Monday, March 31, 2014

Air Force BMT Packing List

Air Force BMT Packing List
Packing List for Air Force Basic Military Training

Armed with my BMT packing list from my recruiter (who is also conveniently my husband) and my trusty, shopping-expert mother-in-law, we smashed out my "What to bring to Basic Training" list in a mere couple hours. We made two stops, at Gap and Target, and we were able to check off my entire list. The other bonus? We did this all about a month and a half ago, so I've been prepped and ready without any last-minute stressors before I leave for Basic Training.

The packing list I received from my recruiter recommended to bring three days of comfortable and non-attention-grabbing civilian clothes, plain and easy-to-clean personal products, prescriptions (thankfully, I don't have any), and other important documents. The list was really basic, and after doing some research around the web (mostly at Aim High Erin's blog) and speaking to several friends in the Air Guard, I tweaked the list to bring only the essentials and things I was personally picky about (i.e. sports bras & underwear)—opting to purchase everything else down at the BX when I arrive at BMT. Plus, half of what I'm bringing is going to be locked away and out of reach the entire time I'm there, anyway, (like my cell phone, makeup & civilian clothes), so this is just what I'm planning to use to get me through the first few days.

Here's a list of all the items from my packing list that I'll be either wearing or fitting into my backpack:

3 Crew neck t-shirts              
1 Pair of jeans
Running Shoes (Brooks Pure Connect)  
Black generic shower shoes     
6 Pairs of underwear
4 Sports bras
1 Regular bra
3 Pairs of socks
Diamond studs (for graduation day)

Military ID
Social Security Card              
Driver's License
ATM card
Prepaid phone card
Small journal/address book                  
Ballpoint Pens
Cell phone & charger

Accordion file (containing the following)
10 copies of orders
Unit personnel records
Marriage certificate
Personal photos

Liquid Soap
Facial moisturizer w/ SPF      
Hairspray (no aerosol)
Chapstick with SPF                              
Hair bands (matching hair color)
Bobby pins (matching hair color)
Fingernail clippers
Small mirror

What to pack for Air Force BMT
Basic Training Packing List

The idea that all I'm taking to BMT is myself and a tiny backpack is pretty crazy. I've never packed this light! If you have any questions about any of the items or what's on—or not on—my packing list, please don't hesitate to let me know! I'm happy to provide links to the specific items if you'd like them.

POST BMT UPDATE // I utilized every single thing that I brought with me to BMT. When we did our first mini mall run, I hardly had to buy anything extra—except a few towels and a full-sized body wash, shampoo and hairspray. The only major change I wish I would have made to my packing list would be that I would have instead packed gray sport bras and underwear (instead of black) and just a couple more pairs of each (as it took a while for our laundry crew to figure things out... and day 4 of the same pair of dirty underwear was not something I'd wish upon anyone else). At BMT, black is a lint magnet, so it was a constant battle to keep my undergarments in inspection-ready condition.

Also, your underwear/bras/etc. can be any color and/or pattern under the sun. They don't care and won't make you buy new ones. Just bring whatever. Also, if you wear v-neck t-shirts, they'll make you wear them backwards, so buy crew neck shirts for your first three days. Likewise, if you wear a shirt with a logo on it, you'll be required to turn it inside-out. In addition, if you wear jeans with holes, you'll be required to wear alternate bottoms, like sweats or gym shorts. So keep it simple!

If you're curious about BMT & PT running shoes, click here and read the "post BMT update" down at the bottom. I'm no BMT-packing expert, but if you're looking for a list that will be used throughout your duration at BMT and fit in one small backpack, I'd say I didn't do half bad.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Blooming Pear Tree

Spring is here—finally. I know winter came rather early to Idaho this year, so the change in the season is a much anticipated transition, and I'm so glad it has finally arrived.

Along with the changing of the weather, it always seems like my blog tends to go through transitional "seasons" as well. In the beginning, my blog was a very random collection of, well, everything with a stronger focus on personal style posts. Shortly thereafter, I became a Christian and transitioned to more of a thoughtful stage of life where I felt like I was truly waking up for the first time. Then, of course, everything moved to more of a pre-wedding phase, where I couldn't write a post without mentioning Daniel or all of the fun that we were having while putting together our wedding. Right after that, this blog moved in a new direction—with a focus on running and marathon training before the big 26.2 that I ran last October. As fast as that came and went, I joined the Air National Guard a month later and—BAM!—off on a new tangent we went again.

