And That’s a Wrap, almost.


Army events take a lot of preparation. For me anyways. Friday I spent most of the day grocery shopping, packing and getting everything ready to go before I had to leave. Ten days is a long time to prep for — especially for me. Finding enough food options, without gluten was a challenge.

I also felt the need to make one last dinner… to celebrate my leaving… Not. But this is something that’s become a tradition. It started back in 2009 when I first left for boot camp. Think of it as a “last supper.” I’ve been eyeing Tina’s sweet potato recipes… So that’s what I made!


As well as some Watermelon beer. Justin said it tasted like throw up. I think it was delicious!


Good thing I bought him some coconut beer. It turned out to be a bit too dark for my taste. Stout? No thanks…


My plate included extra sweet potato wedges and a big side of mixed greens!


The next morning I had a lot of planning to do. I was designated as the convoy commander. I had to plan a route, plan fuel/lunch locations, and deliver a safety briefing. This included, “No texting and driving, wear your helmet, stay awake and allow civilians to merge…” The basics, but all still very important.


The ride down to San Luis Obispo took over 9 hours. It was entirely too long. But I got everyone there safely. Success in my book!


Not a bad view either!

On the ride there I ate several snacks… Justin’s almond butter.


TWO bottles of Gatorade. I was very glad to have these once the AC broke in the HUMMV… that was one toasty ride!!


I also read… Gone Girl. And ended up finishing it later that week. It was so good. If you like murder mysteries with a side of psycho marital problems (like, “I drank anti-freeze, then saved the vomit to prove that my husband poisoned me”…) then you’ll LOVE this book. No, but really, it’s fantastic!! I hear the author has two other books — of which I’ll be reading too!


Instead of spending $6 at the dining facility, I made my own breakfast. They usually included these ingredients…


GF oats, single serve almond milk, protein powder, almond milk… and sometime greek yogurt with GF granola.

At night, if I wasn’t too exhausted — I’d run around the base. I found an amazing trail that ended at the top of a hill that overlooked Camp SLO.


The mornings were quiet and cold. It was fun walking around there as a Lieutenant instead of an Officer Candidate. I spent MANY weekends at Camp SLO for officer candidate school. Some more fond than others.



Most of the time I threw my breakfast into a shaker bottle and took it to go. A few extra minutes of sleep will do that to ya!


Throughout the day I worked. Some more productive than others. But, I learned a lot and had a great time.



I also got to practice shooting on the range.


And spend time getting to know other soldiers in my unit.



The last night we celebrated the end with a BIG BBQ!!


Blue Moon beer on tap as well — yes, please!!

Sunday morning it was homeward bound!!

Stereo on…


Starbucks in hand…


And we were off!! I was co-driver for the 5 ton. That thing is old, big, loud and bumpy… but someone had to do it, right?


All the heat and long hours on the road was making me sleepy. Starbucks energy drink to the rescue!


I’m a big fan of this drink. It doesn’t make my heart beat super fast like some other energy drinks. And it’s the best flavor… Strawberry Lemonade!

When I FINALLY got home… cherries and wine was waiting for me.


As well as this handsome guy…


Who cooks!! 🙂

I didn’t snap a picture of dinner, but J made grilled chicken and brussels sprouts atop a BIG mix of spinach, kale and other mixed greens. YUM!

It’s officially confirmed that I have some kind of allergy to gluten. The last few days of training I had to eat a few meals with gluten in them. I had horrible stomache aches and other undesirable side effects. We’re going to delete that from my diet completely from now on.

One thing that I’ll be continuing to add… Coconut water with a splash of juice!


I was very dehydrated from traveling and being away from home. A few glasses of this hit the spot!


Annual training is just about over. And guess what? I survived!

Have a happy week… by then end of it, I’ll be at the Happiest Place on earth: Disney Land!!




Army Barbie Kicks Butt: Part 1

This blog was originally created to help fellow army kids like me. Over the last 8 months (wow!) it’s evolved into a healthy living-Army-fitness-daily life blog. And I’m cool with that. But, being that it is called ‘ArmyPaisley’ — it could use some more Army Barbie-esque posts.

This post is ‘part 1’ of an Army Barbie Kicks Butt series. Because, as a fellow Army kid — we all need a little motivation to get out there and be guard soldiers. Or… kick butt.

Being that today I’ve been packing and prepping for annual training, I figured I could give you guys a little Army Barbie survival kit. AT is a 10-day long exercise that is required for every National Guard unit. After 4 years of being in the Army, this is my first time attending AT. I’ve always been in other training events which prevented me from going to AT. With that, I’m a little lost as to what I should bring.


Of course I was given a packing list. But that only includes the mere basics: uniforms, boots, sleeping bag, eye protection, etc. Army Barbies can’t live on merely the basics. At least not this one.


Here’s a list of things that you can bring to an Army training event… if you’re like me, and you want some added “comforts.” I’ve done a lot of packing in my day, therefore my list has become ever so refined. I now consider this list part of the “basic necessities for any Army event.”

  • Black yoga pants – black because they won’t SCREAM ‘girly’ and yoga pants because you can sleep in them. Personally I hate sleeping in Army PT Uniforms. I’m bringing my Lucy Hatha Power Pant’s.
  • Kindle – pre-loaded with a few books. I’m not sure how many nights we’ll be spending in the field, but I know I’ll get bored. Having a kindle in the Army means that I can read when it’s dark — without a head lamp. And also beats the obnoxiously boring days of sitting around — which I’m sure all my fellow guard soldiers can relate to. I have a few books on mine that I’ve been dying to finish.
  • ALL Luxurious body care items. I’m not skimping out on anything. When you’ve had a long day, you feel all green gross and tired — Having all your familiar body care items can be a God-send. I learned this a long time ago in basic training — and I’ve ALWAYS stuck with what works for me. Bring all the good stuff, then all the bad days end happier.


I use Unite Lazer Straight cream, skintimate shave cream, Philosophy face wash, Sephora make up remover, Pureology conditioner & Paul Mitchell shampoo.

  • Lots of snacks. The worst is being stuck in a classroom, or out in the field — with nothing to eat. I gained about 15lbs. when I went to boot camp because I ate everything in sight. I never knew when I’d get to eat next. Over the years I’ve learned to bring food. Granted, I’m allowed nowadays (before, food was strictly forbidden). Some things I’ll be bringing for this training event include:
  1. Beef/Turkey jerkey
  2. Trail mix
  3. Protein powder
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Individual packs of Justin’s PB and Almond butter
  6. Instant oatmeal packets
  7. Larabars
  8. Instant coffee
  9. Propel water enhance packets
  10. Applesauce cups
Trader Joe’s has an amazing selection of ready-to-pack items.
  • Baby Wipes — I can’t stress this one enough. Baby wipes have been used for SOOO many things during my Army career. But most importantly, when you can’t have a shower — they’re a life saver. Fresh t-shirt, socks and a baby wipe bath – Good to go!

What things do you pack when you go camping? Backpacking? Road trip? Or Army training events?