Month: April 2016

Walking In Vegas ( more thoughts and pics in the random series )

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One of the best ways to learn and see what is place is like is to just wander. Whether I’m traveling to train/teach a seminar( or when I was fighting) or being paid travel and write/promote it’s something I always do. I never though I’d get paid to write about trips or get my picture taken. I’m still rough in doing so but folks seem to like it. 
      Because I take so many random pictures when I’m walking around to get the vibe, I started doing posts with them. You’ll see some earlier ones if you scroll through the archives. This one is Vegas ( I’ll likely do 50 on it because I have soooo many and am there often!) And has things from random street to Caesar’s and Miracle Mile. You’ll also see around The Mirage and Treasure Island plus a bit more. Just walking around the outside areas in Caesar’s complex could be multiple articles.  Stunning and well kept as are most of the places. Take a look. After the pics we will discuss why you want to shoot like this as a travel blogger and I’ll pitch you using me to Promote you!  Hey, gotta pay for my drinks right?
     

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There are tons of slick, network style travel producers out there. People who really want to see what a place is like and get help deciding go to blogs. Try these kinds of pictures and see the response. It helps your reader !
   If you want your product repped in our travels or to have us do our famous and fun promo for your hotel/restaurant/casino then email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Using our lifestyle experience of travel from fighting and seminars plus twenty years on Wall Street to Promote you. We get you noticed and talked about in a good way. We build relationships not just hype and hit.
   Follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on twitter
Check out today’s link
https://m.facebook.com/westbrookstable/

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Easy Mediterranean Dish w/ Quinoa And Chicken ( and malbec)

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  Between fighting/training all over and now doing travel/product PR I’ve learned to love dishes from all over the world. I’ve also found that it helps me eat a bit healthier when I try different cultural cuisines ( scroll the archives here and you’ll find an article on the subject). This dish is an absolute mix of many, that I just made up from those influences.
      Adjust your sizes and portions according to how many you are cooking for. In my case it was just for my wife and I. Ended up with at least another meal or two of leftovers. Before I give you the ingredient list and technique let me say it’s easy but not super quick. It doesn’t take a ton of time but a little prep ahead is helpful. You have to soak the chicken ( a few hours is best).

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The vegetable mix/boil can easily be done ahead and soak( actually the best ) as it will simmer with the chicken later. None of this is hard to do or requires Culinary Genius!  Just enjoy having fun with it but know it doesn’t take five minutes. I’m going to give you the ingredient list and then the put together ( stages of cooking and building the dish). Again, don’t be scared off. It’s easy and less than an hour actual active time. Closer to 30 minutes!  Also I Often use fresh ingredients but I want you to know you can do with canned or frozen. Fighters and startups are on a budget when they get going. And young families. You can look and taste fancy for not much!  Also, I used Frontera wine which is not expensive. It was great for the soak plus I drank a couple of glasses while prepping. Quite a good malbec for not very much. No matter where I go or what I drink, a good inexpensive wine or beer is my zone!!!!  This is pretty dang good.
    2 boneless chicken breast
     1 cup quinoa
      1 can chick peas
      1 can black olives
       Chopped mushrooms ( small can or= AMT fresh)
       1 green pepper ( sliced into small pieces)
      Garlic powder
       Turmeric powder
        Sriracha or Peri Peri ( personal choice,don’t need either)
          1 cup of malbec or another red wine ( malbec or Merlot best )
     Chopped cabbage or spinach

          
            Put your chicken in a bag. Mix wine and your hot sauce if used and toss into the bag. Shake garlic and turmeric in the bag. Close and shake. Put it back in the fridge until cooking time. If you have time prep your vegetables now asvthey will be better if they soak.
     Put all the vegetables/chick peas etc  in a sauce pot. Bring to a rolling boil.  Cool and refrigerate to soak. All afternoon for both these things ( chicken/veg boil) to soak is best.
     Now you’re ready for the final assault!  Cut the chicken into small pieces and toss in to saute, almost stir fry. Nice solid brown color. When your there, put the liquid from the soak in. Add the veg mix and bring to a boil. Shut off immediately and cover. Just let it ride that way while you cook the quinoa. That takes a little over 15 minutes, which allows the chicken and vegetables to flavor each other.
     When it’s ready, place your chopped cabbage or spinach as a bed on the plate. Cover with quinoa and then ladle the chicken/chick pea mix over it. You can toss a little blue cheese or feta on it. Drink some wine and enjoy. Take a look at the pics and we’ll talk after that.

