Category Archives: Family Fun

Weekend Recap and Ear Tube Surgery

Good morning! I feel like I haven’t around in forever! It’s been a very busy past few days.

Let’s start with the weekend.


For the past 12 weeks, I have been training a group of ten wonderful people for a Biggest Loser competition at my gym. The program concluded Saturday morning with a final weigh-in, measurements, and a 5k. My team was the early morning 5:45 am team and I think getting their workout in and done so early helped keep them so motivated. They did amazing!

Out of three teams, my team came in first as the team with the most body fat percentage lost. Out of thirty people, I had the second and third place individuals with the most body fat lost on my team. I also had the first and second place 5k winners on my team. I was so proud of my team and how dedicated and hard-working they were.

They also met with a nutritionist once a week and that’s the part that’s really important. You can work out in the gym all day but if you’re eating like crap, you’re not going to lose any weight. My team had a great nutritionist to educate and help them.

My team’s nutritionist and I ran the 5k together to help keep everyone encouraged and motivated. I haven’t ran a 5k in awhile so it was quite difficult for me. I can lift weights all day at the gym but running will always be my weakness.

Afterwards, I picked up Jaden from my mom’s house and we went to Whole Foods for some sushi.


I also found this zero-calorie lemonade which was amazing. As much as I like water, sometimes I like to change it up!

On Saturday night, Danny and Jacob came home from Canada after being gone for eight days!  They were fishing with my dad, brother, and grandpa. Jaden and I were sooo happy to have them home!

Fishing in Canada:



Saturday night, we just hung out at home, listening to stories about their week in Canada.


Since Danny was in Canada for Father’s Day, we decided to have Father’s Day again on Sunday. Jaden and I made French toast, eggs, hash browns, and bacon for breakfast. Then we all went mini golfing.


The weather was finally beautiful for a change.

Danny also was so sweet and surprised me with a pair of Victoria’s Secret sweatpants that I have been in love with. And suckers. I have an intense love for suckers.


I’ll take workout clothes and sweatpants over flowers any day. :)


Yesterday, Jaden was scheduled for surgery to get tubes in his ears and to get his adenoids rechecked. He had his tonsils and adenoids out about four years ago but the doctor thought maybe his adenoids grew back. I didn’t even realize this was possible but I guess it is.

Jaden was the fourth surgery of the day and we got to the hospital around 9 am. Luckily, the doctor was running ahead of schedule and Jaden had his surgery earlier than planned.


The tube surgery is very routine and fast. But since they were also checking his adenoids, there was a possibility that he would need an IV and a longer surgery. We wouldn’t know until the doctor used a scope to check them.

Jaden did so amazing. He wasn’t really scared and I think it’s because he’s so sick of ear pain and was just ready to have the surgery done. They gave him some medicine to help him relax and then they took him back to surgery.

We were in the waiting room for literally 15 minutes when the doctor came out. I initially thought something was wrong but they doctor said the surgery was complete. I couldn’t believe how fast it was! They checked his adenoids and said there was a tiny bit a growth but not enough to make a difference if they were removed so he only needed the tube surgery.

We waited another few minutes and the nurse came out and said Jaden was in recovery and he was awake and eating a popsicle. She said they would wheel him into a room in about 10-15 minutes and then we could go back and see him.

After about ten minutes we were able to go see him and he was doing great! Luckily, Jaden has never had a problem with anesthesia.


He did tell the nurse that his ears hurt a little when he woke up so they gave him some Tylenol. I gave him a big hug and then all he wanted to do was eat. He ate pudding, cookies, and apple juice. He was a little out of it from being under anesthesia and it was kind of funny. He kept trying to take his own blood pressure and was saying funny things.

After about a half an hour, we were able to take him home. They said he should just take it easy and relax the rest of the day even if he felt fine. We got home and a couple of hours later, he was totally fine. He wanted to go jump on the trampoline and was mad that we told him he had to stay inside and relax.

At one point, he looked at me and said, “Mommy, I can hear you now.” It made me feel so sad that he went so long with ear problems. I brought him to the doctor every single time he had an ear infection and got him antibiotics. He had multiple hearing tests done which all came back fine. The doctor always told me that he was okay and they usually gave tubes to younger kids since ear infections could affect their speech.

I am so glad that we took him to an ENT and they were able to get him into surgery within a few weeks. Lesson is always trust your gut instinct, no matter what the doctor says.


I also managed to fit in some workouts over the past few days! I did a 50 minutes session on the Stairmaster that left me tired and sweaty!


I’m telling you, if you want to sweat, get on the Stairmaster!! I usually alternate between fast and slow for 20-45 minutes depending on how my hip feels. I also did a few planks and foam rolled.


Life is back to normal today. Jaden is doing great. Danny is back to work. And I am teaching Women on Weights later this afternoon and then going to CrossFit tonight.

