Category Archives: Fun

Salata Kid’s Bento Boxes and a Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I recently partnered with Salata as a Salata Select Blogger to bring you exciting news and information about the new salad offerings from Salata all year long. I received a gift card to purchase my salad but all opinions are my own.


Yesterday, we took a trip to Salata – a build your own healthy tossed-to-order-salad bar. My stepmom and Dad also came with us and this was their first time at Salata. They loved it and everyone had fun creating their own salad creations.


Salata recently starting offering kid’s bento boxes which was a huge hit with my kids.



The kids get a bento style box and they get to chose five ingredients, one protein, and a dressing or peanut butter. Jaden isn’t really a huge fan of meat so he went with some pasta instead. Jacob got turkey as his protein.


Both the kids loved being able to pick out all their own food and getting it in a separated box. Jaden is very unhappy when his food touches so he was very happy with the little dividers in the bento box. Jaden opted out of dressing and Jacob tried the honey mustard dressing which he loved.


Besides salads, Salata also offers wraps which is what my dad ordered. They toss all the lettuce and ingredients you pick in a large bowl and then add it all to a wrap.


I love salad bars where I can pick my own toppings and added a bunch of different items to my salad. I got romaine and spring mix lettuce, carrots, onions, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, apples, smoked turkey, croutons, and falafel. I added the mango dressing on the side which was amazing.


I love the variety of fresh ingredients that Salata offers – fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, cheese, chicken, turkey, seafood, croutons, breads, falafel, soups, and desserts. There’s something for everyone and now even kids can  get their own meals! Of course, kids can always order a regular salad too but my kids loved the bento boxes.

Salata is partnering with Texas-based suppliers to provide new ingredients and offerings now through October 31st including:

  • Pecans from the state tree of Texas sourced from San Saba Pecans in San Saba, Texas
  • Goat cheese from Cheesemakers in Cleveland, Texas
  • A Texas-inspired dry rub barbecue chicken, handcrafted by Salata
  • Prickly Pear lemonade, inspired by the state plant of Texas, and crafted exclusively for Salata by JuicedUp Drinks in Houston

To celebrate its anniversary, Salata will offer giveaways in all stores and on social media on October 14th. Guests can also buy a salad or a wrap at the 2005 price of $5, with a small upcharge for chicken or seafood, when then mention “Happy Anniversary Salata” at the register!


Salata has a great giveaway for you guys today!! One winner will win a Salata tumbler, bag, and a $50 gift card!! 

*****Salata is not available in every state so please check out Salata locations here. Open to U.S. residents only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Fun, Giveaway, Lunch, Product Review

Sunset Shuffle 5k and Apple Picking!

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

On Saturday morning, I ran a local 5k. It was pretty small – probably around 150 people, maybe less. I was really happy because the weather has been so hot lately but on Saturday it was a cool 50 degrees at 8am.


The race started out with a free kid’s run and Jaden had fun running it. Luckily, it was short because Jaden started out running at top speed!


At 8am, the 5k started and I was off. I enjoyed the race course and I felt okay running. I didn’t feel terrible but I didn’t feel awesome either. I used KT tape on my knee and the bottom of my foot since my heel has been bothering me.

I haven’t really run since my last 5k in July so I was sure how’d I’d do. I finished in 32:22. Not terrible but not awesome either. Average.


I ran average. And I’m okay with that. I think sometimes we forget that it’s okay to be average. It’s hard to be the best at every single thing you do. I will always be an average runner and not for lack of trying.

My calves will always be tight since I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome. My hip will always get tired because I had hip surgery. And my knee hurts.

I will never be the fastest runner or the best runner. I will always be average and I am okay with that.

We didn’t hang around too long after the race because Danny had a 12 mile run to get done.

And unfortunately, my toenail happened to be cutting my other toe the entire time I was running so I had to get home to fix it and put on a band-aid. My sock was not a pretty sight when I took my shoe off.

