Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sharing a Car Part 2

Spouses sharing a car, the benefits of sharing a car

Daniel and I have been sharing a car for five months. I wrote about my initial experience with only having one car here, and I figured now was as good of a time as any to share an update about how it's been working.

It's amazing to look back and see how fast the time has gone. Five months ago seems like just yesterday. I don't really think about the fact that we only have one car now—it's just the way it is. It's become second nature. We go to the gym in the mornings, go to work together (we both work fairly close), and then go home in the evenings. If one of us has plans, no big deal. We make it happen.

The biggest change we've seen is the amount of money we've saved. We considered buying a small SUV shortly after selling our other SUV, but it didn't pan out and we've been thankful that it didn't work. It's so easy to only have one vehicle—it's one car to fill up, one car to maintain, one car to park in the garage, and one car that keeps us so close together.

Sharing a car has taught me a lot about the kind of person I am and the kind of person I want to be. If you know me, you know I'm not a very patient person. Having one car is teaching me patience. Notice I said "teaching"—obviously I haven't mastered patience yet, but I certainly have gotten a lot better. Sharing a car has taught me about compromise. I can't always do every single little thing that I want to do because there simply isn't time for it. And that's so good, because this one-car situation has taught me to simplify. Patience, compromise, simplification—we love sharing a car.

At the moment, we have no plans to purchase another vehicle in the near future. As I'm going to Basic Training soon, there won't be a need to have a second car gathering dust in the garage while I'm away for training. We are enjoying the financial benefits of just having one-car at the moment too much to consider a second one. I assume that when kiddos come along, sure—things will change—but until then, we are a happy one-car family. See? Simple.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nikibiki Love

Nikibiki quarter sleeve top, mint denim vest
Shirt: c/o Nikibiki, Vest: c/o Jachs (similar), Pants: Mossimo, Shoes: Thrifted (similar), Earrings: Premier Design, Necklace: F21 (similar), Sterling Hoops: Amazon, Glasses: c/o Firmoo 
Nikibiki quarter sleeve top, mint denim vest
mint denim vest, feather necklace
Nikibiki quarter sleeve top, mint denim vest

Last time I posted a "style" post, I mentioned I was living in Nikibiki tops lately. So it should be no surprise that today's top is also a Nikibiki. This is my first quarter sleeve top from them, and I really love the length of the sleeves.

Of the five styles of one-size-fits-all Nikibiki tops I own, here's a little breakdown to how they fit.
  • The long sleeve tops are not too snug, and are very long with very long sleeves. They're my ideal fit for a shirt. They layer underneath sweaters & jackets, and the length is perfect so it never rides up. 
  • The long sleeve animal print tops are also long, but they have a tighter fit than the plain long sleeve tops. They also have an off-the-shoulder type of fit, so they're really sexy. I love going out in mine or layering them under jackets for a more conservative look.
  • The quarter sleeve tops are a bit shorter and tighter, perfect for petite customers. 
  • The cap sleeve tops are your everyday t-shirt. Like the quarter sleeve tops, they fit a bit tighter and are a bit shorter, but I have no problem keeping my midriff covered in them. 
  • The tank tops are my favorite summertime layering staple. They don't go too low, cover my bra straps, are extra-long, and go under almost every tank or tee that I wear during the summer. These and the long sleeve tops are my absolute favorites.
Also, I know these shirts always seem to look tight, but they are all sold as one-size options. They are awesome for people who love to layer, or people like me who prefer to wear tighter tops and then big chunky scarves or sweaters over top. Also, Nikibikis are great for maternity wear. You can wear them through the entirety of your pregnancy, and they'll stretch as the baby grows but they won't stretch out

Can you tell I adore Nikibiki? You can see the other ways I've styled my Nikibiki tops here:  long sleeve animal print layered under a sweaterwith a bright scarfwith a mini skirtlayered under a leather bomber jacketwith a high-waisted skirtwith shorts & sneakers

Monday, January 20, 2014

An Open Letter To Mizuno

UPDATE // Please read footer at bottom of post! This "letter" is no longer current as the Air Force has updated their shoe color requirements, which is to say—they have none! So if you're heading to BMT and wondering which shoes to take for PT—anything goes. Read on for more info.

An Open Letter to Mizuno, Mizuno Running Shoes

Dear Mizuno Innovators,

I have been a loyal and super-happy customer of Mizuno for years (and I've written a few posts about my love for you here and here). And don't worry, I still am, and the reason for this letter is not to complain in any such fashion.

