Category Archives: Fitness

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

Workout and Lunch

Good afternoon! Only one week until Thanksgiving – I am super excited! I’m excited for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, carrots, pie, and all the food. :)

This morning, I went to the gym and did a glute and cardio workout.

For glutes/legs I did:

  • sumo squats
  • jump squats on the bench
  • glute kickbacks on the cable machine
  • split quads
  • deadlifts


After those exercises, I headed to the indoor track to walk/run for about 25 minutes. I started out walking one lap and running one lap. Then I walked one lap and ran two laps. Then I walked one lap and ran three laps. I did this up to four laps and then finished with walking two laps.

I finished up my workout with 20 easy minutes on the stationary bike. Ever since my hip surgery last year, I have found that I use the stationary bike more to cool down and keep my hip mobile.

Post workout was a protein shake and then home for lunch.

My lunches have been pretty boring lately. I have been eating the exact same thing for about three weeks. I tend to eat the same lunch for a few weeks and then change it to something else for a few weeks.

Lately, my lunch has been a big salad with carrots, tortilla strips, and Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing.



I also had a bagel thin with three egg whites, provolone cheese, and fruit preserves. On the side, I had snapea crisp. It’s my favorite lunch.



My breakfast and post-workout snack usually contain a lot of protein so my lunch is a little more carb-heavy.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday – Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding tomorrow night and then we have something super exciting on Saturday – stay tuned!!

Have a great day!

  • What do you usually eat for lunch?
  • Favorite glute or leg exercise? I love deadlifts. 



Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Family Fun and Workouts

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

On Friday night, I went with my grandma, aunt, and sister-in-law to a byow (bring your own wine :) ) dinner and craft show.


It was a fun girl’s night and I even got to paint a cute mason jar. That’s about the extent of my painting skills. Those are supposed to be snowflakes that I painted on there…

On Saturday, both the kids had doctor’s appointments and I got my first peppermint mocha of the season. Jaden got a kid’s hot cocoa with soy milk and at kid’s temperature. Such a Starbucks connoisseur.


I like the peppermint mocha but I’m not a huge fan of mocha coffee so it’s not my favorite but I do enjoy it every once in awhile.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. We did a glute and shoulder workout.


Our workout included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • reverse lunges
  • hip thrusts on the bench
  • shoulder presses
  • bent arm lateral raises
  • cable front raises

The weather was really nice yesterday so Danny started putting up the Christmas decorations.


It’s always better to put them up when it’s nice outside rather than when it’s freezing and snowing! And I heard we’re supposed to get some snow this weekend!

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick cardio workout before running some errands. Post workout, I had a protein shake.


Always trying to get that protein in!

Have a great day!

  • Are you creative or artistic? 
  • What did you do this weekend?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Hot Chocolate 5k 2015

Saturday – Hot Chocolate 5k Expo

On Saturday, Danny, the kids, and I drove to Chicago to pick-up our packets for the Hot Chocolate 5k.


Jaden loved the inflatable marshmallows.


The expo had some chocolate samples, hot chocolate samples, and marshmallows. The hot chocolate was delicious! We picked up our bibs first and then got our Hot Chocolate jackets.


The jackets come wrapped in plastic and they tell you absolutely not to open the plastic or you will not be able to exchange it if you need a different size. Instead they have a try-on section with tables set up with  different size jackets. So people take turns trying on whatever size they need to make sure it fits. If it doesn’t fit, you can exchange your unopened jacket for a different size. Exchanges were at the expo only.

I made my way to the try-on section and found a women’s size medium jacket to try on. It fit perfectly so I was happy. I was also excited because I registered for the race early enough to get an embroidered jacket that said Chicago 2015 Finisher.

We finished up at the expo and went home. When we got home, I opened my jacket and took it out of the plastic to put on. I put my hands in the pockets and one of my hands kept going right through the pocket – it wasn’t sewed close!! Basically there was a giant hole in the pocket which made it unable to put anything in including your hands.

I was really bummed because this is a more expensive race and I was really looking forward to wearing my embroidered jacket. I did contact the Hot Chocolate race on Facebook about it and they said to contact them on Monday about exchanging it. I’m glad they’re fixing the problem but that probably means that I’ll have to mail the jacket back and wait for a new one in return. So, I’m super bummed about that.

