Category Archives: Family Fun

Birthday Fun

Good afternoon! How are you all doing?

Last Friday was my birthday so we spent the weekend celebrating. Last weekend, we went over to my dad and stepmom’s house for dinner and cake.

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On my actual birthday, my dad took me out to lunch.

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I had the macadamia crusted halibut with lemon cream sauce which was amazing and they brought me out tiramisu for a birthday dessert!

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On Saturday night, my mom watched the kids when Danny and I went out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law.

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We went to the Grand Crab Buffet at Shaw’s Seafood Restaurant (also known as the most expensive dinner in the world). At least the all-you-can-eat crab legs were worth it. :) Crab legs are one of my favorite foods but reserved for special occasions.

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After dinner, we went to a local bar and had a few drinks. We picked the kids up on Sunday and my mom had a birthday cake for me.

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Thank you to all of my family for making my birthday so wonderful –  I truly am blessed with the best husband, kids, and family.

My step-brother turned 21 yesterday so of course we had to add a few decorations to his house as a birthday surprise.

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His girlfriend’s 21st birthday was the day before mine so we will be going out this weekend to celebrate! We have a lot of May birthdays in my family. My son, Jacob, is in May as well as both my in-laws.

Besides all the birthday fun, I’ve been working at the gym and working out at the gym. Basically, I’m at the gym a lot – which is what I love!

Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • When is your birthday? Favorite age so far?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun

Life Lately

Good afternoon! How have you all been?! I have been busy with life and work and kids and all that good stuff. :)

Last week  Jacob turned 15!

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Celebrating with a cinnamon roll for breakfast.

It still boggles my mind that he’s 15 years old and will be gtting his learner’s permit later this year. It seems like only yesterday he was born 15 weeks early, weighing in at only 1 pound and 14 ounces. Now he’s almost done with his first year of high school. It’s amazing how fast the time goes.

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We also celebrated Mother’s Day on Saturday with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Sunday was the first Mother’s Day that I was able to sleep late for the first time in about five years (and by late, I mean about 7:30 am). I usually run the Run Like a Mother 5k with my family but unfortunately the race wasn’t held this year. Hopefully it’ll be back this year!

Jaden picked me some beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day.

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On Mother’s Day morning, I had Dunkin Donuts coffee and a delicious jelly dount for breakfast and then Danny and I went to the gym.

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We worked legs and Danny pressed 650 pounds on the leg press machine. Impressive.

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After the gym, we had lunch, and then took the kids and Baylee to a local outdoor trail to walk and enjoy the weather.

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The trail recently added some exercise machines along the way. Jaden and I stopped to do some box jumps.

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I love that they have a little drinking fountain for dogs but Baylee was a little scared of it and we had to pour water in Danny’s hands for her to drink instead. Princess.

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In the evening, we went out to dinner and I had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I’ve been trying to walk and run with Baylee more but the weather around here is always so unpredicatble.

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One day it’ll be warm and sunny and the next day it’ll be cold and rainy.

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick chest and triceps workout followed by a HIIT workout.

Post workout:

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The exercises I did included:

  • stability ball chest press
  • stability ball chest flies
  • medicine ball push-ups
  • tricep dips
  • overhead tricep extensions

The HIIT workout included:

  • running laps
  • box jumps
  • kettlebell swings
  • burpees

After the gym, I stopped at Target and found three new products.

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The Fage Crossover yogurts are delicious! This is the only one that I’ve tried but it is amazing. I was also excited to see that Applegate now carries pre-cooked chicken. It just makes life so much easier. And pickles because who doesn’t love pickles?!

And that it pretty much what I have been up to lately! Have a great night!

  • What have you been up to lately?
  • How was your Mother’s Day?
  • Pickles: yes or no?

 

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

Running, Walking, and The Weekend

Good afternoon!

On Friday the weather was beautiful so after I got off of work, I took our puppy, Baylee, out for a run/walk. I haven’t ran outside in forever and Baylee has never ran outside so I was surprised at how well we both did.

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My calves always get extremely tight when I first start running outside and this time was no exception. My calves are still sore and tight today. Baylee did good running and made it about two miles or so before she needed to walk for a bit. It was more of a run/walk but it went good!

Sunday the weather was gorgeous and 80 degrees so we took Baylee to a nearby forest preserve for a walk and a family picnic.

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Baylee loved the water. As soon as she saw it, she immediately got in. She’s going to be a water doggy!

