Business. It happens.


Life got CRAZY all of a sudden.

And I’ve only had time to snap 4 pictures in the last 4 day. Who am I!?!?


And I’ve been wearing heels for 4 days straight… and this is what happens. Clearly I’m an amateur.


And then I realize that I’ve been working so hard that I need a large glass of this.


So this is what it feels like to have a tough, challenging, rewarding, FUN job!

Huh. Weird.

A few weeks ago I got a new job working for a sales company. It was only a small pay increase, but something that I’ve wanted for many years now. I’ll be working more hours that I was before, but I’ll be doing something that I enjoy. I’ll also have a lot more control over how much money I can/will make. Basically, if I work hard — and I’m good at my job, my paycheck will reflect that.

I’m stoked.

Now I just need to find some good walking high heels… any suggestions? I have a pair of Nine West’s… but I can’t wear them every day. Oh and here’s a tid-bit, feet swell when you walk… and then your shoes are TOO SMALL —- OUCH! I’ll be making a fairly large shoe investment this weekend. Icing/soaking my feet every night is not an ideal situation.

Thoughts from this week:

  1. CrossFit rocks. I’m a better person with it in my life. I’m happier, more focused and motivated. It’s good stuff.
  2. Really looking forward to Friday night… Justin is taking me to see Brad Paisley for my birthday!!
  3. Why is Costco so much fun? I’m in love with that store. Still. I got 80 keurig pods for $25. What!
  4. Bubble baths are sometimes a necessity — until you can’t stand them anymore. The sweat is getting into your eyes — then you know it’s time to get out before you overheat.
  5. Rocking out to Christian music in the morning while you put on your make up is quite possibly the BEST way to start out the day.
  6. Convincing your boss to buy an office keurig may be the best way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.
  7. When you burn chicken apple sausage, slather it in avocado — you’ll never know the difference. Truth.
  8. Busy people forget to eat. Swear. And I always thought that was an anorexic chick excuse. She’s not lying.
  9. Showing up to work 30 minutes late to your first day on the job won’t get you fired. Unless you show up in your PJ’s — I can’t help you there. True story, I was 30 minutes late to my first day. Tragedy. But I was dressed appropriately. Win.
  10. I’m STOKED to have weekends off. And work 9-5ish. Never take a job where you have to work weekends – if you don’t have to, that is. It pretty much sucks. Like the worst.




Disneyland Extravaganza!


Hi Friends!!

I’ve been on vacation for a few days, can’t wait to tell you all about it!


Started at the ridiculously early hour of 3:45am. Coffee was a necessity. As was a great playlist filled with 90s, Jack Black and top 40.










We didn’t hit any traffic (Hallelujah!) and made it to Disneyland a little after 10am. Parking was a piece of cake (except for the insane $15!!) and we walked a short 1/2 mile to the park. I was like a little kid — STOKED OUT OF MY MIND to be there!!



It’s seriously the happiest place on earth. I didn’t even care that there were long lines, or children screaming — I was at Disneyland!

A few years ago, Justin refused to go on roller coasters. And then I took him to Six Flags Marine World — and his world was changed.

Now, he’s a roller coaster junkie. His favorite ride was California Screaming. If you ask him to describe it, he says: “The one that goes upside down.” I think we went on that one about 4 times. It helped that the line moved particularly fast. I think the most we waited was 20 minutes.

He had quite the hair-do after that ride… 🙂



Justin has this weird talent. He’s good at everything. To include carnival games. He won this horse “Bullseye” from Toy Story… What a guy!



We spent equal amounts of time at Disneyland and the California Adventure side. I was excited to ride Space Mountain for the first time. Turns out, it was also Justin’s first time!!



We ended up riding it twice. So. Much. Fun.



I was strangling Bullseye.

Although CA Adventure was a blast, I had a special love for Disneyland. Maybe because it’s a true classic — fond memories from when I first came to Disneyland as a little girl.



I fulfilled my Mom’s request of riding the Peter Pan ride. It’s absolutely adorable. A MUST. Although I didn’t ride all the kiddie rides, I did do a few of them — and I was happy I did. I think that when you go to Disneyland, it’s okay to be immature —  or ‘young at heart’. It’s part of the experience.




We got a 3-day hopper pass, but only ended up spending 2 days at the park. But, I assure you — we got ALL our money’s worth. We were exhausted by then end of each day. So much walking and standing. We took every opportunity to rest in the shade. Me, personally, I’m a very energetic “I wanna see it all” kind of person. And that’s what we did. So you can imagine how tired Justin felt by about 6pm.


To keep us bubbly and excited to tackle the park — Starbucks was a must. I got a BIG iced coffee with a few pumps of coconut syrup. Holy-yum!



