Category Archives: Halloween

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Last night, we had a family gym night. Well, except for Jaden. He went to the kid’s room.


Jacob has really gotten into running lately, so I have been trying to encourage his interest. He signed up for a fitness club at school and wants to go to the gym to run on the treadmill.


I kind of hung out with Jacob on the treadmill. I didn’t get in a great workout because we had just finished eating dinner and my quad was bothering me.

I ran a mile with Jacob on the treadmill. I did a few random ab exercises and stretches, and then I raced Danny 1.5 miles on the stationary bikes. The bikes are neat because you can race the person next to you. All I really accomplished at the gym was making my quad feel worse.


When we got home, I ate about half the box of the peanut butter Puffins – my new favorite cereal! So good!


This morning I practiced BodyPump for about 40 minutes at home. I have all the moves memorized, but now I realize that I have to practice with heavier weights, so I can lift and talk at the same time.

I love BodyPump, but I will be so incredibly happy and relieved once this video has been submitted. I feel like BodyPump has taken over my life!

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

I forgot to tell you how my Halloween Scavenger Hunt went on Friday night! It was really fun and hopefully everyone had a good time.

I split everyone into three teams and each team was given a list of items to find or collect and things that they had to take a picture of and send to me.

Each item/picture was worth a certain amount of points and at the end all the points were added up and the team with the most points won!

Some of the items on the list included:

  • Bringing back my favorite candy – (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – only one team got this right)
  • Wrapping a stranger up like a mummy 2013-10-189519.21.20
  • A picture of a black cat crossing your path 2013101895195148
  • A picture of a house with tombstones in the front yard 2013101895202352
  • Bringing back the thing that jack o lanterns were first carved out of (turnips)
  • A picture of a team member in a Halloween costume IMG_3121
  • Going to the pet cemetery and getting the black rose
  • A picture of a team member chasing someone around the store with a pretend chainsaw 2013-10-189519.28.26
  • A picture of a Christmas display IMG952166

There was a lot of items on the list and I think the game went really good and everyone had fun!

When everyone was gone collecting their items, Jaden and my niece had fun finding Halloween eggs in the backyard.



I thought it was kind of weird to have Halloween eggs with candy in them (isn’t that pretty much Easter?!) but Jaden saw them at the store and I figured they keep the kids busy for a while.

When everyone came back, I added up the points and the winning team got a small prize!

This weekend will be busy with Halloween fun too – on Friday we’re going to the pumpkin farm and haunted hay ride and Saturday is the Halloween party! I really need to finish my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween

Video Fail

Good afternoon!

Yesterday, I recorded my BodyPump video and it didn’t turn out as planned. The camera stopped recording after 13 minutes and no one realized it! Not fun.

I brought my own digital camera because I had a new 6 hour HD video memory card, but the instructor also brought the gym’s video camera. I tried putting my memory card in the gym’s camera but it said that it wasn’t compatible. So, I just used my own camera. Well, that was a mistake because it stopped recording.

I guess it’s for the best anyway because I made a few mistakes and it would probably be better to record again. Next time, I’ll use the gym’s camera and just bring the memory card home to upload on my computer.

It was so hard teaching! It’s so different from practing at home with a 9 lb bar to using the regular weights at the gym. And my right quad and hip hurt so bad during the lunge track.

So needless to say, I will be practicing again all week and filming on Sunday.


My new Asics came in the mail on Friday (yay for free two-day shipping!) and I love them!


I also picked up these cute flats from Target over the weekend.


They are so cute, it was hard to resist. (I wear a size 11 in gym shoes and a size 10 in regular shoes.)

I rarely wear heels because I’m already tall as it but also because I am really awkward in heels, so I just stick to flats.

Except, I always buy cheap flats that end up hurting my feet after I wear them a few times. Danny pointed out that with all the money I have spent on cheap flats, I could have bought a nice pair that wouldn’t hurt my feet. Hopefully these won’t hurt my feet because I love them!


I worked at the gym for a little while this morning, then I stopped at the grocery store. I randomly picked up a box of peanut butter Puffins.


I have never bought the Puffins cereal before but I have heard a lot of good things about it so I decided today would be the day to try it out. And anything with peanut butter must be delicious, right?