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We walked for a little bit letting Baylee and the kids explore.

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We packed a lunch to eat and the kids picked out boxed water to bring.

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At first, I thought the saying on the boxed water meant that the water tasted better but it actually means that it’s better for the environment than plastic bottles.

This morning, I went to the gym. I took a new Bootcamp class that my gym just started offering and it kicked my butt. Before class I did a few chest and tricep exercises including:

  • dumbbell chest presses
  • tricep dips
  • push-ups
  • overhead tricep extension
  • cable chest flies

It was a great workout today!

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Post workout, I had a Premier Protein bar and a Starbucks cold brew coffee.

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Have a great afternoon! Go Chicago Blackhawks!!

  • How was your weekend?
  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite fitness class?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Running

A Little Bit of Everything

Hello! I hope you all had a great Easter weekend! We’ve been busy, busy, busy. The kids are on Spring Break and we spent most of last Thursday night in the ER because my older son who has a peanut allergy accidently ate two peanut butter cookies.

He normally only has a slight allergy to peanuts but this reaction was the worst he’s ever had. He immediately needed benadryl, oxygen, an IV, an epi shot, steroids, and two nebulizer treatments. Luckily, everything went okay and he was fine a couple of hours later. It was definitely scary.

On Saturday night, we went out with my family to celebrate my grandpa’s 80th birthday!

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It was a great dinner and fun time with family.

On Sunday morning, we had family over for Easter brunch.

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In the afternoon, we went to my dad and stepmom’s for dinner.

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Danny and Jaden were twins.

Over the weekend, we stopped at the Vitamin Shoppe and I picked up a couple of new products to try. First, is the FlapJacked Mighty Muffin

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I have heard good things about the FlapJacked products but have never been able to find them. The Vitamin Shoppe had a few varieties of the high protein muffin mix so I bought the peanut butter flavor to try out.

I also picked up a single-serve package of Pro Pudding to try after my workout. I usually drink a protein shake after my workouts but the Pro Pudding was a nice change.

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We also stopped at Target and they had the new Yasso bar flavors! I usually eat a Yasso bar as an evening treat and the new cookies and cream flavor was delicious. I can’t wait to try the cinnamon bun flavor next.

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And finally, my father-in-law sent me a picture of the newspaper on Sunday night.

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It turns out that my dad and I were in the Daily Herald’s Neighbor section for the Color Run that we ran last year. I had no idea about this so I was glad my father-in-law spotted it.

Have a great day!

  • How is your week going?
  • Have you ever been in the newspaper?

 

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness

Workouts and Easter Eggs

Good afternoon, friends! How was your weekend?

Our weekend started out like normal at the gym.

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Danny and I worked hamstrings, glutes, and core on Saturday and did a 30 minute HIIT workout on Sunday. And lots of foam rolling. Foam rolling is always a good thing.

And yes, I did get hair extensions. I will be doing a whole post on them soon. :)

On Saturday evening my family came over to dye Easter eggs.

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Easter being in March is throwing me off this year. I feel rushed to get stuff done. The nice thing about Easter being this weekend is that the kids start Spring Break on Monday so they don’t have to worry about getting up early Monday morning. It’s always hard to get back into a routine the day after a holiday because the kids are usually up later than normal and stuffed with jelly beans.

As usual, my Dad set up his own egg dying station. He’s very hard at work on those eggs.

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He started a couple of eggs.

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A few Easter eggs from previous years:

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Clearly my family likes to get creative with Easter eggs. I just like to put my egg in the cup of dye and then take it out. :)

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Do you dye Easter eggs?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Uncategorized

The Best Pillow Ever

Hello! Happy February 29th! :)

How was your weekend? Our Friday night started with the much anticipated Fuller House on Netflix. Yay!

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I grew up watching Full House so I was so excited to watch this new series! We watched five episodes on Friday night – we sure do know how to party!

On Saturday morning, Danny and I went to the gym and worked on back and shoulders.

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We also did 30 minutes of high intensity interval training.

For lunch, I made a flatbread pizza with red pepper, green peppers, red onion, pineapple, mozzarella cheese, and feta cheese.

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My all time favorite pizza toppings are onion and pineapple. I’m  not sure if that’s a weird combo or not but I love it.

On Saturday night, we celebrated my dad and stepmom’s birthdays. Their birthdays are only a day apart. We had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and then went back to their house for cake and ice cream.

