Art’s Holiday Favorites & Wishlist!

Christmas is right around the corner! Are you getting excited? I sure am! I love this time of year for so many reasons.


Everyone has a list of holiday favorites. Here are a few of mine!

  • The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection, A Soulful Christmas, and the Chipmunks Christmas Carols are my favorite tunes to listen to this time of year! The Chipmunks make you feel like a kid again while the Motown/Soulful Christmas albums bring back memories of my Mom and Dad dancing and singing to songs like “Gee Wiz It’s Christmas” and “This Christmas”.
  • A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Sound of Music, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) are just a few of my favorite movies. I know there are many more!
  • I recently found a Peppermint Chocolate version of my favorite egg nog, Evan Williams Egg Nog. Disclaimer: You must be of legal drinking age to consume. Drink responsibly. It’s deliciously, smooth and the perfect addition this time of year. Peppermint Bark, Peppermint Mocha coffee, K-cups, and/or creamer are also a must! Clearly, I have an obsession with anything minty and chocolatey this time of year! Well, really anything sweet. Can you blame me?  It’s the holidays! Check out my favorite holiday edition brownies here. ‘Tis the Season!


  • Giving Back! The Angel Tree is a great way to help bring joy and hope into the life of a child for Christmas!
  • Footed Adult Jammies! I absolutely love my footed jammies or what some call “onesies”. It’s so comfie and every adult needs one.
  • Elf on the Shelf! Where were these cute, little elves when I was growing up? I’m not a parent (yet), but Elf on the Shelf is such a fun way to bring Christmas cheer into the lives of everyone! My nephews received their first visit this year from their friend, Arnie the Elf! I love the fact that they chose to name him after me. So cute! Every time I see pictures of the shenanigans that Arnie is up to, I literally burst out into laughter! As you can see, Arnie is demanding a piggy-back ride from Ninja Turtle Mikey.




This year I didn’t really have a holiday “wishlist”. To be honest, Christmas came early for me. Don’t get me wrong, I can always think of something that I would like. Does winning the Mega Millions count? I would surely take a winning in a heartbeat! If I had to choose something, it would have to be a heating foot and calf massager . After my workouts and runs, my legs need a good massage. The foam roller does a great job, but it would be so much nicer if I could just sit back, relax and enjoy. I saw one at Brookstone retailing for $599.00. Yikes! Then, I went to Amazon and found this Kendal Shiatsu brand and loved the price so much more. It had great reviews too. Here’s one similar. I didn’t have time to really test one out, so I will definitely do that before committing to adding it to my list.




That’s about it! Do you have any holiday favorites, recipes, traditions? Don’t forget to check out my Live Well 360 fitness bag review here, and save 15% on your purchase. What’s on your holiday wishlist? Share them!


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Asian-Inspired “Crack Slaw”

Crack-Slaw-heaader-2aFirst off, let me say how amazing this quick meal is! I grabbed it from Francelina, also known as Francy from NBC’s The Biggest Loser’s, Instagram. I had to do a double-take (and laugh out loud) when I read the name of this dish. Please know, I didn’t come up with the name, so have a little levity and enjoy it. It’s delicious! With a little Asian-inspiration, this easily became a Chef Artie Cakes favorite. This meal is totally healthy and low-carb.

Recipe! “Crack Slaw” (Asian-Inspired)

For Weight Watchers:  Servings: 6      Size: about 1 cup slaw   •   Points Plus: 5


  •  1 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 14 to 16 oz bag coleslaw mix (green/red cabbage + carrot mixture)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded white or red onions
  • 10 green onions, sliced (save some for garnishing)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp thinly, sliced ginger
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp agave, honey, stevia — optional
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos (natural sodium)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsps sriracha (add more for garnishing)

Art’s Version:

  1. Brown lean ground beef in skillet, add salt and pepper (you won’t need much, you’ll add sodium later), set aside.
  2. In a wok or a large pot, saute slaw mix, minced garlic, green onions, regular onions,  carrots, ginger, and garlic powder for about ten minutes over medium heat or until cabbage is softened but still slightly crisp.
  3. Add liquid aminos, sesame oil, cooked lean ground beef, sesame seeds, sriracha, vinegar and stevia and mix well. Heat through for an additional minute or two and then serve. If desired, garnish with extra sriracha and sesame seeds. (Note: You can still use soy sauce, but liquid aminos tastes just as good and provides natural sodium).


