Friday, July 30, 2010

Feel Good Friday!

I'm having a tough time thinking of positives this week, cause it has been a long work week. However, I can't dwell.....time to find some positives!

1. The weather really cooled off after a huge thunderstorm on Sunday, so my dad and I were able to run on Monday and Tuesday without dying of heat stroke!

2. I got the Garmin Forerunner!! And my dad LOVED it, we were total nerds together :)

3. Collin sent me a super sweet note (along with a check!), telling me how much he appreciates me and the things I do to look out for him and the things I do for other people. I don't really do what I do (nice gestures) for recognition, but it's nice to be told by someone I love so much that he appreciates the things I do for him.

4. My running is getting back on track. I am focusing on NOT being lazy and committing to running 3 times a week. I need to get  my distances up, or run more frequently, cause I would like to be running 10 miles a week.

5. Thank goodness for good friends :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Friday Fill In (copying Jess and doing it on Thursday!)

Thanks to Wife of a Sailor for the questions!

1.What is your SO's best feature? Where to even start :) When he laughs, he has a great smile. But I also like that he has broad shoulders and muscled arms, without looking like a meat head.

2.Mild, Medium or Hot sauce? MILD. I HATE spicy. I avoid spicy at all costs. And my idea of spicy is actually probably pretty mild. Spicy does NOT taste good to my taste buds.

3.What is the worst uniform you had to wear for a job? I have had pretty good job uniforms, as well as the fact that I wore a uniform to school from 1st-12th grade. The only true uniform I had to wear to work was when I lifeguarded/managed a swim club. However, that was awesome cause I spent my summers for 6 years wearing a bathing suit, shorts, and a tshirt.

4.You have invisible powers… where is the first place you would go? I would probably hide in a corner. I always THINK I want to know what people are doing or saying about me, but then when I find out, it hurts my feelings in a sort of paralyzing way if they have something negative to say. I'd rather be conspicuous.

5.What’s left on your “to do” list for this summer? This summer was the first that I didn't work at the pool in 6 years, and the first that I didn't have school to go back to in the summer. So I didn't really have a summer to do list. I have been working on my 101 list though, although that is not remotely summer related.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Am I really getting excited about a RUNNING gadget?!?!

Ok, since I suck at being wordless, I am going to post a blog update on Wednesday anyway :)

I am SUPER excited for tomorrow. Wanna know why?

Because I ordered both my dad and me the Garmin Forerunner 305!

Don’t know what it is? Well let’s just say it’s magical.

No really. It tracks just about EVERYTHING on your run. How far, how long, elevations, pace, heart rate, and probably about 234923904 other things. You can use it on a bike too, or I imagine in a lot of other scenarios. I think it does just about everything but run for you.

Now, for those who know my dad……this just SCREAMS his name. Seriously, since Jamie told me about it, Amazon has been screaming “PAT PAT PAT PAT!” My dad currently tracks all his runs on Excel, and being the accountant that he is, he is a beast with Excel and has made it his bitch. If we run a new route outside, then he has to drive around and clock it so we know exactly how far we went. At the gym, they have a track but we aren’t sure exactly how long it is. NOW HE WILL KNOW!! Since my older brother didn’t buy Dad a birthday present, I convinced him to go halfsies with me on it now, for no particular holiday!

So, the best part is… dad doesn’t even know! Wanna know the second best part? I just signed up for Amazon Prime for FREE, cause I had a .edu email address, so I got OVERNIGHT SHIPPING for $8.

This means, it will get delivered to me tomorrow at work, and I can take them to my parents tomorrow night so my dad and I can use them for our run!! I will have to see if they need batteries or some kind of charge, so I can charge them up and we can use them!!

Who knew I would ever be so excited about something related to exercise??? Cause NOW, I will HAVE to keep running since I spent $150 on a fancy watch for myself haha.

I will let you all know how I like it :)

p.s. Don't tell my dad!!

Wordless Wednesday??

Monday, July 26, 2010

How much longer til we move to Texas?!?!?!

