The Core of My Live Well 360 Bag! {Review}

LW20asign1abcdeI’m a fitness gadget-gear junkie. I love any and everything fitness related and more than likely I have it in my fitness arsenal: jump ropes, weights, resistance bands, running shoes, hair pins, hair ties (yes, they are very necessary)—you name it. I have a fitness bag, but it does not keep my belongings organized. I kept looking for a fitness bag to cater to my needs and I didn’t have any luck. That was until Live Well 360. Thank you Live Well 360 for providing me your CORE bag for review. This bag could not have arrived at a more perfect time!

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What I love about my Core Bag:

For starters–It truly is…”The Fitness Bag Reinvented”.  It’s so stylish, comfortable, and functional! I also love the beautiful, eggplant color. I’m back and forth from the gym and/or the pavement and being organized is a must. The Core bag has nine pockets, a vented shoe compartment, and a soft seatbelt shoulder strap for easy carrying.

Let’s get to the core of this bag!

Can we discuss this amazing shoe compartment? I knew it was a winner when it could store my Hokas! I love how my shoes are taking up space in the compartment and there is still room for other items.

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This bag seriously holds everything! This is what I packed for my workout(s) this week: gloves, iTouch, Bondi Band, RoadID, jump rope, sports drink, resistance bands, tights, extra shirt and jacket, hair ties, heart rate monitor, shoes—and everything had its own, special place.

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After a run or gym session, my clothes are usually soaked. I love that the Core bag has a vented compartment specifically for my sweaty gear and running shoes. There was still room after adding gym clothes to the compartment.

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Look how perfectly it fits into a gym locker!

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My Core bag will be the perfect travel companion for my upcoming marathon weekend. It’s sleek, TSA compliant, and the signature liner will keep me inspired while I’m on the go!

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It looks like Mickey and Minnie are ready for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend!

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Thank you again, Live Well 360 for providing me this amazing bag! With the holidays are right around the corner, a Live Well 360 bag will make the perfect holiday gift for the fitness enthusiast in your life! You may even want to reward yourself for all of the hard work you’ve done over this past year—you deserve it!

Check out Live Well 360’s current selection of bags (Tote, Core, Accel, Luxx)—and visit here to receive 15% off of your Live Well 360 purchase.

Follow the Swirl!

 

 

All opinions are my own.

 

 

Trying Something New While Rollin’ in the Deep (Trails)

Hey y’all! Update!

I have been consistent with running in the mornings, especially now that time has changed. I know a lot of people don’t like the time change, but I’m loving it! It has been very cold the past week and, of course, on my run days. I’m currently on week 10 of my training and I just wrapped up what Hal Higdon calls a “sorta-long run” with 7.8, then 4 miles. I have 15 miles scheduled for the weekend at some point when I’m ready to brave the cold. I have been using the 5:1 (Galloway) ratio and I like it. I have to remember on my long runs to take walk breaks because I’ll get in a groove and ignore my Garmin alerts. I’m definitely going to do a better job of staying on that!

Gear and Fueling

For the past few months I have been experimenting with different fuel, gear, etc. to see what will and will not be joining me on race day. I was using my CamelBak on my longs runs (which I love btw), but I wanted to try a different hydration system. This past spring, I found a 2-bottle hydration belt from TJMaxx, tried it out, but it didn’t quite work with these curves. Women with my kind of curves feel what I’m sayin’. I had my eye on the Nathan “Triangle”, but I really wanted the purple and pink. Since no one had the colors I wanted, I went to old-faithful, Amazon. I found it for $22.00 which was a lot less than in the stores. BAM!

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I also found out about Pickle Juice (PJ) Sports Drink through my running group’s recent educational series. I had pickle juice at mile 11 at the Magic City Half last year and loved it! Also, as a kid, I loved drinking pickle juice out of the jar before my Mom discarded it. I know I’m not the only one. According to the label, the sports drink has more electrolytes than regular sports drinks and it helps with muscle cramps. I rarely have cramps (thank God), but I know runners that swear by it. I’ll definitely keep it in my runner arsenal just in case.