I have worn your Wave Elixirs for races all over my grand state of Idaho, from half marathons all the way to full marathons, my first of which was this last October. The Wave Elixirs are the first shoe I've EVER run in that didn't make me lose toenails, didn't give me leg pain, and didn't make my 27-year-old knees feel like they needed to be replaced. Needless to say, your running shoes are the bomb-dot-com and I've never been so enthralled with a pair of shoes (or brand) in my life. And trust me, I've run on them all--Nikes, Asics, Brooks, Avias, New Balance, Pearl Izumi... I've run in them. And your shoe is the ONLY ONE that I've been 100% satisfied with. So thank you so very much for making an incredible and brag-worthy shoe.

But here's the thing... I just joined the Air National Guard and we are given the option of bringing our own shoes with us to Basic Military Training (BMT). But there's one catch—they have to be neutral colors (black,  white or gray) with very little to no decoration on them. I'm talking plain-janes like the most simple Asics or New Balance. Boring, right? Now despite my love for my beautiful bright blue Wave Elixirs with the neon orange accents, I am unable to bring them. Why? Because I would honestly be ripped to shreds. I'm talking PUSH-UPS FOR DAYS... the MTI's down at BMT are not fans of color on shoes or anything that separates you from the crowd. So despite all the running I'll be forced to do (who are we kidding, that'll be my favorite part!), I won't be able to do it in my beautiful Mizunos. It'll be a sad day when they remain behind for four months in my closet in Idaho while I'm down in Texas running in a plain-jane pair that is guaranteed to give me typical "runner's feet."

I know you guys just released the brand new Wave Sayonara "in place" of the recently discontinued Wave Elixirs. They're a beautiful new shoe, but the pattern on them might still be a little loud for BMT standards (past BMT-ers, would they accept the white ones?). My question is this, would you guys consider fashioning a super plain-jane version of the Wave Sayonara or some of your other popular & lightweight models so that trainees who are heading to military training facilities can feel like they're running on a cloud while they're down there in the midst of all the torture and yelling? It won't take the pain from the months of training away, but it could help alleviate some of the stresses (like having ugly feet from poorly designed other brands of shoes).

Me--the fashionista--always one to love a good & bright shoe, cannot believe I'm even suggesting this. But alas, the military has different standards than my neon-loving self does, and in order to "fit in," I'll have to conform. Again, this is all from a future Air Force airman-in-training who knows she is going to be subjecting her feet to a couple months of torture while her Mizunos sit at home in Idaho while she's away at Basic Training. It would be SO COOL, and I know I would have shelled out the big bones to be able to run on a gray/white/black version of my Wave Elixirs. But alas, Mizuno, I will have to settle for a less-than-extraordinary pair for my spring training date. Such a sad day it is.

Will be longing for my Wave Elixirs while I'm busting out the miles down at Basic Training.

Yours truly, 
Annelise Rowe

3/28/14 Update: In lieu of my favorite Wave Elixirs, I found a neutral pair of Brooks for BMT. I chose the Brooks Pure Connect 2 in white. In addition, the Air Force recently changed PT regulations, so when I return from BMT I can wear whatever color shoes I wish for PT. Thanks USAF!

POST BMT UPDATE // After arriving at BMT and running on my Brooks for about 3-weeks, I couldn't do it anymore—there just wasn't enough support, and we were running several times a week for about 30-minutes each time (which is less than what I'm used to, but it's all on pavement so good running shoes are imperative). I was able to utilize a pay phone and call home, requesting a speedy shipment of my Mizunos. They came within a couple days and my feet were in running heaven! If you're worried about taking brightly-colored shoes to BMT, DON'T BE. Half of the shoes that they sell down there are neon and bright anyway, so you will not stick out from the crowd if you bring a pair of rainbow kicks. If you have questions about running shoes & BMT, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ward Hooper Art

Ward Hooper Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

My favorite artist in Boise—without a doubt—is Ward Hooper. Daniel & I own several of his Boise State prints, and for Christmas, my mom worked with Ward to design the beautiful custom print above—inspired by a photo from our wedding day. This new piece hangs right in our front hallway and is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. It's a print that we'll treasure forever and is truly so special to us.

Check it out—below is the original photo and the print commissioned from it.

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

Isn't Ward amazing? My mom worked very closely with him to get the colors and little details right. Ward can turn any photo into a custom print. Look at this one that he did of my brother Stew and his Quidditch photo!

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho
Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

My sister received a commissioned print from their wedding, too, but hers has such a different feel than ours... it's so romantic & vintage!

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

Needless to say, my mom totally surprised us all with some neat, neat art.

