Tag Archives: halloween

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Last night, we had a family gym night. Well, except for Jaden. He went to the kid’s room.


Jacob has really gotten into running lately, so I have been trying to encourage his interest. He signed up for a fitness club at school and wants to go to the gym to run on the treadmill.


I kind of hung out with Jacob on the treadmill. I didn’t get in a great workout because we had just finished eating dinner and my quad was bothering me.

I ran a mile with Jacob on the treadmill. I did a few random ab exercises and stretches, and then I raced Danny 1.5 miles on the stationary bikes. The bikes are neat because you can race the person next to you. All I really accomplished at the gym was making my quad feel worse.


When we got home, I ate about half the box of the peanut butter Puffins – my new favorite cereal! So good!


This morning I practiced BodyPump for about 40 minutes at home. I have all the moves memorized, but now I realize that I have to practice with heavier weights, so I can lift and talk at the same time.

I love BodyPump, but I will be so incredibly happy and relieved once this video has been submitted. I feel like BodyPump has taken over my life!

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

I forgot to tell you how my Halloween Scavenger Hunt went on Friday night! It was really fun and hopefully everyone had a good time.

I split everyone into three teams and each team was given a list of items to find or collect and things that they had to take a picture of and send to me.

Each item/picture was worth a certain amount of points and at the end all the points were added up and the team with the most points won!

Some of the items on the list included:

  • Bringing back my favorite candy – (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – only one team got this right)
  • Wrapping a stranger up like a mummy 2013-10-189519.21.20
  • A picture of a black cat crossing your path 2013101895195148
  • A picture of a house with tombstones in the front yard 2013101895202352
  • Bringing back the thing that jack o lanterns were first carved out of (turnips)
  • A picture of a team member in a Halloween costume IMG_3121
  • Going to the pet cemetery and getting the black rose
  • A picture of a team member chasing someone around the store with a pretend chainsaw 2013-10-189519.28.26
  • A picture of a Christmas display IMG952166

There was a lot of items on the list and I think the game went really good and everyone had fun!

When everyone was gone collecting their items, Jaden and my niece had fun finding Halloween eggs in the backyard.



I thought it was kind of weird to have Halloween eggs with candy in them (isn’t that pretty much Easter?!) but Jaden saw them at the store and I figured they keep the kids busy for a while.

When everyone came back, I added up the points and the winning team got a small prize!

This weekend will be busy with Halloween fun too – on Friday we’re going to the pumpkin farm and haunted hay ride and Saturday is the Halloween party! I really need to finish my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween

Halloween Food and Pumpkin Carving 2013

Good morning!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! We’ve had a weekend packed full of Halloween fun!

Last night was our annual Halloween Food and Pumpkin carving night. Even though we’ve been having this party for quite a few years, everyone comes up with fun and new Halloween food.

My aunt and uncle flew in to enjoy some of the Halloween fun, and my aunt had a big surprise for us when she got here – she has lost 100 lbs!


Isn’t that incredible?! In seven months, she has lost 100 pounds by watching what she eats, eating healthy, and counting calories. I am so proud of her!!

Halloween Food

Here is some of the Halloween food from last night.

Werewolf claw mark cake:


I made a pumpkin patch with pumpkin shaped rice krispies:


Bloody Meatloaf Feet:


Rice Krispy Snake:


Mini Monster Cheese Balls:


Bat Cookies:


Chili Cheese Eyeball Dip:


Danny made Jell-O Worms:


Bat Wings:


Mummy Pizzas:


Monster Meatloaf Hands (first place winner!):


Breadstick Bones:


Caprese Eyeballs:


Everyone came up with such creative and fun food ideas! It was a lot of fun tasting and voting for our favorite food. My cousin won with her Monster Meatloaf Hands. She also won for best pumpkin but I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of it.

After all the food fun, we moved onto pumpkin carving.

The girls:


The kids:


The boys are too serious about their pumpkins to get a group shot.

My brother hard at work:


My dad:


A few of the pumpkins:



My stepmom combined her food and pumpkin into one – how cute is her pumpkin?!


It was such a great night and I loved seeing everyone’s different food and pumpkin ideas!


I am supposed to film my BodyPump video this afternoon. I am incredibly nervous. I have all the moves down, I just get worried about messing up in front of a group. And on top of all that, I have a cold. I finally got over my chest cold only to wake up with a head cold. I am just going to try my best and hopefully it’ll be okay!

Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?


Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Total Body Workout

Good afternoon!

I wasn’t able to pop in yesterday because it was such a busy day. The kids were off of school again and I had four kids at home for most of the day. Plus, it was raining all day so they couldn’t go outside. Four kids = chaos.

