Tag Archives: christmas

Koss Winner

Winner of the Koss Headphones Giveaway – Meredith B.

Please email your shipping address to runeatplay(at)hotmail(dot)com. Congrats!

Happy Friday! I am so glad that it’s finally the weekend!

Tomorrow, we’re going with my family to cut down a Christmas tree.

The weather was pretty nice last year but tomorrow, it’s supposed to be really cold out and I know Jaden will spend most of his time complaining about how cold he is, so I picked up a few hand warmers from the dollar section at Target for the kids.

Last year:

I love big fat Christmas trees and I usually think the one that we pick will fit in our house but then it ends up taking up half of the living room.

Our tree a few years ago:

So big and fluffly puffy. I love it.

Sunday, we’re going to the fire department that my brother-in-law works at because they have a fun breakfast with Santa for the kids.


I worked this morning, then I went to Target to pick up a few things. I needed medium sized gift bags and gift tags. Normally, I’m good about buying gift bags after Christmas to save for the following year, but I guess I didn’t buy any last year. So, I went to Target and stocked up.

Do you see those Hershey’s peppermint bark candies in that picture? The best candy I’ve ever tasted. I bought them the other day to add to some presents and I think the kids and I ended up eating more than we gave away…which lead me to have to buy another bag. So good.

After I got home from the store, I practiced the new BodyPump release. I am teaching BodyPump next Friday, so I am trying to learn the new one by then to teach.

Have a great weekend!!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • Fat Christmas tree or skinny Christmas tree?



1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, Working Out

Core and Kettlebell Workout

Hey guys! How is your Thursday going?! I’m so glad that tomorrow is Friday. I feel like I have been so busy this week!

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Ab workout
  • Kettlebell Workout

I worked for a couple of hours yesterday morning and then watched my niece, so Danny and I went to the gym last night and worked out together.

Once in a while, we’ll actually do the same workout together and that’s what we did last night. We started with this ab workout:

Then, we did a kettlebell workout. Some of the kettlebell moves included:

  • Kettlebell Press-ups
  • Kettlebell squat to kick with a shoulder press
  • Kettlebell lunge (passing KB through legs)
  • Squat, burpee, to upright row with the kettlebell
  • Hip bridge chest press with kettlebell
  • Kettlebell swing (my fav!)
  • Kettlebell swing around the body

It was a great workout and something different because I don’t normally use the kettlebell.


I watched my niece early this morning, so I spent a little time before she came over learning the new BodyPump release.

Just when I get the old one figured out, there’s a new one! And I don’t learn these easily, I have to do it over and over and over just to pick it up. Hopefully, it’ll get easier with time.

After my niece got here, we went out and did a few errands. I got a few things for Christmas and some stuff for some more projects I’m working on.

How cute are these jars that I found at Wal-Mart for only $3?!


By the time lunch rolled around, I was pretty hungry. I was actually really excited to eat a bagelwich since I haven’t had one in so long because of the Grain Brain Challenge. And I had sweet potato fries…and apple slices.

Have a great afternoon!

Don’t forget – today’s the last day to enter the Koss Headphones Giveaway!

  • Have you ever done a kettlebell workout?
  • What did you have for lunch today?

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Filed under Christmas, Lunch, Working Out

DIY Holiday Crafts, Treats, and Gifts

Good afternoon!

I recently did a post on fitness related holiday gift ideas, so I thought it would be fun to show some DIY (do-it-yourself) holiday gifts, crafts, and treats.

I love making gifts for people, baking cookies and other goodies, and making crafts with the kids this time of year!

Edible Christmas Trees

The kids made these fun edible Christmas trees last year.

They used a sugar cone as the tree and covered it with green frosting. Then, they used sprinkles and other edible decorations to decorate the tree.

Reindeer Water Bottles

Jaden and I made these water bottles for his holiday party at school last year.

I just bought little water bottles and added googly eyes, antlers, and a red nose. The kids loved them!

Candy Cane Reindeer

These are similar to the water bottles, only using a candy cane. I brought all the supplies into Jaden’s class and let the kids make them.


One of Jaden’s favorite things to do every year is make paper snowflakes. It’s fun, inexpensive, and makes a great decoration.

