On a Roll

I feel like I’m a roll today….there’s not stopping this trfloorsain!

After work yesterday I stopped a the new house to check out how the hardwood floor refinishing is going and it looks great! So happy with our contractor and he’s getting it done much faster than he said he would/could. Which means that we can move in sooner than we had originally planned!

At first I was super excited that we bought a house, then not so much because I saw how expensive it was and how much work we had to do. Once we got started painting and now that the floors are almost done and we’re getting granite (hallelujah) I’m all about this move. Big girl pants are in full swing right now. Started packing a little more of our current house last night and feel like I made some headway (even though I packed about 4 boxes of glasses and dishes away). Packing takes forever and you never realize how much you have until you have to move it!

sparkWoke up late for work, but only managed to be 10 min late. BOOM. I’ve been so busy today work is already over! Yay! Drinking my Spark (or as people in the office call it “Alison’s cool aid” because I’m a child when it comes to drinking coffee- so Spark it is!)

Getting ready for an interview for a second job at 6pm. Wish me luck! Both my fiance and I decided it would be a good thing for me to bring in a little more money and it gives me some financial freedom from the house.

Then more packing tonight and outside work at the new house.

BOOM. Day over and I feel like its just getting started!


Shake n’ Bake

As some of you may have noticed, I don’t usually post anything on the weekend. That’s mainly because its jam packed full of activities like getting the new house organized (painting, sanding, cleaning), watching Netflix or RACING. Most of the time its racing, sprinkled with doing house stuff on Sundays and watching Netflix on the long car rides to the race track.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about…….I race cars as a hobby. I started when I was 7 and raced Quarter Midgets, then 3/4 Midgets until I was a sophomore in college and for the last 3 years have been running a Supermodified. Its an open wheeled, winged car, weighing in at 2000 lbs, has about 900 horsepower and averages about 160mph. For all you motor heads its a 454 Chevy big block motor.

 This past week I started the New England tour of my racing season. My dad, mom and I left for New Hampshire on Thursday for my race in Lee, NH on Friday night.

The week before a race is usually consumed by getting the car ready. Sundays are for unloading the trailer and getting the car in our garage, along with the toolbox, spare tires, new tires and all the parts we may need to maintain or fix the car from the previous weekend. Monday’s are spent recovering from the long weekend before. Tuesday’s have been deemed “Super Tuesdays” which means my dad, my fiance, our friend BJ (my unofficial crew chief) and myself spend the night after working in the garage doing normal maintenance on the car or fixing anything that happened in the previous race. Changing the oil, cleaning the car, checking the valves, changing gears, changing tires, resetting the wing, cleaning nozzles and the fuel filter and “nut & bolting” the car. Wednesdays are for scaling the car. Thursday are for loading the trailer and Fridays are for traveling. I think I figured we travel over 15,000 miles a season in about 8 different states and Canada.

So, Thursday we packed up and headed north for a lovely 5 hour drive, all white listening to the GOP debate and eating not-so-delicious turnpike food. Got a decent nights sleep and headed to the track bright and early Friday morning.

All the teams usually get about 2 hours to prepare their cars before practice. We all get 2-3 rounds of practice and then heat races. I race with ISMA (International Supermodified Association) that’s been around longer than I’ve been alive. The heat race line ups are determined on how fast you went in practice. I think I was 9th fastest out of 24 on Friday night. Didn’t have a great heat race run. Car was too loose. Started 14th out of 24 and after 75 laps ended up 6th. Car was good, but tough competition and it was all about saving your tires for the end of the race. Lee is a tricky little bullring and guys that have been running there for 10+ years still struggle with finishing well. Last year I finished 6th also, so at least I’m consistent!

We got done around 11pm and had a 2 hour drive back to the hotel in Auburn, MA. Saturday morning we got up and headed to New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut for our Saturday race. Last year I wrecked in practice after the axle broke going into corner 1 and it destroyed the car. It took us the rest of the season to sort out the “bugs” from the wreck, only to blow the motor at the last race of the season.

Trying to get the car down the driveway afrer Waterford.
Axle broke at the left rear hub- sent me into the wall.
Aftermath of the wreck- trying ti get it in the trailer!

Practice went well at Waterford, 4th fastest over all. Started 2nd in the heat race and got wrecked taking the green flag. The 3rd place car ran into the first place car, who then turned into me and bent a few things on the front axle. I pulled in to check things over and the car was fine, but they send you to the back if you pull in the pits. So i started 6th and finished 6th. My rear fuel tank got crunched, so that will need to be fixed this week. Where you finish in the heat race- lines you up for the feature and Saturday night was all about starting position. I started 17th out of 19 and finished 12th. I passed 4 people on the start and then hung out in 13th for 48 of the 50 laps. On the second to last lap a car in front of me almost spun out and I was able to get around him to finish 12th. No one passed anyone the entire time, so I wasn’t the only one that didn’t really move. We basically completed the 50 lap race green to checkered- taking only 15 minutes to complete the race. THAT NEVER HAPPENS!. Quick race, but felt like forever because it was so hard to pass people and extremely frustrating.

