Friday, June 28, 2013

Hello Friday!

I have felt like this week has gone by so slow! I am very happy that it's Friday. 

Tonight the El Paso Downtown Street Fest starts. There will be food, car shows, and a ton of bands. 

Playing on the main stage tonight is:


Oh I am so excited haha. 

Tomorrow night on the main stage is:


I hope you all have an awesome weekend, I know I will haha. :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back To Normal

Things have been busy since Kyle went back to work on Monday. We are still getting FRG stuff worked out, right now we have a battalion family day to look forward to next Tuesday. It should be a great time for soldiers and their families. I will make sure I get lots of pictures since Kyle is participating in both the dunk tank and pie in the face fundraisers. 

I know a few weeks ago I posted a picture of my stockpile that I have been acquiring. I finally got plastic shelving to organize it all and I'm happy how it turned out:

We should not have to buy any more of this stuff for a long time, it will help with all the upcoming training Kyle has. He can grab what he needs and not worry about running out.

I did do a little baking a few days ago and made these delicious chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches:

 YUM!!! I definitely need to be careful with these and not eat them all.

Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vacation Recap: Part 3

Friday, June 21st, was a very special day of our vacation. We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! We started off our day by heading to downtown San Antonio to see The Alamo. What an incredible site to see, so much history happened here and it was amazing to stand where so many brave men died.

After we left the Alamo we headed off to the Riverwalk. It was an amazing place with shops and restaurants. We decided to take a riverboat tour so we could see more in a shorter amount of time. It was amazing! While on the tour we we told about the oldest restaurant called "Casa Rio" so we knew that was where we would have lunch. It was a fun tour and absolutely gorgeous.

After a few hours at the Riverwalk (including a tour through the wax museum) we headed off to the Tower of the America's for dinner. We had dinner at a place called The Chart House, it's a revolving restaurant 620 feet up in the tower. It was AMAZING! The food and view were remarkable. It was the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary. After dinner we headed back to the hotel, had some drinks at the bar and relaxed in the spa.

We had an amazing week in San Antonio, we were sad to leave but definitely happy to be home. 

Hope you all enjoyed the recaps. Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vacation Recap: Part 2

Kyle and I both agreed that Thursday was our favorite day of the whole trip: SeaWorld!!

We got there before they opened and thanks to the Hero Salute program we were able to get free tickets (thank you SeaWorld!!!). We started off with a Sea Lion show which was amazing, these animals are just so impressive. I even got danced with by a team member who was warming up the crowd haha. 

We walked around and took in the amazing sites and adorable animals. We were able to see 2 sea lion pups who were just recently born (one was born that morning), just too cute. 

At 2:30 we had our dolphin encounter, I was so excited for this. We met a 32 year old dolphin named, Nacha. We got to feed her and pet her. It was absolutely incredible!

We then headed off to the Penguin Encounter. Kyle was like a little kid and couldn't wait to see a penguin up close and personal. We met an adorable little girl penguin (she doesn't have a name yet) that is still in penguin school (learning how to swim and feed herself). We were even able to go into the habitat and see just how cold it is where the 200+ penguins live. 

We saw every show at the park and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was a perfect day.

Stayed tuned for the last vacation recap tomorrow!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacation Recap: Part 1

Hey Everyone! I am so happy to be back blogging. Thanks to all my wonderful guest bloggers for holding down the fort last week for me. It's safe to say that this last week in San Antonio has been by far the best vacation we have ever taken! It was just packed but we also got the chance to just relax and enjoy time together. I'm going to split this up into 3 posts so it's not so much at once.

Monday: We got up bright and early, dropped Emma and Fishy off at the vet, and hit the road. We got into SA at around 5pm, checked into our hotel, had dinner,  and went to the pool for some relaxation.

Tuesday: This was our first full day in SA and we headed off to Six Flags. We had a blast, so many fun roller coasters and water rides. We definitely will be going back, we even played some fun carnival games and left with some ridiculously funny prizes (including Superman capes haha).

After our fun filled day here we headed back to the room and thanks to some not so fun findings we ended up switching hotels and ended up at a gorgeous one! 

Wednesday: We spent the day at a water park called Schlitterbahn! Wow this place was incredible. If you have never heard of it go look it up now. This is the only water park that it's primary water source comes from the river that runs along side it (some of the rides even go into the river). There are no chemicals in the water, it's only filtered. There is a West and East portion of the park and both are equally fun. The East portion is new and has the faster water rides while the west is older but we thought it was more fun and less crowded.