This afternoon I’ll be working on my Halloween costume for the party this weekend. Most of my costume is store bought but there is a couple of parts to it that I am making.

Halloween costumes make me think of Halloween candy. What’s your favorite Halloween candy?


I love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Snickers. Lucky for me, Jacob is allergic to nuts so I get to eat all his peanut butter candy. I could share with Jaden and Danny, but I don’t. Okay, okay maybe I do a little.

I also like the non-chocolate candy like Skittles and Starbursts. As much as I am going to try and stay away from the Halloween candy this year, I am sure a few piece will find their way into my mouth :) What’s Halloween without a little candy?!

Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • Favorite Halloween candy?
  • Ladies: flats or heels?
  • Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?



Filed under Fitness, Halloween

Halloween Food and Pumpkin Carving 2013

Good morning!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! We’ve had a weekend packed full of Halloween fun!

Last night was our annual Halloween Food and Pumpkin carving night. Even though we’ve been having this party for quite a few years, everyone comes up with fun and new Halloween food.

My aunt and uncle flew in to enjoy some of the Halloween fun, and my aunt had a big surprise for us when she got here – she has lost 100 lbs!


Isn’t that incredible?! In seven months, she has lost 100 pounds by watching what she eats, eating healthy, and counting calories. I am so proud of her!!

Halloween Food

Here is some of the Halloween food from last night.

Werewolf claw mark cake:


I made a pumpkin patch with pumpkin shaped rice krispies:


Bloody Meatloaf Feet:


Rice Krispy Snake:


Mini Monster Cheese Balls:


Bat Cookies:


Chili Cheese Eyeball Dip:


Danny made Jell-O Worms:


Bat Wings:


Mummy Pizzas:


Monster Meatloaf Hands (first place winner!):


Breadstick Bones:


Caprese Eyeballs:


Everyone came up with such creative and fun food ideas! It was a lot of fun tasting and voting for our favorite food. My cousin won with her Monster Meatloaf Hands. She also won for best pumpkin but I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of it.

After all the food fun, we moved onto pumpkin carving.

The girls:


The kids:


The boys are too serious about their pumpkins to get a group shot.

My brother hard at work:


My dad:


A few of the pumpkins:



My stepmom combined her food and pumpkin into one – how cute is her pumpkin?!


It was such a great night and I loved seeing everyone’s different food and pumpkin ideas!


I am supposed to film my BodyPump video this afternoon. I am incredibly nervous. I have all the moves down, I just get worried about messing up in front of a group. And on top of all that, I have a cold. I finally got over my chest cold only to wake up with a head cold. I am just going to try my best and hopefully it’ll be okay!

Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?


Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Total Body Workout

Good afternoon!

I wasn’t able to pop in yesterday because it was such a busy day. The kids were off of school again and I had four kids at home for most of the day. Plus, it was raining all day so they couldn’t go outside. Four kids = chaos.

Jacob had a doctor appointment and I had a flu shot :( My niece made sure several times that I was the one getting a shot and not her. Auntie shot? Auntie turn? Yes, Auntie is getting her flu shot…and she doesn’t like it. I try to be brave for the kids but really I am a baby about shots.


Are you guys so sick of hearing me talk about BodyPump?!

I practiced for close to two hours yesterday. I put off learning the lunge track so I spent of good portion of time practicing it. I have all of the moves memorized for the warm-up, squats, chest, back, lunges, shoulders, and cool down. Now, I just have to work on my timing and not forgetting all those moves that I learned when I’m in front of a group.

BodyPump is harder to learn than you might think. You have to memorize all the moves, the tempo of the moves – 3/1, 2/2, 1/1/2, 1/1, etc., have perfect timing with the music all while cueing and coaching the class. Phew.

But I love BodyPump so it’s worth it!

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump (of course)
  • Total body exercises

I haven’t been to the gym in a few days because the kids have been off school so I went this morning and did one set of a total body workout.


(I just got that workout tank from JCPenney and I love it. They have very affordable workout clothes.)

Some of the moves I did included:

  • Stretching
  • Floor bridges
  • Ab work – leg raises, planks, crunches
  • Front shoulder raises
  • Push-Ups
  • Bent-over row
  • Box jump up and jump downs
  • Overhead extensions
  • Hammer curls

My gym set up a new spot in the corner with dumbbells, stability balls, BOSU balls, etc. so that’s where I did my workout today. It was nice having a little bit more space.


