Tag Archives: park

Taco Lunch

Happy Friday! I’m so glad that today is Friday :)

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

I went to BodyPump this morning but I didn’t teach any tracks. The instructor switched to an older BodyPump release since we’ve done the new release for a while.

We usually do the new release for about a month and then switch it up with older releases. It’s good to change things up! I can only teach the new release so the instructor offered to switch the music if I wanted to teach certain tracks but I knew that people we getting tired of doing the same release so I said I’d pass on teaching today and practice at home.

BodyPump comes out with new releases (which includes new songs and moves) four times a year. When you do the same exercises over and over, your body gets used to it and becomes accustomed to it so you burn less calories and see less results. That’s why switching up your workout routine can be beneficial.

I wore my Under Armor shirt and headband today.


I don’t usually wear handbands a lot because they tend to fall off of my head, but this one’s really cute.

After the gym, I went to my stepmom’s house and we walked with my niece to the park.


She had a fun time playing and fell asleep the second we got into the car to come home. I wish I still had nap time :)


For lunch, I made the rest of my tilapia taco mix.


I had pineapple from Whole Foods on the side. For some reason, Whole Foods has the best pineapple that I have ever tasted – it’s so good.

Tonight, we have plans together with my family and tomorrow we’re going to a family picnic with my mom’s side of the family. Sunday football is on and heaven forbid, Danny miss the Bears game. I’m hoping that we can go see the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs movie after the game. The movie looks so cute and I swear I love watching kids movies as much as the kids do!

Have a great weekend!

  • Any plans this weekend?
  • Favorite kid’s movie?
  • What do you miss most about being a kid?


Filed under Fitness, Fun, Lunch, Working Out

Getting Started with BodyPump

Yesterday’s Workout

  • 10 minutes elliptical
  • Upper Body Workout
  • 2 minute plank
  • Bridges (3 sets of 10)
  • Hip stretches

Yesterday’s Dinner

I’ve only recently discovered how good sweet potatoes are so I’ve been eating them more often. Last night, I planned on steaming a sweet potato in the microwave but at the last minute I decided to cut  up for sweet potato fries.

They turned out good, but they were kind of soggy, not crispy. I drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, paprika, and cinnamon. I baked them for about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees but they still came out soggy. Any tips? I’ll have to try again.

My niece helped me cook dinner. She loves the carrots.


Yesterday, I got my BodyPump DVD and tracks to memorize in the mail!

I was so lucky not to get the squat or lunge track, but I did get two of the longest songs to memorize. I have to memorize the back and chest tracks. And it’s the brand new BodyPump release so I’m not familiar with it yet.

I am a bit overwhelmed and not really sure how to go about memorizing them. I’ve never had to memorize choreography and counts before. And certain moves need to need started when a certain word in sung in the song. It’s a bit comfusing.

I received a DVD and CD. I have to watch the DVD and learn the moves, and then be able to do the moves with just the CD. It’s hard because I don’t have any BodyPump equipment at home but if I practice at the gym then I need a way to watch the DVD.

I’ll figure it out, I just don’t know where to start. I watched the DVD and did the back track a few times yesterday so that’s a start.


I had physical therapy this morning, and I got to do a few new exercises. I started out with 10 minutes on the elliptical, followed by tube walking side to side, step-ups, side step-ups, and squats. I seem to be progressing.

My plan for the week is to go to BodyPump on Wednesday and Friday so it can help me with practicing, but I do plan on skipping the squat and lunge tracks.

This is my kids last week of summer break before school starts so we took advantage of the nice weather and went to the park this morning.

Before the park, we stopped at the store and I think the grocery store has been browsing on Pinterest because we saw a cake there that I’ve only seen on Pinterest.

A Kit Kat cake with M&Ms or as I like to call it – heaven on Earth :)

Have a great day!

  • How do you cook sweet potatoes?
  • Any workout today?
  • Do you have a good memory?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Weight Machine Workout


Last night, Danny and I went to the gym, and we did a few of the weight machines.

Going to the gym:

I prefer free weights to weight machines, and I haven’t done the weight machines in a really long time so it was kind of nice to change things up.

