Category Archives: Family Fun

Back Day Compound Set Workout

Good morning and Happy Labor Day! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Danny and I did an awesome back workout at the gym on Saturday. We did compound sets which I love because they keep your heart rate up and since you’re doing exercises back-to-back, you finish your workout faster. Also, you work the same muscle in different ways.

*Both supersets and compound sets involve doing at least two exercises back to back, but a superset works two opposing muscle groups (ie. back and chest) while compounds sets target only one area of the body (in our case, back).

Warm-Up

First, we warmed up with 1000 meters on the rowing machine.

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Back Compound Sets Workout

Perform the two exercises back-to-back, resting 1-2 minutes in between each compound set. Repeat each compound set for desired amount of reps and sets. Danny and I did between 10-12 reps and did each compound set for three sets. 

    • wide grip lat pull downs x 10
    • cable face pulls x10
    • good mornings x12
    • bent over barbell rows (close grip, underhand grip) x10
    • single leg deadlifts  x10 each side
    • one arm dumbbell row x10 each side
    • half kneeling one arm cable row x10 each side
    • Superman Row x10 (click for video on how to perform)

Here are some pictures of the exercises Danny and I did:

Wide Grip Lat Pulls Downs

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Cable Face Pulls

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Good Mornings

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Bent Over Rows

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Half Kneeling One Arm Cable Rows

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We finished up our workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

On Sunday, my family came over for a make-your-own salad night. And pretzel rolls from Costco because they are delicious. :)

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Be sure to check out my Instagram for pictures and stories from this weekend!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite back exercise?

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Back At It

Happy Friday!

Today is my youngest’s first day of 4th grade!

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He has a little bit of a cold, which Danny and I now have, but he was super excited for his first day of school. And at least it’s Friday so he has the weekend to rest.

Off to school!

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Side note: I am so good at adulting that I burned my face with a curling iron. My face. With a curling iron. And for the record, I am also one of those people that trips going up the stairs.

My oldest son starts his sophomore year on Monday.

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(I don’t even care that he’s not looking at the camera because just getting him to let me take his picture is a rare occurrence. And for some weird reason, he doesn’t like to take 2,968 selfies like I do and then pick the best one.) :)

Sophomore year means he’ll start driver’s ed. I can’t even talk about it because I’m in denial.

Now that school is back in session, I feel like I can get back on schedule. I’ll start working the fitness desk again next week and hopefully my sleeping and eating will get back on track. With all the vacations, birthdays, and parties this summer, I may have gained a few pounds. I try to avoid the scale and go by how my clothes fit instead. And since my clothes are feeling a little tight lately, I’m ready to start tracking my food/macros again.

In fact, my family has started a weight loss challenge between ourselves. It’s a good way to keep each other motivated. It also helps that the prize is $250.

I’ve been making sure to not overeat at meals. I’ve been making rice bowls with brown & wild rice, tilapia, and veggies.

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Soy ginger salmon with rice and veggies.

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Lettuce wraps with chicken and salsa. I also added some cheese because life is way better with cheese!

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I always make sure to save some room for treats too. Cutting out an entire food group or depriving yourself can often backfire so I make sure a treat fits into my calories/macros for the day.

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I like Baby Ruth but I’ve decided that Snickers are much better.

Danny and I have also been getting back to the gym on a more regular basis.

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Since Jaden was at school today, I was able to spend a little more time at the gym this morning. I warmed up on the rowing machine for a bit, then I took an impromptu Zumba class with a friend, then I did a kettlebell circuit, and finished up with an easy ride on the stationary bike.

According to my Polar A300, I was at 315% activity level by 11:15 am! I’ve never had my activity level that high – it must be from all the jumping in Zumba!

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This evening, Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding and on Sunday, we’re going to my nephew’s birthday party. It’s going to be a busy weekend!

Have a great weekend!

  • What are you plans this weekend?

