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).

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



Blogging 201 is coming to an end and the last few assignments haven’t lined up with whats on my mind.

  • Make my blog a hub to my online presence elsewhere I have links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram on the side. If you want to check them out, go for it. If not, so be it!
  • Blogging Buddy – Like I’ve said before, this blog allows me to express whatever is on my mind, on my time, how I want. I don’t need anyone’s approval or input (that is, unless you want to). Comment away.

So, you may be wondering why or what “Broke” means in this post. There’s several reasons…..

  1. My fiance and I just bought our first house, on Monday.
  2. I have student loans piling up faster than I can shove food in my mouth (which is pretty fast).
  3. I get paid hourly in a pretty boring job.
  4. I love shopping.
  5. FOOD.

I had a minor freak out on Sunday afternoon, mainly because we were headed to settlement on our new house and I’m going to struggle to pay my half of the mortgage with my current pay rate at work. On the plus side, I have plenty of people willing to help until I can get my feet back under me. Yay to home owning!

Student loans suck. I wouldn’t trade 4 years at Penn State for anything in the world and it was definitely worth the loan, but it sucks when you’re paying off school loans and not using your degree. #whatdidyougofor

Currently employed as a receptionist at my family owned bus company. As many people have said, I’m just putting in my time, hoping to climb the ladder of success.

I’m always shopping and by that I mean online “browsing” and putting things in my cart and never checking out. I would to buy sneakers, workout gear, new gym equipment (Crossfit related) and everything in between. But, that new mortgage is killing me!

My eyes are ALWAYS bigger than my stomach. My favorite thing to do is eat. I love food. Like, A LOT.  Love to buy it, cook it, eat it. I spend 99% of my day thinking about what I’m going to cook for dinner when I get home. Warning: Don’t get in between me and food. Lets just say I spend most of my money on food.

Jason As Jason Derulo says in his new song, Broke: “Mo’ money, mo’ problem.” Maybe being broke won’t be so bad after all?

Playing Catch Up

In my very first blog post, I wrote three goals down. None of them included writing a post everyday, but I’m slowly adding that one to the list of things I would like to accomplish.

I’ve missed the last 3 days of Blogging 201 because I was racing in Sandusky, Ohio, so I’m here today playing catch up:

Day 5: Make the most of archives.

  • Blogging 201 suggests drawing traffic to older content on my blog. Considering I’m extremely new to this world, I’ll hold off on that one.

Day 6: Dig deep into a social network.

  • Find a social media site that can promote my blog. I have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat account, but I don’t think I’m comfortable with sharing my blog with people who know me yet. There’s something about writing to complete strangers that is oddly easy and stress free. You don’t know me and I don’t know you…. at least, not yet! I plan on sticking to WordPress for a while, before posting hashtags and links to any of my other social media accounts.

social media

Day 7: Make the most of events.

  • Create a recurring blog event on your site. Now this topic I found to be very enticing. As I’ve posted in a previous blog topic, I race cars as a hobby. Many people find it interesting that a “girl” can drive a race car and that I’m pretty good too. I think I’m going to start a weekly event on my page asking other bloggers to write about their unique hobbies and I’ll pick one that I think is most interesting and feature it on my page. I’m always looking for new things to get involved in and would love to hear what other people like doing in their spare time!

Keep an eye out for that event! Also considering creating different topics and categorizing my posts based on the content. Some ideas I have and love talking or writing about:

  • Racing, Fitness, Twenty Somethings, Music Reviews, Home Improvement, Weddings and Money.

What about what I want?

You might think this post is a self centered one…you’re right. Blogging 201 suggests analyzing what posts and at what time our readers are actually engaging in our blogs. Since I don’t have any likes or comments or followers, today is going to be about me. I’ve always thought it’s easiest to talk about myself to strangers since they have no idea where you’ve been and what you’ve done so far in life. Judge, don’t judge. All are welcome to follow along with this one.

So, today what I want to do is to give you a short background about myself: Born in raised in southeastern PA, have one brother, tons of cousins, lots of dogs and I’ve never moved. I’ve had three major hobbies in my life, racing, gymnastics and complaining.

