Monday, June 29, 2009

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Primevera

Spaghetti Squash Florentine
4 pounds spaghetti squash (halved lengthwise)
1 cup part skim or nonfat ricotta cheese1
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
2 eggs (or equivalent egg substitute), beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (crushed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup nonfat mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce (I recommend those with less than 5g sugar perserving)
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese (shredded) (Do not use fat freemozzarella - it will not melt!)

STOVETOP: In 6-quart Dutch oven over high heat, in boiling water, cooksquash 20 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from water. Halve squashlengthwise; remove seeds.
MICROWAVE: Halve squash lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Place cut-side downon a microwave-safe dish and cook for about 20 minutes on HIGH or untilfork-tender, turning over once and covering with wax paper.Cool squash slightly and with a fork separate into strands. Set aside.Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach, eggs, andseasonings; mix well.
Spread evenly in a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spreadthe Parmesan and nonfat mozzarella cheeses over the spinach mixture.In a large bowl, combine the squash and spaghetti sauce; toss to coatwell. Arrange squash mixture on spinach mixture; top with the part skimmilk mozzarella cheese.Cover with foil; bake at 375° F. for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

Couponizer Giveaway Winner: #13: Blogger Mommyof2girlz said...

I follow :)

June 22, 2009 1:26 PM

EcoStore Giveaway Winner: #4: Blogger Tucan Samantha said...

I follow your blog (duh) :)

June 21, 2009 5:17 PM

Congratulations to the winners! Please email me within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected! Thanks for entering sure to enter my giveaways as they are posted!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Reminder of the awesome Couponizer and Ecostore giveaways currently going on... don't forget to enter... HERE!

Isabella Tuesdays

My Bella post of this week... not too much new with this busy girl this week. She spent yesterday morning at my friend Jessica's house since Grandma Becca was busy. Jessica has a 1 year old daughter, named Jasmine and they are great friends! It was so cute to see them playing together and Jessica does such a wonderful job taking care of the girls! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful friend! She made her fresh buckwheat pancakes for breakfast... which was new food to Bella, but she loved them!

Bella also met a Bosnian cousin this weekend- Semir who came to visit. He is related from Nana's side of the family. It was great to meet him!

I bought some fabric and props today too so that I can continue to practice my new found love for photography. I have been reading books on digital photography that I got from the library as well and plan on actually taking some formal 9 month portraits of Bella myself sometime this week. I'm excited already :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Motivation Monday!

Start the week off right, everyone!

What did you guys to motivate yourself today??

One thing I did to motivate myself today was eat a healthy breakfast. I always feel so much better when I start the day off right. This morning it was oatmeal, egg beaters and berries! Yum!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jerry's First Fathers Day

Today was Jerry's first Fathers Day as a Daddy. I am really taking up photography as another one of my hobbies and I really love it. Now that we have
a nicer camera, I am reading and learning as I go. Here are some moments I captured today. Enjoy :)

Couponizer Review and Giveaway!

You guys all know by now my new obsession with coupons and bargain shopping. Thanks to my friend Amy introducing me to the Grocery Game and many many other Moms around the blogging world, I don't go anywhere without a coupon these days! I get excited when we stop to get a soda even and I can pull out some savings from my purse ;) The only problem is that even with my cheap file folder that I've been using for organizing, I've found it to be overflowing and hard to manage every week. Its also big and bulky and expired coupons seem to hang out. Not to mention the fact that when I'm grocery shopping alone with Bella, she likes to try to steal all the coupons from me and eat them -- so needless to say-- sometimes sorting coupons in store is just not happening because fighting with her is not worth it!

So-- I was VERY excited to have the opportunity to experience the Couponizer for myself. This handy dandy item was created by a Mom of 3 who realized that busy Moms everywhere were sacrificing savings because of lack of time and organization. The Couponizer isn't only a coupon holder, but also an entire system to help us save money! I have to say the one thing I LOVE about the Couponizer is that its the perfect size-- it fits in my purse. It has pockets for everything you can imagine-- and not only groceries-- also entertainment, restaurants, rebates and more. There is also a sleeve for your receipts. The front of the Couponizer also has sleeves for your coupons that expire that month, to make sure you use them in time-- and then has the sleeves for coupons you intend to use during the shopping trip to help minimize sorting (aka Bella stealing) during the shopping trip.

