Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And We're Back

      So senior year.  The beginning of the end.  My favorite part about school is my friends!  I love love love my TCNJ family.  My roommate Grace and I went to dinner in Princeton, a fav activity since Ewing NJ is not the most happening place.  Usually we frequent D'Angelo's, a delicious Italian deli and pizzeria!  But it was too late so we opted for WaWa hoagies eaten in the car with Nantucket Nectars.  Oh and people watching...lots of people watching.  Princeton is the perfect place for people watching because the student body is so diverse!  WaWa is the epicenter of deliciousness in South Jersey.  Everyone knows, loves, and reveres that place.  But when I moved to North Jersey for school my biggest fear came to life...the closest Wa was 25-30 minutes away in Princeton.  What would I do?  At home there are 5 WaWa's in a 5 mile radius!

     Well, one night, sophomore year of college, we found our solution.  Grace and I were engaged in an epic prank war with our across the hall neighbors.  Some of our favorite pranks were ding dong ditch at inopportune times.  Well, our neighbors returned from a party at 2 am and decided to ding dong ditch us.  We obviously woke up startled and barged into their room to fake berate them.  We all ended up talking until about 3 and then when Grace and I returned to our room we looked at each other and instantly knew the gleam in the other's eyes.  We needed WAWA!  We needed it bad.  So we took to our friends Google and MapQuest.  Faithful as always, they generated two locations:  Trenton and Princeton.  Since it was 3 am and Trenton is one of the most dangerous cities in America we opted for Princeton.  So we decided to make the trek to Princeton.  In 30 minutes we'd have WaWa's deliciousness in our bellies and we'd be happy happy girls.  And it was glorious!  Never has a turkey/American cheese/lettuce/light oil ever tasted so good.  Amazing!  So every Wednesday from there on out became affectionately known as WaWa Wednesday.  (Although, if we're craving it on Thursday we can go then too...we're not picky)

     So back to Senior Year.  Being a senior in college is NOTHING like being a senior in high school.  Because after high school I was certain I was going to college.  But after senior year in college comes a year and a half of grad school then THE REAL WORLD!  Not the MTV classic, but the real real real world.  SCARRRY!! Well, we'll just push that thought to the back of the brain now.  My first class got cancelled so Tuesday I went to lunch with Jacqueline and we had a gossip fueled pizza meal.  Later that night I went to my neighbor's house for Pregnant Tuesday.  It's a time honored tradition of watching Teen Mom and eating the BEST college snack ever invented...drum roll please...pop corn and M&Ms!!  Best thing I've learned in college thus far hands down!  So we celebrated the Series Finale in style!  We drank Prosecco and pondered life's great questions.  Why does Amber date more than us?  How many cars has Maci owned since the beginning of the series?  Who is Nick's father?  How many degrees does Farrah possess?  And lastly, why are Catelynn and Tyler constantly buying school supplies?  My friend said Amber dates more than us because she knows where to find the quality men:  KMart and Jail!  Good point, my friend, good point.

The only thing I don't like about school is the fact that I miss my Deb's cooking.  She is the best cook ever!  At college I live on a strict $40 a week food budget.  (WaWa is additional in case you were wondering lol) I've actually become really good at working on this budget!  This week I spent a total of $38.79! Score!  What does $38.79 worth of groceries look like?  

**Dulce De Leche Cheerios-if you haven't tried them, get yourself to the store!  Best $3.29 you'll spend!
**1 pound of ground turkey (under $4)
**hamburger buns ($2.50)
**1/8th pound of yellow American cheese (58 cents if you buy Shop Rite brand)
**24 Poland Spring water bottles ($4.29)
**2 medium bags of M&Ms ($5.35-they were on sale!)
**1 box of Shop Rite popcorn ($1.53 for 3 bags)
**grilled chicken cutlets ($4)
**fresh spinach ($3.79)
**almonds ($4.29)
**raspberry cabernet light salad dressing ($3.29)

This is a weeks worth of groceries in mon maison!  I make killer turkey burgers (ground turkey+garlic+parsley+oregano+rosemary) and a really good salad that I highly suggest!  It's spinach+warmed grilled chicken+almonds+raspberry cabernet dressing.  It's delicious!  