My workout:

  • Ab Machine – 50 lbs, 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Biceps Curl Machine – 30 lbs, 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Triceps Extension – 20 lbs, 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Shoulder Press – 20 lbs, 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Lat Pulldown – 40 lbs, 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Row Machine – 40 lbs, 3 set, 12 reps
  • Rear Delt – 20 lbs, 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Pec Fly 30 lbs, 3 sets, 10 reps

I also tried out a few exercises on the cable machine.

Serious Danny:

Not-so-serious Danny:


I had physical therapy for an hour this morning. I did a couple new stretches and the PT used the Graston tools on my hip today instead of my quad. I feel like I am definitely progressing but my hip still does have some pain. I’m just glad it’s not a constant pain like it used to be.

This weekend was supposed to be my first half marathon, so I am bummed about not being able to run it. Since we already had a babysitter lined up for the kids, my wonderful husband made dinner reservations for us. So, instead of running 13.1 miles, I’ll be eating a lot of food :)

It’s been hard knowing that I won’t be able to run the half marathon with all the other Zooma Half Marathon Athletes, but my health is my first priority. I also have other things coming up that I can’t be injured for. My dad just keeps telling me that I’m on the DL (disabled list) and not to rush back into things.

I tried out the pumpkin pie Alt bar for a snack today.

I loved the pumpkin flavor – it was subtle and not too overpowering, but I did think the bar was a little dry. It was good but not my fav. The pumpkin flavor reminded me of fall, my favorite season. Less that two months until October!

It is so beautiful here in Chicagoland, so we picked up niece up early and went to a new-to-us-park.

A few years ago, the kids and I did something that we called “50 Parks Summer.” During the summer, we went to 50 different parks. We wrote each one down in a notebook and marked which ones were our favorites so that we could go back. It took us the whole summer to go to 50 different parks, but we did it.

Maybe I should use the rest of this summer to do “50 Different Frozen Yogurt Flavors.” I think I could eat 50 flavors in 18 days :)

Have a great afternoon!

  • Which do you prefer: weight machines or free weights?
  • Favorite thing you did this summer?
  • Favorite fro-yo (or ice cream) flavor?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Birthday Lunch


Last night, we cooked on the grill again. Actually Danny grilled. I can cook fine but I can’t grill to save my life.

The grill is pretty much the best way to cook in the summer.

I didn’t make baked potatoes this time, but I did eat some potato faces. And don’t let that small amount of watermelon fool you – I probably ate 10x that amount. Sometimes I eat watermelon until my stomach hurts. It’s a problem really.


This kids and I woke up with bad cold yesterday morning, and today I feel even worse. I hope I  feel better by Saturday!! I usually wake up about 7 am because that’s just what my body is used to. I woke up at 8:20 am today, and I knew with having to get the kids ready and being sick that there was no way that I was making it to the gym.

I had planned on going to Butts and Guts class, but it just wasn’t happening today. If I feel any better later, I am going to try to run when Danny gets home from work.

Jaden had an allergy doctor appointment this morning. Usually when he gets a cold his lungs don’t feel like working, but today his lungs actually sounded clear.

The doctor just recommended adding Zyrtec into his usual medication routine. She also gave me a sample to Nasonex nasal spray for myself since I am so congested. I hope it works because my nose and head feel like they’re going to explode.

Today is my brother, Paul’s, 28th birthday!! He has the day off, so the kids and I meet him and my niece at Panera.

After lunch, we went to the park and let the kids play for a while.

After the park, we ran a few errands and now we’re finally home. I feel exhausted. I hate being sick, and I really hope that I can fit in a run or two before Saturday!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Favorite restaurant?
  • When was the last time you were sick?
  • When’s your birthday?



Filed under Family Fun, Fun, Lunch

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday afternoon, I did end up taking the kids to the Halloween grand opening of the park.

The weather wasn’t as chilly as it was in the morning, but it was still pretty cold, so we only stayed about a half an hour. It was really nice. They had a red ribbon cutting ceremony for the park. They handed out big sugar cookies to all the kids, and had hot cocoa, hot cider, and popcorn. There was also a candy corn guessing contest and a balloon artist.

