Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Boot Camp: Balance Personal Training

I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged. That has always been my personality. I like a little pressure. I like the feeling of growing, excelling, becoming stronger and better. So naturally, it was love at first class for me when I tried boot camp at Balance Personal Training Studio in Mountain Brook.

For the past several weeks, I've been attending boot camp classes taught by my insanely fit friend Scott Fell who is a personal trainer at BalanceIt's hands down the best workout I've ever done. My body has never felt better. Scott is a fantastic instructor with 8 years of personal training under his belt. He is full of energy and makes every class fun. His positive vibes are contagious! 

Before I started this class several weeks ago, the only exercise I had been doing was push-ups and speed walking on the treadmill. Through this class, I have incorporated weight training and lower body strength exercises into my workout routine. I'm amazed by the results. Every class is different, which keeps it fresh and fun. In the first class, we did jumping frog squats. I am dead serious - when I walked out of that class my butt sat an inch higher than it did before I came through the door. Amazing. I immediately signed up for more classes.

In these photos, shot by Birmingham based photographer Eric Gray, I wanted to capture some "boot camp" instructional moments with Scott. We shot at a field located walking distance from Balance Studio. When it's nice out, Scott teaches the class outdoors. We got in a nice variety of cardio and strength training. We did jogging, sprints, worked with ropes (so challenging!) and also did dumbell and kettlebell exercises. We finished with pushups and planks. 

"It's all about burning calories and building lean muscle mass", Scott explains. "Also gets your heart in fighting shape. It is for any age range.....if you put in the work you will lose body fat and build muscle!"  Scott is great about adjusting workouts according to the individual. Everyone gets a challenging workout but is never pushed beyond their limits. 

"You will walk in our door to workout and you will leave with new friends and a new body!", Scott explains. "Our clients are our family. Period. We put our bodies through so much pain but have a great time while doing it. There is truly no gym like ours."

In addition to Boot Camp classes, Balance Training Studio also offers cross training, cardio, weight training, and core/functional training classes. Scott, Martin Taylor, and Balance owner Michael Meadows all teach and do personal training. These guys are fantastic and will make you feel immediately welcome and comfortable. I love seeing them each week! : ) 

Finally, I asked Scott to share a healthy eating tip that I could include in the post. "Try to always make healthy eating choices, but LIVE LIFE. Don't overthink it. Work hard, but live", he says. "Treat yourself to a great bottle of wine here and there. A great meal. This is why we workout. If you only want to eat grilled chicken breast and spinach all day, that's no fun. Have a Balance of all."

I absolutely recommend trying out this class! A big thank you to Eric Gray for taking this gorgeous photos. Always a blast working with Eric. And a big thanks to Scott and Michael Meadows. : ) 

x, M

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Anytime I'm out of the office, I jump at the opportunity to wear ripped denim. Thin slits, big slashes, gaping holes - I love it all and own a nice little variety of torn jeans. This black pair by Blank NYC Jeans is definitely the most shredded up pair that I own. Love them. The stunning earrings I'm wearing are from this month's baroque themed Sunset 45 little luxuries box. Aren't they gorgeous?! I love a brilliant pop of red in winter months. I'm excited to collaborate with Sunset 45 this month on a Laylon curated box. Such an honor! Click HERE to enter my Sunset GIVEAWAY. A lucky winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter at the end of the month and will receive a November box of jewelry and accessories.

The red lipstick I'm wearing is Burnout by Kismet Cosmetics. The lovely Vino shade came in my Sunset 45 box this month. You need to own both of these lipsticks. So beautiful. Contact me if you're interested, as I'm the Birmingham area sales rep for Kismet. Email me with your inquiries: LaylonBeauty@aol.com

Another GIVEAWAY you need to know about: Gus Mayer Birmingham is giving away a $50 gift card. Click HERE to enter. The giveaway ends tomorrow night at 11:59. I bought the Elizabeth and James sunglasses I'm wearing here at Gus. : )

These gorgeous photos were shot by Birmingham based photographer Juan Rodriguez. Absolutely love!!

Happy Wednesday!

x, M

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Leather & Fringe + Another Fab GIVEAWAY!

