Tag Archives: chicago

Blizzards and Baking

Good morning!

How was your weekend?

On Saturday night, we went out to dinner for my friend Jenny’s birthday.

We went to a hibachi restaurant and it was so much fun. I think I’ve only been to a hibachi restaurant one time before when I was a lot younger.

After dinner, we picked up the kids from my mom’s house and that’s when the snow started. We had a winter storm warning and by that night, it was upgraded to a blizzard warning. Gotta love Chicago.

Sunday we were pretty much stuck inside all day because of the snow. Our Superbowl plans were canceled since driving was out of the question. Luckily, Danny went to the store on Saturday to buy fajita makings.

Since we were stuck inside during a blizzard, I decided to bake. I made S’mores bars. Amazing.

The recipe, of course, is from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I think it’s my life’s goal to make every single dessert from her blog. They are all amazing!

My dad also randomly showed up on our doorstep during the day. Apparently, he was “testing the roads.” It was before the worst of the blizzard started so he made it back home okay.

We ate fajitas and s’mores bars, and watched the Superbowl and commercials.

Needless to say, school was canceled for today. My plans are to do the Bikini Body Mommy workout at home and maybe another exercise DVD. I don’t usually workout at home unless I have to but when I do, I’d rather follow an exercise DVD or a YouTube video.

Have a great Monday!!

  • Did you watch the Superbowl? Favorite commercial?
  • Did it snow where you live?
  • Are you working out today?





Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized, Working Out

Halloween Weekend

Happy Monday! How was your weekend and Halloween?

Friday afternoon, Jaden has his Halloween party at school. His costume was a light-up stick man, but unfortunately it broke at school so he had to wear his costume from last year to trick-or-treat.

We meet my brother, sister-in-law, and niece at my dad and step mom’s house to take the kids trick-or-treating.

The weather was cold and extremely windy. I was very happy to be done trick-or-treating after about an hour and a half.

My the time we got back to my dad’s house, my hands were bleeding even though I wore gloves and my cheeks were red and wind burned and they stayed red for two days.

I always tell Danny that my body just wasn’t made for cold weather and we should move somewhere warm.

On Saturday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together. We haven’t been to the gym together in forever. We did some back exercises together and then I did some of my physical therapy exercises.

Our back exercises included:

  • seated rows
  • lat pulldowns
  • straight arm pullovers
  • deadlifts

I haven’t done deadlifts since my surgery and I was very happy that my hip seemed to be fine with them!

After the gym, we stopped at Starbucks and I was very excited to see that they had the holidays drinks! Of course, I had to have a gingerbread latte :)

Saturday night, my in-laws watched the kids so Danny and I could have a date night.

We went to Mago’s Mexican restaurant and then saw a movie. We were going to see The Maze Runner but decided to see Gone Girl at the last minute. I’m glad we did because Gone Girl was just as crazy as the book.

I’ve read the book but Danny hasn’t so it was fun seeing his reaction to the movie.

Sunday evening we watched Skyscraper Live to see Nik Wallenda walk blindfolded across Chicago skyscrapers. It was so cool to see something like that happening so close to home. Just watching him walk across two skyscrapers on a wire less than an inch wide without a safety harness or safety net was enough to make me want to faint!

I’m off to the gym this morning! Have a great day!!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you seen/read Gone Girl?
  • Are you afraid of heights?


Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Halloween, Working Out

Door to Door Organics Recipes and a Giveaway!

Disclaimer: Some of the products I used in these recipes were purchased using the gift card that Door to Door Organics provided me with. Door to Door Organics is providing gift cards to three readers. All opinions are my own.

Good afternoon and happy Friday! I have a great giveaway for you today so be sure to enter!

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I received some great produce and groceries from Door to Door Organics in Chicago. I used some of the produce and groceries to create two recipes. One is an easy lunch idea that serves one person and the other recipe is great to serve your whole family for dinner!

Grilled Veggie Flatbread Pizza     Serves: 1


  • 1 oz (28 grams) red and orange peppers sliced thin
  • 1 oz (28 grams) onion sliced thin
  • Flatout pizza crust of your choice
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Note: There are so many veggies that would work on this pizza so feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand. I love the onion and pepper combo so that’s what I used.

