Category Archives: Recipes

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:



Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.


I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.


During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.


On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.


My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!


I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?




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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

Van’s Cereal + A Giveaway!

Van’s Foods sent me their two new cereals to try at no charge to me and are sponsoring this giveaway. I only blog and share products from companies I like, enjoy, and stand behind. All opinions are my own…and Jaden’s. :)

Good morning! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

As many of you know, I am a huge cereal lover. Sometimes I love it a little too much. :) I am also a huge lover of Van’s Foods products (they have the best waffles!) so I was very excited when Van’s offered to let me and the kids try out their new cereals – Cocoa Sensation and Blissfully Berry.


Each serving of cereal contains 17 grams of whole grain and 5 grams of fiber. They are great with milk or on top of yogurt (my personal favorite) or you can enjoy them like Jaden did – straight out of the box without milk!

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As a mom, I love that they don’t have any artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, egg, dairy, or corn. They are perfect for kids like Jaden who have food allergies. And the kids just love that they taste awesome!

They are also gluten-free which is great if you or your children are gluten-free.

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Silvana Nardone of Silvana’s Kitchen has come up with two great recipes using the Van’s new cereals.

Crunch Chocolate-Banana Sweet-n-Salty Snack Mix

Makes: 8 cups


3 cups Van’s Gluten-Free Cocoa Sensation Cereal

1½ cups plantain chips or banana chips

1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or coconut flakes

1 cup roasted salted almonds

½ cup raw pistachios

½ cup dried berries, such as cranberries, cherries or blueberries

½ cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients.

PB & Berry Blast Snack Mix

Makes: 8 cups


3 cups Van’s Gluten-Free Blissfully Berry Cereal

1½ cups gluten-free pretzel sticks

1½ cup roasted salted peanuts

1 cup freeze-dried strawberries

1 cup dried blueberries

In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients.



To celebrate the launch of their new cereals and back to school, Van’s is giving one reader the chance to win a Back-to-School giveaway featuring coupons for free Van’s cereals, a Van’s tote, and water bottle.

Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Breakfast, Giveaway, Recipes

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

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This morning, I was in the mood for pancakes, but I didn’t have any pancake mix so I decided to use oatmeal instead. I used to make oatmeal protein pancakes all the time and was definitely glad I made them this morning. They really hit the spot!


For my pancakes I used:

  • one packet of brown sugar and cinnamon Better Oats
  • about 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon of PB2
  • 1/2 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

I added the oatmeal and water into a bowl and microwaved it for about one minute. Then I whisked in the egg whites, PB2, and mini chocolate chips. I cooked the pancakes on a heated griddle for about 3 minutes on each side.

This recipe is really easy and satisfied my cravings for pancakes! I also like to add protein powder to the mix if I have it on hand for that extra punch of protein.


Since, I didn’t have any protein powder, I had some plain Fage Greek yogurt with berries to get some extra protein.


I’m off to teach my Women on Weights class. Have a great day!

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Pancakes or waffles?


Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Fourth of July Weekend!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!


We went to my grandparent’s house on Saturday for a cookout.



I made orzo spinach salad.


I haven’t made this in a long time and I’m so glad I did because it was delicious!

My grandma made a really cool patriotic cake.



We ate and visited with my family. The kids had fun playing and lounging on the hammock.



My grandma bought ribbon things for the kids to play with but I think the adults had more fun playing with them. :)



In the evening, we headed to a nearby town to watch the firework show.



On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together. We haven’t been to the gym together in awhile because our weekends have been so busy and Danny’s been marathon training.

We did some back exercises including inverted rows on the Smith machine.


These inverted rows are hard!

After the gym, we took the kids to a local pool to swim.



We finally had some nice and sunny weather! They rest of the day was spent getting some things done around the house and relaxing!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?




Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out

Easy Fourth of July Recipes

Good morning! Happy July!

Since the Fourth of July is only a few days away, I thought I would share a few super easy red, white, and blue recipes!

  • Premier Protein 4th of July Popsicles

These patriotic popsicles are packed with protein to help keep you full while still enjoying a delicious 4th of July treat!  Premier Protein shakes have 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar for only 160 calories.

Red White Blue Popsicle 1



Using a popsicle mold, add Premier Protein shake along with the strawberries and blueberries. Freeze overnight and then enjoy your red, white, and blue protein-packed treat!

  • Red, White, and Blue Kabobs

My stepmom made these a few years ago for a 4th of July picnic and everyone loved them! They are easy to make, look fancy, and taste great!



  • Pound Cake
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Melted White Chocolate Chips


Cut pound cake into small chunks. Using wooden skewers, alternate the pound cake, strawberries, and blueberries. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Easy and delicious!!

  • 4th of July Breakfast

This breakfast is easy to make, healthy, and great for adults and kids!



  • Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries


Spoon vanilla yogurt into a bowl. Arrange blueberries and raspberries to resemble a flag. The perfect Independance Day breakfast!

  • Strawberry and Spinach Salad

I just mentioned this salad last week but it’s perfect for fourth of July! It’s colorful and festive!



  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Feta or Goat Cheese
  • Glazed Pecans


Combine all ingredients and top with poppy seed, raspberry, or your favorite dressing. This salad is great because it has so many possibilities. You can add raspberries instead of strawberries or both. You can add feta cheese or goat cheese, pecans or walnuts!

  • Do you have any 4th of July recipes to share?!

As a Premier Protein Ambassador, I sometimes have the opportunity to share products and recipes with you. 



Filed under Recipes, Uncategorized

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I took the kids to the splash park and they had such a fun time playing in the water.


The splash park is perfect for the summer because it’s close and free!

