Category Archives: Family Fun

Monday Randomness

Hello friends!

Yesterday, we got our Christmas tree!


We didn’t end up cutting one down this year so we just went to Menard’s and bought a small pre-cut tree.

It’s a little smaller than we’re used to but it was a lot cheaper and a good size for our living room especially when all the new puppy wants to do is eat it and knock it over!


We had fun decorating the tree and I tried out a new cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog.


I made her Funfetti Cookies Supreme which are frosted sugar cookies.

I didn’t add sprinkles to the cookie dough mix. I just let the kids decorate them after they were frosted.


It was my first time making frosting from scratch and I couldn’t believe how easy it was! These cookies were soft baked and so good.

Danny also put up some more Christmas decorations yesterday. I was very excited about a light-up deer that I bought on Black Friday…until Danny actually put it up. It was tiny!! Baylee was bigger than the deer!!

I guess I didn’t read the box very good and thought it was a larger light-up deer. Nope. It was only 24 inches tall.




I also planned out my week using my Erin Condren planner. I usually write everything out on Sunday night and add stuff as need throughout the week.


If you’re interested, you can save $10 on your first order with my coupon code:

This morning I went back to the gym. I was so happy to get back after a week of eating too much and not working out enough! Back on track!

Have a great day!!

  • What did you do over the weekend?
  • Did you put up a Christmas tree yet?



Filed under Family Fun, Recipes

Weekend Pictures

Our weekend in pictures.





Everybody loves the puppy:



Christmas tree farm where we didn’t end up getting a Christmas tree…but had fun anyway:



Baylee loved her sweater:


Now we are off to actually buy a Christmas tree! Enjoy your Sunday!

  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • What did you do this weekend?

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Filed under Family Fun

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


First, I have to share some pictures of our new puppy, Baylee! Jaden took this picture with his camera and I think it’s so adorable!



Jaden just loves her. :) Having  puppy is almost like have a baby – she pees whenever she wants, she chews everything, she wakes up in the middle of the night, she wants lots of attention. But she’s also so cute and so much fun.

Danny and I started our morning with a workout at the gym. We got in a good full body circuit workout and then I came home to bake and cook!


We are going to my grandparent’s house today to celebrate Thanksgiving and tomorrow I cook dinner to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom. I baked cookies for the kid’s room at the gym, the fitness desk at the gym, and for dessert tomorrow.

I made the Reese’s butterscotch cookies from Sally’s Baking addiction that I always make.


I also made chocolate chunk cookies.


I’m bringing carrots for dinner today and made an extra batch for dinner tomorrow.


These carrots are so good and easy to make! I buy the carrots julienned and add butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

Anyone going shopping tonight/tomorrow? I won’t go shopping today on Thanksgiving but Jaden already talked me into taking him to Petsmart bright and early tomorrow so he can get some stuff for Baylee!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  • Are you cooking today?
  • Favorite Thanksgiving food?
  • Are you going Black Friday shopping?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

A Wedding and A Puppy!

Hello, friends! What a crazy awesome weekend it’s been! On Friday night, we got the biggest November snowstorm in Chicagoland in 120 years.



We also attended my cousin’s wedding on Friday night and luckily we made it to the hotel before the snowstorm started. The front desk had hangover kits waiting for us when we checked in which I thought was such a great idea.


The hangover kit included a bottle of water, Tylenol, crackers, band-aids, and candy.

Danny and I:


The wedding was so much fun. The food was better than typical wedding food – salad, mostaccioli, Italian beef sandwiches, pizza. Yeah, I ate a lot.

My cousin in the middle was the bride. Her and her husband got married in Vegas so the reception was all Vegas themed.


The best part was that there wasn’t a wedding cake. Yes, I was happy there wasn’t a wedding cake. Because there was a donut table.


Donuts are a billion times better than cake. I have a strong love for donuts.

My stepmom and dad.


My stepmom just got her hair cut and I love it. I kind of want the same haircut.

We had so much fun at the wedding and I’m glad we ended up getting a hotel room because there was so much snow!

We left the hotel on Saturday morning and stopped at Danny’s parent’s house to pick up the kids.

When we got home, we had an early Christmas present delivered!!!


A puppy named Baylee!! Isn’t she adorable?!

Danny and I have thought about getting a dog for a long time and have been looking at adoption shelters for the past few months. Jaden has been wanting a dog forever and ever and even made a pretend dog out of a cardboard box.


