Category Archives: Family Fun

Thanksgiving Eve

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Tomorrow is a day for family, being thankful, and let’s face it – lots of food!!

I finally used up my last Vue cup in my Keurig coffee maker and I am back to using regular k-cups now.

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I was excited to try out the butterscotch coffee. It was very good – the perfect amount of flavor!

Yesterday

Yesterday morning, I didn’t go to the gym because Jacob had his first orthodontist appointment to get his braces tightened (I don’t miss those days!). The appointment went really fast and we were in and out of the office quickly.

We came home and Jaden and I decorated the fridge and worked on some snowman ornaments.

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I loved how the ornaments turned out! We just put cotton balls into a clear ornament, added a face, and then hot glued on the pipe cleaner and pom poms to look like earmuffs.

In the afternoon, I had physical therapy. Since I ran four minutes on Sunday, I was able to run five minutes at physical therapy yesterday.

I have been trying to increase my speed a little bit but my physical therapist said that it would be better for me to work on endurance rather than speed. She said I can add two more minutes to my running time but not to worry about going fast.

I’m going to try to stick with about 5 mph as long as my hip feels okay and work on being able to run longer, not faster. I’ve noticed that the faster I run the more I feel it in my hip so I’m going to make sure to take it slow.

Today

This morning for breakfast, I had apple cinnamon steel cut oats.

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I saw these at the store over the weekend decided to given them a try. Thankfully, they were really good because they were buy one, get one free at the store so now I have twenty packets of oats.

I’m letting the kids sleep in a bit today because we’ve been getting up early the past few days and Jaden was so crabby all day yesterday. Once they wake up, I plan on going to the gym and then going to the store.

On Thanksgiving, we go to my grandparent’s house every year. On Friday, my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece come over to our house and I cook Thanksgiving dinner. So after the gym I need to get the rest of the food for Friday.

On the menu for Thanksgiving Friday:

  • turkey
  • cheesy potato casserole
  • rolls
  • stuffing
  • carrots
  • corn casserole souffle
  • cranberry sauce
  • one baked potato for Jaden because he is obsessed
  • pumpkin pie

I plan on making the potatoes and stuffing ahead of time so I can just pop them in the oven when the turkey comes out. Yum!

I have been eating so much more this past weekend and this week than usual. Holidays are always so hard because there’s so much delicious food everywhere. I am looking forward to getting back on track after this weekend. :)

Have a great day!

  • What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you cook?

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Working Out

Monk Fruit in the Raw

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 reflect the the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product. 

As a Moms Meet blogger, I was recently given the opportunity to try out Monk Fruit in the Raw.

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I usually use sugar alternatives in my coffee and tea, so I looked forward to trying Monk Fruit in the Raw in place of my normal sweetener.

Monk Fruit in the Raw is a zero-calorie sweetener made with real monk fruit, a vine-ripened fruit from Asia. The monk fruit is blended with other sweeteners to create the perfect balance of sweet. It’s great in your morning cup of coffee.

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Monk Fruit in the Raw can also be used to replace regular sugar. You can use it in cooking or baking. The taste of Monk Fruit in the Raw is the closest taste to regular sugar of all the non-caloric sweeteners and it doesn’t have bad aftertaste!

Monk Fruit in the Raw conversion chart:

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I like that the Monk Fruit in the Raw comes in two different packages – individual packets for coffee and tea and a large package to use for baking. And it’s very reasonably priced. The individual packets are about $3.49 for 40 packets and the Monk Fruit in the Raw Bakers Bag is only $6.99.

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Monk Fruit in the Raw is vegan, kosher, and gluten-free. It doesn’t contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols, or molasses.

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I used one packet in my coffee. I also added one tablespoon of cream and it was perfect! The Monk Fruit in the Raw adds just the right amount of sweetness without adding any extra calories or carbs.

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I watch my niece two days a week and my sister-in-law usually drops her off at about 7 am. Since she’s here early, we decided to try out a breakfast recipe using Monk Fruit in the Raw.

