Saturday, December 31, 2011

I like the end of the year. It's full of perspective from the last 365 days, but it's also full of hope for the next 365 days. You are always surprised by what you did and never quite sure of what will happen next. It's scary and beautiful at the same time.

So, this Top 5 "Friday" is dedicated to 2011 - thanks for the memories! And also to 2012 - I can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve...

1. Are you making resolutions this year? Wonder how you're going to keep them? This post from A Beautiful Mess might be just what you need to read.

2. A wish for the New Year. I like that, too!

3. Have you ever picked a word/phrase for the year? It's a cool idea. I think this year I'll choose "Be Here Now" or "Simplify". But magic is really good word that worked for Elise Blaha this year.

4. I adore Olivia. I adore her travels. I adore her thoughtfulness and ability to find comfort all over the world even by herself. Her 2011 blog post is certainly inspiring.

5. I'm making this Hoppin' John recipe for good luck in 2012! If that's not your jam, then maybe these White Chocolate Peppermint Milkshakes will bring good luck to you!

6. I just love the idea of a Best of List.

And for good measure,

7. Hey lady - maybe your 2011 sent you spinning? It's ok. Maybe you're not crazy - read this post and be bold in 2012!

And when I get some more time, I'll tell you what I did in 2011 - I had a list, remember?! And I'll tell you about all of the awesome new things I discovered. And maybe I'll make a wish for 2012 while I am it.

And, if you have a chance, tell me all about yours! I'd love to hear it.


Oh goodness gracious. It was an up & down year for me. How about you? Was this year all you hoped? Did you learn something new? Meet someone new? Go somewhere new?

It's not over quite yet... Do something fun today. Something relaxing. Something spontaneous. Anything to catapult you into your next 365 days...

I'm ending my year with some yoga. What you do is up to you, but... Enjoy! And I can't wait to see you in 2012!

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back. 
So shake him off.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

There are so many holidays happening this time of year, so whatever your holiday of choice might be, may it be merry & bright and spent with those you hold dear because there is no greater gift than the love of family & friends. I forget that sometimes, but I hope you never do.
Credits: I forgot. Kudos to someone else though!
Yeah, it's not Friday... Again. It's Sunday. It's CHRISTMAS! Ah! It doesn't really feel like Christmas for some reason. I'm excited for family, friends, poker, portable bar, presents and birthday celebrations - my little sister will be twelve! Wowza. I feel old.

Anyway, it was a rough week. I learned a lot. Mostly about myself. Sometimes life throws us curve balls. Sometimes you cry. Sometimes you get scared. Sometimes you run away. But other times you smile, stand up to the world and put yourself out there. You get to pick.

Many thanks to all of you who were thrown in the middle of my midweek crisis. Really. Thank you.

And while I was on my last seven days of self discovery, this is what I found on the interwebs. Enjoy!

1. This is a(nother) post from Donald Miller, but it's actually about a TED Talks. What's it about? The Power of Vulnerability. Whoa, right? It's sort of scary, but mostly true.

2. I like when people post about their home's interior design. This bedroom especially caught my eye. I hope I have a cute little home when I'm a newlywed.

3. Nutella is good for you. Clearly these cookies must be good for me. I see more baking in my future.

4. “My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman (via the wild & wily ways)

5. The end of the year/the beginning of a new one can be overwhelming. Here is a post about 5 simple things you can do to take care of yourself. Do these, then worry about being a perfectionist later.

6. IT'S A CRAZY TIME OF YEAR. "Press pause. Stop to enjoy. Breathe. Make yourself a peppermint mocha."

And if you're looking back on the last year, then check out Reverb 11. You can Google it and find others. It's definitely a more organic experience than Reverb 10 was last year, but it seems like everyone is enjoying it all the same.

Listening to: DMB - Christmas Song, Needtobreathe - More Time, Jay Clifford - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Radical Face - Welcome Home Son, Rise Against - Swing Life Away, Florence + The Machine - Only If For The Night. Oh and other things - join Spotify and check out my playlists!

Oh, Father up above, 
why in all this hatred do You fill me up with 
love, love, love?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the train from Jackson to Chicago,
Licking all the wounds that never healed.

Turn around. Turn around.
Now you’re at the end of the line.
Don’t look down. Don’t look down.
You’re standing on the shoulders,
Standing on the shoulders of giants.

