Category Archives: Working Out

Life Lately

Good morning! Happy National Coffee Day!!


I don’t usually celebrate all those National “Whatever” Days but National Coffee Day is a different story. I’m willing to celebrate a day when places give out free coffee just because it’s September 29th!

So thank you Mcdonald’s for my free coffee this morning. Does anyone remember when McDonald’s used to have free coffee Mondays?! Those were the days…

My favorite coffee mug:


I love all the Charlie Brown holiday movies and Jaden got me this mug for Christmas last year from Barnes and Noble.

So, what has been going on in my life lately? Well, I got a job promotion! Yay! I will now be working full time mostly afternoons and evenings so it will be quite an adjustment in our household.

I haven’t worked full time probably since my oldest son was little so it’ll be a quite different for me. Before, my concentration was always my kids but now that they’re getting older, I ready to go back to work full time.

To celebrate, Danny and I went to Lucky Monk over the weekend.


I had hazelnut crusted talapia with orzo salad which was delicious.


I don’t usually order fish when I go out to a restaurant because although I like fish, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite but this tilapia was really amazing especially with the hazelnut crust.

I also celebrated by buying a new workout tank and sports bra from Victoria’s Secret.


I’m in love with the sports bra which is strappy in the front. I really wanted it in black also but they didn’t have any in stock. And how cute is that tank?!

Food wise, I have been loving overnight oats lately. Probably the wrong time of year since it’s starting to get cooler out but oh well. I like what I like. :)


I have been making pumpkin pie overnight oats with Quaker oatmeal, pumpkin pie Greek yogurt, almond milk, mini chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You just stir it all together and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It’s perfect for those days I’m in a hurry in the morning because I can just grab it out of the fridge and eat it in the car if I need to!

So pretty much, I’ve just been working, working out, and living life. Would you like to see a picture of our cute doggy, Baylee?!


Please notice I said cute and not good. Because she is a destroyer!!

She was crate trained as a puppy but we’ve been trying to leave her out of her cage during the day because she’s usually only home for a few hours at a time. Sometimes she’s really good and sometimes she does this:


That’s the insides of a packing envelope if you were wondering. And she knew she was so naughty because she refused to look at me when I got home!


We want to be able to leave her out of her cage so Danny has started taking her for a walk early in the morning to help her get some energy out. We also have the Kong dog toy which we put a treat or peanut butter in to keep her busy for awhile.

At least she’s not chewing the furniture, right?!

And that’s what’s been going on in my life lately! Have a great day!!

  • If you have a dog, is he/she crate trained?
  • What’s going on in your life at the moment?

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

Back Day Compound Set Workout

Good morning and Happy Labor Day! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Danny and I did an awesome back workout at the gym on Saturday. We did compound sets which I love because they keep your heart rate up and since you’re doing exercises back-to-back, you finish your workout faster. Also, you work the same muscle in different ways.

*Both supersets and compound sets involve doing at least two exercises back to back, but a superset works two opposing muscle groups (ie. back and chest) while compounds sets target only one area of the body (in our case, back).


First, we warmed up with 1000 meters on the rowing machine.


Back Compound Sets Workout

Perform the two exercises back-to-back, resting 1-2 minutes in between each compound set. Repeat each compound set for desired amount of reps and sets. Danny and I did between 10-12 reps and did each compound set for three sets. 

    • wide grip lat pull downs x 10
    • cable face pulls x10
    • good mornings x12
    • bent over barbell rows (close grip, underhand grip) x10
    • single leg deadlifts  x10 each side
    • one arm dumbbell row x10 each side
    • half kneeling one arm cable row x10 each side
    • Superman Row x10 (click for video on how to perform)

Here are some pictures of the exercises Danny and I did:

Wide Grip Lat Pulls Downs


Cable Face Pulls


Good Mornings


Bent Over Rows


Half Kneeling One Arm Cable Rows


We finished up our workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

On Sunday, my family came over for a make-your-own salad night. And pretzel rolls from Costco because they are delicious. :)


Be sure to check out my Instagram for pictures and stories from this weekend!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite back exercise?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Garage Sales and Taco Pizza

Good morning!

This past weekend, we had a garage sale at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.

Waiting for customers:


We have a couple vacations coming up so we’re trying to get a little extra cash…and we have a lot of stuff.

My brother and sister-in-law were selling a motorized scooter which thankfully sold.


The first night we were there, we had a make your own pizza night. My sister-in-law has been making taco pizzas lately and although I was leary to try it, I ended up loving it!! See what happens when you try new things. :)


We used the Pillsbury refrigerated dough for the crust. The taco pizza had refried beans, Mexican cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and yes those are crushed Doritos on top.

