Category Archives: Family Fun

Christmas Party, Cookies, and Core Workout

Good afternoon! It’s the day before Christmas Eve! Christmas seemed to come really fast this year but luckily, I finally got everything bought, wrapped, and baked!


Saturday evening, we went to a family Christmas party with my extended family that we only see every few years.


The kids were excited because Santa Claus was there! Well, my niece was a little nervous but at least she sat on his lap. When your two years old, Santa is a pretty scary guy.



Yesterday’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Yesterday morning, Danny and I went to BodyPump, Jacob ran on the treadmill, and Jaden went to the kid’s room at the gym. After the gym, we came home and I started baking

I was glad that I made most of the cookie dough the day before, because it took a long time to bake all those cookies!

I made chocolate chip cookies, using this recipe.

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I also made Butterscotch Reese’s Cookies.

And Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Then, I ate way too many cookies. I have been eating not so healthy lately and can’t wait to get back on track with eating better and tracking my food. I can tell by the way that my clothes are fitting that I need to cut out a few cookies!

Today’s Workout

  • Ab Circuit – Approx. 20 minutes
  • Walk/Run on Track – 30 minutes
  • Stretching/Foam Rolling – 10 minutes

This morning, I attempted to make snowman pancakes for the kids for breakfast.


Eh. They kind of resemble snowmen.

After breakfast, we headed to the gym. Jaden was very excited to bring the cookies we baked to the teachers in the kid’s room.

I started my workout with this ab circuit:
PicMonkey Collage2
I did each exercise with no rest in between. I did the whole thing three times, resting 1-2 minutes in between. After the ab workout, Jacob and I walked and ran on the indoor track for 30 minutes.

I’m not sure how far we went because I can’t run and count laps. It’s just not happening. Nine laps equals a mile. I lost count after four laps. I focused on running for 30 minutes rather than on mileage.

After the track, I stretched and foam rolled for about 10 minutes. Jacob informed me that he hates stretching and went off to ride the stationary bike…after he picked up every weight on the weight rack and then set them back down.

This afternoon will just be spent getting last-minute things ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite ab exercise?
  • What are you doing for Christmas Eve?



Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Running, Working Out

2014 Goals

Good afternoon!!

Last week I had to cancel an appointment with my normal hair stylist to get my hair colored and eyebrows waxed because I had to work. Yesterday, I was at the mall picking up a few Christmas gifts so I decided just to get my eyebrows waxed at a hair salon because they desperately needed it.

When I got home later I realized that she dripped hot wax all over my head and hair and didn’t even tell me! I thought I remembered her touching my hair and my brother pointed out that I had something weird all over the side of my head. Yeah, it was hot wax. Everywhere.

It was also stuck in my ponytail holder so all the surrounding hair was stuck to it. Not to mention the huge glob on the side of my head. So, I googled how to get hot wax out of your hair. Surprisingly, it didn’t yield too many results. Don’t more people need to get hot wax it their hair?!

The information that I did find said to use baby oil or olive oil. I ended up putting olive oil all over a paper towel and wiping it in my hair. It seemed to work and I washed my hair, but it still looked oily. It was such a nightmare but thankfully I got it out. That’ll be the last time I get my eyebrows waxed there.

I understand that accidents happen. But if you drip hot wax all over my hair, the least you could do is apologize and tell me how to get it out.

Moving on….

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Zumba – 60 minutes

Today’s Workout

  • Butts and Guts Class – 60 minutes

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential FFC on behalf of Designer Whey. All opinions and goals are my own.

Today is exactly a week from Christmas Eve! This year is just flying by and it’ll be 2014 before we know it! With the end of the year quickly approaching, I thought I’d share some of my New Year’s goals and resolutions.

1. To run a sub-30 5k. I have only run one 5k in under 30 minutes. It was the Run Like a Mother 5k, and I finished in 29:22.


That was one of my proudest moments. Running has always been hard for me and my body doesn’t usually cooperate when I run, so finishing in under 30 minutes was a great accomplishment for me. I hope to be able to do it again in 2014.

