Life Happens

Well hello there…..

I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks and all I can say about that is that LIFE HAPPENS. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you may remember that my fiance and I had just purchased our first home together, I was in the middle of a very busy racing season and I was planning on starting my second 24 Day Challenge through AdvoCare. Everything was moving so fast and happening all at once, this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and reflect on the last few weeks!

The House:

Our original goal after settlement at the end of July was to have the majority of the rooms upstairs (bi-level home) painted and ready to move in, since we planned on spending the majority of our time at home upstairs….. Well that’s not quite how it all panned out. We had our hardwood floors refinished, meaning sanded and stained a much darker color than the original floors. Our flooring guy was fantastic, 1 man team, worked insane hours and really did a great job. So we were out of commission at the house from painting for about 8 days until the floors were finished and we were allowed to walk on them. During that time I spend countless hours on Pinterest and other websites trying to find the “perfect” colors for our Master, Spare and office. Picked a Grey (Versitle Grey) for the master and a dark navy for the office (PSU of course) and used a tan color for our spare bedroom. Me and my oh-so-patient mind thought we’d be able to roll in and get some color on the walls no problem……

NOT! We have original wood trim that matched the old floor color and wanted to do away with that, which meant sanding, filling in holes, sanding, priming and painting 2 coats of white on all the trim…..BEFORE putting any color on the walls. As always, nothing is every easy! Over the next 3 weeks, my fiance and I managed to get all the trim and walls painted (not including doors) in the master, spare bedroom and office.

master office

MOVE IN DAY:

Let me tell you…. worst weekend ever. I thought I was all prepared, both mentally and physically having things packed in our old house, but I was not. We did thankfully have a ton of help on the first afternoon, but it still took forever. *Mental Note* If we ever have to move again, it will be when we make enough money to hire people to pack and move our stuff! Because I didn’t have everything in boxes, tons of family members and some friends stopped over periodically and either helped pack up the old house or move stuff packed to the new one. I’m also extremely thankful that we literally moved about a football field length down the street, so really I can’t complain much. Although we had food and beer basically all day, not sure it was enough to get us through all the heavy lifting and long hours in 80 degree weather! We quit around dark Saturday afternoon, slept in the new house for the first time on just our mattress on the floor and called it a day. Sunday, my fiance and I had to finish the rest by ourselves, wasn’t much but it was still a b*tch. It’s been about 3 weeks since we officially moved in and a lot has gotten done, but there’s SO MUCH more to be done!

Racing

Not quite sure where I was in the racing season last time I blogged, but I sure know where I am now…..no where. 2 weeks ago was arguably the biggest race of my season at Oswego Speedway in…. you guessed it, Oswego, NY. Its my all time favorite track and its probably the track that we run the most consistent at all season. We had high hopes for the car and everyone had high hopes for me. This is the place that everyone believes will be my first feature win and I couldn’t agree more. The car works, the team work, and I work the best at Oswego. 2nd fastest out of 26 cars in practice, 7th fastest in time trials, made it into the redraw for the feature and started on the pole! The car wasn’t great in the first few laps, but I was working with it. Then BOOM!Blown Motor Lap 30 coming down the front stretch after passing a lap car the motor let loose. I thought I could save the car from spinning out, but when oil came spewing out of both exhausts, I was out of luck. I ended up spinning going into turn 1 and was lucky enough that no one hit me. I knocked the car out of gear and brought it to a stop. I was covered in oil, so when the car stopped moving I jumped out, stood on the rear of the car to make sure no one was going to hit me and then jumped off. Of course the car went rolling into the inside wall and the bumper got bent along with a front wing, but nothing major. Boy was I pissed! I was literally ripping my helmet and neck device and throwing it at my crew. They of course told me to calm down because everything was being recorded (Asphalt Vision). I calmed down after a hot minute, jumped back in the car and got pushed back into the pits. Pissed as you could imagine, after blowing a very very very expensive motor, thus not allowing me to run the following week at another big race in New Hampshire. Such is life. Although I was extremely pissed and my dad wasn’t too happy, there’s not much you can do about it, so we loaded up and drank for the rest of the night. Unfortunately, my other motor is not quite ready yet and were hoping its done in time for the last race of the season in Thompson, CT for the World Series. The car is also still parked in the trailer and hasn’t moved since, so its been a nice little break which came at a perfect time……PSU Football season!

Current Day

Emoji GirlThank god its Friday! This week is the first of many that I will be working a full week because we’re not racing…whomp whomp whomp. Although it does mean that it’s football season, which is equally as exciting. My great uncle has hosted a full blown catered tailgate since I can remember and takes a bus load of people up to the game. Free ride, free tickets, free food and most importantly free booze! Couldn’t ask for a better time! This week PSU plays Rutgers at 8pm in a packed striped out stadium. Hopefully they’ll be able to pull off and win and then our  4 hour ride home won’t seem so long! Other things I’m looking forward to are the 40% sale going on at Sherwin Williams, where I’m headed to buy some kitchen cabinet paint after work today. AND my roommate from college and I are starting a AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge on Monday (9/21)! I’m so excited I have some one to do the challenge with and I’m really looking forward to feeling better, looking better and having more energy after its all said and done! Keep an eye out for (hopefully) daily post about my 24 day journey!