You know those days where you feel incredibly beat up at the end? Like nothing will ever go the way you want it to? And thinking makes your head hurt? That's my day. I just keep listening to this song over and over. Is this dramatic? Maybe. But I'm a lady and I can cry if I want to.

Providence has yet to be revealed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.
Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”
Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe … life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path. - 11 Things to Know at 25(ish)

Friday, December 16, 2011


I woke up over an hour ago. That's real life.

So, grab some coffee and read on party people. I did this just for you!

1. Are you busy? Of course you are. Duh. Here are 12 HAPPINESS Habits for Busy People! Read it, Come on, Get Happy!

2. So, we've established you're busy. Do you want to Take It Easy? Of course you do. Duh. Here's a podcast all about it! I listen to Joy & Tracy at the gym - makes me forget I'm on the stair stepper... Sort of.

3. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Enter the Starbucks Venti Iced Coffee. Clearly.


5. Could I lose a few? Probably. I'm sure I will along my Own Fitness Journey. This is a very honest look at how being healthy goes down. You've got to want it, folks.

And ONE LAST TOPIC! Gift Guides! Love 'em. I do. Seriously.

What do I think are some fail safe gifts for people if they don't have a wish list conveniently located along the right side of their blog like me?

The Happiness Project Calendar - it's positive and it lasts all year long!

Starbucks Gift Card/Locally Roasted Coffee - hello. Caffeine. What's not to love?

BAKED GOODS - make them yourself. Order one. It doesn't matter. Duh. Everyone loves a cookie.

Booze - but only if they drink. And I'm not talking PBR - while refreshing at times, not a good gift. I'm talking a bottle of Hendrick's or Firefly. Maybe a bottle of wine that costs more than $3 or some fancy holiday ale. It's meant to be good. Not cheap.

Bath & Body Works 3 Wick Candles - on sale 2 for $20 with wonderful new smells like Black Pepper Bergamot and Mahogany Teakwood. And they have a COUPON out right now. Get it.

Moroccan Oil - smells lovely and does lovely things to hair. It's not cheap. It's not expensive.

(Good) Nail Polish/Pedicure - every girl loves glitter. Every girl loves color on her toes. Think OPI, Essie, BUTTER. When in doubt, certificate it to your local salon.

A plant - they're eco friendly and friend friendly. A little green thumbed responsibility never hurt anyone and it will enhance the air they breathe! You're so thoughtful!

QUALITY TIME - it's not a cop out gift. It's you! And who doesn't want that for Christmas? Go grab a cup of coffee. See a movie. Bake cookies. Just enjoy being with the other person. NBD. Time is hard to come by!

What do you think belongs on a HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

persistence: n. firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

good example:

Man: May I take a moment of your time?
Me: Uh. Sure.
Man: I noticed you standing inside and you're very cute and I was wondering if you'd like to spend some time together?
Me: (lying) Oh, well, I don't think my boyfriend would like that.
Man: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know.
Me: It's ok, but thanks for the offer.
Man: May I point out something else I noticed?
Me: Sure.
Man: You didn't say no.
Me: Oh... Well, no.
Man: Ok. I just had to try.

bad example:

Me: I have quite a few Top 5 Friday posts under my belt.

Roomie: Go, Erin!
Me: Maybe they'll make me famous and I'll become a professional blogger.
Roomie: You should!
Me: (whiny voice) But it's hard work. Like harder work than normal work. Meh.
Roomie: (laughs) Then don't do it!

Note: Persistence is NOT always the answer to getting what you want. 

Monday, December 12, 2011


It's supposed to be awful, yes?

Mine was quite the opposite.

Good. Challenging. Thought provoking.

I had coffee with an old friend, got my brows done, made an appointment to have my oil change and AC looked at, made another appointment to get my hair did, had my tires rotated, made a Costco trip, went to my first free counseling session, had a good talk with the roomie, tried warm flow yoga for the very first time, did some christmas shopping, ate some candy cane joe joe's and now I'm sitting in an apartment filled with wonderful smells - like Mahogany Teakwood. If you could turn a sophisticated man into a candle, this is the candle he would be.

Is that weird? Maybe.

Tomorrow, I'm going to cross more things off my to-do list, go to the gym, maybe wrap some gifts and hopefully bake these yummy looking blueberry chai oat bakes.

That's really all I have to say I guess.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let's get in the car and drive westward until we can't anymore. I'll bring the music. You bring the coffee.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Here I am again - one day late on the Top 5 Friday post. I should have named this post project something different like "Best Week Ever" or something equally as vague. Hindsight.