I love school and every part of it and I'm so happy to be back!!



Monday, August 27, 2012

We in the NOLA baybee!

     Anyone who knows me knows that I loooooove to travel!  I love every aspect of it!  From scouting airline ticket prices to planning themed outfits I just love it all!  I believe that submerging yourself in a different culture, getting completely out of your comfort zone is essential to personal growth.  

     This time my trip was to New Orleans Louisiana to visit one of my best best best friends at Tulane University.  I was super pumped about going to Nola because I had heard it was such a unique city and it totally was!  There are so many different cultures in one city!  My flight was at 6:10 am so I had to wake up at 3:30 am!  I am so not a morning person.  I got to the airport at 4:20 am.  I was super nervous about my first independent flight!  But thankfully, the Philadelphia airport is idiot proof!  Literally.  Thank God, or I would have probably ended up on a flight to Cleveland...and no one wants to go there.  Mark Twain even said, "In America, there is New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco.    Everywhere else is Cleveland."  

     So Flight #1...I lucked out and did not have a seat buddy.  I did however have the privilege of sitting across from Elvis' Two Biggest Fans! Literally, these people wore black t-shirts emblazoned with Elvis' lip curling smiling face.  Thank you, Thank you very much!  (My personal favorite Elvis is Uncle Jesse)  No, there King of Rock paraphernalia did NOT stop there!  The husband had an Elvis belt buckle and jeans on.  Priscilla wore black capris with Elvis' face on the right thigh.  She also had a Elvis and rhine stone carry on...but really, when you're going to Graceland, you go all out.  Anyway, every time I would doze off and wake up I would find The Presley's staring at me.  A leeeetle creepy, but hey what are you gonna do?!  I knew that there was a time zone change between NJ and Nola but I wasn't sure where.  So I started panicking when I saw the time was 8:10!  My connector was in 20 mins and I thought I was gonna miss it! I quickly waved down the flight attendant and she was like, "Umm, no you have an hour and 20 mins."  Blonde Moment...

     So Flight #2...When I deplaned (a personal favorite word because of its candor) I learned that my connector was delayed 10 mins.  Thankfully, because of Pinterest I am no longer ever bored!  There's always something to pin!  Also, my connector was in Memphis Tennessee...this is Dolly Parton's home state!  My excitement was bubbling over!  When we finally planed (is that the right word?) and the flight attendant comes on the speaker (there were only about 40 of us on the plane) and she goes, "Sorry y'all!  I was running late this morning because I was at the hospital visiting my grandson and when my alarm went off today I was like 'Nope SNOOZE!'"  Everyone on the plane just smiled back at here.  SMILED! This was how I knew I was not in the North anymore...If this happened in Philly, everyone on that plane would have FREAKED out about being made to wait.  I also knew that we were not in the North anymore because when we landed the attendant said, "I wanna thank y'all for being such good flyers and thank our Captain for getting us here safely and Thank you Jesus for allowing us to have a safe flight!"  

     When I arrived I got my bag and met Zach.  His friend drove us back to Zach's house and we began our adventure!!  New Orleans is hot.  Very hot.  And it rains every day...sometimes twice.  I came prepared with my rain boots, but they didn't match my outfit so I left them home.  Plus, it was the first day so I really didn't know how rainy it would be.  On Day One we walked 20 miles!  We actually calculated it!  We ate lunch at this fabulous place called New Orleans Hamburger and Sea Food Co. in Uptown!  It was aaaaamazing!  The whole city is very pro-New Orleans!  Everyone is proud to be a New Orleaner and everyone is a Saints fan!  Look at my daaalish Cowboy Chicken Burger!  There's a fleur de lis toothpick in my sandwich!  So cute!  The food is amazing!

Then, we were off to get SnoBalls.  If you're from the Philadelphia area the equivalent is SnoCones.  If you are not from this area then allow me to explain.  Its shaved ice with flavored syrup drizzled on top. They're soooooo good!  

Next, we went to Bourbon Street!  This place was insane!  Bourbon Street is located in the French Quarter.  I love French culture and to see all of the French architecture was amazing!  

This is a band playing jazz on Bourbon!

A daytime view of Bourbon Street!

