Vacation in the Poconos!

Happy Friday friends!

Last week, my husband and I took our mini “honeymoon” road trip vacation in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. I recently got a new position at work and had training that cut into our honeymoon time, but it was worth it. 🙂

We dropped Samantha off at my parents in New York (my mom was on spring break) and headed down to Allentown first to spend the night.

We didn’t want to have a longer drive to Hershey Park in the morning. We had a quick breakfast, then headed to the park!

We drove through Amish Country and found a donut place called “Sugar on Top,” where they had a design your own donut. Pat was pretty excited! 18010430_10102949912149270_5272716446962601306_nI ended up getting some homemade cookies from Central Market in Lancaster.
18010507_10102949911770030_9020277540814976004_nHershey was so much fun! It was nice to be a kid again (without the kid lol) and get on roller coasters, enjoy the park lemonade and eat fries. 😛

After Hershey, we headed right across the park to Giant Center to watch the Providence Bruins play against the Hershey Bears. Those fans were so energetic, it was a total blast!18033319_10102949911475620_3475233617955233380_nThe game finished pretty late, so I grabbed coffee (opened til 11pm!) and we drove to the Poconos to spend a couple days at Crescent Lodge and Inn.18033900_10102949900622370_2727808772642970847_nIt was different to spend Easter just the two of us, but we did enjoy some good food. The breakfast at the lodge was absolutely delicious.17917315_10102947221735880_3844322043440203303_oAnd so was the coffee. 😉17992184_10102949911281010_5232480526820967630_nAfter breakfast, we headed to Bushkill Falls (about 30-40mins away) to hike!18033428_10102949900762090_7953642920685064237_nThey had three different trails you could follow.
18010037_10102947476036260_4089858301926821891_nWe chose the “blue trail” which takes on average 1.5hrs, but we finished it in under an hour.17952679_10102949900667280_1746079005457548266_nAfter, we had lunch, then headed to the lodge to shower and get ready for Mount Airy Casino. We played at the slots for a bit then started to get hungry. 17904395_10102949900078460_8267856583804618332_nAn employee recommended the Frogtown Chophouse; SO, SO GOOD. If you are ever in the Pocono area, check it out.17952704_10102949899838940_3441297957075878376_nThe last morning we were pretty tired, so we packed up, had breakfast and played around in the casino one more time before hitting the road.

I love long trips in a car, just seems like such an adventure to travel different spots or find things on the fly. I would go back to the Crescent Lodge again to spend another couple of relaxing days with the hubs!

They also had an outdoor area, but it was raining most of the time (except for when we went hiking, phew) so we couldn’t do much.

Maybe next time. 😉

Tabata Tuesday #4: Cardio Burst!

And… I’m back for another Tabata Tuesday installment! Granted I know it’s Wednesday, but I forgot to post it 😉

What is Tabata? Click HERE for the details!20170405_111338.jpgSpring in coming, so it’s time to get those body ready for summer fun!

For this routine, you won’t need any dumbbells and can do it anywhere!

However, you do have the option to add in dumbbells where ever you see a “*” if you want an extra challenge/ have them handy.17016085_10102885148695750_7930719254177464392_oSet your timer for 20 seconds WORK, 10 seconds REST. You’re going to perform each move for 4 minutes (8 rounds total).

We have EIGHT moves for a total of 32 minutes (be sure to warm up before and stretch after your workout). You can go straight through for 32 minutes or rest for a minute after each move, which will bring your total time to 40 minutes.

  1. Skaters (tap side to side to modify)
  2. Squats*
  3. Jumping Lunges* (do alternating lunges to modify)
  4. Situps*
  5. Jump Squats* (squat pulse to modify)
  6. Mountain Climbers (take one knee in at a time slowly to modify)
  7. Plank & Tap (tap your hand to opposite shoulder; alternate)
  8. Plank Jax (tap side to side with each leg in plank to modify)

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For personalized workouts AND meal plans, check out my coaching page HERE.

Fitness & Healthy Living [Update!]