Have a wonderful day!


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

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.


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!


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


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.


It was the perfect dinner for a hot summer night!

Have a great Monday!

  • Favorite salad topping?
  • Favorite salad dressing?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Recipes

Gentle Yoga

Hello! Happy Sunday!

Happy Father’s Day to my dad!


Happy Father’s Day to my husband!


Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, stepdads, father-in-laws, and father figures!


Yesterday morning, I went to CrossFit. I’ve never gone on a Saturday before because Jaden usually has baseball but the season ended Friday so I headed to CrossFit yesterday. I wore my new Reebok Nanos.


We did a great partner workout that left me tired and sweaty! I have a feeling those shoes aren’t going to stay white for very long. :)


I’ve been really sore lately, so today I decided to try out a gentle yoga class at my gym.


This class really was a very easy and gentle yoga class. It was a lot of easy movements, breathing, and very slow paced. I think it’s the most relaxed I’ve been in months.


I’m so used to such fast paced workouts that gentle yoga was a welcome relaxation.

After yoga, I came home and made a big salad and a veggie flatbread pizza for lunch.


So good.

We finally have some hot weather and sunshine today so my sister-in-law and I are taking the kids to the splash park!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

  •  Have you ever taken a yoga class?
  • Any plans for today?

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Filed under CrossFit, Family Fun, Lunch, Working Out

Graduation Party

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

On Saturday, we had an 8th grade graduation party for Jacob. I can’t believe that once summer is over, he’ll be in high school!


I actually bought a new dress to wear to the party but Jaden and I stopped at the store to pick up the food for the party and a small disaster occurred. I was in the alcohol aisle and somehow my purse or cart bumped a giant bottle of what must have been beer. The bottle fell off the shelf, exploded on the ground, and then splashed all over my new dress covering me in alcohol. As I was trying to pick up the bottle, I almost knocked over another bottle. It was quite a diaster that was witnessed by three guys who just stood there staring at me. Fun times.


So, we had to leave the store so I could go home, rinse off, and then change my dress. I still had to go back to the store and pick up the food.

Luckily, the party ended up being a lot of fun and the weather was gorgeous so we were able to stay outside most of the day.


We got chicken and sandwiches catered from a local grocery store, but I made tons of cookies.


I used my favorite cookie recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction – chocolate chip M&M cookies and butterscotch Reese’s Pieces cookies.


Thank you to our family and friends for celebrating with us!


On Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym.


We haven’t gone to the gym together in so long because we have been so busy with baseball and different things going on during the weekends. Danny just started training for the Chicago Marathon so he just did some cross training. I am trying to add a little more cardio into my routine so I did a 45 minute HIIT workout on the stairmaster.

I was dead by the time I was done – that stairmaster is no joke!

Today is the kids first day off of school for the summer and tonight is Jacob’s actual graduation ceremony!

Have a great day!

  • Favorite cookie?
  • What are you looking forward to this summer?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out


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

We have been so busy lately. This is my kids last week of school and last Friday, Danny and I volunteered at Jaden’s Field Day at his school. Later that evening my son, Jacob, went to his 8th grade graduation dance and my younger son, Jaden, had a baseball game on Saturday morning.


Saturday night my family came over to watch the Blackhawks game. My family are huge hockey fans so this was an important game. Luckily, the Blackhawks are advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs! It will be another few weeks filled with hockey!

I meant to share a great shoulder workout that I did last week but life got busy so I figured I’d share it now.

Shoulder Workout

  •  dumbbell push presses
  • plate front raises
  • lateral raises on cable machine
  • bent arm lateral raises with external rotation
  • seated shoulder presses
  • side plank with lateral raises

I did 3 sets of between 12-15 reps of each exercise.

I finished up my shoulder workout with some jump roping that really got my heart rate up!


Today’s Workout

This morning at the gym, I worked on back and biceps and then did a 20 minute HIIT workout on the treadmill. I ran fast for one minute and then walked to recover for one minute. I repeated this for 20 minutes. By the time I was done, my calves and hamstrings were killing me, so I made sure to stretch a lot after my workout.


Stretching with my Premier Protein mat:


We’re having an 8th grade graduation party for Jacob this weekend, so most of this week will be spent working, doing errands, and getting everything ready for the party!

Have a great day!

  • If you have kids, are they out of school yet?
  • Do you watch any sports? Play any sports?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Elgin Fox Trot 2015

On Saturday morning, I ran the Elgin Fox Trot 5k. This was my 6th year doing this race. My dad and I did the two mile walk last year since it was right before my hip surgery.

Danny and I after the race:


Unfortunately, this was not a good race for me. I forgot how hilly the course was and my hip just wasn’t ready for all those hills. I felt really good running the Mother’s Day race a couple of weeks ago but at this race, I felt the complete opposite.

