Category Archives: Family Fun

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

Booty Workout and Birthdays!

Hello! How are you all today?!

This morning I went to the gym and started with the Bikini Body Mommy cardio workout. These workouts usually require a lot of jumping moves which I was really feeling today. By the time I was done, my Achilles tendon was killing me.

I tend to have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to working out and often decide to push through when I have pain instead of stopping. I realize that this is not a good thing. Moral of the story: do not be like me. If you are injured or have pain, take it easy!

I know something is wrong with my Achilles and I know the jumping exercises aren’t helping. I really am going to try my best to take it easy. The nice thing is that a lot of exercises can be modified so I don’t have to jump. My plan is to lay off the jumping but still do what I can.

After the cardio workout, I worked on glutes. Lots of booty exercises!


I did:

  • step-up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • single leg hip bridges
  • sumo squats with a leg raise
  • donkey kicks
  • single leg deadlifts
  • squats

I did each exercises between 12-25 reps, depending on the exercise. I did three sets of each exercise. Then I foam rolled and stretched. It was a really good workout that left me tired and sweaty!!

Even though I still wear my FitBit Charge HR all day long, I use my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor to keep track of my exercise. I feel like it’s more accurate.

Yesterday for some reason, my Fitbit registered that I climbed 45 flights of stairs!


I definitely did not climb 45 flights of stairs. I didn’t really do anything different than I normally do so I can’t figure out why it thinks I’m climbing so many stairs. This is the first time it’s ever counted so many stairs. Interesting!

Hopefully it’ll be a little more accurate today.

Today is my dad’s birthday and tomorrow is my stepmom’s birthday. A big happy birthday to my dad and Sue!! Can’t wait to celebrate!!

PicMonkey Collage

Have a great day!!

  • For  those of you that have a FitBit Charge, does it overestimate stairs?!
  • Do you rest when your sore/injured or do tend to push through?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

An Off Week

Good morning.

I am so glad that today is Sunday, even though I did wake up at 6 am. I just can’t seem to sleep in on the weekends. This past week has been a really off week for me – diet and workout-wise.

There was no school one day, Jaden was sick a couple of days, my work hours changed slightly. I pretty much ate everything in sight all week and missed two workouts this week, and I never miss a workout!!

I was working until 2 pm on Wednesday and Fridays. Now, I’m working until 3 pm, which means I can’t workout after I get off work those two days because I  have to be home to get the kids off the bus.

Danny usually goes to the gym at 5 am during the week, so I can’t wake up early and go. I suppose my other options are to wake up early and work out at home or workout in the evening. I planned on working out Friday night but I forgot it was bingo night at Jaden’s school.

This week, I plan on focusing more on what needs to be done – planning my meals better so I don’t eat a whole bag of jelly beans (yes, that happened this week) and figuring out when to fit my workouts in.

I completely realize that people work full time jobs and have things a lot harder, but no matter what your schedule is, if it’s something you’ve been used to for years then it’s going to mess you up if it suddenly changes.


Of course, my first priority yesterday morning was to get to the gym!


I started with the Bikini Body Mommy Fit Test because I am a little behind on that workout.


I was happy because I improved all my scores from the previous Fit Test. It’s about an 8 minute workout, but it’s killer. Danny did it too and we were dead at the end. Dead. You’re only resting 10 seconds in between each exercise so it really keeps your heart rate up!

Danny and I worked on back and biceps and honestly it was a so-so workout. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was tired from being up early, my eye hurt (turns out my contact was ripped in half in my eye), and my leg was really bothering me.

We got through all our back exercises and half of our bicep exercises until I threw in the towel. My eye was killing me and I had to go home to fix it. Plus, I was just plain crabby.

After the gym, we stopped at Target where I bought Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn in the frosted sugar sugar cookie flavor!


I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to try it today. I imagine it’s going to be delicious. They also had a lemon drop kettle corn flavor but I was a little unsure about that flavor.

On today’s agenda is the gym, grocery shopping, and working for a few hours later. I really need to get back on track with my eating and workouts this week!

Have a great Sunday!

  • Do you ever have “off” weeks? I usually have off days, but rarely off weeks! Too much good food!
  • Did you do anything fun this weekend?
  • Favorite popcorn flavor?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

iFly Naperville

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

On Saturday afternoon, we took Jaden to iFly in Naperville. This was part of his birthday present.


