Year in Review: 2013

It’s been over 3 weeks since my last post. I know because my life is lived in weeks these days as I tick off the time left until the arrival of Baby Dos (18 to go! Well over halfway there). As I reflect on this last year, I’m blown away by the huge amount of changes I experienced in just 365 days. Although my committment to improve my health by losing weight and upping my nutrition efforts started last November of 2012, the most dramatic changes didn’t take effect until 2013. Here are my biggest achievements I accomplished this year:

1. Joined Weight Watchers and learned what real portions should look like and how to manage my hunger with balanced meals and good hydration.

First WW milestones: 25 lbs lost and 10% body weight lost
First WW milestones: 25 lbs lost and 10% body weight lost

2. Lost over 40 pounds before getting pregnant (which is almost halfway to my goal of losing 82 lbs!)


3. Lowered my cholesterol by 40 points! BMI dropped by 8 points and overall, the physical I had in late May 2013 showed vast improvements.


4. Dropped 2 dress sizes and I am out of plus sizes in most stores, including maternity! (this is a huge one for me!)

First pair of maternity pants from 1st pregnancy vs. new, non-plus sized maternity jeans.
First pair of maternity pants from 1st pregnancy vs. new, non-plus sized maternity jeans.

5. Attended FitBloggin’ 13 where I met the coolest Fitbloggers on the planet, explored Portland, OR, met great vendors and live blogged a session.

Top Left: Meredith from; Top Right: Kelly from; Bottom Left: Margo Porras from; Bottom Right: Brooke from
Top Left: Meredith from; Top Right: Kelly from; Bottom Left: Margo Porras from; Bottom Right: Brooke from
Om nom nom nom
Om nom nom nom

photo (23)

Me on a JumpSport Trampoline!
Me on a JumpSport Trampoline!

6. Fell in love with exercise, particularly running. I ran my very first 5K race (ran the whole thing!) and attempted a 10K.

My first 5K: Color Run Chicago!
Pretty Muddy Run 5K
photo (32)
Not Fast Just Fabulous Virtual 5K (first run while pregnant)
I wasn't kidding about this bump, y'all.
Perfect 10K Chicago
Hey nutritionist lady, I got my veggies in.
Hey nutritionist lady, I got my veggies in (icing that sore knee after 10K!)

So. To say the least, it was an epic year! And I’ve rewarded myself with a much-needed vacation these last 2 weeks. I’ve done nothing but soak up the sun and ocean with my family in Puerto Rico, sleep in, and hold my little family close during our time off before we go back to our hectic lives as full-time employees and parents. 2014 has nothing but exciting new things in store for Casa Unfluff including the birth of our second child and a much healthier postpartum transition to look forward to. Oh! And did I mention, it’s a boy this time? Yup! We can’t wait to meet him in May.

Hola from Puerto Rico!
Measuring my belly
Our little announcement
Our little announcement
Couldn't resist these outifts. He's gonna have so much swag!
Couldn’t resist these outfits. He’s gonna have so much swag!

Until then, it’s back to the hard work of staying healthy and fit while I continue to grow this little guy and prepare for my time off for most of the summer. What are you looking forward to in 2014??

❤ M.


Things That Are Awesome Right Now


That’s me blowin’ the dust off this blog. I know, I know. I got more content comin’ atcha in the next few weeks don’t worry. Shout out to those still reading this bad boy! You rock my socks.

So here are some things that are awesome right now:

1. My latest before and after picture showing about a 44 pound weight loss!

finally made me a watermark! no steal my photos crazy diet pillz people…

2. This meme that captures my fitness life right now in a digital nutshell


3. My latest fitness plan: 4 weeks of 10K training! Using my favorite 30 day plan calendar. I’m 6 days in and it’s rough but I always like having a plan!

photo (31)

The countdown is on! I’m less than a month away from the Chicago’s Perfect 10 race! 6.2 glorious miles along Chicago lakefront starting at Navy Pier! I hope I can run the whole thing but if not, I’ll be happy just to finish. It’ll be my first spinny medal…”oooooo”…after that, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next but I have a few ideas I’ll be happy to share once I knock this bad boy out of the way.

So those are a few of my awesome things right now. How about you? What’s your latest non-scale victory or overall plan for awesome?

❤ M.

I Won A Liebster Award So Check Out These Blogs!


The lovely Amber from The Fit Life With Amber nominated me for a Liebster Award last week! Thanks lady! Not one to break rules, I shall now go over what it means to win a Liebster Award.

