Category Archives: Working Out

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

It’s the last day of school which means the unofficial start of summer!

I haven’t done Friday Favorites in a while so I thought I’d talk about a few favorites today.

  • CrossFit

Of course, I have to start with CrossFit as a favorite! As of yesterday, I have been going to CrossFit twice a week for a month. Yesterday’s workout was tough. I just talked about how I’m trying to run less and part of our workout of the day yesterday was to start with a mile run – figures! Really though, I don’t mind running short distances.

Our workout was a one mile run, five minutes straight of dumbbell snatches, and a plank for as long as possible. My mile time was 9:18. I did 82 dumbbell snatches in five minutes, and held the plank for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Afterwards, I was so dead. I brought Powerade Zero with in the car to drink after my workout and at that moment, it was the best thing I have ever tasted in my life. I’m only smiling because I was so darn excited to drink that Powerade. In actuality, I could barely move. :)

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  • Lemonade Sparkling Water

I have mentioned my love for sparkling water a few times and I’ve tried just about every brand and flavor there is and have finally found an absolute favorite.

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The Glaceau Fruit Water in Fizzy Lemonade is the best flavor I have ever tried. I have only found it at one grocery store near me so I always make sure to stock up on them!

  • Meal Planning/Meal Prep

It’s so much easier during the week to plan out meals ahead of time. Life is always so busy with work, the gym, crossfit, baseball, and the kids’ activities. I find it helpful to make a meal plan and prep what I can ahead of time.

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I eat a little different than my husband and kids so I find it easier to prep my meals ahead of time so I can cook their dinner and then mine is ready to go!

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I usually only prep meals for two or three day in advance. My favorite is to cook chicken and green beans ahead of time. Then I make some instant brown rice in the microwave and add the chicken and green beans. I also have a few Premier Proteins smoothies ready to go after a workout. I have a small insulated bag than I usually carry with me to the gym.

  • Skinny Cow Salted Caramel Pretzels Bars

Most evenings as a treat, I have a Yasso Greek yogurt bar but for some reason my normal grocery store stopped carrying them. Instead, I picked up the Skinny Cow ice creams bars and they are amazing.

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So good and portioned controlled so I won’t eat an entire pint of ice cream!

Have a great weekend!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • What are your favorites things today?

 

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Filed under CrossFit, Dinner, Fitness, Working Out

CrossFit

Okay, I have a confession to make…I’ve been going to CrossFit. For a month.

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Bur first, a long back story:

I have been running since 2008. My grandma was always a runner and in 2008 she was doing a race called the Muddy Buddy and asked me to do it with her. The race is between 6-7 miles long and alternates between running and biking with your partner. One person starts out biking and drops the bike at the designated spot. The other person starts out running and grabs the bike. This continues the whole race with about 6 obstacles along the way.

At the end of the race, you must climb through a giant mud pit to cross the finish line.

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Anyway, this was my first experience with running. I remember practicing and practicing and being so excited I was finally able to run a mile without stopping. After that race, I continued running. I run tons of 5ks, a 10k, and a 15k.

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However, I have never been a strong runner. At first my goal was never to train for a half marathon or marathon. I just ran because it was a challenge and made me feel accomplished. I liked running races with my family.

I was always a slow runner. Like I said, it was hard work for me. I couldn’t quite master the breathing and I always seemed to have some kind of injury. But I kept up with it and my race times went from 36 minutes to 30 minutes.

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Some people are natural runners. They can run fast, they can run far, they can run without injury. This is not me. Running is extremely hard on my body and as a result, I have suffered many minor injuries.

I’ve had hip bursitis and had to get cortisone shots. I’ve had torn rib cartilage – so painful! I’ve also had plantar fasciitis.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, which basically means that my calves muscles are too tight in their sheaths. This is something that can only be fixed with surgery which I decided not to do. This also means that my calves get rock hard and painful whether I’m running one mile or ten. I usually wear compression sleeves when I run even short distances. After a race, my calves stay hard and tight for up to three days. I did physical therapy for weeks but it never really helped. It’s not super terrible pain, I just make sure that I stretch and foam roll a lot.

As you can see, running causes me lots of problems. But the biggest problem I’ve faced was femoroacetabular hip impingement and had to get hip surgery last summer.

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At the time, I was teaching BodyPump and training for my first half marathon. It was just too much for my body to handle. I had a small abnormal growth on my hip bone and the repetitive movement caused the growth to tear my labrum in two places. This left me in constant pain especially in my quad. This was something that needed surgery to be fixed.