After we finished up at the water park, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We headed off to Cheesecake Factory and had a great night. 

Look for another recap tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Headed Back...

We are finally on our way home from vacation and it was amazing! I can't wait to recap all the fun we had. :)

Hope you all had a great week and special thank you to all my wonderful guest bloggers! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Post: Sweaty Girl in a Fur-Covered World

How I found my running legs…
Once upon a time there was a girl who was always slightly chubbier than the rest of the girls her age. She was teased. As she got older, she yoyo’ed from being chunky to almost being average. When she was a junior in college she finally achieved a weight and a body she thought would keep her happy but life and bad relationships led her to eat her emotions and soon she had a body she once again resented.  And then the girl found out she had cancer… she was pumped full of medications including steroids which caused her to gain even more weight. She eventually beat her cancer but she was left with a much different body and the scale tipped at just under 200 pounds… 196 pounds to be exact. The girl was miserable but also more determined than ever to change her life and her body once again!
I’m that girl… My name is Ashley and I blog over at Sweaty Girl in a Fur-Covered Girl []

On April 15, 2013, I started a program called C25K (Couch to 5K). It is a program that is designed to take someone who isn’t active at all (i.e. a couch potato) and have them capable of running a 5K (3.1 miles) in a 9 week program. There were a variety of different factors that led me to this program but it was mostly convenience – all it required was the app and a good pair of running shoes.
If you’re curious about the app I use, its RunDouble [] on my Samsung SIII. When I started, I had the worst time ever… my feet hurt, my knees hurt, my legs hurt, and I couldn’t breathe when I finished a run. It took ever bit of willpower I had to not give up. I hate ever single minute of each run and I wanted to kill over after each one was finished.
But, then around week 5, something happened… I began to enjoy the running. My pains had faded away. I could breathe. And I finally started feeling a “runner’s high” after finishing my runs.
And then, around week 7, I stopped taking my rest days and running every day… sometimes twice a day.
I had at last… found my running legs.
I do have a few tips to offer those who might want to dabble in running but please keep in mind that I’m not an expert:
-        Invest in good running shoes
-        Use an heart rate monitor. (I recommend the Polar FT4 []
-        Make the program your own (i.e. repeat runs or skip runs as needed)
-        Consider other forms of exercise like spinning for strengthen your legs and the rest of your body
-        Follow a good diet (lots of lean proteins and veggies)

If you’re interested in learning more about my fitness journey, please feel free to check out my blog or find me on any of my other forms of social media. I’m particularly active on Instagram [] and Twitter [].

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest Post: Tales From A Sailors Soulmate

Me? Crafty?

First I want to thank Jen for giving me the chance to guest blog for her.  I really love Jen’s blog and I am so excited to be posting for her while she is on vacation!  I may be a little jealous, but hey what are you to do?  Enjoy some relaxation for me! :) On to the post!
                  When my husband joined the military and we decided to rent a townhouse, I had so many ideas on how to decorate our first home.  The only problem was we had limited funds and since I thought I didn’t have an artistic bone in my body, I was stuck staring at blank white walls that well drove me up a wall!  Not only that, but just months after moving my husband was deployed and I needed to find some way to occupy my time…queue Pinterest and crafty bloggers! I was able to find so many different ways to decorate and not only that but a number of them were inexpensive!  Only problem, I am not crafty or artistic in the least bit, can’t even draw a stick figure straight…or at least that is what I thought!
                  I decided first I would make a grapevine wreath.  My mother bought me one when we moved in, but it wasn’t for all seasons so I wanted to make a new one.  I made a supply list, printed out my coupons, and headed to Michaels.  I was like a kid in a candy store, and it was so easy to find everything I wanted, I could not wait to get home and make my very first wreath!  For the first time in my life I plugged in a hot glue gun, and hoped for no burns and a wreath that looked decent enough to be hung on our front door.  To my surprise, this is what I came up with…

I want to stress how insanely easy it was to make this wreath!  You get some leaves and flowers you like, place them where you would like them to be, then hot glue them into place, easy peasy!  Who said it’s hard to be crafty?  They lied!  I enjoyed wreath making so much, I couldn’t stop!  I was even asked to make wreaths for friends!  Talk about a great way to keep busy!

