Category Archives: Family Fun

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.


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.


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


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


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


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!


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


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!



It was a great dinner and fun time with family.

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


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


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


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.



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.


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


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?




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.


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.



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.


He started a couple of eggs.


A few Easter eggs from previous years:






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?


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!


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.


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.


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.


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:


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?



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. :)


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.


He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

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


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.


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.


(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


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!



  • 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).


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


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.


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.


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


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.



 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.


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! :)


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.



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.



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


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


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!



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.


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


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.



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?





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.


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.


(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.


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.


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.


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

Glutes, Legs, Shoulders, and Biceps

Good afternoon, friends! How are you doing?

I’ve been busy working, working out, and getting ready for Christmas!

Danny and I worked out on both Saturday and Sunday together at the gym. On Saturday, we did a leg/glute workout.


Some of the exercises we did included:

  • deadlifts (my favorite!)
  • leg press machine
  • goblet squats
  • split squats
  • weighted hip thrusts (another favorite!)

We also did a HIIT workout on the Stairmaster and I was dead by the end! I stepped at level 20 for one minute then I recovered at level 5 for two minutes. I did that for a total of 7 times. Even though the workout was only 21 minutes, it was killer!


On Saturday night, my mom watched the kids for a few hours while Danny and I went out to dinner.

From gym date to dinner date :)


We went to Maggiano’s, an Italian restaurant, and then stopped at Woodfield Mall.

On Sunday, we were back at the gym to work shoulders and biceps.


Some of the exercises we did included:

  • preacher curls
  • lateral raises
  • cable bicep curls
  • upright rows
  • cable hammer curls
  • plate front raises


It was another good workout!

Yesterday, I did a little bit of Christmas shopping and then I spent a long time wrapping presents.


I don’t mind shopping but wrapping isn’t my favorite!

I also find myself wishing for snow. Not because I love snow (because I don’t) but so the ground in our backyard will freeze! We have been having a warm December in Chicagoland so far and our backyard is a giant mudpit!

Of course, Baylee has to walk in all the water she can find so I have to put her in the bathtub to rinse her off when she comes back inside!


Have a great day!

  • Are you ready for Christmas?
  • Any snow in your area?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

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