After this we saw the Real World New Orleans House!  Zach and I watched this show religiously before he went to school!

Zach has fabulous roommates and I loved all of them!  Some other highlights of my trip include seeing Eli and Peyton Manning's high school, going to a fabulous dinner at The Oyster House.  Eating Beignets...seriously sooooo good!  I rode on a street car!  Another, "You know you're not in Jersey anymore moment," happened when a street car patron said to the street car driver, "Excuse me ma'am, but I have to go to the bathroom.  I'll be right back!"  And she waited for him!!  Mind.  Blown!  In NJ we don't wait for anybody!  Another, "You know you're not in Jersey anymore moment," occurred when we were walking down the street.  People are genuinely interested in your well-being!  Everyone said, "Hello, ma'am.  How was your day?" and they wanted an ANSWER!  Not like in NJ where people just walk past you on the street and if they bump into you they say, "Uhh."  Nope!  Here I was expected to answer and say, "Yes sir and yes ma'am!"  It was so bemusing to see people genuinely care about each other.  We also went on a ghost tour.  It started torrentially down-pouring and thundering/lightning so we had to hold the tour inside.  Equally spooky when the power went out!  Muaahaahaa!  

     Being from New Jersey, we have crazy rules about purchasing alcohol.  You can only buy alcohol from liquor stores, certain grocery stores, and certain bars.  In New Orleans you can buy alcohol everywhere...literally.  In drug stores, deli's, grocery stores, and Target!  Insanity!  We went to Sucre for dessert and there was a woman in athletic wear who brought her own bottle of red wine!  *Sucre is a fabulous bakery*It was so funny because we thought she was alone...drinking a bakery.  Zach said, "Guys, if I ever wear leggins and bring my own wine to a bakery..." his roommate cut him off and said, "You are wearing track pants and that's kind of the same thing..." We all died!  Soooo funny!  

On my flight home I had a connector in Atlanta!  When people say Hotlanta they are not lying!  Everyone I encountered was beautiful!  Gorgeous people live there!  There were so many hot soldiers/sailors/marines/and pilots at the airport.  It made my day!  (I love men in uniform)  Another bonus of the Atlanta airport?  The mall inside!  There is a full on mall there!  They have so many good restaurants too! But where do I choose to eat?  Domino's Express!  I'm lactose intolerant so I can't have the cheese on pizza.  Domino's is the greatest no cheese pizza!  It tastes like the world's best garlic bread with marinara sauce on it!  Aaaaamaaazing!  My flight back to Philly got delayed.  I was supposed to be home by midnight but we didn't take off until 1050!  It was okay though because I'm sure there was a problem with the left philangees and a small colonial woman standing on the wing!! I love FRIENDS and Bridesmaids!  So I had to reference them!  I had to keep these thoughts to myself because I didn't want to scare the other passengers!  I loved this trip!! 

I know this was a long post but I wanted to share everything!  I know there's so much I left out but I tried to include the highlights!!  




Thursday, August 23, 2012

To blog or not to blog...

I guess I should start my very first blog entry with the reason why I wanted to start a blog.  I am under no great delusion that I believe my life is super interesting or fascinating by any means.  I really just enjoy my life and I like to make people laugh.  Fortunately for me, my life is pretty entertaining.  I am truly blessed to have an amazing family, the world's best friends, a fantastic job that keeps me on my toes (literally because I am a dance teacher) and I am lucky enough to attend my dream school, TCNJ.  

I wanted to blog because I genuinely enjoy writing and sharing the adventures that my girlfriends and I find ourselves entangled in.  Some of it good, some of it bad, all of it hilarious.  Another reason that I decided to venture into the world of blogging is because writing is therapeutic for me.  This blog will consist mostly of my musings, travels, thoughts, and stories.  

Being new to the world of blogging I guess I will now share a little bit about myself.  My name is Erin and I'm a 21 year old senior at TCNJ.  