This is the card Collin sent me for our first anniversary :) Nearly 3 years later, we are still going and I still feel like this card!!!

I miss my boy.....hopefully all things go according to plan and we move to Texas in January!

13 down!

I just transferred my 101 list to an excel spreadsheet, where it is easier to track how many tasks are completely finished. At this point, I have completed 13 of 101 tasks! 18 are in progress and 70 aren't even started haha.

Time to get moving!

OPSEC? Screw that, I need to express myself. (Abby bangs head repeatedly against wall)

So readers. I have a fun blog for you to read. It comes to you from Semper Spouses.

Click here

Please go read it first before you read my blog post for the day.

(Insert Jeopardy music)

I’m not even sure where to start with this blog entry. If you followed my directions, you headed over to Semper Spouses and read a post by Alpha Wife.

Where Alpha Wife spouted off about her complete disregard for OPSEC.

And how she doesn’t feel like she should follow OPSEC. Because it is being stuffed down her throat.

And how she would take responsibility for whatever happens BECAUSE she doesn’t want to follow OPSEC.

I mean, you have to feel for the girl. OBVIOUSLY her desire to “wear her heart on her sleeve” trumps national security. DUH. CLEARLY she could not possibly express her feelings and thoughts about her husband’s deployment without breaking OPSEC. How would anyone sympathize if she did not tell you she had another 4,356 and twenty seconds to endure while her husband is deployed to a very specific area in Iraq, where he will be patrolling around 1600??? I know I would not be able to relate to her AT ALL, unless she is breaking OPSEC of course.

Plus, didn’t she tell us “I even like its purpose, and respect its purpose”??? Actions speak louder than words, Alpha Wife. Who the hell do you think you are?

This girl disgusts me. I have no desire to read any of her past blog posts or future blog posts because I am just in disgusted shock. I thank God that MY boy is not deployed with her husband. I hope to God that he never has to transport any Marines in his C130, cause God forbid her poor husband ends up on his plane and the whole world knows about it.

I find it absolutely UNBELIEVABLE that she thinks she has a RIGHT to break OPSEC. Her husband is NOT the only one being put in danger. She is putting countless others in his command in danger.

Not to mention, several wives detailed stories of losing contact privileges with their deployed husbands because of mouthy wives. She’s going to be in for a rude awakening if she gets reported and compromises communication privileges for the whole deployed unit. I don’t think the other wives will take kindly to that.

And how exactly does she plan to take responsibility for her actions if her blatant violations of OPSEC lead to something bad? Is she going to pay restitution to all the families of those who may be hurt or killed? Does she have some magic powers we don’t know about so she can raise the dead? Is she going to fill in as Mommy or Daddy to all the children who could lose a parent due to her stupidity?

Vent away, Alpha Wife. We all understand. We get it. But don't even think about compromising the security of many because you are too selfish to SLIGHTLY censor yourself.

I will say a prayer for her husband and his fellow deployed Marines. They will remain in my prayers until they return home safely, where hopefully she can cause less damage.

And man do I hope someone reports her to her husband’s command.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feel Good Friday!

  1. My mom's birthday was yesterday, and I surprised her at work with a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake! It made me remember that growing up can be fun, because you get to give back to your parents some fraction of what they gave to you :)

  2. I get to spend the weekend with my puppy girl! My parents are going to the beach, so Freckles and I are having a slumber party girls weekend!

  3. I have some ideas on how to complete my sewing creations that I have been starting this week. I made the mistake of going rogue and not completely following the pattern directions, so now I need to figure out how the projects are going to come together haha.

  4. The AC in my apartment is a beautiful thing. I get to cuddle in a blanket on my big blue chair and watch True Blood in comfort every evening :)

  5. RHONJ- For those who don't know, that means Real Housewives of New Jersey. They are such a trainwreck, I just can't look away!!
Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

It’s my mama’s birthday!! Happy Birthday to her :) 52 years she has been blessing the world with her presence!

Mom in 1985, with my brother

Mom and me on my 21st Birthday!

The family in 2008

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anger Management?