I just googled “how to fold paper for a snowflake”. I folded a bunch of pieces of paper and let the kids cut out designs.

Hershey Kiss Pretzels

Who doesn’t love getting yummy treats for Christmas!

Last year, Jacob and I made these Hershey Kiss Pretzel Treats.

They are super easy to make and we put them in individual boxes and Jacob gave them to his teachers.


There are so many great cookies to make around Christmastime. Hershey Kiss Peanut Butter Blossoms are one of my all-time favorite cookies.

Another good cookie are the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies that I made for a cookie exchange a couple of years ago.

And everyone loves good ol’ fashioned chocolate chip cookies.

I like putting cookies in a nice Christmas tin to give as gifts. I went to Hobby Lobby last night to get a few tins for this year!

Another yummy treat that’s great for sharing are peppermint Oreo truffles.

These things are AMAZING.

Pampering in a Jar

Last year, I made a few of these “Pampering in a Jar” gifts.

They were easy to make and everyone loved them.

I got the mason jars on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, and then I just filled them with little lotions, nail products, hair products, fuzzy socks, and chocolates. I found the big snowflakes at Target and added those to the top along with some Christmas ribbon.

I have a few ideas in mind to make this year!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have any gift, food, or craft ideas to share?



Filed under Christmas

Koss Headphone Giveaway


I feel like I have been so busy and haven’t been around much lately!

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Cardio Fit & Tone Class – 60 minutes

I have been working a lot in the mornings lately, so I haven’t been able to keep up with my normal workouts. To get a workout in, I went to the gym last night and took a cardio fit & tone class.

The class was mostly cardio with a few strength training moves, and then ended with some core work.

Whenever I work out at night, it makes me so hungry! The class started at 6:25 pm so I didn’t want to eat dinner before I went, and by the time I got home at 7:45 pm, I was starving!

I work again this morning, so I might go to the gym again tonight. I am still sore from Sunday’s BodyPump and yesterday’s class, so we’ll see how I feel later.

Besides working, I have been trying to get some Christmas shopping done. I feel like the holidays are sneaking up on me this year and it’s going to be a rush to get everything done!

Danny spent the day after Thanksgiving putting up our outdoor Christmas decorations.

We delivered letters to Santa’s mailbox.

Elf on the Shelf made an appearance.

Jaden has been so excited to wake up every morning and find the elf.

Koss Giveaway

I have a great giveaway for you guys today!

A pair of Koss FitClips headphones!

These would make a great gift or would be great to keep for yourself.

To enter:

Entering the giveaway will be super easy. All you have to do is comment below and tell me what your favorite song is. That’s it!

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway will end Thursday, Dec. 5th at 11:59 pm CST. I received these headphones from FitFluential on behalf of Koss, but I am doing this giveaway on my own and will ship these out personally.

  • To enter: What’s your favorite song?



Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Giveaway, Working Out

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Happy Monday!

It sure was a long weekend! Back to normal life today and the countdown to Christmas starts!

Since the holidays are quickly approaching, I put together a gift guide for that active person in your life. There are so many great gift ideas that involve health, fitness, and exercising and hopefully you can get some gift ideas!

Holiday Gift Guide

This post is sponsored by FitFluential FFC on behalf of Koss.

  • Heart Rate Monitor

I have the Polar ft7 heart rate monitor and I think it’s great. It measures your heart rate as well as calories burned and lets you know your time in the fat burning and fitness level zones. I bought mine at Sports Authority for around $100, but  know they’re a lot cheaper on Amazon.


  • Water bottle

Water bottles can be fairly inexpensive and are quite handy. I always bring a water bottle with me to the gym. If you have a runner that you’re buying a gift for, a hand-held water bottle or a water belt make great gifts.


The amphipod is great for long distance runners because it clips around your waist and sits on the small of your back. Easy to grab a drink and go!


  • Headphones

You can never have too many headphones! Mine are always getting lost, or I forget them, or they break. I love having multiple pairs of headphones. And sport headphones are great for that active person in your life.

I recently received the Koss headphone and I love them. Koss worked with gold medalist, Dara Torres, to create the world’s first pair of headphones for women made by women. They come in either FitBuds or FitClips, and they come with three different size ear buds.

The best part? You get them for only $19.99 this holiday season at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart, or Sears.

