Tag Archives: working out

Family Fun and Workouts

Good afternoon! I hope you all had a great weekend!

On Friday night, I went with my grandma, aunt, and sister-in-law to a byow (bring your own wine :) ) dinner and craft show.


It was a fun girl’s night and I even got to paint a cute mason jar. That’s about the extent of my painting skills. Those are supposed to be snowflakes that I painted on there…

On Saturday, both the kids had doctor’s appointments and I got my first peppermint mocha of the season. Jaden got a kid’s hot cocoa with soy milk and at kid’s temperature. Such a Starbucks connoisseur.


I like the peppermint mocha but I’m not a huge fan of mocha coffee so it’s not my favorite but I do enjoy it every once in awhile.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. We did a glute and shoulder workout.


Our workout included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • reverse lunges
  • hip thrusts on the bench
  • shoulder presses
  • bent arm lateral raises
  • cable front raises

The weather was really nice yesterday so Danny started putting up the Christmas decorations.


It’s always better to put them up when it’s nice outside rather than when it’s freezing and snowing! And I heard we’re supposed to get some snow this weekend!

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick cardio workout before running some errands. Post workout, I had a protein shake.


Always trying to get that protein in!

Have a great day!

  • Are you creative or artistic? 
  • What did you do this weekend?


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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Peach Mango Sangria

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

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

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

A little C4 pre-workout before leg day.


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

After our workouts:


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

I made moscato sangria and it was delicious.


For the sangria, I used:

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


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

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


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


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

Have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!

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





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

Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky and a Giveaway!

I was a vegetarian for a long time in my life – on and off since I was a child. Partly because I am an animal lover and partly because I simply did not like meat. A few years ago, when I started trying to lose weight and started strength training, I realized how important protein was and how much I actually needed in my diet. I made the decision to start eating meat again.

I don’t really eat red meat like steak but I do eat and like chicken and turkey.

Recently Jack Link’s came out with a new Chicken Jerky and I was so excited! I’ve mentioned the Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky on my blog before and how it tastes great, is easy to eat on the go, and provides a good amount of protein.

As a FitFluential ambassador, I was able to recently try out the Jack Link’s Chicken and Turkey Jerky.


The Jack Link’s chicken jerky is made of white-meat chicken breast, is 98% fat free, and has only 80 calories per serving with 11 grams of protein.


Mostly importantly, it tastes great. If you’re a fan of jerky, I recommended tying out the new Jack Links Chicken Jerky.

I also really enjoy how portable this snack is – you can eat this healthy chicken snack anywhere! It’s great to throw in your purse or car. It’s also handy to have during those times when you’re on the go but might need a snack – waiting in line, after a workout, that weird time at a wedding when you’re starving but it isn’t actually dinner time yet. :)


Since I know the importance of eating protein within 30-45 minutes of a workout, I like to keep some of the Jack Links Chicken Jerky in my gym bag.


It’s also great for traveling and having it as a healthy low-carb snack especially if your indulging a lot during vacation. It’s also important to stay active if you can during your vacation.

Since we are at Wisconsin Dells this week with my family, I thought I’d share a workout that can be done in any hotel room as well as what I pack in my pool/beach bag!

Hotel Room Workout     Repeat 2-3x

  • 25 squats
  • 15 push-ups
  • 60 seconds jumping jacks
  • 20 lunges
  • 15 tricep push-ups
  • 60 seconds burpees
  • 25 crunches
  • 20 supermans
  • 60 seconds mountain climbers
  • plank – hold as long as possible

This is a great workout that can be done anywhere and body weight exercises are awesome!

After a workout, it’s time to hit the pool!! With two kids, I always have a giant beach bag filled with everything we need! My beach bag usually includes:

  • Jack Links chicken jerky – lots of protein post workout and to help keep us feeling full while swimming
  • Easy to eat fruit – apple slices, oranges, grapes, etc.
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • magazine or book
  • towel
  • toys for kids – water balls, diving sticks, etc
  • goggles for kids
  • bottles of water
  • chapstick with spf
  • phone

And there is it – a great vacation workout and well stocked beach bag!