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We made cinnamon and Monk Fruit in the Raw French toast!

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Cinnamon and Monk Fruit in the Raw French Toast               Serves:2

Ingredients:

  • four slices of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk (we used honey almond milk)
  • 2 tsp Monk Fruit in the Raw
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk eggs. Add Monk Fruit in the Raw and cinnamon. Whisk together.
  3. Dip each slice of bread into egg mixture and put onto hot pan. Cook each side until browned, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.
  4. Add you favorite toppings and enjoy!

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This is a super easy breakfast and loved by adults and kids!

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You can learn more about In The Raw products on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Do you use a sugar substitute? 

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Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Product Review, Recipes

Good morning – I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

On Friday, Danny had a half day of work, and we went to Jaden’s parent visitation day at his school.

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Afterwards, Danny and I grabbed a quick lunch at Whole Foods.

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I love their California rolls. :)

Friday afternoon, I had physical therapy and was able to run for three minutes on the treadmill. I also did a lot of leg work including lunges. I was a little worried about doing the lunges because the last time I did lunges at physical therapy, my quad was in pain for days.

This time, my physical therapist had me foam roll right after I did them, and I haven’t had any pain! Yay!

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. I started out by running four minutes on the treadmill. Since I feel okay running, I’ve been trying to increase my speed slightly. I ran at 5.4 mph. It’s amazing how fast you lose your fitness level after taking time off. I haven’t run in over four months and those measly four minutes at 5.4 mph left me out of breath!

I just have to work on building my endurance back up.

We also did some back exercises including:

  • close grip lat pull downs
  • seated rows
  • t-bar raises
  • deadlifts
  • renegade rows

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It was a great workout and I’m really feeling it today!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to my in-laws to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.

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We did it a little early because everything is so busy on Thanksgiving that it’s hard to get together with all of our family members.

I ate way too much and I ate turkey this year! I have been a vegetarian for many years so I haven’t had turkey in a long time! I just started eating chicken and turkey this year so it was nice to have a little turkey yesterday.

I’m not really a meat person and would be totally fine if I never had meat again, but sometimes I struggle with getting enough protein so eating chicken helps me get more protein in my diet.

The kids are off of school this week for Thanksgiving break and we have a few things going on – parent/teacher conferences, orthodontist appointment, physical therapy, Thanksgiving meal planning and shopping. There’s never a dull moment around here!

Have a wonderful day!!

  • Favorite Thanksgiving food?
  • Did you workout today?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Running, Working Out

Best Appointment Ever

Good afternoon! How was your weekend? Before I get into my weekend, I have some great news to share – the doctor gave me the okay to start a run/walk program!

I am so happy!

I had my post surgery check-up with my hip doctor this morning. Can you believe it’s been 4.5 months since my surgery?!

He said that as long as my quad and hip didn’t bother me too much, I could start a run/walk program in 5 minutes increments.

So the first day, I would run one minute and walk four minutes. I would repeat this a few times as long as I felt good. Then I would not be able to run the next day and the following day, I would run two minutes and walk three minutes for a few intervals. Then I would rest the next day and continue with three minutes of running and two minutes of walking.

I would repeat this until I am up to about 10-15 minutes of straight running! Yay! But if my quad starts to burn like it tends too when I overdo it then I need to scale back. He said the quad pain should go away in the next few months but not overnight.

He also gave me the okay to do some group fitness classes like yoga, Pilates, strength training classes, etc as long as I start slow and avoid any position where I have to turn my body because my hip isn’t quite ready for that yet.

Overall, my said my progress looks great and the range of motion in my hip looks great. I just have to continue doing closed circuit exercises such as squats, lunges, and the leg press to help regain more strength in my leg. He said I should also be fine with doing physical therapy once a week. My next appointment is at the beginning of January to check on my progress.

Yay!!

Let’s back up to this weekend…

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I was making breakfast before Danny and I went to the gym and I cracked open a double yolk egg!

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I was a little more excited than I care to admit about that double yolk because that’s never happened to me and I thought it was so cool. But I also thought it was weird and wouldn’t eat it. I gave it to Danny instead.