Jacob had a doctor appointment and I had a flu shot :( My niece made sure several times that I was the one getting a shot and not her. Auntie shot? Auntie turn? Yes, Auntie is getting her flu shot…and she doesn’t like it. I try to be brave for the kids but really I am a baby about shots.


Are you guys so sick of hearing me talk about BodyPump?!

I practiced for close to two hours yesterday. I put off learning the lunge track so I spent of good portion of time practicing it. I have all of the moves memorized for the warm-up, squats, chest, back, lunges, shoulders, and cool down. Now, I just have to work on my timing and not forgetting all those moves that I learned when I’m in front of a group.

BodyPump is harder to learn than you might think. You have to memorize all the moves, the tempo of the moves – 3/1, 2/2, 1/1/2, 1/1, etc., have perfect timing with the music all while cueing and coaching the class. Phew.

But I love BodyPump so it’s worth it!

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump (of course)
  • Total body exercises

I haven’t been to the gym in a few days because the kids have been off school so I went this morning and did one set of a total body workout.


(I just got that workout tank from JCPenney and I love it. They have very affordable workout clothes.)

Some of the moves I did included:

  • Stretching
  • Floor bridges
  • Ab work – leg raises, planks, crunches
  • Front shoulder raises
  • Push-Ups
  • Bent-over row
  • Box jump up and jump downs
  • Overhead extensions
  • Hammer curls

My gym set up a new spot in the corner with dumbbells, stability balls, BOSU balls, etc. so that’s where I did my workout today. It was nice having a little bit more space.


I need to start adding some more cardio. I have had a chest cold lately and with BodyPump practice, I haven’t gotten in enough cardio.


After the gym, I ran a few errands (still looking for shoes!) and by the time I got home, I was starving so I needed something that would be ready fast. I picked up one of these Amy’s burritos at the store to try out.


I ate it with some apple slices and it was really good. Mexican food is my favorite. I could eat it every single day and never get sick of it.


Halloween Fun

Two years ago my dad started the tradition of doing an annual Halloween game for our family. The year he did it, the game last a month and was called Halloween in Wonderland.

The next year my sister-in-law, Crystal, was in charge of the Halloween game and her game was called Halloween Amazing Race – based on the tv show The Amazing Race.


(Yeah, I’m not even looking at the camera, but it’s the only group shot I have!)

This year I am in charge of the Halloween game and it’s called Heather’s Halloween Scavenger Hunt. It’s going to take place on Friday night and I can’t give any details away yet but I was at the store today purchasing some stuff for the game.


Halloween is a big deal in our family (I blame my dad). My aunt and uncle are even flying in from California to participate in some of our Halloween fun. It should be a fun night!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite way to get exercise? Running, walking, strength training, Zumba, etc?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your favorite holiday? Even though my family is really into Halloween, my favorite holiday will always be Christmas.


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Halloween, Lunch, Working Out

How to Use a K-Cup in a Vue Coffeemaker

Good morning! Happy Saturday!


Yesterday morning, I worked for a while and then I ran a bunch of errands. Friday is the only day that I don’t watch my niece so I try to get all my errands done before my kids starting getting home at 3 pm.

My first errand was looking for new exercise shoes – shoes for classes and teaching. I can’t even tell you how many stores I went to without any luck – two Sports Authoritys, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, Famous Footwear, and Shoe Carnival.


The problem is that I have big feet – I wear a size 11 in Asics. I love wearing Asics for fitness classes so that’s what I want to stick with. Stores either didn’t have a size 11 or if they did the color choice wasn’t what I wanted.

I’m trying not to be too picky but the one size 11 that Shoe Carnival had was bright purple, with neon green on the side, and hot pink laces. I like bright colors, but that was a little too much.

I bought the pair of Asics that I wear now at Famous Footwear and I actually found the same exact pair yesterday on clearance…in a size 10. I was so bummed. I can fit into the size 10 but I know they’ll really hurt my toes down the road.

My current shoes:

I love them.

I think my next step is just to order a pair online. I hate ordering shoes online because I really feel like I need to try them on. The shoe search continues…

I also stopped at Target yesterday and wandered down the coffee aisle. I was so excited to see my favorite Gloria Jean k-cups – Macadamia Nut, Butter Toffee, Brown Sugar Cookie, Hazelnut. I love Gloria Jean’s coffee.

Then I remembered that I have a Keurig Vue.

Talk about a sad moment. The Keurig Vue doesn’t take k-cups like the regular Keurig coffee maker. Not only that, but I checked two Targets and both stopped carrying Vue cups. Why?!