The Couponizer also has a shopping list, carrying case AND small pair of scissors with it. It also features the patent pending Coupon Sorting cards-- which enables you to clip and sort faster and more efficiently when that Sunday paper arrives! I was pretty excited when I had the chance to try this product out and I have nothing but good things to say about it. No more shuffling, dropping coupons and wondering where to put my restaurant coupons when I have them. Now everything goes in ONE place and is always with me! Awesome!

The lovely founders of Couponizer have graciously offered one lucky Fitness & Family winner a FREE Couponizer! Yahoo! Are you excited?! You should be! To enter this contest, leave a comment and tell me why you would benefit from winning this couponizer. This entry is mandatory. You may win additional entries by any or all of the following:

1. Follow or Subscribe to my Blog
2. Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway (May tweet once/day--leave a comment for each tweet)
3. Add my blog button to your blog
4. Blog about this giveaway with a link back

This giveaway will end Sunday, June 28th at 12 NOON. A winner will be selected randomly using Open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck and happy commenting!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ecostore Giveaway!

I had the privilege of trying some products from a earth-friendly company, Ecostore, USA. EcoStore USA produces eco friendly, plant-based household cleaning products, as well as baby care and pet care products that are as effective as popular store brands but are made without any harmful chemicals. All Ecostore products are free of perfumes, dyes, free of sodium lauryl sulphate (a surfactant which is widely used in cleaning detergents and body care products), no phosphates, chlorine, ammonia or its derivatives, no parabens and no propylene glycol. To keep with their "green" ways, Ecostore products are also packaged in 100% recyclable materials—all the way with the packing box and paper that it came mailed in!

Now, I had the privilege of trying the baby wash as well as the pet shampoo myself. Both products arrived promptly after I was contacted by Ecostore, and came in easy to read and recyclable bottles. Both the baby care and pet care wash smell fresh but are not overpowering. Bella seemed to like the baby wash. And let me remind you that I am very picky about my baby skin care products. ONLY Arbonne has touched this baby's skin since she was born because she has very sensitive skin like her Mommy, and only the best for my little girl ;) But I highly recommend this baby wash. It was tearless, smelled fresh and free of all the harsh chemicals and toxins that I like to keep away from her!

The dog shampoo was also very fresh smelling and non-irritating to my two crazy dogs! Both products are very affordable as well. While most organic and completely green products tend to be a bit on the pricier side, the baby body/hair wash is only $10 for a bottle.

Ecostore, USA has decided to give away one lucky Fitness & Family winner a FREE product of their choice! To enter this giveaway, please visit and comment back here on what other product you would like to try other than the two mentioned in this review. Then to receive other entries, you may do any of the following—be sure to leave a comment for each entry. This contest will end on Sunday, June 28th at 12:00PM (NOON).

  1. Twitter about this giveway with a link back
  2. Add my blog button to your blog
  3. Subscribe or follow my blog
  4. Follow me on twitter
  5. Follow Ecostore on twitter

Happy commenting and good luck!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday: Recipe Share

Today's weight loss Wednesday post is all about low calorie dessert options. I am sharing a recipe that I threw together yesterday. Turned out yummy! I have always had quite the sweet tooth---and many of these options are 100 calories or less and help keep things in control!

Here is a recipe for mini-banana loaves

1.25cups of whole wheat flour
1/4c of vanilla whey protein powder
1/2c canned pumpkin
2-3 mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup splenda or sweetner of choice
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
*Optional: chocolate chips and/or walnuts (I didn't add these, but I bet it would be super yummy..)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together and spread between 4 sprayed mini loaf pans. Bake for about 40 minutes. Cool. Take out of mini loaf pans and cut loaves into thirds. Makes 7 servings. (Serving size is 2 slices--depending on if you add nuts or chocolate-- macros will vary. I didn't, so it was only about 150 calories per 2 slices!)

Other low calorie dessert options that are quick/easy...

