Category Archives: Fun

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. ūüėČ

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

Halloween Food and Pumpkin Carving 2015

Hello! I hope you all had a great weekend!

On Saturday, we got together with my family for our annual Halloween food and pumpkin carving party. I love that we all keep coming up with different and fun Halloween food ideas even though we’ve been having this party for years!

Danny and I made peanut butter spider cookies and mummy pizzas.



The pizza was so good and so easy to make. This would make an awesome dinner on Halloween night if you have young kids. Jaden loved helping me make the mummy pizza and everyone loved eating it!

Jaden made a cool Halloween cake that was green, purple, orange, and black when you cut into it.


PicMonkey Collage





My grandparent’s made the main course which were country ribs with a red pepper to look like a heart.



My sister-in-law won first place in the food contest with her cleverly named “urine trouble” Halloween food! Don’t worry it was just jello!


After we ate lots of food, we moved onto the pumpkin carving portion of the night. Everyone’s pumpkins turned out amazing!

PicMonkey Collage1

My sister-in-law also won the pumpkin carving contest with her Avengers themed pumpkin. Two first place wins!


It was a fun night and I can’t wait to do it again next year!! Only five more days until Halloween!

  • Which was your favorite Halloween dish?
  • Have you ever made a Halloween-themed food?



Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Halloween

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

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 Рa 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.

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

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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?



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.

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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?


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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?

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