The last time I posted on my health and fitness routine was in THIS blog post. That was over a year ago! 

I’ve come a long way since then.20170202_131140I have posted some blogs on Barre and Tabata – which I still both do. But I’ve started to incorporate more strength training and cardio on my own time (or finding classes here and there to take).

I had to buy new sneakers since my Asics were dying on me. I got these Everlast ones that were on sale. I absolutely love them for strength training!20170306_074344I have the say the combination of Pure Barre and Tabata has been amazing for my body. I haven’t felt this strong (and toned) since I did bodybuilding pre-baby in 2014. 20170317_080827I can even do tricep push-ups; something I was never able to do. I try to do barre 3-4 times a week. I teach 3 Barre classes a week and try to take 2-3 Pure Barre classes on my own.

Here’s what my current fitness routine looks like during the week:

  • Monday: Barre Class (Lower Body & Core)
  • Tuesday: Rest Day
  • Wednesday: Barre & Tabata Class
  • Thursday: Barre Class
  • Friday: Tabata/ Strength Training
  • Saturday: Cardio Barre
  • Sunday: Active Rest Day

I also am updating the top 15 items I try to stock in my fridge/ pantry (for Samantha & I). You can check out my favorites from from last year HERE (very slight change).

  1. Instant Plain Oatmeal Packets (for the added iron for my anemic self)
  2. Teddy’s Natural Peanut Butter
  3. Chia or Flax Seeds (whichever was on sale)
  4. Trail Mix (from WholeFoods Bulk area)
  5. Fresh/Frozen Fruits and Veggies
  6. Milk (whole dairy plus soy or almond)
  7. Protein Bars (I try to have a few Quest bars on hand)
  8. Greek Yogurt (store brand or Stonyfield)
  9. String Cheese or Babybel Light
  10. Gluten-Free Pretzels
  11. Harvest Snap Pea Crisps
  12. Alexia Sweet Potato Fries (Sam loves them!)
  13. Boca Veggie Burgers
  14. Dark Chocolate (Usually Ghirardelli 72%)
  15. Eggs

Is every week perfect? Absolutely not. 20170225_151313Just like I mentioned over a year ago, things are going to come up or happen, especially with a toddler. But I’ve learned to focus on eating more; if I can’t get to the gym, I make sure my eating is on point. I also focus less on the scale. 20170302_155503I weight myself about once a month (last time I was 153lbs) now and try to just go based off of my clothes. I like the size that I am at so I know if my clothes are starting to feel snug, I have to kick it up a notch. 😉

Question: What does YOUR fitness routine look like?

Samantha {19 Months}

Hello blog friends! 😀

It has been far too long. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t posted since January 18th. Time flies with a toddler.

Today I’ll be sharing with you some 19 month updates on Samantha as well as some new favorite toys and products.

I recently decided to try out the Honest Company products. I’ve been doing a lot of Swagbucks deals – now I won’t go into detail but basically you get something called “Swagbucks” or SB and you can redeem them for giftcards.

I’ve received Starbucks and Walmart giftcards just by filling out surveys or signing up for free trials (of course, be sure to cancel them). If you want more info on Swagbucks, check out their site or leave a comment!

Back to Honest Company; there was a Swagbucks deal that if you signed up for the free trial, you’d get some “SB.” I decided to give a go because I have been wanting to try them out. I opted for the household products trial.20170311_101819Out of the five products, my favorites were the healing balm and the lotion. Samantha’s eczema has been acting up and this balm took care of it like a charm (not to mention some severe dry skin that I had on my nose).20170311_101825The shampoo/ wash smelled pretty good and the soap was great. I did also like the multi-surface spray cleaner, but I normally just get the Seventh Generation one.

I decided to extend my trial and do one month and once I try out those products, you’ll be seeing another review post, so stay tuned later this month. 😉

Samantha is a whole 19 months as of March 6th. I cannot believe she is almost two. She loves “singing” her ABC’s, the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Ring Around the Rosy. Her favorite shows are Mother Goose Club and Ruff Ruff, Tweet & Dave!