Sunday – Hot Chocolate 5k

My in-laws watched the kids for us since we were in the first wave for the race and had to be up early. The Hot Chocolate race is a 5k and 15k – they both start at the same time and in the same corrals but there are two waves. I thought this was a good way to organize it since they said 45,000 people signed up to run.

We were in wave 1 and corral D so we had to be in our corrals by 6:45am. We woke up right before 5am and left soon after to get to Chicago a little after 6am. We pre-paid for parking online so parking was easy. The parking lot wasn’t too far from the start so we walked over.


I used the porta-potties twice before we headed to our corral.


I was a little nervous about the 5k and 15k runners starting together in the same corral but honestly it wasn’t too bad. I saw on Facebook that 65% of the runners ran the 5k and the other 35% ran the 15k so it really wasn’t too overcrowded. The 5k and 15k runners ran together until we split apart at mile 2.8.

Prior to the race, Danny KT taped my knee and both my ankles. My ankles have been bothering me when I run lately so I made sure to tape both of them. I wore my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 12s which I absolutely love. I received these shoes from Mizuno as a FitFluential ambassador and I love them because they are a supportive shoe and I need all the support I can get.


Danny and I did not run together since he is quite faster than me but we did start in the same corral together. I was nervous about the weather because it was only supposed to be around 30 degrees and I hate the cold weather. I get so cold it’s ridiculous. But it ended up being closer to 40 degrees. I was cold while we were waiting but I warmed up fairly quickly while we were running. I bought throw away gloves from the Target $1 spot but I ended up wearing them the whole time.

This was Danny’s first run since the marathon. Well, he ran a mile on the treadmill once or twice but this was his first distance over a mile and first race since the marathon.


Our corral had 10 minute mile pacers for the 15kers and I thought it would be a good idea for me to stick with that group for the 5k. I tend to start out 5ks way too fast and really lose energy quickly. I was hoping that by sticking with the 10 minute pacer, I wouldn’t start out too fast.


I stuck with the 10 pace group for a little over a mile. At that point, I felt really good (better than I expected with my knee and ankles) so I decided to speed up. I decided that it would be my goal to either stay in front of or with the 10 minute pacers and not let them pass me up.

The first mile was pretty much unground in a tunnel. By the time we exited the tunnel, the cool air felt wonderful. The first two miles went by so fast which was nice. At mile 2, I started to slow down a bit. Surprisingly, my knee felt perfectly fine but my right ankle was killing me. About a quarter of a mile before the finish, there’s a giant hill. It’s terrible.

It’s not even that it’s super steep, it’s more that it’s so long. It just slowly slowly climbs up and at the top there’s a race photographer. Nice. I bet those are some great pictures. That hill really killed me. It was hard and I could feel myself slowing down and just wanting to stop.

Running has always been a challenge for me and has never been easy. I felt fairly good this race and really wanted to finish strong. When I initially saw the finish line, I was like this sucks. That’s way too far. I hate running. My ankle hurts. I don’t care about anything. Whatever.

But I also really wanted just be be done so I pushed a little harder and crossed that damn finish line. I didn’t wear my Garmin so I had no idea how I finished. I felt like I did decent but slowed down a lot that last mile so I wasn’t sure.

My official time ended up being 30:46 and I was incredibly happy. That’s a good time for me and my last few 5ks haven’t been the best so I was proud of myself (which I think every runner should be whether your fast, medium, or slower. Crossing that finish line is always an accomplishment.)

My second reaction was if I only ran 47 seconds faster I could have had a 29 minute 5k. And then Danny was all like don’t do that to yourself. You ran great and you’re happy with your time so be happy. So, I am. I am very happy with my 30:46. My ankles hurt. I had hip surgery a year and a half ago. I have compartment syndrome in my calves. I overcome obstacles that other people might not deal with and I am proud of myself.

In case you’re wondering how Danny did – he ran the 5k in 23:02. He’s good.

After the 5k, I met up with Danny and we headed to the post party which was actually quite aways away but we were able to walk right up and get our hot chocolate treat.


We got a finisher’s mug with a cup of the world’s best hot chocolate, chocolate fondue with a marshmallow, a mini rice krispy treat, a bag of pretzels, hazelnut cookies, and a banana.



Please ignore my super crazy hair in this picture. It’s ridiculous.


It was freakin’ delicious. I don’t eat anything before I run a 5k so I was hungry! I ate the marshmallow, pretzels, and rice krispy treat with the chocolate fondue. Delicious. I saved the hazelnut cookies for Jacob and brought that banana home. Danny and I don’t like bananas so we saved them for the kids.

On the way back to our car, we saw that the second wave had started so we watched for a little bit and we’re able to see my sister-in-law and her cousin running. My grandma and cousin also ran the race but we weren’t able to see them.

Overall, I really liked the Hot Chocolate 5k. It is definitely one of my favorite races to date. The expo was well organized and there was no line for the bib or jacket pick up. They also offer an option of mailing your packet to you which I might do if I ever ran the race again. It’s cheaper to get it mailed than it is to pay for parking at the expo. I did enjoy the expo but having to pay for parking two days in a row is expensive.

Race day was also well organized. At first, we were unsure how to get into our corral since the roads were blocked off but they had a lot of people telling us where to go. The corrals were big and had lots of people but our corral didn’t feel overcrowded. There were tons of porta-potties and I only had to wait about two minutes in line.

After the race, the volunteers were handing our gatorade and water. I was able to find Danny right away after the race. We did have to walk for a little bit to get to the chocolate finisher’s mugs but it was worth it. There was no line to pick-up our chocolate. We did start in the first wave in an early corral, so I don’t know how the lines and wait was for people later.

I would definitely run this race again in the future and even the 15k if I trained for it!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite chocolate?



Filed under Fitness, Race, Running

Halloween 2015

Happy November 1st!!! Let the holiday season begin!! I tried to get Danny to put up our outside Christmas decorations today but I don’t think he’s ready to jump aboard my All Things Christmas Holiday Train. 😉

Yesterday, we meet my mom and family friend at the mall so the kids could trick-or-treat a little bit. The mall was insane and that’s probably the last time I’ll do that but the kids had fun. In the afternoon, we went over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house to go trick-or-treating and for dinner.

Jacob was a banana yet again. My niece was Skye from Paw Patrol and Jaden was a polar bear.


My dad and grandpa even got in on the fun by dressing up. My dad was a pirate.


My grandpa was a chef.


The weather was chilly and rainy but it really wasn’t too bad compared to some other years. It rained all day but it was more of a light mist while we were trick or treating.


Danny and I.


Those are the first pair of leggings/yoga pants that I have ever owned that I wore for real life and not working out. I was a little self conscious because I pretty much wear my big baggy Victoria’s Secret boyfriend sweatpants 24/7. These leggings are really comfortable and I liked them, I just have to get used to them. Danny told me I looked good about 74,000 times so I’m thinking he doesn’t love my giant sweatpants as much as I do. :)

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating and got lots of candy. It was so nice having Halloween on a Saturday this year!!

I definitely indulged in quite a bit of Halloween candy yesterday – sweets are my weakness! Danny and I made sure to get to the gym this morning for a glute/leg workout.


We did calf raises three ways to target the entire calf: toes together, heels together, and regular. We also did: deadlifts (lots of deadlifts!!), split squats, kettlebell swings, and hip thrusts on a bench. Well, I did hip thrusts. Danny did not.

We definitely got a great workout in this morning. After today, I going to take it a little easy on legs this week since I’m running the Hot Chocolate 5k next Sunday and I don’t want too much knee and quad pain.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • How was your Halloween?
  • Favorite Halloween candy?
  • What are you looking forward to about November/December?



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

Tabata Circuit Workout

Good afternoon! It is a cold, windy, and rainy day here in Chicagoland so I am enjoying some hot cocoa out of my super cute mug from Self magazine.


Don’t you just love the gold lip print on the mug?! So cute! I haven’t had hot cocoa in forever so it was perfect on this cold day.

This morning, after Jaden went to school, my niece and I headed to the gym.


Today I did a tabata circuit style workout. I did six different exercises for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of rest in between. Once I completed all six exercises, I rested for  minute or so and repeated the six exercises. I did this four times through.

Yesterday, I was going glute and bicep exercises, and I kind of tweaked my quad. It still hurts today so I did the exercises all little slower than I normally might. Some of the exercises I did included: box jump burpees with a tricep push-up, fast feet on a bench, and lateral shoulder raises to parallel shoulder raises.