I bought a gift card from Costco which included two 1 minute flights and the option to view your video online. It cost $40 at Costco. The price for the same package at iFly is $70.

I made reservations ahead of time online. I picked the time 1:30 pm and you’re supposed to arrive one hour before your scheduled time.

We got to iFly about 12:30 pm. We checked in and signed a waiver. We also paid an extra $10 to add a “high flight” for the last 20 seconds or so of the last flight. It might seem like a lot of money for only a few seconds but the high flight option is totally worth it. The instructor takes you almost all the way to the ceiling.

Then we went upstairs and watched other people taking their turns until they called the 1:30 pm group. There was about 15 flyers in the 1:30 pm group. The ages ranged from kids to adults. There were three kids in Jaden’s group and him and another boy were probably the youngest.

We watched a short video on how to hold your body when your flying and what to do once you’re in the wind tunnel. Then the instructor came in and went over the hand signals.


The wind tunnel is very loud and you are unable to hear so the instructor communicates with you using the hand signals.

After the video and instructions, all the fliers suited up.



Jaden wore a bodysuit, safety goggles, and a helmet. They also give you the option of wearing ear plugs. Once everyone is suited up, they all go into the wind tunnel waiting area and sit on a bench.


We couldn’t go in with Jaden since we weren’t flying but we could see him the whole time. Each person goes into the wind tunnel with the instructor for one minute. It was so fun watching everyone fly around!



After one minute is up, you exit the wind tunnel and go to the end of the line. Once everyone has flown once, they get one more one minute flight. This is where they do the high flight option.



Jaden and the instructor started spinning and off they went!

After the second flight, you go back and sit down until everyone has had their second turn.

Jaden was so excited when he got out and ran to give us a giant hug.


Overall, it was an awesome experience. Jaden had so much fun and already wants to know when he can go back!

On Saturday night, Danny and I took the kids to dinner at a hibachi restaurant.


They have never been to a hibachi restaurant and I knew they would love it. They loved seeing the fire and watching the food being cooked in front of them.


We ordered so much food and I left so full! It was so good. I was surprised that Jaden actually tried a bite of everything on his plate. All he really ended up eating though was two servings of steamed white rice.

It was a great day, a delicious dinner, and a nice way to spend Valentine’s Day with my family!

  • What did you do this weekend?



Filed under Dinner, Family Fun

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I forgot to mention some good news the other day – starting in March I will be getting my own group fitness class to teach!

Many of you know that I was teaching BodyPump before my hip surgery. After hip surgery, I don’t think BodyPump is something that I will return to teaching because the high amount of reps were hard on my body and my cartilage is already starting to wear away.

At first, I was upset about it, but honestly as much as I loved taking BodyPump classes, teaching the classes were a lot harder for me. Every BodyPump class is choreographed precisely to music so no matter where you go in the world the class will be exactly the same. Although the moves weren’t hard to learn, it was a little harder for me to be on exact count with the music if that makes sense. I’m not really a musically inclined person.

My new class will be Women on Weights which takes place on the fitness floor – no classroom, no music, just lots of strength training! I am very excited. I will be teaching Tuesday mornings which works out perfect!

Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day this year, I made Danny a Jack and Coke “cake”.


There’s a bottle of Jack Daniels in the middle, surrounded by cans of Coca Cola!

Danny and I were obviously meant to be together forever because we both bought each other a Reese’s peanut butter heart!


Danny also got me the donut coffee mug I’ve been wanting and a tub of Alpha Aminos, which I was very excited about – he knows me too well!


He also got me the cutest coffee mug that changes from asleep to awake as the coffee hits it! Very cute!



And last night at Whole Foods, we picked up some fresh chocolate covered strawberries that I will probably eat for breakfast.


We always get the kids a little Valentine’s treat and Jaden was very excited to get his.


My niece and Jaden made a really cute butterfly Valentine’s craft a few days ago.

n 015

We used toilet paper tubes and covered them with scrapbook paper and added hearts for the wings.

n 012

My niece had fun spreading the glue with a paintbrush.

n 005

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and remember, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all those that you love – moms, dad, grandparents, spouses, neighbors, kids, etc. Spread the love!!