So, last July I had hip surgery to shave down my hip bone and repair the tears in the labrum. I spent one month in a hip brace and on crutches. I spent six months in physical therapy. Even today, I am not 100%. My hip gets sore very quickly and my quad still bothers me. Of course, it feels so much better than it used to but the recovery process is long.

As you might know, I’ve always wanted to run a half marathon. To me, that seemed like the ultimate goal.

But lately, my thoughts have shifted.

I honestly don’t believe that my body was meant for running. I have suffered from numerous injuries. And I still have calf, hip, and quad pain when I run. It seems like the more running I do, the more pain I cause my body. So why do I continue to do it?

Why do I feel the need to run when it hurts? Why do I feel the need to run when it causes me injuries? Why do I feel the need to run when it’s obvious my body doesn’t like it? I don’t know. I guess running made me feel like I had a goal. Running made me feel like I was accomplishing something. I could say, “I’m a runner.” I come from a family of runners so it seemed like the natural thing to do.

My stepmom is a fast runner. My grandma has run a marathon, half marathons, triathlons, and plenty of other races. My sister-in-law ran a half marathon and a full marathon in two days. My husband is training for the Chicago marathon.

I cannot do any of these things. And trust me, it’s not for lack of trying. My family is extremely supportive of one another and have always supported me in what I’ve done but I felt the need to do what they could do. If they can all run, why can’t I?

I’ll tell you why – because my body was not made for running. Sure I can run a 5k. I’ve even run a 15k and 10 miles on the treadmill. But the more I do it, the more it hurts, and the more I push my self, I’ve come to realize that I don’t enjoy it.

Yes, I feel accomplished every time I cross that finish line but I also think why couldn’t I have been faster? Why does my leg have to hurt so much? Why do my calves always have to be tight?

I’ve come to the realization that maybe running a half marathon isn’t my dream anymore. Maybe I should focus on other goals. Goals that make me happy. Goals that make me feel accomplished. Goals that I enjoy.

And that brings us to why I have been doing CrossFit. Instead of running, I am focusing on a new activity.

If you aren’t quite sure what CrossFit is, it’s company founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai. It involves using functional training movements through high intensity interval training. It also includes Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, and calisthenics. Each workout consists of a WOD (workout of the day) in a CrossFit box (gym).

The workouts help you achieve speed, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, balance, coordination, etc.

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I have been taking the CrossFit beginners class for about a month. Even though it’s a beginner’s class, it is in no way easy. I leave drenched in sweat, tired, and burn between 450-550 calories each workout. I love it.

CrossFit lets me focus on goals like learning proper form for Olympic weightlifting exercises such as deadlifts, cleans, push presses, overhead squats, front squats, and more. It has been helping me work on my pull-ups and double unders (jump roping while passing the rope under your feet twice in one turn of the rope). I work on rowing, running shorter distances, and really work on challenging myself.

Most CrossFit workouts are time-based. You want to finish the workout or a certain amount of rounds in the fastest time possible. For example our WOD the other day was a 800 m (1/2 mile run), 50 push presses, and 30 pull-ups (I did mine with a band since I’m still working on a regular pull-up). My time was 10:31.

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Every workout is different and challenging and lets me push myself in a way that makes me feel accomplished. So far, I am really enjoying CrossFit and plan to continue. I don’t think my running days are over – I’ll still run races here and there. I just don’t think running is going to be my main goal anymore.

Stay tuned for more posts on my first CrossFit class and more!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever tried CrossFit?
  • What’s your biggest accomplishment or a goal you’re currently working on?

 

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Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Workouts

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

We have been so busy lately. This is my kids last week of school and last Friday, Danny and I volunteered at Jaden’s Field Day at his school. Later that evening my son, Jacob, went to his 8th grade graduation dance and my younger son, Jaden, had a baseball game on Saturday morning.

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Saturday night my family came over to watch the Blackhawks game. My family are huge hockey fans so this was an important game. Luckily, the Blackhawks are advancing to the Stanley Cup Playoffs! It will be another few weeks filled with hockey!

I meant to share a great shoulder workout that I did last week but life got busy so I figured I’d share it now.

Shoulder Workout

  •  dumbbell push presses
  • plate front raises
  • lateral raises on cable machine
  • bent arm lateral raises with external rotation
  • seated shoulder presses
  • side plank with lateral raises

I did 3 sets of between 12-15 reps of each exercise.

I finished up my shoulder workout with some jump roping that really got my heart rate up!

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Today’s Workout

This morning at the gym, I worked on back and biceps and then did a 20 minute HIIT workout on the treadmill. I ran fast for one minute and then walked to recover for one minute. I repeated this for 20 minutes. By the time I was done, my calves and hamstrings were killing me, so I made sure to stretch a lot after my workout.

