cocktails

Gratuitous Food and Cocktail Pictures/Descriptions From Recent Trips( and local)

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Just for fun and something different, I thought I’d do a food/travel piece like that. A tiny description/thoughts on a place with a couple of food/drink/ambience pics. Let’s face it, you come here to read my goofy statements and see some pictures!  I’ll never win any awards for this but you guys just keep showing up lol! Let’s do this.
     First Nobu at Caesars in Las Vegas. As with every in Caesar’s, it’s great. Cool look with open modern area and skirted off private booths. Sushi,sushi,sushi! 
 

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    Murphy’s Pub on the UIUC campus in chambana. A classic bar with great burgers. A nice dive that isn’t a dive.

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Mama Sherry’s in Destin Florida. Pizza, wings and other great things. Great food at great prices in an area where food isn’t always cheap. Beer and wine specials, just an overall vibe that feels like vacation.

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Jean Georges in Aria, Las Vegas. Beautiful, world class Steak house. Stunning selection of meat and seafood with great servers. The wine list and staff Aline make it worth a visit. Expensive but worth it. One of my favorites.

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Black dog Smoke and Ale House in Champaign. Great BBQ in a cool old railyard building. Listed as one if the BBQ places in America. Great sides and a fantastic bar list. The ambience is with the trip alone.

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Costa Di Mare in Wynn Las Vegas. One of the most knowledgeable staffs I’ve ever been around. I got a lesson in fish, and sourcing it from unusual places. Prep and cooking. Wine etc. It was amazing. Truly like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Like everything at Wynn, it is first class, and expensive.

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      Look for more in depth reviews of some these at another time. Just wanted to whet your appetite a bit, and entertain you. Yes a bit all over the page but so am I !  Burgers to sushi from a guy who likes to fight and write.
     If you want to be featured or just get an inexpensive link here email me. Lots of plans and prices. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife on Twitter
    Today’s link
https://m.facebook.com/Murphys-Pub-116375968386068/

Walk Around And See Beautiful Art In Vegas ( sculpture/paintings/performance/landscape)

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I love Vegas. For so many reasons. One of them is that I love art. I know less than a kindergarten child about it but I love it. As someone who has lots of brain trauma from fighting, art helps me relax,enjoy and learn. If you wander around around Las Vegas you will find incredible art. Seriously just walking around. You don’t have to pay for a museum, installation etc. It’s just there. From expensive pieces from masters to performance art and incredible fountain/landscape pieces. It is a feast for the senses. Take a look at these pictures and get an idea of how you can view and learn just walking around.
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For me there is nothing like being able to walk and see incredible art in public areas. Yes Las Vegas is basically one big performance piece, but you can see so much more if you just open your eyes. From fountains and sculpt to opera singers wandering. From master paintings to a 28 million dollar sculp, pictured with my hot wife and her hot coworker/friend on a  trip last year.  Yep, Steve Wynn turned down 28 million for multi colored Popeye!!!
     Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com to have us market and review your business today. Large social media following, and great conversational marketing program.  Lets work together and build your business for a very affordable amount. Follow @combatsportlife on twitter.
    Get your link here for less than dinner out.
Today’s links!
http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/
http://www.palazzo.com/
http://www.venetian.com/
https://www.aria.com/
https://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/

Random Walk And Pictures In Destin Florida ( plus thoughts on the area)

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For those who follow me you already know why I do these pieces. New people? It’s all about learning what an area is like when you go there. Not the glitzy fake shots but what it looks and feels like. Yes I get paid to Promote some places, but I always tell you what it is like. Really Iike!  While I have been all over and treated to an incredible life, I’m a normal guy.  I grew up throwing hay and hunting.  These posts are how I show my kind of people what they should look for.
So in the continuing series of this kind of post please enjoy my thoughts, opinions and pictures on the area. Before I start the pictures which I will kind of put into areas and ideas ( I’m an old fighter not a journalist!!) Let me say that I LOVE!!!! Destin!!!  The water is as gorgeous as anywhere I’ve been in the world. Great restaurants from gourmet to bar food ( my fave). Sugar sand beaches and great shopping. Above all, it has these things in a relaxed southern environment!!!! So let’s get ready to see what it looks like.