*Sugar Free/Fat Free JELLO Pudding-- if you want to make it more filling, Mix a pudding snack (or 1/2c of the homemade kind) with 1/2c of canned pumpkin and add some cinnamon. ...super yummy, under 100 calories and has good fiber!)
*Sugar Free/Fat Free JELLO Gelatin (only 10 calories per serving)
*Skinny Cow Ice Cream Treats (100-150 calories each)
*1 cup of frozen berries (70 calories) topped with some light cool whip

These are only a few. Not the "cleanest" but they help get rid of the cravings and are quick, easy and low calorie! What are some of your favorite low calorie sweet treats?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Isabella Tuesdays

This week life continues to be eventful with Bella. Her teeth are coming in like crazy! She got her bottom 2 teeth at 4 months old, but then she didn't get any others until 2 weeks ago. Now we have 6, with more already budding below the gums. Apparently, she is getting ready to eat steak! haha!

With teething, it has brought an increase in fussiness-- waking more in the middle of the night again which has made a sleepier Mommy and Daddy. She is a trooper though, and really is a great baby. We just aren't used to her getting up once she goes to sleep anymore. Usually Bella is out for the count from 7:30/8pm until 7:30/8am. She's been sleeping 11-12 hours solid at night since mid-January, which has been WONDERFUL! So anyway, we are muddling through the teething business.

She REALLY wants to walk. She stood unassisted for about 10 seconds on Friday before she freaked herself out and fell over, haha. She continues to pull up and cruise on the furniture. Her Mimi and Grandpa went to Saugatuck this past weekend and brought her back some goodies including these cute little Robeez shoes that she likes to practice stepping in while holding our hands.

Bella also had her first swimming pool experience this weekend. We filled up the baby pool in the backyard and put her in her cute little swimsuit! She was ADORABLE! I think she liked it, but I also think she thought we were bringing her bath outside and was confused, ha!

I can honestly say that I do think she has favored me a bit this week. The way she looks into my eyes-- it literally melts my heart. I would do anything for this little girl.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Motivation Monday

Hello all and Happy Monday! I decided to dedicate my Monday posts to motivation. Mostly because I never feel like I have anything interesting to write about on Mondays, and also because I've discovered that Mondays often decide how the week is going to turn out for most of us. If we can get motivated to do something, anything, on Monday-- then suddenly the whole week is better. I find that this goes for exercise, diet, work, cleaning around the house -- even something as small as drinking enough water. If I get a good start on the week-- Monday-- then the rest of the week has a better chance. However, if I put myself aside on Mondays, don't get a workout in, let the dishes pile up, or drink more diet coke than I should-- the week just isn't as great.

So here's the deal... each Monday, lets start motivating each other. I don't care if it has to do with fitness or not. In fact, all topics are welcome :) Need some motivation to clean your toilets? How about to balance your checkbook? Lets help each other out!

My motivation of the day is going to be the obvious one. Make time to exercise on Mondays. Have you gotten yours in yet? I haven't yet... but thats only because I have been at work since 4:45 this morning.> But it will get done! I always work a very long day on Mondays-- 12 hours. 6am-6pm. However, I know that if I don't get a workout in on Monday, the rest of the week I will feel like crap. So I block out 2 hours from 12-2 to workout. Its usually a short one, since I have to workout, eat and shower all in 2 hours-- but I get it done. And I feel so much better! Whats on your card today? Tell me what your exercise plan is today.

For me... I only worked a half day today because I was down a sitter this afternoon for Bella. So the plan is to go to the gym around 5pm and do 30 minutes on the step mill and a total body workout and be home in time for dinner with Jerry :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Crockpot Carrots

Put all of these ingredients in crockpot and cook for 4-6 hours.. TADA! No more boring veggies!!

Serving size: 1 cup

1 32oz bag baby carrots
1tbsp brown sugar
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp whipped light butter
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
2 tbsp low sugar apricot preserves

Optional: nutmeg, pepper

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bella Update

The latest on Isabella this week is that she is officially a Houdini baby! Jerry and I decided to do some major baby proofing last weekend ,since this kid is EVERYWHERE. She is a crawling maniac-- going at lightening speed from one room to the other; she is cruising on all of the furniture and pulling up on everything and anything. So we got a good baby gate (Summer Secure Fit) and some foam padding to put in the living room so she can safely play and fall and not give her self multiple concussions. Works great! Well... until you put her in the "baby jail" for a minute by herself. I did this yesterday and went to answer the door-- I was gone 1 minute. Came back, and there was Bella, outside the baby g
ate... standing on the bottom of the stairs-- looking at me. How on EARTH?! I thought to myself. The baby gate looked exactly how I had left it. I was completely perplexed. So I put her back in the "baby jail" closed the little door and left the room. Off she went, crawling (or should I say FLYING) towards the door to follow me...and stood up and pushed with all her super baby strength until the door popped open and 

she was FREEEEE! Here I am thinking my baby is a genius. Ha. Good thing Jerry showed me when he got home that the baby gate door has an additional latch that if I make sure its locked, she really can't push the door free. So that fixes that, except then today, I spent the day with a pissy Bella because she couldn't push the door open. Haha.

