Sunday, September 29, 2013

Things I Find More Offensive (Should be Unconstitutional) Than Marriage Equality


I don't own the rights to this picture.  I wish I owned the rights to the fabulous boas though...

  So NJ is going to allow Marriage Equality?!   

     FIIIIIIINNNNAAAALLLEEEEYYYYY!  Congrats to all of my friends who are finally able to marry their loves!  I'm so excited for you and your families!  I've never written a politically charged post before but this one will be (kinda...but still funny)!  I think that marriage should be between two people who love each other.  Love is the same regardless of gender/sex.  As a 20 something who has been on her fair share of bad, listless, and some good (obvi) dates, I understand that love is hard to find!  It is a miracle that you find someone who loves you enough to legally bind themselves to you FOORRR EEHHHVER.  (The Sandlot reference, thankyaverymuch!)  If and when you are blessed enough to find this, I think that you should be able to marry them.  My personal feelings are that marriage is not and should not be judged by politicians in Trenton or D.C.  Let's be completely honest and real here, politicians do not have perfect marriages (or even faithful ones) does anyone else's marriage really affect theirs or anyone else's daily lives?  They don't.  

     Below I have compiled a list of things that I find more offensive, therefore should be unconstitutional, than marriage equality.  (These are done in no particular order)  This is simply a list of things politicians may want to direct their efforts towards instead of attacking love.

1.)  Crocs on adults.  
2.) Homeless Veterans- No one who has EVER served our country should be homeless, hungry, thirsty, uncared for.  That is unAmerican.  
3.) Papelbon losing a lead.
4.) Cheating on your spouse.
5.) Politicians making laws about education.
6.) Children going hungry at school.
7.) Abuse.
8.) No parking at the Ed building.
9.) Macy's coupons not allowing you to buy ANYTHING because they are all listed on the *Exclusions* category.
10.) Girls who wear make up at the gym.
11.) Bad pick up lines...or any pick up lines...just leave them at home.
12.) Real Housewives of NJ not being On Demand.
13.) Insurance companies denying parents of students with disabilities access to Augmentative Communication Devices.
14.) Chocolate should be free.
15.) Fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein should be available to all people.  From living in Trenton I can attest to the fact that Shop Rite's in cities do NOT receive the same level of fresh fruits, veggies, and other produce.  These foods are NOT as fresh/healthy/eatable as their suburban counterparts.  NOT fair!  Multiple times I would cut into an apple or pear and it was deeeesgusting! 
16.) TCNJ accepting blecky guys.
17.) Guys who don't pay on dates.
18.) People who don't teach their sons to open doors for ladies.
19.) Crop Tops.  They just look trashy...even on skinny minnies.
20.) 22 year olds are not welcome in the Bouncy Castle at Fall Festivals!  This is an injustice...can't a girl just bounce?!  Included in this category:  not being allowed to order Children's Meals and ride ponies.
21.) People who diss teachers
22.) Minimum wage is tooooooo low!
23.) Abuse of power.
24.) People with el zippo sense of humor.
25.) People who pretend that they don't know (but they know) that they are cutting the line.  We're on to you!
26.) People who oppose equal rights for women.
27.) People who use too much hair gel.
28.) People who judge others at the gym...this is a place where people are working on themselves...this should be a welcoming place!
29.) Girls who dress up in maxi dresses for sporting events.  Just STAAAP!
30.) Negative Nancies and Nathans.
31.) That pumpkin flavored things can only be purchased between September and December.  People NEED pumpkin in the summer!
32.) Racism--especially when people freak out about a Cheerios commercial...Love is love people!
33.) Not having adequate access to literature and books.  
34.) Sending American jobs overseas.
35.) People who don't support our troops.  
36.) People who judge those holding car concerts...
37.) Cutting coupons...just put it in the computer...or let me show the email equivalent...Let's be GREEN!
38.) Keeping a minimum balance in my checking account.  It's my money!  If I want to have $3.38 in my account that's my beeeznisss!  
39.) $12.50 movie tickets...come on you can buy the movie for $25...
40.) Cyberbullying.
41.) The R-Word.