They also had “trunk or treating.” I have never heard of trunk or treating before this year, and I’ve heard it mentioned several times this year. I was surprised to learn that trunk or treating has been around since 2000.

Due to safety concerns, trunk-or-treating was introduced in 2000 as an alternative to hitting the pavement for candy on Halloween night. Cars are parked in a circle at a school or church parking lot, with event-goers decorating their open trunks and dressing in costume in order to hand out treats.



The kids had a fun time and would have stayed longer but it was getting too cold for Baby McCutie Fairy Princess.

When we got home, we worked on Jacob’s Halloween costume  bit.

If you can’t tell, he’s going to be a zombie. Danny was a zombie last year, so luckily I have all the make-up and fake blood leftover. Halloween is kind of weird if you think about it, right?!

Happy zombie Danny:

Today’s Workout

  • 1.06 miles pink treadmill
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Today is the last day for the pink breast cancer awareness treadmill, so I made sure to get one more mile in before body pump.

Danny has the day off of work today, so he joined me for body pump.

Well, we’re off to pick up my niece and then we’re going to Jaden’s school for the Halloween parade and party. I can’t wait to take the kids trick-or-treating!

Questions of the day:

  • Do you have any plans today? Are you dressing up?
  • Did you have Halloween parties at school when you were a kid? Some schools near us don’t have Halloween parties anymore. I’m glad my son’s does.
  • What kind of candy are you giving out? We’re giving out kit kats, milky ways, and twix!


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

First Biggest Loser Workout


Yesterday morning I went to BodyPump. I haven’t changed my weight amount at BodyPump in a long time. I think that the weights I lift are heavy enough that I struggle to lift them by the end of the song, but I still maintain proper form while lifting them. If you can’t maintain good form while lifting weights, then the weight is too heavy.

But, I am not sore after BodyPump anymore either, so I wonder if I should try to start lifting heavier weights. My instructor said that you can always start the song lifting heavier weights, and if it gets to be too hard, you can drop down to lighter weights. This is what I am currently lifting during each track:

(approximately – sometimes it changes depending on the track or if I’m tired that day)

  • Warm-up – 20 lbs
  • Squats – 25-30 lbs
  • Chest – 20 lbs
  • Back – 20-25 lbs
  • Triceps – 20 lbs (5 lbs for kickbacks, 7.5-10 lbs for extensions)
  • Biceps – 18 lbs
  • Shoulders – (2) 5 lbs plates or 12-15 lbs bar
  • Abs – no weight or 5 lb plate

I think maybe I should start adding a little more weight, but the smallest amount I can add 5 pounds because the lightest plate is 2.5 pounds. Sigh. BodyPump is getting too complicated.

After BodyPump, I came home and had a Van’s pumpkin muffin top with pineapple and cottage cheese for breakfast.

Later in the afternoon, we went to pick up my niece and then stopped at the park.

McCutie Baby Sunshine Happyface and I hung out in the tubes to get some shade.

Biggest Loser Workout

Last night was my first Biggest Loser workout. And it was tough. It was a circuit/interval workout, and we did a lot of sprinting back and forth, jumping jacks, scissors jumps, shuffling back and forth, and squats. We also did a little bit of shoulder and back weights at the end. By the time we were done, I wanted to lay on the floor and stay there. I can’t imagine how the other people who haven’t exercised in a while felt. I thought the instructors would maybe slowly ease us into working out, but nope, we jumped in with both feet.

I was feeling motivated, so I rode my bike to the gym last night. By the time the workout was over, I was feeling very less motivated about riding home. Luckily, it’s only two miles, so I made it home with my quads only screaming a little bit.

Wednesday is our first nutrition class with a 5k prep running class afterwards.

Questions of the day:

  • Do you lift weights? How often do you increase your weight?
  • What did you have for breakfast today?
  • Any workouts planned for today?



Filed under Biggest Loser, Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

A Walk in the Park

Yesterday’s Workout

  • BodyPump

One of the nice things about losing weight, is that your clothes fit better, and clothes that maybe you shoved away in your dresser drawers because they were too tight, start to fit again. I was searching through my workout clothes, looking for something to wear to BodyPump, and I pulled out a shirt that was stuffed in the back of my drawer because it didn’t fit anymore. I figured I’d just try it on and see what happened.