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Stretching with my Premier Protein mat:

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We’re having an 8th grade graduation party for Jacob this weekend, so most of this week will be spent working, doing errands, and getting everything ready for the party!

Have a great day!

  • If you have kids, are they out of school yet?
  • Do you watch any sports? Play any sports?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Workouts and Tonight’s Now Foods Twitter Chat

Hello!

My calves are still tight from Sunday’s 5k. Still tight as in they feel rock hard. Still tight as in it’s hard to walk up the stairs. And I only ran three miles!! I just don’t think my body was made for running.

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My hip feels okay, but my right quad is still very sore. Who knew it would take so long to recover from a 5k! I have another 5k coming up on the 23rd so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m been making sure to foam roll my calves and quad a ton.

My best friend:

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The past couple of days, I’ve stuck to upper body workouts at the gym. Yesterday, I did chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Some of the exercises I did included:

  • shoulder presses
  • chest presses
  • cable triceps pressdowns
  • side plank with lateral raise
  • push-ups
  • tricep dips

Today, I worked on back and biceps. I did the following exercises as supersets:

  • one arm bentover row – right
  • one arm bentover row – left
  • hammer curls
  • dumbbell bicep curls
  • reverse flyes
  • dumbbell deadlifts
  • single leg kettlebell deadlifts
  • cable bicep curls

I am sore today!

After the gym, I stopped by the grocery store. I have an obsession with coffee creamers and bought this new Silk coffee creamer to try out.

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I have been trying to cut back on dairy lately because when I eat too much dairy it tends to give me stomach issues so I’ve been trying out some dairy free creamers. I’ll let you know how this one is!

Now Twitter Chat

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Join me tonight at 9pm EST / 8pm CST for the Now Foods twitter chat! We’ll be chatting with Now Foods about your guide to a healthy summer, both inside and out.

5 winners will be chosen – one will receive the grand prize (worth around $500!) and 4 winners will receive prize packs including several of Now’s favorite products. Use the hashtag #NOWGetFit, answer the questions, and enter to win!

  • Tuesday May 12 9pm EST / 8pm CTS
  • Hashtag is #NOWGetFit 
  • Be sure to follow @FitFluential and @NOWFoods so you don’t miss a tweet
  • 1 grand prize winner will be chosen, with 4 other winners receiving Now Foods Prize Pack. Winners will be notified via DM. 

Have a great day!

  • Do you have any allergies? Dairy, gluten, soy? Or do you avoid any foods?
  • Are you excited for tonight’s Twitter chat?!

 

 

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Filed under Running, Working Out

Walks, Workouts, and a T-Rex

Good afternoon!

Yesterday

The weather has been beautiful the past couple of days here in Chicagoland. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather last night and went for a walk.

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Jaden’s eye are either closed or he’s hiding his face in almost ever picture taken outside. Sun problems.

The kids and I walked while Danny ran. Danny has a 10 miler race coming up and he’s going to start training for the Chicago marathon soon!

I love that all the trees and flowers are finally blooming.

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We spotted a T-Rex on our walk. You know, just the normal stuff you’d see on a walk.

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Today

This morning I did the

 

that I found on the PopSugar website a few weeks ago.

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This workout is killer. I am dying by the end. The first few times I did it, I did the treadmill portion twice substituting the arc trainer for one of the treadmill sessions. This time I used the treadmill all three times and I was quite proud of myself. By hip was dead by the time I was done.

I burned over 700 calories. :)

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By the time I left the gym, I was a sweaty mess.

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Post workout, I had a Premier Protein chocolate shake.

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After the gym, I ran a couple of errands. Tomorrow night, Danny and I are going to a wedding for a friend that I’ve had since 2nd grade! Unfortunately, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. I’m hoping the rain holds off!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s the longest you’ve been friends with someone?
  • Did you workout today?
  • Weirdest thing you’ve seen on a walk or a run?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Four Miles and Exciting News

Good afternoon!

Exciting news!! My husband, Danny, will be running the Chicago Marathon this October! It will be his first marathon!

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The Chicago marathon is now a lottery, drawn at random. About 79,000 people entered the lottery and they chose 40,000 people. Danny was one of the lucky ones to get in through the lottery.

Danny was going to run his first marathon in Disney while I was running my first half marathon but since I was injured and had to have hip surgery, those plans were put on hold. Now he’ll be running a marathon this October!

Yesterday

Yesterday, my son Jaden had a birthday party to go to so while he was at his party, we took Jacob out to lunch to celebrate his birthday.

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The sun was in Jaden’s eyes.

We took Jacob to his favorite restaurant – Olive Garden!

