Thursday, May 23, 2013


Deployment is something that most, if not all, military significant others will go through at some point. Joe has been deployed for almost 4 months now and there is not one day that passes that I'm not slightly upset that he can't be here with me. This has been so difficult. I would be lying to you if I told you that "Time is flying by" or that "It's not that bad". I am sure that when we look back at it, it will feel like it those things are true, but being in the moment they are not.

Saying goodbye was a surreal experience, it didn't even feel like anything was happening. I knew in my head that he was leaving, but I tried my best to stay strong. For him and for myself. He left in the middle of the night, around 2 am. It was my first experience with seeing so many families say good bye to loved ones. There were kids running around that had no idea what was going on. There were kids sleeping. There were parents and spouses crying. Fathers saying goodbye to their new born babies and husbands saying goodbye to their pregnant wife. I just sat there in shock. The time had finally come to say goodbye and I could no longer hold it in. Tears slowly rolled down my face as I gave him one last hug. The soldiers all formed up and some things were said and they filed out the door. I was lucky that he was the one organizing the formation, so I was able to steal a few more kisses and hugs.  They went out the door and on the the infamous white buses. Within 15-20 minutes the buses were loaded and they drove away.
I am pretty sure he was looking for me in the crowd.

 I made the choice of leaving right after he left, I booked a flight back home that departed about 3 hrs after. The first few days didn't seem like anything was different. He was able to send me iMessages and even skype a little. The first week that he arrived in Afghanistan I spent most of the time trying to figure out what I was going to do, I was determined to make time fly by. I didn't want to spend time dwelling on something that I couldn't change. I decided that I would focus on myself and my fitness.

 I have been really lucky because he has deployed before and one of the first things he did when he got there was get a phone and buy minutes. He has been wonderful at calling me every day (when he can, which is most days), emailing me often, and skyping. He also sends me cards/letters/post cards every Sunday. Our communication has been great and I normally hear from him very quickly. There has only been a few days that he is out off the FOB that he is unable to call.

With all of that said, there have been days that aren't the greatest. I sometimes get upset at the smallest things and he can tell that I'm am frustrated. I try to remind myself that it's not a big deal and that this tough time in our relationship will past. One things that a friend of mine wishes she didn't do while her husband was deployed, was nag and get upset. It's very easy to say that you will not do these things, but trust me, somethings just can't be left unsaid (even though they really should be). I think most of those minor things are just your emotions on overdrive because of the stress of the deployment.  The other thing that is really difficult is felling so separated from the military. I am not a wife and the FRG has not been keeping me updated on the deployment, even though I was added to the email list. I figured that would be the case. Since I am living in LA, most people don't know what it is like to have someone close to them in the military. Most people just say "I could never date anyone in the Army" or "I don't know how you do it". The truth is, that I use to say those things. But now, I just do it. I am also lucky to have 2 close friends that know exactly what I am going through. One, her husband is currently deployed and the other is in the army herself. I have been able to find things to do to stay busy, I work 7 days a week. My free time is spent with my family, working out, or taking trips to see friends.

Deployments are tough and if anyone tells you differently I would think that they are lying. But at the end of the day, I know that Joe is doing something that he loves and is fighting for you and I. That is what makes it worth it. That is why I am proud.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Funday .... Hike to the Hollywood Sign

It has been so beautiful here in sunny Los Angeles, that Stevee and I decided we would find the Hollywood Sign! I grew up in LA and have never been there. There are a ton of hiking options in the LA area and I have been taking full advantage of them since Joe has been deployed. Stevee and I try to go once a week, we have our go-to hikes and we also like to find new ones.

It's a bit confusing on how to get there and the signs are a bit miss leading. The Hollyridge Trail head is located at the very end of Beachwood Drive.  It is near Sunset Horseback riding. We got there around 9:30 and it wasn't too crowded. The parking is really tight, but we got really lucky and found a spot right in the front. 