I need to start adding some more cardio. I have had a chest cold lately and with BodyPump practice, I haven’t gotten in enough cardio.


After the gym, I ran a few errands (still looking for shoes!) and by the time I got home, I was starving so I needed something that would be ready fast. I picked up one of these Amy’s burritos at the store to try out.


I ate it with some apple slices and it was really good. Mexican food is my favorite. I could eat it every single day and never get sick of it.


Halloween Fun

Two years ago my dad started the tradition of doing an annual Halloween game for our family. The year he did it, the game last a month and was called Halloween in Wonderland.

The next year my sister-in-law, Crystal, was in charge of the Halloween game and her game was called Halloween Amazing Race – based on the tv show The Amazing Race.


(Yeah, I’m not even looking at the camera, but it’s the only group shot I have!)

This year I am in charge of the Halloween game and it’s called Heather’s Halloween Scavenger Hunt. It’s going to take place on Friday night and I can’t give any details away yet but I was at the store today purchasing some stuff for the game.


Halloween is a big deal in our family (I blame my dad). My aunt and uncle are even flying in from California to participate in some of our Halloween fun. It should be a fun night!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite way to get exercise? Running, walking, strength training, Zumba, etc?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your favorite holiday? Even though my family is really into Halloween, my favorite holiday will always be Christmas.


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

Scary Movie Night

Good afternoon!

It’s Columbus Day which means the kids have no school today. They don’t have school tomorrow either so I scheduled their doctor appointments for the next two days.

This morning Jaden went to the doctor for a hearing test. He gets a lot of ear infections but his doctor isn’t super concerned because he is a bit older. He said it’s normally a concern when children under two get a lot of ear infections because it can affect their hearing and speech.

So, the doctor said Jaden should get a hearing test just be sure that all the ear infections weren’t causing problems with his hearing.

The hearing test came back normal, but the ear doctor said that ear infections won’t cause long term hearing loss and we should consider getting tubes for Jaden.

The Weekend

On Saturday night, my family came over for our first “Make Your Own Scary Movie Night.”

We set up chairs in the living room and watched the movies on our computer. Everyone did such a great job on their movies and it was so much fun watching them.

Here is a screen shot from our movie:

And a screen shot from my dad’s movie:

I made a meatball sub casserole for dinner and Marlene bought bee cookies that she had made for a baby shower. Aren’t they adorable?!

We watched my nephew overnight on Saturday so he was there too.

I love his blue eyes!

I also finally got to try out the new Larabars flavors this weekend – Snickerdoodle and Pumpkin Pie.

I really liked both of them and the snickerdoodle has a great cinnamon flavor.


I taught some tracks at BodyPump yesterday morning. The instructor said I did my best job teaching yet even though I messed up a couple of times.

I am all set to record myself teaching a class this weekend, so I am going to try and practice a lot this week. I still have to get comfortable teaching in front of a group without notes. And if this video doesn’t go too well, I’ll still have time to record it again.

Today, I practiced my BodyPump tracks in the living room before Jaden went to the doctor.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Halloween

How to Use a K-Cup in a Vue Coffeemaker

Good morning! Happy Saturday!


Yesterday morning, I worked for a while and then I ran a bunch of errands. Friday is the only day that I don’t watch my niece so I try to get all my errands done before my kids starting getting home at 3 pm.

My first errand was looking for new exercise shoes – shoes for classes and teaching. I can’t even tell you how many stores I went to without any luck – two Sports Authoritys, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Famous Footwear, and Shoe Carnival.


The problem is that I have big feet – I wear a size 11 in Asics. I love wearing Asics for fitness classes so that’s what I want to stick with. Stores either didn’t have a size 11 or if they did the color choice wasn’t what I wanted.

I’m trying not to be too picky but the one size 11 that Shoe Carnival had was bright purple, with neon green on the side, and hot pink laces. I like bright colors, but that was a little too much.

I bought the pair of Asics that I wear now at Famous Footwear and I actually found the same exact pair yesterday on clearance…in a size 10. I was so bummed. I can fit into the size 10 but I know they’ll really hurt my toes down the road.