Do you ever have those moments where you literally want to throw something breakable across a room? And you think "Wow, I really might need anger management classes."

Well, I have those moments. Welcome to it. This list will be ongoing.

1. Sitting in non-moving traffic. I don't mean crawling, cause I consider crawling to be progress. I mean when somebody gets all of I-95 shut down due to a car accident and you sit for hours. I know, this makes me a terrible person. Someone else is injured or dead, or has a totaled car, and is most likely having a MUCH worse day than I am. However, this stand still traffic is infuriating and causes me to want to floor it into the car in front of me, just to feel like I made some forward progress.

2. Another car one---- when my stick shift car literally will not go into gear. I sit there, clutch pressed to the floor, repeatedly trying to put my car into reverse. Reverse is the worst for me, for some reason. Usually, my car is really easy to shift gears in. Finally, I SMASH the stick into reverse and it finally works, usually with a fun little grinding sound.

This list will be ongoing, and has it's own page! Just look for it above my posts, right under my quote.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Chip!

Well, readers. Let me take you into the world of the Military Girlfriend for a moment. IF I happen to have any readers who AREN’T already military girlfriends haha.

Today, I made cake in a jar. This is distinctly military care package because it’s a way to send cake overseas, potentially taking weeks or months to get somewhere, and have it taste as fresh as ever when it gets there. We military SOs have to take care of our deployed boys, right?

However, those of you who know me may be thinking “But Abby, your boyfriend isn’t deployed.” This is true, and while I am sending a jar or two to Collin in Little Rock, the majority of my jars will be making their way over to the sandbox.

Some of you may be thinking, “Oh well her brother is also in the Air Force, maybe he is deployed.” You would be correct if you are thinking that, but my brother has chosen to use his deployments as a weight loss tactic, and therefore refuses to give us his address because last deployment, he got tons of food care packages from family and friends. Ungrateful, I’d say.

But anyway. On to the point. Who am I making this cake in a jar for?

Well, my friend Megan’s boyfriend is currently deployed with the Army. He is out in the thick of things, where cake is hard to come by. His birthday is next month, but Megan is currently doing an internship in DC, and her kitchen space is super limited. Couple that with not having a car, and it is nearly impossible for her to make cake in a jar for him.

SO, I decided that my mason jars were collecting too much dust, and Collin won’t be deploying for probably a year, so I need to get my bake on. I offered to make the jars for Chip, and Megan took me up on my offer :)

Some of you might be wondering how this works, so I am going to give you a step by step tutorial, along with pictures!


• Cake mix. I personally enjoy funfetti cake mix, because it gives the jars some color. I find that chocolate tends to look like turds, although tastes delicious. So, pick your cake mix. If you are on a tight budget, go with one box. If you like to be excessive like me, get two.

• WIDE MOUTH mason jars/canning jars.

• Any of the supplies you need to actually make your cake mix (eggs, vegetable oil, etc.)

• A sealed can of icing- Don’t open it!

• Tongs

• Pizza/cookie/baking sheet, or something like it to put the jars on in the oven.


1. Preheat the oven to 375*

2. Fill your BIGGEST pot with water and boil it.

3. Mix your cake mix. Some of you might be hardcore and do it from scratch….I am a box kind of girl.

4. Once the water comes to a boil, place each jar in the boiling water to sterilize it. This is where the tongs come in handy. Keep the water boiling after you are done.

5. If you are feeling gutsy, try to dry the jars…but remember, they are hot! Otherwise, I haven’t noticed a difference if you put the cake into wet jars.

6. Spray the bottom and sides of each jar with a non-stick cooking spray.

7. Here comes the hard part…..getting the batter into the jars. I have no pictures of this, as it requires both of my hands and several more hands. If you have someone who can help, the process will be MUCH less messy. Fill each jar HALF WAY. I tend to overfill, and then have to chop off the top of the cake that is exploding out of the jar. Start with halfway, and then judge how full you think the finished product is. If it seems not full enough, then next time, add a little more batter. Each box of cake mix should make 4 or 5 FULL jars.

