On August 8, 2012, my husband Lt. Nick Miller finally returned home from a six month deployment. I was so excited to see him...and almost more excited that I could finally show him the project I've been working on since the day he left.

So without further ado, here is my top secret deployment project which I have titled,
The Adventures of Flat Nick.
Special thanks to all my friends and family who put up with the very weird looks from strangers as they helped me complete this project- and also kept it a secret. Couldn't have done it without you and my good friend, wine.
Wow. It's a new year? When the heck did that happen? 
This is what Nick and I looked like on NYE. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
I guess what they say is true about time flying by as you get older. Hmmm.

So I've now made it a whole year following last year's new year's resolution to go vegan. Which was only supposed to last a month. Guess I beat that out of the ballpark, eh?

I have a few new years resolutions this year. I'm totally serious. Very serious new year's resolutions.

(in no particular order. this is serious. don't laugh.): 

1. Buy a guitar. 
I've been meaning to do this for some time now. I have no idea what I'm looking for. All I know is I don't want a Yamaha. I think.
This is what I am looking for. Right? RIGHT? Photo from Slipperybrick.com
2. Learn to play guitar. I always pictured myself as that laid-back chick who can pick up a guitar at parties and start belting out a tune to it. While that will probably not happen, I would happily settle for learning to play "Back to Life, Back to Reality" so I can settle back with "Yeah, I did it" face. 
What I think I'll look like playing guitar. Photo from Vegasnews.com
What I'll probably really look like playing guitar.
3. Learn to knit. I've gone as far as purchasing needles and organic yarn, and spending two hours squinting over old lady glasses to videos on Youtube. Unfortunately, the first step of "How to Knit" was to make a slip knot, which then caused me to have to search for the Youtube video entitled "How to Make a Slip Knot" and watch it 18 times before finally (semi)mastering that technique. I gave up after casting my line or something like that until someone can tell me in person what the heck I'm doing. It's cool. I've got 11 months left to learn. 
4. Rewatch Felicity. I realize this is a random one. But, God, I am such a girl and I love this series and Scott Speedman.  I even like the haircut season. Although I still don’t have to like the actual haircut. 
WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!!?! Photo from ew.com
5. Visit the Big Island. We live on Oahu. We spent a week on Maui. We spent a weekend on Kauai over Thanksgiving. Big Island is the big one left. The other islands, while not unimportant, just don’t rank as high on my “Must Visit ASAP” list. The Big Island of Hawaii is, well, the biggest island. But it has something the other islands don’t have: volcanoes! Who doesn’t want to see an actual non-alcoholic lava flow?! (Not that there’s anything wrong with the alcoholic one either.) 
6. Write a book. This is another one I will be pretty happy with if I can just get a draft laid down for it. Or a first page. Or a picture. I’ve been wanting to write a book for a while now. But instead I write on here…hope you don’t mind. :) 
tee hee
7. Hug more people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t enjoy hugging. But I feel like I’m an awkward hug initiator. I never really know the right moment. I don’t want to be the over-ambitious hugger that makes people think. “Oh. What was that?” I don’t want to seem un-sympathetic by not hugging soon enough. Then there’s that awkward moment you think someone’s going to hug you but instead they do the LA-style lean in and kiss on the cheek and it’s unexpected (because, let's face it, where I come from in Baltimore you try to lean in like that and you might get stabbed) and you make a delayed after-the-fact kiss into their general direction. Perhaps I’m overanalyzing this. 
8. Not overanalyze. I don’t think I have too big a problem with this. But sometimes, especially when you’re a military spouse, it’s hard not to think of all the what-if’s and when-the-heck-will-we-know’s. For a person who likes to plan ahead, the military is not the most accommodating. Sometimes you just have to let go and have a “Que sera sera” attitude so that you don’t drive yourself insane.  And give yourself wrinkles.
I'm too young for the vegan version of Botox!
9. Live in the now. That’s another one that’s hard to do with military. You try to think ahead of what’s coming next or look back at where you’ve been. I live in Hawaii. I need to remember how freaking amazing and lucky I am to live here every day and I also must try to get to the beach more. Yup. 
Peace. Love. Beach.
10. Have fun being an extra. Background artistry, aka extra work on movie or tv sets is possibly one of the most fun jobs ever in my opinion. I love being #bikinigirl on the Hawaii Five-0 set. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and enjoying what I do as much as possible. And I would LOVE to be an extra on something that involves me wearing a costume or crazy makeup of some sort. I heard Star Trek II is filming here this year… ;) 
Screenshot from Hawaii Five-0- yup, that's me in the beige dress
11. Run more. I’ve got new Vibram Five Fingers in the mail on the way to me soon. My last pair is finally kicking it (haha!) so I’m excited for a new pair of running shoes. And I need to break this beagle in to running more often. 
My old pair, may they rest in pieces.
12. Be happy. Sometimes, even in the most beautiful of places like Hawaii, it can still be easy to get down, especially if Nick isn’t around much. But it’s important to remember to find things to make myself happy during those times and to always keep busy and have fun. I love my jobs and I love this island. 
I think those are pretty good new year’s resolutions. I’m happy with them. Now…who’s going to show me how to play guitar or knit…?
Photo from http://symmetrical.tumblr.com
PS. I found this on Pinterest. Love it. Maybe I could have saved an entire blog post by just posting this? Oops. (Also, "ice cream" would have to of course be changed to "vegan ice cream." Just sayin.