So, the whole point of this post was that life happens. Sometimes it gets in the way of planned plans, but sometimes it throws great opportunities at you. When one thing goes wrong, there’s always another that goes right. Not everything can be planned and I’m slowly grasping that fact that not everything has to be perfect. Sometimes it’s better not to have plans and play it by ear!

Until next time…..WE ARE

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My Own Event

In all honesty I’m not participating in the Blogging 101 class like I should be, but I’ve also never been one to follow what I “should” be doing.

So, instead of picking a blogging event from the commons to participate in- I’m creating my own event. No, its not even a blogging event!

In my previous post, Why Not Me! I mentioned that I was an AdvoCare independent distributor and now a certified personal trainer through ISSA. Other than buy a few of my favorite products like spark and such, I haven’t done or bought much else with AdvoCare and I’m not fully established with the personal training either. I would love to help some family members and friends get back in shape before I tackle other clients! This morning when I went to put on a pair of dress pants I haven’t worn in a while, they straight up didn’t fit. Crap!

This started happening to me after I graduated college. I get on a “eating out almost every night” streak and I find myself not fitting into my pants. Then I start to watch what I’m eating and head back to the gym and it kind of straightens itself out. My last streak started about a month ago when my fiance and I bought our new home. With working in the new house every night after work and moving and packing and racing, I’ve barely had any time to plan meals, grocery shop, cook and get to the gym! We have 2 weeks until we have to be out of our old place, so we’re on full blown “get sh*t done” mode which means its pizza and Chinese for dinner on the way home from work. All very bad excuses for not eating healthy and making the time to work out, but hey, it happens to the best of us!

PlanThis is where my little event starts. I want to do an AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, but I’m struggling to find the support system or someone to do it with me. Yes, I could do it on my own and have before (about 1 year ago), but after I did it by myself (Lost 10 lbs- and kept it off until my little binge eating new house project started) I found it would have been much more motivating to do it with someone!

I plan on starting my own challenge Monday, September 7. Giving me a solid week to get settled into the new house and back to business with healthier eating and getting back on my gym grind! My goal is to loose the extra 10 lbs I’ve been carrying around for a few months, get my energy back and continue my healthy eating long after the challenge is over!

Feel free to email me acumens39@gmail.com or find me on Facebook if you’re interested in joining me!

Why Not Me!

Not many people know that I’m a distributor for AdvoCare. If you’re wondering what AdvoCare is…..here’s a short synopsis:

“AdvoCare is a premier health and wellness company offering world-class energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products along with a rewarding business opportunity.”  (Off of the AdvoCare website)

Right before I graduated college I began following body builders and fitness enthusiasts on Instagram. During my senior year of college, I became extremely interested in pursuing a career in the fitness industry and thought about competing in a figure competition. I had been a gymnast most of my life and strayed away from my fit athletic build when I discovered how great beer and pizza went together! So, I started following Michelle Davis (incredible person who also happens to be involved with AdvoCare) and saw how much she loved the AdvoCare product line. I jumped online and ordered a few products (Spark and Meal Replacement Shakes) that seemed to be popular and gave them a shot. After I fell in love with both, I decided to sign up to be a distributor to get the 20% discount on products that I used regularly.

dietA few months later I decided to do the 24 Day Challenge. I kept seeing all these awesome results from people just like me on Instagram (who wanted to lose that little bit of extra weight) and said “why not me!”. In the first 10 days I lost 5lbs and the next 14 days I lost 4lbs. Now, you may think that’s not a lot, but I wasn’t looking to lose 20lbs (although now I could!) and I was extremely happy with my results!

That was all about a year and a half ago…. Many people made the lifestyle change and continued to have success with weight loss or maintaining their weight, however I did not. I kind of went into a post college slump, where I wasn’t happy with my job and nothing felt like it was going right. I went back to eating junk food, drinking most weekends and stopped going to the gym. Then about 6 months ago I decided to do another 10 day cleanse and lost about 5lbs and started getting back on track. unnamed Now I’m at a reasonable weight and I feel much better about myself, all thanks to AdvoCare. AdvoCare isn’t the quick fix. It takes time and effort and you have to be willing to put in the work, but when you do, you will see results. I’m not here to sell any product or push my story on people, just telling it like it is.

I’ve never been a coffee person and pretty sure I never will be. Spark gets me through my day and beyond. Giving me energy and helps me focus on what I have to do. I swore on 5 hour energies like they were crack, but after switching to Spark over a year and a half ago, I’ll never go back.

I keep seeing all these posts on Facebook about how life changing AdvoCare has been to families and individuals and again told myself “WHY NOT ME!” People are not only becoming healthier, but they’re able to get out of debt, pay off student loans, quitting their boring desk jobs and working for themselves. That sounds like my kind of deal! I’ve already booked my ticket to AdvoNation in Jan of 2016 in Albany, NY to learn from the pros and meet new people. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else succeed! I want to live my life how I want to! I want to be a champion! So, here I am. I’m starting my 2nd 24 Day Challenge on September 1, 2016 and I’ll see where it takes me!

Here’s to a happier, healthier me!

Check it out…

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!

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….

emojis

  • 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??

Purpose

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!

house