And it fit! I can’t even tell you the last time that I wore this shirt because it has been so long. I was very happy that it actually fit. And I think that the last time I wore this shirt, I weighed less than I do now. I think it fits because I have been taking BodyPump since October. And although, I may weigh a bit more, I have more muscle and am more tone than I used to be.

Losing weight sure is hard though. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to eat half a bag of chocolate chips. Some chocolate chips usually find their way into my mouth, but at least it’s not half the bag.

Last night, we went to Subway for dinner, then we headed out to a trail that my dad and stepmom told me about. It’s closer than the one I normally got to, and I’m always up for a change of scenery!

When we got there, we saw that they had a fitness course with signs on how to complete the exercises, so we played around on that for a while.

Obviously, Danny is a better jumper than I am.

Danny and I walked, Jaden rode his bike, and Jacob rollerbladed. We walked about 1.5 miles before we had to leave for a potty break.

Tomorrow is the Mother’s Day race. Marlene picked up my race bib and goody bag for me so I’d have it before the race.

I got a fun Run Like a Mother t-shirt.

And a Luna bar and some laundry detergent. I was actually excited about the laundry detergent. Who doesn’t love free laundry detergent?

I save every single one of my race shirts, but I don’t wear them. Ever. I prefer working out in a tank top, and I don’t like the crew neck on race t-shirts. I’m not sure why I save all of them. I guess just for memories.


This morning, I actually slept in to 7:45 am! I didn’t think that I would sleep that late, and had plans to go to yoga this morning. Luckily, I woke up just in time to get to yoga. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way home for coffee. I haven’t had DD coffee in over a month, and it was good.

I didn’t have time to eat before yoga, so I came home super hungry. I had a bowl of peanut butter Cheerios that I picked up at Target. Sorry, Fiber Worms, you’re being pushed to the back shelf to make room for the peanut butter Cheerios. They taste better.

After breakfast, I went to the shoe store and bought an early Mother’s Day present to myself.

I hope all you moms out there have a great Mother’s Day tomorrow!

Questions of the day:

  • Do you save your race t-shirts? Do you wear them?
  • What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten in a race goody bag?
  • Any plans for Mother’s Day?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Fun

Playing at the Park

My kids decided to wake up at 6:30 am this morning. 6:30 on a Saturday is too early. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long weekend because they’ll be up even earlier tomorrow for Easter. I see a lot of coffee in my future. Speaking of coffee, I made a cup in my Keurig today, and it’s only about 35 calories, compared to the 110 calories in a medium McDonald’s coffee.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • 22 minutes stationary bike – 5.44 miles
  • 20 minutes strength training

Yesterday after Danny got home from work, I went to the gym. I literally stood at the door until his car pulled up, yelled good-bye, and then jumped in my car. Yesterday was one of those days where you just can’t win and one bad things after the other keeps happening. So, by 5:30 pm, I was ready for a little alone time.

I started with 20 minutes on the stationary bike, and then completed this arm workout circuit three times using free weights.

  • single leg arm curls x12 (each leg)
  • push-ups x10
  • triceps row with kickback x12
  • plank row x10 (each side)
  • squat with overhead press x12

I finished up with about 5 minutes of stretching. Last night and this morning, the ball of my foot has been hurting. I think maybe the single leg biceps curls bothered it. I rolled it on a golf ball this morning, and foam rolled my sore calves.

I went to put on my sunglasses on the way to the gym, and the arm snapped off. I told you it was one of those days. So, I wore my awesome 80′s sunglasses. And I even have the matching 80′s jacket to match. Obviously, I am a child of the 80′s. And secretly, I am happy that neon colors are coming back. Okay, it’s not a secret at all. I wear my neon pink shirt at least three times a week.


This morning, I made overnight oats with strawberry Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of oats, 1/8 cup of almond milk, and a few blueberries (203 calories, 14.5 grams protein). Measuring every thing out and counting calories sucks, but it’s only for the time being. Plus, after a while, I get good at eyeballing it…except sometimes I throw in a little bit extra and pretend that it doesn’t count. What five handfuls of cheese I ate? Oh, those count?