On Saturday afternoon, WE WENT APPLE PICKING!


I was so excited to go apple picking! I have been wanting to go apple picking for years and years but we’ve just never gone. Until Saturday.


The kids were really excited too!



Apple picking is a little pricey. In order to go out into the apple fields, you have to purchase a 1/4 peck bag for $10. So, for four of us it cost $40. I know you’re also paying for the experience which is why I felt okay spending $40 on apples just this once.

The only thing that I wish is that there had been a bigger selection of apples to choose from. Someone mentioned going in October instead of September so maybe we just went too soon in the season. When we went, we were able to pick from three different apple varieties – Honeygold, Jonathon, and Gala.


The Honeygold apples were completely gone so that wasn’t even an option. The Gala apples were very limited and practically gone. After tasting a Gala apple, I realized it was too soft for my tastes so we mostly stuck with picking Jonathon apples which were delicious.

The kids (and adults!) had such a fun time picking apples and filling up our bags.

20150912_142514 (1)

Danny is so tall he could reach the apples at the top of the tree with no problem!

20150912_141938 (1)

After apple picking, we headed to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner and my sister-in-law came up with the great idea of using some of our apples for an apple crisp.


She found a recipe on the All Recipes website that came out amazing!

It was definitely a busy and fun filled Saturday!

On Sunday, I went to the gym in the morning and did a leg and triceps workout. Post workout, I had a Premier Protein vanilla shake.


The rest of my day was spent working the fitness desk at the gym while Danny and the kids watched the Bears game.

Today, I am off to the mall to look for a dress for a wedding we’re going to this weekend!

Have a wonderful day!

  • Have you ever been apple picking? Favorite apple? Mine is a Honeycrisp – hands down!!
  • What did you do this weekend?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Running

Labor Day Weekend

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!


On Sunday morning, Danny and I did a back and shoulder workout with one of my friends from the gym. In the afternoon, we celebrated my nephew’s third birthday.


He had a Minion themed party and my sister-in-law made the cutest Minion cake and other fun Minion desserts.



She used Nutter Butters, Milano cookies, and Oreos to make little Minion cookies!



After a weekend with lots of family, food, and fun, I was ready to get back to normal. On Monday morning, I went to the gym for a chest, abs, and HIIT workout. Then, Danny and I took the kids to the pool for one last summer swim.


Yesterday was the last day the pool was open for the summer and they did duck races. For $5, you could buy a duck and they let all the ducks go down the slide and the first three ducks won a prize. Jaden picked out a green duck but sadly it didn’t win.


It was still fun watching all the ducks race down the slide.


After lots of cake and wine this weekend, I was more than ready for a healthy dinner. I decided to make spaghetti squash because I haven’t made it in forever. Spaghetti squash is such a great low-carb healthy alternative to pasta. And it tastes amazing!

I cooked the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After it cooled for a few minutes, I used a fork to pull out the strands of spaghetti squash.


I added sauteed onions and spinach, marinara sauce, and reduced fat feta cheese.


Delicious and healthy!

Have a great day!

  • How was your weekend?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?
  • Favorite veggie?


1 Comment

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

Peach Mango Sangria

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

I haven’t really been sticking to my nutrition plan this weekend – it’s been a weekend of family get togethers, BBQs, and birthday celebrations and the weekend is only half over!

Yesterday morning, Danny had a 19 mile run on his Chicago marathon training plan so while he was doing that, I went to the gym.

A little C4 pre-workout before leg day.


I worked legs and triceps and finished up on the stairmaster.

After our workouts:


In the afternoon, we went to my grandparent’s house to celebrate my grandma’s birthday.

I made moscato sangria and it was delicious.