These workouts are great because you can add any kind of exercise you want to make it a full workout – burpees, mountain climbers, running, jumping jacks, bicep curls, tricep dips, etc.

After my workout, I foam rolled and stretched my quad for quite a bit. I’m going to try and take it easy on lower body exercises next week because I am running the Hot Chocolate 5k next Sunday and I want to do as well as my body will let me. My knee is a constant battle so I really don’t want to add in quad pain!

After the gym, I stopped at Target to pick up eggs and I got two boxes of Yasso Greek yogurt bars.


Chocolate chip cookie dough is the best flavor of Greek yogurt bars and Target is the only place I can ever find them and usually they’re sold out. I grabbed two boxes while I could because I’m sure they’ll be sold out for months again.

Tomorrow, Jaden has his Halloween party at school and then Saturday is Halloween! I hope the weather isn’t as bad as they’re predicting! Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you ever do tabata or HIIT workouts?
  • Favorite treat?




Filed under Fitness, Fun, Working Out

Thursday Randomness

Good afternoon, friends! I feel like I haven’t been around all week. I’ve just been busy with life.

Today I thought I’d just share some randomness with you. :)

I’ve been working a lot. Taking Jaden to school before I go to work:


We took the kids to the pumpkin farm just to walk around and see the Halloween sights.


Honestly, we just buy pumpkins at the grocery store because it’s so much cheaper but we just like to walk around the pumpkin farm. I think we’re going back to the pumpkin farm next week with my family to go on a haunted hay ride.

The kids had fun at the pumpkin farm. Jaden found a gourd that thoroughly disgusted him.


I just love his face in that picture!

Jaden checking for baby rattlers which were literally baby rattles.


Danny and I got apple cider donuts which were amazing. Even though they were delicious and I wanted more, I’m glad we only got one each because I could have easily eaten half a dozen of those delicious, fresh, apple donuts.


I’ve been working out and eating. I’ve been loving the Simply Balanced salmon from Target. I tried the chipotle bbq flavor recently. It was good but a little too spicy for my liking.


I also made roasted sweet potatoes. My sweet potatoes never seem to turn out very crispy but I read online that you can add a little bit of cornstarch to them to get them nice and crispy. Unfortunately, I added a bit too much cornstarch but I’ll know for next time to use less!

Jaden has resorted to making a dog out of a shoebox and paper because he has been dying to get a dog.


Jaden and I both have dog allergies but we’re okay with some dogs. We’re thinking about possibly getting the kids a dog for Christmas. We would like to adopt a dog from a shelter but we’re still researching hypoallergenic dogs. We would like a big dog and most hypoallergenic dogs seem on the smaller side. But we are looking into goldendoodles.

Jaden did do a really good making that dog. I was impressed. It actually stood on those paper legs and Jaden took it outside to play and everything. It only lasted about two days but it was a good two days. :)

Tomorrow I work during the day and then on Saturday, we’re having our annual family Halloween food and pumpkin carving contest! I can’t wait- it’s always such a fun day.

Here’s a few Halloween foods from past years:


Have a great day!

  • Do you have any pets?
  • Did you have a pet growing up?
  • Do you carve pumpkins?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween, Uncategorized

Shoulder and Core Circuits

Good morning – Happy Saturday!!


Yesterday morning, after Jaden went to school, I headed out to do a few errands and go to a much-needed hair appointment.


I went to the grocery store to get a few things for the Halloween party tonight and I decided to make cookies. I bought the ingredients that I needed and made my favorite cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog – Reese’s Pieces Butterscotch cookies.

The dough has to chill in the fridge so I made it last night and will be baking the cookies today!


Also while at the store, I found the coffee that I have been buying lately on clearance! I love finding k-cups on clearance for only $3.99.


I have been buying this Green Mountain Autumn Harvest Blend for the past few weeks and I love it.

I went to my hair appointment in the afternoon – got full highlights, a trim, and my eyebrows waxed before heading home to work on my Halloween costume.

Yes, I am still working on my Halloween costume.


This costume is taking way much more time and effort that I originally thought and I’m still not done with it! For all the time and effort I’ve spent you’d think it was a really spectacular costume but it’s really not. :) I’m still excited to put it all together and get it finished today!

When Danny got home from work, we headed to the gym together. Now that the marathon is over, we can actually work out together.