You can try out Jack Link’s for yourself with today’s awesome giveaway!! 


Jack Link’s jerky comes in three flavors:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky – lean white meat chicken breast seasoned and marinated with cracked black pepper along with sweet and savory spices.
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky – solid strips of lean, white meat turkey breast seasoned and smoked over mesquite. It’s 98% fat-free.
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky – Soy, ginger, a little onion, and a whole lot of perfectly smoked turkey.

One person will win an awesome Jack Link’s gift pack that includes:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky
  • Water bottle
  • Headband
  • Sweat towel
  • EOS lip balm

Danny has actually been using the Jack Links headband during his long runs for marathon training and he loves it (and it always seems to match his outfit :)).



Enter to win your prize pack below!! US residents only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Jack Link’s.


Filed under Giveaway, Product Review, Working Out

Breakfast, A Quick Workout, and the Doctor

Good afternoon! How’s everyone doing out there with the snow? Did you get a lot of snow in your area?

We’ve been pretty lucky here in Chicagoland with not getting too much snow this winter. But Illinois weather is crazy. One year it snowed on Danny and I’s anniversary. Our anniversary is April 15th.


Breakfast this morning was delicious. I mixed a plain Fage Greek yogurt with a packet of Monk Fruit in the Raw and then I topped it with sliced strawberries and some Van’s blueberry walnut soft baked granola.


This granola is amazing!


Check back later in the week for a whole post on the new Van’s products!!


I had to cut my workout a little short today because I had a doctor appointment. I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout and another cardio/strength workout that I found on the Pop Sugar website.


When I’m short on time, I like fast workouts that get my heart rate up in a short amount of time. And I am so old school at the gym and write my workouts down on paper. I used the Tabata timer app on my phone so I can’t really be checking my phone for the workout moves.

I was so mad this morning because when I got to the gym I realized that I put on my heart rate chest strap but forgot the watch. I was so bummed. I was really hoping to see my heart rate and calories during today’s workout. I did have my Fitbit Charge HR as a backup, but I don’t think it measures my heart rate accurately. Better than nothing, I guess.

My workout was about 55 minutes and according to my Charge HR, I burned 320 calories. I feel like it should have been a bit higher but I guess it’s better to underestimate than overestimate, right?!

Right after the gym, I had a doctor appointment. I talk about a lot of stuff on my blog but I don’t usually talk about super personal stuff a lot. I’ve just been having some issues lately with being tired constantly, feeling run down, and having constant stomach issues.

My doctor did blood work a few months back and was pretty sure I had a thyroid problem. But my thyroid blood work came back normal. Today I had even more blood work done and they’re checking for celiac disease as well as some other stomach diseases.

It’s frustrating to feel so crappy but not know what’s wrong with you!

Now, I just wait for my blood work to come back.

I’m off to make lunch! Have a great day!

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Did you workout today? Do you ever write down your workouts?






Filed under Breakfast, Working Out

Increasing My Distance

Happy birthday to my sister-in-law, Crystal!


We went out Saturday night to Carrabba’s to celebrate!

Danny and I:


Jaden and my mom:



This morning, I went my longest distance on the treadmill since my hip surgery – four miles! A fitting distance since my surgery was four months ago yesterday!


It definitely took me a while to complete four miles, and I am really feeling it in my hip and leg now so I am going to take it easy for the rest of the day. I’m happy that I can finally start increasing my distance.

After the treadmill, I worked on biceps and finished up my workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

I haven’t worn my Polar heart rate monitor lately, so I wore it today and I burned over 800 calories!


After the gym, I stopped at Wal-Mart and I could not pass up these peppermint ice cream Drumsticks.


Peppermint ice cream is one of all time favorite ice creams and I wait all year to eat it. I have never seen peppermint Drumsticks before, so I had to buy them!

They also had Amy’s full-size pizzas for $5.47 which is the cheapest I have seen them anywhere.

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite holiday/seasonal food? I love peppermint ice cream, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie!
  • Did you workout today?



