Category Archives: Family Fun

Slow and Steady

Good afternoon. I’m so glad it’s finally the weekend! Saturday is by far my favorite day of the week.


I’ve been trying to run more consistently now that I am more than nine months post surgery. My hip and quad feel tons better. I still get occasional aches in my hip when I  do too much activity but nothing that isn’t manageable.

My biggest problem right now is that my Achilles tendon bothers me a lot. Not only during running but also during other activities as well. So, my running might be a little slower than it normally would be but by this point, I’ve realized that it’s not a good idea to push myself into another major injury.

I am taking my return to running slow and doing what I can. I’m making sure to stretch, foam roll, ice, and use KT tape.

On Monday, I was able to run two miles non-stop on the treadmill. On Thursday, I ran 2.25 miles non-stop.

After I hit 2.25 miles, I walked slow for a little bit then I ran/walked for a total of 3.32 miles.


Today’s run didn’t quite go as planned. Danny and I started out with some back exercises at the gym this morning and then I planned to run 2.5 miles.

I wore my Zensah calf sleeves because my calves have been getting tight again lately.


I only managed to run one full mile on the treadmill before having to walk. My Achilles killed with every step and my calves were so tight. I haven’t run three days in a week in a really long time so I think my legs just aren’t used to it.

I ran one mile, walked/ran one mile, and then walked for a total of 2.3 miles.

It was really frustrating not being able to run because of my Achilles tendon pain. As soon as my hip finally gets better, I have a new injury to deal with. It just seems never ending and that’s frustrating.

A few months ago when I was going to physical therapy, my therapist said that it’s better to focus on endurance rather than speed. So, at this point, I’m not too worried about going fast. My goal is to run 3.1 miles with out stopping to walk.

I have two 5ks planned for next month – the Run Like a Mother 5k and The Elgin Fox Trot 5k. I know I probably won’t be running as many races as usual this summer because of my Achilles pain, but I am just happy to get back into running.

We’re running the Fox Trot on Memorial day weekend. This will be my 6th year doing the race. Last year the Fox Trot was two months before my surgery, so I wasn’t able to run. Instead, my dad and I did the Fox Trot Two Mile Walk. I look forward to being able to run it this year!

Danny and my sister-in-law are running the 10 miler and my brother and I are running the 5k.

Last year, walking with my dad:


This will be my 5th year doing the Run Like a Mother 5k. This will be a great year because my grandma, who had double hip replacements, will be walking it this year! My stepmom is also doing the race.

Run a Like a Mother in 2013:


I’m looking forward to be able to run some races this year.

Tonight, Danny and I are going out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary! Have a great Saturday!

  • What are you doing today?
  • What’s your favorite day of the week?
  • Favorite race you’ve ever run?



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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Fun Run in Color 5k 2015

Today’s race was so much fun!


This morning, we ran the Fun Run in Color 2015. We also ran this race last year.

I woke up early, around 6:30 am, so I could enjoy a cup of coffee before the race. We left the house about 7:50 am and got to the race about 8:15 am . The race is fairly small so parking was a breeze.

My dad and stepmom also walked the race.


Although this is my first 5k since my hip surgery, I’m not counting it as my first “official” race since my surgery. It’s just an untimed fun run and we walked a lot with Jaden. I’m counting my Mother’s Day 5k as my first official post surgery race. :)

I used the porta-potty twice before the race and didn’t have to wait in line. I remember having to wait in line last year because there was only five porta-potties. There was only five this year too but I must have gone at a good time without a line.

We lined up right before 9 am at the start line. They let a wave of people go every few minutes so the color stations wouldn’t get overcrowded with people.

Jacob walked with my dad and stepmom. Danny and I started out running with Jaden. Jaden twisted his foot last week on a trampoline and it was still bothering him today so after we ran for about a half a mile, he had to stop and walk.


He walked, he ran, Danny carried him.


Of course, his favorite part was the color stations.


Even though the race wasn’t timed, I used my FitBit to keep track of our time and mileage. Jaden’s goal was to beat his high score (read: time) from last year. Obviously this kid plays too many video games. I told him that he wanted to beat his previous time not his previous high score. 

Our time last year was 41:48. This year it was 39:48. He did beat his time from last year, but honestly, I don’t think it was the full 3.1 miles. Either the course was short or we cut corners somewhere on the race route. Either was Jaden was very happy!


My dad, stepmom, and Jacob crossed the finish line a short time after we did.


Post race, we got bags of color for the after party. And I found coffee!