I do not own the rights to this picture.  I do own the rights to thinking it's haaaalareeeus!

This is just a simple list of things that would be better outlets for politicians' frustrations.  The world is an ever changing place full of all kinds of kinds (Miranda Lambert ladies and gents) and we need to accept people for who they are and what they want to be.  Remember, only 100 years ago women were not allowed the right to vote, people of "color" aka anyone who was not a WASP was not allowed to own property, vote, hold certain military ranks, interracial marriage, hold certain jobs, be elected to public office.  These sound ridiculous now.  Also, Kim Kardashian was married for oh a hot minute and that marriage was more of an "offense to marriage" than any marriage between gay Americans that I have ever seen.  

I hope y'all have a blessed Sunday,


Photo credits:  the bottom picture was found from

The top picture was found at:

All photos were accessed on September 29, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vineyard Vignettes

Bonjourno Amicis!  

     This past weekend I went to a wine festivale!  Did I go to Napa? No.  Did I go to Italia Wine Country?'re close though...Did I go to Burgundy? passport needed!  I went to Shamong...yup right in the heart of South Jersey!  Mia famiglia went to Valenzano Winery for their 2013 Wine Fest.  Let me tell you this was the BEST IDEA EVER!  Who would have guessed that 25 minutes from my quiet suburban abitazione would be the coolest, chicest little vineyard?!  

     My brother works at the local liquor store in our town and we have gone to wine tastings there.  We were familiar with the Valenzano brand and have had some sangria from them before.  It was always really really good and definitely a staple at our summer parties.  Let me tell you it's DALISH!

     So Saturday we all went to the vineyard as a fundraiser for my dad's friend's charity.  I wanted to dress in theme so I had to had to had to buy a wine colored cami.  (And you thought I was kidding about hearting themes :))  I paired it with my fav Jessica Simpson skinnies, my cowboy boots, a loose belt, and something I got on sale at Gap a few years ago that can only be described as a long, flowy, cream colored, mullet vest.  It's party in the front and business in the back.  It's fabulous but I never know what to wear it I found this vest's calling.  I guess I'll need to go to more Vine Fests to fully let the vest show it's potential ;)

     So when you walk in, you are handed a wine glass with the Valenzano V emblazoned on it.  Then you step into what can only be described as pure wine lovers' goodies heaven!  There were tons of vendors who were selling wine accessories!  Wine accessories include (but are not limited to) wine koozies, wine glass slings, wine openers, glasses (my fav chic option-stemless-was in full abundance)  bottle covers, bottle accessories, wine themed tees, tanks, and hats.  The list goes on and on!  Deb bought a wine tasting sling.  I love it!  It has cute little grapes on it...FAB!

     Now for the wine...drum roll please....HOLY GOODNESS!  There were about 8 other NJ vendors besides Valenzano Winery there.  Every kinda wine you could imagine was there for us to sample!  Reds, whites, roses...EVERYTHING!  My personal faves:  Valenzano Red, White, & Blue Sangria, Valenzano's Blueberry wine (don't judge), and Valenzano's Apple Cider wine!  These wines are truly the liquid emobiment of September/October in New Jersey!  They taste like what I think fall tastes like: fresh, crisp, cozy, and appley!  Absolutely daVINE!  One of the nonValenzano wine guys was tres rude!  He messed up and poured the wrong type of wine in my glass, then grabbed the cup and poured it out on the ground when he realized his mistake.  (I didn't ask him to do that...I would have drank it)  Then he REFUSED TO SERVE US!  He wouldn't give us any samples!  With a quick eye roll we were off to some friendly vendors.  I did score some extra Valenzano Red, White, & Blue Sangria from a cutey at the Valenzano tent...hey, I'm not going to deny a little extra Sangria...that would be rude ;)

    On top of the wine festivities there were helicopter rides, pony rides (only for kids though...NOT FAIR) other craft vendors, food trucks, and lots  I was shocked at how many kids were here. I wouldn't bring my kids here because there was nothing for them to do...So they ran around and screamed.  They were kids, what did I expect?  I really thought this was going to be a 21 and older event....WRONGO!

