Aug 26, 2014

Summer of Rum Festival: A Review

some yummy rum...
an overcast day...
live bands a'playing...
two awesome ladies as my companions for the day...

We may have been a couple drinks in ;)
That about sums up this year's Summer of Rum Festival
This year, it was held at the Cuban Club in Ybor -- I loved this location; they also had one road blocked off for the food truck vendors to get some action.

As you walked into the festival, you were welcomed by live bands, and multiple venues for some delightful rum concoctions. However, I was rolling VIP, so we made our way to the Cuban Club, and up to the fourth floor. 

The fourth floor is where the magic was happening; you were able to taste test a variety of rum -- straight & mixed. The floor was completely lined with different brands of rum, all chilled, and ready to be put to the test. 

We slurped our way around the tasting floor.

Some of my favorites were:
Naked Turtle Rum Shack
Florida Caribbean Distillers [they use home-grown Florida Cane Sugar. I spoke with one of the originators and he had oodles of knowledge for me, I love that they only use Florida Cane Sugar]
Blue Chair Bay [Kenny Chesney's rum; I tried the Coconut -- amazing, but for a lower calorie option, use their Premium Rum] 
Koloa [Rum for the Big Island of Hawaii, continuing my trend and tried the Coconut Rum, this one was my fave] 

Making our way around the tasting floor, 
there were so many flavorful options to pick from.
You could try it 
~blended with coconut water~
...and even lemonade! 

*I loved the setup of the Cuban Club for the tasting and other amenities. The refreshing AC was welcomed and each floor had something different to entice your senses. The first floor had a DJ with dance floor and walk-up mini bars; one flight up was the theater, strategically playing was Pirates of the Caribbean {Jack Sparrow would have enjoy the Summer of Rum Festival!} The tasting floor was the grand finale.

Venturing outside and back out into the music & sunshine action, we made our way to the VIP tent & enjoyed five signature rum cocktails. The crowd favorite was the Appleton Planter's Punch - a tangy mix of fruit & of course rum! 

A variety of musicians made their way across the stage -- five different bands carried their tunes into the evening. We took advantage of the Food Truck lineup and other vendors for some extra rum liquid-awesome. 

*Overall, an awesome event. The weather was perfect (the sun spared us by being overcast), there was able entertainment, the rum kept a'flowin and was delicious. My only suggestion (which I have already sent their way) was more seating -- this would have made it easier to stay longer and enjoy the Food Truck goodness. I felt it was well-organized and my guests & I had an enjoyable time! 

Did you miss the fun? There is one more event by Big City Events in December...
The Bourbon & Brew Fest is coming on December 6th! Keep an eye out for upcoming information!

What is your favorite to enjoy Rum?

*As a member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I did receive complimentary tickets to the Summer of Rum Festival in exchange for some awesome blog posts and sharing the info for the upcoming festival. All opinions are my own. 

Aug 10, 2014

Summer of Rum Festival: a Giveaway!

Love summer?
Like some rum in your cocktail?

The Summer of Rum Festival is headed back to Tampa -- and I'm excited to go!

Here are the details: 
date: Saturday, August 16, 2014
time: 2PM - 11PM
where: Cuban Club in Ybor

Photo credit: &
What else to expect:
*rum...duh! ;) *
*tampa's finest food trucks*
*multiple concerts to entice your ear drums*
*numerous rum zones*
*42 different rum concoctions*
*mojito cantina*
*frozen zone [I'll be in this one!]*
*and so much more!*

Photo credit to

So come join us this Saturday for a day filled of fun...and rum! 
Tickets are going quick!

But you can potentially win them here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*As a member of the Tampa Bay BloggersI did receive complimentary tickets to the Summer of Rum Festival in exchange for awesome blog posts to share the awesome-ness of the upcoming Festival. All opinions are my own.

Aug 6, 2014

PDQ: A Tasty Review!

PDQ and I have something BIG in common, 
we are both natives of Hillsborough County, Florida!

In 2011, PDQ opened their first restaurant in Tampa on Dale Mabry; 
it quickly became one of my favorite fast-food stops.

Yes. I said fast-food. Yes, I still eat that stuff.
But only PDQ ;)

At PDQ, they're dedicated to quality. 
So much so, it's how they created their name: People Dedicated to Quality.

Their restaurants live up to that name and I'll share how...