I’m going to wander a bit in these pics with a short description overall. First up some random beach shots, mostly down near embassy & the beach hut but a few other shore shots. The water here is gorgeous and some of the cleanest softest sand I’ve been on.

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There are many great restaurants and bars in the area from casual Beach places to chef driven Culinary masterpiece spots. Take a look at some food and spots.

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There are some very cool shopping spots from tourist kitsch stores along the beach drive (Alvin’s island) to the awesome Destin Commons.

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Destin is gorgeous and relaxing with world class food and shopping. I had a great time here and look forward to sharing more about it with you. A couple more random shots just for fun

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If you would like to have us visit your hotel, restaurant or other business to do a piece about it or represent you through our marketing channels email today. From full featured posts about you to ad campaigns or just very inexpensive links. Get involved in our conversational marketing programs. tompkinscontent@gmail.com & follow @combatsportlife on twitter.
Today’s links
http://www.destincommons.com/
http://www.embassydestin.com/
http://www.harryts.com/

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). Take a look at things we love as well Things we love

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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://www.amazon.com/shop/combatsportlife

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. Great Ideas for travel gear
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

Take Stroll Through Harbor Walk Village In Destin Florida (pictures and video)

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Yes I’m a guy ( a hairy beast of a washed up fighter guy at that!) yet I still shop! Especially in cool locations when I travel. OK so mostly my wife, Sensei Sandy shops and I get coffee or a cocktail and people watch. Same thing right??!!  A cool set of shops in an interesting place actually gets my interest. Remember I run media/marketing firm and did 20 years on Wall Street, any commerce gets my interest!
   Harbor Walk Village is flat cool. From great restaurants and bars sitting right on the water to interesting shops. Yes there are normal places you would know, but there are many Beach/harbor vibe cool places. Nice to just wander around.
    Several things that are different make it extra cool.  A little area of food trucks that are awesome, including an airstream trailer. Gives the place a great harbor vibe. It is also the home to the Destin fishing fleet, the largest charter fleet in America. You will see Massive fish being brought in. Soooo cool!!  You can go on a dolphin cruise starting here. We did that and I’ll be doing an article/review of it before too long. You can also book a pirate cruise here, looked cool if you had young children.

      Since most of you are looking this to see pictures and not my incredible writing lol, I’ll start posting them. Catch you after the pic and video jump to talk a bit more about the area. The even more pics and video!!

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So you can see it is a very cool area no matter what you like. We are at Harry Ts Lighthouse and Margaritaville there and I’ll do reviews of both in coming weeks. There are a ton of places to eat and sooo many looked great. I’m ready to book my return and just hang out here!!  It’s a mix of cool upscale with relaxed old fishing village. Kinda dig it.
       It is built with the Emerald Grande complex, condo residence and vacation rentals. Great looking place. I did not stay there but I’m looking into it for the next trip. Their website will tell you about both the complex and the village. Very informative.

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Give this place a look. It was fun and relaxing, coming from a guy who is always amped up!  I’ll be looking into Emerald Grande next trip( if you are their marketing rep, let’s get together!!) And you should look at all your options there. If you’d like to be included in our reviews or need promotion, email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter
Today’s Links , Get your name here
http://www.emeraldgrande.com/harborwalk-village
http://www.margaritavilledestin.com/mobile-home.html
http://www.harryts.com/

Pictures and Thoughts About The Beach In Destin To Florida ( the first of many lol).

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Hope I will do more in depth writing about it the area, I wanted to send us into this rainy Midwestern weekend with some nice beach pictures. I will say that the stretch of beach I was on and others I saw in Destin are some of the most beautiful I have seen. Truly anywhere ( and I’ve been many places!!!!). Gorgeous water, clean sand.