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It’s a great tasting, visually appealing and healthy dish. You look like a chef but it doesn’t take any special skill. Give it a shot and by all means put your own spin on it. If you want to have an inexpensive link on this page or be featured, contact us. And of course private coaching/seminars/motivational speaking and fight camps will always be available. Plus we love to rep  and promote your brand through social media. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Also follow @combatsportlife &  @tompkinscontent on twitter as well as @combatsportslifestyle on IG.
 
Today’s links
http://www.fronterawines.com/
https://m.facebook.com/westbrookstable/

    

Quick Review of A Great Meal @ The Bread Company In Urbana ( lots of pics)

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Let me start with a couple of short statements. I’ve been going to this place with my wife since she was my girlfriend ( A loooong dang time! ). We don’t get there as much because of my travel schedule but this meal reminded me I need to change that! Awesome!!  Second, at some point I’ll do a full review and the inside pics. We ate al fresco and it’s true Street side cafe experience. Love it, but the inside is so very cool that I feel almost criminal not showing you. I’ll have to make that happen. So now on to the thoughts on food and the pictures!
The place is known for its bread obviously, and rightfully so. If you love the classic euro/Swiss feel and food this place is truly a destination for you. They are also known for fondue and it is wonderful. This time we changed gears and tried things there we had not before. As is normal for us, we just kind of ordered several things and ate whatever. And fed each other lol. Almost 50 and together for over three decades and still like young daters lol.
Besides all the bread they brought us first, we had the crab cakes ( my wife’s true love! ). Served on a bed of greens they were outstanding. Obvious use of proper breading made in house. We also ordered a pizza margherita. Let met say I am not a crispy crust guy. This was great. It had that just scorched edge to it. We both loved it.
We also had the fried goat cheese. Again an obvious perfect use of bread crumbs that just happened to be available in a place famous for bread. Perfectly crisp with creamy melting goat cheese inside. Served with a plated bed of honey and strawberry. Simple yet perfect.
Beverages you say??!!  Why yes we might have. They carry a few JT Walkers beers and that makes me happy. JT’s is literally walking distance ( done it!! ) from my house. Maybe a mile. I love the Hail To The Chief IPA. It’s one of my go to beers when I’m around here. So of course that’s what I had. Fabulous as usual. My wife had the sangria. She is a sangria snob. Orders it often. Rarely impressed lol. She liked this one!!  I have to guess that’s a good sign. Take a look at my usual random picture set and we will talk location ( and advertising/sponsorship).

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The restaurant is located in what we use to call the Tbird plaza. Why, because it used to house the third movie theater and tbird pizza. The theater is now the famous canopy club!  This is all on the UIUC campus on the Urbana side. Right near Krannert Center. I know we are rural farm folk ( which I love ) but I’ve traveled the globe for fighting and marketing work. This area is truly world class. Take a trip and enjoy it. If you’re from the Chambana area and haven’t been here, I’ll be coming for you!!  Seriously though go enjoy this place and this area.
If you want us to come eat,drink and review your place then contact us today. Beyond that if you want great promo/pics and chatter about yourself, hit us up. From social ads to full campaign work. Plus you can get a globe hopping beat up retired fighter as your spokesperson!!!!  I might limp but I photograph well!  Seriously, work with us. Worried about money? We can work something out. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Also follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on Twitter
Check today’s links and sponsors.
http://www.thebreadcompanyurbana.com/

Front Page

http://krannertcenter.com/
https://m.facebook.com/westbrookstable/

A Quick Review Of Island Wing Co In Destin Florida

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I usually stick to local dives and hang outs when on a beach vacation, but sometimes something catches my attention. I love wings!  My daughter loves wings even more than I do. Driving along 98 in Destin headed to another area, she spotted Island Wing in a strip mall type area. Not always a bad thing but on beach vacation not always my usual haunt at the beach. It’s a chain but only a few of them and all at Beach locations.
  