Crack Slaw 1

Crack Slaw 2

Crack Slaw 4

Crack Slaw watermark cursive


I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Let me know if you give it a try!




Magic City Running, Football Family, & Furry Friends

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I haven’t posted in a minute so this recap will be all over the place. Training is going well. I have my second to the last big training (long) run this weekend. Less than 40 days until the big day! So excited (and nervous)!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I helped volunteer at the Magic City Half Marathon with my running group. I ran it last year, but this was my first volunteer experience and I really enjoyed it! We were the first water stop for the runners, so it went by so fast! I was happy to cheer on so many friends, runners, and walkers participating in the race. It was raining on and off and I was hoping I wouldn’t get sick. I wanted to enjoy my Thanksgiving eats! A few sniffles, but nothing a Hot Toddy and some meds couldn’t fix.






I was so excited to see my sweet friend, Kristin (aka BamaGirlRuns), pass by during the race! She is such a sweetheart and one of the reasons why I started to run Disney! She is the Queen of Race Selfies and she makes running so much fun! LOVE-HER!


Photo credit: BamaGirlRuns


Training didn’t stop for the holidays. Thanksgiving Eve I had 8 miles to complete. I know, it was rough out there dealing with the wind and having a cold–but I got it done! Glory to God!





Hello Gump Town! The Gump is another name for Montgomery, AL (not sure why). Maybe I’ll get on that. Downtown Montgomery is a beautiful place to run, so of course Thanksgiving morning I had to get it in. I’m planning to run the Montgomery Half Marathon in March. I can’t wait! They will also be bringing the inaugural full marathon to tour the city.

Here is my mini-tour of my Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning!

State Capital

Alabama State Capitol Building

The Riverfront

The Riverfront


Davis Theatre

Historic Theatre






Right before Thanksgiving dinner! Just the girls + Cousin Love!


Okay, so Black Friday I opted NOT to hit the streets and get tangled up in that mess of a crowd. A few years ago, my sister and I were shopping from 2:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. and I vowed to never do that again. Online shopping or catching sales the days following is what I do. I did manage to get a few items that I wanted. I found a $9 waffle maker (still on sale from Black Friday) and a heated throw. My baby Sis-in-Love has one and I fell in love with it!


Rivalry Week, Iron Bowl Saturday (Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers) for us, I had to make everyone’s favorite–Slutty Brownies! You can find the holiday edition to this amazingly, delicious recipe here.



Speaking of football…if you haven’t heard all over the news and on ESPN–The University of Alabama at Birmingham (my Alma Mater) football program got cut. I’m absolutely heartbroken by this news. It’s just not right. Please visit here and sign the petition to help SAVE our football team and the other athletics affected! Those students, coaches, and staff…DESERVE a chance! I still believe we can do it! This is bigger than football, bigger than athletics. It’s about being selfless and being a light for the world to see. Go Blazers! You can show support by helping us get the word out and by adding #FreeUAB #SaveUABFootball to your hashtags on social media.


To end on a happier note, how sweet is this little, Love Muffin? Isn’t she the cutest!? This is Kashmir, my cousin’s baby girl. My HB and I have been discussing adopting a sweet face just like hers. She was getting all the love and we were getting all of the puppy kisses. As you can see my HB and Mom adored her!



That about sums up the happs over the past few weeks! Did you catch any great Black Friday deals? Are you getting excited about Christmas? I sure am! 

Until next time…Happy Holidays!


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!



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.



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.










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.



Look how perfectly it fits into a gym locker!




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!



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



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.