If you're local to Boise, be sure to stop in Ward's shop in downtown Boise. You can visit his website here and connect with him on Facebook & Twitter, and here's his gallery information:

Ward Hooper Gallery of Art
745 West Idaho Street
Boise, Idaho

And that is why Ward Hooper is my favorite artist. Boise is lucky to have such a talented man!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Air Guard Student Flight Drill 2

Air National Guard Student Flight, Air Guard UTA Drill Weekend Student Flight, Idaho Air National Guard, 124 Fighter Wing

This weekend was my second UTA (Unit Training Assembly, a.k.a. drill weekend) with the Idaho Air National Guard (read about UTA 1 here). Once again, since I haven't yet received my formal training through BMT (Basic Military Training) or Tech School, I attend Student Flight, which is intended to help ready future trainees for Basic Training.

This weekend was awesome. We did push-ups, we got yelled at, we marched, we received instruction, and we got to meet several high-ranking personnel who came to speak to us. I enjoy all the learning that we do, but when we have the opportunity to listen to a Colonel or Command Chief Master Sergeant tell us about their journeys of climbing the ranks and the deployments they've been on—now that's the cool stuff.

I think my favorite part of Student Flight is the camaraderie that I'm forming with my fellow future trainees, our BIT's (Airmen who are home on a break-in-training before Tech School), and our NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge). The friendships that I'm making and experiences we're sharing are so unlike anything we'll ever have in the future, and it's neat to be making friends with airmen who are going to be stationed in squadrons all over our base. Plus, it doesn't hurt that our NCOIC is really cool. He helps us learn the ins and outs, and he may yell at us or give us a hard time, but it's all for our own good... we enjoy our time while doing it because of his positive attitude.

Overall, I look forward to each upcoming UTA more and more. I'm taking every chance I can to help expand my Air Force knowledge and make myself a better airman. In fact, I've been spending a lot of time doing it—and less time doing other things, such as (as you may have noticed)... blogging. It's fun to be so into something and so excited about all that the future holds.

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happiness is...

Aunie Sauce, Happiness Is
Sweatshirt: c/o Surfdome

Sharing love, and knowing how much you're loved right back.


Realizing that some stories are best to be kept just to yourself & journaled in a place where only you can read them.


Appreciating the little things.

Taking a step back from the go-go-go and just living in the moment without feeling the need to "capture" it.

A homecooked meal.


And so much more... so, so so much more. Happiness is chasing after what you believe in—what you dream about—and living life with a huge smile on your face and love to share with others. Happiness... it's happening... now.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Casual Leopard Print & Yellow Flats

Leopard Nikibiki Top and Yellow Foldable Flats
Shirt: Nikibiki, Jeans: Express, Flats: c/o Fit in Clouds
Leopard Nikibiki Top and Yellow Foldable Flats
Leopard Nikibiki Top and Yellow Foldable Flats

I've been living in these Nikibiki tops lately. They're one size fits all, they come in a rainbow of colors (basic colors here, animal print here), and they are perfect for layering. I have this shirt in white, black, leopard stone and leopard charcoal. FYI—the animal print tops fit a bit more off-the-shoulder. I do not work with the people who make or sell Nikibiki (nor make any affiliate money from them)—I genuinely and honestly love these tops so that's why I'm filling you in on them. They're a must-have for any closet.

And then there's Fit in Clouds, nailing it again with the foldable flats. I have 6 pairs of these flats and wear them all the time. I'm very excited for the neon orange ones come Boise State football season.

Animal print, neon, comfortable, casual. Just the way I like it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

2014, Christmas Tree Twinkle Lights

Hello 2014! Nice to meet you!

Last night, we joined a few couples for games, good food, and lots of laughter. We went all out and turned in around 11pm. As the clock struck midnight, I was laying in bed, reading my daily Bible verses and reflecting over the amazing year I had just experienced. I listened to the kids blowing their kazoos outside in the cold, the fireworks echoing in our neighborhood, and just closed my eyes to take in the moment. 2014 was here.

Last year, I made 5 resolutions—and to be honest—I didn't stick with a single one of them (except for maybe kicking butt at the gym... marathon training was one of my favorite parts of 2013!). So this year, instead of psyching myself out with resolutions and setting myself up with goals & wishes & hopes for the future—I'm just going to focus on one thing—growing as a person.

2014 is going to bring some big changes, big trials (Air Force Basic Training, anyone?), and so many chances for me to take steps toward the amazing future that lies ahead of me as a wife, a woman of God, a hard worker, and hey... maybe even a mom. I don't know all that I'll face in this new year, but I'm embracing all of you, 2014. Let's do it.