Category Archives: Family Fun

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

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?




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