We found Baylee at the Fetching Tails Foundation through the PetFinder website. We filled out an application and I thought we’d have to wait awhile before hearing back but we heard back the same day. The lady who fosters the puppies asked when we could come meet her and we went during Danny’s lunch break the next day. We originally wanted to wait until the weekend but the lady said the puppy had a lot of applications on her and probably would be adopted by the weekend.

Baylee is a lab/retriever mix and has seven brothers and sisters. She is only 11 weeks old. The puppies were born under a porch in Mississippi and just left there, uncared for by the family that owned the dog. The puppies got a skin infection from being abandoned but luckily it was treated and they are all fine!

The Fetching Tails Foundation took the puppies back to Illinois to foster with the deal that the family would spay their dog so this wouldn’t happen again.

We went to meet Baylee and she was the sweetest puppy in the world and we knew immediately that she would fit into our family. We wanted to give the kids a puppy for Christmas but this was happening a lot faster than we thought so we just decided to make Baylee an early Christmas present.

Our application was picked out of all the others because I am home a good portion of the day and puppies need lots of attention and to go outside a lot. I work 5 hours on Wednesday and Fridays which is the longest stretch of time that I’m gone but Danny comes home for lunch daily so Baylee won’t be home alone too long.

The lady from Fetching Tails said that she needed to do a home visit and meet the kids. We set it up for Saturday afternoon. She said that as long as everything went good she could leave Baylee with us on Saturday!

We told the kids that the post office called and said they got an early Christmas present for the kids that had to be delivered so it wouldn’t sit at the post office. Jaden waited anxiously for the delivery. I was so excited to see his reaction because he has been dying for a puppy.


When the lady arrived with the puppy wrapped in a blanket and a Petco bag, Jaden was so confused. He thought whatever the lady had in the bag was for him and Jacob and didn’t realize that the puppy was the delivery! I finally had to ask him what the lady was holding. He said a puppy. And I said yes, a puppy that’s going to live with us!

Once it finally dawned on him what was happening, he was so excited!! Jacob was just as excited too!

So, we are now the proud owners of a puppy named Baylee. :)



Puppies are definitely a lot of work and so far everything is going good. She has had a few accidents but we have puppy training pads and we bring her outside often.


One of the requirements from Fetching Tails is that we sign her up for puppy training classes. We have already spoke to the puppy training place and she will start classes when she is 5 months old in February. She will also get spayed in February.

We are crate training her and my brother-in-law’s mother-in-law was nice enough to borrow us a crate, toys, food bowls, and a puppy harness.


Baylee likes her crate. She naps in it and sleeps in it at night. We currently leave it open at the beginning of the night and she sleeps about half the night and then gets up to go potty and play a little bit before going back to sleep. Having a puppy is a lot like having a baby!

She loves to bite and chew so we have been working on that and have lots of chew toys for her.

We are so happy to have a dog in the house again! And the kids were so happy for their early Christmas present!


Have a great day!!

  • Do you have any pets?



Filed under Christmas, Family Fun

Family Fun and Workouts

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

On Friday night, I went with my grandma, aunt, and sister-in-law to a byow (bring your own wine :) ) dinner and craft show.


It was a fun girl’s night and I even got to paint a cute mason jar. That’s about the extent of my painting skills. Those are supposed to be snowflakes that I painted on there…

On Saturday, both the kids had doctor’s appointments and I got my first peppermint mocha of the season. Jaden got a kid’s hot cocoa with soy milk and at kid’s temperature. Such a Starbucks connoisseur.


I like the peppermint mocha but I’m not a huge fan of mocha coffee so it’s not my favorite but I do enjoy it every once in awhile.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. We did a glute and shoulder workout.


Our workout included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • reverse lunges
  • hip thrusts on the bench
  • shoulder presses
  • bent arm lateral raises
  • cable front raises

The weather was really nice yesterday so Danny started putting up the Christmas decorations.


It’s always better to put them up when it’s nice outside rather than when it’s freezing and snowing! And I heard we’re supposed to get some snow this weekend!

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick cardio workout before running some errands. Post workout, I had a protein shake.


Always trying to get that protein in!

Have a great day!