2. To run a race longer than a 5k – a 10k or hopefully a half marathon. My goal has always been to run a half marathon. I was training for my first one last year when I got injured. I am still not fully healed and running long distances in extremely hard on my body. I definitely plan on running a 10k and if all goes well, a half marathon.

My longest race to date was the Biggest Loser 15k – 9.3 miles. I loved it and figured if I can run 9.3, hopefully I can run 13.1 :)


3. To keep better track of what I’m eating. Lately, I have been slacking on watching what I eat and I haven’t been food journaling. I would like to start using the My Fitness Pal app again to keep track of what I eat.

4. Going along with #3, I would like to get back to eating healthier. With the holidays and being so busy, I have been grabbing the easiest and quickest food, even if it’s not the healthiest choice. And I have been baking a ton which means I have been eating a lot of cookies :) One way I plan on eating healthier is by using Designer Whey. I have used Designer Whey in the past and I really enjoy their protein powders and bars.


I always have a hard time getting enough protein in my diet, and the Designer Whey protein powder is quick and easy to throw into a shake or smoothie. I’ve even used it to make French toast.


I also need to start adding more veggie into my diet – I have been neglecting veggies lately. Sorry, veggies.

5. Spend more one-on-one time with my kids. Jacob and Jaden are both is school all day. In the afternoons, I also watch my niece and another girl so we have a full house until after dinner. Weekends are usually busy running errands, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. So, I would really like to make more of an effort to spend some quality one-on-one time with my kids. I think it’s important for them and helps build a better relationship.

Maybe there’s something going on at school that they want to talk about or maybe they just want to play a game with mom or dad. We all lead such busy lives that sometimes we need to slow down and focus on things that might not seem as important like reading a book together for 10 minutes or playing a quick game of cards. These moments are precious and kids grow up in the blink of an eye.


Those are the goals that I plan to work on in 2014!

  • What are your New Year’s resolutions or goals?
  • Do you have any hair salon mishap stories to share?


Filed under Family Fun

Weekend Fun…and More Cookies

Good morning! Happy Sunday!

I haven’t been around for a couple of days, so this post is going to contain a lot of randomness.

First up, Danny got a car!! It’s Chevy Equinox, and Danny is very happy with it. It’s the first SUV we’ve ever owned and I’m sure the space will come in handy.

Danny’s really good about keeping cars for a long time. I think he’s owned two cars in his life, whereas I’ve owned quite a few.


On Friday morning, I taught BodyPump. I brought my new water bottle.


I saw this water bottle at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. Hey, the paint splatter reminds me of the 80′s, and I love all things 80′s. But it was around $16 so I didn’t buy it.

I finally decided that I wanted it and went back to buy it. You can never have too many workout clothes or water bottles. Even though I think Danny disagrees with me on this – he’s always trying to throw my water bottles away.

When I went back to buy it, it was gone :( . I tried looking online for it with no success. Then, on Thursday night, I went to TJMaxx to buy something else, and there was my water bottle! And it was only $8! Awesome.

Friday’s BodyPump class went pretty well, and I worked for a little bit afterwards.


Although coffee is my #1 love, I have been loving tea lately. I found this super cute coffee mug at Michael’s for only $2.99 and I got some Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride from Target to try out.

The tea really does taste like a sugar cookie! It’s really good but the peppermint flavor is still my favorite.


Saturday morning, Jacob had an eye doctor appointment. Jacob was born 15 weeks early, weighing 1 lb. and 14 oz. He has had a few complications but nothing serious. As a baby, he had eye surgery to correct a condition called exotropia, which basically means that his left eye wants to turn outward rather than straight.

He had eye surgery as a baby to cut the muscle to force the eye to go straight. He wore an eye patch for extended periods during the day to help strengthen that eye. He has very little vision in that eye and the glasses help him to continue to use it.

There is always a possibility that his eye could go back outward again, so we see the eye doctor often for check-ups. It was a routine visit and the doctor said everything is looking good.