I even tried my hand at yarn and fabric wreaths with felt roses, which are just as easy, but a little more time consuming.  I really did not know I had it in me!  I didn’t stop at just wreaths though I also decided to make some wall décor…those white walls needed some color!
                  Besides the wreaths, I wanted to share with you all three of the wall projects which I have done.

These too are so easy!  The “keep calm and love a sailor” wall art as well as the kitchen wall art were made partly with the use of a cricut.  However you do not need a cricut to do these projects!  All it is, is a canvas covered with the fabric of your choice, and then you paint!  You can put stickers on the fabric and then paint over the sticker and the fabric, when it dries pull up the sticker and the fabric underneath peaks through, just like in the kitchen art above!  So cute, and easy!  The “live, laugh, love” is simply wooden letters from a craft store covered in craft paper!  You trace the letters on the craft paper, cut them out, glue the paper to the wooden letter, hot glue the letters together, and hang them on the wall!  Again easy peasy!!!  
                  I guess the point of this post is that if you want to do something crafty, and you are worried you can’t, try!  I did and now I can’t stop!  Not only do I make projects like these, but I have even tried my hand at sewing and have successfully made a few different things!  Who knew?!  I know these aren’t the best craft projects, but if I didn’t try to make that one wreath I may have never known that I have the ability to be even the slightest bit crafty!  So go out and try something crafty, you may find a side of yourself that you never even knew existed!   
Thanks again for letting me guest blog, and if anyone wants any more info on these projects please feel free to stop by my bloggy blog and ask! :)
Britt Dill

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Post: Running to Greatness

Hey guys, my name is Gaby and I blog over at Running to Greatness. I blog about running, Army life and just my life in general. I was so excited when Jen gave me to chance to guest blog for her, one because I am new to the blog world, and two because her and Kyle are awesome people! My and my army husband, Andy, have had the chance to hang out with them at a few mud races! 

Today I want to talk to you about PCSing (Permanent Change of Station) in the army. My husband is about to attend the Captains Career Course, which means come Saturday we will be on the road and PCSing to Oklahoma. It is an exciting and slightly stressful time, but it will be fun. We get to move, just for 7 months, and then we move again, craziness! 

I am not one to take super long driving trips, I mean I only got my drivers license 4 years ago, I'm from New York City, we don't drive! So when I moved out to El Paso my car was shipped with my belongings and I flew. This time around we are towing my car, not that my husband is complaining, that's why he bought a truck, right? 

The first thing we got to take part in, before we even leave, is that we had two Hail and Farewells! A Hail and Farewell is for leadership within the unit when they are entering or leaving, and we got to get farewelled from two units because my husband is in one and attached to another. He earned his colors and I was presented with the Commander's Award for Public Service for my work with the FRG, it was really exciting. The second one was last week and was a luau cookout, fun!

Now that the fun part is over, we get to drive to Oklahoma, live in a hotel for a few days, and hopefully find a great house. I just want somewhere safe and confortable for us and our puppy baby, Jimmy! I work from home so I have to like it since I will be spending most of my days there. Also, I want there to be somewhere nice to run close by. You were waiting for me to tie in running since i do have a running blog, right? haha. Well a nice neighborhood or park would be ideal, so we will see what we get! 

This is bittersweet because we had so many firsts here in El Paso, we got engaged here, had our first house here and adopted our puppy here. But we are super excited for this next chapter. If you want to keep up with us and our adventure, and my goal of achieving my greatness though running, go follow my blog!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Guest Post: Aviation of Love

Aviation of Love

Hey y'all I'm Brittany from Aviation of Love.  I meet Jen through blogging and we actually met in person in April of this year.   When she asked if I wanted to be a guest blogger while she was on her vacation I jumped on it!  She told me to blog about anything and my mind started whirling around, and had to come up with an idea.  My fitness journey, my reasoning for blogging, or just an introduction for myself, oh the options! 

When you come into this world of blogging you never expect to the friends that you As Jen and I started to get to know each other we started to realize how much we have in common. We both got married the same day month and year was just the tip of the iceberg as we started talking. The only real big difference between us was that we are from complete different parts of the country, she's obviously from Vegas and I'm from a small town in Virginia.   We have ended becoming the best of friends and she is probably been my saving grace since getting here in El Paso!  When we actually meet face to face at a 5K that she and her husband was doing. Watching them do the race is what got me started on my journey to running. While I was on my journey to losing weight I hadn't thought about getting back into running and since I have gotten back into like woah I have them to thank for that!