Don't worry! I'm not leaving the beach for Baltimore. Hah! What were you thinking?

Just going back to my hometown for a little visit. I haven't been in Maryland (or pretty much anywhere but Hawaii) since my move here in February of 2010! I'm a little overdue.

My best friend just got married so I'm excited to attend her Halloween-style reception this weekend. Since Halloween is arguably my favorite holiday and I live for costumes,  needless to say, I'm psyched.

I have been planning my Halloween costume for about 3 months now. Pictures will come soon!

I'll also be attending a Baltimore Ravens home game. Dear Lord, I'm so happy. I think I'd be thrilled just to have the game occur later than 8am but to be present at the game, beer and all? Literally, heaven. Purple heaven.
Living life as #bikinigirl and LOVING it.
Will also post soon about Hawaii Five-0 activities. I'm alive and well on set as Bikini Girl. I've (lucky and fortunate enough to have) been an extra in several episodes in season 2 and hope to appear in several more. 

Geez, I'm blessed.
I'll be tweeting this week. Stay tuned! 
Wow! Do I need to catch up!

I feel like I’ve dropped off the face of the planet for several months. But I’m empowered, and I’m back with a whole new outlook and so many more things to fill you all in on!

But first, I’ve been meaning to write a blog about my Five-0 Experience for a while now.
Photo Credit CBS Hawaii Five-0
As some of you know, I got the amazing chance to work as an extra on the set of the Lifetime series Army Wives while we were stationed in Charleston, SC. Army Wives was a dream come true to me. It was a show I already loved- and it became very nearly a part time job to me, which I worked nearly every week.
One of my Hump Bar days on the Army Wives set
I was usually either an Army wife or waitress at the Hump Bar, but even got to be a soldier once and participated in a classic 1940’s episode where I wore crazy wigs and lots of red lipstick. I got to meet some of my favorite stars, hear the nitty gritty details of behind-the-set gossip, and made some amazing friends!
Army Wives 1940's episode, Season 3- Me on the right- Wigging out & not so blonde!
I was unfortunately too late arriving in Hawaii to be part of the LOST TV show. That would have simply been an unforgettable experience. But I was just in time to become part of the Hawaii Five-0 family.
Sunset on the Beach premiere of Hawaii Five-0!
Hawaii Five-0 was being remade into a new television series, and I was lucky enough to hear about the casting call early on. My first episode acting as an extra was episode 5. The week after the filming of that episode was the series premiere of the show on CBS. I went with a fellow extra, Sabrina, to the Sunset on the Beach premiere in Waikiki- a screening of the premiere on a blow-up screen on the beach with many of the stars of the show walking a red carpet.
It was a real red carpet event...only it was on the beach
Several more times I was fortunate enough to appear as an extra on the TV show. My favorite scene I was in to date was an amazingly fun episode about a group of college kids who were kidnapped by pirates while on spring break. The casting department contacted me about appearing in the scene and told me, much to my delight, that I could pass as a 21-year-old college student. Woot!

I started off the morning at Tiki’s Grill- one of my favorite restaurants in Waikiki, ironically enough. Tiki’s was disguised as “Storm” nightclub. Along with a bunch of other bikini and swimsuit-clad “college students,” I was given glass after glass of pink-tinted, fruit-filled Sprite or non-alcoholic beer and given the directions to “get crazy.”

Easier said than done at 6am with absolutely no help from the sadly non-alcoholic beverages.