There was a big hill right away on the course and that hill really killed me for the rest of the race. Every single step was a struggle especially since it was so hilly.

I managed to run the race without having to walk, but my pace was slower. I finished in 32:36 and headed right to the Athletico tent to be stretched out because my hip and quad were killing me.

Not every race can be great and I still really need to work on my running including running outside rather than on just the treadmill.

Danny, my sister-in-law, and her cousin ran the 10 miler. My brother and I ran the 5k.

My sister-in-law and brother:


My brother and I:


This was my brother’s second 5k since his back surgery a couple of years ago and he did great! I have enough trouble running after my hip surgery, I can’t even imagine running after a back surgery! Awesome job, Paul!

Danny did awesome running the ten miler. This was his third year running the ten miler and got a PR of 1:19:19! He did awesome!


The Elgin Fox Trot is always a lot of fun. There’s a big after party area with a live band and each runner gets a free beer.




After the race, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some coffee! I wish races gave out free coffee instead of free beers! :)


Since it’s only three miles, I usually don’t eat anything or drink coffee before a 5k. By the time the race is over, I’m dying for coffee.

I really like the Elgin Fox Trot. Packet pick-up is always a breeze. The race starts right on time and the courses are pretty well marked. There are indoor bathrooms and plenty of port-a-potties. There are bagels, orange slices, bananas, chocolate milk, water, and Gatorade post-race. This is the only race that I’ve ever used the gear check and I’ve never had a problem.

There is an after party with a live band and a beer tent. This year they were giving out free massages and free manicures and pedicures. Even though I didn’t get one, I thought that was a pretty nice race perk!

Overall, a great race even if it wasn’t my best race!

  • Have you ever really struggled during a race?
  • Favorite race?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Race, Running

National Running Day is Coming Up and Birthday Presents!

Good afternoon!

June 3rd is National Running Day and in celebration of this day, OrthoLite is encouraging runners to show their run for a chance to win one of three $100 American Express gift cards for new running gear or OrthoLite Fusion insoles! To enter, all you have to do is post a picture of your run on June 3rd and tag @OrthoLite with #RunOrthoLite on Facebook and/or Twitter! The photo can show running shoes, a new PR, your running buddy that helps push you, your running route, or anything running lately.

Three winners will be selected at 9 am EST on Thursday, June 4th and will be notified direct message from OrthoLite on Facebook or Twitter. If you want to buy OrthoLite insoles now, you can go to their website and use coupon code FITCOMFY at checkout for $5.00 off.

I use OrthoLite in my shoes and I love them! You can checkout my review here. Don’t forget to post and tag your photos on June 3rd!


Yesterday was my birthday! I had to be at work at 5:30 am and when I got home a little after 7 am, Jaden had a birthday crown that he made waiting for me!


I spent the day doing a few errands and getting my hair done. I got some much needed highlights. Then, I stopped at Ulta and got my free birthday gift – Urban Decay 24/7 purple eye liner. I love the Urban Decay eye liners, I’m just not sure I’ll use purple eye liner. I wear brown eyeliner 99% of the time. If I’m feeling crazy, I might wear black eye liner otherwise brown it is!

Jaden had a baseball game in the evening. And lucky me, it rained for most of it. :( The game still went good and after we stopped to get Chipotle for my birthday dinner. I’m pretty sure calories don’t count on your birthday.

When we got home, Danny and the kids gave me some birthday gifts. There might have been some wine involved. :)


Jaden and I just finished reading Charlotte’s Web and I told Danny that I really wanted to get a pet pig. For my birthday he got me this:


He said it was as close to a pet pig as I was going to get.

He also got me two of my favorite Cellucor products – C4 and alpha aminos.


After presents, we had cake – my favorite cake is chocolate or white cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream frosting. Nothing beats strawberries and whipped cream.


Jaden had an allergy doctor appointment before school today so I got to the gym a little later than usual. Even though I had a rest day yesterday, I wasn’t super feeling it in the gym today. Do you ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like doing anything?!

I still worked out, just a little lighter than I normally do. I started out with a two mile fast walk on the treadmill followed by a few shoulder exercises. I have another workout planned for tonight so I didn’t want to wear myself out too much. I’m still sore from my back workout earlier in the week and my hip has been achy lately. I’m trying to be better at listening to my body.

After the gym, I stopped at Starbucks for my free birthday drink.


Don’t you just love all the birthday freebies?! I still have a free Dunkin’ Donuts coffee coupon to use!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite birthday freebie? The Benefit counter at Ulta used to give you a free eyebrow wax on your birthday but they stopped that a couple of years ago and I was so bummed!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • Do you go to the gym even if your not feeling it or take a rest day?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun

Walks, Workouts, and a T-Rex

Good afternoon!


