Tag Archives: birthday

Labor Day Weekend

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!


On Sunday morning, Danny and I did a back and shoulder workout with one of my friends from the gym. In the afternoon, we celebrated my nephew’s third birthday.


He had a Minion themed party and my sister-in-law made the cutest Minion cake and other fun Minion desserts.



She used Nutter Butters, Milano cookies, and Oreos to make little Minion cookies!



After a weekend with lots of family, food, and fun, I was ready to get back to normal. On Monday morning, I went to the gym for a chest, abs, and HIIT workout. Then, Danny and I took the kids to the pool for one last summer swim.


Yesterday was the last day the pool was open for the summer and they did duck races. For $5, you could buy a duck and they let all the ducks go down the slide and the first three ducks won a prize. Jaden picked out a green duck but sadly it didn’t win.


It was still fun watching all the ducks race down the slide.


After lots of cake and wine this weekend, I was more than ready for a healthy dinner. I decided to make spaghetti squash because I haven’t made it in forever. Spaghetti squash is such a great low-carb healthy alternative to pasta. And it tastes amazing!

I cooked the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After it cooled for a few minutes, I used a fork to pull out the strands of spaghetti squash.


I added sauteed onions and spinach, marinara sauce, and reduced fat feta cheese.


Delicious and healthy!

Have a great day!

  • How was your weekend?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?
  • Favorite veggie?


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

Peach Mango Sangria

Good morning! I hope you all are having a great Labor Day weekend!

I haven’t really been sticking to my nutrition plan this weekend – it’s been a weekend of family get togethers, BBQs, and birthday celebrations and the weekend is only half over!

Yesterday morning, Danny had a 19 mile run on his Chicago marathon training plan so while he was doing that, I went to the gym.

A little C4 pre-workout before leg day.


I worked legs and triceps and finished up on the stairmaster.

After our workouts:


In the afternoon, we went to my grandparent’s house to celebrate my grandma’s birthday.

I made moscato sangria and it was delicious.


For the sangria, I used:

  • 1.5 liter moscato (I used Barefoot moscato because it tastes good and isn’t too expensive)
  • 1.5 cups orange peach mango juice
  • 1 bag mixed frozen fruit (I used mangoes, strawberries, and peaches
  • 1 can pineapple nectar


I mixed all the ingredients in a pitcher and let sit in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours. You can serve over additional frozen fruit. It was the perfect end-of-summer drink!

My grandma had an amazing birthday cake that she made – chocolate cake with fresh strawberries. That is my all-time favorite birthday cake so I couldn’t pass up a piece!


During the party, my step-mom got the great idea to make a pyramid – so we did. Fun times.


Today, we are celebrating my nephew’s third birthday! More cake!!

Have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • Favorite cake?





Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Recipes, Uncategorized, Working Out

Glutes, Abs, and a Birthday

Good afternoon!


Now that school is out, I can get to the gym a little bit earlier than usual which means I get on with the rest of my day sooner! Before my workout yesterday, I had some of the Cellucor C4 pre-workout in pink lemonade.


The icy blue razz and pink lemonade are my two favorite flavors!

At the gym, I focused mostly on working my glutes. I did a bunch of different exercises including: deadlifts, barbell step-ups with a kickback, barbell step-up to a knee raise, barbell hip thrusters, and split squats.

I didn’t do any regular squats or lunges because my quad was really bothering me yesterday but normally I’ll add those in to my routine too.

The weather was very sunny and very hot yesterday – around 95 degrees (today it’s rainy and about 20 degrees cooler – Chicago weather!) so the kids and I headed to Starbucks for some refreshing, cold drinks.


Drinking outside at Starbucks.


Jacob was there too but he hates when I take his picture :)


This morning at the gym, I did an ab pyramid circuit workout that left me tired and sweaty!



(Yes, my hair is always crazy. Always.)

I started with 10 reps of each exercise, completing all the exercises back to back. When I was done, I rested about a minute and then did all the exercises nine times each. I rested and then did them all eight times each. I only made it down to six reps of each exercises before I had to go get Jaden out of the kid’s room at the gym.

Next time, I’m going to try and make it all the way down to one rep, it’s just a little time consuming!

Happy Birthday

Today is my brother, Paul’s, 30th birthday!



Welcome to Club 30, Paul!! :) Happy Happy birthday from your older sister. :)

Have a great day!

  • Favorite core exercise?
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • How did you feel about turning 30?



Filed under Fitness, Working Out

National Running Day is Coming Up and Birthday Presents!

Good afternoon!