Saturday evening, we went with my family to an illumination show at a nearby arboretum.


All of the trees are lit up with different kinds of lights.

You can change some of the lights by waving your hand over a certain place and you could hug trees to change their lights.

It was really neat although it was freezing out and the kids were being a little overly energetic (read: crazy).

Afterwards, we had some hot chocolate…or three, before deciding to go to Red Robin for dinner. Two words – bottomless fries.


I made another cookie recipe, oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip.


I have been making so many cookies lately because I like to give them out during the holidays and I wanted to narrow it down to three delicious kinds of cookies. I think I am going to make chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and Reese’s butterscotch cookies.

The only problem with making so many cookies, is that I eat a lot of cookies. I usually send them to work with Danny, but it’s the weekend so they’ve just been sitting on the counter looking all delicious!

This morning, I am going to BodyPump at the gym. I am hoping that the instructor is doing the new release because I’m having a little bit of trouble with the timing and thought it would be helpful to do it while someone else was teaching.

Later this afternoon, we’re going to my best friend’s son’s birthday party.

Have a great day!

  • How many cars have you owned?
  • Any plans for today?
  • What do you own a lot of? I own a lot of workout clothes, water bottles, coffee mugs, and shoes.


Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out

Christmas Tree Weekend

Good afternoon! It’s Monday! How was your weekend?


On Saturday morning, we went to cut down our Christmas tree.

My niece loved the horses that take you out to the field.

There wasn’t any snow but it was freezing out! After walking the field for a long time and looking at all the trees, we finally found the perfect Christmas tree.

Danny cut it down with Jacob and my brother’s help and then we headed back for some much need hot chocolate!

We ran into Santa and Rudolph :)


On Sunday morning, we went to breakfast with Santa at the fire station. My brother-in-law is a firefighter and organized this year’s breakfast.

I might be wrong, but I don’t think my nephew is too fond of Santa…

The kids had fun eating pancakes, visiting with Santa, and climbing in the fire trucks.

As we were leaving to drive back home, it started snowing….and it continued to snow all day long.

Jaden was so excited to face plant himself in a snow hill on the way to the bus stop this morning.

I was happy to run back inside the house because I don’t like snow or 19 degree weather.

Sunday evening, we spent decorating our tree.


I worked for a couple of hours this morning. I’m going to practice the new BodyPump this afternoon and I am thinking about going to the gym tonight.

I always drink coffee in the mornings, but in the afternoon, I usually have a cup of tea. I get so cold in the afternoons and drinking tea helps warm me up!

I usually drink the Tazo green tea, but I saw Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane green tea at Target this weekend and picked it up to try.

I am looking forward to drinking a cup of it this afternoon.

Elf on the Shelf

Our elf, Nick, has been having fun around our house lately. This morning, he made himself some pancakes.

I’m not sure how he managed to get the pancake mix out and cook the pancakes, but he did :)

Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • What do you top your tree with? A star? An angel?
  • Coffee or tea?


Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness

Turkey Trot 5k and Thanksgiving 2013

It’s the day after Thanksgiving! Did you eat tons of food yesterday?! I did. I love all the Thanksgiving food – so good!

Turkey Trot 5k

Yesterday morning, we woke up early for the turkey trot. I had my alarm set for 6:30 am, but for some reason my body wanted to wake up at 5:45 am.

Danny and Jacob picked up our bibs the day before, so we had everything ready to go. Instead of a typical t-shirt, we got a turkey trot hoodie. Jacob was so excited for his and kept it on for a day and a half.


The race was about a half hour from our house. We got there early and hung out in the car for awhile because it was cold. Seriously cold. I am not used to running in that kind of weather. My toes and fingers were completely numb.



We met up with my dad, stepmom, and her two friends who were also running the race. My dad stayed with Jaden while we ran.

Jaden ran the 100 meter kid’s dash and was so happy to get a ribbon!