We’ve been getting Samantha on weekly activities to get out of the house and socialize. Wednesdays or Thursdays we have Library dates. 17352351_10102902388876290_4881794624476578953_nSometimes they have story-time and sometimes they have a bunch of fun toys for them to play with. Fridays she has “Playschool.”

She’s been very into this button art by Alex toys set we got for Christmas from my mom. It comes with different images and it’s great for those motor skills and learning colors!20170305_172428

I recently put this Crayola art studio together for her the other day since she likes sitting at the table in the library. She’ll color for a few minutes or play with stickers; she loves stickers!20170312_182247I will say, eating has been tough! She goes through her phases but at least still eats a decent variety.17191734_10102894301608240_6888381426610209264_oCurrent food likes:

We still aren’t into veggies, although she will eat some at playschool. She isn’t a fan of meat either. She was all for it before then fell off of it at around 11 months. I’m not too concerned because she eats plenty of foods with iron plus she takes a multi-vitamin (as per her doctor).

That wraps up what’s currently going on in our toddler’s world. It’s just amazing to watch her grow and learn each day!

Question: How’s your 2017 going so far? What are some of your toddler’s favorite activities and/or toys?

 

Happy New Year & Favorites!

I know I am about a million 18 days late here…20161225_090859The last time I posted was on November 21st and I have to be honest, I did not miss it that much. The holidays did get the best of us. I didn’t realize that with a kid, the holidays were more of a hustle and bustle. Before I use to just enjoy emptier gyms and working overtime.

But nowadays, that doesn’t fit my “mom” lifestyle so much anymore. I did get to the gym plenty of times and kept my eating “on point as possible.”20170101_195627This year so far we were plague by Samantha’s first [double] ear infection and mom got a respiratory infection soon after. It was not a fun couple of weeks, but in good news we are finally moving to a bigger space! 20170113_161556We’ve been looking since July and it has not been easy because we have to be pretty specific on our needs – which isn’t a bad thing. I’ll be sharing more on that later next month once we are nice and settled.

***

For this post I wanted to share Samantha’s current favorites. The last favorites she was a year old and she is currently 17ish months. 20170112_133253I would say, she really started to love books at about 7-8 months. I try to take her to the library every week for story time and she has a blast! Right now these are her” go-to’s:”

Vtech Touch & Teach Word Book20170112_162852Going off of books, we wanted to have something interactive to teach her basic words/ for car rides. The little ones can touch the pictures, hears the words/ sounds and use the “?” button for a “find it” game.

There is a words, letters and music setting and at the moment, music is Samantha’s favorite. But as she grows, the other two settings will start getting more use.

Little Tykes Cook ‘n Store Kitchen Playset20170112_133126 A few things I loved about this kitchen was well for one, it folds up. No only is this great for when moving, but you can easily store it to the side. There is plenty of the space in the “oven” for storage too.

I also liked that it came already assembled and was only $45 on sale (at the time). She opened it up Christmas morning and could play with it in seconds. It came with a few utensils, plates, pots and pan but we added her Melissa and Doug pots and pan set that she loves to the mix.

Bruin Big Band Instrument Set: The link is to their newer version of this set. We got this one on sale for $9.99 at the time; I just love deals.20170112_133701Came with everything you see plus drumsticks. [At the time of the photo Samantha has misplaced them and we also put the trumpet away for now]. She uses it every day and was definitely a great gift for her.

Below are some “honorable mentions” that didn’t make the list by photo, but are some of Samantha’s favorites too!

I am hoping to get back into the swing of things with blogging, can’t make any promises, but time will tell right? After all, I do need a play to store photos besides Facebook and my phone. 😉

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

MIMM #12: Muffins & A Toddler.

Good evening friends. 🙂

This week is going to be a short one so I decided to pop in today to enjoy the holiday week with my family.

I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes, that isn’t even mine. Sometimes you just have a surplus of bananas, but don’t want to make banana bread or freeze them for smoothies.