I’m stealing this little tidbit from Amber, why do all the work twice? After doing a little research she learned that “the word Liebster is a German word for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.  The award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  The idea of the reward is to help new bloggers build a community and to connect with other bloggers!”

Once a blogger is nominated, the blogger must complete the following:

1) Acknowledge the nominating blogger

2) Share 11 random facts about yourself

3) Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you

4)  List 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers from what you can tell!  They should be bloggers you believe deserve a little recognition and some blogging love!

5) Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominated.

6) Tell the 11 bloggers you nominated (no nominating the blogger who nominated you)!

11 things about me:

  • Nachos are my favorite food group. Obviously I aim to stay away from them more often now but they are my number one cheat food.
  • When I was pregnant, I craved Pizza Hut pepperoni pan pizza all.the.time.
  • My sister and I have the same middle name, Cristina. She was 11 when I was born and she wanted us to share something special
  • When I was in the 3rd grade, I acquired a hamster I named Cilantro. I lost him in our house for about a week only to find him scratching around inside our couch, hungry but unharmed.
  • I got through half the Babysitters Club books in one summer when I was 11.
  • My favorite movie growing up was Hocus Pocus, now it’s Anchorman
  • One of my best friends in high school and I learned the entire lunch room dance sequence in Superstar
  • The longest running crush I have ever had was and is still on Paul Rudd. I’m a sucker for black hair and light eyes on a dude
  • I have a tattoo on my lower back, to the right (technically NOT a tramp stamp). I drew it up myself!
  • I wrote a Telenovela-like play for our Latino Culture show in college. I was also the lead which required that I wear a nun costume.
  • I’m obsessed with watching What Not to Wear, Bridezillas and Girl Code. Which is probably why it’s better that we don’t have cable.

Questions from Amber:

1. If you could do any job in the world, what would you do?

I want to have Sammantha Brown’s job from the travel channel. She gets to scope out hotels and resorts all over the world.

2. What is your favorite place to vacation?

Where I’m from: Puerto Rico!

3. What is your favorite TV show?

Girl Code

4. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

An otter! Seriously, why are they so cute?

5. What is your go to work out?

Running 2 miles. Although if my gym had a stairmaster, it would be that.

6. If you had to choose, college football or NFL? Why?

College football because FOREVER GO BLUE!

7. Early bird or Night owl?

Shockingly, early bird now.

8. What is your favorite food?

Two words: Na. Chos.

9. List one thing one your bucket list.

Visit Spain

10. What is your favorite restaurant to eat out at?

Cafe Iberico here in Chicago (tapas)

11. Do you have any pets? If so, what kind of pets do you have?

Does a toddler count? No? Ok, well then no, no pets.


11 bloggers that I nominate!

1. Biggest Girl in the Ballroom 

Questions for bloggers nominated:

1. If you were a vending machine, what would you sell and why? (Could be anything)

2. What is your fondest childhood memory?

3. What is your favorite book from your childhood?

4. What is your favorite book now as an adult?

5. What is your favorite unhealthy to healthy recipe (example: skinny mac and cheese)?

6. Do you have a favorite method for losing weight/working out? What is it?

7. Star Trek or Star Wars?

8. If you were a vegetable, which one would you be and why?

9. What is the best vacation you ever went on?

10. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would your first purchase be?

11. Why do you blog?

If you are nominated, just know that you’ve made a pretty awesome impact on me and you’ve inspired me to keep writing and learning amazing things. Happy sharing!

Friend Makin’ Monday!

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Have You Ever?

Hey Unfluffers! In an effort to make sure I am absolutely all up in this blog bloggin’ it up, I’m going to get on board the Friend Makin’ Monday train that is awesomely coordinated by the fantastic Kenlie of All The Weigh! It’s not the first time I’ve done a survey like this on on here and it won’t be the last. What a fun way to get to know other bloggers!

friend makin mondays

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Have You Ever?

1. Jumped out of an airplane?  Heck no and you can’t make me!

2. Lived alone?  No, actually. I’ve always been curious though but I can barely get through a day without mancakes and now babycakes.