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Punta Cana Vacation

Hello! I haven’t posted in awhile because Danny, the kids, and I just got back from Punta Cana!

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We left Sunday July 31st and got home on Friday night. This was our first ever vacation that required passports so we felt super fancy. :)

Really though, it was a great vacation and we had a great time. And it was HOT. The first couple of days weren’t too bad because there was a storm moving through but after that it was very hot outside.

We stayed at the Now Larimar resort and had an all-inclusive package which included all food, drinks, alcohol, entertainment, and non-motorized water sports.

The kids had so much fun and loved swimming the the ocean (actually I think it’s the Caribbean Sea) and the pools.

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Danny and I tried out the paddle boarding which is harder than it looks.

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The kids loved the paddleboarding too and we also did kayaking and windsailing.

I loved that the resort had fun activities throughout the day. One of my favorites was when they brought a monkey out to the pool area so people could take pictures with it.

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I was so excited because I’ve always wanted to hold a monkey!

Another day they had a coconut party on the beach with a coconut throwing contest and coconut drinks served in coconuts.

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There was a foam party in the pool which was tons of fun. The foam was everywhere and they warned you to hold on to your child so they wouldn’t get lost under all the foam.

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They also had pool Zumba and bingo games.

One night there was a dance show which was fun to watch.

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After the dance show, they’re were crab races! The crabs looked so funny running with their claws up in the air.

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Jaden bought Danny and I this cute monkey all by himself with his own money and surprised us with it.

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One of my favorite things on our last night there was the beach party and fire show. We did the congo and limbo.

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Then we watched the fire show. It was amazing and I think I kept my breath held the entire time because I was afraid they were going to drop the fire or miss catching the fire, but they didn’t.

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I was a little worried about the food in Punta Cana because I heard mixed reviews about it and I was worried about the kids and if they’d eat anything. Luckily, the food was decent and we had no problems finding good things to eat.

I liked the chicken burritos.

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Jacob liked the desserts.

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And Jaden liked ordering Froot Loops from room service.

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Overall, it was a wonderful trip but we looked forward to getting home and sleeping in our own beds!

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Have a great afternoon!

  • What was your favorite vacation? 

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Wisconsin Dells 2016

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

We just got back from Wisconsin Dells on Friday. We went with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

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The kids had fun swimming, mini golfing, rock mining, taking the boat shuttle, and playing in the arcade.

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Danny, Jaden, and my sister-in law, Crystal, had a great time going down the waterslides.

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Danny

I don’t like water slides (especially ones where the floor drops out from underneath you) so I was the photographer.

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While we were in The Dells, my niece turned five!

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We celebrated by opening gifts, swimming, going out to dinner, and making s’mores. We made some s’mores with peanut butter cups instead of a chocolate bar. If you never have tried this before, it’s a must. Everything is better with a Reese’s peanut butter cup. :)

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We came home Friday evening and on Saturday, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for my niece’s birthday party.

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Crystal had a cute make-you-own-cupcake station set up for the kids. I had a little fun with Jaden and he might have ended up with frosting on his face.

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But don’t worry, he took me by surprise and got me back. I guess I deserved it. :)

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My grandma, who owns Sweet Temptations Dessert Company, made the most amazing Elsa cake.

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My niece loved it and the cake was delicious.

We had a great time in The Dells and a fun time celebrating my niece’s birthday!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite cake flavor?

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Garage Sales and Taco Pizza

Good morning!

This past weekend, we had a garage sale at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.

Waiting for customers:

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We have a couple vacations coming up so we’re trying to get a little extra cash…and we have a lot of stuff.

My brother and sister-in-law were selling a motorized scooter which thankfully sold.

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The first night we were there, we had a make your own pizza night. My sister-in-law has been making taco pizzas lately and although I was leary to try it, I ended up loving it!! See what happens when you try new things. :)

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We used the Pillsbury refrigerated dough for the crust. The taco pizza had refried beans, Mexican cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and yes those are crushed Doritos on top.