1. I started racing Quarter Midgets at the age of 7, after watching my younger brother race cars from the grandstands. (No I don’t literally sit on midgets and ride them around in circles). Check out if you want to know what they look like. At first I sucked and was afraid to do anything but ride around in circles at the back of the pack. One day a few years later it “clicked” and I started winning races. I “moved up” to Three Quarter Midgets my senior year of high school. Bigger, faster, and older men to race against ( I didn’t have a ton of respect, because I was just this new “chick” and girls can’t drive. I am the first ever female to win a points championship in the club’s 58 year history. I won the overall series championship, without ever winning a race. Let me tell you, that’s a big deal. Two years later I won my first feature event at Oswego Speedway in New York and was the first ever women to place that high at the track and win a race within the club. In 2013, I “moved up” again into Supermodifieds ( and still run them today. So far I’ve won Rookie of the Year, placed 2nd and 3rd several times and just recently have been the highest finishing female again at Oswego Speedway. This weekend I’m off to Sandusky Speedway in Ohio for a 2 night event. Hoping this time I can put it in victory lane!

Starting on the pole at Oswego in June
Starting on the pole at Oswego in June

2. Gymanstics. Love it, hate it, leave it. I’ve always had a love, hate relationship with gymnastics. Loved it as a kid, but competing and working out got in the way of having a life when I was in high school. I quit my senior year of high school and haven’t looked back until now. I recently got involved in CrossFit and I’M OBSESSED. It involves a lot of gymnastics skills, which now I wish I kept up with so I could be that much further ahead. Live and learn I guess.

3. Complaining. Ask anyone who knows me and they will cautiously tell you that I complain all the time. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, I’m tired, I’m hungry (I’m always hungry. Pretty sure I was a hungry hungry hippo in a previous life) I can’t help it sometimes, but I am trying to fix it. Its one of those goals I wrote down for the month of June and July. Complain less, make things happen more.

That is an insanely short version of the last 17 years of my life, because before age 7 I did nothing worth talking about.

-Here’s to another day and another dollar.


I never considered myself or anything I do/did to be “brandable”, I’ve only ever associated the word with farms and branding animals. With that being said, this post was a little strange to me….here it goes!

One of my absolute favorite things to do is drive. Drive in my car (or truck-depending on what you consider an Explorer) and listen to music. Its my “me time” to unwind, get pumped, laugh, scream, etc. So, on my way home yesterday I was thinking about my next blog post, not knowing what today’s Blogging 201 task would be about and I easily thought of 10 different things I could have written about (will come at later dates). Let me tell you, none of them were about auditing or branding my blog. I think my thoughts are too random and I participate in too many different things to have one general theme to my blog. But, I’ll attempt to answer some of the Blogging 201 questions.

Does my theme match my blogs intent?

Simple. Simple.Simple. Yes, I am a simple person that goes through life 95% of the time without all the glitz and glam. Do I like being the center of attention sometimes? Yes. Do I like to show off sometimes? Yes. Would I prefer to kick back and relax with a bottle of wine and a good book? Yes. Staying in on Friday night to binge watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix instead of going to a bar? I think yes. In my opinion, for now, my theme matches the intent of my blog.

What do the title and tagline say about my blog?

When I was a freshman in college, my roommates and I came up with a very short phrase that we would all have preferred to avoid, even now. “REAL LIFE” You’ve finally graduated from high school, you’re off to a great college, just far enough away from your parents and friends that you need to basically start over. Learn the lay of the land, meet new people and establish yourself. We considered this real life. Paying rent, buying books, doing your own laundry, drinking, dating, etc.

Middle of the week, drinking with friends without a care in the world.
Middle of the week, drinking with friends without a care in the world.
There isn't enough to go around.
There isn’t enough to go around.

Of course “real life” evolves as you grow older. Let’s just say I would much rather still be in my college stage of real life than where I am now! The nuts and bolts parts comes from my long history of driving race cars. (ooooh-ahhhh). “You’re a girl, you can’t drive” Yup! Been getting that line since I started at age 7. At first, I sucked. But, I’ve grown as a driver and a competitor over the last 17 years and now I’m one of the boys. So, I’m slowing but surely putting my life together one measly piece (or nut and bolt) at a time.

Start introducing changes… 

My indecisiveness kicked in high gear today as I added pictures, changed the format and through in some social media widgets. Blogging 201 suggested one change, I like to go big or go home.

So there you have it. I’m happy with where my blog has started and it can only grow from here. I’m sure I’ll have 9,000 ideas on the way home and won’t be able to use any of them in tomorrow’s post, but that’s tomorrow’s problem.

Tune in for another episode of my random ranting about my so-called “real life”.