My current shoes:

I love them.

I think my next step is just to order a pair online. I hate ordering shoes online because I really feel like I need to try them on. The shoe search continues…

I also stopped at Target yesterday and wandered down the coffee aisle. I was so excited to see my favorite Gloria Jean k-cups – Macadamia Nut, Butter Toffee, Brown Sugar Cookie, Hazelnut. I love Gloria Jean’s coffee.

Then I remembered that I have a Keurig Vue.

Talk about a sad moment. The Keurig Vue doesn’t take k-cups like the regular Keurig coffee maker. Not only that, but I checked two Targets and both stopped carrying Vue cups. Why?!

So, when I got home, I googled “Gloria Jean vue cups.” I wasn’t able to find any but I did come across something interesting – a way to use the k-cups in the Vue coffeemaker :)

I know there is a little filter you can buy to add your own coffee to brew, but I wasn’t able to find the filter and it requires opening the k-cups and pouring them in the filter.

This is what I did instead:

I used and rinsed out a travel-sized Vue cup. I was lucky that I had one travel sized cup left from the samples that came with the coffeemaker.


Then, I took a regular K-cup and poked a little hole in the cup near the bottom. (I used a toothpick.)


I put the k-cup in the travel-sized Vue cup with the hole lined up with the spout.


I put the whole thing in my Vue coffee maker and viola!! Macadamia Nut coffee!!

I read mixed reviews online about it working for some people and not working at all for other people. It worked perfect for me. The only small problem that I had was that it left a few coffee grounds in my cup of coffee. I just fished them out with a spoon. Problem solved.


Lunch yesterday was a roasted veggie flatbread pizza.


I go through stages where I’ll make flatbread pizza for a long time and then not eat it for a long time. They are such an easy, healthy, and delicious meal.

If I have time, I usually roast the veggies in the oven before adding them to the pizza. Then, I add cheese and cook it – it only takes about 5 minutes in the oven.

Halloween Fun

Tonight, we have an interesting Halloween activity planned with my family. We wanted to add a different Halloween activity this year, so my dad came up with an idea – Make Your Own Scary Movie Night.

We spent the last few days making our own scary movie – and it’s going to be soooo cheesy! I am looking forward to it. I have never filmed a movie before or used any kind of editing software so it’ll be interesting.

We’re using the iMovie app on the iPad to film the movie so we’ll see how it turns out!!

Have a great weekend!! Good luck to everyone running the Chicago Marathon tomorrow!



Filed under Family Fun, Halloween, Lunch

More Halloween Costume Ideas

I have some more Halloween costume ideas to share with you guys today!

Danny and I finally got our costumes figured out for this year and I think they’re going to be good. But they’re a secret until after our Halloween party :)

Pirate costumes from our random pirate night last year.

The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter.

Mayhem and Flo from Progressive.

Mayhem vs. Mayhem


Where’s Waldo?

Last year, I dressed up as Taco Bell hot sauce and Danny was a taco.

I actually really liked that taco sauce costume! I used a red t-shirt from the craft store to make the costume. I can’t sew, so I just cut it and laced up the sides like shoe laces.

The Living Dead/Zombies

The Living Dead and an 80′s Girl.


I am excited to see everyone’s Halloween costumes this year. It’s always exciting to see what everyone came up with!

Have a great afternoon!!
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Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Weekend Fun

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

The Weekend

Here’s a few pictures from our weekend.

On Saturday, we went with my family to a farm stand that had pumpkins, activities for the kids, a store with fresh fruits and veggies, a gift shop, and a bakery. I had apple cider and a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.

I’m fancy in my VS sweatpants:

We all chipped in and made a scarecrow.

I can honestly say that this is the first time I have ever made a scarecrow. We had a lot of fun making it, and my dad did a great job painting on the face.

We told the kids to make a scared face for the picture. Jaden is the only one who participated.

We spent the afternoon at the farm stand and then went back to our house to watch a scary movie. We had to pick from the movies from the On Demand on our tv so our choices were limited. We finally picked The Shining. I’ve seen it before but not for many years. And it’s interesting that Stephen King’s book sequel to The Shining just came out.

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Stretching – 15 minutes

I didn’t go to the gym this morning. Instead, I stayed home and practiced the warm-up track from BodyPump over and over and over. The same track for an hour.