Danny’s pizza had ground beef on it and my brother and sister-in-law made theirs with black beans. I’m not a black bean fan but the pizza was good with refried beans. I’ll definitely be making this at home.

I made the other have of the pizza with my favorite toppings – onion and pineapple. Sometimes I add bacon and I have yet to find someone who loves the bacon, pineapple, onion combo as much as I do.

On Sunday afternoon, my sister-in-law, niece, mom, and I met at a nail salon to get pedicures. My niece’s birthday is tomorrow and she wanted us to get together to get our nails done.

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Working Out

On Monday evening, Danny and I went to the gym. With summer, the kids, and other stuff going on, I took a little break from the gym.

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Sometimes, I think it’s good to give your body a little break. And I often tend to overdo it so this little break was good for me. But I was very happy to get back to the gym!

Danny and I did a leg workout which included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats on the bench
  • weighted sumo squats
  • calf raises in the Smith machine
  • leg press machine

Danny used 16 45-pound plates on the leg press machine for a total of 720 pounds.

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I used four plates. :)

And finally, I have to share a picture of my tacos from dinner last night.

We found this Mexican restaurant near us which has quickly become my new favorite Mexican restaurant.

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Mexican food is my favorite and I could eat tacos every day!

I hope you all have a great day.

secret-of-being-happiness

  • What’s your favorite pizza topping?
  • Favorite leg exercise? (I’m always looking for new ones!)

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Father’s Day Fishing Derby 2016

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

Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day with Danny and my dad at a local fishing derby. Later in the day, we went to my in-laws for a cookout.

On Saturday, I took Jaden to Michael’s to make a Father’s Day shirt for Danny.

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All we had to do was a buy a t-shirt and the supplies were free to use. Jaden loved making the shirt.

Sunday morning, we met my dad at a local lake for the fishing derby. The park district holds this fishing derby every Father’s Day. We did it four years ago and then again this year.

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They had breakfast set up with bagels, cream cheese, donuts, danish, fruit, juice, coffee, and water.

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We had fun fishing and Jaden tried so hard to catch a fish but unfortunately we didn’t catch any.

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They had trophies for the biggest fish in each age category. We didn’t get a trophy or catch any fish but Danny and my Dad both ended up winning the raffle at the end of the derby!

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Danny won a fishing pole and my dad won a tackle kit.

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It was a fun and hot morning!

After the fishing derby, we went to lunch with my dad and then later in the afternoon, we visited with Danny’s family for a cookout. My sister-in-law and I were twins! :)

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Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?

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Elgin Fox Trot 5k 2016

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

Last Saturday, I ran the Elgin Fox Trot 5k. This was my sixth time running this race and I did the two mile walk with my dad the year I had arthroscopic hip surgery.

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My family did the Two Mile Walk for a Cause.

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This was my first 5k since last year’s Hot Chocolate 5k and I haven’t been running lately so I went into this race knowing it wouldn’t be my best. The course is very hilly which always is hard for me so I wore KT tape on my knee which has been bothering me lately and my Zensah calf sleeves.

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The weather was overcast and warm. I was happy not to have the sun beating down on me and even though it wasn’t too hot, I warmed up quickly. There was a sprinkler on the course at one of the water stations so I took advantage of it and ran under it to cool myself off.

The hills killed my calves but overall it was a good race. I finished in 33:47 which I expected since I haven’t been running at all lately except for sprints during HIIT workouts. Of course I hoped to do better but every race can’t be the best. Still, I had fun and was happy to participate in a race that my family has been doing for years.

The FoxTrot has a post-race party with a live band, food, and water. Each 5k runner gets a free beer ticket and this year all runners got a free hot dog. We stayed and hung out for a while after the race. There was even more running going on. :)

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Can’t wait to do it again next year! Have a great rest of your weekend!

  • What did you do this weekend?

 

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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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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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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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