All electronics are rebelling against me. All of them!

Remember my beloved Garmin vívofit?

I lost him. (I did a writeup about it compared to other fitness trackers here). I think it’s a goner.

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I have no idea where I lost it, but the band started getting loose and falling off my wrist. I think I ultimately lost it when I was running, since I distinctly remember having it on right before going to bed the night before.


I have been trying to decide whether I want to replace my vìvofit, get a different fitness tracker, or just stop worrying about my steps. I know it makes me move more, so it’d be a healthy thing for me to get, but those things can get pricey.

I’ve considered the Fitbit Charge HR, because the idea of getting my heart rate reading without a HRM is really attractive to me. I’ve heard, however, that it’s not too accurate. Anyone have one of these and have some advice for me?

I also loved the vívofit because it didn’t need to be charged. I know I’d miss that aspect if I get something different.

I’m so conflicted. Do I need one? Halp.

Also. Old faithful bit the dust.

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My 5 year old Garmin Forerunner finally crapped out on me. The wristband has been broken for two years, and the battery no longer holds a charge.

It’s time.

I bought a Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch a little over a year ago, but I don’t love the display, and it only lasts me a few runs before I need to charge it again. I was kind of generally unimpressed. Although it’s a decent cheaper option, I found it a little simple and ultimately went back to my original big, bulky, old school Forerunner.

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On top of all this, my iPhone 5s is being a major butthead. The battery life is laughable — it will last about 5 hours, and it jumps from 22% to 1% in the blink of an eye.

So, although I had a dream I accidentally shattered my iPhone into 43523872 pieces, I’m praying I can hold out until the next model comes out. Gimme that battery life and impressive camera.

So — obviously, I need yo help.

Got a running watch you adore? How about a fitness tracker? What’s your recommendation? Point me in the direction of your favorite fitness trackers and GPS watches.


When I heard an infrared sauna was coming to Richmond, I was pretty intrigued. I’ve sat in a few saunas before, but I’d never heard of an infrared sauna.

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After my initial research, I learned the benefits included muscle and injury recovery. My muscles are always so sore between my daily barre and running regimen, and I could use some relief.

For you, a list of some of the benefits of infrared sauna therapy:

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I was a little skeptical, as I am with any new-to-me “health” fad, but I wanted to give the infrared sauna a shot.

So I moseyed my way over to Purify and tried a session with Brittany. And man, am I glad I did.

A little side story: Brittany and I have this ongoing joke that we are soulmates due to the very accurate Facebook soulmate quiz. And since we’re somewhat inseparable, I found it pretty spot on.

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So when we opted to share a sauna (the sauna accommodates 1-3 people), we had a serious case of the giggles.

See for yourself:

Such goons. I’d say the heat was going to our heads, but that’s how we normally act.

Right when I walked into Purify, I was so impressed with the beautiful facility. Mary, the owner, runs the place herself, and she could not have been nicer nor more accommodating.


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Sweet digs, no? (Hi, Britt and Mary!)

I mean, the booth is even pretty.


We put on our towel wraps and took our waters and hand towels in (thank God) with us for a 45 minute session.

Purify’s sauna sessions include chromotherapy, or LED color light therapy in its infrared saunas. It was really fun to read about how each different color could help our minds and bodies in different ways.


You can totally tell we had just gotten in at this point because we’re not yet sweaty messes.

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We started with green therapy, then tried yellow, pink, and blue.

The outcomes of my first infrared sauna experience?

    1. My muscles are much less sore.
      I typically am so outrageously sore by Friday that I can hardly make it through my normal-paced run. I was especially sore when I went to my Purify treatment, so I was very interested to see how I’d feel the next morning. When I woke up at 6 a.m. to run, I actually had a fast run, and I still felt a little sore, but much less sore and fatigued than I normally do. I’m certain Purify helped my legs recover.
    2. My skin is clear, dewy, and glowing.
      Seriously. I never really take notice in the status of my skin unless it’s a mess, but the day after Purify, my problem areas looked clearer and my skin was bright and really smooth.
    3. I felt relaxed.
      It was really nice to chill out in the sauna and just relax. I’m always go-go-go and rarely have moments to just hang. I felt really good when I left my appointment.


