I feel like Carrie Bradshaw, except they're Mizunos instead of Manolos - the Wave Sayonara

Sunday, June 30, 2013
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

Helllllo Lover!

A year ago today, I owned one pair of running shoes . Today I own over 15 pairs. Ever since I was old enough to buy my own shoes, I had a massive shoe addiction. One of my first jobs was at a shoe store which offered me a 40% discount. While I would like to blame that, it started well before. I will never forget a day in the 5th grade. I was jealous my best friend Keri got a new pair of shoes. I destroyed a nearly new pair of shoes to get a new pair (which worked by the way). While I know I have an issue, there is no better feeling than opening that brand new box of shoes.

When I was given the opportunity to check out Mizuno Wave Sayonara, I jumped, cheered and squealed with excitement. The Wave Sayonara is the design love-child of the Wave Precision and Wave Elixir and Mizunos lightest everyday training shoe to date. Plus it is a shoe made for my foot. Yay!

I was ecstatic upon opening my Mizuno Wave Sayonara's box. These shoes are bright pink with purple markings and absolutely beautiful. The Sayonara is my first pair of Mizuno shoes and I could not wait to try them out on the pavement.
This is a neutral shoe with "as needed" support elements. I wear a size 8 - 8.5 in street shoes and prefer my running shoes as a 9. The size 9 Sayonara's were a little roomier than I am accustom to but with cushioned socks, the shoe fit perfect. The U4ic midsole delivers optimal shock attenuation, durability, and superior ride that is 30% lighter than AP+. Mizuno Wave Technology provides the perfect balance of lightweight cushioning and stability.

For the shoe tech's: 
Womens: Weight - 7.1 oz. ~ Ramp - 10mm ~ Heel/Toe - 19/9
Mens: Weight - 8.1 oz. ~ Ramp - 10mm ~ Heel/Toe - 19/9

I have ran three times in the Mizuno Wave Sayonara's in the past week. I have also been stopped twice while wearing them out in public, asking me all about the shoe. The Wave Sayonara is officially released this Friday, July 5th and I already know two people who have pre-ordered after hearing me gush about them.

According to Mizuno: Sayonara is light, low-to-the-ground, and versatile so any run can be as fast as ever. The euphoric foam midsole ensures the proper cushioning without added weight and bulk so runners experience a light, smooth, comfortable, and responsive ‘ride.’

So do I suggest this shoe??? ABSOLUTELY without a doubt, yes yes yes. 

DISCLOSURER: this was a compensated review of the Mizuno Wave Sayonara, made possible through my partnership with FitFluential. All opinions are mine.

Kona Kase Review - Performance Fueled Monthly

Thursday, June 27, 2013
I have a serious subscription box problem. I used to blog about the various boxes I receive but haven't done so in a while. I receive 5 subscription boxes a month - everything from beauty supplies to food products. Until I checked the mail a few days ago, I had yet to receive a fitness based box. 

That changed when I came home to a new box sitting on my doorstep. I was offered a chance to review a Kona Kase through Fit Fluential, a nutritional fitness box which monthly cost is $15 (including shipping). 

Gabe actually opened this box before I got home and read me everything in the box. While it took the element of surprise away, I was very excited to hear what was waiting at home for me:  Mamma Chia in Apple Cinnamon - Value $2, Half Pops in Butter and Sea Salt - Value $2.50, Osmo Nutrition in orange - Value $1.50, Clif Shot Turbo Gel Energy in Double Espresso - Value $1.75, Doctor ill Bar - Value $2, One Bar in Mango - Value $1, 18 Rabbits in Cheeky Cherry Chocolate - Value $2.25, KIND bar in Madagascar Vanilla Almond - Value $2.

I really enjoyed everything in this box. The Half Pops were amazing. The Madagascar vanilla Kind bar is my new favorite flavor. One item stood out above the rest and that was the Mama Chia vitality snack. I love chia and this was the perfect way to have a convenient Chia snack! Osmo nutrition, Doctor Will and 18 rabbits were new products in my life. Doctor Will was very filling. They will be perfect for my once a week commutes to Orlando. 