  • Shoes

Shoes always come in handy. Always. If you happened to know the correct shoe size, they make a great gift!


  • Magazine subscription

There are so many great health and fitness magazine available. I have tons of magazine subscriptions and you can usually find them for a great price. A few ideas – Fitness, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Self, Runner’s World, Shape.


  • Compression socks/sleeves

Compression gear doesn’t only benefit runners. Sometimes I wear compression sleeves while exercising because I know my calves get tight and they help with blood flow. Also great for wearing after exercise and running for recovery.


  • A gym bag

Danny got me a gym bag from Athleta for Christmas last year and I love it. If you get a quality gym bag, it can last for a long time.

  • Clothes

Who doesn’t love new workout clothes?! Tanks, shirts, pants, capris, shorts, jackets, hoodies. There’s lots of clothing options. Or make someone their own personalized shirt…

  •  Spi belt

Great for runners – it goes around your waist and fits lots of stuff.


  • Race entries

A couple of years ago, my dad and stepmom got us an entry for one 5k of our choice. They made a cute little gift card and then we just let them know which 5k we wanted to run and they paid for it.

What is on your holiday list this year? What gifts are you getting for other people?

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Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Elf on the Shelf

Good afternoon! I feel like I haven’t talked to you guys in forever even though in reality, it’s only been a couple of days!


On Saturday night my sister-in-law, Crystal, turned 30 and completed her first half marathon.

Congrats, Crystal!

Even though we weren’t able to be in Florida with her, we were able to track her on Facebook. On the Disney website, you can sign up to receive updates on a certain runner, so we were able to follow her progress all night!

My brother, sister-n-law, and niece are still in Florida having fun.

I miss my niece so much and I am counting the days until she gets back. I might be overly attached.

Crystal has inspired me to find a half marathon of my own to run! I am looking at local races in the spring so I have lots of time to train. I am going to train slow so that I can hopefully avoid injury this time.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Ab work, burpees on Bosu, balancing on Bosu
  • Cardio Fit & Tone Class – 60 minutes

The kids had off of school yesterday, so I went to the gym in the evening. I did a little bit of a workout on my own before going to cardio fit and tone class.


I had two clients a couple of hours apart at the gym this morning, so I worked and ran errands in between and after clients.

I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. I was excited to find gluten-free Puffins.


Too bad they’re not peanut butter.

And Amy’s gluten-free lasagna.


For the most part, I try to eat fresh and whole foods like fruits, veggies, salads, fish, etc, but sometimes I am pressed for time and just need something I can eat quick – which is where the cereal and lasagna come in :)

Random Purchases

I have finally given in to the Elf on the Shelf hype and bought one for Jaden.


I am now an Elf on the Shelf Mom.

If you don’t know what Elf on the Shelf is, it’s a book and stuffed elf. You read the book to your kids about how the elf watches over them and reports to Santa about their behavior each night. Then each morning, the kids wake up and have to find the elf (but they’re not allowed to touch him).

There are so many websites dedicated to ways the kids can find the elf in the morning – hanging on the Christmas tree, drinking from the syrup bottle, rolling down the stairs in a toilet paper tube, baking, making flour angels. Honestly, it’s a bit crazy.

We will open and read the book on Thanksgiving and then the fun will begin. I already have a Pinterest board with lots of Elf on the Shelf ideas. But I’ll tell you this – if that elf were to go report to Santa today about my kid’s behavior, they probably wouldn’t  get a Christmas present for the rest of their lives.

I also found these cute milk and cookies plates at Target for only $1.99. I got one for my kids and one for my niece.


I am getting excited for the holidays!

One of our neighbors already has their whole house decked out in Christmas lights. It’s funny because the house right across the street still has Halloween decorations up! We usually put decorations up the day after Thanksgiving.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you ever done Elf on the Shelf?
  • When do you decorate for the holidays?


Filed under Christmas, Race, Running, Working Out

More Christmas

Last night, my dad, stepmom, stepbrother, brother, sister-in-law, and niece came over so we could celebrate Christmas together. We see my brother, sister-in-law, and niece on Christmas Day, but we don’t exchange gifts with my dad until after Christmas.

The kids under the tree:

We got Jake the best present ever – family sized double stuffed Oreos!