I honestly didn’t think I’d see such results from the Purify, but I’m a true believer in infrared sauna chromotherapy. If you have one in your area, I highly recommend checking it out (soulmate or no soulmate). 😉 Get use to seeing me around, Mary!

If you’re in the RVA area, you can book a session online or learn more about Purify here. Check out their Facebook and Instagram, too. A few of my friends have gone since I’ve tried it, and everyone has had rave reviews!

Have you ever tried an infrared sauna before? What would you use it for?


I had a bad day.


You see, I’m a big Trader Joes fan. Some of my all-time favorite staples come from their grocery. I swear upon their smoked paprika (more flavorful than other brands, furreal). I adore their mushroom risotto. Their pre-seasoned veggies are awesome, and I really like their frozen shrimp stir fry for a quick dinner in a pinch.

But maybe one of my all-time favorite snacks from TJs is their dolmas (grape leaves). When I first bought them, I was a little hesitant. I love dolmas, but canned dolmas?

However, when I took them to the register, the cashier told me they were actually hand rolled in Greece and are really delicious. That sealed the deal for me, and I was pumped to try them.

I think I’ve probably bought 15 cans of them in the last year. The can holds a good amount (maybe 6-8?), and I put them in a tupperware container in my fridge after opening the can and grab 2 between meals habitually. They’re like my own little quickie appetizer.

On Sunday, (just an, just an ordinary day) I went to grab a few dolmas out of the container.

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What is THAT?


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I’m honestly not that big of a wimp when it comes to unwanted things on my food. I’m used to dog hair being …everywhere (dog owners, ya feel me?). You man up, pick it out, and eat around it. You’ll live.

But this, I think, has turned me completely off of my favorite snack. And I’m so depressed.

I’m actually so grossed out that I’m sitting here grimacing at the pictures days later.

C’maaaaan, TJs. Really?! A bug in my canned food?

[This is me hungrily pouting in search of a new favorite snack.]



Catching The Hatching of Wild Sea Turtles

August 19, 2015

The coolest part of our vacation to North Myrtle Beach this year was the big impromptu event on “crab night”, the night we all sit around picnic tables by the beach and pick crabs for dinner. Right as we were getting ready to sit down to dinner, we heard the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle […]

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Our Week in North Myrtle Beach: a vacay #photodump

August 18, 2015

If you’ve been following my snapchat [username: @ablyssa] or my instagram, you know I’m back to reality after our annual trip to North Myrtle Beach, SC. Real life is hard. I did every single morning run on the beach. After being used to the Richmond streets, the ocean breeze was awesome (unless it’s blowing against […]

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Life is Good [Life Update Time]

August 6, 2015

You know when you have several months of…. well, not the best fortune? And you try not to dwell on things not going your way, trudging on through, waiting patiently for improvements? As you know, the last year was a tough one, getting laid off, living in a new city, and feeling very alone. I […]

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10 Tips for Running Safety

July 28, 2015”

In talking with my friends who run for fun or are in training for races, I realized so few people take proper precautions to ensure safety while running. Here, I’ve compiled 10 of my favorite ways to ensure safety while running. 1. Change up your routine Is it just me, or do you always wonder […]

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Summertime Moisturizing & Exfoliating [A Peter Thomas Roth & BeautyBlender Giveaway!]

July 23, 2015

Moisturizing and exfoliating. It’s just as important to me in the summertime as it is in the winter. The sun dries out our skin. Flip flop feet exposed to the elements are not cute. Thankfully, Lather is pretty darn helpful, and Elements Beauty Shop has a zillion products to choose from to help quench the […]

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How to Hold Plank for Over 20 Minutes

July 21, 2015

I almost entitled this post “How Holding a Plank for 20 Minutes Will Totally Change Your Outlook on Every Obstacle You Approach.” That’s really wordy. However, it’s completely true. For work, I took the health insurance producer exam on Friday. As I was freaking out over how little time I had to study, one of […]

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Pre- and Post-Exercise Replenishment & Fueling with Dailyburn

July 10, 2015

Who’s in for a chat about protein powders and pre- and post- exercise supplements? You? Great. First up, protein. I’m forever trying to figure out how to boost protein in snacks and meals I make around the house (see: meat head). When I got my hands on FUEL-6 by DailyBurn, I think I met my […]

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