My son’s orthodontist, Bauer & Bauer, was one of the race’s sponsors and they had a coffee station set up with Peet’s coffee and travel coffee cups. How much better can a race get!? They even had hot chocolate for the kids!

I didn’t get too much color on me during the race but after the race was a different story – it was color crazy!


We had way too much fun and we were going crazy hitting each other with all the color we could! It was so much fun! I got so much more color on me this year than I did last year. We were covered!

My dad went a little crazy pouring color on my head! (My hair and skin were so dry from all the color!)


Luckily, they have a wind station that helps blow some of the color off of you.


They also had a DJ and a fun after party.


I also liked the fact that they added a water station this year. There wasn’t a water station at all last year and sometimes the color gets in your mouth when you go though the color stations.


Post race, they had bagels, granola bars, and water. Nesquik was also there giving out chocolate milk at the after party.


Overall, I had a so much fun at the race, even more fun than I had last year!

Even though I got in the shower when we got home, I still have color on me. My feet are dyed blue and I eventually gave up scrubbing them. Even my contact got dyed blue!


See you next year, Color Run!!

  •  Have you ever done a Color Run?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Halloween, Race, Running, Uncategorized

Easter Fun 2015

Good afternoon! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. We had a busy day yesterday and I was up bright and early at 4:50 am this morning to head to the gym. For the next 12 weeks, I’m training a group of 10 people at 5:45 am. I see lots of coffee in my future!


Saturday afternoon, we got together with my family to color Easter eggs.


Jaden made two bear eggs with my dad’s help this year. He made a teddy bear egg and a polar bear egg!



Very creative!

Danny even stepped up his egg game this year and made a Monsters Inc. and a ladybug egg.


My dad made these super cute Mario and Luigi eggs.


I dyed an egg blue and stuck a sticker on it. Old school. No photo necessary.


Sunday morning, I woke up early to start cooking and Jaden was awake soon after to start searching for Easter eggs!


The kids had a great time looking for eggs and finding their Easter baskets.


My mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece, and family friend, Debbie came over for brunch on Easter morning.



My boys and my niece are getting so big!


I didn’t take any pictures of our food but I made cinnamon roll casserole, potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, and mini donuts.

After brunch, we went to to my dad and stepmom’s house.


The kids had fun finding more Easter eggs and they were even Easter eggs for the adults!


We ate a late lunch and then walked to the park to let the kids play for awhile.

After leaving my dad’s, we went to Danny’s aunt’s house.


How adorable is my nephew’s smile?!

The kids got to find even more eggs with their cousin.

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It was an incredibly busy day with way too much food (I might have eaten one too many chocolate eggs), but it was a fun family-filled day!

I was exhausted by the time we got home and was in bed by 8:30 pm. I was up when my alarm went off at 4:50 am this morning and out the door by 5:15 am.

Have a great afternoon!

  • How was your Easter?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?
  • What time do you normally wake up?


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Filed under Family Fun

Easter Favorites

Happy Friday! Today I’m going to share a some of my Easter favorites from the past few years.

  • Egg Dying

We get together with my family every year to dye Easter eggs. My dad loves making elaborate Easter eggs and every year they seem to get more elaborate.



My favorite were his scuba diver eggs!



A skunk egg:


Decorated brown eggs:


Last year’s eggs – my stepmom and me.


  • Easter Food

Cadbury Egg blondies:


These Easter dishes were made by my stepmom’s family a couple of years ago. Aren’t they awesome?!




A few years ago I made delicious Homemade Peanut Butter Eggs. Peanut butter and chocolate – a match made in heaven.


Bunny pancakes for Easter breakfast:


Last year for Easter, I had silverware napkin holders that looked like carrots:


  • Easter Egg Hunts

My kids get so excited every year to see what the Easter bunny has left them. Their favorite was the giant Easter eggs.


And of course, the Easter bunny leaves eggs for my niece to find.


  • Bunny Themed Races

A couple of years ago, we ran the Egg Shell Shuffle 5k.



There was even an adult egg hunt at the end which was a little chaotic. I love fun themed races!


That’s all for my Easter favorites. Have a great weekend!

  • Do you dye Easter eggs?
  • What are your Friday favorites?
  • What are you doing for Easter?


Filed under Family Fun

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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Working Out

Weekend Workouts

Good morning! How’s your weekend going?


Friday night, Danny and I went to the gym.

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I work during the day on Fridays so I can’t work out until the evening. Honestly, it wasn’t a very good workout. We got to the gym about 6:15 pm so I didn’t want to eat dinner before we went. I rarely feel like a get a great workout in the evening. I was hungry, tired, sore, and crabby.

We did some chest and triceps exercises for about an hour and then called it a night.