Kona Kase is a perfect way to introduce new healthy supplements and snacks into your life. Click here to sign up today!  Looks like I am adding yet another subscription box to my life! Sorry mail man.

Disclaimer: I was provided a Kona Kase for review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Wedding Wednesday, first bridal tasting, custom stamps and save the dates

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I am adding a new page to my blog for our wedding, appropriately named Wedding Wednesday. One week into being engaged and we attended our first Bridal tasting last night at Datz in Tampa. We sampled everything from truffle ravioli to mini Maine Lobster rolls. Gabe probably mentioned 10 times that this was unlike any wedding food he's ever had. We were both beyond impressed with Dazzle by Datz catering and would strongly encourage any bride in the Bay area to give them a try. I plan quite a few corporate events throughout the year and have pretty high standards. Dazzle nailed it and I am glad to have found a new "go to" caterer in Tampa.

Tuna Tartare
We sat next to two very nice girls at the Datz Bridal Tasting. They were both very surprised that I had so much planned within one week of being engaged. Oh the wonders of having a pinterest page years before he popped the question....

I found an Etsy shop called Love To Create Stamps who makes a full selection of monogram, wedding, and address stamps. The owner, Todd happens to be located in St. Petersburg so I made sure to give this local store some love!! Todd's work is awesome and I had a very hard time choosing just one stamp. After consulting with a few friends, we ended up with this Calligraphy handwriting script custom return address stamp which happens to be the stamp which drew me to Todd's store in the first place.

Save the Dates: Before we got engaged, I already knew what I wanted for our save the dates: A caricature drawing of us which we will use on a coaster instead of traditional magnets. We will do other fun stuff with the image as well.  It was only perfect to have the setting at Jackson Square, where we are exchanging our vows. Below is an uncolored proof. The only thing different in this drawing is that I removed the hand grenade drink in Gabe's hand....it looked a little.....well use your imagination. I think we would be giving the wrong impression!! Once the caricature it is colored, we will make the coasters and I hope have them in the mail by mid-July. Although our wedding date is so far out, we want to give those joining us plenty of time since it is a destination.

The Flavor Run 5K Participant Medal Revealed

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I will be honest - I am all about the bling when it comes to running. My friends make fun of me because the first thing I do before committing to a race is looking online for prior year medals. If the race is anything over a 10K and does not offer a finishers medal, I do not participate. I want to look at something and be reminded of my accomplishments. We have collected all of the medals below from various races, 2012 to present day.
I was beyond ecstatic to learn that Tampa's Flavor Run is offering a participant medal to any runner who enters the race. After the fun run is over, you will be covered in FDA Approved/All Natural celebration powders: yellow (banana), orange (orange), Red (Strawberry), Green (Watermelon), Purple (Grape), and Blue (Blueberry) powders and sporting this fantastic spinning medal! This will be my first non-runDisney 5K medal!

"What in the world is The Flavor Run?"
  • Saturday, August 17th 9am at The Florida State Fairgrounds
  • 5k or 1Mile Distance - Walk/Run/Stroll
  • Pass through Flavor Stations - Get covered in fruit flavored celebration powder
  • Enjoy Live Music
  • Welcomed by Flavor Fairies - Throwing powder on you (including your's truly)
  • Flavor Angels
  • Food & Beverage Area
  • Finish Line Fruit Extravaganza
  • Children Flavor Zone - Including Face Painting
  • Active Release Massage Station (Sponsor TBA soon!)
Make sure you register before the increase on July 1st. Visit FlavorRun.com for more details. 

Designer Whey Sustained Energy review and a BIG #giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013
I am not a morning person. I do not like breakfast, I hit snooze 10 times in the morning. I am grumpy and even if you are able to get me out for a morning run, I will be snarky towards you until the runners high kicks in. I generally drink protein shakes for breakfast unless I have "moment" and go for a egg white omelet with garlic, mushrooms and spinach. I am boring and predictable in the mornings, what can I say.