I used the Cucina Antica pizza sauce and Organic Valley mozzarella cheese from Door to Door Organics.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat grill pan over medium heat until hot. Spray with cooking spray. Grill veggies about 5 minutes or until desired doneness.
  3. While veggies are grilling, place flatbread in oven for 2-3 minutes directly on rack. This is will help the flatbread crisp up so it can hold your toppings.
  4. Once flatbread and veggies are done, spread sauce on flatbread. Top with grilled veggies and cheese.
  5. Place flatbread on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This recipe is my go-to lunch recipe. It’s quick and easy and tastes delicious!

I also had this pizza with a salad on the side. I used the super green salad mix from Door to Door Organics and added some chicken, pecans, and croutons.

Chicken Parmesan    Serves: 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 16 oz spaghetti

I love Organic Smart Chicken and I was excited to see that Door to Door Organics offered it on their website. I am super picky about chicken but this one is my favorite.


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Then combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning in a dish. Place egg in another dish.

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Dip each piece of chicken into egg then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Place chicken in hot pan and cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned.
  4. While chicken is cooking place about a quarter of the marinara sauce in a baking pan. When chicken is browned, add it on top of the sauce. Top with about a quarter more of the sauce.
  5. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes. Divide mozzarella cheese evenly between chicken breasts and continue cooking approximately 15 more minutes.
  6. Serve on top of spaghetti and with additional marinara sauce.

My family loved this recipe – it came out perfect and so delicious!!

I served it with some fresh green beans.

I steamed them for about five minutes and then added just a bit of olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic.


Now you can win your very own Door to Door Organics gift card! Door to Door Organics is giving away a $50 gift card to three readers.

Please note: Since Door to Door Organics is a local Chicago company, they only deliver to Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. You can enter your zip code on their website to see if they deliver to your area. If you’re not in Chicagoland but know someone who is, please pass this giveaway along to them!

You can also enter coupon code: ChicagoParent14 to save $10 off your first box now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Filed under Dinner, Giveaway, Lunch, Product Review

Throwing A Sports Themed Party – Chicago Bears

My family is really big into sports, and Chicago has some really good sports teams – the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Cubs and Sox. One of our favorite sports teams is the Chicago Bears.

Who doesn’t love football season?! Even if you aren’t a big football fan, there’s just so much excitement in the air. Football kicks off the start of the fall season and our Sundays are usually spent having family over, watching the Bears game, and eating fun football food.

We love getting together as a family to watch football and especially the Super Bowl. Sometimes we like to go all out throwing football parties, so today I’ll go over how to throw a successful football party.

1. Invite people you like.

Parties are always better when you invite people that you like. :) It helps even more if they enjoy football. Even if they don’t enjoy football, invite them anyway – they can learn to like football.

There are so many ways to invite people to events these days – email, through Facebook, the evite website, over the phone. If you really want to surprise people, send an invitation in the mail.

2. Food

You cannot have a successful football party without food. People like to eat. If you can’t cook, don’t fear! Ask each guest to bring a dish to share or get the best football party food there is – pizza.

Always make sure there’s cake.

3. Decorations

Decorations always make parties more festive and liven up the crowd. Many party stores sell football themed decorations and even have specific team decorations. Or make your own!

You can never go wrong with a Chicago Bears pumpkin.

4. Games

Who doesn’t love a party game? Everyone knows that the most important commercials of the year come on during the Superbowl, so why not make a game out of it?!

Last year, we played Superbowl Commercial Bingo. Everyone got a bingo card and when the commercial came on, they got to mark it on their bingo card. Fun was had by all!

5. Sports Clothing…and Props

Have people wear a sports jersey of their favorite team. If they don’t own one, that gives them the perfect opportunity to go shopping! And who doesn’t love shopping?

6. Get the Kids Involved

My kids love watching the Bears on TV with their dad.

It’s a great way for kids to learn about sports and maybe it’s even a sport they’d be interested in playing!

If you live in the Chicago area, the Chicago Bears are hosting Family Fest on August 2nd. The Chicago Bears Family Fest lets families watch the Bears practice under the lights on Soldier Field. There is also family-friendly games, live music, outdoor activities, giveaways, and fireworks.

The kids are also invited to the Staley’s Corner, the Bears mascot, for some fun activities, and the first 200 kids ages 4-12 will get the opportunity to have an autograph session with the Bears players! It’s a great way to spend the day with the family!