Danny’s pizza had ground beef on it and my brother and sister-in-law made theirs with black beans. I’m not a black bean fan but the pizza was good with refried beans. I’ll definitely be making this at home.

I made the other have of the pizza with my favorite toppings – onion and pineapple. Sometimes I add bacon and I have yet to find someone who loves the bacon, pineapple, onion combo as much as I do.

On Sunday afternoon, my sister-in-law, niece, mom, and I met at a nail salon to get pedicures. My niece’s birthday is tomorrow and she wanted us to get together to get our nails done.


Working Out

On Monday evening, Danny and I went to the gym. With summer, the kids, and other stuff going on, I took a little break from the gym.


Sometimes, I think it’s good to give your body a little break. And I often tend to overdo it so this little break was good for me. But I was very happy to get back to the gym!

Danny and I did a leg workout which included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats on the bench
  • weighted sumo squats
  • calf raises in the Smith machine
  • leg press machine

Danny used 16 45-pound plates on the leg press machine for a total of 720 pounds.


I used four plates. :)

And finally, I have to share a picture of my tacos from dinner last night.

We found this Mexican restaurant near us which has quickly become my new favorite Mexican restaurant.


Mexican food is my favorite and I could eat tacos every day!

I hope you all have a great day.


  • What’s your favorite pizza topping?
  • Favorite leg exercise? (I’m always looking for new ones!)

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Weekend, Workouts, and Walks

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

Friday evening, Danny and I went to the gym and did a shoulder workout. Our workout included:

  • shoulder press machine
  • plate front raises
  • upright rows
  • bent arm lateral raises

We also did our own separate ab workouts. My ab exercises included:

  • Russian twists with medicine ball
  • plank shoulder touch
  • flutter kicks

I did the ab exercises as a circuit and repeated it three times.

Saturday night, we went to a cookout at my brother and sister-in-law’s and then went out to brunch on Sunday morning.


The weather was so nice on Sunday so we went to a nearby forest preserve.



We walked for awhile around the trail and then Baylee cooled off in the water.


Baylee loves the water – lakes, the hose, the bathtub. She loves it all!

May was a month full of birthdays, celebrations, and lots of eating and drinking. I’m really trying to get back on track with my eating and macros so Danny grilled some chicken and asparagus for the week last night.


It’s easier to eat a healthy meal when it’s already prepped. :)

For breakfast this morning, I had egg whites with onions, asparagus, and Laughing Cow cheese. I also had  a pluot (so good!) and Applegate bacon.



We still have a few celebrations this month including my brother’s birthday, Danny’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, and Father’s Day. May and June are crazy months in my family!

Danny and I are going to the gym tonight for a back and biceps workout. Have a great day!!

  • How was your weekend?
  • Favorite breakfast?


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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Life Lately

Good afternoon! How have you all been?! I have been busy with life and work and kids and all that good stuff. :)

Last week  Jacob turned 15!


Celebrating with a cinnamon roll for breakfast.

It still boggles my mind that he’s 15 years old and will be gtting his learner’s permit later this year. It seems like only yesterday he was born 15 weeks early, weighing in at only 1 pound and 14 ounces. Now he’s almost done with his first year of high school. It’s amazing how fast the time goes.


We also celebrated Mother’s Day on Saturday with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Sunday was the first Mother’s Day that I was able to sleep late for the first time in about five years (and by late, I mean about 7:30 am). I usually run the Run Like a Mother 5k with my family but unfortunately the race wasn’t held this year. Hopefully it’ll be back this year!

Jaden picked me some beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day.


On Mother’s Day morning, I had Dunkin Donuts coffee and a delicious jelly dount for breakfast and then Danny and I went to the gym.


We worked legs and Danny pressed 650 pounds on the leg press machine. Impressive.


After the gym, we had lunch, and then took the kids and Baylee to a local outdoor trail to walk and enjoy the weather.


The trail recently added some exercise machines along the way. Jaden and I stopped to do some box jumps.


I love that they have a little drinking fountain for dogs but Baylee was a little scared of it and we had to pour water in Danny’s hands for her to drink instead. Princess.


In the evening, we went out to dinner and I had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I’ve been trying to walk and run with Baylee more but the weather around here is always so unpredicatble.


One day it’ll be warm and sunny and the next day it’ll be cold and rainy.

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick chest and triceps workout followed by a HIIT workout.

Post workout:


The exercises I did included:

  • stability ball chest press
  • stability ball chest flies
  • medicine ball push-ups
  • tricep dips
  • overhead tricep extensions

The HIIT workout included:

  • running laps
  • box jumps
  • kettlebell swings
  • burpees

After the gym, I stopped at Target and found three new products.