On the mornings that I juice or drink protein shakes, I find myself double fisting, well before the hours of 5pm. In my morning blur, I generally lose one cup, namely my coffee. Not cool. 
When I was asked to try out Designer Whey Sustained Energy, I jumped on the chance. I am already a huge fan of Designer Whey and couldn't wait to get the box in the mail. Upon opening the box, the first thing I saw was a stunning slim Britney Spears on the cover of Shape. You go girl! Although I did find it kinda funny she still has a belly ring (I got rid of mine in 2005), the girls still got it.
I was very excited to see Designer Whey in Junes issue of Shape. They stated they are a protein for a different kind of sport: Life. One scoop of 100 calorie (YAY low Cal!) Designer Whey Sustained Energy offers a blend of fast absorbing whey protein and slow absorbing soy protein to provide balanced and sustained energy during your busy day. Learn more at www.designerwhey.com
With my crazy life and unpredictable grumpy mornings, I was beyond excited to try out Designer Whey Sustained Energy. I first tried out the Vanilla Bean with milk. To be honest, it was not my favorite. I quickly decided it would be a perfect addition to my morning smoothies. Speaking of smoothies, the other flavor I was provided was Chocolate Velvet - I generally use chocolate protein powder in smoothies and I decided to make a chocolate peanut butter and it was perfect.
It was simple - I used one scoop of Designer Whey Sustained Energy Chocolate Velvet, 1/2 cup of Soy Milk, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, a big scoop of non fat greek yogurt a few ice cubes. It turned out perfectly creamy and perfect. 
So I mentioned Contest. I have a HUGE one! I am giving away SIX canisters of Designer Whey Sustained Energy to six readers! You can choose between the vanilla bean and he chocolate velvet.

Leave a comment below and let me know if you are a breakfast person?

Make sure you enter through rafflecopter as this is how I select my winner randomly.  If you are unsure how to use Rafflecopter, click here for a short video tutorial

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Designer Whey provided me with product for this review. My opinions are my own. 

Adventurous foodie friends - Ho Ho Choy, Shabu Shabu Tampa

Sunday, June 23, 2013
Advice of the day - Never be intimidated by 10 menus on your table.......

Two years ago, I found myself thinking that dining at an Indian restaurant was adventurous. Boy has a lot changed since then. I have adventurous lunch dates with my friend Lauren. Some have been amazing, some were not worth mentioning. She has introduced me to multiple unique eats while I introduced her to Bone Marrow.

One day for lunch, we decided to venture into Ho Ho Choy - Shabu Shabu, two restaurants who share one roof, located on Fowler Rd Tampa. During Gabe's first year living in Tampa (sans me), I had seen this establishment multiple times. Ho Ho Choy / Shabu Shabu is located in a strip mall which would be sketchy to the arriving eye. They serve everything from sushi to dim sum to a hot pot. While one of my favorite tea spots is located in that establishment, I never thought in a million years that I would eat there. When Lauren mentioned the following words "the best steam buns one could ever eat", how could I turn it down.
We decided to dine at Shabu Shabu, who offers a hot pot - which I have described to many as The Melting Pot meets Pho. I was all about making my own soup and out came dishes of fresh veggies a raw egg and frozen protein. We were asked how spicy we wanted our broth (medium for me with a side of heat for Lauren).

It was a true dining experience. We had a blast making our own bowls of soup (we split one serving)

There was a push cart full of every seasoning you could ever wish for. We stocked up on hoisin, siracha and some peanut sauce (just because it was there).

I can honestly say that I cannot wait to go back. Everything we had was DELICIOUS. And when two fortune cookies give you this message? I can say from experience, with one follows the other. I loved this dining experience!!

Ho Ho Choy Chinese on Urbanspoon

St. Petersburg Womens Running Series Training Plan Announced, #BeAmazing

Friday, June 21, 2013
In 156 days, I will be running the Women's Running Series in St. Petersburg. It's crazy to even consider that I was afraid to run this half marathon in 2012 because I didn't think I could finish. I was nervous and had a crazy amount of self doubt. I trained primarily with Gabe but wished I had a training group to push my motivation. If you are anything like me, you are lucky because running superstore Fit2Run recently announced their training schedule for the 2013 Women's Running Series in St. Petersburg.