For the sangria, I used:

  • 1.5 liter moscato (I used Barefoot moscato because it tastes good and isn’t too expensive)
  • 1.5 cups orange peach mango juice
  • 1 bag mixed frozen fruit (I used mangoes, strawberries, and peaches
  • 1 can pineapple nectar


I mixed all the ingredients in a pitcher and let sit in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours. You can serve over additional frozen fruit. It was the perfect end-of-summer drink!

My grandma had an amazing birthday cake that she made – chocolate cake with fresh strawberries. That is my all-time favorite birthday cake so I couldn’t pass up a piece!


During the party, my step-mom got the great idea to make a pyramid – so we did. Fun times.


Today, we are celebrating my nephew’s third birthday! More cake!!

Have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • Favorite cake?





Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Recipes, Uncategorized, Working Out

Weekend Update

Good afternoon! How was your weekend?!

On Friday night, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for a bonfire.


I was really good about sticking to my nutrition plan all week and over weekend except for Friday night. I indulged a little bit while we were visiting with family and had a couple of glasses of wine. :)

I went 33 years without ever drinking wine and then I discovered that there are some wines that I actually do like and now it’s my weakness. Wine and chocolate – what else do you need in life?

On Saturday, we drove out to a new Trader Joe’s that was just built about 20 minutes from us.

20150829_151702 (1)

I like Trader Joe’s but I don’t love Trader Joe’s. Even though it’s more expensive, I prefer Whole Foods. I did pick up this spinach and cheese stuffed shells meal to try out. We’ll see how it is!


On Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym together.


We haven’t worked out together in awhile because he’s training for the Chicago Marathon in October so running has taken up a good portion of his time. He’s up to 18 miles on his training plan and ran 13 miles on Saturday. I can’t imagine running 18 miles!

Today, I had my check-in for Best Fit Body. My weight is the same from last week. I did lose 6 pounds last week so I really wasn’t too disappointed. What I am happy about is that my clothes seem to be fitting better and I feel good. A number on a scale doesn’t often give you the whole picture. I also take progress pics every week and it’s nice to see the change in the pictures and not focus on the number on the scale as much.

For breakfast this morning, I had a Chobani pear and cinnamon Greek yogurt.


I can’t remember if they had this flavor last year but I’m pretty sure they did because I think I remember eating it. I love the combination of the pears and cinnamon!

Have a great day!!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Are you a wine drinker? Favorite? 
  • Do you shop at Trader Joe’s?


Leave a Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

Parties, Cupcakes, and Workouts

Good morning! Happy Monday!


On Saturday morning, Danny and I ran the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5k. Check back for a post on the race tomorrow!


On Saturday afternoon, we went to my niece’s 4th birthday party.


She had a princess super hero party and my grandma made the cutest cupcakes for the party.


Super hero and princess cupcakes. They were delicious!


She even Baymax cupcakes because my niece loves Big Hero 6.


On Sunday morning, I went grocery shopping but first I stopped at Starbucks to try out their cold brewed coffee.


I got it with non-fat milk and one splenda. I’m not usually a huge fan of Starbucks regular brewed coffee but I loved the cold brewed coffee. I stopped and got another after the gym this morning but I got it with only Splenda and I prefered it with just the Splenda and no milk.


On Sunday afternoon, we went to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s new house to visit with our nephew who is home from the Navy for two weeks.


We cooked out and the kids had fun swimming.


They just adopted a new dog and Danny had fun hanging out with him.


Jaden and I made cupcakes to bring with.


Betty Crocker recently brought back the rainbow chip frosting which is my all time favorite frosting so I had to buy a tub of it! It is so good.


Good thing we made cupcakes or I would have eaten it all myself! :)


With all the parties and food this weekend, I ate a lot. Way too much. Today, I’m back on track and trying to eat good all week because we have another party to go to this weekend.

I went to the gym and did a few shoulder exercises. Then I did intervals on the Stairmaster.


For 30 minutes, I alternated between one minute at level 5 and one minute at level 16. I did a couple of ab exercises and then foam rolled for a few minutes. I ended up burning 560 calories.