After breakfast, we went to the gym. Danny and I did some back exercises including:

  • lat pulldowns
  • seated rows
  • t-bar raises (a new favorite!)
  • straight arm pullovers
  • deadlifts
  • bentover rows

After our workout, we stopped at the Giving Tree and picked out some tags to buy toys for kids for Christmas. We picked three tags for boys and then we’ll go back and deliver our toys to the box.

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It’s a great way for the kids to help others who might not have as much as they do. They really look forward to it every year and enjoy picking out a toy for a kid their age.

Saturday evening, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner. Crystal made a delicious chicken tortilla stew for dinner. I made a no-bake chocolate lasagna for dessert.

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Jaden helped. He is my little chef, One of his favorite tv shows is Chopped on The Food Network.

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The chocolate lasagna was so easy to make and so delicious! I found the recipe on Pinterest (of course!). The bottom layer was a Oreo crust. Danny and Jaden crushed the Oreos and I added some melted butter so they would stay together in the bottom of the pan. The next layer was cream cheese mixed with one cup Cool Whip, sugar, and a little milk. The third layer was chocolate pudding and the top layer was Cool Whip. I topped the whole thing with chocolate chips.

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Yum!

On Saturday, we also stopped at Old Navy because they were having 50% off all outwear until 1 pm. I was looking for a coat for Jacob but all the ones in his size were just too thin. I did find a black vest with a fur hood for myself for 50%.

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I used to have a black vest from H&M that I loved and suddenly I can’t find it. I have had it for years and years but now it’s just gone. I was happy to find a new one at Old Navy even though I had to ask an employee to take one off a mannequin because it was the only one in my size.

Sunday

Saturday evening was the first snow we’ve had that actually stuck and Jaden was so excited to build a snowman on Sunday. A mini snowman.

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Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym again and worked on shoulders. We had a good workout and then came home to watch The Bears and The Blackhawks.

And that was my weekend!

  • How was your weekend?
  • Have you gotten snow yet?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Running

Increasing My Distance

Happy birthday to my sister-in-law, Crystal!

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We went out Saturday night to Carrabba’s to celebrate!

Danny and I:

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Jaden and my mom:

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Today

This morning, I went my longest distance on the treadmill since my hip surgery – four miles! A fitting distance since my surgery was four months ago yesterday!

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It definitely took me a while to complete four miles, and I am really feeling it in my hip and leg now so I am going to take it easy for the rest of the day. I’m happy that I can finally start increasing my distance.

After the treadmill, I worked on biceps and finished up my workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

I haven’t worn my Polar heart rate monitor lately, so I wore it today and I burned over 800 calories!

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After the gym, I stopped at Wal-Mart and I could not pass up these peppermint ice cream Drumsticks.

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Peppermint ice cream is one of all time favorite ice creams and I wait all year to eat it. I have never seen peppermint Drumsticks before, so I had to buy them!

They also had Amy’s full-size pizzas for $5.47 which is the cheapest I have seen them anywhere.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite holiday/seasonal food? I love peppermint ice cream, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie!
  • Did you workout today?

 

5 Comments

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

Halloween Weekend

Happy Monday! How was your weekend and Halloween?

Friday afternoon, Jaden has his Halloween party at school. His costume was a light-up stick man, but unfortunately it broke at school so he had to wear his costume from last year to trick-or-treat.

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We meet my brother, sister-in-law, and niece at my dad and step mom’s house to take the kids trick-or-treating.

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The weather was cold and extremely windy. I was very happy to be done trick-or-treating after about an hour and a half.

My the time we got back to my dad’s house, my hands were bleeding even though I wore gloves and my cheeks were red and wind burned and they stayed red for two days.

I always tell Danny that my body just wasn’t made for cold weather and we should move somewhere warm.

On Saturday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together. We haven’t been to the gym together in forever. We did some back exercises together and then I did some of my physical therapy exercises.