This is a great opportunity to train for Novembers half marathon with runners of all levels. The kickoff party will take place at Fit2Run at 256 2nd St, St Pete on August 6 from 5pm - 8:30pm.
The 15 week official training will start on Tuesday, August 13 through November 21st. Fit2Run will work with runners of all levels, beginners looking to finish their first half marathon and advanced runners looking to tackle their P.R. 

Included in the $150 fee (does not include race registration):
  • Free Feetures Running Socks
  • Free Nuun Sports Drink every Tuesday and Thursday
  • Free Fit2Run tech running shirt
  • An individualized training plan for each runner
  • Discounts to Fit2Run
Locations and times for the weekly runs are:
Tuesdays at 6:30: Fergs Sports Bar (1320 Central Ave, St. Petersburg)
Thrusdays at 6:30 & Sunday at 7:00am: Fit2Run (256 2nd St. North, St. Petersburg)

This is an amazing price to get a personal training plan and a running coach. 

If you are interested in running the Womens Running Series in St. Petersburg, save $10 off with Womens Running Series discount code:  FITFLMEG

It's hard to believe how quickly this race is approaching. As of today, Nashville is 99 days away, Scottsdale-Tempe is 135 days away and St Petersburg is 156 days away. I cannot wait to run this race with my best friend!!


Summertime healing with Aquaphor Package #giveaway Visa Gift Card

Thursday, June 20, 2013
After spending all day at the Magic Kingdom yesterday, it finally hit me. Summer is finally here. Technically tomorrow, but the heat and humidity is in full force. I find it hard in this heat with my marathon training and need to either run in the mornings or learn to love my treadmill (will never happen). With this heat, I find myself very dehydrated. I don't drink enough water so I am currently on a "drink 3 CamelBaks a day" regimen. 

As I am always dehydrated, I suffer from severe dry skin and I have been a huge fan of Aquaphor for quite some time. Dry skin is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin and the moisturizers in Aquaphor work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin. I not only use it on my knees and elbows for intense hydration but also use it for scrapes and burns. Have I ever mentioned how clumsy I am? I ran into a pole once while running because I was too busy talking. I always have a scrape somewhere on my body.
When Aquaphor contacted me to check out their petite sized convenient flip cap tube, I was instantly intrigued. I used Aquaphor daily prior to them contacting me and was initially introduced to the product from my dermatologist. I owe Aquaphor for healing the multiple blisters I received after my multiple half marathons in a 4 month span.
So the good people at Aquaphor sent me an amazing package to help keep me hydrated during the summer. I am also slightly obsessed with their new lip balm. In addition to a ton of Aquaphor products, I also received a CamelBak, which is my new BFF and a $50 Visa Gift Card. Guess what - they want to send one of my readers the exact same package.

Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan on using Aquaphor when you and your friends/family are out and about this summer! Make sure you enter through rafflecopter as this is how I select my winner randomly.  If you are unsure how to use Rafflecopter, click here for a short video tutorial
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also visit our Aquaphor Facebook page for exclusive skin tips.

He asked.....and I said.....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
YES! I am still on cloud nine so I apologize for this post which is not about food or working out - it's about me becoming a bride and all about my future hubby.

Our story: I met Gabe in 1997. He is three years younger than me and is my High School friend Emily's younger brother. I never thought of him in that way when we were kids (14 to 17 is a huge difference). I kept in contact with Em over the years but she lived in South Florida while I was still in Daytona. My brother got married in November, 2009. At the reception, I saw this handsome guy from afar. After questioning around as to who this person was (who I caught staring at me multiple times), I found out it was Emily's brother Gabe. He facebook requested me that night.
One of our first photos together in 2010
We kept in contact over the next few months. We met one day for a study session. He offered to tutor me in math when I thought I was going back to college. He quickly realized there was no hope for me and we talked for over two hours about everything but math. He asked me out on a date and a week later. The date went very well and we saw each other again 3 days later. After date #2, I told my best friend that I was going to marry this Emily's little brother.
First Vacation Trip, June 2010
Other than me being a huge Gator fan and he being a Seminole Grad, we are a perfect match. We share the love of travel, sports and running. Gabe is also quick to call me out on my B.S. In 2010, he was accepted into Graduate school in both Miami and Tampa. We had only been dating 6 months when we started a long distance relationship which was not easy but we made it work.
Maine 2011
In July 2011, I moved to Tampa and we started our lives together.

