Tag Archives: workout

Shoulder and Core Circuits

Good morning – Happy Saturday!!


Yesterday morning, after Jaden went to school, I headed out to do a few errands and go to a much-needed hair appointment.


I went to the grocery store to get a few things for the Halloween party tonight and I decided to make cookies. I bought the ingredients that I needed and made my favorite cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction blog – Reese’s Pieces Butterscotch cookies.

The dough has to chill in the fridge so I made it last night and will be baking the cookies today!


Also while at the store, I found the coffee that I have been buying lately on clearance! I love finding k-cups on clearance for only $3.99.


I have been buying this Green Mountain Autumn Harvest Blend for the past few weeks and I love it.

I went to my hair appointment in the afternoon – got full highlights, a trim, and my eyebrows waxed before heading home to work on my Halloween costume.

Yes, I am still working on my Halloween costume.


This costume is taking way much more time and effort that I originally thought and I’m still not done with it! For all the time and effort I’ve spent you’d think it was a really spectacular costume but it’s really not. :) I’m still excited to put it all together and get it finished today!

When Danny got home from work, we headed to the gym together. Now that the marathon is over, we can actually work out together.


Yesterday we did a mini circuits workout that included shoulders, abs, and a little bit of cardio. Here’s the workout we did:

Circuit #1: (repeat 3x)

  • plate front raises x12
  • bent arm side raises x12
  • kettlebell swings x12

Circuit #2: (repeat 3x)

  • cable upright rows x12
  • standing dumbbell shoulder press x 12
  • bosu opposite arm to leg sit-ups x12 each side

Circuit #3: (repeat 3x)

  • bench sit-ups x 12
  • medicine ball oblique twists with a wall throw x 12 each side
  • 30 seconds bosu step-ups

Circuit #4: (repeat 3x)

  • medicine ball slams x15
  • push-ups x12
  • kettlebell farmers walk around track (switch kettlebell halfway)

We finished up our workout with rowing 500 meters on the rowing machine. I was feeling it by the time we were done!!


My plans are to head back to the gym this morning for a back and biceps workout. Then I have to stop by the store to get one more thing for my costume – talk about last minute! Then I’ll be baking cookie and brownies and making buffalo chicken dip for the party tonight!

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of our costumes later tonight!!

Have a great weekend!!

  • Do you color your hair?
  • Favorite shoulder exercise?
  • Any plans for this weekend?



Filed under Fitness, Recipes

Back to Butts and Guts Class

Good afternoon!

I worked until 2pm yesterday and I usually bring my gym clothes with me so I can workout when I get off of work, but I still wasn’t feeling that great yesterday so I just went home instead.

Then, I randomly decided to take the 5:15 pm Butts and Guts class at my gym.


I never workout at 5:15 pm and I haven’t been to Butts and Guts class forever but I’m glad I went!


I got a great workout and we did lots of exercises with resistance bands. I burned 409 calories according to my Polar heart rate monitor.


Do I think heart rate monitors are 100% accurate? No. But I do think they give you a good estimate of what you burned. I personally don’t eat back the calories that I burned during a workout but I do like to see my heart rate to make sure I’m working hard enough especially during HIIT workouts.

Today, I was back at the gym this morning for a chest, triceps, and core workout. After strength training, I did about 20 minutes of cardio on the Stairmaster.


I finished up with a little bit of stretching.

I work tomorrow, on Saturday we’re going to the Chicago Marathon expo, and then on Sunday Danny will be running the marathon! I can’t wait. I’m so proud of him!

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite exercise class?
  • Do you use a heart rate monitor?

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Filed under Fitness, Working Out

Only Five More Days


We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)



I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.


I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.


It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?


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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:



Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.


I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.


During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.


On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.


My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!


I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?




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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

Food, Workouts, and Parties

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

On Friday night, we went out to dinner with my family.


I had a delicious gorgonzola pear salad with pecan crusted chicken. It was amazing!


On Saturday morning, Danny went out to run 14 miles. It’s his longest run so far for his marathon training. His average pace per mile was 8:17. He is fast – I don’t think I’ve ever run even one mile at an 8:14 pace, let alone 14 miles!

While Danny was running, I went to CrossFit.


The workout was awesome and included lots of ring rows, push-ups, and goblet squats.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together and worked on legs and glutes. We started out our workout with a few minutes on the arc trainer. We tried to see how long we could go at level 100.


That only lasted a few minutes.

Danny also threw some weighted push-ups in there. :)


We did leg presses, calf raises on the Smith machine, squats with an overhead plate press, weighted step-ups, hip thrusters, jump squats onto the bench, and a few core exercises. Another great workout!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to a family party for my nephew because he’s home from the Navy for a few more days and then will be leaving.

The desserts were so creative. There was US Navy and American flag jello and the cupcakes were in the shape of an anchor.



My nephews:


We visited for most of the afternoon and evening and then headed home.

Today, I have some errands to run and will try to get to the gym late morning.

Have a great day!!

  • How was your weekend?


Filed under CrossFit, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Running

Climbing the Wall

Happy Friday! I’m so happy that it’s almost the weekend! :)

Yesterday, I went to CrossFit. For a warm-up, we were doing weighted sled pulls outside and the instructor said that we could try climbing the wall if we wanted. I wasn’t planning on trying it at first because your basically climbing straight up a wall and then throwing your leg over the top and I wasn’t sure if my hip could handle it.

Then two other girls tried it so I figured I’d try it too. I didn’t think it would be too hard but I was wrong. It was very hard especially since there’s nothing for your feet to grip to or stand on. The first two times I took a running start  but couldn’t get enough power to boost myself up to throw my leg over the wall. It takes a lot of upper body strength too.


On the third try, I got it! I took a running start and climbed the small wall and barely managed to get my leg on top of the wall. I got it up and I went over the wall! Yay! I was so proud of myself! That shorter wall was so tough, I can’t even imagine going up the big wall!


It’s nice to be able to accomplish something and feel proud of myself in a non-running activity. :)

After the warm-up, we did the workout of the day. It was tough especially those box jumps. I think my time ended up being 11 minutes and 30 seconds.



I went to the gym this morning and worked on back, core, and a little bit of cardio.

For abs, I did some leg raises.


I try to do as many as I can with straight legs but it starts to bother my hip after awhile so I have to switch to bent leg raises.

After the gym, the kids and I went to Goodwill to get some books.


I’m lucky that my kids share my love for reading. Jacob will pretty much read anything that he can and Jaden just started reading chapter books by himself. And yes, I got a Nancy Drew book to read. Who doesn’t love Nancy Drew?!

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner with my family. My aunt and uncle are in town from California and they go back next week so we’re getting together for a family dinner!

Have a great Friday!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • What’s the last book you read? What’s your favorite book?




Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Working Out

Parties, Cupcakes, and Workouts

Good morning! Happy Monday!


On Saturday morning, Danny and I ran the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5k. Check back for a post on the race tomorrow!


On Saturday afternoon, we went to my niece’s 4th birthday party.


She had a princess super hero party and my grandma made the cutest cupcakes for the party.


Super hero and princess cupcakes. They were delicious!


She even Baymax cupcakes because my niece loves Big Hero 6.


On Sunday morning, I went grocery shopping but first I stopped at Starbucks to try out their cold brewed coffee.


I got it with non-fat milk and one splenda. I’m not usually a huge fan of Starbucks regular brewed coffee but I loved the cold brewed coffee. I stopped and got another after the gym this morning but I got it with only Splenda and I prefered it with just the Splenda and no milk.


On Sunday afternoon, we went to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s new house to visit with our nephew who is home from the Navy for two weeks.


We cooked out and the kids had fun swimming.


They just adopted a new dog and Danny had fun hanging out with him.


Jaden and I made cupcakes to bring with.


Betty Crocker recently brought back the rainbow chip frosting which is my all time favorite frosting so I had to buy a tub of it! It is so good.


Good thing we made cupcakes or I would have eaten it all myself! :)


With all the parties and food this weekend, I ate a lot. Way too much. Today, I’m back on track and trying to eat good all week because we have another party to go to this weekend.

I went to the gym and did a few shoulder exercises. Then I did intervals on the Stairmaster.


For 30 minutes, I alternated between one minute at level 5 and one minute at level 16. I did a couple of ab exercises and then foam rolled for a few minutes. I ended up burning 560 calories.


Today, I have a few errands to do and a few workouts to plan! Have a great Monday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Do you prefer cold or hot coffee?

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

My Legs Are Tired

Good morning! Happy Saturday!


On Wednesday, I worked on legs and glutes at the gym. Thursday  morning, I ran sprints on the treadmill and went to CrossFit that night. That probably wasn’t the best idea because that was the hardest CrossFit workout of the day yet. My legs were just so tired!

There was a lot of us in class so the instructor said we could row 1000 meters or run a mile. Only one person volunteered to run the mile so of course the instructor asked me if I want to run the mile. I had to politely decline because my legs were sore and I wanted them (and my hip/quad!!) to have time to recover for tomorrow’s 5k. So, I rowed the 1000 meters instead and let me tell you, that’s no picnic either.

On Friday morning, I went to the gym and worked on delts with a little bit of ab work. I only did upper body so my legs could take a little rest.

I also made sure to stretch and foam roll. Post workout, I had my favorite Premier Protein shake – 30 grams of protein!



After the gym yesterday, Jaden had a check-up for his ear tubes. And I actually wore real clothes for once. :)


The doctor said the tubes looks excellent. They gave him a hearing test and said his hearing is perfect. Yay!


He was really excited for the hearing test because they gave him a button to push. Kids love buttons.

After the doctor, we stopped and picked up my race packet for tomorrow.


As I mentioned, I have run this race twice before and wasn’t happy with my performance either time. Of course, tomorrow is supposed to be hot with 93% humidity and possible thunderstorms. Great.

My plan for today is just to take it easy, stretch, foam roll, and drink lots of water! Danny has a 12 mile run this morning for his marathon training and then we’re going to Dick’s Sporting Goods so he can look for some new running shoes!

  • What are your plans for today?
  • Marathon runners: any tips for hydrating on long runs? Do you carry water?




Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out

Eating and Working Out

Good morning!


I recently bought these Better Oats and I love them!


They only have 100 calories per packet and I love to top them with about a half tablespoon of peanut butter. Peanut butter makes everything better.



This morning at the gym I did a glute/leg workout which included:

  • squats
  • barbell step-ups
  • barbell hip thrusts
  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • weight hip bridges
  • single leg hip bridges

I just realized that I forgot to add donkey kicks to my workout this morning! I’ll have to add them next time.

I also foam rolled and stretched for 20 minutes.

I decided to sign up for another 5k this weekend. I wasn’t planning on doing it since I just ran a 5k last weekend but I really want to run this race. The race is the Dash ‘n Splash 5k and it’s literally three minutes from my house.

I have run this small race twice – in 2012 and 2013. (I didn’t run last year because of my hip surgery.) This is the race that always defeats me. The first year I ran it, my time was a lot longer than I wanted it to be. The next year I ran it, the weather was incredibly hot and humid. I had to take walk breaks the last mile and I just wasn’t happy with that.

So this will be my third year running it and I am determined to run the whole race and get a decent time. And of course it’s supposed to be 90 degrees and humid on Sunday. Great.

I’m making to stretch, foam roll, and drink lots of water this week so I can be okay for the 5k on Sunday. We’ll see how it goes!

Post workout selfie because why not?! :)



Lunch today was the same thing that I had for dinner a couple of nights ago.

I made a salad with a summer chopped salad mix, grilled chicken, and tortilla strips. I topped it with Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing. I seriously love all of the Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressings!


This afternoon, I’m donating blood for a blood drive at the gym and then I’ll just be doing some stuff around the house.

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite salad dressing?
  • Favorite breakfast?




Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Running, Working Out

Glutes, Abs, and a Birthday

Good afternoon!


Now that school is out, I can get to the gym a little bit earlier than usual which means I get on with the rest of my day sooner! Before my workout yesterday, I had some of the Cellucor C4 pre-workout in pink lemonade.


The icy blue razz and pink lemonade are my two favorite flavors!

At the gym, I focused mostly on working my glutes. I did a bunch of different exercises including: deadlifts, barbell step-ups with a kickback, barbell step-up to a knee raise, barbell hip thrusters, and split squats.

I didn’t do any regular squats or lunges because my quad was really bothering me yesterday but normally I’ll add those in to my routine too.

The weather was very sunny and very hot yesterday – around 95 degrees (today it’s rainy and about 20 degrees cooler – Chicago weather!) so the kids and I headed to Starbucks for some refreshing, cold drinks.


Drinking outside at Starbucks.


Jacob was there too but he hates when I take his picture :)


This morning at the gym, I did an ab pyramid circuit workout that left me tired and sweaty!



(Yes, my hair is always crazy. Always.)

I started with 10 reps of each exercise, completing all the exercises back to back. When I was done, I rested about a minute and then did all the exercises nine times each. I rested and then did them all eight times each. I only made it down to six reps of each exercises before I had to go get Jaden out of the kid’s room at the gym.

Next time, I’m going to try and make it all the way down to one rep, it’s just a little time consuming!

Happy Birthday

Today is my brother, Paul’s, 30th birthday!



Welcome to Club 30, Paul!! :) Happy Happy birthday from your older sister. :)

Have a great day!

  • Favorite core exercise?
  • Favorite Starbucks drink?
  • How did you feel about turning 30?



Filed under Fitness, Working Out