Today, I have a few errands to do and a few workouts to plan! Have a great Monday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Do you prefer cold or hot coffee?

Leave a Comment

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

National Running Day is Coming Up and Birthday Presents!

Good afternoon!

June 3rd is National Running Day and in celebration of this day, OrthoLite is encouraging runners to show their run for a chance to win one of three $100 American Express gift cards for new running gear or OrthoLite Fusion insoles! To enter, all you have to do is post a picture of your run on June 3rd and tag @OrthoLite with #RunOrthoLite on Facebook and/or Twitter! The photo can show running shoes, a new PR, your running buddy that helps push you, your running route, or anything running lately.

Three winners will be selected at 9 am EST on Thursday, June 4th and will be notified direct message from OrthoLite on Facebook or Twitter. If you want to buy OrthoLite insoles now, you can go to their website and use coupon code FITCOMFY at checkout for $5.00 off.

I use OrthoLite in my shoes and I love them! You can checkout my review here. Don’t forget to post and tag your photos on June 3rd!


Yesterday was my birthday! I had to be at work at 5:30 am and when I got home a little after 7 am, Jaden had a birthday crown that he made waiting for me!


I spent the day doing a few errands and getting my hair done. I got some much needed highlights. Then, I stopped at Ulta and got my free birthday gift – Urban Decay 24/7 purple eye liner. I love the Urban Decay eye liners, I’m just not sure I’ll use purple eye liner. I wear brown eyeliner 99% of the time. If I’m feeling crazy, I might wear black eye liner otherwise brown it is!

Jaden had a baseball game in the evening. And lucky me, it rained for most of it. :( The game still went good and after we stopped to get Chipotle for my birthday dinner. I’m pretty sure calories don’t count on your birthday.

When we got home, Danny and the kids gave me some birthday gifts. There might have been some wine involved. :)


Jaden and I just finished reading Charlotte’s Web and I told Danny that I really wanted to get a pet pig. For my birthday he got me this:


He said it was as close to a pet pig as I was going to get.

He also got me two of my favorite Cellucor products – C4 and alpha aminos.


After presents, we had cake – my favorite cake is chocolate or white cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream frosting. Nothing beats strawberries and whipped cream.


Jaden had an allergy doctor appointment before school today so I got to the gym a little later than usual. Even though I had a rest day yesterday, I wasn’t super feeling it in the gym today. Do you ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like doing anything?!

I still worked out, just a little lighter than I normally do. I started out with a two mile fast walk on the treadmill followed by a few shoulder exercises. I have another workout planned for tonight so I didn’t want to wear myself out too much. I’m still sore from my back workout earlier in the week and my hip has been achy lately. I’m trying to be better at listening to my body.

After the gym, I stopped at Starbucks for my free birthday drink.


Don’t you just love all the birthday freebies?! I still have a free Dunkin’ Donuts coffee coupon to use!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite birthday freebie? The Benefit counter at Ulta used to give you a free eyebrow wax on your birthday but they stopped that a couple of years ago and I was so bummed!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • Do you go to the gym even if your not feeling it or take a rest day?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun

Friday Randomness

Good afternoon!

I was going to do Friday Favorites today but I couldn’t really think of a lot of favorites for this week so I’d thought I’d talk about some random things instead.

Actually, I do have one favorite – me new sequin leopard slippers!


My feet are always cold so if I’m at home, I’m wearing slippers. I needed a new pair and I knew they’d be on clearance at Target soon so I waited until slippers were 70% off and got this pair for only $5!

Yesterday Jaden wasn’t feeling the best, so he stayed home from school to rest. I wasn’t able to go to the gym, but not one to miss a workout, I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout in my living room instead.

My son and my niece were so excited to workout with me.



I love how excited kids get about exercise! It’s so fun for them to jump around the living room and “workout” with me. I love being able to teach healthy habits to my children although Jacob did give up going to the gym with me.