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In this picture series I’ll mix it up a bit. Form bright, sunny and clear to the night I walked it in a huge storm( have I mentioned I used to get hit in the head for a living??!!). Just a few pics today but I want you to see the beauty there. Maybe get ideas, get motivated or pumped up. As a coach that’s my job. As a world traveler  it’s kind of my job too. Just enjoy the pictures, get lifted up and ready. After the jump I’ll talk just a bit about the area. Also if you’re ready to push yourself or your business to the stage, I’ll post my info there as well. Love to work with you!!!!

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The area I was mostly in was truly the cleanest and most quiet stretch I’ve been on. Some of the other strips in town were also perfectly clean but a bit more rowdy. Toward Whale Tails restaurant is open Beach and gets lively. Clean but lively. It was spring break of course, but keep this in mind when making reservations. Whatever your taste is lol
     If you’re ready to step up and build, contact us. If you’re looking for personal coaching and getting better in the ring I will work with you. What you might not know is that I also run a media company. Get a social media campaign, full marketing program or just a vision consultation. Between 20 years on Wall Street, global travel for fights and a love of helping create,vive got you covered. Very affordable at every level. Quit putting things off. Change your life today and join me on the beach ! Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com as well as follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter

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A Quick Review Of Quick Bite At Surf Hut In Destin Florida (Pictures)

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   While my reviews are never super long or wordy, this one is shorter than normal. Not because it was bad, but because we at there after getting out of the car from along trip. We pulled in to Embassy Suites, unloaded and walked across the street to  Surf Hut. Usually I spend time getting lots of photos of the place and our food but not this time. We were tired and the girls didn’t want to work with me right then lol.

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   It’s a great location. Right on the beach and facing Gulf Drive. This makes it not cheap. It isn’t high end expensive, just pricy for coastal casual. It’s worth it. The food is good, the service is great and the location awesome. I’ll give you an idea of prices in a minute( not terrible, just not cheap). It has a great deck in the back and a bit if private beach with games. A nice covered porch on the front, classic keys look for dining.
    My wife and I both had the special, six gulf shrimp with fries and slaw for $13.99. It was good and not way out on price( higher than most areas though).  My daughter had a cheeseburger and fries also 13.99. It was good, but obviously for just a regular burger that’s slightly high. Let me just say, all well with it. The location sells it and the food is good. I just want you to know what you’re looking at.
     It was great overall and I definitely recommend it. If you’re in Destin, give it a shot. A nice relaxing time. Take a look at these pictures and enjoy.

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Hope the pictures help( took the night shot from the beach another time). Again, it was a quick meal so a quick post!  Sometimes that’s the best though!
   If you need help promoting your business or you want to be reviewed, contact us. All kinds of services and advertising/ marketing available. Inexpensive and casual. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter.
   Check out today’s links
https://surfhutdestin.html
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-destin-miramar-beach-DSIESES/index.html
graytonbeer.com

Embassy Suites in Destin Florida ( From a Fighter Who Has Been Around The World)

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I have to say that I’ve lost count of how many times and how many places I’ve stayed in an Embassy Suites. I know the first time was in the late 80s when I was young man. I was doing a kickboxing seminar in St Louis after fighting there a few weeks before. They booked me in to an Embassy in Laclede’s Landing. I was hooked!  Yes like any hotel chain there are ups and downs but for the most part I never worry when a company or dojo book one for me.

So recently my wife, on a whim booked a week in Destin Florida at one for spring break. I was already going to be in the area for a day to do a private coaching session for a fighter, so my wife decided to make a trip of it with our youngest ( my 20 year old daughter ) as we won’t have many left with her at home. Embassy suites it was then.

I like to do my reviews of a hotel or resort as a rolling conversation, but with a core. The general, the meat and the area but mostly pictures!  It gives you an idea of what its really like and as an old fighter, it’s simple!

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So here is the general. Embassy suites is known for three things. Being all suites, having a breakfast buffet with some great cooked to order items and it’s evening happy hour. The evening reception is snacks and free drinks for two hours. Wine, beer and simple mixed drinks. It is a huge draw!  Always served in a gorgeous atrium. This one happened to be under construction during our trip. They used one of their many nice meeting rooms for it, not great but they did a good job. The work was finished our last night so we go a good look and some pics( more later).
The room was very nice. Always good space. Clean and well designed. It has a good luxury feel at a less than luxury price. I always like them, and this location was no exception. Beach locations are hard to stay ahead of cleaning and maintenance but they did well here. I’ll let some room pictures speak for me.