While this blog seems to constantly be switching up its focus, one thing is pretty clear—it follows me wherever I go and truly reflects all the changes, ups and occasional downs I've experienced.

It's interesting—there are days when I lose readers and subscribers—and oddly enough, it doesn't bother me. I mean, no one has to like what I write about or decide to feature, right? I know that this blog isn't going to be a perfect fit for everyone, and if it's not your cup of tea at the moment, I don't take it personally.

The coolest thing about blogging is that this place is all my own. The only person I'm doing it for is me. I get paid literally pennies per day to do it (shoot, if that!), so it's not like it's a make-it-or-break-it as far as income goes. The idea of making money while blogging? It's like a foreign language to me. I don't do it for the money... I do it because I love it. Love love LOVE it.

And so that's the thing, this blog will never have a niche, because it just follows the ebbs and flows of my life. It's my story and nothing more than that. So if you're still here—despite whatever I'm writing about—thank you. No matter what kind of sauce is going on in this place, and whether there's one or seven thousand people reading my story... I appreciate you and I'll still be here writing it down either way. Thanks again for all your support during this new transitional season that this blog is going through. I can't tell you what the next several months are going to bring (besides for a short break while I'm at BMT), but I can tell you that I am so grateful for anyone who sticks with me through it all.

Here's to new beginnings. Bloom where you're planted, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Glasses for Air Force BMT

Glasses for Air Force BMT, SelectSpecs Glasses
Glasses: c/o SelectSpecs (my pair here), Shirt: Gap (on sale for $10!)
Glasses for Air Force Basic Training, SelectSpecs Glasses
Plain black glasses, SelectSpecs Glasses
Air Force Glasses, SelectSpecs Glasses

This girl—the glasses-obsessed, won't buy anything unless it has a pattern or brightly colored rims kind of girl—is proud to say she now owns a pair of black glasses. Success!

I currently own pink, yellow, coral, tortoise shell, purple, rhinestone, and white lace-inspired glasses—they all stand out in their own ways and can be switched out to match pretty much any of my work-week outfits. Before marching on down to Basic Training with a pair of frilly glasses that would certainly garner some unwanted attention, I ordered a pair of plain black frames that I knew would not get me any grief—or extra push-ups.

I'll tell you what, I'm super pleased with these glasses. The prescription, which I snagged from my optometrist, is perfect. The frames are lightweight and while these glasses are very simple, they're also really affordable (under $15!). I know I'll be issued two new pairs of glasses down at Basic Training, but for right now and the first weeks down there, I'll be more than comfortable in these ones.

Anyway, just thought I'd share some love for my new online glasses retailer friends. I shouldn't hoard all the good deals, should I? If you're looking for a new pair of glasses or sunglasses (summer's on the way!), here are my two favorite options for affordable glasses online:


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. The glasses featured in this post were provided to me by SelectSpecs. As a Firmoo affiliate, I may receive a referral commission based on products purchased through links to their page.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sporty Casual, With Camo, Of Course

Sporty Casual, University of Redlands top
Top: University of Redlands Bookstore, Jeans: Express (similar), Belt: Express, Shoes: Converse, Bow: c/o Bows for Baja, Clutch: c/o Virginia Bluebell Couture, Ring: c/o Emitations
Sporty Casual, Camouflage Print Bow, Bows for Baja
Virginia Bluebell Couture Clutch, Handmade clutch
Sporty Casual, University of Redlands top
Camouflage Bow, Bows for Baja
Sporty Casual, University of Redlands top

I can't seem to get beyond the jeans and t-shirt phase when I have a day off—so what you see is what you get! There isn't a better way, in my opinion, to spend the weekend out running errands, doing yardwork, taking a neighborhood bike ride, etc., than when it's spent in a casual & sporty outfit. It's just too easy.

University of Redlands—did you know I attended that college during my freshman year in 2006? (I transferred to Boise State to join their cheer team afterward). What a beautiful campus that was... and the friends—man, how I miss them! My dad picked up this t-shirt for me last time he was down there, and I love it. This is my favorite fit for a t-shirt—v-neck and super-soft.