     All I can say is that I think this should become a yearly event for us!  We left with two bottles of Valenzano vino and a whole list of Valenzano wines to try at Canal's next time we go.  P.S. you could eat the grapes off the vines...AMAZEBALLS!

Some Photos:

Wine themed outfit:
Skinnies: Jessica Simpson
Boots: Ariat
Cami: Loft
Vest: Gap
Sungalsses:  Gucci
Purse: Kate Spade
Braclet: Lia Sophia
Ring & Earrings: Tiffanys

Deb, Dad, and me in front of the wine bottle!

Random Shakespearean Actors...why not!?

Dad & Grapes

Grapes and me!

Deb, grapes, and her wine sling!




Friday, September 20, 2013

Sub Thoughts On Subbing

Hey Hey HEY!!

So while my student teaching is kicking in and four classes (weird days/hours that make it hard to have a "regular" job) I have been subbing.  Can I tell you a secret?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  It's a three LOVE kinda affair!  I'm just so thrilled with this job!  I've always loved all of my past jobs (dance teacher/ballet teacher/babysitter/day care worker/tutor) subbing is just...different.  Since I was little I've wanted to be a teacher (ever since I realized that being a fairy princess with a unicorn BFF was no longer in my realm of career possibilities).  Subbing is all of the fun parts of teaching.  Here are a list of pros and cons that I have compiled after subbing for 2 weeks.


  • The FUN parts about teaching-You get to perform!  You get to stand up in front of a class and just talk and be funny and silly and goofy and TEACH!  
  • No lesson plans-As a Special Ed Master's student I have written my fair share of 12 page long lesson plans (To all of you non-Ed majors, I'd gladly take your weekly lab reports over a 12 page document detailing my every move).  
  • Everyday is something new-Every day I have a new crop of kids, a new grade level, a new opportunity.  I have always said that 3rd-5th graders are "my people".  They get me, I get them, we just mesh.  However, I think it's important to try on all different types of teaching roles.  I eventually want to be a superintendent and I think that in order to be the boss (and be respected) you have to know how to do every one else's job.  You need to know the stresses, excitement, hardships, and challenges that every person on your staff faces.  I have subbed for gym, library, special ed, gen ed and I have found some things I like and dislike about all of them.  
  • Being scared out of your mind-This is something that I like a lot.  There's a great quote that says, "All of the best things in life are just outside your comfort zone".  I think this is 100% true.  I went into subbing more scared than I have ever been in my life!  (Even more than when a cat scared me at the beach...or the  I love being scared and I think that you grow best once you've been scared and learned how to deal with your fear and channel it into positivity.  
  • You get to hone your skillz-You can really werrrrrk your hard and long learned teaching skills on the main stage.  You're rolling with the big girls now!  You have 25-30 sets of eyes looking right at you, waiting for you to fill their brains with knowledge, and maybe some laughs...if your lucky!
  • I can pick my schedule-If I have a busy school week coming up I can opt out of working one day to finish up some stuff/work on a paper/write a lesson plan.
  • TEACHER CLOTHES-I love teacher clothes!  I get to dress up (a personal fav activity) everyday for work!  On a non-shallow side of this, it's hard to get 26 kids to respect a newbie, young, blonde sub.  But dressing the part makes it easier.  You can't wear jeans and a sweatshirt and sneaks and think that the kids will see you as a real teacher...THEY WON'T.  You need to be conservative but still cute and as always...CLASSY<3
  • Every day you go in cold-As an ed major we have multiple weeks, months, days to prepare a lesson plan.  We can scrutinize, debate, discuss, research, pin :) every angle and detail to ensure that it is perfect.  Subbing is not this way AT ALL!  Every day you walk in not knowing your kids, their goals, behaviors, IEPs, challenges, learning styles, aides, co-teachers, likes, dislikes, life, background, and how they learn.  It's also hard because you don't know the plans.  You don't know where materials are, what the students are allowed and not allowed to do.  
  • Morning phone calls-Every day I get (or don't get) a phone call at 6:30.  I have to answer the phone in a professional manner (not groggy grouchy Curmudgeon Erin) and remember the information the sub caller gives me.  Today I got a call when I was at 6:13.  My spin instructor was none too thrilled with me for leaving to answer the phone.
  • Disrespect-some kids (only one day thank GOD) just don't care.  Some kids are not going to listen no matter what you do or how many privileges you give them.  It's hard work.
  • A lot of work-You need to figure out all of the duties, locks, behavior management, personalities, bathroom breaks (only lunch and prep), floor plans of the schools on the fly.  
  • Not knowing anyone-Usually I stay in my classroom for lunch because I don't know anyone.  I end up doing homework, reading, or most likely prepping for the afternoon classes.  At TCNJ I have lunch with my fellow SPEDs and we talk about everything and laugh and really enjoy ourselves.  I'm just not sure how to walk into a teacher's lounge and sit down and be like, "Hey...I'm Erin the sub..."  So for now I'm gonna lone wolf it up!  I also enjoy the quiet alone time...peace and zen, peace and zen.
Moral of the story?  Subbing is harder than it looks!  It is the most fun I've ever had at a job!  I like the fear of the unknown and the joy of working with kids and I love practicing being a teacher.  I think this is preparing me for my future life of student teaching and my future profession.  Below are some of my constructed Teacher Erin Outfits!