My deadline to submit myself teaching BodyPump (without any notes!) is coming up soon and I don’t feel anywhere near ready. I am still trying to memorize the tracks. And since my right hip and glute are still killing me, practicing the squats and lunges tracks is extremely difficult.

I’ve also been writing a lot of notes to help me learn the tracks and know when to give cues and coaching.

Right now, I feel really overwhelmed. I need to get this video done, but I feel like my body is holding me back. On Friday, I taught the warm-up, squats, chest, back, lunges, and shoulder tracks at my gym, and I wasn’t happy with how it went. I feel like I can do better.

My right quad is still killing me today from those lunges on Friday. So, for now I am just practicing what I can and hopefully will get better. I’ve learned that it’s a lot harder than it seems.

This morning, I made sure to stretch my calves because I can feel how tight they are from the 5k yesterday.

I love holiday socks. I can’t help it. :)

Well, I’m off to pick up my niece and practice some more BodyPump this afternoon!

Have a great day!

  • What was the last scary movie you watched?
  • Ever make a scarecrow?
  • Apple cider: yes or no? Hot or cold?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Halloween, Working Out

Halloween Costume Ideas

Every October, we have an annual Halloween party. It’s so much fun and we look forward to it every year. We always try to get really creative with our costumes and we keep them a secret from each other until the party.

It’s always a lot of fun guessing what everyone will be and then seeing the costumes at the party.

Here is a few of my favorite costumes from over the years.

My peacock costume - This was my favorite costume of all-time. I put a lot of time and effort into it, and I loved the way that it came out.

I bought tulle at the fabric store and watched a YouTube video on how to make a tutu. It was pretty easy and it didn’t take me too long to make. I ordered peacock feathers on ebay, and I cut and hot glued them onto a triangular shaped piece of cardboard that I slipped into the back of my shirt.

I ordered a tight black corset like shirt online that was stretchy so the peacock feathers would stay in the back. I just kind of pieced everything else together – black bike shorts from Wal-Mart, peacock necklace, peacock belt, and blue earring from Forever 21, bright colored make-up, etc.

The same year my dad was a scary clown, based on the clown from the movie It.

He did all his make-up himself and it came out awesome. He was definitely scary that year.

Since I was a peacock, Danny stuck to the bird theme and wore an inflatable pink flamingo costume (pink flamingos are also a running joke in our family, so it was a great costume).

A few years ago, Danny was the Joker and I was Bat Girl.

Howie Mandal and Girl #7 from Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Flava Flav

Inflatable sumo wrestlers

My favorite costume of Jaden’s was when he was Luigi riding Yoshi. This was the same costume that was in this month’s issue of Chicago Parent magazine.

Zombie. Make-up by Heather :)

I was the 80′s that year - I dressed in three different costumes: Tom Cruise, Ms. Pac Man, and an 80′s workout girl.

Homer and Marge Simpson.

My stepmom was Avatar.

Wow, I realized that we’ve had tons of costumes! I think I’ll continue this post with a part II because there’s lots of great costumes to go! Happy Friday!

  • What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve worn?



Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Halloween Food Ideas

It’s that time again! October! My family is big into celebrating the Halloween season and we do something fun and Halloween related every weekend in October. One of our favorite traditions is our Annual Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Food Night. PicMonkey Collage We always keep our Halloween food a secret until we all get together and our Halloween dishes have evolved over the years. We have had so many different kinds of Halloween foods – yummy, cute, delicious, creepy, scary, and downright gross. Here is a few of my favorites from over the years. When we first started our Halloween Food night, our ideas were kind of cheesy. Pun intended.

Luckily, they got better over the years. Heather's Pictures 385  Picture 2147 Picture 2148  Picture 2150

My dad’s favorite – bean dip: Picture 2159

Kitty litter cake: Picture 2160 Picture 2166  Picture 2184 Picture 10005 Picture 10021 Picture 10056 CAKE 067 058 049 046 042 038 031

I really look forward to seeing what we come up with this year!

Today’s Workout

  • Stretching – 10 minutes
  • Butts and Guts Class- 60 minutes
  • Practiced BodyPump – approx. 30 minutes

Have a great day!


Filed under Family Fun, Halloween, Recipes