Fall Festivities in Illinois

Happy Friday!  We have some stellar weather coming to Illinois this weekend, so we will be enjoying plenty of fall festivities!

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The baseball cancels out the tutu, right?

Trick-or-Treat with Basketball

The University of Illinois women’s basketball team hosted a Trick-or-Treat event that we couldn’t pass up.

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Even though candy is off limits for Jada (choking hazard…or, maybe I don’t want to share??), we love taking advantage of kid-friendly events in the area; and Champaign-Urbana has plenty of them thanks to the university.

Jada seemed to love looking at all the costumes and activities, but I think it was a bit overwhelming at first. They had quite a turnout!

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However, you can see, she is most interested in playing with the basketball. That’s my girl!

I got to meet blog reader, Katie, and her boys at the event (failed to snap a pic!) and look forward to seeing more of them!

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Library Story Time

Until my personal training picks up at the YMCA, I’m taking advantage of the free time by scoping out the local activities for Jada. I mentioned going to story time at the library, and we love it.

On Fridays, it’s less structured which is perfect for my mover-and-shaker!

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She was obsessed with the corn kernels. Played, poured, and scooped the entire time. The group leader sets up activities for ages 0-3, so there are lots of interesting things for her to do if boredom were to strike.

Sometimes, we like to go to the library simply to explore and play with new toys.

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Jada loves to carry around Wilbur, the pig, and Clifford, the big red dog, while she’s there.

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Speaking of the library, I need your book recommendations. Any good reads out there I’m missing? I just finished The Book Thief, Gone Girl, and Dark Places.

More play. We are using our unfinished basement as a play area now. My parents saved my old Fisher Price farm set, and Jada loves to play with it now.

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Oh, but I can’t take credit for the above set-up. That was Spencer’s doing. And, I’m pretty impressed!

Fall Fitness

Outdoors. That is where I love to be, and I’m going to soak it up as long as this weather hangs in!

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Along with my furry side kick. <3

He is becoming a better runner as I often take him for short runs during our morning workouts. Usually, Spencer pushes the stroller, and then we will switch. Cooper needs to keep in shape for Hurricane Jada.

A video posted by blondeponytail (@blondeponytail) on


And, if you have been on the fence about trying Pro-Sculpt, I can’t encourage you enough to give their new flavor, pink lemonade, a shot. So tasty. Not too sweet.

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It has surpassed my beloved fruit punch.

I usually take this before a workout and sometimes in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. It’s my coffee?

Your turn:
What are you reading?
Did your parents save any toys from your childhood?

Running Workouts with Weights {pinnable images}

running pyramid thrusters

I want to share a few running workouts with weights that I have been doing lately. Thanks to a suggestion from Kat, I turned them into pinnable images. Is that how you guys like to save workouts? Running Pyramid This one is similar to a workout I did last week, but I used running as the form of cardio. You could sub cycling, rowing or the elliptical. Use weights that you have available for the thrusters and kettlebell swings (overhead for advanced). Try to do this workout as fast as you … [Continue reading]

Family Outdoor Run & Fun

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The weather has been so wet here lately, and Spencer and I have been dying to do more hill sprints. Why not just run them on the street, you say? It is literally flat for miles upon miles here. The only hill we have nearby is man-made. Finally, it stopped raining, so we had a chance to run on our favorite hill. It was pretty cold in the morning, so we started with part 1 of our workout in the garage. 1000m row 50 push-ups 750m row 40 push-ups 500m row 30 push-ups 250m row 20 … [Continue reading]

Weekend Warrior Workouts

overhead squat

I never know how to open Monday posts. I mean, do you really want to read, "Happy Monday!"? So, let's slide right in, shall we? (<--See what I did there?) Spencer and I took a rest day on Friday, so we planned on a lengthy workout for Saturday, not as punishment, but because we actually wanted to. We were scrolling through Hero WOD's and selected one that we each could do using our garage equipment. Spencer selected the Hero WOD Hammer. 5 rounds 5 Power Cleans 135# 10 … [Continue reading]

How I Vary My Workouts

thruster nano 4

Let's catch up on home workouts, shall we? Thanks to the additions to our garage, I can create quite a range of workouts. Sometimes, it's hard to decide. I have all these ideas and need to narrow them down to one workout. Work vs. Rest Days I often get questions from readers on how many rest days I take, or how many of my workouts are CrossFit based, or if I even run anymore. I favor intense workouts, there's probably no surprise there if you read this blog or follow me on Instagram. … [Continue reading]

16 Month Update

Curtis Orchard apples

I haven't done an update on Jada since she turned one year old in June. In the midst of moving, Jada turned 15 months, but I failed to write a post--and she's 16 months old now! #momfail The Stats We found a new pediatrician in the Champaign-Urbana area and were able to schedule Jada's well-check. I loved our pediatrician in Omaha, so it will be tough to match her. Jada measured at 32.5" (93rd percentile) and weighed 26.4 lbs (94th percentile). No wonder everyone is surprised … [Continue reading]

Must Haves for Fit Moms

must have for fit moms

Hey guys! I get a lot of fitness related questions from new moms, so I thought I'd create a post focused on the must haves for fit moms. I'm sure many of you moms and moms-to-be have googled must-haves for new moms including standard items like nursing bras, a sleep sack, and changing pads. However, I'm going to discuss the items I found necessary to stay active as a new mom. 1. Supportive Sports Bra This is probably the question I get asked the most, "What bra should I wear for … [Continue reading]

GNC Pro-Sculpt & AMP 60 Protein Powder Giveaway!

GNC Prosculpt giveaway

I have a fantastic giveaway for you today from GNC! You guys know I'm a big fan of the GNC's pre-workout, thermogenic drink, Pro-Sculpt. While a pre-workout supplement is not necessary, I personally feel that it helps take my workouts to another level. I have seen improvements in my physique prior to having Jada and after as well. Important: A pre-workout supplement alone will NOT do the work for you! But, in combination with a reasonable approach to eating and legit workouts, … [Continue reading]

His and Hers Workouts

Front Squat CrossFit

Ever since the new additions to our garage gym, we have been coming up with workouts to incorporate the equipment. And, because it was a Monday, I felt the need for my Reebok CrossFit compression tights (on sale)--sure to brighten any WOD. ;) We took advantage of an afternoon nap to complete a fast and furious workout together. Because our bumper plates are on the heavy side, I have to stick to different movements if I want to complete a higher number of reps. After a rowing 10 rounds … [Continue reading]

Pumpkin Pickin’! Curtis Orchard

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We spent the weekend together which is a real treat with Spencer's schedule. So, we decided to get to know the area better and visit Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch. Curtis Orchard is located in Champaign, IL and has FREE admission for all! Of course, once they get you in, you'll likely purchase something like fresh apples, pumpkins, apple cider, homemade preserves, or try a run at the corn maze. Jada loved the animals. No surprise there. Here, I had to hold her back from the … [Continue reading]