  • Are you creative or artistic? 
  • What did you do this weekend?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Halloween 2015

Happy November 1st!!! Let the holiday season begin!! I tried to get Danny to put up our outside Christmas decorations today but I don’t think he’s ready to jump aboard my All Things Christmas Holiday Train. 😉

Yesterday, we meet my mom and family friend at the mall so the kids could trick-or-treat a little bit. The mall was insane and that’s probably the last time I’ll do that but the kids had fun. In the afternoon, we went over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to go trick-or-treating and for dinner.

Jacob was a banana yet again. My niece was Skye from Paw Patrol and Jaden was a polar bear.


My dad and grandpa even got in on the fun by dressing up. My dad was a pirate.


My grandpa was a chef.


The weather was chilly and rainy but it really wasn’t too bad compared to some other years. It rained all day but it was more of a light mist while we were trick or treating.


Danny and I.


Those are the first pair of leggings/yoga pants that I have ever owned that I wore for real life and not working out. I was a little self conscious because I pretty much wear my big baggy Victoria’s Secret boyfriend sweatpants 24/7. These leggings are really comfortable and I liked them, I just have to get used to them. Danny told me I looked good about 74,000 times so I’m thinking he doesn’t love my giant sweatpants as much as I do. :)

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating and got lots of candy. It was so nice having Halloween on a Saturday this year!!

I definitely indulged in quite a bit of Halloween candy yesterday – sweets are my weakness! Danny and I made sure to get to the gym this morning for a glute/leg workout.


We did calf raises three ways to target the entire calf: toes together, heels together, and regular. We also did: deadlifts (lots of deadlifts!!), split squats, kettlebell swings, and hip thrusts on a bench. Well, I did hip thrusts. Danny did not.

We definitely got a great workout in this morning. After today, I going to take it a little easy on legs this week since I’m running the Hot Chocolate 5k next Sunday and I don’t want too much knee and quad pain.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • How was your Halloween?
  • Favorite Halloween candy?
  • What are you looking forward to about November/December?



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

Boo at the Zoo

This past Sunday, we went to Boo at The Zoo at Brookfield Zoo with Danny’s family.


Jaden wore his polar bear Halloween costume which I was a little nervous about since it’s pure white and he has to wear it to school on Friday and again on Halloween. But luckily, he managed to keep it pretty clean.


My nephew was the cutest little dinosaur.

It was such an amazing day and the weather was absolutely perfect. We got to the zoo just in time to see the zookeeper give pumpkins to the lions.


Honestly, the lions didn’t care too much about those pumpkins. They kind of sniffed them, knocked them down, and then went about their lion day but it was still fun to watch.


The kids loved seeing all the different animals and having fun at the zoo.



Jaden was very happy to be with the polar bears. He has loved polar bears since he was little and all he wanted to be this Halloween was a polar bear.


Polar bear costumes are harder to find than you might imagine but we managed to find one online. Luckily, it fit perfectly when it arrived.

We spent all day at the zoo and the kids were worn out by the time we were done.



I went to the gym this morning and did a back and shoulders workout and then I taught my Women on Weights class. I really love instructing the class. It’s a great group on women that come on a regular basis. Afterwards, I had a protein shake and a mug of hot caramel apple tea.


The weather is cold and rainy here today so the hot cup of tea was perfect!

Have a great afternoon!

  • When was the last time you went to the zoo?
  • Favorite zoo animal?

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Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

Halloween Food and Pumpkin Carving 2015

Hello! I hope you all had a great weekend!

On Saturday, we got together with my family for our annual Halloween food and pumpkin carving party. I love that we all keep coming up with different and fun Halloween food ideas even though we’ve been having this party for years!

Danny and I made peanut butter spider cookies and mummy pizzas.



The pizza was so good and so easy to make. This would make an awesome dinner on Halloween night if you have young kids. Jaden loved helping me make the mummy pizza and everyone loved eating it!

Jaden made a cool Halloween cake that was green, purple, orange, and black when you cut into it.


PicMonkey Collage





My grandparent’s made the main course which were country ribs with a red pepper to look like a heart.



My sister-in-law won first place in the food contest with her cleverly named “urine trouble” Halloween food! Don’t worry it was just jello!


After we ate lots of food, we moved onto the pumpkin carving portion of the night. Everyone’s pumpkins turned out amazing!

PicMonkey Collage1

My sister-in-law also won the pumpkin carving contest with her Avengers themed pumpkin. Two first place wins!


It was a fun night and I can’t wait to do it again next year!! Only five more days until Halloween!