The beginning of the trail is not that great, there is a place that you can rent horses and the first quarter of a mile is filled with horse poop. I can't imagine how bad it smells later in the afternoon when the sun is out. The next mile is your average LA trail, nothing special. There are plenty of photo opportunities of the sign through out the trail. We kept going until we hit a fork in the road, we took a fire service road that led straight to the sign. This part of the hike was very easy, there were people with strollers. When we got to the top of the mountain and this is what we saw

It wasn't that busy at all. We were able to get a lot of photos. We found a little trail that was in the bushes, so we decided to follow it. It was really steep and not that safe. There was no one on it and it lead to a great photo spot behind the sign. I think if we kept following it, we would have lead right to the restricted area. 

Overall, I am very happy that we went on this trail. It isn't the best for a work out, but it's one of those things that I can say that I did. I'm really enjoying taking the time to live in the moment. Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Honey, I Shrunk the Care Package!!

This has been one of my favorite care packages that I have made. Who doesn't love miniature things? I got this idea from a Instagram page that I follow and I knew that it was on the short list of ideas. I pride myself in not sending just a box with stuff. I set the bar really high and I have been told the his soldiers enjoy seeing the decorated packages as well. 

I went to Target to get most of the thinks in the package. The first place I went to was the travel section, I stocked up on travel sized toiletries. I pretty much got one of everything. Next, I went over to the snack/food section at Target. Who knew that there were so many mini-items?! Joe LOVES root beer, so I made sure that I got a six pack of the tiny cans of soda. We normally don't drink any soda, but I figured that 8 oz cans are not going to hurt. Next, I did a quick sweep of the store to find anything mini. I found a mini version of the book "Me Without You". My sister also found a tiny Readers Digest. I even topped the box with a mini frame with a picture of use from our trip to Disneyland and a tiny card. Joe is either going to love it or think I am strange. But either way, I am sure it will bring a smile to his face and that's what is most important. 

Some of the things in the box!

For this box I used the medium flat rate box at the post office. I normally send the large flat rate box, but since the theme was Honey, I Shrunk the Care Package, I used a smaller box. I was able to duplicate the logo to the movie really quickly in Word. The typography is not perfect, but it gets the point across. For the inside of the box I used some scrap book paper that I had in a pack of paper that I got on clearance at Michaels, the pack was Robot Theme. 

I love the nuts and bolts paper.

Items in the box:
  • Mini snacks
    • Soda, beef jerky, gum, raisins, york peppermint patties, trail mix, nuts, granola bars
  • Travel sized toiletries
    • Shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, a mini loofa, face wash, deodorant,  hand sanitizer, sun screen, gold bond
  • Random things
    • Tiny magazine, mini book, tiny post-its, a extra small frame with a picture of us, mini lint rollers

Hopefully he loves it!

Deployment Wreath

I saw this wreath on Pinterest a while ago and I have wanted to make it ever since. I have decided that it would be a great gift for Joe's Family!

Here is what you need:

  • 3 yards of camo fabric - I bought mine from Joann's. If I was to do this again, I might consider fleece 
  • 1 wire wreath - The one I choose was 18", it didn't seem that big when I bought it, but I think 12" would have done just fine
  • 1 roll of yellow ribbon
  • 1 roll of American flag ribbon
  • Name Tape - I found a random site online that was able to make it in any color. I am sure that it would have been much easier to just get it on post somewhere
  • Craft wire - to attached everything to the wreath

Steps to making the wreath:
  1. Cut your fabric into 3/4"-1" x 8" strips. 
  2. Tie all of your strips onto the wire wreath - This will take up most of your time. I first started with 2 yards and the wreath didn't look as full as I liked. Keep tying the strips until you have reached your desired fullness. It may have took less fabric is I used fleece, but I believe fleece is more expensive. One pro to fleece is that it won't fray. 
  3. Make bows with the ribbon. 
  4. Use the craft wire to secure all of the pieces. 
Here is what my finished wreath looks like!