Our back exercises included:

  • seated rows
  • lat pulldowns
  • straight arm pullovers
  • deadlifts

I haven’t done deadlifts since my surgery and I was very happy that my hip seemed to be fine with them!

After the gym, we stopped at Starbucks and I was very excited to see that they had the holidays drinks! Of course, I had to have a gingerbread latte :)

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Saturday night, my in-laws watched the kids so Danny and I could have a date night.

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We went to Mago’s Mexican restaurant and then saw a movie. We were going to see The Maze Runner but decided to see Gone Girl at the last minute. I’m glad we did because Gone Girl was just as crazy as the book.

I’ve read the book but Danny hasn’t so it was fun seeing his reaction to the movie.

Sunday evening we watched Skyscraper Live to see Nik Wallenda walk blindfolded across Chicago skyscrapers. It was so cool to see something like that happening so close to home. Just watching him walk across two skyscrapers on a wire less than an inch wide without a safety harness or safety net was enough to make me want to faint!

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I’m off to the gym this morning! Have a great day!!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you seen/read Gone Girl?
  • Are you afraid of heights?

4 Comments

Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Halloween, Working Out

Halloween Food and Pumpkin Carving Party 2014

On Sunday afternoon, we got together at my grandparent’s house for our annual Halloween food and pumpkin carving party.

Every year, we all bring a Halloween food dish that we keep secret until the party. We have fun seeing what everyone brought and tasting them! Then, we spend the afternoon carving our pumpkins.

Once all the food has been tasted and all the pumpkins have been carved, we vote for our favorites. We have been having this party for years and we still somehow manage to come up with new food ideas every year!

This year, Danny and  I made eyeball cookies that I found on Pinterest.

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They were really easy to make and I separated the dough into four bowls so I could dye each one a different color.

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We also made pumpkin pie fluff dip with apples and animal crackers as dippers.

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There were so many great foods this year!

Vampire teeth donuts:

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Vampire teeth cookies:

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Bat poop:

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Blood clot biscuits (made with biscuits and cherries):

079I heard these biscuits were delicious, but I couldn’t bring myself to try them.

Pumpkin pot pie:

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Mini pot pies:

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Infested brain jello:

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“Nigel” – the man made of meat:

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After all the delicious food, we got to work on our pumpkin carving.

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Honestly, pumpkin carving isn’t my favorite thing to do so this year I painted my pumpkins.

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I painted them like donuts! I thought them came out so cute!

My sister-in-law, Crystal, did an amazing job on her pumpkin. Instead of carving, she transformed her pumpkin into a candy corn blow fish! She spent a long time on that pumpkin and did such a great job!

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There were a bunch of great pumpkins!!

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Well, except for trick-or-treating, all of our Halloween festivities are over for the year! I can’t wait to see what next year brings!!

Have a great day!

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Halloween Game 2014

Yesterday when I was talking about our annual Halloween game, I completely forgot that it was my dear, sweet, wonderful Aunt Pam who started the whole Halloween game in the first place.

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She started it about five years ago with a Pirate Murder Mystery Dinner game. I’m pretty sure I ended up being the murderer that year.

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Since my grandparent’s hosted the game last night, this means next year it’s back to my aunt to host!

Yesterday’s game was a lot of fun.

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We split up into three teams and had to follow clues to certain locations to retrieve items in our team’s color.

We saw some scary stuff along the way.

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At the end, one member of our team had to bob for apples!

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It was a lot of fun and a great family game that brought us all a little closer! :)

Today

This morning, the four of us got flu shots and then we had a bunch of errands to run. We had a last minute change to Danny’s Halloween costume so we had to go to a few different stores to get what we needed!

Then we came home, got our costumes ready, hallowed out our pumpkins, and started our Halloween food for tomorrow!

I am very excited to tonight’s Halloween party!

Have a great weekend!!

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This weekend is our biggest Halloween weekend yet! We have lots planned.

Tonight, we have a Halloween game planned by my grandparents. Saturday we have our big Halloween party and costumes will be revealed. And Sunday we have our annual pumpkin carving and Halloween food night.

It’s going to be a super busy weekend but tons of fun!