After the kid’s dash, we lined up for the turkey trot. Jacob and I started out running together…that lasted about 3 minutes. It was so congested with people in the beginning and Jacob was going fast. I told him to just weave around the people and go ahead.

He took off way faster than I expected and I couldn’t keep up. I was worried at first since he was alone and tried to keep up with him but he just took off. Danny and my stepmom were also on the course and we talked about what he should do if we got separated, so I just let him go.

I saw Danny at the turn around and told him to come back and get Jacob when he finished.

My running was decent. I started out too fast trying to catch Jacob and it caught up to me in the end and I had to slow down. I just ran at a pace that felt comfortable. It was so different running in the cold and I didn’t warm up as fast as I thought I would.

Finally around the last mile, I started to get warm and took off my gloves and headband. I forgot my Garmin at home and didn’t see any mile markers. I found out later that there were mile marker flags at each mile but I didn’t see any of them, so I had no idea of my mileage the whole race.

I ended up finishing in 33:08. I honestly thought I had been going faster but I guess with the cold weather, I was going slower than I thought. Not my best race, but my first race in the cold weather.

My stepmom and her friends finished a few minutes before me and Jacob finished in 30:53! I was so proud of him for doing so good in his first race!! He did start off too fast and have to walk a few times but he still ran a lot faster than I did!


Danny, my speedy husband, finished in 25:01, 5th place for his age group out of 81 people.

I was surprised that they didn’t have water at the finish line. Even though it was cold, I was still thirsty after finishing the race. They did have water and hot cider but it was a ways away from the finish line.

We got some hot apple cider, took a few pictures, and left soon after – it was just too cold to stay outside.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race. It was my first race in the cold weather and although I prefer the warmer weather, I think it’s easier to run in the cold than it is the humidity. And I am so proud of Jacob for running his first 5k!

After the race, we came home, got ready, and headed to my grandparent’s house.

Aren’t these cookie place settings so adorable?!


My dad carved the turkey…


…and then for some reason, we felt it was necessary to give ourselves bunny ears.


The food was delicious and I ate so much – cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, carrots, pumpkin roll, cookies.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and I get to do it all again tonight! My mom and in-laws are coming over so we can celebrate Thanksgiving with them!

Have a wonderful day!

  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • Did you shop today?
  • Cold weather running or hot weather running?


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

National Geographic Kids Books

I have always loved to read. Always. Even as a kid, I was always reading. I think that it’s important for parents to encourage their kids to read things that they enjoy. Kids will learn to love reading more if they read things that they want to read rather than something they’re forced to read.

I believe in encouraging kids to read what they enjoy whether it’s a book, a comic book, or the sports section of the newspaper. When Jacob was younger he used to love to read the dictionary and medical books. He still loves reading now, and we often read a lot of the same book (I’m not really sure what that says about my reading level :) )

I always make it a point to take my kids to the library, book store, or let them pick out a book from their book club orders at school.

So, when Mom’s Meet approached me about reviewing the National Geographic Kids books, I was happy to take the opportunity.

I received a big box of National Geographic Kids books in the mail.


I was very excited to see the variety of the books. I have four kids at home in the afternoons (my two boys, my niece, and another girl I watch), and they range from ages 2-12. The National Geographic books are great because their geared at kids of all ages and reading levels. There is something for everyone!

National Geographic books are full of photos, fun facts, and offer the perfect educational balance.

Jacob (my 12 year old) loves The Ultimate Weird but True and First Big Book of Why books.


He is the type of kid that craves knowledge and knows more random facts than anyone I know.

Jaden (my 6 year old) loves the animal books, especially the Meerkats book.


These books are great for me to read to him and my niece and for Jaden to practice reading on his own.

The pictures in the book are fantastic and really hold a kid’s attention.



National Geographic books provide visual stimulation, active engagement, and are great educational learning material.

All in all, National Geographic Kids are great books that would make any kid want to read. I really like that National Geographic focuses on how to make kids enjoy reading more.