Filed under Family Fun

Teddy Bear Party

Good Morning!

Yesterday morning, Danny and I headed to the gym. I started out with the 15 minute Bikini Body Mommy workout while Danny ran on the treadmill. Then we did some back exercises together.


We did incline dumbbell rows, lying lateral raises, wide grip lat pulldowns, seated rows, t-bar raises, and good mornings. We finished with a few core exercises and some foam rolling. The BBM workout includes a lot of jumping exercises so my calves are always incredibly tight. I always make sure to save a few minutes for foam rolling and stretching at the end of a workout.

After our workout, I had a meeting at work, and then I came home to start getting ready for Jaden’s family birthday party.


We started out with a little FitBit meet-up. :)


There’s so many of us that have Fitbits! It’s fun too because we can create challenges against each other and cheer for each other.

Jaden’s birthday is next week but we had his party yesterday since next weekend is Valentine’s Day.

My super talented Grandma made Jaden this awesome teddy bear cake:


Didn’t it come out awesome?!


Jaden loves his teddy bears so I thought it would be fun if everyone surprised him with a stuffed animal as a gift. He was so excited and surprised for all his new animals.




My in-laws got him a little stuffed puppy that actually looks like it’s breathing. It was so realistic looking. Of course, all the kids loved the puppy. My niece even announced that she wanted to take it home.


My sister-in-law, Crystal, found the new Red Velvet Oreos and brought them to the party. Danny and I actually checked three stores for them the night before but couldn’t find them.


I’m not really a fan of regular Oreos (but I could eat a whole box of those mini peanut butter Oreos!) but the Red Velvet Oreos were very good.

I’m very lucky to have such a close and giving family to help make Jaden’s birthday special!

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

  • Do you like the flavored Oreos? Favorite?
  • When is your birthday?
  • Favorite back exercises?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Blizzards and Baking

Good morning!

How was your weekend?

On Saturday night, we went out to dinner for my friend Jenny’s birthday.


We went to a hibachi restaurant and it was so much fun. I think I’ve only been to a hibachi restaurant one time before when I was a lot younger.



After dinner, we picked up the kids from my mom’s house and that’s when the snow started. We had a winter storm warning and by that night, it was upgraded to a blizzard warning. Gotta love Chicago.

Sunday we were pretty much stuck inside all day because of the snow. Our Superbowl plans were canceled since driving was out of the question. Luckily, Danny went to the store on Saturday to buy fajita makings.

Since we were stuck inside during a blizzard, I decided to bake. I made S’mores bars. Amazing.


The recipe, of course, is from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I think it’s my life’s goal to make every single dessert from her blog. They are all amazing!


My dad also randomly showed up on our doorstep during the day. Apparently, he was “testing the roads.” It was before the worst of the blizzard started so he made it back home okay.


We ate fajitas and s’mores bars, and watched the Superbowl and commercials.

Needless to say, school was canceled for today. My plans are to do the Bikini Body Mommy workout at home and maybe another exercise DVD. I don’t usually workout at home unless I have to but when I do, I’d rather follow an exercise DVD or a YouTube video.

Have a great Monday!!

  • Did you watch the Superbowl? Favorite commercial?
  • Did it snow where you live?
  • Are you working out today?





Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

The Perfect Day

Do you ever have one of those day when everything just goes right? Like perfect. Like you probably should play the lotto because you’re having such an awesomely perfect day?!  Like you dance around your house for no reason except that you’re happy because you’re having such a absolutely incredible day?!

Well, I had that day yesterday.

Of course, I have days when things go right or I’m happy but it seemed like the world was in my favor yesterday and everything was just awesome.

First, like I mentioned yesterday, I had a meeting about working at the fitness desk at my gym. I originally thought I’d have to work at 4:30 am (yes, I said 4:30 am) or 2 pm. Both times are terrible for my schedule with the kids. I’d have to pay for Jaden to go to before care at his school. I’d have to figure out how to get Jacob on the bus. And I’d have to wake up at 3:15 am. (if you’re someone who does this regularly, I feel for you. I am not a 3:15 am person).