Or is that just me?20161108_123039Marvelous are these muffins…

I found this recipe online years ago when I was eating 100% gluten & grain-free. They are delicious peanut butter banana muffins. You can even sub the peanut butter for any nut butter (almond is delish).

The only thing different I do to the recipe is 2 eggs and 2 egg whites (as opposed to four whole eggs) and I sub the walnuts. Usually for pumpkin seeds or raisins for Samantha.20161108_122951This toddler has been in “picky” mode and muffins are something  she’ll always gobble up. I have a couple of other marvelous muffin recipes on the blog that I’ve experimented on her and she loves them. 20161108_122750It’s good to have a million options.

We may have seen the last weekend of marvelous, warm-ish weather.20161117_140452 It’s been chilly and windy this week.

It went from 60 degrees to 35 degrees overnight. 😦 20161119_095631I suppose I can’t complain since in New England we tend to skip fall and go straight to winter in October. And we still have My Gym we could go to for marvelous fun!img_20161120_100210Time to whip out those marvelous puffy coats. 😉

I am linking up with Katie for Marvelous in My Monday, thanks for hosting!MIMMI hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Enjoy good food, conversation and lots of love. ❤

TOL #10: Toddler Traveling Tips

Good morning friends!
With the holidays coming around and many family gathers, I’ve been thinking about what that MIGHT mean for you… traveling [and overnight trips] with your child[ren].
If you only plan to travel under an hour or two and return the same day, some of these still will be able to help, especially if you have messy or picky eaters!
Today, I am sharing with you my top FIVE car traveling tips for your toddler. Now if you plan to head on a plane, some of these can apply too!20161002_081850Our family has done a bit of traveling with our daughter. We’ve traveled this year in March (3 hour plane ride), July and September (3-4 hour car rides for July & Sept). Each of these tips helps us [and Samantha] stay sane. Check em’ out:
  1. Food, Food… did I mention FOOD?! Whether it’s having breast feeding essentials, formula or solids, make sure you pack food. A good tip to remember is to get a few bottles ready with water and packing formula already portioned out. If you’re traveling by air, the TSA will let you pass with ANYTHING for baby, just be sure to keep it all in a separate baggy. If you have snack fiends, make sure you are prepped. Sam loves whole grain Goldfish, animal crackers, berries and bananas.20161030_131347 If you’re heading out early and have a toddler, I think these snack bars by Plum Organics make a great on the go breakfast with some milk and fruit. Don’t forget a snack or two for you!20161115_121439
  2. Diapers & Other Toiletries. Make sure you have enough [and then some] diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, sunscreen, Tylenol, etc. What ever you need for baby, make sure you have it. There is nothing like NOT having enough diapers or wipes and having to pray they don’t poop galore!
  3.  Entertainment. This will vary by age, but make sure you have your child’s FAVORITES! Sam loves her rag doll, this squishy Zebra and her Elmo crayons. We also have books, Scout lappup and other fun gadgets. Just be prepared.20161030_133400
  4. Lots of Clothes. There are days where we go through three changes of clothes. Make sure everything can be mixed & matched together and have plenty of comfy items for them. Plan for 2 outfits a day, plus socks, a jacket/ coat (if it gets chilly) and shoes.
  5. Timing: Now what do I mean by this? If you know your babe’s long nap is around 11am, plan to leave a half hour to an hour before. That way you can chat with them, play tunes/ they can play and slowly start to settle into a nap on the drive. I know Samantha will fall asleep after being in a car for 30 minutes and nap for about 1-2 hours. This gives us plenty of open road travel on 2-4 hour car trips.
  6.  Open Mind: You’re baby is going to be thrown off at some point during any trip, whether you drive or fly. Try not to stress if your babe missed a nap or didn’t want to eat her usual 2:00pm snack, it will only stress you out more. If they see YOU cranky, they will get crankier; plain & simple.
Have fun and remember it’s only a short time period of them being “off.” You’ll get back to your normal routine in no time [hopefully]. Thinking-Out-LoudI’m linking up with Amanda for thinking out LOUD Thursdays and sharing what’s on
MY mind. Thanks for hosting!
Safe travels 🙂