3. Met a celebrity? Sadly, no. And I live in Chicago where there are some around…

4. Said something to someone that you immediately regret saying? Yes.

5. Had a manicure/pedicure? It’s been a while but yes.

6.  Gotten a hickey? Guilty as charged.

7. Owned a pet that was not a dog or a cat?  Yes! A hamster named Cilantro.

8. Been outside of your home country?  Yes, what up Mexico!

9. Kissed your best friend? I’m almost positive I have, Liz? In college at some point, yes?

10. Eaten food that fell on the floor?  5 second rule y’all!

11. Met someone online? Yes

12. Been on TV? Yes! At Fibloggin’ actually! Boot camp made the news, what what!

13. Had braces? Nope! I’m one of the lucky ones 😉

14. Gone skinny dipping?  Nope.

15. Been to the opera? Yes, La Traviata in junior high

16. Been caught making out by a policeman?  Nope cause I’m stealthy like that.

17. Sung in public? Yes, I used to think I could sing when I was in high school so I wrote a song for my church youth group. Fun times…

18. Handed out candy on Halloween? Oh yes!

19. Been snowed in? Yes, the winter I was pregnant was also the worst blizzard Chicago had seen since the 70’s. My brother in law was one of the unlucky few who spent a solid 12 hours in his car on Lake Shore Drive.

20. Fallen in front of other people? Yes!

21. Cheated on a test? Once in the second grade. Them desks with the slots for your supplies make it easy! Spelling is hard when you’re 7 years old.

22. Regretted saying “I love you” to someone? No, never. If I say it, it’s because I mean it.

23. Finished a meal in a restaurant and realized that you didn’t have your wallet? Yes, thankfully with friends and not all by myself!

24. Shot a gun? Nope, I have 0 interest in doing that.

25. Heard a song that was written for (or about) you? Mancakes sings his original songs to me all the time. Usually written to the beat of current Top 40 hits. I’m such a lucky girl 😀

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back here and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday, friends!

Ready to Get FitBlogged!

I am giddy with excitement! I’m at the airport right now waiting for my flight to Portland to attend my first FitBloggin Conference!

After over a month of anticipation and getting to know the other attendees through the Facebook group, I can’t wait to start putting faces to blog names and Twitter handles! So many FitBloggers have commented on how they can’t wait to spend time with our people. Look at me, I have a new set of people! I can only imagine how much energy and excitement there will be when we stuff a hotel full of people who live their weight loss and fitness journeys out online. Talk about extra version overload!

I’m also ecstatic about checking out a new city like Portland! Professionally, I haven’t had too many opportunities to go to conferences outside of Illinois so this is a big deal for me. I’ve watched mancakes get a chance to attend conferences and be hired out as a facilitator for universities and although the travel and the work is exhausting, he gets a lot out of those experiences and he grows more in his expertise and exposure to new ideas every time. For me to have an event I can go to each year (when I can afford it!) to learn more about how to grow my passion for writing and health and fitness is not just exciting, it’s important. Now granted, the schedule for this week calls for working out like a mad woman too but I have no doubt it will be good, sweaty fun.

So here’s to you FitBloggers! I’m excited to meet all of you and establish new friendships across the blogosphere. I feel as though I will finally get roped into orbit with you which will make my little blog feel more connected to bigger and greater things. And in case you’re looking for me today, I’ll attach a selfie for ya. I plan on rocking my new-found side braid obsession for most of the conference!


❤ M.


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Race Recap: The Color Run Chicago 2013

20130616-190529.jpgOh my! I’ve been so caught up with other stuff this week I forgot to give you a race recap of my very first 5K ever! Well, I take that back. I walked Race for A Cure a few years ago but this is the first time I have ever prepped to run a race.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with my girlfriends/sorority sisters for what I would call a running/walking party. The Color Run is an untimed race in which you agree to be doused in heavily pigmented powder while you move about the course. The race pack includes a white t shirt, a white sweatband embroidered with “Color Runner” on it, a “The Color Run” tattoo, race bib and your very own packet of color. Mine was orange. Since my bestie Liz picked up my race pack for me, I’m stealing her picture of what it all looked like.

We agreed to meet up before the race on Sunday morning and head over together as a group. Preparations for the start line included checking out people’s white or rainbow tutus, saying hi to the group who chose to dress up as white unicorns, and prepping our faces with our tattoos which only ended up working out the best on me as tatting it up on the street does not guarantee a clean tat-to-skin transfer.

It was a gorgeous day but even at 8 in the morning it was already hot! I have never run in more than 76 degrees so it was a first for me. The race took place entirely downtown, with most of Congress shut down from Balbo to Randolph. This was probably the best thing about the race, getting to run in the middle of downtown Chicago with skyscrapers on one side and Lake Michigan on the other! Beautiful if I do say so myself!


What an awesome view from the train on the way in!