8. Put each jar on the baking sheet and put it in the oven. Set it to cook for 30-35 minutes. You can check if the inside is cooked with a tooth pick or knife.

9. Remember that boiling water? Well, toss each of the lids into the boiling water so they can be hot and sterilized.

10. When the cake is done baking, you will have to pull out each jar individually. I usually pull one jar out of the oven and then pull a lid out of the pot. The lids have this rubbery stuff on them that helps seal it. Then, twist on the sealing part (this will make more sense when you have a jar in front of you….the lid comes in two parts). REMEMBER:::: THIS WILL BE HOT. USE OVEN MITS/TOWELS/POT HOLDERS.

11. Do this with each jar. Then, set the jars aside to cool. (Sorry Chip, I think I burned that one in the middle!)

Remember, you should be able to tell if the jars have sealed. If they arent sealed, it's not really safe to send. On an unsealed, empty jar, you can push on the lid and it will move back and forth. However, on the sealed jars, the lid shouldn't pop. Make sure you check!

Once the jars have cooled, feel free to decorate them however you want to. Collin usually gets undecorated jars, but since it is Chip's birthday, I decided to decorate. Either way, you should probably protect the jars with some bubble wrap.

For my decoration, I decided to take squares of patriotic fabric, put it around the jars, and tie it with a ribbon. Make sure you wait til the jars are completely cool first.

And this was the end result!!

Time to pack them up and send them off to the sandbox!

And for those of you sending to deployed guys....remember, the post office has FREE flat rate boxes to send to APO addresses :)

Happy Birthday Chip!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Feel Good Friday!

Got this idea from my friend Jess! She regularly posts her "Feel Good Friday" stuff in her blog, Home is where the Army sends us.... I decided I wanted to jump on board with some blog-like things, instead of writinga whole bunch of randomness, so this will be my first Feel Good Friday post.

What You Do: (courtesty of Erika at The Girl Next Door Grows Up)
◦Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.

So......get excited....Abby is going to be positive!!

1. I finally got my blog up and running, and I haven't fallen off the bandwagon yet! Woohooo! I love the idea of having a blog, but can't always think of stuff to write about. But my pretty layout and pictures will help motivate me to keep myself writing on here. You can help me with that too!

2. Collin is talking about buying a house and getting a puppy. Could it be?! Is he doing these adult like things? Haha I jest, but my boy is not one for settling down. He is not a party animal, and thoroughly enjoys spending lots of time on his couch, but he is also a little afraid of growing up and committment haha. So a house and a puppy....this is big! It is even MORE exciting cause I get to be there for both events :)

3. Gretchen (my boss) bought a little portable desktop scanner! And it's all miiiiiiine! I didn't like it at first, cause it scans in its own weird file type and I couldn't find anything I scanned. But then.....I discovered the "PDF" button. Where it scans as a PDF and you pick a location on your hard drive to save it. I am a huge fan and scan things just for fun now!

4. True Blood. 'Nough said. (If that wasn't enough said for you, just this week I started watching Season 1 of True Blood and I am hooked! Not to mention, it kicks Twilight's sorry ass!)

5. It's Friday!! Ok, I guess that doesn't count. But someone is coming into the leasing office, and I have to go do my job, so for this week, that will have to do!

Happy Friday Everyone!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The sewing bug bit me...

I am in the market for a new sewing machine.

I have been sewing since I was a kid. My grandma was an amazing seamstress, she made all of my mom and aunt's clothes growing up. And I do mean all. She made Easter dresses and Christmas coats, and her goal was that they all looked like they came from a department store since they were sewn so well. Once she died, we found absurd amounts of unused fabric that she never made anything out of. Unfortunately, it was ruined in a flood of her basement.

My mom has sewed her entire life. She entered county fairs and won ribbons for her sewing projects. In college, she sewed a lot of her own clothes. And for most of my life, she made my brother and me the BEST Halloween costumes ever.