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

A Surprise Dinner

sGood afternoon! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Here’s a little recap of how my weekend went:


Friday morning I went to the gym. I started out on the stationary bike for 30 minutes. Then I moved onto back exercises. I did bent-over rows and reverse flyes. I think the standing back exercises put a little too much pressure on my hip because I left the gym in pain rather than just sore.

As a result, I took the rest of the weekend off from going to the gym and let my body rest. From now on, I’ll stick to lat pulldowns and seated rows. Those didn’t seem to bother my hip.

On Friday night, I took Danny out for a surprise dinner. He has been doing such a great job taking care of me after my surgery and I just wanted to let him know how much I appreciate everything he has been doing.

My mom came over Friday night to watch the kids and Danny and I went to WildFire, a steakhouse (yes, I’m one of those people that orders a salad at a steakhouse).


I started out with a martini flight which is funny because I am not usually a martini fan. The stormy night martini was the best one hands down. The waitress described it as melted jolly rancher and she was right! If you ever go to Wildfire, order the stormy night martini.

I started with the crab and shrimp bisque. It was also delicious. I even got Danny to try a bite. I can’t even tell you how many loaves of their warm bread and butter we ate – it was a lot. A lot.

For dinner, I had the Wildorf salad which came with romaine, spinach, cranberries, pecans, celery, crouton, apples, and apple ranch dressing. The combination of all the flavors worked perfectly together. I really liked the apple ranch dressing.

Danny ordered the filet mignon. I decided to be brave and try a bite. Sorry to all you steak fans out there, but I hated it. I just cannot get over the texture of steak. This is gross but it feels like I am chewing animal flesh and that’s nasty. This is also why I have a hard time eating chicken. I am just not a meat person.

Of course, we had to end the night with dessert. We shared the skillet cookie with ice cream. It was very good but I thought the cookie was slightly overdone.

By the time we left, I could hardly walk to the car because I was so full!

When we got home, we watched Santa Paws with the kids (Jaden’s pick) and when they went to bed, we watched Divergent.


Saturday was one of those lazy days where we didn’t really have anything planned. I ran some errands and Danny mowed the lawn and washed the cars. Since I ate so much Friday night, I tried to eat good on Saturday.

For dinner, we went to Chipotle. On their website, Chipotle has a nutrition calculator so you can figure out the calories, fats, protein, carbs, etc in any meal you want. I used this calculator before we left so I could still stick to a healthy amount of carbs, fats, and protein.


I do think that the website largely underestimates the amount of food that Chipotle actually gives you. For example, their website has the brown rice as 4 ounces but our local Chipolte probably gives you three times that amount. So, when I ordered I made sure to ask for a very small amount of everything. One little scoop of brown rice instead of two huge ones.

I know that the measurements are exact but at least it’s a close estimate.

I had a small amount of brown rice, chicken, fajita vegetables, corn salsa, a small amount of cheese, a little guacamole, and lots of lettuce.

Saturday night, we watched The Conjuring. I hate scary movies. I blamed Danny for watching the movie but really it was me who suggested it. I actually made it through the whole movie…which meant I had to wake Danny up every time I had to go to the bathroom that night. You know, in case I had a demon clinging to me or something.


Sunday was also a day when we didn’t have too much going on. Sometimes our weekends are so busy that it’s nice to have a weekend without tons of stuff going on.

The kids visited with their Grandma while Danny and I did some shopping. All at once it seems like Halloween is approaching. The stores are getting ready!


I love the fall season and Halloween is a big holiday in my family :)

I also brought back zucchini pizza bites into my life. These are so good and a great healthy option if you’re craving pizza!

I sliced the zucchini and sprinkled on some Italian seasoning. Then I put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. I took them out and topped them with pizza sauce and cheese. I put them back under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes. Trust me, these are delicious!


Jaden wrapped up the weekend by playing in his frog tent.


I bought that tent at Target on clearance years ago and I am actually surprised it’s still standing. My kids are a bit…rough on toys.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite restaurant?
  • Do you like scary movies? What’s the last movie you watched?
  • Favorite vegetable?




Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

One Day Until Surgery

Good afternoon!

One more day until my arthroscopic hip surgery. The time has gone by too fast and I am definitely very nervous for tomorrow. I am scared about the surgery itself and I am worried about the recovery process.

I have been a bit stressed, overly sensitive, and emotional lately. I’m pretty sure that I’m driving Danny a little bit crazy already.


I talked to the nurse at the surgery center yesterday to go over all the pre-surgery instructions. It’s all basic information – no eating or drinking after midnight tonight, no contacts, metal, or jewelry in the operating room, wear comfortable clothes, and make sure I have someone to drive me home after surgery.

I have to be at the surgery center at 10:00 am tomorrow and my surgery is at 11:30 am. The surgery last two hours and fifteen minutes and recovery is two hours and thirty minutes. That means we’ll be leaving Chicago right during rush hour to come home. I am a bit nervous about sitting in the car so long but hopefully I’ll be okay.

The hospital will give me crutches to take home and I have physical therapy scheduled for Friday afternoon. Today my continuous passive motion (CPM) machine is being delivered so I have to use after surgery. I will also have a hip brace and an ice machine. Fun times ahead, my friends. Fun times.

Today’s Workout

  • Women on Weights – 60 minutes

Today’s workout at the gym was my last workout for quite a while. It’s sad.

One of my super sweet gym friends, Jessica, brought me card and a Whole Foods gift card for sushi!!


Wasn’t that so sweet?! I told her that I owe her a best friend necklace :)


Breakfast before the gym this morning was Ezekiel toast with peanut butter, egg whites, and cherries. I am trying to stick to eating healthy.


Look what I found at my local grocery store:


Chobani watermelon Greek yogurt!! It was the last one on the shelf and of course, I had to buy it. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan on eating it this afternoon! Sounds like it’ll be good although watermelon yogurt sounds kind of different…

Today will be spent getting things ready for tomorrow – making sure I have everything I need, getting final plans set for the kids, cleaning up a little bit, maybe subscribing to Netflix. Does anyone have Netflix? Is it worth it? We would still keep our regular cable channels since Danny needs the sports channels so I just wondered if it was worth it to add on along with our regular cable.

Have a wonderful day and I will check in when I’m feeling better! Also, thanks to everyone for your kind words and support. I really appreciate it.



Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Run, Eat, Play

Good afternoon!

How is everyone doing? I have been busy lately. Jaden started swimming lessons four mornings a week. I am also trying to get a lot of stuff done before my surgery next week – I needed a blood test and a CT scan, I have to call and schedule physical therapy, I’m trying to get the house clean and find someone to watch the kids during my surgery (my in-laws are taking them to the zoo!). It always seems like there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it!

How about a little catch up of things here on Run Eat Play today?!

Run (as is exercise):

Tuesday morning, I took the Women on Weights class. It was a challenging workout and I woke up so sore yesterday! We focused on chest and back exercises including: lat pulldowns, seated cable rows, back extensions, incline chest presses, decline chest presses, chest presses on the bench, and push-ups.

I was so sore the following morning and my leg was bothering me a lot, so I decided to skip the gym. I practiced BodyPump at home instead.

I went to the gym today after Jaden’s swim lessons and focused on an upper body workout – shoulders, biceps, and triceps.


I haven’t been eating the best lately. I am kind of in a funk and feel like I am not really focused on eating how I should be lately. However, I do have a plan in place to help me get back on track once I have surgery. Food is just so darn good.

I have been loving watermelon. A lot.


I have decided that every trip to the grocery store should include a watermelon.


Last night for dinner, I made a chicken veggie stir fry and brown rice.


I bought a package of stir fry veggies from the produce section and then I added some orange pepper, pineapple, low sodium soy sauce, orange juice, and garlic.

I found a new salad at my grocery store!


I love salad but I get bored of the eating the same salads all the time. This was a Kale chopped salad with Brussels sprouts and it was really good. It has a lemon garlic dressing that was amazing!

I went back to the store to buy another package but sadly all the Brussels sprouts started to turn brown in every bag. :(

My easy quick go-to breakfast is always plain Greek yogurt with one truvia packet and fresh berries.


It’s so easy to make, has lots of protein, and you can top it with whatever fruit or granola you have at home.

After months of searching, I finally finally finally found cold brewed peach green tea!!


I got a sample of this tea in the mail once and searched every store I went to for it without any luck. Then, I found it at our local grocery store!! Yay! I love it because you don’t need to boil water. You simply add the tea bag and use cold water – so easy and delicious!!


Last night, we took the kids to see Earth to Echo.


We got there a little early so the boys played some video games.


Did anyone else love Pac-Man as a kid?!

The movie was cute and Jaden just loved it! He immediately wanted to leave the theater and buy the DVD of the movie. I explained that it didn’t quite work that way.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July!! I can’t believe it’s July already. Doesn’t it seem like this year is just flying by?! We have plans to go to my grandparent’s house for a cookout and to watch fireworks. I love that the fourth falls on a Friday this year!

Have a great day and a wonderful Fourth of July!!

  • Do you have plans for tomorrow? Do you watch fireworks?
  • What’s the last movie you saw?
  • Favorite video game as a kid?


Filed under Breakfast, Running, Working Out

Walking and Working Out

Good morning!!


On Sunday morning, I taught the new BodyPump release. Later in the afternoon, we took the kids to a nearby lake with walking trails.


The kids love the old water pump and Jaden spent quite a bit of time washing the rocks that he found.


We stopped at the store after walking for awhile and I found this new lite white cheddar Skinny Pop popcorn.


We went through that bag way faster than I’d like to admit :) It was really good.

We also stopped at different Whole Foods than I normally go to and they had a healthy snack station set up for kids.


I thought it was really cool that they let kids pick out one piece of fruit. Jaden got an apple and ate the whole entire thing…including the seeds.

Monday’s Workout

  • Stairmaster HIIT Workout – 26 minutes
  • Plank and Stretching – 15 minutes

I haven’t been doing as much cardio lately since my hip has been bothering me but I was really sore from strength training yesterday so I decided to do a HIIT workout on the Stairmaster.


I forgot how much the Stairmaster makes me sweat!!! Of course, my hip was sore all day yesterday but only six more days until my doctor appointment.


Breakfast this morning was an old favorite – a peach yogurt oatmeal parfait.


I always forget how much I love peaches until I am eating one!

This morning I am off to the gym for Butts and Guts and Women on Weights!

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite fruit?




Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Bolder Bands Giveaway

Happy Friday! The weekend is finally here!!

This morning I taught BodyPump while wearing my new Bolder Band headband.


I received a Bolder Band a couple of weeks ago and I have been wearing it ever since.


Bolder Bands were created by Amy Crouse, a cross fitter and runner, to keep her hair back while working out. She decided to sew her own headbands and gave them to friends and workouts buddies and that’s how Bolder Bands was born!

I have crazy hair at times. It usually does whatever it wants, so I wear a headband a lot of the time. I have a few skinny bands but I really like the look of the thicker bands so I was excited to try out the Bolder Bands.

I received the purple color which I love. I wear a lot of black clothes when I work out so the purple headband adds a pop of color!


Bolder bands come in sizes x-small, small, regular, and large. X-small and large require a custom order.

They are made of a spandex/lycra bands and are great because they can be worn as thick or thin as you want – they can be worn six different ways!

To wash them all you have to do is put them in the washing machine and air dry.

I love that Bolder Bands has such a large selection of headbands to choose from – solids, prints, stripes, and even bro bands! (Guys need headbands too :) )

I liked my Bolder Band because it stayed in place when I worked out, wicked sweat, and can be worn so many different ways!

The best part? You can win your own Bolder Band!!


I have one Bolder Band to giveaway. It has the pink in shape design – bright bold geometric shapes. When I received my Bolder Band, they included one for me to giveaway, so this Bolder Band will be coming directly from me.

Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Bolder Bands provided me with these headbands at no charge to me to review on my blog. All opinions are my own.


Filed under Giveaway, Product Review