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On Sunday, we were back at the gym to work glutes, quads, and biceps. Afterwards, we went to Costco where I found the best thing ever:

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Jelly Belly pillows!! And they actually smell like Jelly Bellies. I bought the orange flavored pillows.

We just hung out and relaxed the rest of Sunday. I watched Nurse Jackie on Netflix. I am about halfway through season two. Netflix is addicting! Especially because I can watch it on my phone which means I can watch it anywhere!

Have a great rest of your day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite pizza toppings?
  • Do you shop at Costco?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness

Valentine’s Day Food and Treats

Disclaimer: I received the PRE 100% grass fed beef at no charge for part of a Valentine’s Day post. As usual, I only work with companies whose products I stand behind. All opinions are 100% my own…and Danny and Jacob’s. :)

Hello!

I have a fun post for you guys today – Valentine’s Day food and treats! I have always said that I believe Valentine’s Day is for celebrating all those in your life that you love – your spouse, significant other, parents, grandparents, kids, neighbor, etc.

I have a few fun Valentine’s Day food ideas that you can give to others as a gift, cook for those you love, or even cook together with someone. My little helper for a lot of these recipes was my son Jaden.

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He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

First up, is a super easy breakfast idea – heart shaped pancakes!

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These pancakes are super easy to make. All you need to do is make pancake batter or use a pre-mixed batter and put it into a Ziploc bag. Push all the batter into the corner of the bag and cut off just the very tip of the bag.

On a hot pan, use the batter in the Ziploc bag to make a heart shape and fill it in. Cook a few minutes on both sides and you have a cute heart shaped pancakes. This is great for kids but really who can resist a heart-shaped pancake?!

  • PRE 100% Grass Fed Beef

Steak is always a great gift! Danny and Jacob love steak and when PRE Brands contacted me about their 100% grass fed beef I was so excited to have Danny and Jacob try it out! It would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner or just a great gift in general.

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Here are some of the things I liked about the PRE beef:

  • the whole package is transparent so you can see both sides of the meat. Often with cuts of meat in the grocery store, you can only see one side of the meat. PRE has a 360 degree view so you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • it’s vacuum sealed which leads to a consistent quality and temperature, and a long shelf life.
  • it’s sourced from the top 10% most trustworthy sources in the world,making it extra fresh and tasty
  • PRE Brands uses a trademarked “15-point Obsessive Pick Process,” putting every single cut under a microscope, resulting in the very best quality and taste.

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(Baylee really really wanted that ground beef!)

While I don’t eat beef myself, I do believe in feeding my family quality, fresh, trustworthy food and PRE lives up to that. And Danny and Jacob can vouch for the taste – they both loved it!

I used a grill pan on the stove to cook the steaks medium-rare and the boys feasted on them with mashed potatoes. They both gave them two thumbs up!

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  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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This was my first time ever making brownies from scratch and they turned out delicious! I found a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Jaden and I got to work making them! (Sally’s Baking Addiction has the best dessert recipes I have ever tried!)

I was worried at first that making brownies from scratch would be hard to make but they were fairly easy. You just have to make sure that measure ingredients perfectly when baking – that’s why I always measure ingredients with my food scale.

We made the brownies and then made the cream cheese topping. We swirled them together for some delicious red velvet cheesecake brownies. Just make sure that you don’t over swirl!

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  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally, we baked chocolate chip cookies because they are delicious and who wouldn’t love receiving fresh baked chocolate chip cookies?! (And yes, it’s another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

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These cookies are perfectly soft and melt in your mouth. Just to be sure not to overbake them!

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You could add Valentine’s Day sprinkles to the cookies batter or just use them to decorate the plate!

  • What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
  • Do you have any Valentine’s Day food or treat recipes to share?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Family Fun, Fun, Product Review, Recipes

The Start of a New Year

Good morning! It’s Monday and life is back to normal after all the holiday fun!

I feel like I haven’t been around in forever – we’ve been so busy with everything surrounding the holidays. On New Year’s Eve, we went with my family to a restaurant called Rock Bottom. Afterwards, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to play some games and ring in the new year!

On New Year’s Day, we celebrated Christmas with my in-laws.

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Danny’s poor mom just recently broke her foot. :(

My nephew come home from the Navy on a surprise visit a short time before Christmas so it was nice to have him home to celebrate the holidays.

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My in-laws know us too well – wine, protein powder, and pre-workout.

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What more could a girl ask for?!