When we got to El Paso in November of 2012 I was 170 lbs. The past couple of years had been a complete roller coaster and I gained weight because of it.  I started going to our apartment gym faithfully like I use to do when Shane was deployed.   I had lost about 10lbs from November to April time frame which was a lot for me. I have never in my life been 170 lbs. my normal weight was 120s to 130s so I had really packed it on.  When I had lost that 10lbs I was determined to get back down to a good healthy weight again.  After watching the 5K Jen had competed in I told Shane I want to do that I want to get back into running.  When he was deployed I was running 8 or more miles a day but when he came home life happened and my focus on fitness stopped.  He told me to download the Couch 2 5K app on my phone and get to it, which I did.  After only doing 2 weeks of it at the indoor track on post he pushed me outside and told me to run a while with him. Since that day I have ran 3 to 4 days a week and I'm running at least 1 long distance of 5 to 6 miles.  Now in June I've lost 30 lbs and I'm down to 140! 

Jen and I run together now 1 or 2 days a week at night trying to improve our distance for the 10 miler we are running in, come August.  I couldn't have asked to have meet a better person here in El Paso, I tend to stick to myself and she understands that. She's been a good motivator when it comes to my running and I am so thankful for that.  Shane my husband can't run with me all the time because of his work schedule so to have someone like Jen to run with is a blessing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Guest Post: Borrowed Heaven

Hi everyone!  I'm Meg from Borrowed Heaven, and I'm so happy to guest post for Jen while she is away.  Her blog was one of the very first I ever followed and has always been one of my favorites.  
Borrowed Heaven
I'm assuming that all of you are incredibly jealous that she is on vacation, like I am [the jealous part, not the vacation part].  So, I thought it would be fun to share 10 entertaining and inexpensive activities to help you have your own mini summer stay-cation!
1. Head out in search of yard sales, local art shows, or farmers' markets.  They provide a full day of fun and you don't have to spend any money... unless you want to.  Some even have petting zoos [free + getting to pet the animals = way better than real zoos!!].

2. Find a basketball court, tennis court, a field, or even go bike riding.  These places are usually open to the public and making exercise fun is always, well, fun!

3. Become a tourist in your own city or town.  Head over to your chamber of commerce or city hall and ask for a map.  I bet there are a few places you haven't been to before!
4. Purchase lawn games once and you'll have a full summer... even summers... of fun!  Ladder golf, bags [or tailgate toss or corn hole or whatever you call it], and polish horseshoes are my favorites.  Slip and slides are fun, too!

5. Enjoy a picnic in the park.  Pack some sandwiches, snacks, dessert, and drinks and enjoy time with your friends or a special someone.
6. When I go berry picking, I never eat lunch beforehand.  Yes, they tell you not to stuff your face, but come on, berries are always the best when they're super fresh.  Plus, bring tons home and spend your night making delicious desserts!

7. Go to the beach, a lake, or a pond.  Each one is a great way to beat the summer heat, and at most places you can get a whole carload of people in for one low price.

8. Rainy day? Rent a movie from Redbox and grab a few snacks for a fun night in.  Or, if you want to go out, find a local IKEA or Target for endless hours of entertainment.
9. Once the sun sets, find an open park or even the beach and go star gazing.  
10. If adventures like miniature golf, batting cages, museums, boat rentals, even cooking class or ghost tours are more your style, subscribe to Groupon or Living Social to get emails for deals like these half or more off their normal price!

Thanks for reading, everyone!  Stop by Borrowed Heaven sometime and say hello.  This week I'm even hosting a 250 reader giveaway, so check it out!

Friday, June 14, 2013

See Ya Later!

Well everyone this will be my last post before we go on vacation! I have 5 wonderful guest bloggers lined up for next week, I hope you enjoy them.

Hope you all have a great week and I will be back to blogging on June 24th!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quick Update

I feel like I haven't really written a good post lately. I figured I would just update you on things going on in the Smith household.

*I'm knee deep in FRG craziness, not just with our company but the fact that our battalion commander has decided to consolidate all the FRG's. I will therefore be in charge of 5 company FRG's. 

*Yesterday I completed my 2nd stockpile trip. I got all of this for $89 and saved $45:

*I'm halfway through my goal of running 50 miles this month. I may not hit it because of vacation but I know I will be close.