They have four main goals:

  • Get kids super excited about reading
  • Build reading focus and stamina
  • Encourage kids to higher reading levels
  • Empower kids to learn more about their world

You can learn more here. National Geographic definitely met these goals with my children!

  • Do you like to read?
  • Did you read as a child? What were your favorite books?

I was provided the National Geographic Kids books by Mom’s Meet to review on my blog at no charge. All opinions are my own (and my kids!).


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Filed under Book Review, Family Fun

Mother/Son Run

Good morning!

Good luck to my sister-in-law, Crystal, who is running her first half marathon in Florida tonight! She will turn 30 years old  at the stroke of midnight while running – a very Disney Cinderella moment :)

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Ran 1 mile – Treadmill
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I am slowly getting in my miles for Pile on The Miles! I ran one mile before BodyPump yesterday and I burned over 600 calories!


Today’s Workout

  • 3 miles – outside

This morning, Jacob and I ran together for the first time outside.


His first 5k is coming up on Thanksgiving and he is used to running on the treadmill so I wanted him to run outside a few times before the 5k. I think he realized today what a big difference it is running outside vs. the treadmill. And it didn’t help that today was really really windy.

We started out running for awhile and walking when Jacob needed to. For the last mile, we ran two minutes and walked one minute. The wind made running so hard, but we finished three miles in about 35 minutes.

Hopefully, we can run outside a couple of more times before the 5k!

After running, we stopped at McDonald’s for mother/son coffee and chocolate milk.


I love the holiday cups!


For breakfast, I made an egg and cheese sandwich on Udi’s gluten-free bread.

PicMonkey Collage

I really like the gluten-free bread – it’s even better that regular bread and I plan on continuing to purchase it. It’s expensive but it comes frozen so it’ll last a long time.

The breakfast sandwich was so good and even better than my beloved bagelwich.

This afternoon, we’re going to my dad’s for lunch and maybe seeing a movie.

Have a great day!

  • What are your plans for the day?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Running, Working Out

Randomness Tuesday

Good afternoon!

Today’s post is going to be about a bunch of random things :)

First up, my workout.

Today’s Workout

  • 3. 5 miles – outside

I think today was the first time I have ever ran outside in November in my life and the first time I have ran outside in a month. It was tough. The weather was about 50 degrees which was perfect. I started out a bit chilly but warmed up quickly.

The wind was the toughest part and my nose was runny the whole time. I ran 3.1 miles (with a couple of walk breaks) and then walked .4 miles. I haven’t been running lately and my hip still hurts so my time wasn’t the best.


I’m just trying to run outside a little more to be ready for the 5k on Thanksgiving!

Kind Bars

A few weeks ago, Jaden and I went to Whole Foods and they had a few kid’s Halloween activities set up around the store. One activity was a photo booth with props.


If you took a picture and tagged it on Instagram, you were eligible to win a case of Kind bars. Well, I just found out today that Jaden’s picture was one of the lucky winners! Yay!


I go through phases with reading. Sometimes I’ll read a whole bunch of book in a row and then I’ll go a long time without reading anything.

I just finished reading Allegiant (from the Divergent series).


I thought the book was okay - I wasn’t really happy with the ending and thought there was so much time between books so I had a hard time remembering what had happened in the first two books. It’s a must read if you read the first two in the series, but overall slightly disappointing.

I am currently reading Ender’s Game (I seem to like young adult books if you can’t tell).


Ender’s Game is actually an old book from 1991. It was recently made into a movie that just came out. Jacob read it on his Kindle, so I decided to read it too. So far, it’s really good. It’s about a young boy who is sent away to Battle School to train for a war against an alien race.

It reminds me of another book I recently read where kids are sent away to train as soldiers and I just can’t remember the name of it!


Lunch this afternoon was an Amy’s gluten-free burrito. I also had some apple slices.


Ugly Sweater Coffee

While I was at Target, I came across this Ugly Sweater Crème Brulee coffee.


How fun is that? Last year, we had an ugly Christmas sweater party, and this coffee would have been perfect.

Last year:


Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • Tell me something random about your day!



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Pile on The Miles 2013

Good morning and Happy November 1st! I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the holidays!

Once again this year, I signed up for Monica’s Pile on the Miles Challenge.

The idea behind Pile on the Miles is to challenge yourself to run/walk more during the month of November. You can pledge a mile goal or an amount of days that you want to workout per week.

Since I am still recovering from my hip injury, I am not running as much as I used to, so I pledged to run at least 5 miles a week or workout 4-5 times a week.


Last night was rainy and not the best night for trick or treating, but luckily the rain didn’t last all night and the kids had fun.



I think I have worn this cheetah t-shirt and ears since Jacob was in kindergarten. I even ran a 10k in it. At least I’ve gotten my money’s worth :)


My niece was Jessie from Toy Story – her favorite movie!


Today’s Workout

  • Stretching – 10 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I went to BodyPump this morning but didn’t teach. I have been doing the same BodyPump release every day for months and I needed a change! Luckily the instructor did a different release today.

Thanksgiving 5k

Well, it’s official – Jacob is signed up for his first 5k race and I am signed up for my first Thanksgiving/November race! The race is on Thanksgiving morning and I am so nervous about the weather. I am such a baby about the cold but I look forward to watching my son run his first 5k!

I told Jacob that I would run with him, but I guess when you’re 12, it’s not cool to run with your mom, so I plan on running behind him just so I can keep an eye on him.

I think it’ll be cool to run on Thanksgiving morning and then go stuff myself with tons of food :) Danny, my step-mom, and her friend are running the race also, and I signed Jaden up for the kid’s 100 meter dash!

Have a great Friday!

  • What are you looking forward to this month?
  • What do you wear to run in the colder weather?


Filed under Family Fun, Halloween, Race, Working Out

Halloween Party 2013

Saturday night was my dad’s annual Halloween party. It was so much fun and everyone had such awesome costumes!

I was Wonder Women – I’ll take any opportunity to wear a tutu.


I bought most of my costume at Spirit and made my tutu with tulle from the fabric store. I found silver star foam stickers and stuck them all over my tutu.

Since I was Wonder Women, Danny came as Clark Kent…



…and about two hours into the party, he changed into a Superman costume. We thought it would be a fun little surprise :) I am really happy with how our costumes turned out this year.


My brother and sister-in-law were Ronald McDonald and The KFC Colonel. How awesome were their costumes?!


Their babysitter ended up canceling at the last minute because she came down with strep throat, so my niece was at the party for a short time. Isn’t she such a cutie pirate?


She loved Danny’s glasses and kept trying to figure out why he had them on.



My dad was Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty and my stepmom was a mermaid.


My stepmom and I had similar ideas for Halloween this year and didn’t even know it until the party. First, we were both going to be Audrey Hepburn and then we were almost both mermaids! I actually planned on being a mermaid and even ordered a costume and wig off of Amazon, but let me just say that the mermaid costume is very form fitting and I just wasn’t comfortable in it. So, I was Wonder Women instead.

A few other costumes from the night:







My dad’s pumpkin.


I think it took him close to a billion hours to carve, and it came out awesome!

The party was so much fun, but let me say, it’s not a good idea to go to a party, stay up late, and have a few drinks the night before you have to film a BodyPump video.

On Sunday, we met my dad, stepmom, and brother for breakfast before I had to film my BodyPump video. I was really dragging and shouldn’t have ate such a heavy breakfast. The filming of my video went pretty good. Someone came in to make sure the camera ran the whole time.

I didn’t do perfect but I did a lot better than last time, and I submitted my video to Les Mills for my final certification. I can tell by watching myself on the video that there is a few things that I have to work on, but I can only improve from here.

It’s such a relief to be done filming. My right hip and quad has gotten a little bit worse lately with all the BodyPump and I am glad that the video is filmed and I don’t have to practice everyday.

Now I just have to wait a few weeks to see if my video passed! Fingers crossed!

Have a great afternoon!



Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Halloween