After the kids played for a couple of hours, Jaden and I left to go grocery shopping.

I picked up two Chobani yogurts – watermelon and peach. I ate the peach one for dinner and while it was good, it didn’t have enough peach chunks for me!


I also picked up some ingredients to make a salad for dinner.


The thing I love about salads is that you can customize them to your tastes. You can throw anything that makes you happy on a salad. Sometimes, I love topping my salads with pickles.

Yesterday for dinner, I had an amazing spinach salad that was so simple to make yet tasted restaurant quality.

I started with a big bowl of spinach and then I added grilled chicken, blueberries, strawberries, feta cheese, and honey roasted pecans. I topped it with Bolthouse Farms strawberry merlot dressing.


It was the perfect dinner for a hot summer night!

Have a great Monday!

  • Favorite salad topping?
  • Favorite salad dressing?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Recipes

Strawberry Lime Protein Smoothie

In anticipation of the nice weather that’s coming soon, I’ve put together a smoothie that’s perfect for a hot summer day – a strawberry lime protein smoothie. Cold, refreshing, and packed full of protein!


I’m always looking for ways to add extra protein to my diet because I know how good it is for building and repairing muscles. It also helps keep you feeling fuller longer, boosts energy, and can help aid in weight loss. But really, this smoothie is just delicious!

Strawberry Lime Smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 container key lime yogurt
  • juice from one lime
  • 2 oz cashew or almond milk
  • 1/2 (approx. 5 oz) container Premier Protein Strawberries & Cream shake
  • 4-6 ice cubes



Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

238 calories/2 g fat/ 26 g carbs/ 29 g protein


This is probably one of my favorite smoothies that I’ve ever made. I love the strawberry and lime combination. It’s prefect for breakfast, a snack, or after a workout to repair and rebuild those muscles!

And of course, since I was making a smoothie, the kids wanted a smoothie too. Jaden is allergic to dairy products so his smoothie contained: Silk dairy-free mango peach yogurt, frozen strawberries, almond milk, honey, and ice cubes.



Everyone had a delicious smoothie this morning!

  • What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?
  • What’s your favorite smoothie flavor?
  • How do you add protein into your diet?



Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Orzo Veggie Salad with Chicken Recipe

We have usual dinners that we eat on a normal basis – chicken and veggies, lots of salad, pork chops, spaghetti, etc. But last week, I came across a recipe for orzo veggie salad with chicken so I decided to try it out for dinner last night.


Orzo Veggie Salad with Chicken     Serves: 4

This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.


  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded, skinless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese


  1.  Cook orzo according to package directions omitting salt. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain and place in a large bowl.
  2. While the orzo is cooking, combine lemon rind, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, garlic, honey, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well.
  3. Drizzle over cooled orzo and toss to coat.
  4. Add chicken, cucumber, bell peppers, green onions, and fresh dill. Toss gently. Top with feta cheese.

This is the perfect light and delicious dinner and it would be great for an easy summer meal!

You could add other veggies and cheese to change it up – onions, green bell pepper, tomatoes, goat cheese, etc.


  • What are you having for dinner tonight?




Filed under Recipes, Uncategorized

Working, Food, and Indoor SkyDiving

Good afternoon!

I started working at the fitness desk at the gym this week so my schedule has been quite different. I’ll train at work three days this week and then go to my normal schedule of two days next week.


Working three mornings this week means I missed my morning workouts! It’s weird going to the gym when I normally workout but to be working instead. Luckily, I am still able to fit in a quick workout when I get off of work and still be home in time for my kids to get home.

I was really happy to get my normal workout in this morning. I started out with a 10 minute warm-up on the bike, followed by the Bikini Body Mommy workout, an ab circuit that I repeated twice, the BBM workout again, 10 minutes on the Arc trainer and finished up with a few minutes of stretching and foam rolling.

Gym hair = Crazy hair.


Whew! It was a good workout. I have so much more energy in the mornings than I do in the afternoon.

We didn’t have much food early in the week since we never went grocery shopping due to the wonderful Chicago blizzard so I had to get creative with what we had. I actually made lunch and a snack with the few groceries that we had that turned out pretty good.

First, I made a healthy veggie and chicken fried rice.


I used leftover baked chicken and whatever veggies I could find. I cooked the veggies – carrots, green and red pepper, and onion on the stovetop with a little bit of garlic. Then I added the already cooked chicken and a cup of cooked Uncle Ben’s brown rice. I cracked two egg whites in the middle and scrambled those up. I added a little bit a lite soy sauce and a delicious lunch was created!


I also had to get creative with my afternoon snack. I usually eat cottage cheese, apple slices, and cinnamon (I promise it’s good) but sadly I had none of those things on hand.

Instead I found a plain Greek yogurt and mixed in one tablespoon of peanut butter and added half a tablespoon on chocolate chips. This would be delicious as a dip for apples but since I didn’t have any apples, I crumbled half a graham cracker on top. It was delicious.


I’m so used to always eating the same things and not having groceries actually made be think outside my little food comfort zone.

After the gym this morning, I stopped at Costco to get a couple of things for Jaden’s birthday party we’re having this weekend. I also got his birthday present!


For his birthday, we wants to do the indoor skydiving which actually looks really cool. Normally it’s about $70 but Costco sells the gift cards for $40. Awesome!

Jaden tried talking Jacob into doing it with him but Jacob didn’t want to. Jaden’s more of my risk taker whereas Jacob prefers to keep both feet on the ground. :)

Have a great rest of your day!!

  • When do you workout? Morning, afternoon, evening?
  • Would you ever skydive/bungee jump?



Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Recipes, Working Out