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First and possibly most importantly, they have a huge and varied draft beer list. For me this is vital. I know nobody but me cares but it is a sign of a great place!  Second, it’s got a very cool island vibe to it for a place in a strip mall and its very clean.
     The menu is solid leaning obviously toward wings but also chicken sandwiches and burgers. Great sauces and condiments as well as sides. I was in the mood for a sandwich instead of wings so I had the one in the picture. Very good and just spicy enough without being crazy for a normal dinner. I’ll let you look at the menu from the link to see the sauces and make your own decisions after the picture set. I had the sweet çaribbean chicken with an add of jerk sauce. My wife had the honey bourbon wing and my daughter had the Thai chili wings. Great stuff on each. A good amount and very good quality. The price was good as well for a vacation destination in a nice building.
   The service was very good with an attentive young man taking care of us. The added sauce on my sandwich made the right combination of sweet and hot paired with a nice Kona Brewing draught. Can’t beat that. Take a look at the crestvof the pics and then hit the link after the jump.

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Twitter
f you’re in Destin Florida or in Gulf shores check this place out but was right up my alley in food and environment. Plus Draught Beer!!!!  Tell the we sent you!  Check out the link and if you want to be featured here contact us at tompkinscontent@gmail.com . Also follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on Twitter
http://www.islandwing.com/

Pick Yourself Up Off The Ring Floor and Finish ( in fighting/life/business)

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   As a fighter we would talk about beating the count or riding the clock out of trouble. It happens no matter how awesome you are in the ring or cage. You’re going to be in that position. It will happen in business at some point, no matter how smart you are or how great your product is. It will happen in life no matter how hot you are or how much money you have. The way out is the same. I’m going to tell you a short, embarrassing story from my fight career to make my point.
   

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  A life time ago I was fighting in an absolute tournament, open weight in other words. It was part of a GP series heading into a national cup. Part of the long defunct LFF it was different than normal. No weight class (absolute) and a mix of styles. No ground but standard rules for sweeps. We usually had a Muay Thai or kickboxing format in these pro series fights but this brought all kinds in. From brawlers to guys who looked like WWE people.  In the semi round I came up against a Tongan guy (Manny something lol). Well over 6ft and mid 200#  I was taller then, maybe 5’9 as I’ve lost about 2 inches of my neck from damage now. I was also only about 138# then lol. I decided to get the crowd pumped right off by going back to my karate roots and throwing a flying side kick out of the box. Not a normal technique for kick boxing, and I thought it would look awesome !!!  Plus executed well to the head it might set the tone or end the fight early. Sooooo, I basically misjudged where I was and missed. Classic airball miss. As I came out of the air his giant hand clocked me right in the face and took me to the canvas. My cockiness and lack of of distance judgement had just put me flat on my back. In pain, embarrassed and likely being laughed at ( couldn’t tell you because my ears were ringing) I could have easily been done. Somehow I managed to beat the count and get to my feet. I think I spent the rest of the round running from him. The next rounds I cut angles and basically side  kicked his leg until he couldn’t go on( chopping the tree ). Again not standard Muay Thai but it’s what I had available, and it kept me away from those giant paws!!!

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So what’s my point here overall? Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Yes it hurt. Yes I was embarrassed. Yes I could have still lost. You know what would have been worse?  Giving up. Laying there when I had a choice. Try!!!!!  Don’t stop trying. I don’t care if it’s an issue in your marriage, or a hiccup in your social media marketing plan. Don’t stop trying. Change your tactics. Change how you do it. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on winning. Don’t give up on success.

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  If you need personal coaching or motivation for yourself/employees contact me. From seminars to Motivational speaking I love to help people. Also social ads and marketing on multiple channels. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Also follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on Twitter.