June 3rd is National Running Day and in celebration of this day, OrthoLite is encouraging runners to show their run for a chance to win one of three $100 American Express gift cards for new running gear or OrthoLite Fusion insoles! To enter, all you have to do is post a picture of your run on June 3rd and tag @OrthoLite with #RunOrthoLite on Facebook and/or Twitter! The photo can show running shoes, a new PR, your running buddy that helps push you, your running route, or anything running lately.

Three winners will be selected at 9 am EST on Thursday, June 4th and will be notified direct message from OrthoLite on Facebook or Twitter. If you want to buy OrthoLite insoles now, you can go to their website and use coupon code FITCOMFY at checkout for $5.00 off.

I use OrthoLite in my shoes and I love them! You can checkout my review here. Don’t forget to post and tag your photos on June 3rd!


Yesterday was my birthday! I had to be at work at 5:30 am and when I got home a little after 7 am, Jaden had a birthday crown that he made waiting for me!


I spent the day doing a few errands and getting my hair done. I got some much needed highlights. Then, I stopped at Ulta and got my free birthday gift – Urban Decay 24/7 purple eye liner. I love the Urban Decay eye liners, I’m just not sure I’ll use purple eye liner. I wear brown eyeliner 99% of the time. If I’m feeling crazy, I might wear black eye liner otherwise brown it is!

Jaden had a baseball game in the evening. And lucky me, it rained for most of it. :( The game still went good and after we stopped to get Chipotle for my birthday dinner. I’m pretty sure calories don’t count on your birthday.

When we got home, Danny and the kids gave me some birthday gifts. There might have been some wine involved. :)


Jaden and I just finished reading Charlotte’s Web and I told Danny that I really wanted to get a pet pig. For my birthday he got me this:


He said it was as close to a pet pig as I was going to get.

He also got me two of my favorite Cellucor products – C4 and alpha aminos.


After presents, we had cake – my favorite cake is chocolate or white cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream frosting. Nothing beats strawberries and whipped cream.


Jaden had an allergy doctor appointment before school today so I got to the gym a little later than usual. Even though I had a rest day yesterday, I wasn’t super feeling it in the gym today. Do you ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like doing anything?!

I still worked out, just a little lighter than I normally do. I started out with a two mile fast walk on the treadmill followed by a few shoulder exercises. I have another workout planned for tonight so I didn’t want to wear myself out too much. I’m still sore from my back workout earlier in the week and my hip has been achy lately. I’m trying to be better at listening to my body.

After the gym, I stopped at Starbucks for my free birthday drink.


Don’t you just love all the birthday freebies?! I still have a free Dunkin’ Donuts coffee coupon to use!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite birthday freebie? The Benefit counter at Ulta used to give you a free eyebrow wax on your birthday but they stopped that a couple of years ago and I was so bummed!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • Do you go to the gym even if your not feeling it or take a rest day?



Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun

33 Random Facts About Me

Good morning! In celebration of my birthday today, I thought I would share 33 random facts about myself. I love knowing random things about people so share a random fact about yourself in the comments!

33 Random Facts 

1. I wasn’t always into health and fitness. When I started at community college, I was interested in Early Childhood Education. I’ve worked at daycares, preschools, as a nanny, and at a tutoring center.

2. I graduated from community college when my oldest son, Jacob, was about three years old. I took a long break and then went back to college when my youngest son, Jaden, was a baby. I graduated from Roosevelt University with honors in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.

3. I now work at a local gym and am a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I was also a Les Mills Body Pump instructor but had to stop teaching because of my hip issues.

4. I have never in my entire life eaten a hamburger.

5. I hate driving. I don’t care if it’s driving for five minute or five hours – I hate it. If I never had to drive again in life, I would be extremely happy.

6. I don’t have any tattoos. I have had my ears, tongue, and nose pierced. I got my tongue pierced when I was 16 and going through my “rebellious stage.” That didn’t last long. I got my nose pierced when I turned 32 and was going through my “I feel old but really want to be young” stage.

7. Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food is my all time favorite ice cream. If you’ve never had it, you need to find some immediately.

8. I need a fan on in the bedroom when I’m sleeping or I can’t sleep. But I can’t fall asleep with a tv on.

9. Speaking of sleeping, I have to sleep with socks on. I cannot fall asleep unless I have socks on my feet. During the summer, I wear sandals and go barefoot all day but when it’s time for bed, I put socks on.

10. My middle name is Lee. Heather Lee.

11. I love to read. I love all books. I went to two midnight releases when the Harry Potter books came out. One was when Jacob was about 5 years old and he dressed up like Harry Potter. He won first place in the costume contest and we got the book for free. Jacob loves to read just as much as I do.