We also have 6 teeth now. 6! Holy Cow! Where did those come from?! Apparently, she is ready for steak ;)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

Its that time again! My tip this week is this... 

Weight loss and/or maintenance should be a lifestyle change, not a diet. Sure, a "diet" will work temporarily, but what happens when you don't want to keep getting those meals delivered to your door? Or you start eating bread again? Or you have a birthday party to attend? Life happens. Its going to happen. So make lifestyle changes that you don't give up on. Trust me, I know from experience! :)

Yogaglow Review

Yogaglo Review


Do you guys like Yoga? Do you find it hard to find time to do your yoga or don't belong to a gym to go to a good class? I was contacted recently by a company, Yogaglo about their new website that has recently been launched. Yogaglo offers live classes via the internet that you can do in the privacy of your own home or work, with workout lengths varying from 5 minutes to 1 hour. All levels are welcome and many different styles are available as well—from traditional basic yoga poses, to Vinyasa Flow and Yin (two styles that I gave a try). All of the instructors are certified and the classes are coming to you from the beautiful Santa Monica, California.


Yogaglo offers unlimited yoga classes via the internet for a low fee of $18/month with classes free of advertising and a good quality video. Yogaglo is also a great company; they donate 5% of their profits to their non-profit partners and to unite the global yoga community and to help others with regular practice. The instructors of Yogaglo are well spoken and easy to understand instruction; they have a passion for the practice of yoga and what it can do for your body, mind and spirit.


I had the opportunity to try this website out myself and I have nothing but good things to say about it. I admit that I don't do yoga and meditation as much as I probably should, but I will never doubt the good things it can do for you! I really enjoyed the Vinyasa Flow style—it was very challenging and I found it useful that I could do it in as little as 5 minute increments just to get some stretching and deep breathing in throughout my day! I found these little segments invigorating and re-energizing. For busy moms, this is perfect. For advanced atheletes—we need to put more of this practice into our routines. For normal yoga-goers, this site is a great resource and an affordable choice.


Check it out for yourself at Yogaglo

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Drugstore Deals around town:)

The drugstore deals around town this week in terms of "healthier items" were definitely limited... but here they are...

Walgreens is offering $5 off a purchase of $25 or more by using the coupon here **This coupon is only good for 2 days through June 11th 

Healthier Walgreens deals this week:
*Jello: 59 cents after you use the in-ad coupon; .26 if you also use the $1/3 coupon from the last month

Healthier CVS deals:
Kellogg's Cereal-- B1G1; buy 2 cereals at $3.59 and use 2 $1/1 coupons from RP and you can get them for 80 cents a box

Special K Deal at Target this week

Thanks to Money Saving Mom that let me know about this great deal on Special K items at Target this week, and Special K is on the healthier side.. so be sure to check it out! Its a Buy 2, Get 1 free deal with crackers and cereal. Check out the deal here.

Thanks Money Saving Mom!! 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fitness in the Economy ...

The economy today is something that is affecting each and every one of us. Bargain shopper, grocery gamer or muti-millionaire, there is no doubt that you have complained in the past year in some way about the economy. Jerry and I are definitely in that crowd. Those of you that know us well know that Jerry lost his job suddenly in 2007, and he was the high income earner between the two of us. He was without a job for 14 months. That definitely hurt us. We were lucky enough to have savings to help keep our house for the meantime while he looked for another job. It took a very LONG time to find something... and the economy kept getting worse! He loves his job now and has been there about a year now, but this job has also given us a hefty decrease in our incoming funds due to a much lower salary than before.