The clutch I'm carrying is made by Kelli of Virginia Bluebell Couture. I've worked with Kelli in the past and her items and quality never cease to amaze me. Plus, to score a completely custom & practical clutch for around $20 is just ridiculous... such a good deal.

Last but not least for today, the camouflage bow was made by my friend Kelsey. She goes to my church and began Bows for Baja to help raise money for mission trips and the Uganda Relief Effort by selling the most adorable handmade bows. When Kelsey asked me if I'd like to introduce you guys to Bows for Baja, I knew which one I wanted to feature—the camo one! Because it just makes sense, right? Anyway, if you guys love cute bows for you, for men's bow ties, or even as an accessory for your kids, please consider supporting Bows for Baja. What a great cause by a very good friend of mine!

Oh, and Happy St. Patty's Day. I've got my green covered in the camo bow, so no pinching me today!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Makings of a Beachy Bathroom

Beachy Bathroom, Decorative Sea Shells
Beachy Bathroom, Beach Canvas Print
Beachy Bathroom, Beach Inspired Trash Can
Beachy Bathroom, Beach Canvas Print
Canvas print: c/o Easy Canvas Prints

We moved into our house over Labor Day weekend in 2013... and we still haven't finished decorating. Sure, the rooms are set up and the house is all in order... but there's hardly anything on the walls—a mirror and one or two framed pieces—but it's just not finished yet. And that's OK with us... we haven't really found the "time" (because who has time, anyway?) to do it yet, so it all currently sits either waiting to be hung or taking up shelf space in the garage while we take our sweet time to get to it.

One of the rooms we have changed the most is the powder room right off the front hallway. When we moved in, it was painted a deep red. We decided to paint it a pale shade of blue and decorate it with a light, airy beach theme. Though the pieces haven't all quite come together yet, we do have a small basket of shells and starfish that Daniel has collected over the years, and we just got this amazing canvas print made from a photo that I took last summer when we visited Whidbey Island. Our favorite thing to do when we visit Whidbey is go for long beach walks, scouring the rocks for agates. The canvas above shows a glowing agate that I found... they are just the coolest!

I can't wait for the rest of this bathroom to come together. I plan on framing a couple more of the photos I took on Whidbey, and adding a few neat vintage pieces to complete the room. I think the most fun part about owning a house is making it your own—and making it your home. And every home is such a reflection of the person who lives in it... I just love that. So while this may be just a tiny bathroom, it is our little tiny bathroom. Love it and all its beachy-ness.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Military Mindset: A BMT Update

Military Mindset, Prepping for Air Force BMT, Air Force A-10 airplane, 124 Fighter Wing

If it hasn't been more than obvious lately, I'm finding myself in the military mindset often these days. I think the biggest reason is because I'll be leaving for Basic Military Training (BMT) soon (this spring!) and I'm getting very, very excited. I've been counting down the days for months now, and the first thing people who see me regularly often ask is, "How many days left?"

As far as the prep goes, I've done as much as I can—and maybe have even gone a little overboard. I'm just that kind of person—a perfectionist and a little (or a lot) overzealous at times—so it's no surprise that I've been in such a "military mode" lately. I've learned the Air Force's pay grades, ranks and insignia, the entire Air Force song, the Airmen's Creed, the Core Values, Chain of Command, and much, much more. It's been fun to get back in a pattern of studying and memorizing—I know I'll have much more of it to do when I get down there. Don't even get me started on the fact that I'm already packed... I think I love this stuff too much sometimes.

If you didn't know, BMT is 8.5 weeks long and is held at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. I remember in the fall of 2012 when Daniel left for Tech School to become a recruiter and was gone for 6-weeks. Naive as I was, I thought the world was ending when he left—6-weeks seemed like such a long time! Looking back, that time flew by, and I don't think this time around will be any different. 8.5 weeks? Easy. I don't know how military spouses who get deployed for months and years at a time do it. They sacrifice so much.

As the days keep counting down, I keep getting more and more excited, hold Daniel a little closer each night, and prepare myself for the mental and physical test that I'm about to endure. With only two guaranteed phone calls home during that time and the hopeful promise of letters from home, I know that each moment before I go is one to be treasured.