We also enjoyed other snacks like soft-serve ice cream cones, popcorn, icee’s, and a clam chowder bread bowl. I came prepared with sandwich fixings, larabars, bananas, trail mix, water with propel packs and other snacks to keep us fueled throughout the day.

I didn’t see too many characters, but I did see Minnie!! She’s so darn cute!



On the second day, Justin and I took a more relaxed approach. We had a few rides left that we wanted to ride, but also wanted to take in more sights/experiences of Disneyland.

So we rode the big ship while we waited for our Fast Pass time.



Friday night we stayed for the Disney Fantasmic show as well as the World of Color light/water show — a MUST see!!




I was amazed at how beautiful the water show was. Incredible.

We had an amazing two days, but were very tired and ready for a relaxing weekend afterwards. Instead of going the full 3 days, we packed it all into 2 and headed to the beach on Saturday morning. A wise choice considering we both had work on Monday and needed to re-coup after 24 hours of Disneyland!

My favorites: Indiana Jones ride, California Screaming, the white water rafting ride, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Also… the Pixar parade (Toy Story, Monsters Inc, and Bugs Life) and the Disney Parade. I was smiling the entire time I watched the parade — be-bopping to the music. I absolutely loved it.

I’m so excited to come back to Disneyland again. Now that I’ve experienced it as an adult, I’ll definitely be back sooner. It’s such a magical place — no matter how old you are.



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!!



Bang Bang


How’s your weekend been so far? Mine has been very relaxing…

Yesterday was another great day at the range.


Did some great training. And competed in a shooting competition.


Of which I totally won. Not.

This morning was a bunch of this:


Which soon turned into this:


Why yes, of course that’s a keg.

Tonight is a BBQ to celebrate the end of annual training. I’m looking forward to getting home to see all my favorite faces.

I had some fun playing with my new photo editing app. Look at how young we were when we first started dating!!


Crazy! I think we have both made better hair choices since then.


The End is Near

Hey Guys! Happy Friday!!

I’ve been a very busy Lieutenant this week. Lead the convoy down to San Luis Obispo.


Took us over 9 hours. But we made it.

Did a 2 day exercise where I got to practice my military intel skills (wooo!!).


And yesterday I qualified on the M-4 rifle.


Been doing LOTS of reading: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.


Running through the hills of SLO at night. Enjoying the gorgeous sunsets.


And really just trying to make it to the end! Well… The end is near, my friends!!



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?

4th Festivities

How was your 4th of July!?! Watch any fireworks? Attend a BBQ?? I did!!


To start the day off right, Justin and I went to Awful Annie’s for breakfast with his Momma and John. As soon as we told them where we were going, it didn’t take much to convince them to join!

I love catching up and hanging out with them. I had the mini breakfast: egg/bacon/cheese scramble with fruit and toast. Delish! I love their blackberry jam.

Next stop, my parents! Right away, I was craving some “seasonal ale” — Apricot Ale hit the spot!


We spent most of the day hanging out by the pool and just being a family.


Dad barbecued up some amazing steak and chicken. I helped myself to a small plate of everything.


And later I got to see this beautiful face!! NADINE! I was stoked that she was even MORE festive than me!?!


She arrived with the perfect gift… Army print go-girl and a “Her Wineness” sign for my apartment. Aw. She knows me oh too well.


I had a blast hanging out with this miniature person. Who, by the way, LOVES horses. You ask her, “Want to go feed Comet!?” She runs to her room and grabs her shoes and points to the door. You don’t have to ask her twice.


MommaG got her this rocking horse. She’ll jump up and down, rock back and forth on it – all day long. Love it. And check out her ridiculously cute outfit. Too much cuteness!

After a full day of swimming and golfing, these two were wiped out!


But… no time for sleeping, it’s fair time!!


With the whole family!


We brought our beers to go and snacked on bratwurst’s and kettle corn.


And stumbled upon dirt bike racing. At first I though, “how boring… they just drive around in circles!!?”


And then I saw these little guys… I’m a sucker for anything miniature. Dirt bike riders are no exception. They were probably all about 4-7 years old.


After the fair and some intense people watching, we hung out and ‘tailgated’ to wait for it to get dark so we could watch the fireworks.

Let’s talk about this people watching… I’m floored at the clothing “choices” that people “select” to “wear.” Many quotations to emphasize the sarcasm here. Another words, what the F*%$ are they thinking!?!? I was told several times, “Hayley — stop staring.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were many moments of gratitude. We’ll just leave it at that.


The fireworks were lovely. But I was pooped by the end of the night.

Today I was able to ride my horse and pack for my Army week of training.


Hanging out with all the “kids” — and eating leftovers.


Tonight is jet ski’s and country night!



San Jose Refresh

Ever had one of those days where you just feel like pouting?

Maybe you shattered your brand new phone?