Walking Around The Palazzo and Venetian In Vegas (random walk pictorial )

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A common theme with me is just walking around an area and enjoying it. Seeing how it’s built. Having coffee while I walk. Later having a cocktail and a measly to just take it all in. As a blogger I like to take tons of random pictures of an area. It helps people see what something looks like and how it feels. Sooo much easier to describe and hopefully allow people to have the feeling of being there. 
    The Palazzo, The Venetian and the Grand Canal Shoppes in Las Vegas happen to be one of the best places in the world to do that. You get both the feel of being in Italy, actually in Italy ( yes I’ve been there) plus you’re in Vegas Baby!!!  Visually Stunning, great stores and food. Clean!!!!  Can’t beat it. I’m going to mostly just post pictures here for two reasons. One, I’m going back there soon to do a full review. Two, I just want you to get the feel of walking it and have your own ideas. OK and it’s Friday so I’m ready to quit writing and have a drink while I grill !  I!l hoo on s bit between picture sets, but mostly just think like you are there. Describe it to yourself in the pictures you see.

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From the Frescos in the lobby to getting a gourmet pizza from a Mario Batali restaurant that feels like your eating outside. Your senses will continually be stimulated in a relaxing manner. Coffee, pastries and gelato.
   One of the best things though is just walking even on the walkways outside. Again it’s the feeling of where you are. Authentic and fun. Take a look.

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From the simple pleasure of listening to the gondoliers singing in actual gondolas to great food. You can wander here and not spend a dime yet still be entertained. You can also spend a lot and be entertained lol. 

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If you would like your place/product/company featured or reviewed here, please contact us. From sponsored posts to social ads and complete marketing campaigns. Multi channel ads. Or just buy a very inexpensive link or twitter ad. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com as well as follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on Twitter.
Check out today’s links
http://www.palazzo.com/
http://www.venetian.com/
https://www.grandcanalshoppes.com/en.html
http://www.illy.com/wps/wcm/connect/en/home

Back Roads To Florida In Words And Pictures ( OK just some random fun!)

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   I love two lanes. I’m a kid who grew up in a tiny farm town and it’s how you travel. Out of the way cafes, old truck stops. I love it. Sadly tons of my travel these days is on a jet. That’s awesome for some things and I love the luxurious exotic places we go, but it misses something. One of the things I love about travel is seeing the little things. How people live or eat in an area, especially rural areas. Gas stations can be one of the coolest learning experiences!  Where I’m from it was the hang out as a kid. Park your car in the corner with your friends, grab a soda out of the machine and talk about life.
  On my recent trip to Florida we drove. We had fun and my Cajun friend who vacations in Destin often gave me a cool way to go from here. My Cajun friend who lived up here for years ( and is an executive who has testified before congress lol) so he has great love of back roads like me. I wanted to post pictures of this part of the trip. My wife shot most of them from the window of the car while I drove, so don’t expect incredible photography. Enjoy it for what it is. I’m also going to throw a few in from the bigger highways but they were unusual. Fitting for road trips. I’ll pop in and out to explain through the trip!
  

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Most of these pictures were taken in southern Alabama and Northwestern Florida. If you get that way, a bit South of Montgomery turn off of 65 onto 31. The trip to the beach this way will take you along 31,41,87 and 4 in Alabama and Florida as well as through Blackwater River state park. Take the time and do it. See America!
  The next pics are from other parts of the trip but still less photographed. Truckstop coffee. Roadside kitsch. My love!!!  Enjoy. From I 57 in Illinois on down. One interesting set. A hotel in Alabama flying a Korean flag with sushi stuff on the breakfast bar. Turns out there was large Hyundai plant in the area. Just funny in rural South. Enjoy!

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The next time you take a road trip, take some time and just enjoy the journey on the road. It’s how most of America lives. See where your food comes from!  For marketing/advertising or to Get us to visit your place email tompkinscontent@gmail.com.    obviously if you want seminars for martial arts and fight camps we would love to help you with that as well. Follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on Twitter
Today’s links. Get yours here inexpensively.
http://www.martinandbayley.com/