After breakfast, I took the kids to an Easter egg hunt. Actually, it was more like an Easter egg grab, but the kids enjoyed it.

Jaden and his girlfriend. They already have wedding plans in the works. Seriously. If you ask either one of them, they’ll tell you that they’re getting married. Ahhh, young love.

After the Easter egg grab, we met my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece at the park to play.

I think that adults had more fun playing than the kids did.

Even my mom got into the swing of things. Get it? “Swing of things”, swings. What? I thought it was funny.

Danny and Paul hanging out at The Clubhouse.

Why do boys always find it necessary to jump off swings?

Now, we’re just hanging out at home waiting for my family to come over so we can dye Easter eggs.

Questions of the day:

  • When was the last time you played at a park?
  • Any plans for today?



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

Fun Things to do with Kids

Happy December everyone! I can’t believe that December is here already.

If you have kids, they probably have a couple of week off of school around the holidays. And while some of those days will be filled with holiday festivities and family gatherings, not all of them will be.

Some days it will just be you and the kids and boredom will set in. The kids will run rampant and you’ll want to tear your hair out and hide in the bathroom…or is that just at my house?

I put together a list of things that are fun to do with kids, but that can be done on a budget. And that saves money for holiday shopping!

If you don’t have kids, you can do these things with your nieces, nephews, or grandkids. If you don’t have any of those either, I suggest that you borrow the neighbor’s kids because some of these things are fun…and you don’t want to look like a creepy adult doing them alone.

The Library – I love the library. Your kids might ask what those ancient artifacts are on the shelves. Explain that they are called books. Seriously, though, I love to read and so do my kids. That’s why it’s important to introduce books at a young age.

 Besides books, the library has tons of other free stuff – toys, puzzles, crafts, story time, and computers games.

The Park District - I always check not only my park district, but other local park districts to see what free events are going on nearby. Last weekend, we went to a Christmas tree lightning that I found on the park district website.

They had hayrides, crafts, a fire-pit set up to roast marshmallows for s’mores, cookies, and Christmas card making. Then Santa arrived by fire truck and lit up the Christmas tree. And the whole thing was free.

The park district also has classes that kids can take for a fee – everything from magic classes to princess parties. And karate:


The Zoo – This may cost money depending where you live. We have a small nearby zoo that costs only $3 admission. We also have two other big zoos nearby – one is free and one isn’t. But the zoo often does really cool things around the holidays – breakfast with Santa and zoo lights. It’s worth checking out.

Outside – I live near Chicago, so our winters are snow-filled and crazy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t play outside. Bundle yourself and your kids up, grab a sled, and get out there and play.

Likewise, in the summer, outside is the best place to play. There are tons of free parks, splash parks, or stay home and play. Ride bikes, take a walk, have a water balloon fight – just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Playdates – Set up a playdate with your child’s friend. Send your kid off and then sit back and relax. Just don’t forget that you should probably reciprocate. Be prepared to tear your hair out…just kidding.

Children’s Museum – This isn’t usually free, but sometimes museums will offer a day that is free, like the third Thursday of the month. You know, a day when I can’t go because it’s right in the middle of the week. But they often have coupons online that save a few bucks.

Grandma’s House – Grandma probably misses her grandbabies. Send them off and sit back and relax. You probably won’t have to reciprocate…unless Grandma has a dog.

Stay Inside – You don’t always have to leave the house to have fun. Last year, Chicago had a huge blizzard and we were stuck inside for a few days. I anticipated that we might go stir-crazy and bought one of those giant cardboard rocket ships that the kids can color and paint for $10 at Target.

We spent an afternoon coloring and painting it, then we blasted-off to the moon! Then I let the kids go shovel the snow with Daddy. Kids love to shovel snow. I do not love to shovel snow. It worked out perfect.

When all else fails – Go to Chuck E. Cheese.

There are tons of things to do with kids, you just have to look and see what is available. Do you have any fun things to add to my list?



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Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized