbee golf.


PicMonkey Collage1

The kids enjoyed their festive popsicles.


The best part of the food was the dessert, of course. How awesome is the cake my grandma made?!


My dad made tuna pasta salad which I politely declined since I do not enjoy tuna or mayonnaise. He tried many times to get me to try it and after I kept politely refusing, he resorted to explaining to me how tuna in a can is made.

This is how it goes:

PicMonkey Collage

While his explanation was the best ”how tuna gets in a can” explanation I’ve ever seen, I still refused to try the tuna pasta.

I. Don’t. Like. Tuna.

In the evening, we headed to a local fireworks display and then headed home from there. It was a fun time with family :)

Today, I’m practicing BodyPump at home and will be teaching my last class tomorrow!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • Any plans for today?



Filed under Family Fun

Bud’s Run 2014

My last 5k before my surgery is complete!


We have run the Bud’s Run 5k for the past few years. It’s a local race celebrating Bud, a running coach, who passed away from sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. We ran into Jaden’s first grade teacher and she said that Bud was actually her cross country coach when she was in high school.

The race is very close to our house - about 5 minutes away. It was at a different location this year and we arrived at about 7:30 am for the 8:00 am start time.

Danny and Jaden:


My dad and stepmom came with to keep an eye on the kids while we ran.


My sister-in-law also ran the race. My brother planned on running it, but his back was bothering him. He had back surgery about a year and a half ago and his back still bothers him from time to time.


The race started at exactly 8:00 am. It’s a smaller race which is good because the course was very narrow. Had there been anymore people, I think it would have been a problem. We had to run a two loop course around a lake.

Making sure our bibs are okay:


Danny decided to run the whole 5k with me because he was worried that I’d be in pain. I managed to run the first 1.5 miles okay. The last half of the race killed me. I had to walk/run the last 1.5 miles. My leg and groin hurt. I also made the mistake of taking two pain pills before the race and I felt nauseas the whole race.

I made it a year without any prescription pain medicine but when the pain recently started to get worse, I finally had to ask the doctor for a prescription. I usually one take one when my leg is really bothering me, so taking two probably wasn’t the best idea (the directions do say I can take two at a time!).

I managed to finish the race in about 35:50. The official times haven’t been posted but I was right around there. I knew going into the race that it would be difficult and I’d have to walk. And it was a lot hotter that I expected. I am just glad that I finished and that my wonderful husband ran with me.

One of my favorite parts about this race is that Culver’s is there giving away free Italian ice :)


Jaden ran the 1k which started at 9:00am.


I don’t think he realized how far it actually was because he started out sprinting. He wanted to run all by himself and would walk for awhile and then go into a full out sprint. He even skipped a couple of times. He was very excited to cross the finish line all by himself.


There was also a “Budding” run for kids under five which my niece ran.


The kids had to run to a basket, grab, a ball, and run to put the ball in the matching bucket. It was cute and a little crazy.

All the kids got a little star medal and sunglasses.


Overall, it was a good race and I’m glad that I ran it. My leg is sore now but nothing more than it usually is. Wait until tomorrow…

After the race, we met my mom for brunch to celebrate her and Danny’s birthdays.


I plan on having a relaxing evening before teaching BodyPump in the morning!

A big thank you to everyone’s continued support with all my surgery/hip/running issues!

Have a wonderful day!!


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Race, Running, Working Out

A Workout With my Son

Good afternoon!

Something amazing happened today – I got my son, Jacob, to workout with me AND take a picture with me…willingly. That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen with a thirteen year-old.


Usually, when we get to the gym, Jacob heads right to the treadmill and walks for an hour while I do my workout. Danny, Jacob, and I went to the gym last night and Danny got Jacob to try out some strength exercises.

This morning, when Jacob and I went to the gym, he said he’d do weights with me. We did back, abs, and walked on the track.

Here’s what we did:

  • lat pulldown x15
  • seated row x15
  • deadrows x15
  • deadlifts x10 (these bother my glute so I only did 10)
  • plank to row (aka renegade row) x 12 each side
  • reverse lateral raises x12
  • partner sit-ups with medicine ball x20
  • Russian twists with medicine ball x 15 each side

We did each set of two exercises as a superset, resting one minute in between, and doing each superset three times each.