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Today

I didn’t run very much last week because I was fighting a cold but today I was back on the treadmill. My plan today was to add a little bit of speed.

I started at my normal pace of 5.5 mph for about 8 minutes. Then I bumped my pace up to 6 mph. This is a fast pace for me since having hip surgery. I’m still trying to ease into running faster. I ran at 6 mph for 12 minutes. Then my plan was to go back to 5.5 mph but my heart rate was up to 175 bpm and wasn’t coming back down so I slowed my pace to 5 mph. I was dying! I ran about 8 minutes at 5 mph. Then I walked slowly for a little more than a mile.

Overall, I completed 4 miles.

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My Achilles was pretty sore but my hip felt good. By 10:00 am, I was already at 10,000 steps for the day. I was also up at 4:50 am this morning to work, so the longer you’re up, the more steps you’ll get!

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After my run, I foam rolled and stretched.

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Lunch 

Lunch this afternoon was delicious! I made a salad with spring mix, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and pecans. I bought the Bolthouse Farms creamy balsamic dressing to try and it was amazing on my salad.

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I also had some chicken jerky and string cheese on the side for some protein.

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever run a marathon? Any tips?
  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite restaurant? 

 

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Now Foods Event

Good afternoon! I can’t believe half the day is gone already! I have so many things to get done.

I wasn’t feeling the greatest this morning, but I still went to the gym and did about 50 minutes of easy cardio. I walked on the treadmill, then I completed about 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, and finished with the arc trainer.

I have some fun things going on tonight and tomorrow!

Now Foods

I’m really excited to be meeting up with 11 other Fitfluential bloggers from all over the country tonight and tomorrow to go behind the scenes at Now Foods.

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A leading natural products manufacturer, Now Foods, is dedicated to providing customers with a complete approach to health and wellness by offering more than 1,400 high-quality, natural, and affordable products, including nutrient-rich foods, supplements, personal care items, and sports nutrition items.

We’ll be spending time with Now experts, sampling products, cooking with their R&D chef, and meeting with Now’s managnement team.

You can follow us along with #NOWGetFit on social media. You can follow Now Foods on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Follow Run Eat Play on Instagram and Twitter.

I’m really looking forward to the event and going behind the scenes at Now Foods.

Have a great afternoon!

 

 

 

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Kettlebell Workout

Good afternoon!

Yesterday

Today marks the 10th day straight that I’ve had a headache. I went to the doctor yesterday because I finally couldn’t take it anymore. He said it’s probably something to keep an eye on since I don’t regularly suffer from headaches. He diagnosed it as an atypical migraine.

He prescribed a pain medicine and said that it should help the headache go away in 1-2 days. He said if it didn’t make the headache go away, the next step would be a blood test and a scan to check for a more serious problem.

The headache isn’t debilitating or causing me extreme pain. I’m not affected by bright lights. It’s most just a constant headache that’s annoying and frustrating. It dulls at time but never completely goes away. Mostly, I just want to sleep all the time. So frustrating!

Today I still woke up with a headache although not quite as intense. If it’s not gone by tomorrow, I have to call the doctor. We’ll see. I’m keep my fingers crossed that this darn thing goes away.

Last night was Jaden’s first baseball game of the season!

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Life always gets a little crazy when baseball starts because it takes up a lot of time, but Jaden loves it. And watching young kids play baseball can be entertaining since they’re still learning the game.

Jaden’s team is the White Sox but my hubby is a huge Chicago Cubs fan. :)

Today’s Workout

I changed it up a little bit at the gym today and did a workout using only kettlebells.

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Some of the exercises I did included:

  • kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell sumo squats
  • one-armed rows
  • kettlebell halos (around the head)
  • kettlebell orbits (around the body)
  • windmills
  • figure 8 (in and out of the legs)
  • Russian twists
  • half get-ups

I did the workout as a circuit, repeating all the exercises with no rest in between, Then I rested 1-2 minutes and repeated the circuit two more times. It was a great workout to change things up a bit!

After my workout, I taught my Women on Weights class and then refueled with a Premier Protein chocolate shake.

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 Local Race

For those of you local to the Chicagoland area, Capitol Nutrition is having their 3rd annual charity run to raise awareness and funds for helping military veterans heal emotional wounds by pairing them with a shelter dog. The event not only helps veterans but also helps shelter dogs. Proceeds for the event go to Pets for Vets charity.

The race takes place on June 6th, 2015 in Orland Park. For more information or to register go to their website here.

Well, I’m off to get a few things done for baseball tonight! Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you suffer from headaches? Any advice?
  • Do you ever use kettlebells in your workout?
  • Favorite piece of exercises equipment? Treadmill, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc?