First Day of Subbing!
*Jean Jacket-LOFT
*White Tee-Target
*Tan Flats-Target
*Watch-Michael Kors
*Infinity Ring-Tiffanys
*Scarf-Target (It was Patriot Day)

Day Four
(please forgive the scrunch hair...I had one hour to go from Schweaty Spinner to Sub :))
*Pink Tee-LOFT
*Sperry's-Lord & Taylor
*Watch-Michael Kors
*Infinity Ring-Tiffanys
*Ball Earrings-Tiffanys

My outfit yesterday was tres fab and Jackie one was home to take my pic and I didn't wanna be a selfie girl at subbing, so I didn't get to take it :(

Happy Weekend ya'll,


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sparkly Sweatshirts and Rally Caps!


Yesterday was a bittersweet kinda day.  It started off superfun with my Zumba Tone and Total Body Blast (definitely sore today) classes, then we went to my cousins' 5th birthday party, then phinally it was off to the phinal Phils game of the season phor my phather and me.  Did I get too carried away with the ph substitution for f?  Sorrynotsorry!

Pregame Selfie of Dad & Me!
For the past few years we have gotten my dad a 6 pack of Phillies season tickets for Father's Day/his birthday and since my brother goes to school 5 hours away and Deb is not a big fan of sitting in the heat for any reason, I usually get to go to most of the games.  Phine by me!  (last time I promise :)) Welp, last night was the last one in our pack :(  Since I was full from the party food (Chik-fil-a+cake+pizza+dips=DALISH!) we opted to go to our favorite Philly spot Geno's for steaks (dad) and fries (me).  (I don't understand people who don't love Geno's.  Jim's?  Pat's?  GO HOME!)  The Phils played the Braves and WON!!!!!  Why did the Phillies win?  Oh, I don't know, maybe because we wore our Rally Caps?!  (Technically Freddy Galvis won the game with his amazing solo, walk-off, home run, but I think we contributed to the win too!)

Rally Caps!  They worked!

Phillies swarming Freddy Galvis!

My Throwback Rally Cap!

It was a great day to be a Phillies Phan!  Win against the 1st place Braves?  I'll take it!  Ironically we were sitting in the same seats we sat in during our first Phils game this year (4 months ago...that seems like eons ago) when it was brrrrrrrcold!  A nice way to book end the season!  I'm pumped for next season and can't wait to cheer on my boys next season!  Can it be April yet?!

Shifting gears, I am going to be starting my practicum (partial student teaching) very soon.  So what is a fashion obsessed Jersey Girl to do?  SHOPPING <3  Recently I have been obsessed with this baseball hat from J Crew's fall collection:

I WANT IT SO BAD!!  I'm also loving all of the sparkly sequins on casual wear!  What a fun way to liven up winter?  However, this hat (while looking like something even I could make from Pinterest) is super duper pricey!  So, I have found some budget friendly alternatives.  Here is what I found today that I can't wait to pair with skirts, pants, skinnies, and maybe even shorts!  God, I sound like Monica and her boots!