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It’s not in the top of luxe places we stay, but for family trips for many folks it is great. I’ve been all over and we are spoiled, yet this place didn’t disappoint us.

You get private access to strip of beach. It’s a quick walk across the street and it’s gorgeous. You have numbered access through a gate. All places along this strip are like that but keeps things quiet and subdued. Upside is its clean and no drunken stripper battles ( OK upside at my age lol). Downside is that you don’t have the cool cheap Beach food stands right there. If that’s you’re thing for Beach vacation, this isn’t your place. The beach is stunning, but I’ll cover that in other pieces.

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Location wise it’s great for some things, not others. It’s a distance from some big things, harbor walk etc and clubs. If you want to party, arrange transportation or stay elsewhere. For the most part that isn’t who would be here. Harbor walk is great ( upcoming piece) but the party part is different. We stayed here and went there several times. It is very close to Destin Commons which is a cool shopping center with great views( another coming picture review. It’s also close to Silver Sands Premium Outlets if that’s your thing. They are both on 98 and within a couple of miles. Heck I walked up by Silver Sands one night. Ok full disclosure, we all got hungry late and there had been a bit of drinking. Solution, walk to Whataburger and bring food back. Easy walk, and not a bad area. I might not be a good judge as I get hit in the head often!
You can walk along scenic gulf drive, as the hotel sits on it. From Beach rental homes, gorgeous private complete es to kitschy shops it’s a cool place to walk. I’m going to post a few of that ( expect an article just on that street) along with the atrium and other amenities. Catch the final after the jump.

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A quick summation.  If you are want to yell and party naked on the beach, this isn’t you ( I’ll probably hit you ). If you need perfect luxe this isn’t you ( been to that place but still like this). Enjoy it. Enjoy the  area. Enjoy your family.
If you want your place promoted or reviewed, contact us. Want a cheap link or ad with us? Hit us up. Full creative social campaign? Got it!  Motivation for your company?  Personal coaching or private sessions for fighting?  Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter. Extremely affordable, unbelievable as to how cheap ( except the fight sessions, those are expensive ♥). If I’m a few dollars and up.
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Links and PR from today
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-destin-miramar-beach-DSIESES/index.html
http://m.premiumoutlets.com/default.aspx?id=1348
http://www.destincommons.com/
http://whataburger.com/

Random Walk Pictorial Branson Mo!

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Let me just say that I and my family love Branson. I know that as a guy who does reviews of places like Wynn in Vegas that it doesn’t seem right. It is. I’ve been going there since my oldest child was a toddler. Actually before that. When I was young in the mid 70s we were through there staying at other places in the Ozarks. I will be doing multiple pieces on this place and showing the entire area over time. These pictures are actually of a very small part and taken while we were there for a dance event with our daughter. Yes my daughter who was a 2time national champ in sport karate also won numerous national titles in dance. Today she teaches and choreographs as well as goes to college. Enjoy this area and short piece and whet your appetite for an informative budget travel series coming soon.
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The very cool and historic Scenic railroad. Shot from the walkway along the Hilton and  Branson Convention center.  The railroad and tourist part of that scene have been there long before Branson Landing and The Hilton there were built. The area and train are old. The hotel and mall are new. Perfect mix. Most of the next pictures are from this area as the convention center was where we were for dance. I’ll explain a bit about the area at the end. Very different than when we started going there regularly  in the early 90s.

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So this area of Branson Missouri is a mix. It’s both the oldest part of town and the area that the newest
And most modern hotels and restaurants have come. Still you can walk a block away and feel like you are a century back.  Did I mention I love  Branson?  I travel the world and spend tons of time on places like Manhattan but I love Branson and Gatlinburg. Truly where I want to be!!!!!  If you are a merchant in this area, contact us. I would rather promo your tiny motel than the big boys. Let’s go!!!!!!
For prom and advertising contact tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on twitter.