 

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Filed under Family Fun, Working Out

Reaching a Goal

Good afternoon!

I really haven’t feeling the best lately so I’ve been kind of low-key this weekend.

I have had a headache for eight days non-stop. It’s so annoying. I don’t get headaches very often and if I do, they usually last for a very short while. That’s why it’s so odd that I’ve had this headache for eight days straight.

At first, it was just the headache but then I woke up the other day feeling sick. It’s mostly just a sore throat, a stuffy nose, and a cloudy head. I just really want this headache to go away!

Danny mentioned going to the gym this morning, and at first I didn’t want to go, but I finally decided to go and do a little bit of cardio in hopes that it might make me feel a little bit better.

Going to the gym:

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Despite my constant headache and feeling under the weather, I managed to run 3.1 miles on the treadmill without stopping!!!

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That is my farthest distance and greatest accomplishment since my hip surgery last summer. Apparently, being sick is my super power!

I was really sore by the time I was done and my Achilles tendon and calf hurt a lot. I have two 5ks scheduled next month and then I might need to take some time off from running to let my Achilles get better. That’s kind of a bummer because I was really hoping to run a lot this summer but I don’t want to push this injury like I pushed my hip injury because that ended up with a major surgery.

After running, I stretched and foam rolled. I was sore but so happy for accomplishing my goal of being able to run non-stop for three miles. It wasn’t a very fast run, more slow and steady, but I’m working on endurance instead of speed.

After the gym, I went grocery shopping. I bought Jaden a cactus because he collects plants.

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Ever since my dad took him to the hardware store a few weeks ago and Jaden saw a real life mini cactus he has been dying for one. He did think that it was going to grow into a full sized cactus like in the desert so I had to explain to him that it would just be a small cactus not a giant desert cactus. He seemed okay with that. :)

I also bought lots of fruit.

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I love fruit in the summer. The watermelon was pretty good but not at its peak yet. I can’t wait for fresh summer watermelon!

I love my fruit cold – the colder the better! I even keep apples in the fridge to eat them cold but Danny is the opposite. He likes them room temperature.

We’re going to Whole Foods later today to pick up a few more groceries and maybe some sushi.

Have a great Sunday!

***Don’t forget to enter my JonnyPops giveaway!***

  • Did you workout today?
  • Did you collect anything as a kid?
  • Do you like your fruit cold or room temperature?

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Filed under Running, Working Out

Anniversary Date Night – Shaw’s Crab House

Happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all those running the Boston Marathon today!!

Saturday 

On Saturday evening, Danny and I went to Shaw’s Crab House to celebrate our anniversary.

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We went to the Grand Crab Buffet which they only have on Saturday nights on the upper floor of the restaurant. The Grand Crab Buffet is definitely pricey but it includes all you can eat king crab legs. If you’re a crab leg fan then you know how delicious but expensive they are!

Even though it was expensive, the food was delicious, and it was something special we’d only do once a year for our anniversary (or maybe birthday?! ;) ).

Besides the amazing king crab legs, there was tons of other food. Danny isn’t a huge seafood fan so I was proud of him for trying some of it. Luckily, it’s not all seafood and there’s other foods as well.

There was a couple different kinds of salad, crab cakes, shrimp, crab tarts, sushi, and snow crab legs.

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The waiter brought mini lobster bisque soups with a mini grilled cheese on the side to our table.

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I love lobster bisque soup. I had it the first time about two years ago and I fell in love with it!

There was also lobster and spinach mac & cheese, beef tenderloin, parmesan crusted chicken, carrots & parsnips, au gratin potatoes, fried shrimp, oysters, and more.

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The king crab legs were by far my favorite.

And of course there was dessert. Most of the desserts were mini sized so I figured I should try lots of them!

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There were peanut butter cookies, creme brulee, red velvet cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, brownies, coconut macaroons, pecan tartlets, cake pops, and more.

Overall, the meal was amazing.

After dinner, we met up with my friend Jenny and her boyfriend, John, for a few drinks.

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We got home late and picked the kids up from my dad and stepmom the next day. It was an amazing anniversary with my wonderful husband.

Today

I went to the gym this morning and worked on legs.

Some of the exercises I did included:

  • leg press machine
  • calf raises on the Smith machine
  • walking lunges
  • squats
  • deadlifts
  • step-up to knee on a bench

After my leg exercises, I walked one slow mile on the treadmill. My Achilles still hurts so I’m going to wait another day or two before I try to run again.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever been to?
  • What’s your favorite food?

 

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Filed under Dinner, Working Out