*all of their kitchens are entirely open* 

*absolutely no freezers. I even checked*

*all of their sauces are made in-house -- and made fresh daily*

*majority of their menu items are gluten free*

*digital menus & all energy efficient lights. saving Mother Earth*

*majority of their menu items have no high fructose corn syrup*

*they utilize iPads in the back for their receipes*

*doing the drive-thru? you give your order to a real-life person! ...and give them your name too, makes the process friendly*

*their restaurant have one fridge. I promise*

*they cut their own fries on a daily basis from full Idaho potatoes*

[they even let me try!]

*their shakes [amazeballs] are hand spun. did I mention they taste amazing?*

As you can see, I love me some PDQ. 
They have multiple healthy options -- all of which are very yummy. 

Don't want fries? Get apples or coleslaw.
Don't want cripsy chicken tenders? The grilled ones are crispy with flavor.
Want a salad? You have quite a few to pick from!

If you're an awesome Floridian like me, you're in luck! There are already 15 locations up & at 'em, and four more locations in the works. 

You can also find PDQ in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Texas. Visit here for exact locations. 

I want to share the love with you... and let you try some PDQ on me! Enjoy!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*As a member of the Tampa Bay BloggersI was able to attend a special event held by PDQ prior to their grand opening & and try their amazing food. All opinions are my own.

Jul 25, 2014

3-Day Refresh: My Results

Yes, I still have some major catching up to do, but this couldn't wait!
[the before & after pic is pretty epic]

Last month I attended the yearly Beachbody event, Summit, in Vegas. At Summit, Beachbody rounds up coaches nationwide, USA & Canada, and share the wealth with all of us! One of the new products that was announced was the 3-Day Refresh. I was excited about this since previously, a make-shift 'cleanse' had been created by someone that utilized Shakeology, veggies, fruit & clean protein to flush out your system and give it a soft reset. Personally, I have done that particular cleanse a few times, (that review, is one of my most read blog posts)! 

The difference between the 'Shakeology Cleanse' I had done in the past and the 3-Day Refresh was that Beachbody made the Refresh to really give your body a reset. They made sure to include all of the nutrients you need on a daily basis without starving or depriving your body.

Here is how it worked for me: 
I enjoyed myself at Summit, the following weekend ate on the go at Disney, Orlando and in Miami, did a quick weekend trip to Atlanta with friends & enjoyed the amazing food & beverages. My waistline expanded quite a bit. I was sluggish, was not getting my workouts in, and the evil soda was creeping back. 

My 3-Day Refresh came in the mail on a Saturday; my original thought was to do it Friday-Sunday, this way I didn't have any temptations at my office with coffee, goodies, etc. 

However, Sunday morning, I jumped on the scale and saw the scariest number I've seen in a long time.

The far left number...brought tears to my eyes.
Starting that Sunday was not my original plan. 
But that box got opened and I started right then and there! 

Above, you can see the scale progression for the days of the Refresh. The weight was slow to fall off for me...but I got a nice surprise the morning after I finished the entire refresh.

This picture gives you an idea of my meals for the day. Very simple, planned out, & measured out; the program gives you exactly what to eat and when. 

Here is the rundown: 
*Glass of water, first thing upon waking.
*Breakfast was Shakeology. Fruit option. Green tea was optional after breakfast.
*Fiber Refresh Shake. 
*Lunch was the Vanilla Fresh shake. A fruit. A veggie. A healthy fat option.
*Afternoon snack varied between a veggie & healthy fat or fruit.
*Another tea was optional before dinner time.
*For dinner, option of nine yummy recipes.

Although I did just share a lot of the details about the Refresh, the food options and amount of food is crucial; this is all given to you with the program. The Refresh kit also includes the Vanilla Fresh shakes & Fiber Sweep shakes that you'll need for the full three days; your Shakeology is optional, in case you already enjoy it! 

I was pretty excited that have that last Fiber Sweep down the hatch! 
And that leads me to the nitty gritty details.

*For me, Day One and Day Three went best, and were relatively easy for me. There were times when I was hungry, but never starving, and I mean that! When I was getting a little hungry, it was time to eat again, or I had some ice water and was fine. 
*The Fiber Sweep: this thing already has a reputation, lol! It has a light, lemon taste and is easy to drink. However, drink it quickly; you do not have to chug it, but do not let it sit. I made this mistake on Day Two and the consistency changes quickly.
*I did workout twice, Day One-30 minutes of PiYo & Day Three-taught my Insanity class. I felt fine during both workouts. Teaching Insanity while on the Refresh did wear me out slightly, but I could feel a difference in my weight when I was doing tuck jumps!
*The food options were awesome; I was surprised by the options and portions I was able to eat. I am lucky and love my fruits & veggies -- but the program is full of yummy choices. 
*Water, drink it up!! I made sure to be on point with my water intake during the Refresh and I know it helped with keeping me hydrated and helped the Refresh do it's job.
*The Vanilla Fresh shake was really good too! It is similar to Vanilla Shakeology, but with a lighter taste. Beachbody made sure to pack this shake full of protein since you are not getting as much protein from the foods you are eating during the Refresh. 