Oh, and 8.5 weeks without even seeing a computer, Facebook, Instagram, etc? I'm actually looking forward to it—minus the short break from blogging. Think you guys will miss me? I know I'll miss you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Building The Wall of Memories

Printcopia Canvas Print, Canvas Marathon Photo

I can't believe it's been almost 6-months since the City of Trees Marathon. Now that all the training is over, I'm finally at a point where things are settling down and I'm looking back over that long and tiresome race with fond memories—though not quite so fond that I'm ready to sign up for a second marathon.

I was approached by Printcopia a little while ago about trying out one of their canvas prints. Of course I jumped at the chance, since I hadn't had a moment to get one of our marathon prints framed yet and knew it was going to be the center-point for the future "running wall" that will eventually hang somewhere in our house. I've saved all my race bibs and medals over the years, and plan on framing each alongside a photo from that race—each of which was run with my mom.

If you're interested in snagging a good deal on a canvas of your own, Printcopia is having a special deal (thru 3/9) right now for one 18x24 print for $34.99, plus free shipping.

This canvas print is the first piece of the running wall, and I look forward to add other pieces as time goes on (like these tiny printed polaroids!). I'd love to know—do you have a wall of memories in your home? A place for race numbers, trophies, things that hold a special place in your heart that signify an accomplishment you achieved?

Disclosure: While I did receive the canvas for free, I was not paid to write this post. I genuinely love and support this business and can't recommend their services enough.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Air National Guard Student Flight Drill 4

Air National Guard Recruiters, Air Force Recruiters
Air National Guard Student Flight, Drill Weekend Student Flight, Idaho Air National Guard, 124 Fighter Wing
There I am, little Trainee Rowe up there in the pink!

This weekend was my fourth Student Flight during drill weekend for the Air National Guard. Once again, Student Flight gave me new experiences that I will never be able to have after I return from BMT. Each drill weekend has presented so many new lessons, speakers, and activities—and this month's UTA was no different.

Saturday, I showed up and began to help the other trainees get ready for the day. Just as we were beginning, one of the recruiters came in and asked for two trainees to come help at an off-base recruiting event. Our superintendent picked me and one other trainee to go experience the "fun in the sun" away from Student Flight for the day. We took it as a great compliment—he wouldn't have chosen us if he didn't think we had our memory work and basics down. The rest of the day was spent standing at a table in Cabela's, talking to veterans and prospective recruits, and honestly—having a grand old time. To think—we got paid to chill in Cabela's and talk about the Air Guard all day—it was the easiest money I've made yet! We made it back to the base in time for PT, so not only did we have a super-relaxed day with a recruiter, but we also got to get a good workout in before heading home for the day. If you are in Student Flight and you have the chance to go off-base for an event like this—do it—it's an invaluable experience and not only do you learn about what the recruiters do, but you also get to meet some amazing community members.

Sunday also presented a new and interesting experience. We were able to attend a change of command ceremony, which only happens every few years. We stood in formation at parade rest for an hour (which was actually harder than I thought it would be!) and got to watch our first official Air Force ceremony. What an honor! That afternoon, we held a PT test that included the sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and 1.5-mile run that we will have to do down at Basic Training. I ended up with 66 sit-ups, 46 push-ups, a run time of 10:00, and 6 pull-ups. If you remember from my BMT Fitness Standards post, that puts me in the Warhawk category, which is very cool, because I was just barely outside that Warhawk bubble before (I took 53 seconds off my mile time!), and I've been training hard for it!

I only have one more drill weekend before I leave for Basic Military Training, so I'm training harder than ever, maintaining a healthy diet, reciting all the basics over and over, such as ranks, pay grades & insignias, the Air Force Creed, the Air Force Song, and anything else I can think of to get prepped for this amazing experience.

If any of my fellow trainees read this post—I just want to say thanks. You guys are so encouraging and it's such a blessing to be able to spend one weekend a month with you. The friendships and bonds we are forming are more valuable to me than anything else—so thank you.

See my other Air National Guard Student Flight experiences here: UTA 1 │ UTA 2 │ UTA 3UTA 4 │ UTA 5