Things I love:
-my family and friends (I consider them interchangeable)
-dance (I've been dancing since I was 2.5 and started working as a dance teacher 3 years ago)
I love all kinds of dance and have trained as a ballerina, tap dancer, jazz dancer, and lyrical dancer.
-Superhero movies...all of them...I've been to the Marvel Movie Marathon and I loved every minute of it
-FRIENDS, the tv show...i'm obsessed and frequently speak in quotes
-Sex and The need to explain why I love watching single best friends talk about shoes and boys
-Sports...I love my Phillies/Sixers/Eagles/Flyers!!  I'm not really a huge hockey fan but if I was I'd be into the Flyers
-Philadelphia...My favorite city in the world.  You can't get better access to culture, sports, food, or history anywhere!  
-Travel...I love history and cultures and there is no better way to learn about them than fully emerging yourself!  I have been to France, Monaco, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, St. Martin, St. Thomas, and St. Lucia.  Domestically I have been to most major cities on the East Coast, Chicago, and most recently New Orleans!  I also hold a soft spot for Disney World and have been five times.  I'm also pretty psyched for my graduation gift next year...a trip to Nashville!
-Country Music...I was raised on country music and have a soft spot for all things country related!  My favorite country singer is Dolly Parton!  She is one of my favorite people of all time and whenever I'm having a bad day I listen to her songs.  My favorite Dolly song is Jolene.  I also love Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, the Dixie Chicks, Josh Turner, Miranda Lambert, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Lady A, Sugarland, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Jessica Andrews, and JoDee Messina...and the list could go on forever.  In NJ a lot of people think country music is not cool; however, I disagree because it is the truest representation of my life.  I love love love it all!  Country music has heart/soul/and emotion...something pop doesn't.
-Fashion...I've been obsessed with all things fashion since I was a little girl.  I am from NJ and therefore am no stranger to the mall.  Nothing makes me happier than when I can spend hours drooling over haute couture
-Magazines...I'm an USweekly, Glamour, Cosmo, (sometimes People when they have good covers) kinda girl.  I'm there every Friday buying my new USweekly without fail.  
-Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis...she is the epitome of glamour and fabulosity.  Whenever I have a serious dilemma I always repeat the mantra "What Would Jackie Do/Say/Wear?"
-Pinterest...It needs no explanation it just is God's answer to womankind favorite color and lifestyle
-Legally Blonde...Elle is my inspiration.  I know that people often times roll their eyes when I say this but she's a great role model.  Her boyfriend dumps her and she goes on to achieve great personal success all while staying true to herself.  "If you're going to let one stupid prick ruin your life, you're not the girl I thought you were," is a great personal mantra!!
-Chocolate...a little a day keeps the blues away favorite form of exercise.  I plug into Pandora and take 6 mile walks everyday.  They help me clear my head and have helped me sleep better.
-Coke/Pepsi with no ice...I learned this from one of my Mr. Feeny (she lives next door to me and taught me for 6 years) the ice will dilute the soda and therefore keep you from reaping all the caffeine benefits that I so desperately need.  I'm naturally high strung and a soda a day keeps me level and on track.
-German Shepherds...the best type of dog.  I want to adopt a SEAL dog when I become an actual grown up!! 
-Sun dresses...Best kept secret of girls!  Outfits featuring sundresses make people think you spent a great deal of time planning them, but in reality they take a hot second! SCORE
-Geno's Steaks...Best of Philadelphia.  I get fries because I don't eat red meat but the whole place is an experience!! If you haven't been I highly suggest you go!  Also, I think it's cool that you can get either Pepsi or Coke! (I know, but it's the little things in life that make me happy)
-Pigs...the best animals EVER and the reason I do not eat pork.
-Love stories/proposals on YOUTUBE/weddings/MOH or Best Man speeches...I just love every aspect of it!  It's so exciting and I am genuinely happy for people when they get married.  I never understood people who say they hate weddings.  What's not to love?  Food? Good! Music? Good! Dancing? Good! Cake? Yes Please! The Chicken Dance? Who DOESN'T love watching Gramma dance to that? No one! Getting dressed up? All these things are good!  But the best part is watching two people genuinely in love celebrating that.
-Applebee's Boneless Buffalo Wings
-Barefoot Reisling
-Jennifer Aniston...the epitome of all that is good in the world
-Chick Flicks
-Pop Corn and M&Ms

I think that pretty much sums up everything I love to do/see/go/be/experience!!  This is a super long post I know, but I just like to talk!!