Now for the results! Since numbers don't lie... 
(I did all of my weigh ins & measurements upon waking)

Overall, I dropped 6.2 lbs, 4 inches just in my waist, and a total of 7.5 inches!

You can get the basic program here: 3-Day Refresh Complete Kit
In case you already have Shakeology: 3-Day Refresh Kit
...and the best deal...
This guy is on sale this month, 3-Day Refresh plus one month of Shakeology
*The price of the combo pack is just $10 more than one month of Shakeology, quite the deal! And this way, you will have extra Shakeology to enjoy and reap the benefits!

And in case that wasn't enough awesome-ness for you, 
here is my before & after: 

I CANNOT believe what three days did for me!
The 3-Day Refresh gave me back my waistline, put my sugar cravings back in check, and put confidence back into my step! 

I am beyond grateful I did this! This past Sunday, I woke up and felt uncomfortable in my own skin. It was devastating to me & I was disappointed that I let myself get to that point. Here I am, an Insanity Instructor, I have others relying on me to help them get their butt in shape, and I was blowing up like a mini hot air balloon. 

I am also so grateful for Beachbody. Yes, corny, I know.  But there's emotion behind that statement. Beachbody helped me save me. At this point in my life, I am the healthiest, have the most passion for what I do, have the most amazing friends a girl could ever ask for, and have a future that is bright -- I can't wait to get there!

Questions about the 3-Day Refresh, comment or email me at:

Jul 22, 2014

Best Damn Race & Cocogo Giveaway


I'm behind on my pretty little blog. I owe you all so much awesomeness.
I owe myself. The months of June & July were life changing.
But first, let me take a selfie.

I took this pic immediately after I did a webinar for my Beachbody team about the coaching fun-ness. You can watch it here is you would like:

First on the agenda, Best Damn Race.
If you have not run this race yet, you're missing out!

Best Damn Bachelorette

Cape Coral on December 14, 2014
Distances: Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K

Safety Harbor on February 7, 2015
Distances: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and 10K & 5K Challenge

and... Orlando on February 28, 2015
Distances: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and 10K & 5K Challenge

Need to add a race to your calendar for this winter or next spring? You will not be disappointed, and you can even save some cash...

Next up, a giveaway!
As an ambassador for Cocogo, I want to share the goodness! 
You can check out my review here... 
Cocogo is perfect to add to your water on a daily basis, on the go, sweating at the gym, training for a marathon. It is packed with all of the benefits of coconut water with maximum electrolytes to keep you pumped. This is a staple for me during long runs of marathon training. 

Right now, Cocogo has a deal on their shipping, so head over and try some. :) 
And you can use LIVESWEATSLEEP and save some $$!

Or you can try winning some! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: As an ambassador for Cocogo, they are providing me with a giveaway in exchange for some social media fun. 

Jul 8, 2014

Shakeology & Weight Watchers

Finally getting myself back into the swing of things. 
My last two weeks consisted  of: 
vegas. orlando. miami. atlanta.

One of my amazing friends & coach, Nanci, is quite the [loser] with Weight Watchers. And I mean that with the most love; Nanci has done a phenomenal job utilizing WW to get in her best health. When she joined me on this Beachbody journey, I was openly curious how it was going to work with the point system. Once she wrote this post, I had to share! 
Thank you for sharing Nanci

"Do you drink Shakeology? Do you know how much of a SUPERfood it really is? It is chuck full of vitamins and nutrients, for many it will replace the need for a multi-vitamin. It is also a great source of protein and fiber, depending on the flavor you choose.


I have three go-to recipes for my breakfast shakes, using both Vanilla and Chocolate flavor. Today, I will share them along with the Points Plus values for those following Weight Watchers.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology
1 pack Chocolate Shakeology (3 points)
8 oz. unsweetened almond milk (1 point)
2 tbsp. PB2 (1 point)
1 medium banana
6 ice cubes
Blend together until smooth.
Total Points Plus value……….5

Tropical Shakeology
1 pack Vanilla Shakeology (3 points)
8 oz. unsweetened almond milk (1 point)
1/2 cup mango
1 medium banana
6 ice cubes
Blend together until smooth.
Total Points Plus value………..4

Caffé Mocha Shakeology
1 pack Vanilla OR Chocolate Shakeology (3 points)
8 oz. Starbucks Caffé Mocha (3 points)
6 ice cubes
Put all ingredients in shaker cup, shake until mixed.
Total Points Plus value…………6

Pineapple Mango Shakeology
1 pack Vanilla Shakeology (3 points)
8 oz. unsweetened almond milk (1 point)
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup mango
6 ice cubes
Blend together till smooth.
Total Points Plus value………4"

Are you curious about Shakeology? 