I started sewing when I was probably.....8. I made a green vest and wraparound skirt to wear for Christmas. When I say I mom made, and I assisted haha. But it was a start. I did a lot of sewing projects with Grandma, which still consisted of her doing most of the hard stuff and me doing the easy stuff. In high school, I joined the costume committee for Gym Meet, which resulted in my parents and I spending long nights concocting a Headless Horseman costume, a camel costume, making tux jackets with lapels, and doing all of this with junky material. It taught me a lot about sewing. mom and I have taken on the huge project of making a custom slip cover for my Big Blue Chair. The BBC was purchased for $40 from one of Mom's clients selling a house, and I LOVE it. It has an ottoman, a pull out bed, and can comfortably fit two people. is ugly.

We do all of our sewing on two Singer Sewing Machines. Grandma's and Mom's........Mom's is circa maybe 1968? She got it pretty young. And Grandma's.....I have no clue, but would estimate 1955. Both still work well, but are definitely old fashioned.

I started my research for a sewing machine because I am tired of using Grandma's ancient machine and I'm tired of straining my back to lift them. The newer machines are so much lighter and much more portable.

I have narrowed my choices to:::

::Singer Curvy 8763::

::Singer Confidence 7463::
::Singer Confidence 7467::

So now, I have to make my decision about which machine I think will suit my needs best. I want to get a machine that will grow with me, and not be outgrown soon. Right now, I would call myself an intermediate sewer. However, I don't want to cheap out and buy a machine without features, just to find I wish I had those features when I get back into sewing.

Don't worry, I will let you know what I decide :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ready to be a brunette again

I got my hair highlighted in April. I had had my hair highlighted blonde once before, when I was about 13. I HATED it, so I never went lighter again. However, I let my hairdresser take the reigns and she put in caramel highlights. It took some getting used to, but I liked it! When I went back in June, she touched it up and added some more highlights so I am even blonder.

In the grand scheme of things, I am not very blonde haha. Most would still say "oh hey, she's a brunette." And I like the color. However, being a blonde is expensive!! AND.....I have been a dark haired girl since I popped out 22 years ago, so it's really just who I am.

Here is my color over time....
I popped out with a lot of dark brown

It always naturally lightened in the summer, though, when I spend time outside.

Pretty interesting since my brother was a bleach blonde baby. I got my mom's hair color and my brother got my dad's color.

I kept it dark throughout high school.

Here it is, dark and almost the same length it is now.

Here it is, at its "blondest" haha. And my handsome boy.

And again, with two of my WOL girls!

So I am really leaning towards heading back to brown :) Hope you enjoyed the photo gallery!

New Focus

Time to refocus my blog.

I have gotten lazy with my running, and either way, I don't have enough to say about a few runs a week. They are pretty standard. I will keep writing about any workouts and runs in Our Right to Bare Arms, with all my lovelies.

Soooo, I am refocusing this blog on life. The good, the bad, the great, the ugly, and everything in between. I hope you enjoy reading about my flyboy and me :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

63. See 5 new states. (1/5)

Well friends, I made it to Arkansas. Collin is now stationed there, and I took a super quick (free thanks to Delta vouchers) trip for a weekend in June. And this past Monday evening, I got back from a great 6 days with him :)

I really enjoy Little Rock. Collin has been stationed on the panhandle of Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas, since I have known him. Both areas were......not my idea of a city. I am a Baltimore girl, and I may live in the 'burbs, but I know what a city looks like. Little Rock kind of meets my expectations :)

It's not HUGE, but there are actual parts to the city. Collin lives on the North side, right by the downtown area. However, we hop on the highway and head further north to the base and a lot of the suburbs where his friends live. We head southwest and go to the climbing gym. You never feel like you are changing towns, like it did to drive from Milton to Pensacola. And Corpus Christi.....well don't get me started.

I am glad I have gotten to see Little Rock, and as always, where Collin is living!

210 miles in 2010!

So, I am up to 76.5 miles in 2010! I made a low estimate for January, February, and March. I started "counting" in February, when I created 101 blog, but I started writing down my miles starting in April.

My goal of 210 in 2010 is looming! I still have over half of the miles left to run, and half the year left to do it (minus 7 days!). I calculated that I have to run around 22 miles per month in order to meet my goal! It is miserably hot out, but I am getting back on track tomorrow!