  • Which was your favorite Halloween dish?
  • Have you ever made a Halloween-themed food?



Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Halloween

Thursday Randomness

Good afternoon, friends! I feel like I haven’t been around all week. I’ve just been busy with life.

Today I thought I’d just share some randomness with you. :)

I’ve been working a lot. Taking Jaden to school before I go to work:


We took the kids to the pumpkin farm just to walk around and see the Halloween sights.


Honestly, we just buy pumpkins at the grocery store because it’s so much cheaper but we just like to walk around the pumpkin farm. I think we’re going back to the pumpkin farm next week with my family to go on a haunted hay ride.

The kids had fun at the pumpkin farm. Jaden found a gourd that thoroughly disgusted him.


I just love his face in that picture!

Jaden checking for baby rattlers which were literally baby rattles.


Danny and I got apple cider donuts which were amazing. Even though they were delicious and I wanted more, I’m glad we only got one each because I could have easily eaten half a dozen of those delicious, fresh, apple donuts.


I’ve been working out and eating. I’ve been loving the Simply Balanced salmon from Target. I tried the chipotle bbq flavor recently. It was good but a little too spicy for my liking.


I also made roasted sweet potatoes. My sweet potatoes never seem to turn out very crispy but I read online that you can add a little bit of cornstarch to them to get them nice and crispy. Unfortunately, I added a bit too much cornstarch but I’ll know for next time to use less!

Jaden has resorted to making a dog out of a shoebox and paper because he has been dying to get a dog.


Jaden and I both have dog allergies but we’re okay with some dogs. We’re thinking about possibly getting the kids a dog for Christmas. We would like to adopt a dog from a shelter but we’re still researching hypoallergenic dogs. We would like a big dog and most hypoallergenic dogs seem on the smaller side. But we are looking into goldendoodles.

Jaden did do a really good making that dog. I was impressed. It actually stood on those paper legs and Jaden took it outside to play and everything. It only lasted about two days but it was a good two days. :)

Tomorrow I work during the day and then on Saturday, we’re having our annual family Halloween food and pumpkin carving contest! I can’t wait- it’s always such a fun day.

Here’s a few Halloween foods from past years:


Have a great day!

  • Do you have any pets?
  • Did you have a pet growing up?
  • Do you carve pumpkins?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween, Uncategorized

Halloween Party 2015

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

We had our annual Halloween party on Saturday night and it was so much fun seeing everyone’s costumes!

I went as the Energizer Bunny and Danny went as the Tooth Fairy! Danny was a surprisingly good sport about being the tooth fairy. :)



I originally made the pink tutu for my costume but it came out too big and poofy for my liking. I hated to waste it since I spent so much time and money making it so I randomly put it on Danny who looked so darn cute that the tooth fairy idea was born!

Even though my costume looks fairly simple, it took me a long time to make. For the drum, I bought a plain hat box. Danny cut off the top ridge of the box and I glued the circle part back onto the box. We spray painted it white and used blue duct tape and red sequin ribbon stuff for the details. I also used the duct tape to make a strap to wear around my neck.


I used Pringles cans covered in foil for the batteries. I taped on the Energizer logo and used black and silver paint for the details.


The drumsticks were easy to make. I bought a long dowel rod which Danny cut into two pieces then spray painted white. I bought two styrofoam egg shaped balls and painted them red.

Danny sharped the ends of the sticks so I could just insert them into the styrofoam.

I wore my own pink Under Armour shirt and I found pink Soffe shorts that matched perfectly. I found pink fishnet stockings at the Halloween store for $1. I bought pink socks and pink slippers.

I bought light-up bunny ears on Ebay and bought a bunny tail at the Halloween store. I had my $2 sunglasses from Kohl’s and I was all set!

I love how my costume turned out.

There were so many great costumes!



My dad was dressed as Chumlee from the tv show Pawn Stars. We actually met Chumlee a few years ago when we went to Las Vegas:






My brother and sister-in-law dressed up as Mario and Luigi but sadly, I didn’t get a good picture of them together.

My grandma, who is a professional baker and dressed up as a cupcake, made this awesome Halloween cake!


It was such a fun night! Next weekend, we have our annual pumpkin carving and Halloween food night! Lots of October fun!

Have a great day!

  • How was your weekend?
  • What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
  • Are you dressing up this year?


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Filed under Family Fun, Halloween