Now that the new year has started and the holidays are over, I look forward to getting back on track with healthy eating. I overindulged quite a bit over the holidays and look forward to eating more normally. Eating better definitely makes me feels better physically and mentally as well as bringing my energy levels up.

My plan is to stick to counting my macros (carbs/fats/and proteins) on a daily basis. I have had good luck with this diet method in the past and it works well for me. I am able to get in all the healthy foods I need while still enjoying a treat here and there.

My biggest goal for the new year is to stick with healthy eating and macro counting on the weekends. This has always been an ongoing issue for me – hopefully, I’ll stay on better track this year!

Thankfully, my workouts have stayed on track. For me, working out is the easy part and while the nutrition is what I struggle with.

Since Danny had the week off, we were able to get in lots of workouts together at the gym.

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 I still love my Polar A300!

My plan for my workouts is to strength train 5 days a week, with three days of 20-30 minute HIIT sessions, and possibly start adding some yoga into my workout plan.

I find it helpful to use my Erin Condren planner to help plan my day and workouts.

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In puppy news, Baylee is growing so fast! She’s getting big but not quite big enough to pull Jacob around in his sled like she’s trying to do! :)

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Have a wonderful Monday!

  • What are your goals for the new year?
  • What’s harder for you – exercise or nutrition?

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Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness

Christmas 2015

Good morning – I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, we went to my grandparent’s house and exchanged our homemade gifts. I made a gift for my cousin’s girlfriend, Sarah. I saw these cute wineglass candle holders on Pinterest and had to make them.

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(Source)

I loved how they turned out!

They were fairly easy to make. I bought wineglasses and Danny helped me spray paint them with glitter spray paint from Joanne Fabrics.

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Then, I just decorated them with craft supplies from Michaels and Joanne Fabrics. I added two candles and they were done. :)

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My sister-in-law, Crystal, picked Danny and she made him an awesome shadow box with his bib and medal from the Chicago marathon.

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I loved how it turned out – she did such a great job!

My cousin, Michele, had me for the homemade gift exchange and she made me a cute decorated wine bottle, a butterfly tray, candles, body scrub, and lip gloss! It was all amazing!

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Danny had my cousin’s boyfriend, Ben, and made him a beer “cake” out of Angry Orchard apple cider.

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On Christmas morning, the kids woke up early to open presents that Santa left them.

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They had a fun time opening presents and seeing what Santa brought.

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Danny’s parents stopped by for a little bit in the early afternoon to visit. We get together with Danny’s parents and brothers next week to celebrate Christmas.

Then we headed to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. Baylee came with us and she was pooped after two days of excitement.

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Today, we celebrate Christmas with my dad and stepmom and family.

Have a great day!

  • How was your holiday?
  • Do you ever make homemade gifts
  • Any plans for today?

 

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Family Fun

Christmas Eve 2015

Merry Christmas Eve! I can’t believe that Christmas is tomorrow – the weather definitely doesn’t feel like it. Yesterday, it was near 60 degrees and today it’s near 40 degrees. I don’t remember the weather ever being this nice in Illinois around Christmas.

Not that I’m complaining – I don’t like the cold but I don’t mind some fluffy white snow on Christmas. :)

I’ve been busy shopping and wrapping, working out, baking, and keeping up with an almost 4 month old puppy.

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She looks innocent but she’s feisty!

Danny and I have also been working on making homemade Christmas gifts. On Christmas Eve, we do a secret santa/homemade gift exchange with my family.

We all secretly pick a name and then make that person a gift. I was really happy with how my gift turned out this year and I can’t wait to show you guys!

I’ve also been baking a lot of cookies for family, friends, and Santa.

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(Chocolate Chip Cookies // Loaded Oatmeal Cookies)

All the cookies I made were from Sally’s Baking Addiction because she has the best cookie recipes. Ever.

I also tried out a new cookie recipe – Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies. These are the cookies that we’re leaving for Santa.

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They are fabulous! And I’ve been eating more cookies than I care to admit.

I’ve also been working out. Yesterday, I met my friends at the gym to take the WERQ class.

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WERQ is a 60 minute fun cardio dance class. I’m not very coordinated when it comes to dancing but it is a fun workout!

Danny had the day off today so we worked out together this morning.

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We did back and biceps and then did a little bit of fun cardio kickboxing at the end of our workout.

This evening we’re going to my grandparent’s house and then Santa comes tonight! Have a wonderful holiday!!

  • What are you doing today?
  • What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness