Category Archives: Fitness

Shoulder, Core, and Cardio Circuit Workout

Good afternoon! This morning at the gym, I did a great circuit workout involving shoulders, core, and cardio.


Here is the workout I did:


I completed each circuit four times and I finished up my workout with an easy 12 minutes on the stationary bike.

I love incorporating the speed ladder into my workouts. It’s a great way to do something different and challenge your body.


Post workout, I had this Powerful Yogurt protein drink that Danny recently found at the grocery store.


I have never seen these before, so I was excited to try it and with 20 grams of protein, it’s perfect post-workout. The vanilla maple flavor was delicious!

When I got home, I took Baylee for a walk since the weather is halfway decent.


She’s getting big!

After our walk, I made lunch.


Egg whites with a little bit of reduced fat cheddar cheese, whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, and sugar snap peas. So good!

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite core exercise?
  • What did you have for lunch today?

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Circuit Workout

Good afternoon!

This morning at the gym, I did a great circuit workout before teaching my Women on Weights class.


I did the following circuit four times through:

  • 400 meter row
  • 10 box jumps
  • 10 kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell farmer’s carry on track (hold heavy kettlebell in one hand and walk on the track, switching hands halfway. Great for obliques!)

I did each exercise back-to-back, rested about 30 seconds, and then repeated for a total of four times. I really like doing circuit workouts because they are a great way to combine strength training and cardio and are a great way to keep your heart rate up.

After teaching Women on Weights, I came home and had a cup of Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea in my favorite gingerbread coffee mug.

20160126_120642 (1)

I usually add a few drops of the SkinnyGirl stevia extract. My mom gave this to me and it’s perfect to sweeten up the tea a little bit.

Danny and I also got in some great workout this weekend. On Saturday, we worked shoulder and core. We did some of the hardest sit-ups I’ve ever done in my life. On the decline bench, we held a plate behind our head and did sit-ups. It might not look too hard but it was killer. I could barely manage two sets of 10.


On Sunday, we worked back and biceps.


We also did more plate sit-ups but this time we did them on the floor making it a little easier. Still hard but easier than the decline bench. If you have a chance, definitely try out these sit-ups!

Have a great day!

  • If you’re a tea drinker, what’s your favorite tea?
  • Favorite core exercise? I love planks!



Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

Leg and Glute Workout

Good afternoon! How are you all doing?

I’ve been working and working out. Yesterday when I got off of work, I did an easy cardio workout. 30 minutes on the stairmaster followed by 15 minutes on the stationary bike.


After my workout, I had a thinkThin bar. I really like the salted caramel flavor.

Today I did a great leg/glute workout.

I did 4 sets and 10 reps of the following exercises:

  • Resistance band walking squats
  • Dumbbell deadlifts – 60 lbs
  • Split squats – 20 lbs
  • Barbell hip thrusts – 60 lbs
  • Walking lunges – 30 lbs
  • Weighted donkey kicks – 5 lbs
  • Single leg hip bridges
  • Leg press machine – 165 lbs
  • Seated leg curls – 65 lbs

After my workout, I took a selfie:)


And foam rolled.


In puppy news, Baylee loves laying on the vent in the bathroom. If we ever can’t find her, we just check the bathroom and she’s usually laying on her favorite vent…or eating toilet paper.


Today will be her second week of puppy training school. Danny takes her every Thursday for eight weeks. Even though she can be a naughty puppy sometimes, she’s actually calmed down a bit and is very smart. She already can sit, stay, give you both her paws, lay down, roll over, and high five. She also rings a bell when she want to go outside. All thanks to Danny.

She also likes to eat toilet paper and shoes, knock over the garbage can, dig in the mud, attack slippers if we’re wearing them, chew the wall, and latch onto your pants when you’re walking. :) Fun times with a puppy.

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Do you have a pet? 



Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

Weekend Workouts

Good afternoon! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

It’s cold here in Chicagoland so we’ve just been laying low all weekend – working out, watching movies, and trying out a new enchilada recipe (check back tomorrow for the recipe!).

Danny I went to the gym yesterday and did a great shoulder, core, and cardio workout.

IMG_20160116_104922 (1)

I wore this new workout shirt from Target that Danny bought for me.


I love the mesh sleeves!

Saturday night, we rented The Martian.


I read the book awhile back and was excited to see that the movie just came out. I thought it was a really good movie and even the kids loved it!

Sunday morning we were back at the gym for a chest, triceps, and HIIT stairmaster workout.


Danny was a badass with his tricep dips. I was not. :)

Our workout included:

  • chest presses
  • tricep dips
  • cable chest flyes
  • barbell tricep presses
  • decline chest press machine
  • cable tricep pressdowns

We finished our workout with level 20 on the Stairmaster for one minute followed by two minutes recovery. We did this for a total of 21 minutes.

I recently ordered new BCAAs from that I’ve been drinking during my workouts.


BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) help promote lowered body fat levels, increase strength, and improve muscle repair.

Well, that was pretty much our weekend! Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you seen/read The Martian?
  • Last movie you saw?



Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Vertical Endeavors – Indoor Rock Climbing

For Christmas, the kids got gifts cards to an indoor rock climbing place near our house from my dad and stepmom.


It’s called Vertical Endeavors and they have locations in Illinois and Minnesota. I have never been on a rock climbing wall before and really wanted to try it out so Danny and I decided to do it too.

You pay an admission fee and then you can purchase a rental pack which includes a shoes, a harness, a belay tool, and a chalk bag.

We got everything on and then had to wait for an orientation since it was our first time. The guide showed us the walls we were able to do as beginners and how to hook ourselves up. Then we got to the rock climbing!


The kids loved it and were like pros right away. I couldn’t believe how fast they were able to get to the top!

We started out on the easy beginners wall and then moved on a walls that were a little more difficult.



I was nervous at first because I do not like heights. At first, I would only go halfway up the easy wall before letting myself down.

I tried one of the harder walls and by the time I went back to the easy wall, it felt really easy and I was able to climb all the way to the top…as long as I didn’t look down. :)



Indoor rock climbing is a great workout. It’s great for working out your full body but I felt it a lot in my upper body.


We stayed and climbed for a couple of hours before we got tired and hungry. It was a great workout! My dad stopped by for a little while to watch which was actually nice because he was able to help hook us up. It was difficult to attach the hooks to our harness and they kids couldn’t do it without help.


Danny and I headed back to the gym this morning and did a great shoulder/active rest workout – meaning we added some cardio in between sets with little rest.


Our workout:

  • shoulder press//jump roping – 4 sets, 10 reps
  •  T-raises//jump roping – 4 sets, 10 reps
  • upright rows//burpees – 4 sets, 10 reps
  • kettlebell swings//farmer’s walk with kettlebell on the indoor track – 4 sets, 10 reps, 4 laps

Those burpees were killer! It was an awesome workout. We finished up with about 10 minutes on the stationary bike and some stretching.

That was our weekend – have a great day! :)

  • Have you ever been rock climbing?
  • What did you do this weekend?





Filed under Fitness, Working Out

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?

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness

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?



Leave a Comment

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

Polar A300 – No More FitBit!

Good afternoon! I am back!! My blog was down for a few days due to some technical difficulties. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the technical part of my blog but I worked with Scott from BlogCrafted and he helped me get my site back up and running.

I worked with BlogCrafted a couple of years ago when I switched to being self-hosting and contacted them again when my blog was having problems earlier in the week. If you need any blogging help, I recommend using BlogCrafted. I worked with Scott and he does a quick and thorough job. Everything was taken care of within a day and his prices are very reasonable.

Anyway back to the blog. :)

Danny, my super sweet husband, got me an early Christmas gift – the Polar A300 heart rate monitor.


I was using the Polar FT7 monitor and I loved it but it was getting old and not working like it should. After doing some research, I decided to go with the Polar A300. This heart rate monitor will replace my FitBit.

I have the FitBit Charge HR and while I love it (you can read about it in this post and this post), I found that it didn’t record my heart rate accurately during exercise so when I worked out, I would wear my Polar FT7 in addition to the FitBit.

The Polar A300 totally replaces my FitBit. It records steps taken during the day, activity level, calories burned during the day, and sleep. You wear the chest strap during exercise to monitor your heart rate.

I like that it gives you a goal of being active for a certain amount during the day and then lets you know when you’re 100% at your activity goal. Some days I’m way over my goal.


Reaching your goal of activity is done through any movement – exercise, walking, shopping, cleaning, etc. As long as you’re moving, it counts as activity. Of course, if you’re doing strenuous activity, you’ll reach your activity goal a lot faster. I usually reach my 100% goal after working out for about an hour.

Some pros and cons:


  • it records steps, calories burned, distance, activity level, and sleep (although I don’t find the sleep very accurate)
  • it has a chest strap for more accurate heart rate during exercise
  • it alerts you when you’ve been inactive too long
  • it gives you the option to choose which type of exercise you’ll be doing – strength training, running, walking, cycling, swimming, etc


  • the battery life is very long (they say if you work out about an hour a day, the battery will last for 24 days! This includes wearing it all day long)
  • it has an alarm (see below)
  • the wrist strap is interchangeable – you can buy different colors if you want
  • you can sync it to an app on your phone


  • it’s pricey – around the same as the FitBit Charge HR. Mine was $180 but we had a $10 off coupon
  • it doesn’t alert you when you’ve reached your steps for the day (this isn’t really a big deal but I liked how excited the FitBit got when I reached 10,000 steps)
  • alarm – I used my FitBit alarm all the time so I was glad to see the Polar also had an alarm BUT you can only set it for Monday-Friday or Saturday and Sunday. I get up at 5am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday but the Polar doesn’t give me the option of only choosing those days  like the FitBit did. I have to set it for 5am Monday-Friday.
  • it’s a little bulkier than the FitBit (this doesn’t bother me because I’m used to wearing a heart rate monitor)

I’ve been wearing the Polar since Monday and so far I’m loving it. :)

In Baylee puppy news, she’s being cute…


…and naughty!


Have a great day!

  • Do you use a fitness tracker?


1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Product Review, Working Out

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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



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

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


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

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


I also made chocolate chunk cookies.


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


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

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

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness