Halloween Hangover Treadmill Run

Shoes

This run was inspired by all of the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups I plan on consuming after my children are in bed. I already have my daughter on the hunt for those tasty orange squares (#eatallthereeses) when she is Trick or Treating. So today, we are going to activate and build our fast twitch muscle fibers, enabling those powerful bursts of movement, and in the end, burning off all those delicious Reeses.

Your body contains two types of muscle fibers – Slow Twitch and Fast Twitch. Slow Twitch Fibers help with endurance feats such as distance running. Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers fatigue quickly and consume a lot of energy, i.e. burn a lot of calories, i.e. burn off those Reeses. You can train your body to utilize both types of muscle fibers through different types of training. Today, we will be working on speed.

I am keeping today simple because “Halloween Hangover”, and who wants to be reading lots of instructions when your body feels like peanut butter mush covered in greasy pizza. Don’t you love my analogy? Today (and tomorrow, who are we kidding?) I am going to need all. the. coffee.

Any who, this whole run is on a flat road – incline of 0.0 or 1.0 (your choice! An incline of 1.0 mimics running outdoors).

0:00 – 3:00   4.0 MPH

3:00 – 6:00   6.0 MPH

6:00 – 30:00  Repeat the following 8 times:

  • 1 minute @ 7.4 – 8.0 MPH (pick a speed that is difficult to talk at but not so hard that you want to fall off the treadmill)
  • 1 minute @ 6.4 – 7.0 MPH  (running speed – could maintain this speed for 15 minutes)
  • 1 minute @ 5.4 – 6.0 MPH (this should be a speed you could maintain for 30 minutes)

30:00 – 33:00   Slow Jog or Walk

33:00 – 36:00 Walk at an incline of 3.0

And you are done torching calories!!!

Happy Halloween, Friends! Go enjoy those Reeses 😉

XO,

Sara

Easy Weeknight Lasagna

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend it was COLD. Helllloooo winter. We did a lot of staying inside, snuggling up, and preparing for the slow beginning of the end of fall. We carved pumpkins, ate popcorn, watched football, and baked.

I’m not going to win any healthy mom of the year awards with this recipe but it’s fast, it’s easy, and it will fill any cravings you have for a hearty, warm and cheesy meal. There is something about the weather turning cooler that just makes me want to cook things smothered in meat and cheese. Anyone else? No, just me?

It is a staple around here in the winter, as it is one of five things I can successfully make while managing my children. Have you ever tried cooking with kids hanging all over you? It is no easy task, my friend. Throw in a side of broccoli or a small salad, and it’s actually a pretty balanced meal. You will also have left overs for days which is a huge plus in my book.

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 and 1/2 lb ground beef (I use lean)
    • You can add onion if you like, I usually don’t because the kids are less likely to eat it then!
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of tomato juice (I use organic)
  • 1/2 a package of onion soup mix (sometimes I use the whole pack)
  • 1 package of Oven Ready Lasagna
  • 1 package mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook ground beef in a skillet. Once browned, drain the fat. Then add tomato paste, tomato juice, and onion soup mix. Mix well. It will seem really watery. This is necessary for the Oven Ready Noodles.
  2. In a 9 x 13 pan, layer lasagna noodles, ground beef mixture, and mozzarella cheese. I usually do two layers.
  3. Cover with foil. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before you transfer to the oven.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees with foil on for 15 minutes. The remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until noodles are tender.

Note: You may substitute regular lasagna noodles for the oven ready noodles. Simply cook the noodles according to the package instructions, and then bake the dish for 10 minutes less – so 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Enjoy! 🙂

Pink and Gold for Fall

 

 

 

 

On Sara:

Top // Jeans // Booties sold out, similar here and here.

Necklaces: here and here.

Earrings: here.

I think I’ve said this before but I love wearing pink in the fall. It’s such a refreshing change from all of the navy, olive, maroon, and gray that typically dominates this time of year. Not to discount a good navy or gray because honestly, my closet is mostly gray, but it’s fun to throw in a pop of color every now and then.

I found this top while shopping on a rainy Saturday with my mom and had to have it. I wear a lot of clothes that need to be appropriate for work but also allow for me to be sitting on the floor with 20 five year olds. This top can be dressed up or down making it appropriate for both. I’m envisioning it with a fun scarf as the weather get cooler and these ripped jeans. It would also be cute with a skirt or black pants, and some over-the-knee boots.

I was also on the hunt for a necklace that was casual enough I could wear everyday. I mean, I spend my day with five year olds so there is no getting fancy over here. I got really excited when I found this necklace that matches the earrings I wear everyday. Literally, every. single. day. Never take them off, they go with everything. This necklace is also short enough that my kids can’t pull on it. Win win.

What’s your fall go-to look?

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

Pretty Pintastic Party

10 Minute Total Body Workout

I love being able to workout at home. With kids, sometimes it’s the only way to get it done. We don’t have the space for a treadmill unless we put it in the garage, and who wants to run in their spider covered garage? Not me! So I have to get creative.

In lieu of a treadmill post this week, I filmed a quick 10 minute total body workout that you can do anywhere. Literally, I do this in my messy basement while my kids play around me (as you can see from the video). All you need is a set of medium to heavy dumbbells. I stick with either 8 lbs or 10 lbs depending on how I’m feeling that day. For this video, I was using 8 lbs. I try to get in two rounds for a nice little workout.

I also created a YouTube page where you will be able to view all of my workouts. My goal is to film a new workout each week so I hope you will subscribe and follow along!

***I am aware I need to work on my videography skills.

I hope you’ll try it out and enjoy! I’d love to hear your comments.

Nobody Said Having Kids Would Be Easy

It’s 4:00 pm on a rainy Saturday, the “witching hour”, as us moms have come to know and dread. You have been up since 6:00 am. You have played with every toy in the house and then some, you have painted, you’ve made obstacle courses, you’ve built a fort, watched tv, eaten all the snacks, and there is still four more hours until the blissful freedom of bedtime.

The kids are now fighting. They have had enough sharing for one day. Your son performs one of his signature wrestling moves on your daughter. She bites him. Crying ensues. You are arguing with your husband about anything and everything from why the kids can’t behave to what to eat for dinner. Your house is in a complete state of chaos. Toys cover every square inch of your home.

You struggle through preparing dinner while your kids hang all over you, pull at your clothes, whine, and rub boogers on your jeans. You somehow manage to get dinner on the table only to watch your son throw all of his ketchup covered food on the floor.

It is now 8:00 pm. You survived the bedtime routine. The kids are finally asleep! Kudos to you. Dishes and laundry can now commence. By the time the house is cleaned up and the chores are done, you are too tired to even start a movie. You sip a glass of wine and attempt to watch Netflix without making lists in your head while your husband snores on the couch next to you.

Nobody ever said having two kids would be easy. It still boggles my mind how one kid feels like one kid, while two kids feels like 10 kids. I follow so many moms on Instagram and wonder what I am doing wrong. How are they making it look so easy while I can barely find the time to brush my teeth? I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually blowdried and curled my hair since my daughter was born in 2014. I don’t paint my nails anymore, I paint a three year olds instead. The only time I am ever able to get showered and dressed is if I wake before my children which means getting up between 5:00 and 6:00 am.

Evenings are even harder. There’s wrangling two kids into the bathtub, and then trying to keep them there long enough to wash them but not so long enough that they start trying to drown one another. There is crying and yelling, ultimatums, and empty threats. At the end of it all, the battlefield that is bedtime leaves you battered and scarred, and you have no energy left for anything but internet surfing and Facebook stalking.

But no matter how tough it gets, and man will it get tough, I wouldn’t change a second of it. Because for every tough second, there are 1000 sticky kisses and “Momma up’s” and sweaty hugs that make it all worth it. And boy, is it worth it.

That’s the funny thing about motherhood.

Read a previous post about motherhood truths, here.

Get To Know Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sara: Boots // Jeans // Top

On Chloe: Boots

On Ryan: Shoes // Top

For those of you new to the blog, I’m Sara, and I am a Nutritionist turned Kindergarten teacher. I have a passion for health and fitness but I am only human. French fries are my vice, and “no fry left behind” is my motto. I’m such a nerd. Seriously, such a nerd.

I live in a Western suburb of chicago with my husband and our two kids, Chloe (3 1/2) and Ryan (1 1/2). They are both January babies, and almost exactly two years apart. We also have a cat that I despise.

My husband is Dean, and he works in Chicago for a Freight Brokerage Company. We have known each other for almost 11 years, and I still have no clue what he does all day. All I know is that sometimes he has to travel, and I get to be a solo parent.

Dean and I met looong ago at a bar called Schoolyard in Chicago on a random Sunday. It was a time in my life when I was still fun. 😉 Dean is the funniest person you will ever meet, has 134,568,971 friends, and is always the life of the party. BUT it took a little while for me to warm up to him. Fun Fact – I thought Dean was incredibly obnoxious when I first met him. Haha.

Anywho, our relationship has been pretty text book – we dated for about four years, were engaged for one, and have been married for five. Dean is still the person that I want to talk to at the end of each day, makes me laugh harder than anyone else, and is my best friend. But yes, he drives me crazy sometimes. 😉

I got pregnant with Chloe one year after we had been married. She entered this world fast and furious. Literally, labor with her was about two hours. When we got to the hospital after my water broke, I was eight centimeters dialated and having NO contractions. But in true Chloe fashion, she decided she wanted out, feet first, so I was rushed into a very quick c-section. And of course, she was the “sassiest” baby in the hospital, or so we were told. Chloe is now the definition of “threenager”. She loves to lock herself in her room with her iPad, and frequently tells me to “leave her alone”. I am absolutely dreading the teenage years. But, full disclaimer, I couldn’t love her more!

Ryan came exactly two years later. I actually wrote a previous post about Ryan’s birth. He quickly became my little bubba. He is my love and my heart, and the snuggliest boy there ever was. He is such a momma’s boy, always asking for more kisses. He is also the wildest thing there ever was. He has no qualms about throwing himself off the top of the staircase or summersaulting off the couch. My boy, you keep my anxiety levels high and the Xanax flowing.

Dean and I have been very blessed in the in-law department. We are very fortunate that our families get along so well. It makes holidays just that much more fun, and immensely less stressful. No driving from house to house, we just simply celebrate together.

Currently, we are working each day to make the best lives for our kids. We are taking it day by day because, as you know if you have children, life can get pretty complicated.  We have our sights set on our dream home, and we hope to be in it by the time Chloe starts Kindergarten. Upon doing so, I will also promptly get a Golden Retriever.

I hope this post helped you to get to know my family and I a little better. Any questions? I’d love to hear them!

Books I’ve Read Lately

 

Joggers / Top
Kate Spade Mug (similar here) / basket / throw blanket (such a steal!)

Being a working mom with two toddlers, I think that I literally went about two years without reading a book. Not for lack of trying, it was simply I was too exhausted by the time I got both kids in bed to do anything other than stare mindlessly at the television.

Lately though, I have been making a conscious effort to watch less tv and read more books. That actually translates to “watch no tv in order to read a book”. I have a non-sleeping three year old (more on that later) so most nights I’ve got a good solid 20 minutes to myself before I actually need to go to sleep to function properly the next day.

Anyways, I digress.

So like I said, I am making a conscious effort to read each night. Here are five books, with reviews, that I have read lately.

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: Honestly, this book for me was hard to get through. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautifully written. It has tons of positive reviews and rightfully so. It has a great plot, and character development but I felt it was slow. It was one of those books that also really made you think about your own life, and what if something like this ever happened to you, to your family. This book usually either made me fall asleep, or start crying because I would begin worrying about my own children. But…I am crazy and worry about ridiculous things so if you are not like me, you’ll probably enjoy this book!

2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: I loved this book! It is a thriller, and disturbing, as all her books are but it is so well written that you tend to overlook some of the violence and gore. Warning: This book might cause sleepless nights!

3. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline: I loved this book as well! If you are looking for a well written, well thought out story, that is not a thriller – this is it. You feel connected to the characters right away, and are rooting for them the entire time. You will not be disappointed with this book!

4. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: Another great, very easy to read thriller that I read in two days which is no easy feat when you have two kids and absolutely ZERO time to yourself. As with all thrillers that I read, I absolutely cannot sleep after reading them. Maybe that’s why I finished the book so quickly? Anyways, I highly recommend this one as well.

5. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult: This book was just okay. It’s a very easy read that touches on a very hot topic right now but I felt that it ended abruptly. There wasn’t much of a conclusion. The character development was there but it just kind of…ended. It was strange. I felt like I needed more closure with the characters. I hate being left to wonder. I need a good conclusion, damnit! 😉

So there it is! I hope you’ll enjoy reading some of these books. Currently on my reading list are Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

What’s on your reading list? Read any good books lately? I would love to hear your recommendations!

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Treadmill Tuesday: A Run for Beginners

top / crops / shoes (similar here and here)

Whether you are a new to running, a seasoned veteran, or simply having a day where working out seems like a struggle – this workout is for you! You’ll get in a solid 30 minutes of cardio while building your endurance.

I did this workout on Saturday. The weather was horrible. I was single parenting while my husband traveled. I hadn’t slept well, I never do when I’m home alone. So, needless to say, I wasn’t feeling a workout. Between the rain and lack of sleep I was feeling enormously sluggish. I figured though, that if I could focus and work for 30 minutes, that I could enjoy some Chick-fil-A afterwards.

For this run, you will pick a pace the you can maintain for 20 minutes. You will be at that pace for most of this run.

Here is what to do: (I will put the speeds I used in parentheses)

Warmup: 0:00 – 3:00: Incline 0.0. Speed anywhere from 3.0 – 4.0 (3.5)

3:00 – 13:00: Increase your speed to a jog. For the next 10 minutes, increase your speed by 0.1 -0.3 every minutes. Incline 0.0. (Starting speed 5.5, ending speed 7.0).

13:00 – 15:00: Incline 0.0. Decrease speed anywhere from 3.0 – 4.0. (3.5)

15:00 – 16:00: Incline 1.0. Speed anywhere from 4.0 to 7.0. Pick a speed that you can maintain comfortably for the remainder of the workout. (6.0)

16:00 – 18:00: Incline 2.0. Maintain speed. (6.0)

18:00 – 20:00: Incline 3.0. Maintain speed. (6.0)

20:00 – 22:00: Incline 4.0. Maintain speed. (6.0)

22:00 – 24:00: Incline 3.0. Increase speed by 0.1 to 0.3. (6.2)

24:00 – 26:00: Incline 2.0. Increase speed by 0.1 to 0.3. (6.4)

26:00 – 28:00: Incline 1.0. Increase speed by 0.1 to 0.3. (6.6)

28:00 – 29:00: Incline 0.0. Increase speed by 0.1 to 0.3. (6.8)

29:00 – 30:00: Incline 0.0. Increase speed by 0.1 to 0.3. (7.0)

30:00 – 33:00 Incline 0.0. Walk anywhere from 3.0 to 4.0

And you’re done! You should have hit around 3 miles depending on your speeds. Great work!

In other news, are you in the market for a treadmill? Not sure which treadmill to choose when you are at the gym and have a choice? Check out this article on the best treadmills for walking, running, and training. I found this article really interesting because there are so many subtle differences in treadmills that I never would have even thought of such as a longer belt for runners or the positioning of the speed and incline controls. Since I am not a distance runner, I prefer a treadmill geared toward training. The Horizon T9 comes with tons of different workouts which makes it effortless. You can also customize your entire workout, setting speeds and inclines for different time increments, to build your perfect workout.

Which treadmill would you choose?

Want to see more of my workouts? Comment below and let me know what you would like to see.

Fall Outfit Inspiration

Falloutfit

Fall is my favorite season to shop for. There is something so fresh about shopping for fall clothes. Maybe it’s back to school? Maybe it’s the cooler temps? Maybe it’s the packs of fresh crayons and unopened textbooks. But, whatever it is, the change in seasons from summer to fall always feels like a fresh start.

I love wearing neutrals in fall. There is something so crisp about an ivory or pale pink against the fall foliage backdrop. The sweater above is a favorite. I also love this one here. These jeans are a favorite of mine and so comfortable! I own three pairs of this brand. I am lusting after this bag, and love the pop of fun color. These mules are currently in my shopping cart. This watch I own, and wear everyday. It’s so versatile. These earrings are by one of my favorite brands, are so unique and could be dressed up or dressed down.

I am also loving this top, this cardigan, this sweater dress, this scarf, and this lip color for fall.

What is your favorite fall item?

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What To Wear For Fall Family Photos

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On Ryan: top / denim / New Balance

On Chloe: dress (runs BIG) / shoes

On Sara: sweater / skirt / booties

On Dean: shirt / denim / shoes

 

I am not a big fan of posed photos, and neither are my children, so I was really happy that Melissa Zimmer Photography captured the essence of my wild and crazy family so perfectly.

We pumped the kids full of snacks for our 6pm photo shoot. I was a little worried about the timing since we normally eat dinner around 5:45, and my Type A self hates to break routine, but I was willing to make the sacrifice for the beautiful light I knew we would get.

I am not a fan of posed photos so we let the kids run around for the majority of the time, bribing them to smile with pizza afterwards.

I chose outfits based on what my very opinionated threenager picked out to wear. You should have seen her trying on dress after dress, twirling in the mirror, in the fitting rooms at Gap. I didn’t want us to be matchy-matchy but since Chloe chose a bright pink dress, I tried to pick more muted/neutral colors for the rest of us. My outfit was a last minute choice since the top I had originally picked to wear ended up being pretty see through in the afternoon light. Dean’s shirt is old but it complemented Ryan’s well. Ryan’s Hudsons are old, and run huge (they are 12mo) that his skinny self finally fits into them.

Our photos ended up being quick and painless. I recommended keeping any family shoots to 30 minutes or less. My kids were done after about 20 minutes.

I hope you enjoy some of my favorites as much as I do!

XO,

Sara

photos by Melissa Zimmer Photography