The Fage Crossover yogurts are delicious! This is the only one that I’ve tried but it is amazing. I was also excited to see that Applegate now carries pre-cooked chicken. It just makes life so much easier. And pickles because who doesn’t love pickles?!

And that it pretty much what I have been up to lately! Have a great night!

  • What have you been up to lately?
  • How was your Mother’s Day?
  • Pickles: yes or no?


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

New PowerBar Protein Shakes

Yesterday and today, I had the great pleasure of drinking a new PowerBar protein shake after my workout.


I always try to consume a source of protein with 30 minutes after my workout and I love that I can throw these PowerBar shakes in my little cooler and be good to go! They are great for helping to rebuild muscle after a workout.

Each bottle is made with 30 grams of high quality protein and only 2-3 grams of sugar.


They come in chocolate and vanilla flavors. My favorite is the chocolate, of course, while Danny’s is the vanilla. I love that they have a smooth delicious taste and are full of chocolate and protein as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals. :)

The shakes can even be served warm in the cold winter months or you can use them in an easy smoothie recipe.

Chocolate Espresso Shake

  • 1 Chocolate PowerBar Protein Shake
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy! This shake is perfect for the upcoming warm weather months.

PowerBar also makes incredible simple fruit energy food that’s great for long runs or long duration workouts. Great flavors and portable for on the go.


I’m always looking for new protein shakes to try and these PowerBar shakes are definitely my new favorite!

Have a great day!

  • What do you eat/drink after a workout?

Disclaimer: PowerBar sent me these samples at no cost to me. All opinions are 100% my own and I only work with companies whose products I use and support. 


Filed under Product Review, Working Out

Our Weekend

Good morning, friends! How was your weekend?

Ours was pretty low-key. Danny and my dad did some fixing up around our house and I worked for a bit on Saturday. We have a new program at my gym called Fit for Life and I train a team of ten people against two other teams. It lasts 12 weeks and it started today. I have the early morning team at 5:45 am so that’s going to take some getting used too!

Danny and I worked out together on Sunday. We did glutes, hamstrings, and core (Danny likes to throw in a few bicep curls). :)


We finished up with a some cardio. Cardio isn’t always the funnest so we tried to make it a little funner by doing a cardio partner workout. One of us did an exercise while the other one rested. The point was to do your exercise fast so the other person rested for a short time.

Here are the exercises we did:

  • laps on the track (I rested very little for these since Danny is so fast!)
  • in and out jump squats x20
  • medicine ball slams x20
  • sit-ups x20
  • plank – as long as possible

We did each set of exercises four times each. It was a great workout especially after working legs.

I’ve still been following my workouts and macros from my coach at Best Fit Body. I have a little less than two weeks to go. I was doing really good for about three weeks with sticking to my diet perfectly and then I had a few off days. I was upset about it but honestly not every single day can be perfect.

I love to workout and have no problems there but I also love food. :) No one is perfect. You just have to get back on track right away which I’m doing.

I’m trying to add more green veggies to my day and I came up with a new breakfast that I have been loving – scrambled egg whites with asparagus, spinach, onion, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.


The Laughing Cow cheese makes it so much better! I think cheese and chocolate can make any food better!!

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful in Chicagoland – almost 70 degrees. We had fun playing tag with Baylee outside. That dog is crazy! I love her crazy face in this picture.


Of course, today is back to being cold and in the 30s. Not fun.

I hope you all have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite cardio exercise?

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

The Best Waffle

Good afternoon!

I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t had time to post. Well, I’m back today!

On Saturday, my gym held its annual Nutrition Fair so I worked at that for part of the day. There was a bunch of different vendors and nutrition information.

One of the vendors was giving away samples of Gold Standard protein powder in the salted caramel flavor.


I don’t normally reach for anything salted caramel flavor but I tried it after my workout on Sunday and it was delicious! I would definitely buy the full sized version of this flavor.

Sunday, Danny and I went to the gym for a quad, glute, and bicep workout.


I have very tight calves and have a hard time not leaning forward when doing squats, so I always make sure to raise my heels by putting plates underneath then while doing squats. This helps with my form. Danny, of course, does great squats.

We also did some curtsey lunges, bicep curls, jumping lunges, reverse curls, and a couple other exercises.

I’ve had a couple great lunches these past few days that I wanted to share. Let’s start with the most delicious one first – Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes waffle!


This waffle is so delicious. I always find a way to fit it into my macros. It’s a little higher in carbs than my normal lunches but I just adjust my carbs throughout the day so I can enjoy my protein waffle.

I like the Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes because it has a lot more protein than other brands. I use a serving and a half of the mix, one egg white (for a little more protein!), one tablespoon of mini chocolate chips, and water. I mix it all up and cook it in my waffle maker for about 7 minutes.