*I'm excited because it looks like I get to bring my niece back with me for a week after my trip to Vegas. 

*I successfully made cake batter ice cream yesterday, all I can say is YUM:

*I haven't talked about our infertility journey lately, we are still trying and trucking along.

*I booked our dolphin encounter and penguin encounter for SeaWorld last night. Beyond excited!

That's pretty much all that is going on with us right now, we are winding down the week and getting ready for vacation. 

I hope you all have an awesome day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Help Wanted! :) *Updated*

Well, with our vacation less than a week away I am in search of some wonderful bloggers to provide guest posts for next week! I am looking for 4 people to help me out (I already have 1 lined up). You can blog about anything you like, I'm not picky. Send me a quick email and let me know if you are interested. ( I would need all the guest posts by Sunday so I can get them scheduled for Mon-Fri. 


Have a great day!!

*Thanks to everyone who emailed me, I have 5 wonderful bloggers lined up for next week!*. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Over?!

I'm sad that the weekend is already over, it was definitely a good one. Friday was low-key after a long work week for Kyle so we stayed at home.

Saturday was the day I had been waiting for since I was 9 years old! I was finally going to be seeing one of my favorite artists Marilyn Manson in concert.. He is on tour right now with an absolute rock icon, Alice Cooper! Seeing these 2 perform was a dream come true for me, their tour is appropriately called "The Masters of Madness: Shock Therapy Tour".

The show started off with a great band from LA, called Picture Me Broken. Marilyn played for about an hour and 45 minutes. It was mind-blowing and AMAZING! Alice took the stage and played for about 2 hours and they ended the show with them singing "I'm Eighteen" together.  Kyle and I both walked out of there stunned and pumped after what we just experienced. They definitely have lived up to their monikers as "shock rockers" because the show was shocking and amazing haha.

1. Marilyn Manson
2. Picture Me Broken
3. Marilyn Manson on stilts, yes stilts
4. Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper singing "I'm Eighteen"
5. Two legends together
6. Alice Cooper

Sunday was more laid back for us since we didn't get home until pretty late. We went grocery shopping and relaxed at home. I also was able to register us for our first 1/2 marathon!!

It's not until October so we have plenty of time to continue training. I can't wait!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

What I'm Loving

Happy Friday everyone!! Here are a few of my favorite things right now.

This is my newly started stock pile! I want to get it where I don't have to buy toilet paper, shampoo, and other household items for the rest of the year. I also stocked up on the pantry items (not pictured), I didn't get it all for free but I did save $41! I love it.

Yes these festival tickets are a favorite and I can't wait to use them! Bush and Third Eye Blind here we come.

Homemade chocolate ice cream. OMG, it's amazing!

My Garmin....this thing has been a lifesaver and I'm so glad I got it.

My new company t-shirt that Kyle got for me! Now I can adequately support the unit haha.

The gym! I love that it's 5 minutes from my house and I can go whenever I feel like it. Yay Planet Fitness.

I've decided to not blog on the weekends anymore, I'm enjoying the time with Kyle too much and I don't want to take away from that. I will be back on Monday.

Hope you all have an amazing weekend! :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013


For the 2nd time this week I went running with Britt from Aviation of Love. We met up on post last night with no particular goal in site. We are both training for the Fort Bliss 10 Miler so we knew we wanted to get a significant distance in. 

Well all I can say is that this picture shows what a successful 6 mile run looks like! We accomplished that in 1 hour and 18 minutes. We were stoked and had to take a celebratory picture haha. Honestly, I know we could have gone farther but we were smart to stop when we did. I am proud of both of us!

Also, I want to wish my Dad a very very Happy Birthday!!!! I love you!!

I hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Worldless Wednesday

 This is what happens when Kyle doesn't get home before 8pm:

Emma is attached to my hip haha.


12 days.....

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

40% Off, Yes Please!

I'm the first one to admit that I LOVE a good sale. When I heard that Old Navy had all of their active wear 40% off I was sold! I headed off to the outlet and stocked up (plus picked up a few other items for our trip).

 I also picked up a few sports bras and a few other running shirts. Thanks to the sales and my military discount I saved $113. The sale is going on until 6/19 so I may go back and pick up a few more things.

Have you taken advantage of a good sale lately?!

:) Enjoy your day!