I mentioned in my meeting that I am unable to work on Mondays and Thursdays because I watch my niece and 9 am – 2 pm was the most ideal time for me. Well, low and behold, there was a 9 am – 2 pm position open on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Check one for me. It was like fate. Perfection.

Next, I went to the grocery store. As I’ve mentioned a million times, I usually drink a Rockin’ Refuel protein drink after every workout. They can be a little pricey, up to $2 a bottle, but yesterday the grocery store had them on sale for $1.25 a bottle.


Danny mentioned that I bought a lot of protein drinks. E

Another check in my favor. Yay for saving money.

After dinner, we stopped at Target so I could look for black pants for work. I hate buying pants in general. I especially hate jeans. Pants never seem to fit me right. Don’t even get me started on jeans and most yoga/stretchy pants are too darn short.

Well, yesterday at Target, I managed to find not one but two pairs of black pants in a long size. The best part?! They were a size small. Woo hoo! This was like the most exciting thing for me. I don’t think I would ever be considered small. I am a tall girl. I’m 5’8″. I got some hips on me (child bearing hips as one of my nice doctors referred to them). So, I was elated that not only did I find stupid pants that fit but they were long and a size small.


Two checks for me because that’s awesome.

Target was a great trip all around last night. My Instagram friend, Suzanne, shared a picture of jelly bean and confetti cake gum yesterday and being the gum addict that I am, I was determined to find it.


Target for the win!

#GumLife. Another check for me.

Then, we headed down the frozen aisle. Most nights after dinner, Danny and I eat a Yasso Greek yogurt bar as our evening treat. They’re low in calories and have some protein so they’re a great healthy treat, but they can be expensive. At Target, they’re normally $3.99 a box for four bars. At other grocery stores they’re $4.99 a box.

Well, Target had two new flavors that I’ve never seen before, chocolate chip cookie dough and coffee chocolate chip, for $1 a box. Yes, you read that right. $1 a box! And they weren’t even on sale or clearance. They were regularly priced at $1 a box, although the other flavors were still $3.99.


I couldn’t figure out why they were a dollar. Maybe they were marked wrong? But I was at another Target earlier in the week and they cost the same but they were completely gone at that Target. We bought five boxes.

Another check for me.

I was having such a great day, I ate two of those bars and didn’t even feel guilty about it.

So as you can see, yesterday was just one of those days when everything falls into place, and everything is right in the universe.

I should have played the lotto.


This morning, Danny and I went to the gym.


We worked on back and biceps which we haven’t done it a couple of weeks and it was tough.


We did: seated rows, lat pulldowns, straight arm dumbell pullovers, dumbbell rows, deadlifts, bicep curls, bicep curl machine, cable machine curls. Woo! It was tough today!

We’re supposed to get big snowstorm tonight so our plans for the Superbowl might be changed for tomorrow. :( We might end up staying home, watching the game, and eating fajitas.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

  • Have you ever had a perfect day?
  • Are you going to watch the Superbowl?
  • Any Superbowl recipes to share?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Cake Batter Blondies and A Shoulder Circuit Workout

Good afternoon! I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Yesterday, we had dinner with my family so I made cake batter blondies to bring.

I have to share the recipe because they were so delicious. And the best part is that they were one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made!

Of course, I got the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Her blog is pretty much the only place I’ve been going to for dessert recipes.


Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 11 x 7 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together cake mix, canola oil, egg, and milk in a  large bowl.
  3. Stir in sprinkles and white chocolate chips. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Spread into a 11 x 7 baking pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes before cutting.


So easy! So darn good!

Jaden was on a strict dairy-free for three weeks and finally this weekend he was allowed a little bit of dairy so he was so excited for these blondies!

Also, I didn’t have a 11 x 7 pan but Danny went to the store to look for one and he found one for only $3.99. You definitely need a 11 x 7 pan for these to come out perfect. A 9 x 9 pan might work but you’d have to increase the cooking time.

Today’s Workout

Danny and I ate way too much this weekend! We had two family dinners this weekend with lots of food and dessert so we made sure to get out butts to the gym today.

My leg has been really sore lately so we stuck with a shoulder workout.


This is the shoulder circuit workout that we did. We repeated the circuit four times, resting about two minutes in between. By the four set, my shoulders were dying!