One of the problems I have is my favorite route to run is only about 1.7 miles. We don't have a good two mile route, which would be my go to distance. If we don't do the 1.7 mile run, the shortest we can do without putting a ton of thought into it is 2.75. Maybe tomorrow we will set out on the 2.75 track. I can figure out what 2.25 or so would be, and walk it out if I need to! I need to start pushing my distances more!

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed running with Collin while I was in Little Rock. He has a great evening river-side route. We ran on a paved riverside path which had SLIGHT dips, but no real hills. It is a solid 2 miles (mile out, mile back). Collin thinks it might be a bit longer than that, but hasn’t clocked it. Yet another reason I want to get the Garmin Forerunner 305! It would also make a gorgeous lazy bike path.

I was also able to get some running tips from Collin, specific to my form. He said it looks like when I swing my arms, I swing them cross body, causing more strain to my core and more energy expended. He also said I run with my head down, which I know. I actually like NOT looking into the distance while I run, cause it makes it feel so much farther. However, when I drop my head, it drops my whole posture, which could be contributing to my back problems (which have all but gone away since I got my new BED :P).

So I am slowly getting myself on track with good running goals again. It is tough since it is so miserably hot out, and I LOATHE running at the gym. BUT, I feel better about myself when I am exercising.

53. Run 210 miles in 2010 (76.5/210)

So, I am up to 76.5 miles in 2010! I made a low estimate for January, February, and March. I started "counting" in February, when I created this blog, but I started writing down my miles starting in April.

My goal of 210 is looming! I still have over half of the miles left to run, and half the year left to do it (minus 7 days!). I calculated that I have to run around 22 miles per month in order to meet my goal! It is miserably hot out, but I am getting back on track tomorrow! One of the problems I have is my favorite route to run is only about 1.7 miles. We don't have a good two mile route, which would be my go to distance. If we don't do the 1.7 mile run, the shortest we can do without putting a ton of thought into it is 2.75. Maybe tomorrow we will set out on the 2.75 track. I can figure out what 2.25 or so would be, and walk it out if I need to! I need to start pushing my distances more!

35. Try 5 new recipes. (5/5) and 24. Complete four 5ks (2/4)

Well, I finished #35! And am halfway to #24. These two were completed on the same day.

On Father's Day, my dad and I ran a Father's Day 5k that benefited the NICU of a local hospital. It was not a great run, but I crossed the finish line :)

before we started!

Afterwards, I had my mom and dad over to my apartment, where I made breakfast! Mom was really helpful in getting everything ready with me, and we had scrambled eggs, French toast, fruit salad, bacon, and scrapple!! We love scrapple :)

The French toast recipe came from my Hungry Girl cook book. I will have to type up the recipe. It was pretty good…..a little bland, but overall pretty yummy for as healthy as it is supposed to be!

with my breakfast feast

19. Buy myself a Coach purse

Well, I went a little crazy....

I got 3 ITEMS from Coach :)

It started with a trip to the Coach store in Towson Town Center. I ended up getting a swing pack and a black wristlet there. I spent $230.

The next night, Laura and I took a trip to the outlets in Queenstown. Oh MAN, are the prices better there or what???? I also had a 20% off coupon, AND they had a huge clearance section that was an additional 50% off the marked down price. I found a swingpack that I liked a LOT better than the one I had bought, and found a brown wristlet....I spent $105 there! Then, the next day I returned the swingpack to the Coach store in the mall and got $130 back.

So, moral of the story, I got 2 wristlets and a swingpack for $200!

Meet my new friends!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Self Magazine's Healthy Eating Options!

Self Magazine's Grocery List

I was reading my Self Magazine while traveling home from Arkansas and was delighted to find several pages worth of healthy foods! They were voted for by taste testers, so I am holding out  hope that they actually are delicious! I am planning on printing out the list and picking out what I want, so I can go to the grocery store armed with a plan.

Check out the list and see if anything catches your eye!