Overall this project was bigger then I thought it would be, but well worth the outcome. I think that may have been because I had no idea what I was doing. Now that I know what I need and how much material I need it will be easy to duplicate it. The overall cost of the project was around $30. I can't wait to try some more Military inspired crafts! Let me know if you have any questions!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I work out!....Kinda

Like most Milsos, when my boyfriend left for deployment I decided to start working out. I have always been an active person, but I was tried of not being happy with the extra weight that I have gained the past few years. I made it a point to work extra hard to keep with it to see results. My mom always tells me that it takes 6 weeks to see results, but for me it took 10. I have lost 10 lbs so far and am very happy with the changes that I see in my body. I have been working hard and it feels great to see the changes and the inches lost.

My sister, mom, and I will be running the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon this September and running has not been a part of my work out routine at all.  I need to start running (I keep saying this but have not followed up on it). I have been lifting weights, doing zumba with a friend from work, and practicing yoga.

I have been practicing yoga, on and off, since 2009 and when I moved back to LA I was unable to find a yoga studio that felt right. Just over a month ago, I decided that I was going to take a chance with a studio that is very close to my office. The studio is AMAZING. It is a hot flow yoga. The only problem is that the classes are not at the best times. I often eat lunch at my desk so that I can practice durning my lunch break.  A co-worker introduced me to zumba about the same time that my boyfriend left. Zumba has been a very fun way to lose weight. We only go 2 times a week and we dance our butts off. The first few times I went, I felt so out of place and awkward. I am not the best dancer and to this day I feel like I am concentrating on the work out and not just dancing. I am sure that I look funny, but it gets the cardio job done. The final part of my work out routine is weight lifting. I have never been into weight lifting before, I hate going to the gym for many reasons. But I decided to give it a shot.

On Saturday, I went back to the gym for the first time in awhile. I have been staying active with yoga and Zumba, but I had a 2 week gym hiatus.

On my first day back to the gym I did legs. I know most people hate leg day, but I love it! My average leg day looks a little like this:

  • Squats with a barbell - 15 reps with 115 lbs - 3 sets
  • Leg press - 15 reps with 130 lbs - 3 sets
  • Calve raises - 15 reps with 90 lbs - 3 sets
  • 100 Squats - I try to do 4 sets of 25
  • Quad Machine -15 reps - 3 sets 
  • Hamstring Machine - 15 reps - 3 sets
  • 20 mins on the Stair Master
  • 15 mins in the Sauna

At first this was a little bit intimidating, I was always afraid to add weight. But it turns out that I am a lot stronger then I realized. I have also been staying away from the treadmill and doing my cardio on the Stair Master. I have really been getting a lot of great results with it. At first I was only able to last for about 5 minutes, but after using the Stair Master for a few weeks I have raised my time to 20 minutes. 

These past 3 months I have spent a lot of time working out, but I love it! It has made me feel better mentally and physically. I am very excited to continue my work out journey to be the best person I can be. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Oh The Places We'll Go! - Care Package

This week I sent two care packages. One had baked goods and my boyfriend is expecting this box. The other one is our Anniversary box and he has no idea that it is coming! I sent it a few days after the baked goods box. We will be traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand later this year with friends of ours so I decided to make a travel themed box.

In the Box I've included the following:
  • Lonely Planet Vietnam, Cambodia, Loas, & Northern Thailand Book - He loves to planning for our vacation, I figured this will give him more ideas
  • Time Magazine - Travel Edition 
  • 1,000 Places to See Before you Die - So that he can start picking out our next trip 
  • Paper Fortune Cookies - I saw these at Michaels, in the Smash section and thought "How Cute" They didn't come out as cute as I thought they would but I am sure he will get it
  • Graham Crackers-He has been asking for these for a few weeks now and I always forget them 
  • Individual Bags of Goldfish - He really likes pre-packaged individual sizes of snacks so he doesn't over eat. Goldfish are his favorite
  • Pop Corn - another good snack to have on hand
  • Granola Bars- just a snack that he likes
  • Candy Corn - impossible to find this time of year, but I got lucky and found it while on a mini trip to Las Vegas
  • Mio- He really likes stuff like Mio to add to his water 

This box was featured on an Instagram Page! Check it out. @militarycarepackageideas I get a lot of inspiration from this page!