I never grow tired of fringe. I like touching it. I love the way it moves and shimmies when wearing it. I love it's sexy vibe. So naturally, this leather fringe vest by LaMarque caught my eye when I recently spotted it at Gus Mayer. It's so fabulous - I love how long the fringe is on this piece. Gus Mayer kindly loaned me this vest to wear for this shoot. While picking it up, I spotted these sunglasses by Elizabeth and James, which I couldn't resist. I wear them all the time. Love! My cross earrings are from this month's baroque themed Sunset45 little luxuries box. I love them paired with these sunglasses. 

 As part of my special collaboration with Sunset45 this month, I'm excited to announce that Sunset will be giving away a November box to one of my lucky followers! To enter to win, all you have to do is follow Laylon and Sunset45 on social media. Click here to enter. A winner will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter at the end of the month, and I will announce who that lucky person is on my social media. : )

These gorgeous images were taken by talented Birmingham based photographer Juan Rodriguez. It was my first time to work with him, and we had an absolute blast. I love all the pops of gold hardware - the court house doors and railing and my accessories. It was SO hard choosing favorite images, because so many of them were phenomenal. Good problem : ) More photos captured by Juan to come!

Happy Monday!

x, M
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014


A perfect red lip is a must for fall. I love Burnout by 
Kismet Cosmetics, $16. It's not too bright and has a little warmth to it - so it's perfect for cooler months. This lipstick is extremely pigmented. One tube of this formula would last a long time since just a little bit goes a long way. It's also long lasting. I use a lip brush to apply this shade, for more precise application. Please place your orders with me, as I am a sales rep for the brand! Contact me at LaylonBeauty@aol.com. 

The foundation I'm wearing is Ashley Seivert Mineral Velvet Creme Foundation. It could not be more appropriately named, because it really does have a velvet soft finish that looks beautiful. This is definitely my favorite foundation. I get a lot of airbrush tans, and so the LA shade is what I usually wear. It's waterproof and has SPF 15. 

The piece I'm wearing on my wrist is a necklace I wrapped into a slave bracelet from this month's Sunset 45 little luxuries box. I love the little pops of ruby for fall. 

Birmingham based photographer Brad Lovell took this gorgeous photo. You're in good hands with Brad for extreme closeups like this : )

Happy Wednesday!

x, M
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Monday, November 10, 2014


In this post, I'm wearing a couple more of the accessories I received in this month's Sunset 45 little luxuries box - a pretty pair of earrings and a pearl necklace I'm wearing as a wrist piece. I love this month's baroque theme, and I am thrilled to be collaborating with Sunset 45 throughout the month. I'm also wearing my very first designer purchase, a pair of fabulous Alexander McQueen heels, that I bought as a present to myself for winning the Natalie Jacobson Fellowship at Boston University. Ah, my reporter days. : ) The sunglasses are by Elizabeth and James, which I picked up from Gus Mayer. The jacket is Helmut Lang, and my wallet is Badgley Mischka. Birmingham based photographer Mary Catherine Fehr shot these beautiful photos. She and I always have a great time. : ) 

For more on Sunset 45 + giveaway opportunities, follow on Insta

Happy Monday! 

x, M
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Friday, November 7, 2014


Safety pin ring: Camplandon Connect ring
I love this ostrich feather skirt, so I am trying to squeeze in another wear or two before it gets too cold. I wore it in an outfit post from earlier this week (here). Here, I'm wearing my new Boylston earrings from Shals along with a little stack of the Lila bangles. I also adore the Katia and Middleton earring styles from Shals. So pretty! I have so loved experimenting with dangly earrings as of late (I had my ears pierced for the first time this summer). Feel more put together in them. Def check out more of Shals pieces on her Instagram page: Shopshals

My talented photographer friend Nicole Muro of Carnaggio Photography and TWYNblog took these gorgeous photos. So beautiful! Nicole is amazing. 

My lipstick is Empower by Kismet Cosmetics, $16. I'm a rep for the brand, so please place your orders with me! You'll find the lipsticks featured for the second time, in this month's issue of Southern Living. The quality and rich pigment is amazing, and you need to own one : ) On my legs, I'm wearing Kismet Cosmetics Instant Bronzing Lotion, $19. Also something you need to try for immediate glow and color. Message me with your questions/inquiries.