My dad and Sue got me the Garmin Forerunner 10, which I am very excited about trying out.

And it’s pink! I have always said that I am not a long distance runner or even a fast runner. I like to run for fun and fitness, and my calf tightness prevents me from running too fast too far, but I do like to run. Even though I don’t run fast or train for marathons, I do like to know how far I run and how fast, that’s why the Garmin 10 is perfect. It records your distance, pace, and calories.

When I run outside in the warmer months, I usually use the Nike+ on my iPod, but I don’t always run with music so sometimes it’s annoying to have to wear my iPod on an armband all the time. So, I am very excited to use my Garmin in the spring and summer, and to compare it to the distance on the treadmill.

Thanks, Dad and Sue!

They also got me the world’s largest bag of pistachios:

I made sure to open those last night so that I could share them with everyone. And by everyone, I mean me and my dad.

We got my dad a Blue Moon neon sign for his bar:

He seemed to like it.

I love this picture because Jaden and my niece are way too excited for that Dick’s box:

I also got an infinity scarf which I love, and Danny captured this great picture of me taking my hair out from underneath the scarf.

I made stuffed shells for dinner and brownies for dessert. Paul and Crystal didn’t stay too long because Crystal is sick and my brother’s back is still causing him a lot of pain.

The rest of us played cards for a while before calling it a night around 11pm.


This morning, I made the kids pancakes with a cool pancake squeeze bottle that my brother-in-law and sister-in-law got them for Christmas. I put chocolate chip pancake batter in the bottle, and soon realized that the chocolate chips clogged the opening. I tried to make Jaden a pig pancake, but it came out looking crazy.

So, I stuck to super easy things like tic-tac-toe boards, and even that came out looking kind of crazy.

I have very little artistic ability. I can be crafty, but not artistic.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Questions of the day:

  • Do you like pistachios? Favorite nut?
  • Are you artistic? Crafty?
  • If you run, how do you record your distance?
  • Any plans or workout for today?


Filed under Breakfast, Christmas, Family Fun

Peppermint Oreo Truffles

Happy Christmas Eve! Or is it Merry Christmas Eve? Happy Merry Christmas Eve!

I wanted to make a dessert besides cookies this year, so I browsed Christmas recipes on Pinterest, and I came across this recipe for Oreo peppermint truffles. I’m not usually a big Oreo fan, but I do love peppermint and chocolate, so I decided to try out this recipe. I’m so glad that I did because they were delicious.

A few tips that I found helpful:

  • Keep the Oreo balls in the freezer and take them out one at a time to dip them. Each one took a little bit longer to dip than I expected.
  • I used a wooden chopstick to dip each ball. I tried using a fork but it left too many holes in the top of the truffle.
  • Halfway through, I melted another batch of almond bark. I felt it was easier to dip the Oreo balls when there was more almond bark in the bowl.
  • I wasn’t able to find white chocolate almond bark, so I used vanilla almond bark. I’m pretty sure they’re the same thing or very similar.

Danny and I shared one to try them out, and I can’t wait until tomorrow night to eat some more! Yum! They are delicious – probably the tastiest dessert I’ve made.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • 3.41 miles treadmill
  • 10 minutes stretching

Yesterday afternoon, I was finished baking, I was finished wrapping, and Danny was watching the Bears game. I really wasn’t in the mood to go to the gym, but I knew that if I sat at home, I’d probably keep sneaking into the kitchen to nibble at the peanut butter cookies. So, I got my gym clothes on and headed to the gym.

And of course, once I was there, I was in the mood to workout. I alternated between walking at 4.0 mph for one minute and running at 7.0 mph for one minute for 35 minutes. Then, I cooled down for five minutes and stretched for 10 minutes.

Today’s Workout

  • 3.25 miles treadmill

This morning and afternoon Jacob and I are just kind of hanging out. Jaden went to work with Danny. Danny’s work is usually really dead today, but he has to go in for a few hours so Jaden was very excited to go with him. Last year on Christmas Eve, Jacob went to work with Danny, so this year it was Jaden’s turn.