Fast forward to a couple years and a baby later  and here we are... still struggling a bit. Its definitely not easy most days and we do the best we can. I work as much as I can and thank my lucky stars everyday that we have wonderful parents that help take care of Bella. Jerry works hard and keeps his fingers crossed for a raise once this economy recovers. And here I am, working in a field that I absolutely love, but of course, is seen as an extra expense to most families instead of a necessity when budgets are tight. So how is the fitness world doing you might be wondering??

Well, luckily, people still care about their health. Companies are still paying for fitness memberships and may even pay for personal trianing and nutrition coaching (yup, I actually got a client today whose services are being paid for by her work...). We are also creative in the industry. Paid classes are one of those new trends. We have come up with these smaller paid classes in which participants pay per class a smaller fee, like $10-15 per class to have a kick-butt session with a certified trainer. These classes vary in format from boot camp style, stroller classes, strength based, Zumba, to yoga/pilates. Most of them should be different from a regular group fitness class in that they should provide more personal 1:1 attention, accountability and motivation for you (since you are paying for it...) and in my classes, more focus is put on form/technique than in my group classes so you feel like you are getting more f a group personal training session at a fraction of the cost. I still make a living, my clients are happier because they are saving money and yet they are still able to train and feel good. Its a win-win situation. What do you think of these types of classes? What types of classes are in your area?

Those of you in the Indianapolis area, here are my 2 fee based classes currently being offered to anyone wanting to come! 

Push-It! Baby Bootcamp-- Stroller based class: Every Thursday 9:30AM-10:30AM $50/5 classes (classes focus on core, stability and cardio conditioning... as well as gives you a social outing with the kids!)

Push-It! Group Strength Training- Mondays at 6:45AM and Tuesdays 6:45PM at PUSH! Fitness for Women.. cost is $12/class in a package of 6 for $72 (these classes last 1 hour and are intense! I fill a room, so I limit my class size to 8 people to assure my clients are getting tons of attention. We work your ENTIRE body!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Body LIfe Works Giveaway Winner!

CONGRATULATIONS to my Body Life Works Giveaway winner... GINA !! Please Contact Me via email ( to get started! Thanks everyone for entering and keep posted for future giveaways!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Body Life Works GIVEAWAY...

Just a reminder that the Body Life Giveaway ends tomorrow 6/4 at 9am!! Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to win a free summer shape up plan... no excuses this time!!

Comment here... don't forget to leave a seperate comment for each entry!

Weight Loss Wednesday

Weight Loss Wednesday ....

My tip of the week: Find an activity that you enjoy. Exercise should be fun or you won't stick to it. I like variety, so I tend to enjoy group fitness classes, spinning, doing something with someone else and changing up my weights routine frequently. This keeps me interested and keeps me coming back for more!

Anyone got a tip to share this week?

Also... check out my interview over on Mama Notes today~! Samantha has an awesome blog for parents! Check her out!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Isabella Tuesdays

So I've decided that every Tuesday will be my Isabella update for the week to make it more organized on here! So here goes....

*She is a crawling MANIAC. You really have to be careful now because she darts out of the room in a second and always finds her way to loose cords, electronic devices and electrical outlets. It doesn't matter how many baby toys you put in front of her, the other stuff is always more interesting!

*She is MUCH less interested in purees now and wants to feed herself. There was about a week where all we could get her to eat were Cheerios and the Gerber Puffs snacks. Luckily, she has gone back to enjoying her oatmeal & banana in the morning and I've given her more chunky food and that seems to make her happier.

*She had a very busy social calendar this past weekend! Saturday we went to Anastasia's blessing ceremony and Sunday was Jasmine's first birthday party. Bella was a trooper and partied during her afternoon naptime without a fuss. :)

*She a big fall on Sunday and scared the crapola out of me! She fell backwards while pulling to stand on the wood floor, something she's done a million times, but she screamed like she's never screamed before! Then she got so upset, she got sick twice. We got worried and called the doctor-- but luckily she is just fine! The first of many boo-boos I suppose....

*The top two teeth are now through as well, thank God~~!

*She melts my heart. We played a mean game of peek-a-boo last night in her room around her crib. She was laughing histarically as I hid behind one side of her crib, then popped out. Jerry was cracking up too...she was even leaning over looking for me :)

Its amazing seeing her learn, grow and explore everyday. I love her more than I could ever imagine loving someone.

BKD Designs