Jaden was feeling a lot better today so he went back to school and I went to the gym.

I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout twice, an ab circuit, and finished on the elliptical.


I feel like since starting this Bikini Body Mommy challenge, my strength training has been slacking a bit so tomorrow I’m back to lifting heavy weights, maybe some back and biceps. (You got that, Danny?! You better hope your back feels better!)

Danny and I normally work biceps and back on Saturdays but Danny hurt his back last week so he’s been taking it easy. But I think he’s better now!

I did get some exciting news today. Starting next week, I will be working at the fitness desk at my gym a couple of days a week!

It’s perfect because I watch my niece two days a week and then on the other days, I’ll work at the gym. It will change my workout time because I’ll be starting work when I normally would workout, so now I’ll just workout when I get off of work and then hurry home to get the kids off the bus.

I’m actually really looking forward to it! I start training next week. Yay!

I came across this picture the other day and I wanted to share it.

PicMonkey Collage-tt

In the first picture, Jaden was a baby. I have no idea how old he was – maybe a couple of months? The second picture was a few weeks ago.

I have a high risk pregnancy so I was on bedrest with Jaden for six months. I was allowed to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, get something to eat, and go to the doctor once a week. And that was it. Needless to say, I gained a lot more weight than someone with a normal pregnancy might.

This picture really makes me realize how far I’ve come. Sometimes I get upset because I don’t think I’m small enough, or my stomach is flat enough, or I can’t run like I used too, but seeing this picture reminds me that I have come a long way. I can go things now that I could never think about doing a few years ago.

Sometimes it’s hard not to get down on yourself or compare yourself to others but we all have our own journey and sometimes you might have to take two steps back before you move forward. The point is to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

Moving on….

Happy birthday to my best friend in the world, Jenny!


We have been best friends for 21 years. 21 years?! Isn’t that crazy. We meet when we were 12 years old and have so many fun memories.

On Sunday we’re going to my grandparent’s house for the Superbowl. I heard we’re supposed to get a lot of snow this weekend so I’m really hoping it holds off.

Have a great Friday!

  • Do you have anything random to share?
  • Any plans for the Superbowl?




Filed under Fitness, Fun, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!

Let’s jump right into today’s favorites!

  • Zensah calf sleeves


I pulled out my much neglected calf sleeves this morning. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my Achilles and calves lately so I’m hoping these calf sleeves helped a bit during today’s workout. I even ran sprints on the indoor track at the gym which was very exciting for me.

Since my Achilles bothers me, it hurts to run long distances but the sprints aren’t too bad and it got my heart rate up! I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome a few years ago, so my calves are always always always tight and the sleeves help with the blood flow.

  • Eggs


I eat a lot of eggs. I eat eggs every single day. I  buy brown eggs because they’re from vegetarian fed hens, have less saturated fat, and omega 3s. I think brown and white eggs are pretty similar nutrition-wise, I just personally prefer brown eggs.

I usually eat 2-3 egg whites every morning and sometimes for lunch too. The kids love scrambled eggs and hard boiled eggs.

  • Bikini Body Mommy Workouts


I know, I mention the BMM workouts all the time! But I am on Day #19 and I haven’t missed a day yet! Actually, I did miss one day but I just doubled up the workout the next day so I don’t really count it as missing a day! :)

These workouts continue for 90 days and I am proud of myself for doing the workout each day. Since my hip surgery, I have been focusing a lot more on strength training and the BMM workouts are really a change in my routine by adding high intensity cardio.

  • Starburst Gum


It’s Starburst in gum form. There really isn’t a need for an explanation. Life got a little better when I found Starburst gum.

  • Coffee


I am loving all the coffee that I got for Christmas! I love having so many options to choose from each morning. It’s like my own personal coffee shop!