Not an awesome weekend, but I’ve had worse. The car is in one piece and its pretty good to go for a week and a half from now when we head to Delaware, Ontario.

Tonight’s task is to get the fuel tank off and get it fixed. Solid 2 hour project. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world though!


Today’s task at hand: publish a post you would like your ideal audience member to read & add one new to you item.

  1. My ideal audience member would closely resemble myself.
    • I started this blog with the hopes that I would be able to find other twenty something’s going through the same sh*tty sh*t I’m going through. College graduation, putting on weight, attempting to lose it, getting engaged, moving, getting married, getting a dog (or 2), fitting in real life activities with old binge drinking on weekend activities and finding your place in this crazy world. So if you’re out there, come find me!
  2. One new to me element.
    • Think I might add an embarrassing college video, if I can find it!

erThroughout my life I’ve come pretty darn close to finding my twin. When I was in second er1grade I met my best friend, Erin. There was something about her quiet, shy personality that worked with my super obnoxious, loud one. We met in Mrs. Beaver’s second grade classroom and we’re basically inseparable through our senior year of high school. No, we weren’t literally twins, but we just clicked. Her parents were basically my second set of parents, we went to school together and did gymnastics together, which means we basically lived together.

We graduated from high school and she went to Ithaca and I went to Penn State, so we might as well have been on opposite sides of the earth. We’re still close, but don’t talk nearly as much as we used to and we usually meet up once every few months over drinks and dinner and try to catch up on each others hectic lives.

meAbout 2 months before I went to college (I started during the summer- my SAT scores weren’t top notch) I met my next almost twin, Abigail. I met her sitting in an over sized class room at PSU when we we’re going through our freshman orientation (back then it was called FTCAP). I admired her awesome blackberry phone and we just started talking (Mind you- I had a T-Mobile flip phone). After the seminar we said our good byes and I didn’t hear from her again. I showed up to my first night at Penn State and had missed the “freshman going out train from the dorms” because I was at a me2race. That first Sunday, I Facebook messaged Abby to me3find out where she was headed that night (Yes- we went out on Sundays) and she told me to join her and her roommate who lived in a different building. That night I ended up sleeping next to her bed on the floor and we’ve been friends ever since. She gets me and I get her. Our personalities are so different, it just works. She’s the one calming me down or telling me to get to work and I’m always trying to get her to see the other side of things. No, not literal twin, but pretty stinking close. Finishing each others sentences, eating each other’s food, sharing clothes, sharing a bed (If i had to much to drink to climb into mine). Although we live relatively far apart, we talk almost every day and she keeps me sane!me1

So, I guess I’m writing to people like me. To find out how they get through their days and find there way in the world.

Random Acts of Emojis

This post is completely unrelated to the task at hand for Blogging 101 today, but I think lots of people will be able to relate (or at least the iPhone users).

While texting a friend this afternoon, I noticed that we use a TON of emojis in our texting conversations! There were very few messages sent and received that did not have at least one, if not several emojis attached. Sometimes we can simply communicate only using emojis. So, I decided to screen shot my recently used emojis to give everyone a little snap shot into my life….


  • Blushing Face- I do that more often than I would like to admit
  • Blowing Kisses- sent only to my fiance
  • Crying Face- wahhh this sucks
  • GIrl- hey girl hey, like yaaassss
  • OK- ok
  • Thumbs up- used sarcastically
  • House- we just bought a house
  • Cheesing It- “Ok, I’ll do what you asked, but I don’t like it.”
  • Dog- I have 2 of them
  • Tongue out- This sucks! often used after workouts
  • No emotion face- blahhhhh
  • Couple- refer to house emoji
  • Poop- I literally refer to poop in just about everything I talk about
  • Bicep- working out
  • Angry Face- Hatechu, this sucks
  • Pain pallet- Painting our new house
  • Sleepy Face- I’m exhausted from working on our new house
  • Money bag- Used to describe how I have no money
  • Checkard Flag- Its race weekend (Headed to NH & CT)
  • Beer- drinking lots of it while working on the new house
  • Flower- My roommate from college sent me beautiful flowers
  • Bee- got stung by a bee and my hand blew up like a balloon
  • OMG face- all my OMG moments
  • Food- I could eat cookies and pizza- ALL DAY!

So, there you have it. The last 2 weeks of my life in emoji form. Super random, but super me.

What does everyone else’s look like??

Big Girl Panties

I decided to switch things up today.

I wasn’t going to participate in Blogging 101’s suggested blog topic today because I thought the title and tagline of my blog was pretty solidified. Until…. I started to really think about what they meant in the context of my blog.

I like the title of my blog enough for now, so I’ll leave that one alone. Take a look back at Branding to see the reasoning behind the title “Nuts and Bolts of Real Life”. On the other hand I definitely needed a tag line that fit my blog and the content of it.

girlPutting on my “Big Girl’ Panties. This stems from the idea that I believe I need to grow up, move on and be an adult. Although some may argue that at 24 years old, I may have a year or two to “play”, but I’ve always been an old soul. So, here I am, 24, engaged to my fiance who is 12 years older than I am (doesn’t always act like it!), bought my first house, working a boring desk job and complaining about how old I am when I go out to bars on the weekends.