As our wave started, i was really excited to get going. I also realized i was pretty serious about this whole running thing. A lot of people, including my friends walked this bad boy out but i was determined to run as much as i could. This proved to be difficult because every half mile or so there was a color station in which volunteers stood around barrels full of color powder and doused you with it. People went nuts over these stations, begging to get coated, throwing powder at friends and on themselves. Some even went as far as getting on the ground to make color dust angels. But i was not having any of it, i tried moving through the stations as quickly as i could, covering my face with my shirt to avoid inhaling the stuff (note to self: next time wear a bandana on the face). Despite the stations that forced me to walk through, i only voluntarily walked for 2 minutes just a little ways away from the finish. Like i said, it was really hot and my body was asking me to take it easy and not kill myself over a casual, untimed run. I should have brought a small bottle of water with me in my converted purse-fanny pack. I have no idea what my time was, my running apps couldn’t get gps in the area but it looked like i finished in about 40 minutes which is the pace i had been keeping on my own.

owder but it looked like everyone had a really good time! I would do it again, but maybe make a few adjustments like something to cover my nose and mouth from the powder and also a much more creative running outfit! The color powder really follows you around though! It’s still on my shoes, I had to loofah my entire body when I got home and me, mancakes and babycakes all produced blue and green boogers until Tuesday. Ewwwww.

Overall, it was a blast and I would maaaaybe do it again. I will say that if you’re looking for a fun run with your kids, this is it!

❤ M.


Time Out: It’s Survey Time!

I’m sure you would love to see another rambling about how I think bacon, nachos and cake skinny recipes, working out and water are awesome but I think it’s time we take a break. Yes? Yes! I cam across this fun survey, kind of like the ones we used to do as kids in school. Sidenote: do kids use paper and pens anymore? I don’t even know… Also, this makes me want to play a round of MASH <–raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about.

I found this one on The Introverted Brunette while googling About Me surveys (cuz that’s what I do in my spare time). It’s an ABC survey and I think it’s just a fun way to get to know me more and I invite you to play along if you’d like. You can choose any letter on the survey and give your answer in the comments. C’mon, it’ll be fun! Pinky swear.

A – Age: 27 today, 28 on June 24th!

B – Bed size: Queen

C – Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathroom. Clean yourself, bathroom!

D – Drink of choice: Lately, my alcoholic drink of choice has been a vodka collins. I’m really into light, crisp and citrusy.

E – Essential start to your day item: COFFEE.

F – Favorite color: It varies. I’m really into green and blue right now.

G – Gold or Silver: White gold. Boom!

H – Height: 5’6″

I – Instruments you play(ed): I played the clarinet for one year in middle school.

J – Job: Graduate Enrollment Advisor

K – Kids: 1 very brave and feisty 2 year old named Gabriela. a.ka. babycakes

L – Living arrangements: Ummm…with mancakes and babycakes?? I thought that might be implied….

M – Mom’s name: Blanca <– love it!

N – Nicknames: Mari and mancakes calls me Sexy Face Ladypants on the interwebs.

O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Aside from my own birth it was the birth of my child and when mancakes had surgery a few years back.

P – Pet Peeve: not using hashtags properly. for example: “this rain makes me crazy!” #chicago weather sucks <– no spaces in between words!!!! #chicagoweathersucks <–correct. you’re welcome.

Q – Quote from a movie:? “I love scotch! Scotch, scotch, scotch!” – Anchorman

R – Right or left handed: Right handed

S – Siblings: One older sister and one older brother. I’m the youngest by 11 and 9 years, respectively.

T – Time you wake up: Supposedly 5 a.m. to workout. Lately, 6 a.m.

U- Underwear: Yes? I..I don’t know how to answer this.

V – Vegetable you dislike: Um…I don’t think I dislike any really….I’m training myself to like beets and kale more because they are very different in taste. Black olives I don’t care for but I don’t even think that’s a vegetable right? Is that a fruit?

W – What makes you run late: Forgetting things. I’m always forgetting things.

X – X-rays you’ve had: In kindergarten, a patio table landed on my ankle so that’s 1. Broke my pinky finger in the 1st grade, that’s 2. Sprained my ankle in high school, that’s 3. Four years ago, I swallowed a fish bone and got it lodged in my tonsil so that makes 4.

Y – Yummy food you make: I make a mean pot of Puerto Rican habichuelas (pink beans). And PB2, banana, spinach smoothies.

Z – Zoo favorite: Otters. Whyaretheysocute!?