12. I also love babies. Love them.

13. I hate the number 13. I avoid going to the #13 checkout line at the grocery store or at the gas pump. I will not put the radio or tv volume on 13.

14. My phone ring tone is a Christmas song. Yes, I know it’s May. No, I don’t care.

15. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the excitement, seeing my family, baking, and the look of joy on my kid’s faces on Christmas morning. Mostly, Jaden’s face. Jacob’s a teenager and really doesn’t care about anything.


16. I dress up every year for Halloween. I blame my dad – it’s his favorite holiday.



17. We don’t have any pets. I love cats and we always had cats and dogs when I was growing up. Danny is allergic to cats and Jaden is allergic to dogs. Maybe we should get a fish.

18. I have one younger brother and one younger stepbrother. That makes me the oldest…and wisest.

19. Danny is three years older than I am. And I make sure he knows it. :)

20. My favorite vacation I’ve ever been on is when we went to Las Vegas with my family to celebrate my dad’s 50th birthday.

Picture 425

21. I’ve only had two surgeries in my life – hip surgery last July and when I was 23, I had my tonsils out. Getting my tonsils out was one of the most painful things I’ve ever been through.


22. My hair is one of my biggest insecurities. It’s very fine and thin and looks crazy most of the time. It doesn’t do anything and I am not good at styling it.

23. I love watching YouTube beauty videos. I spend most of my day in workout clothes and a ponytail but I love watching videos on hair and make-up.

24. I hate wearing jeans. I hate jeans with a passion. I’d rather wear sweatpants, workout pants, dresses, or skirts than wear jeans. I think it’s because I have a hard time finding jeans that fit correctly.

25. I dislike scary things and scary movies. I hate haunted houses and refuse to go in one. I don’t like scary movies. Once, Danny and I went to Galena for the weekend and we went on a walking ghost tour and I was so terrified, I had to keep all the lights on all night and didn’t sleep at all.

26. I love watching reality television – Teem Mom, 19 Kids and Counting, Keeping up with the Kardashians. I even got to see the Kardashains in real life at my mom’s work.


27. I’ve been out of the country twice in my life – once to Canada and once to Mexico for our honeymoon.

28. I haven’t drank soda pop since 2009. My favorite drinks are water, coffee, and iced green tea. And wine. I like wine.


29. Black is my favorite color to wear. The majority of my clothes are black.

30. I usually play candy crush on my phone before I fall asleep at night. Okay, not usually, always.

31. I am an emotional person. I cry during Disney movies, I cry when babies are born on tv, sometimes I cry during Hallmark commercials. It is what it is.

32. I am very close to my family and they mean the world to me. I live within twenty minutes of both my parent’s, my brother and sister-in-law, and my in-laws.

33. These have been the best 33 years I could ask for and I can’t wait for the next 33 years!

Have a great day! Leave a random fact about yourself in the comments!




Filed under Uncategorized

Birthday Weekend Fun

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend! My birthday is this week so we celebrated over the weekend.

On Saturday night, my mom watched the kids and Danny, my brother, my sister-in-law, and I went out to dinner at Cooper’s Hawk.


I make Danny take lots of selfies with me. :)

My sister-in-law and I had the sparkling wine flight.


I have a sweet tooth so I prefer the sweeter tasting wines. My flight came with blanc de blanc, raspberry, almond, and peach wines. The blanc de blanc was my least favorite and I was really surprised with how delicious the almond wine tasted. I would definitely get the almond wine again.

We started with the complimentary pretzel bread which is amazing. For dinner, I had the Caesar pesto salad and caprese flatbread.

After dinner, we walked to a nearby restaurant where my cousin bartends. We had a limoncello birthday shot.


After dinner and drinks, we all headed home, but at the last minute Danny and I decided to see Pitch Perfect 2 at a theater near our house.


The first Pitch Perfect is my favorite movie and I was dying to see the new one so since my mom had the kids, we took advantage of it and saw a late movie. Pitch Perfect 2 was hilariously funny. The first Pitch Perfect is still my favorite but the second one is worth seeing!

We picked the kids up from my mom’s on Sunday morning and had breakfast with her, my sister-in-law, and niece. My mom even got me a birthday cake to celebrate!


On Sunday afternoon, Danny watched the Chicago Hawks game and Jaden and I planted some flowers in cute little dog and cat planters outside.


Jaden loves to garden and any plants, seeds, planters, gardening tools, or dirt in the house belongs to him. He got those planters for Christmas. He loves them.