However, the day ended up being a blast, as we all got into character pretending to be heavily intoxicated
That's me, hanging out by my lonesome at Tiki's...er, Storm! (Screenshot from Hawaii Five-0)
I got an amazing (but slightly lonely) spot by myself at the end of the bar, right behind the two main characters Kono (played by Grace Park) and Chin (played by Daniel Dae Kim of LOST fame). I proceeded to spend the next two hours or so not-so-drunkenly dancing to music in my head and pretending to be a Woo girl (How I Met Your Mother, anyone?).

Being the obsessive social media geek that I am, I was of course Tweeting between takes about my experience and about my thrill of standing oh-so-close to my beloved DDK (my petname for Daniel Dae Kim- yes, we’re that cool).

Later that day, while awaiting further instructions for the next scene, I was lounging pool-side at the Aston Waikiki with some other bikini-clad extras. (I know, really tough job, isn’t it?)

From across the pool I noticed DDK checking his phone and looking across the pool in the girl’s and my general direction. Within moments, Daniel Dae Kim/Jin/Chin was walking toward us. Unaware if he was a single guy or not, I thought, “He’s coming after the ladies, of course.” Never once thinking he might be approaching me.

Until he was standing by my chaise lounge hovering almost over me. Oh my!
"Oh, hello there. I'm DDK. I've been waiting for you all my life." Okay...maybe he didn't really say that. :/
“Hi,” he began. Talking to me. Holy crap.

“Are you ‘Blonde at the Beach’ on Twitter?” he continued. 

Wait….what? He was referring to my Twitter handle! These words ran through my head several thousands of times for a few seconds before I realized. Duh. I tweeted about DDK. When I said I was behind him in the scene. Also, I was the only blonde there. And also, Wow! He reads his Tweets!

“Yes!” I replied, still stunned.

“I’m Daniel Dae Kim. Nice to meet you,” he said, shaking my hand.

Wow. Just…Wow.

Basically my favorite day on set to date. And that includes the day I got to sprint across a beach in Waikiki several times while dodging (fake) bullets while random streetgoer gentlemen kept trying to take my picture. Okay…nevermind. That was awkard.
That's me in the pink on the left dodging bullets...Hah!
Hawaii Five-0 has continued to be a big part of my life and my experience here in Hawaii. My husband and I have become big fans of the show. In addition, I have gotten to meet some awesome people because of the show- both on and off set.
Me and another extra, Jolene on the beach/set
Social media, especially Twitter, is a huge phenomenon in Hawaii. I can’t tell you how many awesome people I have met by this medium. Many because of the show. Every Monday night, Hawaii Five-0, or #H50 as it’s shortened to on Twitter, is a trending topic as social-media-obsessed people like me watch the show and Tweet about it.

Locals point out the many shoot locations I would never be able to guess and we all crack jokes about the lines and take our best guesses at the whodunnits. Going beyond Twitter though, I have actually gotten to meet several of these awesome Tweeters IRL (in real life).
#H50 TweetUp! Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by FL Morris copyright © 2011 FL Morris, Mililani, Hawaii
Recently, I attended my first ever Tweet-Up, a get-together for Tweeting Hawaii Five-0 fans at local Big City Diner in Honolulu. (Great blog about the event here! The Five-0 Redux.) It was so awesome to finally put some faces to the Twitter handles! And it’s nice meeting people who know their stuff when it comes to Hawaii. I can put up any random Hawaii question- “Where’s a fun place to go on a Friday night in downtown Honolulu with live music?” –and get a response within seconds from one of these amazing people.

I recently attended the Hawaii Five-0 season finale at Apartment3 in Honolulu. It was great to celebrate such an awesome season of a great show, which really showcases what a gorgeous island on which I’m lucky enough to live.
Hawaii Five-0 Finale at Apartment3, with friends Brian and Wendie Star-Advertiser photo by Brian T-Seng copyright © 2011 Brian T-Seng
Whether you watch the show to take a drink every time a character says the word “Haole” or “Did you learn that in Seal school?”; or if you just live vicariously through observing the gorgeous sunsets and lush greenery of Oahu, Hawaii Five-0 is an amazingly fun show to watch and an even more incredible experience with which to be involved.

I know I’m looking forward with much anticipation to Season Two. :)

PS. Check out this amazing Hawaii Five-0 blog called the Five-0 Redux my Twitter friend Wendie writes! This blog post is called "Being Blonde at the Beach" and is actually about me and what it's like to be an extra! Wow, thank you, Wendie!