Yesterday we did a mini circuits workout that included shoulders, abs, and a little bit of cardio. Here’s the workout we did:

Circuit #1: (repeat 3x)

  • plate front raises x12
  • bent arm side raises x12
  • kettlebell swings x12

Circuit #2: (repeat 3x)

  • cable upright rows x12
  • standing dumbbell shoulder press x 12
  • bosu opposite arm to leg sit-ups x12 each side

Circuit #3: (repeat 3x)

  • bench sit-ups x 12
  • medicine ball oblique twists with a wall throw x 12 each side
  • 30 seconds bosu step-ups

Circuit #4: (repeat 3x)

  • medicine ball slams x15
  • push-ups x12
  • kettlebell farmers walk around track (switch kettlebell halfway)

We finished up our workout with rowing 500 meters on the rowing machine. I was feeling it by the time we were done!!


My plans are to head back to the gym this morning for a back and biceps workout. Then I have to stop by the store to get one more thing for my costume – talk about last minute! Then I’ll be baking cookie and brownies and making buffalo chicken dip for the party tonight!

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of our costumes later tonight!!

Have a great weekend!!

  • Do you color your hair?
  • Favorite shoulder exercise?
  • Any plans for this weekend?



Filed under Fitness, Recipes

Proud Mama

Good afternoon!

I was up early this morning at about 4:50 am for work. My alarm is set for 5:05 am but my body naturally wakes me up at 4:50 am. I get terrible sleep the nights before I have to get up early for work because I am paranoid that I’m going to sleep through my alarm. Okay, alarmS. I have three alarms set and I still don’t sleep good!

Right from work, I met Danny and the kids at Jacob’s high school for a special awards breakfast.


One of Jacob’s teachers nominated him for a “Panther of the Quarter” award which is awarded to students who have gone above and beyond in some aspect in the classroom whether it be for good grades, leadership skills, responsibility, etc.



I was so proud of Jacob! He rarely talks to me about school so I was so happy to see him receive this award. He got a certificate and a pin. I was one proud mama! I wasn’t allowed to hug him at school but he said we could high-five when he got home. Teenagers.

When we got home, my brother dropped off my niece, I got Jaden on the bus, and then headed to the gym. I am really tired today and wasn’t really feeling it at the gym so I just stuck to an hour of cardio. I did 20 minutes on the arc trainer, 25 minutes on the treadmill, and 15 minutes on the Stairmaster.

My favorite snack lately has been a Honeycrisp apple with the Jif Whips salty caramel peanut  butter.


I was planning on buying the regular Jif Whips peanut butter but the only flavor my grocery store had was the salty caramel. I debated buying it and I’m glad that I did because it’s delicious.


The rest of the afternoon will be spent working on my Halloween costume. Only two more days until our annual Halloween party and my costume is taking longer than I thought it would!

Have a great day!

  • Favorite cardio exercise?
  • What time do you wake up during the week?
  • Have you ever tried flavored peanut butter? Favorite? I love the Jif Whips in pumpkin spice but sadly I haven’t been able to find it this year.


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness

Back to Butts and Guts Class

Good afternoon!

I worked until 2pm yesterday and I usually bring my gym clothes with me so I can workout when I get off of work, but I still wasn’t feeling that great yesterday so I just went home instead.

Then, I randomly decided to take the 5:15 pm Butts and Guts class at my gym.


I never workout at 5:15 pm and I haven’t been to Butts and Guts class forever but I’m glad I went!


I got a great workout and we did lots of exercises with resistance bands. I burned 409 calories according to my Polar heart rate monitor.


Do I think heart rate monitors are 100% accurate? No. But I do think they give you a good estimate of what you burned. I personally don’t eat back the calories that I burned during a workout but I do like to see my heart rate to make sure I’m working hard enough especially during HIIT workouts.

Today, I was back at the gym this morning for a chest, triceps, and core workout. After strength training, I did about 20 minutes of cardio on the Stairmaster.


I finished up with a little bit of stretching.

I work tomorrow, on Saturday we’re going to the Chicago Marathon expo, and then on Sunday Danny will be running the marathon! I can’t wait. I’m so proud of him!

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite exercise class?
  • Do you use a heart rate monitor?

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Filed under Fitness, Working Out