Jacob had a hard time with the rows and deadlifts so he did some biceps curls instead. He was very serious about it :)


After the gym, we had a few errands to run. Our first mission was to find coffee! I have a Keurig Vue coffeemaker and recently all the stores that I used to buy Vue cups at stop carrying them. I managed to find one box at Wal-Mart but that box is almost gone so we had to find more.

Sometimes I order boxes off the Keurig website because they usually have really good deals but I only had a few Vue cups left so even if I ordered, they wouldn’t have gotten to my house before I ran out.

And I need coffee.

Luckily, Bed, Bath, & Beyond carries lots of Vue cups and I bought one of my favorite flavors – hazelnut.


I’m just going to order a bunch of boxes online soon. I love my Vue but the k-cups are so much easier to find.

Jacob managed to find bacon duct tape and decided that he needed it in his life.


After Bed, Bath, & Beyond, we made our usual Thursday stop at Whole Foods to get sushi. I also got this Amy’s pizza for dinner tomorrow.


These pizza are a little pricey but they’re so good. My local grocery store used to carry them but they stopped. It seems as soon as I like something, my grocery store stops carrying it.

Tomorrow is Friday!! I am staying home from the gym and I’m just going to practice BodyPump at home. We are doing a 5k on Saturday and I don’t want to do too much tomorrow.

My hip/glute/quad is getting progressively worse, so even if I have to walk some of the 5k, I’m fine with it. Just cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain!

Have a great day!

  • If you have kids, do they workout or do activities?
  • Favorite body part to workout?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Good2Grow Juice

As a Moms Meet Blogger, I was recently able to try out some good2grow juice which my kids have been loving!


The good2grow juices are especially appealing to kids because they have caps with different characters. I like that you can save the cap (dishwasher safe!) and put it on refills of good2grow juice. The kids just loved drinking out of a character bottle. The bottle are all BPA-free.

Jaden loved the Ninja Turtle bottle.


My niece loved the Tinkerbell bottle.


You can check out their website for a list of all the available characters.

The juices are non-GMO, 100% juice, and deliver nutrition in each bottle. They come in  fruit and veggie options (a great way to sneak some veggies in your kid’s diet if they’re picky like mine!). Flavors include 100% apple juice, 40% less sugar apple juice and purified water, 100% fruit punch, tropical fruit medley v-blend, strawberry kiwi v-blend, and organic 100% apple juice.


I love that good2grow juices don’t contain any added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. My kids might not care about any of this, but I do. :)

Besides the taste, Jaden’s favorite part was that these bottles are spill-proof. Of course, he had to immediately try it out by turning the bottle upside down and squeezing it and shaking it as hard as he could.


Lucky for him the bottles are indeed spill-proof. And trust me, he tried really hard to spill that thing.

The good2grow juices are great for at home or on the go, provide servings of fruits and veggies, 100% of their daily vitamin C intake, and taste good. My kids really enjoyed them!

You can check out the good2grow social media experience StoryStitcher here to enter to win a $5000 scholarship and coupons! You can also go here to register for a chance to win a good2grow birthday party and $500. For signing up, you’ll receive a free refill 6-pack when you buy a single serve bottle. Pretty good deal!

  • Do you drink juice? What’s your favorite kind of juice? I love orange juice!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.  

1 Comment

Filed under Family Fun, Product Review

Wisconsin Dells 2014


We just got back from Wisconsin Dells last night and we had a great time! We stayed at the Wilderness Resort and had two conjoining rooms to accommodate all of us.


Of course, we needed a car selfie on the way there :)


Jacob, my stepbrother, my niece, and I were all feeling a little under the weather the whole trip but we still managed to have a good time!

We arrived on Friday afternoon and met my brother, sister-in-law, and niece for lunch. After that all the kids wanted to do was swim!


We swam for awhile and waited for my dad, stepmom, and stepbrother to arrive. After everyone got there and we unloaded all of our stuff, we went out to dinner to celebrate my brother’s birthday.

On Saturday, we spent the day hanging out at the pool and going down the waterslides.




We also enjoyed a couple poolside cocktails.



The one big thing Jaden wanted to do while we were in the Dells was go to a rock mining place. We went to the same place last year and Jaden couldn’t wait to go back. He is obsessed with rocks.



Saturday night, we went out to dinner to celebrate Danny’s birthday! We came back to the hotel room to have cake.


I ate waaaayyyy too much this weekend and should probably skip weigh-in Wednesday this week… :)

Danny got Reece’s peanut butter Oreos for his birthday and how do you pass up a peanut butter Oreo?! If you can, you have more willpower than I do!

Sunday, we celebrated Father’s Day with my dad, Danny, and my brother. We ate breakfast together in the hotel room and then packed all our stuff up and loaded the cars. Even though checkout is at 11am, you can still stay and swim at the resort.

Since the weather was a little cooler on Sunday we started out riding the go-karts!


Jaden rode with me on the bigger go-karts and then drove his own smaller go-kart. He was very excited to drive all by himself.


We spent the next few hours swimming at the indoor pool and then headed to the downtown Dells for awhile.


My dad came across Zoltar and had to have a quick chat :) Anyone remember what movie he’s from?!


After shopping and walking around for awhile, we headed home. We got home around 8pm and picked up a pizza to eat. We were hungry and had no food at home!

We had a great time in the Dells with my family but it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed!!

Have a great day!


Filed under Family Fun

Going to The Dells!

Good Morning!

This morning, we are off to Wisconsin Dells (oh no, the dreaded bathing suit!!). Unfortunately, I woke up sick this morning. Darn. Of all days to get sick, it has to be the day we leave for vacation?!

I went to the store this morning to pick up some Cold Eeze and green juice.


I know the bottled juices aren’t always the best choice, but this one has lots of veggies (and kale!) and has 190 calories for the whole bottle. The sugar is a little high, but right now I don’t feel like eating anything so green juice it is! I haven’t tried it yet, so we’ll see how it is!

This is our third year going to the Dells with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece. This year, my dad, stepmom, and stepbrother are joining up! We rent a three bedroom condo so we can all stay together. It also has a full kitchen which is nice because we can bring our own food. :)

Last year:





Yesterday, I went to Whole Foods for some sushi (of course) and I finally got the peanut butter cup cookie. Last time I went to get one, they were gone and I was so sad!! Yes, I was sad about a cookie. I have been dying to eat that darn cookie. Obviously, I have issues.

Well, I finally got the cookie and it was delicious! So good. Good thing I only got one, because I could have eaten ten of them.


I also got a Two Moms in the Raw blueberry bar to eat in the car on the way to the Dells.


It’s raw, organic, gluten-free, non-gmo, kosher, raw, and handmade. The women at the checkout told me that she loves them and eats them all the time. We’ll see how it is!

Yesterday afternoon, I subbed for another instructor at the gym. I taught her 45 minute strength training class, and I think it went really good. I added lots of triceps dips and plank jacks <—- awesome exercises! I am so used to teaching BodyPump which is totally choreographed. No matter where you go in the world, everyone teaches the same BodyPump routine, so it was nice to come up with my own thing.


Tomorrow is Danny’s birthday! Happy early birthday to my wonderful husband. I couldn’t ask for a better person to spend my life with :)


Well, we’re off the Dells. Have an awesome weekend!!

  • Anyone else not enjoy wearing a bathing suit?
  • Have you ever got sick for something important?
  • Last vacation?


Filed under Family Fun, Working Out

Walking and Working Out

Good morning!!


On Sunday morning, I taught the new BodyPump release. Later in the afternoon, we took the kids to a nearby lake with walking trails.


The kids love the old water pump and Jaden spent quite a bit of time washing the rocks that he found.


We stopped at the store after walking for awhile and I found this new lite white cheddar Skinny Pop popcorn.


We went through that bag way faster than I’d like to admit :) It was really good.

We also stopped at different Whole Foods than I normally go to and they had a healthy snack station set up for kids.


I thought it was really cool that they let kids pick out one piece of fruit. Jaden got an apple and ate the whole entire thing…including the seeds.

Monday’s Workout

  • Stairmaster HIIT Workout – 26 minutes
  • Plank and Stretching – 15 minutes

I haven’t been doing as much cardio lately since my hip has been bothering me but I was really sore from strength training yesterday so I decided to do a HIIT workout on the Stairmaster.


I forgot how much the Stairmaster makes me sweat!!! Of course, my hip was sore all day yesterday but only six more days until my doctor appointment.


Breakfast this morning was an old favorite – a peach yogurt oatmeal parfait.


I always forget how much I love peaches until I am eating one!

This morning I am off to the gym for Butts and Guts and Women on Weights!

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite fruit?




Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out