Friday Favorites

  • My Family

I am very lucky to such a close family, even if we get a little crazy around the holidays! Tonight, I am looking forward to our annual Halloween game. My aunt and uncle are even flying in from California to join in all the Halloween fun!

My dad first had the idea of doing a Halloween game a few years ago. He did the game the first year which included a lot of clues and finding certain items, scavenger hunting, and trivia.

The game begins…

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My sister-in-law hosted the game the next year and she made it more of an Amazing Race style game…complete with having to lie inside a coffin.

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There was a camera in the coffin so everyone could watch you freak out from the outside.

P1010253I was plugging my ears in the above picture. For some reason plugging my ears makes me feel safer?!

I made up the game last year and it was a huge scavenger hunt with mini games along the way.

One of the scavenger hunt items was to find a black cat.

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Mission accomplished.

This year my grandparent’s are hosting the game and I am really excited to play tonight!

  • The Gym

I really do love the gym. I workout about 5 days a week.

Yesterday, I was finally able to walk one mile on the treadmill since having hip surgery…so of course, I had to take a bathroom selfie.

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After having hip surgery and not being able to do much of anything for awhile, I really appreciate the fact that I can workout. Being stuck in bed is no fun and I don’t take being able to workout for granted.

I used to be able ti run miles and now my biggest accomplishment is being able to walk one mile without stopping. But it’s progress and that’s what’s important.

  • Throwback Pictures

I posted this old picture on Instagram yesterday. I love looking at old pictures of my kids and seeing how much they’ve grown, especially Jacob.

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Jacob was probably about two or three in this picture and it’s amazing seeing him grow since he was only 1 lb and 14 oz when he was born. He was a micropreemie and I love seeing him go from being tiny to a toddler to a teenage.

And I look really young in that picture. That’s a plus. :)

Fun Fact: Jacob has been wearing glasses since he was 6 months old. People always used to ask me if he was wearing real glasses. No, I put fake glasses on my infant. Yes, they’re real.

  • Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Refuel

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I found these protein drinks at the grocery store and I bought one to try. They are delicious and  I love that they have 20 grams of protein. I have been drinking one after my workout.

I’m off to the gym this morning and then I have a bunch of errands to run to get ready for this weekend! Have a great Friday!!

  • What are your Friday favorites?

 

 

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness

Shoulder Workout and Pumpkin Farm

Good morning! Happy Sunday!

On Friday morning, I went to the gym and did a shoulder workout. I am always looking for new shoulder exercises to do and I found a great shoulder workout on the FitnessRX website.

I did the “Ultimate Shredder” workout which consisting on the following exercises done in a giant set:

  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
  • Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Raises
  • Dumbbell Seated Rear Delt Raises

I did each exercises for 20 reps back to back with no rest in between. I repeated it five times with two minutes rest in between sets. By the time I was done, my shoulders were dead. Dead. That was a tough workout.

I finished up my workout with a little bit of my physical therapy exercises and some core work. I am very happy because my physical therapist gave me the okay to do sit-ups on the stability ball, side planks, and regular planks. I had to start with doing the regular planks on my knees because my adductor muscle would kick in when it shouldn’t but now I can do a plank on my toes for 30 seconds.

I am just very happy to be progressing and getting back to where I used to be pre-surgery. Darn hip bone being all misshapen.

Saturday

On Saturday, we went to a local pumpkin farm with my mom.

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It was beautiful out yesterday, and the pumpkin farm was crowded. I am the kind of person that can’t handle large crowds for very long. Luckily, the pumpkin farm in large and spread out so it wasn’t too bad.

The kids went on some rides.

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Jaden’s favorite part was riding the camel.

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In totally unrelated news, my brother in law was on the news the other day!

He is a firefighter and the local news station does a feature on Firehouse Chefs. Local firefighters come into the station and get to cook their recipe on tv! I thought it was very cool!!

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Have a great Sunday!

  • Favorite shoulder exercise?
  • Do you go to the pumpkin farm?
  • Have you ever been on tv?

3 Comments

Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out