This morning I was back to the gym after celebrating all weekend!


I did a back and bicep workout and then did a quick HIIT workout on the stairmaster.


I climbed for one minute at level 5 and then I climbed for one minute at level 16. I repeated that for 22 minutes. I burned over 500 calories!


Have a great day!

  • When is your birthday? How do you celebrate?
  • Do you garden? I kill almost everything I plant. Good thing Jaden likes to garden.
  • What did you do this weekend?



Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Good morning! The past few days have been so busy and I’m really looking forward to telling you guys about my trip to the Now Foods headquarters with the other FitFluential bloggers! Look for that post next week!

Happy Birthday

Today is my son, Jacob’s, 14th birthday.


I truly can’t believe how fast time goes! Jacob was born premature at 25 weeks, weighing 1 pound and 14 ounces. Due to how early he was born, he was classified as a micro preemie.

He spent two months in the NICU in a hospital an hour away from my house. He had respirator to help him breathe, a feeding tube so he could eat, and had to stay in a temperature controlled isolette. I wasn’t able to hold him until he was about three weeks old and could maintain his own body temperature.

Jacob as a toddler:


Jacob had eye surgery as a baby and has worn glasses since he was six months old.


Even though he was born 14 years ago, it seems like just yesterday. It’s amazing how fast kids grow up and Jacob truly is my little miracle baby.

Yesterday, we had family over to celebrate his birthday.


Today, we’re taking him out to lunch to his favorite restaurant – Olive Garden!

Happy birthday, Jacob!



Filed under Family Fun

A Birthday Dinner at Gordon Biersch

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, my dad joined Danny and me at the gym! I was excited to have my dad come work out with us and he came on our hardest day of the week – leg day!


Yesterday was the first day I did lunges with a barbell since my hip surgery. I was a little wobbly but they went pretty good.

We also did the leg press machine, sumo squats, calf raises on the Smith machine, plate squats, and step-up to kickbacks on the bench. My hip and adductor were really feeling it by the time we were done, but it was a great workout!

Later yesterday afternoon, we went out to dinner to celebrate my grandpa’s 79th birthday!


We went to a restaurant called Gordon Biersch. They are a restaurant and brewery. We go a few times throughout the year with my family and my grandparent’s have a point card where you earn points for every dollar spent.

They finally saved up enough points for a free brewer’s dinner for ten people. The brewer’s dinner consists of a tour of where and how their beer is made and a five course meal with a beer pairing for every course.

I’m not a beer drinker but Danny loved all the different beers. The food was amazing. Each course was presented and then the employees and chef of the restaurant explained what each course was, the type of beer, and why it was chosen to be paired with that particular course.


I admit, I didn’t pay much attention to the beer information but I paid attention to the food information!

Our first course was salmon cakes with remoulade.


I’ve had crab cakes before but never salmon cakes. These were amazing. They had a salmon taste but I liked that it wasn’t too overpowering. I only ate a little of the remoulade because it was a little too spicy for me.

The salad came next. It was a spring mix with a house-made vinaigrette.


The star of the salad was the breaded artichokes and pretzel bread with brie cheese. Lucky for me, Danny doesn’t like artichokes so I ate his. They were delicious.

After the salad, we had two main entrees. The first was a sirloin steak with leeks, asparagus, cauliflower puree and a wine red reduction.


I am not a steak eater at all but I was brave and tried the meat. I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Usually the texture of steak turns me off but this meat was so tender and really flavorful. I had three bites of it and then gave the rest to Danny.

I am also not a huge cauliflower fan, but the puree was absolutely delicious.

After the steak, was a seafood course. This was probably the best course of the night.


It was pecan crusted halibut with butter sauce over roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Amazing.

I like fish but I usually stick to salmon or tilapia. After having the halibut I wouldn’t hesitate to order off a menu next time we went out for dinner. The pecan crust and butter sauce really took it to the next level.

All the food items we had for dinner were specially prepared by the chef so they aren’t even on the regular menu. Too bad because I would order any of them in a heartbeat.

Finally came dessert. We had fresh berries topped with house-made whipped cream, a cookie crumble, and beer caramel sauce.


This was the perfect dessert. It was satisfying and sweet without being overly sweet. And since Danny isn’t a berry fan, I got to eat his too. :)

By the time we left, I was stuffed. It was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had and the prefect way to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What was the best meal you’ve ever had?
  • Favorite food?


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Working Out

Weekend Recap

Good morning and happy March! Can you believe it’s March already?! I’m just waiting for winter to be over and for spring to arrive!