Saturday morning, we went back to the gym for our normal Saturday workout. This workout was 1000x better than the previous night’s workout. We started out with about five minutes on the Arc trainer to warm up and then we worked on back, biceps, and abs.

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I wore the KT tape on my wrist again. It helped during the workout but last night, I woke up because my wrist was killing me. Blah.

Our workout included some of the following exercises:


  • close grip lat pulldowns
  • reverse grip lat pulldowns
  • seated cable rows
  • bentover barbell rows
  • deadlifts
  • renegade rows
  • good mornings


  •  barbell curls
  • reverse barbell curls
  • alternating incline bicep curls
  • single leg hammer curls

Since my wrist does hurt if I go too heavy on biceps, I use a light weight but do a lot of reps.

After the gym, the kids wanted to go to a park near my dad and stepmom’s house so we asked them if they wanted to meet us there.

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The weather was a little cool yesterday but the sun was shining and it was a great day to play at the park.

I think the adult’s had just as much fun as the kids!



Fun Fact about Heather: If I’m not wearing workout clothes, I’m wearing Victoria’s Secret sweatpants. I hate jeans with a passion. And I’m wearing my workout capris under those sweatpants. Sorry, not sorry.

Sometime over the weekend, I tried out the Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt.


The peach flavor was soooo good! It’s been too long since I’ve had peach yogurt. I usually alternate between eating plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and flavored Greek yogurts.

Tonight, we’re going out with my family to celebrate my Grandpa’s 79th birthday!!

Have a great Sunday!

  • When do you usually workout? Is there a time of day when you don’t like working out?
  • When was the last time you went to the park?
  • Favorite yogurt flavor?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, 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!


My cutie niece:


We really seemed to like those glasses.


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



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.


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.


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.


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


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?





Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Mother/Son Running


Yesterday, I ran outside! Can you believe it?! Well, it was more of a walk/run but still. I haven’t ran outside since before my hip surgery last summer. The last time I ran outside was probably the Bud’s Run 5k  last June.

Next month, we’re running a Color Run so Jaden has really been wanting to practice running. He also wears my old FitBit Flex so he’s trying to get lots of steps.

Since the weather was so gorgeous yesterday when Jaden got home from school, we ran outside.


I’m not sure exactly how far we went but it was probably right around 2.75 miles. We started out running slowly and then incorporated a lot of walking breaks as needed. Jaden did a lot better than I expected him to (the FitBit is great motivation) and surprisingly my Achilles tendon felt fine.

I was really worried about my Achilles so I’m happy it was okay when I was running. I think running on the treadmill might bother it. I also ran in my Mizuno shoes yesterday so I’m wondering if the shoes I’m currently wearing bother it.

It’s still not 100% so I made sure to ice it yesterday and stretch it this morning. But I’m happy it felt okay with outdoor running!

This morning I went to the gym. I did the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout and then I did a butt/leg circuit workout.


I did the following exercises back to back, rested for about 2 minutes, and then repeated the circuit.

  • step-up to kickbacks (use a box or bench) x12 each side
  • walking lunges with a medicine ball oblique twist x20 each side
  • hip bridges x15
  • single leg hip bridges x12 each side
  • donkey kicks x15 each side
  • sumo squats x20
  • band walking side to side
  • backwards band walking

After repeating the circuit twice, I decided to try out the Stairmaster. Back when I finished physical therapy a couple of months ago, my physical therapist said to avoid the Stairmaster for the time being because it required a lot of hip extension. Since it’s been a couple of months, I decided to try it out.


I did 10 minutes and tried to stay slow. My hip felt fine during it so we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Even though my hip surgery was last July, my hip still isn’t fully recovered. It still aches when I do physical activity and my quad still bothers me a little, but it’s a lot better and I can tell it slowly getting back to normal. The doctor said it could take up to a year to fully recover so I’m on the right track!

It’s another beautiful day outside so we’ll see if Jaden wants to run outside again later today!

Have a great afternoon!

  •  When was the last time you ran outside?
  • What kinds of physical activities do you do with your kids?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Weekend Recap

Good morning and happy March! Can you believe it’s March already?! I’m just waiting for winter to be over and for spring to arrive!


The kids had the day off of school on Friday so I didn’t go to the gym in the morning. Instead, we went to the library.


I love the library. So. Many. Books.

Since, I didn’t work out in the morning, Danny and I went to the gym at night, and Jacob came with too. Danny and I worked on back and biceps while Jacob walked on the track. After we were done, Jacob wanted to jump rope so we spent a little bit of time jump roping.