We share a love of all things Disney - we are both Premium Passholders and go to the Mouse House at least once a month. We are also huge runDisney fans. If you follow this blog, you know this already.

Gabe always told me that we wouldn't get engaged until after he graduated. In December 2012, he graduated with his Masters Degree. I was giving him until this July, when I would have to have the awkward conversation no girl wants to start.

And then it happened. He planned on popping the question in front of my friends on Friday night at the location of our first date. He walked in, ring in pocket and guess what - we weren't there. His nerves made him hear we were there, when we were on the other side of town. He then decided to do it on Saturday night. Except at 1pm, Gabe got called into work, back to Tampa.
My Birthday was on Monday and Gabe confirmed what my favorite Champagne was. I replied, Dom Perignon or Perrier Jouet Flower bottle....then laughed and said Mumm Rose. Dom P really is my fav, so when he walked in the door with an unknown species I was confused and gave him a look. "What is that?" "A $100 bottle of champagne" "What? Why?" "It's your birthday!" (my mind instantly goes, why didn't he get Dom or Perrier Jouet if he was spending that much - I am a brat.....).  He excitedly told me about how pretty this bottle was and told me to come look at it. Tzarina Champagne comes in a black box - inside this box was another box which had ring inside. How fitting, I got proposed to by a bottle of champagne!!
New Orleans Jacksons Square, the sight of where we will exchange our vows
So we are officially getting married!!!!! All along, we knew one thing - that we wanted to do a destination wedding in New Orleans. With our crazy running schedules, we couldn't do a spring wedding. NOLA bound September 27, 2014! Gabe also picked out our wedding song already (crazy right!) - The Story by Brandi Carlise
16 months filled of destination wedding planning! This is going to be fun!!!

Get fit this summer with MAN OF STEEL™ trainer to the stars, Mark Twight #TwightTakeover

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel. 

Happy Tuesday! I was fortunate to be selected to help promote the National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ transformational workout plan. Talk about perfect timing - I have a brand new sparkly ring on my left hand and need to get into wedding dress shape (more on the ring later).

I wonder what Henry Cavill would look like in a wedding dress.
Sorry, Henry distracted me. Back to the reason behind this post. Hollywood fitness trainer Mark Twight developed a workout plan for the National Guard, which was used to transform Henry Cavill into the MAN OF STEEL™. You can download the one-month Soldier of Steel Tranformational Workout Plan by visiting soldierofsteel.com. Here you will find find fitness training websides, training turtorials on 23 different exercises.

THIS workout is no joke. The Soldier of Steel Transformational Workout Plan is an essential trait for every Soldier. National Guard Soldiers are trained to be ready for anything. Just as Clark Kent transforms into the MAN OF STEEL™. Did I mention Henry Cavill is shirtless in this video?

The plan is written on the premise of following each hard day with an easier recovery day. The plan allows one full rest day each week, otherwise training is expected every day and equipment requirements are minimal. Approximately 80% of the workouts may be done without special equipment but you will need:
• Open space
• Pull-up bar
• Box or bench to jump on (20-24” in height)
• Dumbbells of varying weights (15# to 30# and perhaps up to 60# for stronger individuals)
• Barbell with plates of varying weights (total load required from 95# to 135#, and heavier as ability progresses)
• Access to low-impact “cardio” machines (i.e. rowing machine, stationary bike, elliptical machine) or swimming pool

Got a fitness question for Mark Twight? On Thursday, June 20, Mark Twight will answer fan questions on the @NationalGuard Twitter handle. Follow the conversation from 3PM EST – 4PM EST at #TwightTakeover

DISCLOSURER: this was a compensated review of the Soldier of Steel™ workout, made possible through my partnership with FitFluential. All opinions are mine.