Ok, so Best Week Ever? Not so much. I hope yours was better than mine. Both my work and personal lives have been roller coasters over the last week and I've come to several conclusions about things and myself and other people. The difficult part is not caring and just accepting which I cannot do because that's just not who I am. This is going to be a long ride, folks.

Last night was a mostly pretty good wind down. I got to stay at home (yeah, on a Friday) and clean/decorate our little apartment. Did you know there is an instant Netflix called Fireplace for Your Home? Yeah. It's pretty fantastic.

My ramblings aside, it turns out the interwebs had a lot to say this past week, so I will share what struck my fancy.

1. I love list posts - clearly. I also love mugs & Anthropologie.. And I l.o.v.e this Naked palette. It was the best $50 I ever spent. And this journal is the jam. I want. So check out this post - it's a little like being in my head.

2. I had a friend who wrote a journal to her future husband. At the time, I thought it was sort of silly. Now, I think it's sort of perfect. I find them randomly posted by a brunette bombshell in Manhattan.

3. Bloggers are real people, too. And "Not every day has to be glitter & rainbows because in real actual life shit happens." That's so true. It's not always conveyed here, but it's so very true.

4. I discovered Home Fries from Joy the Baker & her podcast. From Home Fries, I discovered Tracy at Shutterbean and subsequently High Straightenence. THIS IS REAL LIFE. That's all.

5. A very merry Indie Christmas to you & yours. 

PS. I am currently OBSESSED with the Rise Against song Swing Life Away. Yes, I know I'm behind in the times. I can't hear you mocking me. Listen to the song here. And see the song as art here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Remember when I told you this lady is one of my favorite bloggers?

I love her more now.

And, hey. Hey, you! Want to be my new best friend?

Help me win free caffeine. Really. Do it. Right here. I'll love you forever - ever.

"Oh, I can't stop drinking the coffee. If I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words putting-into-sentence doing."

Saturday, December 03, 2011

hi. this is my christmas corner. 
and what she said. 'tis the season.
via we r who we r
TGIF! TGIF! I have Saturday & Sunday off! TGIF! Ok, I missed the whole TGIF thing because it's no longer Friday. I'm such a slacker when it comes to Top 5 Friday on Friday. I hope you don't mind. But yesterday was a good, long day followed by a good, long night.

And why I'm awake... I can't answer that. But I have a plan to combat my fatigue! A trip to the gym followed by a date with Starbucks. Not a bad Saturday morning, right?

Alright. Alright. I'll stop my yammering and let you enjoy all of these lovely links.

1. Do you watch Parks & Rec? If no, then treat yo' self to an episode! And if that's not your thing, then treat yourself to something else. I say so. This lovely blog also had a post this week about being above average. I encourage you to read it, then live it.

2. Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

3. When Andrea made the switch from old url to new, I was nervous, but she has continued to deliver - I love her blog. And this post about long drives, well, I want it to be my life. There's nothing I love more than traveling with friends. And there's no trip I want to make more than to travel along the coast of California. Where do I sign up?

4. Do you love music? Do you love lyrics? Do you love Tumblr? You'll love this.

5. There are a few places that have captivated me. New York is one of them. Why? Oh, I'm not sure. The magic of a never sleeping city is intoxicating. The beauty of 843 acres of green in the middle of a cement block is unexpected and breathtaking. Watch this time lapse video to see what I mean.

6. I just discovered Bob Harper's Bikini Body Workout on Shape's website. I love Bob Harper. I would follow him to the end of my health & wellness world. I don't even know why. I trust him in all of his bearded and ripped abs glory. Also, I think he could make me look like Jillian Michaels. Nbd.

7. My friend Mike posted this song on my FB wall the other day. I like it so much that I've decided to share it with all of you. Enjoy.

Now tell me what you think!


And EDIT: I just read this post by/about Ryan Gosling. Really? Broke up a fight & started a protest? Where have I been? I like this. Maybe you will, too.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

To impact hunger in our communities, we're gonna be camped out (rain or shine) for 58 straight hours at 2 different Walmart locations, while broadcasting LIVE right here at! During the broadcast we'll be chatting with you, hosting interviews, and giving updates on our progress along the way. Our overall goal is to provide 400 meals that will meet the needs of hungry children and their families in our communities. $100 will provide enough food to sustain a child + their family over an entire Christmas break.