And then you went to go see if you could get it fixed… and learned that it would cost you another $200, minimum.

And then things start to turn around…

Boyfriend tells you that he might be able to fix your screen for $28.66.

Instead of wallowing in my frustration, I put on my walking shoes. (And a VERY colorful ensemble.)


While on this walk, I started thinking…


Because that’s what people do on walks: think. I really do love San Jose. I do. And I got to thinking of all the great things about living in the bay area.

Bay Area Greatness:

  1. The landscape is beautiful. There are so many trees, green grass and TONS of flowers. Just walking around my neighborhood is gorgeous.
  2. Amazing running territory. There are so many places to run — places that I’ve yet to explore.
  3. San Jose is only 30 minutes from the beach. Enough said.
  4. Beautiful people. Tons of fun restaurants and bars filled with young professionals. I like pretty scenery.
  5. Not too far from my family. I can drive home (parents house) if I need to. But far enough to be “away.”
When I got home from my walk, I was feeling happy, energetic and ready to cook something!
A few weeks ago I bought a tub of Trader Joe’s Chicken Curry Salad. It was delicious. I put it on salads and had to pry myself away from eating the entire tub in one sitting. Last night I went on a hunt for a similar recipe, this is what I found:


It was delicious. I did my own rendition, of course.


MY Chicken Salad:

  1. Dump drained chicken in with mayo, TONS of curry, garlic powder and pepper.
  2. Add big scoop of almond butter.
  3. Throw in a 1/2 cup of trail mix.
  4. Mix, enjoy!
With all this fresh air, I was inspired to do some cleaning too…


Okay, maybe not cleaning, but definitely soaking. This silver/grey wristlet is great, but gets SUPER dirty, fast. A little dish soap and elbow grease should do the trick!

Later, I whipped up a very, very green smoothie.


In the mix: coconut water, coconut milk, frozen kale, frozen banana and vanilla. Cold and refreshing — hit the spot!

I went to bed feeling happy and refreshed. All it took was a walk and a self pep talk. It’s amazing… all those studies done by doctors — well, they actually know what they’re talking about! Fresh air and exercise is the perfect medicine for the mind.

Have you ever had a day where exercise made all the difference? Was it just a funky mood?

I know that exercise makes me feel better, yet sometimes the hardest part is simply putting on my running shorts!



“Pulling Up” Mental Discouragement

November 2010 I started CrossFit at CrossFit Sac in Sacramento. Coach Dave opened my eyes to a whole new world/concept that most of us now know as CrossFit… or, “the crazy heavy weight lifting stuff.”

[Dave giving me a high 5 as I assume the “recovery position” (dead on the floor).]

In the beginning of my CrossFit adventure, I often felt and looked like this… tired, out of breath and defeated.

I still do.

Pull ups were always a goal and challenge for me. I dreamed of doing consecutive pull ups and mastering that skill. I first started with a green band. Over the next few months I moved up to smaller bands.

And then one day, I didn’t need the band anymore! I remember the first day that I got an unassisted pull up… I screamed. Out of sheer excitement. And then I did them every time I came to the box.  I was so proud of myself for finally getting a pull up. I overcame many obstacles that day. But primarily, I proved… once again, that with hard work — I could get what I wanted.

And that “girl” hands weren’t for me.

In December, I was the strongest and fittest I had ever been.

I was doing CrossFit 5+ times a week, running, yoga… truly over training. But was having a blast.

And then I left for Arizona.

CrossFit was no longer a part of my life. I tried my best to do body weight work outs, use the pull up bars, run, etc… it just wasn’t the same.

When I got home, pull ups were gone. I was using the band again. As much as I hated admitting it, I was really upset about this. I would say, “It’s the journey, right? Not the destination?” But I still felt sad that I had lost strength. That I had missed out on 5 months of CrossFit. And that I couldn’t do a fricken pull up anymore!

A few weeks ago, I found my pull ups.

And a new job.

By losing and then finding my pull up again, I realized something: I am in control of my happiness. I can make changes in myself and ultimately have what I want. If I don’t like a job, I can work hard and change that. If I don’t like that I can’t do a pull up, I can change that. My new CrossFit coach, Courtney, told me the other day, “Life is to short to spend it unhappy.”

I don’t like to spend too much time on the CrossFit bandwagon, but for me… it’s so much more than a workout. It makes me a better person in all areas of my life: Relationships, career, sleep, motivation, and so on. A simple concept such as a pull up has spoken volumes to me about what kind of person I am. I’m competitive, type A and persistent. I work hard for what I have. And at the end of the day, what I have is family and friends who love me.

Oh, and a pull up. Thank you very much.

Today, it’s about overcoming mental discouragement. Taking little bites at a time. Planning and working towards goals.

God + CrossFit