A HUGE thanks to Nanci for letting me share your post! You can find it here.

Jun 19, 2014

If you still look cute at the end of your workout...

...that is totally fine! And actually pretty awesome. 

I have been living a pretty very active lifestyle for the last two years or so... I started running about four years ago...but really upped the ante recently. 

My Momma definitely rubbed off on me, that lady will not leave the house without a full face of makeup. And if she forgot earrings??...we're turning around...

A few years ago I worked for Sephora and learned all my tricks; I still make visits to see my ladies at the Brandon & International Mall Sephora stores.

But back to the topic... makeup.
What I put on, stays on.
Yes, I'm careful in regards to what I wear as foundation due to that lovely sweating factor [and that BIG factor that I don't want clogged pores]... 
But here's some evidence...

Color Me Rad 5K 2014, about 90 degrees out, color thrown at me...
Not the best example, but finishing the Berlin Marathon and my face doesn't look like ish!
March 2013, 5K, was my PR for a few months, I was a sweaty beast that day.
Electro Dash 2014, another hot & humid 5K, but at night
If you didn't eye makeup is still there like BOOM! My race photos are often pretty cute if the rest of my body cooperates.

So here are my tricks...

First and foremost, you get what you pay for! Yes, Sephora, Ulta, & the department store makeup counters are more expensive, but 99.99% of the time, they are worth it. There are only a few items that I use from a drugstore, and by a few, I mean, like three.

This is what makes that crazy eye makeup STICK & STAY. Make Up Forever...this will cost you a pretty penny but is completely worth it. I received one of these as gratis when I worked as Sephora, loved it so much, I purchased three other colors. Their makeup is used across the globe, and they are known for being used in the Cirque de Soleil performance "O" (the water one). Their makeup line is all water proof and really does stand up to it's name. 

I use Aqua Cream like it's going to be taken off the shelf...and as I said, have it in four different colors. This is a colored primer & stay-puter for your eye shadow. Yes, there are multiple other primers that you could use for your eye shadow, so that you don't get that annoying crease five hours later... But really, nothing works better than Aqua Cream. 
Whatever shadow you put on top of it becomes waterproof; a primer does not do that.

My next fun find is my MAC Opulash Optimum Black Mascera [that's a mouthful]. The awesome thing about this mascara is that it is waterproof...without being waterproof. Let me explain... When this mascara comes off, it will come off in small clumps instead of that annoying black smudge on your lower lid or streaming down your face with a bead of sweat. I initially purchased this prior to teaching INSANITY and it has worked every class. No smudging. No streaking. No ugly black-ish after I'm done teaching.

Looking back on pictures in iPhoto...I loved doing a smokey eye with bright colors. It worked with my green eyes, but now that I have converted, I may never go back. My good friend Beth at has always done a liquid black liner on just her top lid ... and it has always looked striking and classy. Sorry Beth, I copied you! :) But imitation is the best form of a compliment, right?? I started doing this and noticed a big difference. My eyes were wider and more white; removing color and/or liner from my lower lid made a big difference. [I will say, this will not be the same case for everyone] But here is the one I love: Eyeko in black. I love the application of this one best; it is not a small brush, but has a felt tip and allows for a perfect application every time. 

And time for ... bonus round!
Can you tell I'm typing after having a beverage?? Oy vey...
My eyelids are bossy; they do not care for every type of eyeshadow on the market and make it known when they are not happy. Because of this, I typically stick to MAC and Urban Decay [I could probably wear more, but I love the vibrant colors of these two brands].
As I mentioned before, any shadow you put on top of the Aqua Cream is going to stay put...and when you pair that with a good brand of eye shadow -- you're golden.

This one is my current fave.
Ten b-e-u-tiful colors. They do warn you not to use the pinks & purples close to your lids, and I will tell you from experience, that even using the Aqua Cream prior to application, my lids are pink once the makeup is removed. But these colors are very vibrant, and you can always play them down by applying a little white shadow on top.

Well... hope you enjoyed my 'off' post. This was kind of running/fitness related...

Do you wear makeup when you workout?
It does make your race pics look beautiful! ;)