I’ve finally strapped on the big girl panties and I’m attacking life slowly, but surely. Just because I’ve put them on definitely doesn’t mean that I have anything figured out, but its gets me on step closer than I was yesterday.

Trust me. I still like when my mom cooks dinner, offers to buy me clothes and pays for the occasional mani-pedi. But, I’m at that stage where the torch has been passed for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with the entire family and people are starting to ask about kids…..

P.S. I’ve got a couple pairs of panties because some of this stuff scares the sh*t out of me!

Here’s to laundry day.


Most things in “real life” I’ve done backwards or skipped over…Skipped PSU graduation to go racing, moved in with my then boyfriend before getting engaged, got 2 dogs before owning a house, bought a house before getting married, etc.

So, here I am participating in Blogging 101 after completing Blogging 201.

usAs you probably know my name is Alison Cumens and I’m a 24 years old. I currently work at my family owned bus company as the receptionist, I graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2013, I am engaged, have two wonderful beagles, just purchased my first home, I’m a certified personal trainer and love working out….oh and I race cars. When I find a new project I become slightly obsessed with it, until the new-ness wears off and I’m onto the next new thing. My fiance and many of my friends suggest I’m have a glass half empty/pessimistic attitude 95% of the time, but I’m very passionate about everything I do.

The purpose of my blog is to hold myself more accountable and chronicle my life after graduating college… “real life”. I’ve done journals before and there’s no feedback or people to keep up with, so I lose interest.

Some of the topics I’ll write about include:

  • Life after college or what I like to call “Real Life”
  • Fitness-Personal Training- Crossfit
  • Home owning
  • Supermodifieds- Car Racing- Three Quarter Midgets
  • Money-How I Spend it- How I Save it
  • Healthy Eating- Dieting
  • AdvoCare
  • Relationships (with everyone)
  • Dogs
  • My wedding

I’m not very good at honing in on one thing, so I’ll write about a wide variety of topics which will hopefully allow me to connect with a wide variety of other bloggers! I would love to meet other people in my current “stage” of life. Semi recent college grad, no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life, engaged, fitness fanatic, loves dogs and has unusual hobbies. I know that is a huge list of criteria, but hey- ya never know!

Here’s to finding who I am through trial and error in this “real life”.

Quarter Life Crisis

I’m not even 25 and I feel like I’m on the brink, if not already having a quarter life crisis.

21A few weeks ago I stumbled upon 2 books on Amazon, while googling “quarter life crisis”…..

  1. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
  2. 101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone

I’m about half way through both books and both have some very valid points, but I’m not buying into the whole “glass is half full” mindset just yet. I really liked the 21st secret…

I mentioned in an earlier post that my fiance and I just bought our first house. It popped up on the market about 2 months ago and it’s only 3 houses down from where we rent now (we’re currently renting from a family member & I don’t help pay rent or utilities) After I graduated from college, I basically moved right in with my fiance and we decided it would be best for me to save money (yeah right!) and I do the laundry, clean, groceries, shop, dogs etc. Totally fine with our current situation. UNTIL this house showed up. Its super close to both our families and work and was truly a god send when we found it. So, we put an offer in and it was accepted and here we are today.

We walked through the house last night, cleaned up some belongings that were left and took kitchen cabinet doors off (because we’re painting/re-facing them) took an unnecessary banister down and some doors that we did like off.ktichen After finishing up some demolition, we sat down to make a list of everything we need to get for our projects this weekend. When the list got longer than 10 lines, I minor-ly freaked out! This freak-out had been brewing from earlier yesterday afternoon, after I set up a budget in excel. I figured out that I actually spend more money than I make on my measly hourly rate. Adding in half the mortgage left me with nothing to deposit into my savings, no shopping, no bars, no golf, no gym membership. Basically no life.

My fiance keeps trying to talk me off the ledge, but he’s been unsuccessful in his attempts thus far. So, I’m going to continue to freak out until I either come up with some magic money, land a second job or win the lottery.

I’ve applied to 3 different jobs today and heard back for an interview from one. My problem lands with my very time consuming hobby that I participate in on basically every weekend from April to October (and then football season starts) so, I have like no available weekends. What company wants to hire a part time person who can’t work weekends…..NONE!

Other than not having money, I’m quarter life freaking out about numerous other topics….

  • Studying abroad or traveling in general
  • My fiance is 12 years older than me, settling down is a must at this point
  • Family members ask when we’re getting married
  • Where are we getting married
  • When are we having kids
  • What all are we upgrading on our new house
  • When am I going to jump the corporate ladder and get out of my receptionist job
  • Losing weight
  • Working out
  • Going back to school

As you can see my list is quite extensive and never-ending, so I won’t bore you with more useless bullet points. Here’s a fav BuzzFeed article on this very topic (I feel like every point applies to me). http://www.buzzfeed.com/tahliapritchard/25-signs-youre-having-a-quarter-life-crisis#.re0eKPPjj

Enjoy your weekend kids. We’ll be painting, weeding and cleaning-away ours!