So, when I got home, I googled “Gloria Jean vue cups.” I wasn’t able to find any but I did come across something interesting – a way to use the k-cups in the Vue coffeemaker :)

I know there is a little filter you can buy to add your own coffee to brew, but I wasn’t able to find the filter and it requires opening the k-cups and pouring them in the filter.

This is what I did instead:

I used and rinsed out a travel-sized Vue cup. I was lucky that I had one travel sized cup left from the samples that came with the coffeemaker.


Then, I took a regular K-cup and poked a little hole in the cup near the bottom. (I used a toothpick.)


I put the k-cup in the travel-sized Vue cup with the hole lined up with the spout.


I put the whole thing in my Vue coffee maker and viola!! Macadamia Nut coffee!!

I read mixed reviews online about it working for some people and not working at all for other people. It worked perfect for me. The only small problem that I had was that it left a few coffee grounds in my cup of coffee. I just fished them out with a spoon. Problem solved.


Lunch yesterday was a roasted veggie flatbread pizza.


I go through stages where I’ll make flatbread pizza for a long time and then not eat it for a long time. They are such an easy, healthy, and delicious meal.

If I have time, I usually roast the veggies in the oven before adding them to the pizza. Then, I add cheese and cook it – it only takes about 5 minutes in the oven.

Halloween Fun

Tonight, we have an interesting Halloween activity planned with my family. We wanted to add a different Halloween activity this year, so my dad came up with an idea – Make Your Own Scary Movie Night.

We spent the last few days making our own scary movie – and it’s going to be soooo cheesy! I am looking forward to it. I have never filmed a movie before or used any kind of editing software so it’ll be interesting.

We’re using the iMovie app on the iPad to film the movie so we’ll see how it turns out!!

Have a great weekend!! Good luck to everyone running the Chicago Marathon tomorrow!



Filed under Family Fun, Halloween, Lunch

More Halloween Costume Ideas

I have some more Halloween costume ideas to share with you guys today!

Danny and I finally got our costumes figured out for this year and I think they’re going to be good. But they’re a secret until after our Halloween party :)

Pirate costumes from our random pirate night last year.

The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter.

Mayhem and Flo from Progressive.

Mayhem vs. Mayhem


Where’s Waldo?

Last year, I dressed up as Taco Bell hot sauce and Danny was a taco.

I actually really liked that taco sauce costume! I used a red t-shirt from the craft store to make the costume. I can’t sew, so I just cut it and laced up the sides like shoe laces.

The Living Dead/Zombies

The Living Dead and an 80′s Girl.


I am excited to see everyone’s Halloween costumes this year. It’s always exciting to see what everyone came up with!

Have a great afternoon!!
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Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Weekend Fun

Good afternoon! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

The Weekend

Here’s a few pictures from our weekend.

On Saturday, we went with my family to a farm stand that had pumpkins, activities for the kids, a store with fresh fruits and veggies, a gift shop, and a bakery. I had apple cider and a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.

I’m fancy in my VS sweatpants:

We all chipped in and made a scarecrow.

I can honestly say that this is the first time I have ever made a scarecrow. We had a lot of fun making it, and my dad did a great job painting on the face.

We told the kids to make a scared face for the picture. Jaden is the only one who participated.

We spent the afternoon at the farm stand and then went back to our house to watch a scary movie. We had to pick from the movies from the On Demand on our tv so our choices were limited. We finally picked The Shining. I’ve seen it before but not for many years. And it’s interesting that Stephen King’s book sequel to The Shining just came out.

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Stretching – 15 minutes

I didn’t go to the gym this morning. Instead, I stayed home and practiced the warm-up track from BodyPump over and over and over. The same track for an hour.

My deadline to submit myself teaching BodyPump (without any notes!) is coming up soon and I don’t feel anywhere near ready. I am still trying to memorize the tracks. And since my right hip and glute are still killing me, practicing the squats and lunges tracks is extremely difficult.

I’ve also been writing a lot of notes to help me learn the tracks and know when to give cues and coaching.

Right now, I feel really overwhelmed. I need to get this video done, but I feel like my body is holding me back. On Friday, I taught the warm-up, squats, chest, back, lunges, and shoulder tracks at my gym, and I wasn’t happy with how it went. I feel like I can do better.

My right quad is still killing me today from those lunges on Friday. So, for now I am just practicing what I can and hopefully will get better. I’ve learned that it’s a lot harder than it seems.

This morning, I made sure to stretch my calves because I can feel how tight they are from the 5k yesterday.

I love holiday socks. I can’t help it. :)

Well, I’m off to pick up my niece and practice some more BodyPump this afternoon!