I top it with peanut butter which melts so perfectly and it’s almost like eating dessert. So darn delicious.

Also yummy, but not as delicious as a waffle, a big salad.


I love salad and eat them at least once a day. Most of the time, I use butter lettuce because it’s my favorite and you can eat a lot of it for minimal calories. I top it with chicken, mini crouton mix, egg whites, carrots, and Bolthouse Farms honey mustard dressing.

I love the Bolthouse Farms dressings. They have awesome flavors that taste great. The honey mustard and salsa ranch are my two favorites.

Well, that’s all I’ve been up too lately! Have a great day!

  • Waffles or Pancakes?
  • Peanut Butter or Syrup?
  • Honey Mustard or Salsa Ranch?

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Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Weekend Workouts

Good morning! How was your weekend? We didn’t have too much going on this weekend which was nice for a change!

On Saturday morning, Danny and I went to the gym and worked glutes, quads, and biceps.

It was a super tough workout which including lots of jumping lunges and lots of foam rolling afterwards.


The rest of Saturday was spent grocery shopping, doing errands, and getting stuff done around the house.

On Sunday, we were back at the gym. I did a 30 minute HIIT session on the treadmill (not the best idea the day after leg day :) ). Danny worked on shoulders.

I wore my Mizuno running shoes.


I recently heard that Starbucks has a new smoked butterscotch latte and I love butterscotch so I was excited to try it out after my workout on Sunday morning. Since I am following a macro based diet (fats/carbs/protein), I made sure to fit a short smoked butterscotch latte into my day.


The short (tiny!) latte with 2% milk (I decided to splurge on 2%) has 23 carbs, 7 grams fat, and 6 grams protein. I took one sip and most definitely decided that it was not worth my 23 carbs and 7 grams of fat. It didn’t tasted anything like butterscotch!

I was super disappointed but glad I didn’t drink something I didn’t enjoy. Don’t worry, it didn’t go to waste – I gave it to my older son to drink.

I read good reviews about it online about how butterscotchy it was and how it compared to butterbeer from Harry Potter world. Mine tasted like coffee flavored watered down milk. Maybe I just got a bad one?!

Oh well.

After Starbucks, we stopped at the stop to pick up lettuce…and the Girl Scouts were out in front of the store.

Went to get lettuce, left with two boxes of Girl Scout cookies.


It’s all about moderation and balance in life. Instead of fitting the coffee into my macros, I fit two tagalongs into my macros. :)

Tagalongs and thin mints are definitely the two best cookies ever made. Thank you, Girl Scouts.

This is the first weekend in a long time that I have stuck to eating perfectly so I was proud about that.

This morning, I was back at the gym for chest and triceps. I also rowed 3000 meters and walked for about 20 minutes on the treadmill while watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix.


A couple of people mentioned how good Nurse Jackie was so I decided to try it out!

Have a great day!!

  • Favorite Girl Scout cookies?
  • Have you tried the new Smoked Butterscotch Latte?
  • Favorite Netflix shows?


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Filed under Working Out

New Shoes and Whole Foods

Good afternoon!!

I decided to take the day off from the gym today because tomorrow is Jaden’s birthday and I had a few errands to run. I work tomorrow and then we’re going to Dave and Buster’s with Jaden tomorrow night so it made sense to get things done today.

He’s a having a couple of friends over on Saturday and then we’re having a family party Saturday evening.

My first stop today was to get new shoes!


My old Nikes are pretty worn out so it was time for new ones. I ended up getting the Nike Metcon 2 shoes. They are pricey but worth it. And after a $20 off coupon and a couple of gift cards, I paid less than $50.

The Nike Metcons are great for cross training and have a firm, flat heel for stability during heavy lifting. I definitely need a shoe with more support and I’m excited to try these out at the gym!

I also stopped at Whole Foods – it’s been forever since I went to Whole Foods! I got my favorite sushi for lunch.


I also got one of these cold brew High Brew coffees to try. I haven’t been sleeping good for the past few days so I could use the kick of caffeine.


The salted caramel flavor was delicious. Yum! I just wish they were a little bigger.

I also picked up some dog treats for Baylee and Barbara’s High Fiber Cereal Medley.


I try to get in between 20-25 grams of fiber a day but sometimes I fall a little short. I think this cereal will be great to add to my yogurt in the mornings.

This afternoon will be spent getting ready for Jaden’s birthday and studying.


I have to renew my group fitness certification soon and I need 6 continuing education credits from NETA so I’m taking a muscle mechanics home study course.

Have a great day!

  • Do you like sushi? Favorite?
  • Favorite brand of shoes? 


Filed under Working Out