Jacob was so funny – he was doing a run jump rope thing where he would run down the hall while jump roping. It was hilarious to watch and I couldn’t stop laughing. I usually can’t get him to go to the gym for anything, but he enjoyed jump roping!

And Danny got to wear his new Fitbit to the gym!


Being the super sweet wife that I am, I bought him a Fitbit Charge. I think just about my whole family owns a Fit bit now. :)


We went to the gym again Saturday morning like we usually do and worked chest and triceps. Danny is usually in charge of the chest exercises and the decline chest presses are killer. (I use an EZ bar because my wrist always hurts and the EZ bar is a little less stressful on it.)


The decline chest presses aren’t super hard to do but I really feel it later!


We stopped at the store on the way home and I was excited to find this butterscotch “yogurt.”


I posted it on Instagram and someone that it’s not actually Greek yogurt because it doesn’t contain any active cultures like yogurt does. It’s simply a “dairy treat.” Companies can be sneaky and sometimes you really have to pay attention to food labels. Of course, you assume the Oikos is yogurt but it doesn’t say yogurt anywhere on the packaging.

Regardless, it was still good!

Saturday evening, we went to my dad and stepmom’s to celebrate their birthdays.


We had spaghetti, salad, and bread followed by cake and ice cream.


We had a fun time celebrating and visiting.


Sunday morning, we were back at the gym. No surprise there. We worked legs. I haven’t done just a leg day in awhile because me hip/quad/Achilles tendon always are sore but I also know it’s important to build strength so I am going to add more leg exercises into my workouts.

For leg exercises we did:

  • leg press machine
  • squats
  • leg extension machine
  • leg curl machine
  • step up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • calf raises

After the gym we went grocery shopping and then to Whole Foods for lunch. We stopped for some frozen yogurt on the way home.

Our grocery store had the Rockin’ Refuel protein drinks on sale for $1 each. I’ve never seen them this cheap so I had to stock up.


Overall, we had a pretty quiet and laid back Sunday.


This morning, I went to the gym and worked shoulders. My leg isn’t as sore a I thought it would be after yesterday but my quad is a little sore. I made sure to foam roll it a lot at the gym and stretch.

Tomorrow is my first day teaching Women on Weights class!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite leg exercise?
    Do you read food labels?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Circuit Workouts

Good afternoon, friends! How are you today? I must tell you, I am so sick of the snow. I hate snow. If I never saw another snowflake again, I would be perfectly happy. I am counting the days until spring is here!

I have been really good about getting my diet back on track this week, with the small exception of going out to celebrate my dad and stepmom’s birthdays on Tuesday night. Let’s just say there was a lot of Mexican food and margaritas involved. But I am a firm believer of everything in moderation.

I made sure I was back on track Wednesday morning. Before work, I had plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with a packet of Stevia and topped with raspberries.


I love eating this for breakfast because it’s starts my morning out with a lot of protein!

I went to the gym this morning, but I decided that it was in my best interest to hold off on the Bikini Body Mommy workouts for a few days. They are great short workouts but the amount of jumping and squats involved has really been hard on my body on top of the other workouts I’m doing.

I was a little bit disappointed because I made it 40 days straight without missing a workout but I’m really trying to listen to my body and do what’s best for it.

I still managed to get a good workout in, focusing mostly on upper body and core work. I found a circuit workout in the Sarah Fit book and added a couple more exercises to it.


My circuit consisted of:

  • single leg bicep curls x 20 (10 each leg)
  • triceps dips with feet on a stability ball (I forgot how hard these were!) x 12
  • chest presses on stability ball x 15
  • bentover rows x 15
  • upright rows x15
  • dumbbell deadlifts x 15

I rested about 2 minutes in between each circuit. I did the circuit three times each.

Then I moved on to a core circuit. For this circuit I did:

  • Russian twists with a medicine ball x 16 (each side)
  • single leg heel touches x 10 / double leg heel touches x 10
  • bicycle crunches x 15 each side
  • plank 30 seconds
  • dumbbell side bends x 20 (each side)

I did this circuit three times, resting one minute in between.

After the gym, I stopped at Target where I found these individual bags of Jack Links on clearance.


I love the Jack Links and always buy the big bag. I have never seen the individual bags at my Target and suddenly there was a bunch of boxes on the clearance shelf. Where did they come from?!

Now I’m at home sipping on some Cinnabon coffee and getting a few things done. I’m working on a workout for my first Women on Weights class that I’m teaching next week!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite kind of food? I love Mexican food. I could eat it everyday.
  • Do you ever do circuit workouts?
  • Favorite ab exercise?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out