Quick Facts about care packages:
  • I use the Large Flat Rate box from the Post Office
  • 5 sheets of standard scrapbook paper will cover the inside of the box
  • I use scrapbooking supplies to decorate: stickers, cutouts, photo corners (always use photo corners so that he can take the picture off of the box and use it)
  • It takes 7 days to 15 days to get there. (from Los Angeles to Kandahar) 

Weekend Adventures

For the past few months I've been making it a point to spend more time with my family. Fridays have been a great day to do this. We have gone to Disneyland, gone to the Food Truck Fridays (I'll be sure to write a post about the food trucks), or just hang out at home.

This Friday we took my little sister to basketball practice. While she was at practice me and my middle sister went for a hike. I try to get a work out when ever possible. While on our hike we found a really big tire. So what did we do? We took pictures of course.
Here is my sisters take on yoga. 

Sunday morning I took my sisters horse back riding at Griffith Park. My middle sister had been wanting to go for awhile now and this weekend seemed like the perfect chance to go. I haven't been hitting the gym as much as I have been recently because I am transitioning into my vegan diet. So I have had plenty of free time on my hands. The stables are open at 8 am so we decided that it would be best to get up early and go. We got there promptly at 8 am and were quickly given 3 horses.
Red, Sway, and Jennifer

We had a great time and will be back for sure. It's always so nice to be able to hang out with my sisters and do fun activities. On our way home I received a call from my boyfriend! He has been really busy with the deployment so I haven't had a chance to talk to him that much this past week. I quickly let him know that I would like a horse of my own....maybe one day. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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Care Packages

My boyfriend has been deployed for a few months now and I always try to make it a point to send a care package every 2 weeks. I think I may have out did myself on the very first one. I wanted to make it special, so I went to the internet of course. I spent days looking at Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and then it hit me ... March Madness... He is a huge Syracuse fan.This is what I came up with.

I now try to reach this level of creativity when I send my packages. I have brainstormed with everyone from my closest friends to my family to the instagram community. It has been a fun way to keep the time moving, yet still allows me to spend some time with my sisters (they often help me make the packages). I am so proud of my boyfriend and if it makes him happy then I will continue to make packages until he comes home.

If you would like to see more of my care packages you can check out my Instagram!


I am at a very interesting time in my life. I'm really trying to slow down and live in the moment.

2012 was a crazy, so many changes and it just flew by. I left my job in FL to move to LA to start an office for a friend. I got a part time job working at a small airport, because my passion is Aviation and my full time gig didn't really have much to do with aviation. I met an amazing man, who happens to be in the Army and is currently deployed. I gained some weight from the stress of moving back to LA (and I'm sure other stresses that I might share later). My life was crazy, non-stop, I worked way too much and tried to visit my lovely boyfriend as much as possible in my "free time".

Earlier this year my boyfriend deployed. Instead of letting it stop my life, like some women might, I decided I was going to make some changes and enjoy life. The first thing I wanted to change was my health, I have always been a healthy person but in 2012 I just stopped working out. I'm not really sure why. In this blog you will find posts about  my eating habits and work outs. I am currently on day 1 of an all Vegan diet.

The next thing I changed was focusing on my family. I moved from LA to FL in 2004 and just got back. Needless to say, I don't really "know" my sisters. One is 11 and the other is 20. I have began to make it a point to hang out with them, take them place, or just stay at home and watch a movie. This has been a very enjoyable change.

I might not be a professional writer and this is my first attempt at blogging. But one this is for sure, I want to make my life better. Follow me in my journey to live on the moment. (I think that is a oxymoron, but you know what I mean) In this blog you will find posts about everything from care package ideas to great local hikes to my mini vacations that I have promised to give to myself every month.

I hope you enjoy!

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