On Christmas Eve, you get to do fun things like eat cereal and milk out of a box on the couch:

When Danny and Jaden get home, we’ll head to my grandparent’s house to spend time with my dad’s side of the family. We exchange Christmas stockings (kind of like a secret Santa), and I am super excited about the Ugly Christmas sweaters!

Tomorrow, we open presents with the four of us at home, then we go to Danny’s parent’s house, then from there, we’ll got to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. We exchange presents with my dad the weekend after Christmas.

I feel like Christmas Eve showed up so soon, and Christmas goes by so fast, and then it’s all over. I always feel sad after Christmas because the anticipation was so great for about a month before Christmas and then it’s just over. At least we’ll see my dad and step-mom this weekend, and we have fun New Year’s Eve plans with my dad and fam.

Have a wonderful day!

Questions of the day:

  • Have you ever had an Oreo truffle? So good…
  • Do you workout today?
  • What are your plans for the holiday?


Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Good afternoon! How are you spending your last day before Christmas Eve? Shopping, relaxing, cooking, baking?

Jaden woke up nice and early this morning, so I figured that I would get a head start on baking. Today, we made another batch of the peanut butter blossoms, and we also made Nestle chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the Nestle website)


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels


  1. PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt
    in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in
    large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
    addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by
    rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11
    minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to
    wire racks to cool completely.

The cookies came out just perfect and delicious!


Even my lunch today was in the Christmas spirit this afternoon. I had a bagel thin, egg whites, and cheese with red and green tortilla chips on the side.

Have a great day!

Questions of the day:

  • Are you traveling for Christmas?
  • Favorite chips? Or snack?
  • What are you doing for Christmas Eve?

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Filed under Christmas, Lunch, Recipes

Hershey Kiss Peanut Butter Blossoms

Today’s Workout

  • 5.5 miles treadmill

I woke up early today and got to the gym by 8 am. I like finishing my workout early in the day. Even though I enjoy working out, I like to get it out of the way early. The later it gets in the day ,the less likely I am to make it to the gym.

I ran/walked 5.5 miles on the treadmill this morning. That’s the farthest I’ve gone in a while.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who left nice comments and well wishes for my brother and his back problem. He had an appointment with a back doctor yesterday. In fact, it’s the same doctor that my dad saw over 10 years ago when he had back surgery. The doctor said that he was surprised that my brother was able to walk into his office after looking at his MRI. He said that he should be in a considerable amount of pain for having four herniated discs. And he is in pain.

The doctor wants to do another higher quality MRI so that he can see the problem better. He said that it looks pretty bad. My brother had another MRI scheduled for today, and guess what? It was canceled because the MRI department lost power. What?! Hopefully they get everything up and running soon.

I did a little research on back surgery and it seems like it can often help and herniated discs can be replaced. And although the recovery time to heal is a few months, you still are able to be up and going about your daily activities pretty much right away. They don’t want you to immobilize your back by staying in bed.

Anyone ever have back surgery or back problems and have any advice?

After the gym, Jacob and I went to the grocery store to pick up everything for Christmas Eve and Christmas.

I’m making the shredded potato casserole that I made for Thanksgiving for Christmas at my mom’s house. I’m baking cookies for Christmas Eve and making peppermint Oreo truffles for Christmas. I’m making the cinnamon roll french toast casserole for Christmas breakfast.

This afternoon, I got started on my first batch of peanut butter blossoms.

These cookies are one of my favorites, and they’re super easy to make. I’m a messy cook though. Even the simplest recipes leave the whole kitchen a big mess. The end result is always delicious though. :)

Jaden had a fun time helping me.

Peanut Butter Blossoms – from the Hershey website


  • 48   HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup  shortening
  • 3/4 cup  REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1   egg
  • 2 tablespoons  milk
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  •    Additional granulated sugar



1. Heat oven to 375°F.  Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.  Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.  Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Immediately press a  chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.

About 4 dozen cookies.

Tips: I always unwrap the Hershey kisses and put them in a bowl in the freezer while the cookies are baking. This way when you press them into each cookie, they’re easier to work with and don’t melt as much.

Danny’s job was to unwrap the kisses. Doesn’t he look just thrilled about it?

Questions of the day:

  • How long does your typical workout last?
  • Do you use a list when you go to the grocery store? I normally almost always make a list.
  • Favorite thing to cook or bake?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out