The weather has been beautiful the past couple of days here in Chicagoland. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather last night and went for a walk.


Jaden’s eye are either closed or he’s hiding his face in almost ever picture taken outside. Sun problems.

The kids and I walked while Danny ran. Danny has a 10 miler race coming up and he’s going to start training for the Chicago marathon soon!

I love that all the trees and flowers are finally blooming.


We spotted a T-Rex on our walk. You know, just the normal stuff you’d see on a walk.



This morning I did the


that I found on the PopSugar website a few weeks ago.


This workout is killer. I am dying by the end. The first few times I did it, I did the treadmill portion twice substituting the arc trainer for one of the treadmill sessions. This time I used the treadmill all three times and I was quite proud of myself. By hip was dead by the time I was done.

I burned over 700 calories. :)


By the time I left the gym, I was a sweaty mess.


Post workout, I had a Premier Protein chocolate shake.


After the gym, I ran a couple of errands. Tomorrow night, Danny and I are going to a wedding for a friend that I’ve had since 2nd grade! Unfortunately, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. I’m hoping the rain holds off!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s the longest you’ve been friends with someone?
  • Did you workout today?
  • Weirdest thing you’ve seen on a walk or a run?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Good morning! The past few days have been so busy and I’m really looking forward to telling you guys about my trip to the Now Foods headquarters with the other FitFluential bloggers! Look for that post next week!

Happy Birthday

Today is my son, Jacob’s, 14th birthday.


I truly can’t believe how fast time goes! Jacob was born premature at 25 weeks, weighing 1 pound and 14 ounces. Due to how early he was born, he was classified as a micro preemie.

He spent two months in the NICU in a hospital an hour away from my house. He had respirator to help him breathe, a feeding tube so he could eat, and had to stay in a temperature controlled isolette. I wasn’t able to hold him until he was about three weeks old and could maintain his own body temperature.

Jacob as a toddler:


Jacob had eye surgery as a baby and has worn glasses since he was six months old.


Even though he was born 14 years ago, it seems like just yesterday. It’s amazing how fast kids grow up and Jacob truly is my little miracle baby.

Yesterday, we had family over to celebrate his birthday.


Today, we’re taking him out to lunch to his favorite restaurant – Olive Garden!

Happy birthday, Jacob!



Filed under Family Fun

Kettlebell Workout

Good afternoon!


Today marks the 10th day straight that I’ve had a headache. I went to the doctor yesterday because I finally couldn’t take it anymore. He said it’s probably something to keep an eye on since I don’t regularly suffer from headaches. He diagnosed it as an atypical migraine.

He prescribed a pain medicine and said that it should help the headache go away in 1-2 days. He said if it didn’t make the headache go away, the next step would be a blood test and a scan to check for a more serious problem.

The headache isn’t debilitating or causing me extreme pain. I’m not affected by bright lights. It’s most just a constant headache that’s annoying and frustrating. It dulls at time but never completely goes away. Mostly, I just want to sleep all the time. So frustrating!

Today I still woke up with a headache although not quite as intense. If it’s not gone by tomorrow, I have to call the doctor. We’ll see. I’m keep my fingers crossed that this darn thing goes away.

Last night was Jaden’s first baseball game of the season!


Life always gets a little crazy when baseball starts because it takes up a lot of time, but Jaden loves it. And watching young kids play baseball can be entertaining since they’re still learning the game.

Jaden’s team is the White Sox but my hubby is a huge Chicago Cubs fan. :)

Today’s Workout

I changed it up a little bit at the gym today and did a workout using only kettlebells.


Some of the exercises I did included:

  • kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell sumo squats
  • one-armed rows
  • kettlebell halos (around the head)
  • kettlebell orbits (around the body)
  • windmills
  • figure 8 (in and out of the legs)
  • Russian twists
  • half get-ups

I did the workout as a circuit, repeating all the exercises with no rest in between, Then I rested 1-2 minutes and repeated the circuit two more times. It was a great workout to change things up a bit!

After my workout, I taught my Women on Weights class and then refueled with a Premier Protein chocolate shake.


 Local Race

For those of you local to the Chicagoland area, Capitol Nutrition is having their 3rd annual charity run to raise awareness and funds for helping military veterans heal emotional wounds by pairing them with a shelter dog. The event not only helps veterans but also helps shelter dogs. Proceeds for the event go to Pets for Vets charity.

The race takes place on June 6th, 2015 in Orland Park. For more information or to register go to their website here.

Well, I’m off to get a few things done for baseball tonight! Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you suffer from headaches? Any advice?
  • Do you ever use kettlebells in your workout?
  • Favorite piece of exercises equipment? Treadmill, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc?



Filed under Family Fun, Working Out