Happy Friday!

x, M
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Thursday, November 6, 2014


I am allllllll about a dark lip for fall, particularly deep wine. My current obsession is Vino, a brand new shade by Kismet Cosmetics, which I'm wearing here. It's dramatic and gorge - not dull or muddy like some shades of wine. The formula is hydrating and really long lasting. Send me a message if you're interested in trying it, as I'm a sales rep for the Birmingham area. $16 per tube. A softer wine effect can be achieved with Kismet's Naked Gypsy shade on top. Click here to see me wearing Vino in my recent lumberjack post. Isn't it fab?

The earrings came in this month's Sunset45 little luxuries box. I love November's Byzantine themed jewelry and accessories. Classic and gorge. Stay tuned for more Sunset45 looks throughout the month! 

Birmingham based photographer and friend Brad Lovell shot this sleek photo. I feel like I'm in a Gucci ad. Love!! Always fun working with Brad. 

My foundation I'm wearing is Ashley Sievert Mineral Velvet Creme Foundation. I'm wearing the LA shade. Super lightweight and the finish is beautiful. Really love this foundation. 

Happy Thursday!

x, M
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Safety pin ring: Camplandon Connect

This month, I'm excited to collaborate with Sunset45 on the new Baroque/Byzantine themed little luxuries boxes. Throughout November, I'll be wearing pieces from both the Classic and Lavish boxes. Really love the jewelry and accessories this month. The cuff bracelet I'm wearing here is one of the lovely items I received. I paired it with my ostrich feather skirt. I call it my party skirt. I love it so much, I wear it whether or not I have an occasion to do so. I make the occasion. I'm also wearing my new Elizabeth and James sunglasses from Gus Mayer. Absolutely love! My crystal stud earrings are Chloe and Isabel from Chloe and Isabel Merchandise manager and friend Anna Lisa Ciaccio. I wear these just about everyday! Love. Birmingham based photographer and friend Mary Catherine Fehr shot these lovely images. I will be sharing more of Mary Catherine's photos in the coming weeks. 

As for the legs... I'm wearing my secret weapon, Kismet Cosmetics Instant Bronzing Lotion ($19), which immediately makes legs look tanned and more toned. Can't live without it. Contact me/let me know if you have questions if you're interested in trying it - I'm a sales rep for the brand. 

Happy Tuesday!

x, M

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Crow Chic

Ring on forefinger, left hand: Camplandon CONNECT 

I have never been shy about my height. It's something I've always embraced. I love wearing heels and don't mind one bit being over 6 feet tall when wearing them. I know I'm tall, but my first thought when seeing this first photo snapped by my talented friend Nicole Muro of Carnaggio Photography was am I really that tall?? Absolutely love it. 

I credit the name of this blog post to one follower who posted the hashtag #crowchic underneath the Instagram upload of this photo. Dying haha! This #crowchic jacket is from Urban Outfitters. The perforated leather gym shorts are by Capulet. I'm wearing Kismet Cosmetics instant bronzing lotion on the legs. Makes legs look awesome. Also wearing Kismet Cosmetics lipstick in EmpowerMessage me if you want to try either, as I rep for the brand.

Here I'm also wearing a couple of new pieces of jewelry from Shals, one of my fave online boutiques. The pendant necklace I'm wearing is the Prudence style. I also love the France pendant necklace, and the original pendant style. As for her collar style offerings, I am positively obsessed with the Middleton. Amazing! The Tal and the Kiran are two of my personal go-to's. I'm also wearing two of the gold Lila bangles here, which go with everything and mix well with other bracelets. If you follow me on Instagram, you've likely noticed them on my wrists a lot. To see even more styles offered by Shals, check out her Instagram page. She is introducing new bangles and little studs, which I'm so pumped about! 

Check out more of Nicole's lovely work here as well as her fab blog, TWYNblog

Hope y'all are having a great Monday!

x, M

Photo: Nicole Muro of Carnaggio Photography | Jewelry: Shals |Safety Pin Ring: Camplandon CONNECT ringAloft Hotel Birmingham
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