Have a great day!

  • What was the last scary movie you watched?
  • Ever make a scarecrow?
  • Apple cider: yes or no? Hot or cold?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Halloween, Working Out

Halloween Costume Ideas

Every October, we have an annual Halloween party. It’s so much fun and we look forward to it every year. We always try to get really creative with our costumes and we keep them a secret from each other until the party.

It’s always a lot of fun guessing what everyone will be and then seeing the costumes at the party.

Here is a few of my favorite costumes from over the years.

My peacock costume - This was my favorite costume of all-time. I put a lot of time and effort into it, and I loved the way that it came out.

I bought tulle at the fabric store and watched a YouTube video on how to make a tutu. It was pretty easy and it didn’t take me too long to make. I ordered peacock feathers on ebay, and I cut and hot glued them onto a triangular shaped piece of cardboard that I slipped into the back of my shirt.

I ordered a tight black corset like shirt online that was stretchy so the peacock feathers would stay in the back. I just kind of pieced everything else together – black bike shorts from Wal-Mart, peacock necklace, peacock belt, and blue earring from Forever 21, bright colored make-up, etc.

The same year my dad was a scary clown, based on the clown from the movie It.

He did all his make-up himself and it came out awesome. He was definitely scary that year.

Since I was a peacock, Danny stuck to the bird theme and wore an inflatable pink flamingo costume (pink flamingos are also a running joke in our family, so it was a great costume).

A few years ago, Danny was the Joker and I was Bat Girl.

Howie Mandal and Girl #7 from Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Flava Flav

Inflatable sumo wrestlers

My favorite costume of Jaden’s was when he was Luigi riding Yoshi. This was the same costume that was in this month’s issue of Chicago Parent magazine.

Zombie. Make-up by Heather :)

I was the 80′s that year - I dressed in three different costumes: Tom Cruise, Ms. Pac Man, and an 80′s workout girl.

Homer and Marge Simpson.

My stepmom was Avatar.

Wow, I realized that we’ve had tons of costumes! I think I’ll continue this post with a part II because there’s lots of great costumes to go! Happy Friday!

  • What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve worn?



Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

Halloween Food Ideas

It’s that time again! October! My family is big into celebrating the Halloween season and we do something fun and Halloween related every weekend in October. One of our favorite traditions is our Annual Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Food Night. PicMonkey Collage We always keep our Halloween food a secret until we all get together and our Halloween dishes have evolved over the years. We have had so many different kinds of Halloween foods – yummy, cute, delicious, creepy, scary, and downright gross. Here is a few of my favorites from over the years. When we first started our Halloween Food night, our ideas were kind of cheesy. Pun intended.

Luckily, they got better over the years. Heather's Pictures 385  Picture 2147 Picture 2148  Picture 2150

My dad’s favorite – bean dip: Picture 2159

Kitty litter cake: Picture 2160 Picture 2166  Picture 2184 Picture 10005 Picture 10021 Picture 10056 CAKE 067 058 049 046 042 038 031

I really look forward to seeing what we come up with this year!

Today’s Workout

  • Stretching – 10 minutes
  • Butts and Guts Class- 60 minutes
  • Practiced BodyPump – approx. 30 minutes

Have a great day!


Filed under Family Fun, Halloween, Recipes

Pool Running and My Fitness Pal

Good morning – Happy Monday!

My weekend:


Saturday morning started out fairly normal – we walked around the Halloween store with my dad trying on costumes. Normal for us anyway.

Halloween is a big holiday in my family so be prepared to see lots of Halloween related posts in October. It’s always so much fun – we do Halloween games, have a Halloween food and pumpkin carving night, come up with creative Halloween costumes and keep them secret until the Halloween party at the end of the month.

I think I even have my Halloween costume figured out – I just might have to lose a pound or two :)

Pool Running

Saturday afternoon I went to the Deep Water Pool Run/Conditioning class at my gym. It’s held in the 12 feet section on the pool and we wear water belts to help us float.

I have mixed feeling on the pool running class, and I think I prefer my workouts on land. First, there wasn’t a lot of just running like I was hoping. We did a bunch of stuff – running, bicycle riding, skiing, straight leg kicks, etc. A lot of the moves just felt awkward to me in the water and I didn’t feel like I was doing some of them right.

Second, I was freezing in the water. The water wasn’t super cold but I just couldn’t seem to get warm. Then, halfway through the class I started to get nauseous. I’m not sure if it was being in the water or if I just felt sick, but I didn’t feel good. Then, I got a terrible foot cramp and had to take a break to stretch it on the wall.