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I ran into my friend, Leticia, a few mornings while getting my miles in! I enjoyed sharing the pavement with her, it made made those miles go by much faster.

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My first Long Run with Coach Lubbs! 

If you don’t know who Coach Lubbs is, he’s one of my friends. He’s from Kenya and I must mention, he’s an incredible runner. It’s in his blood. I admire and look up to him. I’m very appreciative of how encouraging and supportive he has been of me and my journey!

Now…let us take a selfie!

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 …and show off our Hoka One One’s! HOKA LOVE!

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Okay, now that we’re past the selfie, let me tell you about Coach Lubbs. He took me on a route with LOTS of rolling hills that I was NOT prepared for. So rude! lol I was pretty vocal about it too…and I will not dare type it on this post. I stopped complaining and looked at the brighter side—it was an opportunity to make me a better runner. Well…in this case, a better walker with those crazy hills! *side eyes*

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I have no idea how we got here! It was my understanding that Coach Lubbs knew exactly the route we were taking; but he actually made it up as we went. *side eyes again* However, I was happy that I found this trail. I frequent this trail from time to time, but from another entrance. We left the road to enter this beautiful portion of the sun-forest. I was happy to discover that it was one of the trails that I always wanted to explore, I just didn’t know where it led. I think I can grow to like this trail running thing.

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Then there’s this face. This is the face you make when your coach tries to take you more miles than what’s on your training for the day. I was supposed to run 13.1, but we ended up with 14 miles by the time we made it back to the start. That’s what happens when you go an unplanned route. *hmph* All I could think about was food!14 miler 2

 

After our long run we headed over to this cute, locally owned coffee shop called O’Henry’s (Coffees)! I have officially fallen in love with this place. It has a loft, country-rustic feel and it’s perfectly cozy for a post-run latte, relaxation, or just quiet time.  I had a bagel with a “skinny” Café Mocha…which was awesome by the way! If you’re in the Birmingham area or passing through, make sure you stop by one of their locations.

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Until next time…

 

 
 

Babalu Tacos & Tapas

A few months ago when I found out that Babalu Tacos & Tapas was coming to Birmingham, I didn’t know what to expect. However, when I glimpsed at their menu, I was in Foodie Heaven! I experienced pure amazement as I read each item from Aperitivos to Desserts! My plan was to go the Sunday after Magic City Classic, but I’m happy that my HB and I decided to wait. The anticipation made the experience totally worth it!

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Of course we had to start off with cocktails and appetizers! I went with the Baba-rita and my HB decided on the Praline Olé. Both drinks were recommended by the most awesome server on the planet, Massiel! I’m usually a frozen ‘rita girl, but the Baba-rita made me forget about the ice chips. As for my HB’s Praline Olé, it reminded me of a White Russian on a Holiday High! So yummy!

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Then there’s the freshly made, Table-side Guac (served with house chips)! We knew the guacamole must have been a hit because the servers donned shirts with sayings like, “Party like a Guac Star”! We added bacon to ours (which was a first). I thought my guacamole was the best, but the mastermind behind the batch we had may have mine beat! Just a little! :) It was so nice of our Guacamole Engineer to come out to our table to see how we enjoyed it! We LOVED it, Sir!

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I also wanted to try the Queso Blanco Dip, so what did I do? I ordered the Queso Blanco Dip! It came out on a sizzlin’ hot skillet and it was chEASILY delicious!

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It gets even better! I was having a hard time deciding between the Pollo Tacos and the Baba Burger. The tacos: house smoked Joyce Farms chicken, mole sauce, smoked corn pico de gallo, cotija cheese, and goat cheese crema. How can you top that? The burger: Aspen Ridge Natural Angus Beef, roasted roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, white cheddar cheese, avocado, applewood smoked bacon, chipotle aioli on a sweet, sourdough bun. Oh my word! So I asked Massiel which one he would suggest. The Burger WON! I added House Cut Thin Fries. The Baba Burger = HEAVEN on a bun! Seriously…this burger belongs on the Travel Channel’s: Hamburger Paradise! It was my first time having avocado on my burger instead of mayo and it was absolutely…AH-MAZEEEE! You know it’s good when you can’t get out the “zing” because you were left speechless!