If you’re in Chicagoland, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Do you have any fun party tips to add? Favorite sports team?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fun, Uncategorized

Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5k Chicago + A Giveaway

Awhile ago, I mentioned the 17th Annual Chicago Half Marathon is taking place on September 8th, 2013. Well, if half marathons aren’t really your thing, they also offer the Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5k which uses the same start and finish line as the half marathon.

If your near Chicago, the Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5k is a great race to run. Hyundai Hope on Wheels, a national independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. 50% of every 5k race entry will support pediatric cancer research at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

The 5k is coming up fast but there’s still time to register. You can learn more about Hyundai Hope on Wheels here and you can register for the race here.

Not only is the Hyundai Hope On Wheels a great organization but they are offering three readers a gift bag including a Hyundai Hope On Wheels backpack, running shirt, and water bottle. You don’t need to be from Chicagoland to win – open to all of the U.S.

To enter: Comment below and tell me your favorite running distance. If you don’t run, tell me your favorite exercise.

Additional entry: Mention the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k on September 8th in Chicago on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and comment below telling me you did.

Giveaway will run though Tuesday September, 3rd at 11:59 CST.

Today’s Workout

  • 4 mile bike ride
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Practiced chest and back tracks at gym – 30 minutes

I did a lot of working out today!

Last night, we dropped my car to be fixed. Something is wrong with some throttle or another (I know nothing about cars). Which means that today I didn’t have a car. So, I decided to ride my bike to the gym.


It’s about a two mile bike ride to the gym – four miles round trip. I rode two miles to the gym, took a BodyPump class, and then practiced the chest and back tracks from the new BodyPump release.

It turns out that on Sunday, I will be teaching the chest and back tracks in front of the class – on the first day that the brand new gym opens. To say I am nervous, is an understatement. I am scared to death. I am trying to practice, practice, practice, but not overdo it because of my  hip.

I rode my bike home from the gym and the just sat on the couch icing and drinking chocolate milk.


I iced my hip, knees, and shoulders. I’m only thirty-one and I am already falling apart :)

I’m looking forward to a three day weekend! I have to work for a few hours moving stuff at the gym tomorrow morning, then we have a few get togethers with family planned, and hopefully we’ll pick up my car at some point.

Have a great weekend!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!



Filed under Fitness, Race, Running, Working Out

Color Me Rad 5k Chicago

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical – 15 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

We did the new BodyPump release today – #86, and it was tough!

Post workout, I had a Builder Bar and watermelon.

I bought a watermelon yesterday, and I think I ate half of it already. It’s just so good. Watermelon is probably my favorite summer fruit. I could eat it all day.

One of the things I really enjoy doing is “fun” races. This includes races with obstacles or mud runs, etc. I think these kind of races are great to do because they focus more on the fun aspect of running rather than the competitive aspect of running. Some of these kinds of races aren’t even timed so that you can just enjoy yourself.

I have completed the Muddy Buddy three times, and while I do have to train for the run/bike race, I do it for fun, not for time. And it’s fun to do it with a partner, especially the giant mud pit at the end.

I ran the Monster Dash 5k with my family a few years ago which included a bunch of obstacles including rope swinging over a river, hurdling over walls, crawling through concrete tubes, crawling under a rope net, etc.

These races are such a nice fun change. And the newest runs to hit the road? Color runs!

The Color Me Rad 5k is coming to Chicago on July 20, 2013 at Soldier Field. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the World Sport Chicago Mission.

How fun does this race look?!


How it works:

Start out as clean as a newborn babe, and throughout the run, you’ll coat your chaffing thighs with Color Bombs of blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow until your face, shirt, and body come out silkscreened like a tie-dyed hippy on the other side.

Each section of the run adds a new explosion of color to your clean, painter’s palate until you cross the finish line into a final blitzkrieg of color.


You can sign up to run the Color Me Rad 5k in Chicago here. You can also check out Color Me Rad on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

I have two free entries to the Color Run 5k to giveaway. Rather than do it as a comments giveaway, email me at runeatplay(at)hotmail(dot)com and tell me that you want to run the Color Me Rad 5k in Chicago on July 20, 2013.

If you know anyone in the area that wants to run the race, pass this info along to them :)

Have a great afternoon!

  • Want to run the Color Me Rad 5k in Chicago? Email me!
  • Have you ever ran one of these “fun” races?
  • Favorite summer fruit?


Filed under Fitness, Race, Running, Working Out