The kids had the day off of school on Friday so I didn’t go to the gym in the morning. Instead, we went to the library.


I love the library. So. Many. Books.

Since, I didn’t work out in the morning, Danny and I went to the gym at night, and Jacob came with too. Danny and I worked on back and biceps while Jacob walked on the track. After we were done, Jacob wanted to jump rope so we spent a little bit of time jump roping.


Jacob was so funny – he was doing a run jump rope thing where he would run down the hall while jump roping. It was hilarious to watch and I couldn’t stop laughing. I usually can’t get him to go to the gym for anything, but he enjoyed jump roping!

And Danny got to wear his new Fitbit to the gym!


Being the super sweet wife that I am, I bought him a Fitbit Charge. I think just about my whole family owns a Fit bit now. :)


We went to the gym again Saturday morning like we usually do and worked chest and triceps. Danny is usually in charge of the chest exercises and the decline chest presses are killer. (I use an EZ bar because my wrist always hurts and the EZ bar is a little less stressful on it.)


The decline chest presses aren’t super hard to do but I really feel it later!


We stopped at the store on the way home and I was excited to find this butterscotch “yogurt.”


I posted it on Instagram and someone that it’s not actually Greek yogurt because it doesn’t contain any active cultures like yogurt does. It’s simply a “dairy treat.” Companies can be sneaky and sometimes you really have to pay attention to food labels. Of course, you assume the Oikos is yogurt but it doesn’t say yogurt anywhere on the packaging.

Regardless, it was still good!

Saturday evening, we went to my dad and stepmom’s to celebrate their birthdays.


We had spaghetti, salad, and bread followed by cake and ice cream.


We had a fun time celebrating and visiting.


Sunday morning, we were back at the gym. No surprise there. We worked legs. I haven’t done just a leg day in awhile because me hip/quad/Achilles tendon always are sore but I also know it’s important to build strength so I am going to add more leg exercises into my workouts.

For leg exercises we did:

  • leg press machine
  • squats
  • leg extension machine
  • leg curl machine
  • step up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • calf raises

After the gym we went grocery shopping and then to Whole Foods for lunch. We stopped for some frozen yogurt on the way home.

Our grocery store had the Rockin’ Refuel protein drinks on sale for $1 each. I’ve never seen them this cheap so I had to stock up.


Overall, we had a pretty quiet and laid back Sunday.


This morning, I went to the gym and worked shoulders. My leg isn’t as sore a I thought it would be after yesterday but my quad is a little sore. I made sure to foam roll it a lot at the gym and stretch.

Tomorrow is my first day teaching Women on Weights class!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite leg exercise?
    Do you read food labels?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Booty Workout and Birthdays!

Hello! How are you all today?!

This morning I went to the gym and started with the Bikini Body Mommy cardio workout. These workouts usually require a lot of jumping moves which I was really feeling today. By the time I was done, my Achilles tendon was killing me.

I tend to have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to working out and often decide to push through when I have pain instead of stopping. I realize that this is not a good thing. Moral of the story: do not be like me. If you are injured or have pain, take it easy!

I know something is wrong with my Achilles and I know the jumping exercises aren’t helping. I really am going to try my best to take it easy. The nice thing is that a lot of exercises can be modified so I don’t have to jump. My plan is to lay off the jumping but still do what I can.

After the cardio workout, I worked on glutes. Lots of booty exercises!


I did:

  • step-up to kickbacks
  • walking lunges
  • single leg hip bridges
  • sumo squats with a leg raise
  • donkey kicks
  • single leg deadlifts
  • squats

I did each exercises between 12-25 reps, depending on the exercise. I did three sets of each exercise. Then I foam rolled and stretched. It was a really good workout that left me tired and sweaty!!

Even though I still wear my FitBit Charge HR all day long, I use my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor to keep track of my exercise. I feel like it’s more accurate.

Yesterday for some reason, my Fitbit registered that I climbed 45 flights of stairs!


I definitely did not climb 45 flights of stairs. I didn’t really do anything different than I normally do so I can’t figure out why it thinks I’m climbing so many stairs. This is the first time it’s ever counted so many stairs. Interesting!

Hopefully it’ll be a little more accurate today.

Today is my dad’s birthday and tomorrow is my stepmom’s birthday. A big happy birthday to my dad and Sue!! Can’t wait to celebrate!!

PicMonkey Collage

Have a great day!!

  • For  those of you that have a FitBit Charge, does it overestimate stairs?!
  • Do you rest when your sore/injured or do tend to push through?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out