We also pretty much used all the weights. Good thing we had a small spot at the gym to ourselves.


Before the gym this morning, I went grocery shopping. I found the new Chobani grape yogurt but I didn’t buy it.


I like grapes and I like yogurt but I don’t know if I like grape yogurt. Has anyone tried this flavor yet? Thoughts?

Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite dessert?




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

Eating, Losing Weight, and The Gym

As I type this, my sister-in-law, Crystal, is running the Disney World Marathon. She ran the half marathon yesterday with her cousin, Becky, and is running the full marathon today. That’s 39.3 miles in two days. I am so proud of her. That is an accomplishment that not many people can say they’ve done.

She had her personal reasons for wanting to run the half marathon and full marathon together and after a lot of time, an injury, and hard work, she will accomplish her goal! Great job, Crystal!!

She even got to meet Jeff Galloway, whose training plan she’s been following for the half marathon/marathon!


Go, Crystal, Go!

The Weekend

As I’ve mentioned before, the weekends are always a struggle for me when it’s comes to sticking to healthy eating. Danny’s home, the kids are home, we’re out and about. My schedule is different and that always messes me up. However, I have been doing pretty good this weekend. Granted, it is only Sunday morning so I’ll have to see how today goes.

I have finally accepted the fact that there is no magic pill or secret diet or unhealthy detox to weight loss. It’s simply eating healthy, exercising, and burning more calories than you consume. Eat good foods. Eat protein. Eat whole grains. Eat fruits and veggies. Eat treats in moderation.

For me personally, my “weight loss rules” consist of burning more calories than I eat and be in a deficit. 3500 calories equal a pound. So if I have a 500 calorie deficit a day (through exercise and diet) that’s a pound of weight loss a week.  I use My Fitness Pal to track my calories and the FitBit and heart rate monitor to track my calories burned.


I realize that both these devices just estimate for the most part so I just use the numbers as a guide. Then, I record my numbers on paper so I can see the difference.


I also make sure that I’m eating enough fat and protein and not too many carbs. If I stick to 1500 calories a day that doesn’t mean I can eat 1500 calories of rice, bread, and fruit. There has to be a healthy balance.

Finally, I always save calories at the end of the day for a treat. I feel like when I deprive myself of all treats is when I tend to overeat. Danny and I usually eat a Yasso Greek yogurt bar, a Special K brownie, or a candy candy tootsie pop.

This past week, I did perfect all week. I stuck to my calorie goal everyday and burned more than I consumed. I decided that if I eat perfect all week, I would let myself have one meal on the weekend that I didn’t worry about. I’m not calling it a cheat meal because I really don’t feel like any food is ever off limits to me. It’s simply portion control and moderation for any food.

I really wanted to go out to a Mexican restaurant but Jaden is on a very strict dairy free diet for two weeks so there wouldn’t be anything he could eat and that kids loves cheese quesadillas with sour cream so it was just a bad idea. Instead, I made chicken fajitas at home.

Even though I ate a good amount of food – chicken fajitas with cheese and sour cream, chips and salsa, and Phish Food ice cream for dessert, I still felt better about eating at home than I did about eating out. And today, I am back to tracking my food and going to the gym.

Note: I just want to say that I realize all the calorie counting and figuring out numbers might be slightly obsessive but it’s the only way that weight loss works for me. If I don’t have concrete numbers and food portions to follow, I tend to overeat and not really care. Weight loss is different for everyone and this is what works for me. You can lose weight and not even record a single number but I have found that method doesn’t work for me. However, it does work for Danny. He simply eats smaller portions, adds more fruit and veggies, and goes to the gym and he loses weight. Everyone is different.

Working Out

Jacob had an eye doctor appointment yesterday morning and it always takes hours so I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it to the gym. Instead, I woke up early and did the Bikini Body Mommy Day #6 workout twice.

Today, Danny and I went to the gym.


We worked on back and biceps. Unfortunately, I hurt my wrist halfway through biceps so I wasn’t able to finish. My wrist has been bothering me lately, but I really messed it up today. I’m going to have to take it easy on my wrist for awhile.

Have a great afternoon!!

  •  What’s the farthest you’ve ever run?
  • Do you have any weight loss tips that work for you?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out