I was pretty much a mess the whole class and was glad when it was over. The class wasn’t bad and the instructor was good, I just don’t think I enjoyed it. I was looking more for just pool running so that I could still run without having hip pain.

Saturday night, we took the kids to Claim Jumper for dinner. This was only our second time there and I thought it was really good.

I had the fish tacos, and they were delicious but they had a little too much cabbage on them. I had to take a lot of it off. Danny had meatloaf and I think I ate half of his biscuit because it was so good.


Sunday morning I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a white chocolate pumpkin coffee. So good.

We spent the afternoon at my dad’s house watching the Bears game.

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced squat track for BodyPump – approx. 15 minutes
  • Treadmill – 2.05 miles (4:2 ratio) – 27 minutes
  • Stretching, bridges, foam rolling – approx. 20 minutes

I ran again today! I am still trying to take it slow, but I went about 6 minutes longer today. I am still walking for two minutes and running for four minutes. I finished with a minute of slow walking.

I made sure to stretch and foam roll after.

So, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and downloaded the My Fitness Pal app. I’ve only had it for 12 hours and I already love it!

I used to measure all my food and count my calories in a notebook. You can read more about my weight loss story here. I lost weight and stopped counting calories although I was a lot more aware and mindful of what I ate.

I probably gained a few pounds back which I am trying to lose, so I got the My Fitness Pal app. It is so easy and fast to use. All you have to do is use your phone to scan the barcode of your food, and it pulls all the numbers up for you. It’s awesome.

It was easy for breakfast – I just scanned my cereal, milk, coffee, and creamer bar code and I was done. I’m sure it’ll be a little harder f I make a salad and have to figure each ingredient but it’s still faster than writing it out. And you can enter all your exercise in as well. We’ll see how it goes!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Ever take a pool/water class?
  • Do you My Fitness Pal or a similar app?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Halloween, Running, Working Out

Halloween Fun 2012

It’s November 1st! Can you believe it?! Now that Halloween is officially over, I am ready for the holiday madness to begin!

Yesterday – Halloween

Yesterday afternoon started with Jaden’s Halloween parade at school. Danny, Baby McCutie, and I all went to watch the kids march around outside in their costumes.

After the parade, Danny took the baby home to take a nap, and I went to Jaden’s party at school.

By the time Jaden and I got home, Jacob was already home, so we put the kid’s Halloween costumes on and went trick-or-treating a little bit around our neighborhood.

Jaden’s Angry Bird costume was really big and awkward and pretty much just a pain to move around it, so he opted to wear his puppy costume from last year. It was much easier to move around it and warmer.

McCutie Halloween Baby was a pink dinosaur. We even taught her to say roar!

She was a little bit confused by the whole trick-or-trick thing, and was very serious the whole time we were out. Her favorite thing that she got was a stuffed cat from a house that was giving out McDonald’s toys.

We dropped Jacob off at a friend’s house to trick or treat, then Danny and I took McCutie dinosaur to trick or treat a little bit more. It was getting pretty cold out, so Danny dropped the three of us off at my dad’s house. Then he went back to get Jacob and ran through the drive-thru for everyone. I had potato tacos from Taco Bell. :)

We trick or treat with my dad around his neighborhood every year, so my sister-in-law met us over there, and we trick or treated a few more houses with the kids.

Yes, I’m wearing my beloved Victoria’s Secret velour track suit. I am addicted to it. You will see if many times this fall and winter. I can’t help it, like I said, it’s an addiction. :)

The kids got so much candy!

Yes, that is a giant box of Mike & Ikes that you see! And that’s just Jacob’s candy. We still have all of Jaden’s candy and all the candy that I bought for trick-or-treaters. We weren’t home at all, so I left half on the front porch (yes, I know what happened to it) and Danny took some to work.

Halloween candy is my biggest weakness. I pretty much just love candy in general. I ate way too much candy yesterday. But I knew I would, and I figured it was Halloween so I wouldn’t beat myself up about it. Today is a new day. What I did was set aside a few of my favorite candies to eat, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Leamonheads are my favorite non-chocolate candy. They are pretty underrated. You don’t see many lemonheads during Halloween, but the kids got some yesterday, and they even got appleheads! (That means that mommy had to take them. Sorry, kids.)

Today’s Workout

  • 1.6 miles treadmill
  • Step Class – 60 minutes

Total Pile on the Miles: 1.6

Pile on the Miles starts today, so if you’re participating, don’t forget to run or walk those miles!

Questions of the day:

  • Are you looking forward to the holidays?
  • What’s your favorite part of the holidays? Least favorite part?
  • Do you have a favorite thing to wear?



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