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My HB ordered the Lamb Barbacoa Tacos (Rosen Farm all natural lamb shoulder, tzatziki sauce, cucumber-tomato salsa, and cotija). Although he loved his tacos, he wanted a burger too after tasting mine. He fell in love with the sweet, sourdough bun! It’s divine y’all!

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I’m the Queen of takeout so I made sure I had room for dessert! We decided on the Dessert Sampler which featured:

Dulce de leche cheesecake–Kahlua Caramel, Mexican chocolate sauce, powdered sugar

Cinnamon Bread Pudding–Kahlua caramel sauce, Patron XO Café Chantilly Cream, powdered sugar, sliced strawberry

I had a hard time picking a favorite, but there was something spectacular about the Cayenne Chocolate Truffles. The cayenne pepper was not overpowering and it intertwined well with the sweetness of the chocolate. The bite from the cayenne kept you wanting more. The sampler is perfect for two or for those who do not want to over-indulge. Sharing is caring!Babalu 7 - MPBB

This was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a long time. The prices, food, drinks, atmosphere–everything was amazing! Coming from the restaurant/service industry, you really appreciate great experiences like these. Babalu comes HIGHLY recommended and I look forward to dining there again soon. Thank you again, Massiel, for creating a wonderful dining experience for us!

 

 

 

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Natural “Hair-O-Ween” Inspired by Grace Jones

Grace Jones by Art

I’m a Hair Enthusiast! Hair…is just something that I love! I’ve always been a fan of fly, funky, and fun and can’t forget easy to manage. Every fall/winter I protective style with either braids, twists, or locs. Looking for some ideas for a Fall Festival? And guess what!? Even if you don’t “celebrate” Halloween, you can still dress up and have fun! Last year, I wanted to do something fun, but having my faux locs installed — I had no clue what. Then I came across Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey’s (Chescalocs) Natural Hair-O-Ween video where she collaborated with other naturals on YouTube. When I ran across Ambrosia Malbrough’s Grace Jones Hair-O-Ween tutorial, I said–that’s IT!  I absolutely love Grace Jones so I figured out a way to make her look work with my locs. This is not a tutorial (you can view the video below), but to show you the final result and inspire you with some ideas!

THE TRANSFORMATION!

I am none other than… Grace Jones, the “remarkably unchanged”, a true living legend, fashion icon, and FIERCE unequivocal beauty!

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Make-up: I made Ambrosia’s look my own, but used similar tones. Just have fun with it!

Face: MAC – Studio Fix “Fluid” NW46

Face: Ruby Kisses – 3D Face Creator – Level 8

Eyes: Coastal Scents (88 color palette) Shadow: darker shades for my eyes

Mascara: L’Oreal Carbon

Cheeks/Face:  Cover Girl – Ebony Bronzer

Lip Liner: Jaguar Luxury Cosmetics – Plum and Black

Lipstick:  Revlon – VaVa Violet with a hint of Cover Girl – Embrace

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View Ambrosia’s Grace Jones – Natural Hair-O-Ween Tutorial

Here are more videos from the Natural Hair-O-Ween Collab!

Niobe from the Matrix – http://youtu.be/ItXTKqbvFqg
Medusalocs – http://youtu.be/KwZnR7LnW3A
Tyra Banks – http://youtu.be/mEfeG5oRX24
Princess Lea from Star Wars – http://youtu.be/SmCvrLLKFK4
Janelle Monáe – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mpOH2…
Susi from Rugrats – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHfonl…
Grace Jones http://youtu.be/dbn77IQFvHE

 

Grace Sataya

ENJOY and HAPPY “HAIR-O-WEEN”!