Besa Grill Happy Hour - Tampa

Monday, June 17, 2013
I am a big fan of Happy Hours. Especially Happy Hours that offer craft cocktails. What makes said Happy Hour even better is when you are celebrating something....like a Birthday.

I share my birthday with friend and fellow blogger, Katie (rufflesandtruffles.com). We initially met through twitter on our birthday last year, having no idea we lived in the same town. Fast forward a year later and we are great friends.
Megan, Fabio, Katie
It only seemed perfect to have a Happy Hour birthday celebration for our joint birthday. The first place that came to mind was Besa Grill in Clearwater. Besa is very chic and modern with amazing American-Latin fusion cuisine. They have a daily happy hour from 3pm-7pm with $2 off any glass of wine, cocktail (any brand), domestics, specialty drinks. On Sunday - Thursday, they offer $2 off any appetizers if you are at the bar.

We had a wonderful group of friends join us this evening -Lauren, Leslie, Chris, Rachel and of course Gabe and Justin. Upon arrival, I was very excited to order my first cocktail, a Guava Habanero Margarita (1800 silver, gran gala, guava puree, fresh lime juice, habanero infused simple syrup). This drink is not for the faint of heart. Spicy and sweet and the last sip will get you!

We started off with some scallop ceviche and guacamole trio. The Ceviche changes at Besa, about every three days. I was obsessed with this particular batch. It had amazing flavor and I would love to recreate it at home.
The guacamole was insane - we had 4 different varieties. Traditional, Goat and Bleu Cheese, Corn and Black Bean, and Mango. My favorite of the group was corn and black bean.
Avocado Caprese salad was so spectacular. I am NOT a fan of raw tomatoes but these were beautiful. The mozzarella and avocado were perfect companions.  

Time for drink #2! I got the Cactus Pear Margarita (Cuestion blanco, cointreau, fresh lemon, fresh lime juice, cactus pear puree) and it was delicious. It was gone before I knew it and I wanted another!

Moving onto Flatbread-ville. I truly believe I have fallen in love with a flat bread called Havana Cuban. Cudos to Besa for taking a Tampa classic and turning it into a flatbread. Shaved ham, mojo pork, swiss cheese, pickles, applewood smoked bacon, mustard aioli....simply amazing.

I was also a huge fan of the Chicken and Brie flatbread, consisting of grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, brie cheese, topped with baby arugula salad.
We received two other flatbreads - Smoked Salmon Flatbread!! I am so taking Mom and Hank here for brunch next time they are in town! This is his two loves mixed into one plate
And the classic Margherita Flatbread

My last and final drink choice of the evening was the Cucumber Cilantro Margarita (Corazon blanco tequila, gran gala, fresh cilantro, cucumber, agave nectar, fresh lime juice) and this was my favorite of the three drinks. I am going to recreate this cocktail ASAP.
Then this happened: DUCK NACHO's. They were rich. They were savory. They were amazing. Leslie mentioned they would be the best hangover reliever on earth. That mixed with Besa Grills unlimited $10 mimosa/bloody mary bar on Sunday may make a new location for weekend recovery.
At this point in time, I am full beyond words. Yet a parade of tacos made their way out to the table. We tried every taco offered at Besa and I am sad to say I was too full to even try a bite. Baha Fish Tacos - Crispy rock shrimp, jicama-chayote salsa, napa cabbage, cilantro, crema. Steak and Chicken Tacos with roasted poblanos + onions, pico de gallo, cilantro, cotija cheese, crema. Baja Shrimp Tacos - Crispy rock shrimp, jicama-chayote salsa, napa cabbage, cilantro, crema
I'm done - put a fork in me.....then it happens. The evil D word. Dessert!

Fried Banana Cheesecake
Crème Brulee Flight - chef’s choice of four mini crème brulees. I picked the caramel and it was amazing.

We were also served a huge slice of chocolate cake called the Seven Sins Cake - a godiva infused seven-layered cake, seven different kind of chocolate, chilled milk shot (how cute is the shot of milk!!!).

Thank you Besa for making this a very special night for both of us. We will be back sooner than later. Make sure you check out Besa Grill's Happy Hour if you are in the Bay area!

Besa Grill on Urbanspoon
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