  • Sales

I am reluctant  to spend a lot of money of shoes for Jaden because he’s really hard on them. He’ll wear a pair of new shoes to school and they’ll come home looking like he’s been wearing them for two months. Or he’ll go to school in a new pair of jeans and come home with a giant hole in the knee.


Luckily, I was at Meijer yesterday and they were have a 25% off the clearance price sale. I found a pair of Fila shoes for Jaden for only $16. Hopefully this pair will last him a little longer.

  • Butter Lettuce


Is it weird to have a lettuce as a favorite?! I don’t care. I love this lettuce.

I’ve never had butter lettuce before but it was on sale at the store last week and I bought a couple of bags. I have been using it in salads all week. I love that it doesn’t weigh a lot so I get a giant amount for only 10 calories!

That’s all my favorites for today!

Tonight we have plans to go out to dinner with my family! Have a great night!!

  • What are your Friday favorites? 
  • Do you have any plans this weekend?



Filed under Fitness, Fun, Working Out

Christmas Tree!

It’s December!! 

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by! Time always seems to go by so much faster when you’re an adult. 2015 is right around the corner!


On Saturday, we went to a tree farm about an hour away to cut down a tree with my family. My dad rode with us because my stepmom had to work.

IMG_20141129_102659We saw Jared Allen from the Chicago Bears at the tree farm with his family so that was exciting for the boys.

At the tree farm, the first thing we did was visit with Mrs. Claus.


I actually loved the idea of having Mrs. Claus rather than Santa because sometimes Santa is a little scary for small kids. Mrs. Claus explained that Santa was at the North Pole and she would let him know what the kids wanted for Christmas.

Then they got to put their names on the very good list.


After visiting with Mrs. Claus, we waited in line to have the horse drawn carriage take us out to the Christmas tree field. Choosing a Christmas tree is hard work. You cannot pick one right away. You must find one that is exactly perfect. You’ll know it when you find it.




Our tree:


I tend to be attracted to fat Christmas trees. Sometimes, they are a little too fat because we have a small living room. This year, we found the perfect semi-fat tree that fits just right in our living room.

After we all cut down the perfect tree, the kids rode the ponies, and we had some hot chocolate.


Danny set the tree up when we got home and we let it sit overnight so it’d be all ready to decorate the next day.


Sunday mornings I try to go grocery shopping as early as possible. We always grocery shop on Sundays, but if I go in the afternoon, it’s always crazy crowded so I go early. After grocery shopping, Danny and I went to the gym.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just wasn’t feeling it at the gym. I felt blah and tired and not in the mood to work out. I did run for 10 minutes on the treadmill and then we did some biceps and triceps exercises.


Usually I feel great working out, but lately I haven’t been sleeping great and I have been eating out of control for the past week and that’s really affecting how I feel. I am so happy that not only is today Monday, the beginning of a new week, but it’s also December, the beginning of a new month. The perfect day to get back on track with my eating.

Sunday afternoon, we decorated our Christmas tree. This is my absolute favorite thing to do. I love how close my family is and how many traditions we have that I hope to pass along to my kids. Family is important no matter what. You might drive each other crazy sometimes but in the end none of that matters. You have each other.

Anyway, back to our Christmas tree. Danny put the lights up and we started decorating it! About 90% of our ornaments are ornaments that we’ve made, picked out as a family, or have special meaning. I love them all.


I recently started collecting hippo ornaments because I love the song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” I have four hippo ornaments all from Target because hippo ornaments a little harder to find than might think.


We finished our Christmas tree with candy canes – I think we ate about half the candy canes in the process! There are so many crazy candy cane flavors these days but my favorite will always be plain peppermint candy canes!

The kids topped our tree with the angel from my childhood:



This morning was back to school for the kids! After the kids went to school, I went to the gym. I felt a lot better working out today. I started with a 20 minute walk on the treadmill followed by some shoulder and core exercises.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a favorite ornament? What Christmas traditions do you have?
  • Any workout today?
  • What are you looking forward to most in December?


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