Old Navy Raglan Embellished Sweatshirt

How obsessed are we?!  EEK!  I can't wait to wear it (although that does mean colder weather...) because not only is it more than comfy, it's cute!!  I don't know about you but I like being cozy but still looking cute and I hate having to pick between the two.  (Given the choice, I always pick cute)  This is just a problem solver!  It's like wearing fancy jammie bottoms!  Who doesn't love that?!  I can't wait to show you what I pair it with!


Friday, September 6, 2013

...It Matter Who You're With

You know the saying, It doesn't matter where you go, or what you do, but it matters who you're with?  That is 198% true!  Today's post is going to be a mushygushy I love my life kinda post.  Is the topic about a special someone in my life?  Um, no...this is Erin's life :)  This mushygushy I love my life kinda post is centered around my SPED besties!  I have said time and again that I consider myself a very blessed person.  I'm a big believer in you get what you give.  I'm also a big believer in the saying that God doesn't give you the people you want in your life, He gives you the people you need.  Well, I definitely agree with that!  I have the best best best friends in my life and I count them as my biggest blessing!  They're the girls you go to when you are down and out, don't have faith that you can write the FBA, you're out of lesson plan ideas, you just need to vent, you need a latte, you need to shop, you need to complain, you need a cupcake, you need a hug, you need to cry, you need to car jam...anything!  They're the best!  I hope everyone reading this has friends like mine because they will change your life.

Last night we had Thursday Girls' Day because after 2 weeks of grad school we knew we needed it!  We all met up after class and grabbed pizza, then we went to Jaclyn's to get ready.  Getting ready is my favorite part about going out because it's the time where everyone has fashion shows, makeup and hair get done, dj-ing to pump up jams, girl talk takes place, snacking (YAY), and just hanging out takes place.  As I'm sitting here I just stopped and looked around at all of my friends and felt truly happy.  That crazy goofy smiling loving life happy that has even carried over to today!  I was even happy during my gym time...usually not happy running on a treadmill.  I'm an outside runner :)  I just love my friends and even though I complain about doing my homework, reading articles or books, and writing papers, I know that I have my friends because of all of those things.  I love my fellow SPEDs and couldn't be happier about picking my major.  They're just the most positive, encouraging, silly, energetic, upbeat, goofy, caring, intelligent, emotionally supportive ladies around.  I can count on them for words of encouragement, for telling me reasons why I'm better off without that guy, a silly joke, or even the "Why are we here?" eyes in class!  They're the best people in the world!  I'm so lucky to have them!!!!

The Lovely Ladies

Serious Smiles

Silly Ladies<3



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What We All Need

WOW!  Talk about a busybusybusybusy week!  From starting grad school to switching gyms to getting back into the swing of balancing homework, fitness, friends, family, social life, semblance of sanity, I have been EXHAUSTED!  I never realized how much more disciplined I am during the school year!  Thank God extreme Type A personality Erin came running back into my life!  *I give her summers off...haha yeah right I'm still crazy in the summer I just have less to organize.  Also I would like to take a moment to personally thank my Lilly Pulitzer planner for keeping me sane!*  Last week was rough and needless to say it got a little emotionally overwhelming because I'm ready to be done school, I'm ready to get a big girl job, some of my friends have big girl jobs, and I'm still stuck at school.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE grad school and am so blessed to be in my program, but sometimes people are ready for a change.  And by people I mean me!

Okay, I'm gonna do a whole grad school post after this week because I think I need to see what I'm getting myself into without the rosy glow of syllabus week.  Anyway, brief synopsis, I think I'm gonna be  fine but syllabus week is terrifying because you are presented with a 5-7 page document that explicitly lays out that you have 15 weeks to accomplish 546476936739 tasks....yeah about that ;)  Definitely enjoying the two week honeymoon period in school, i.e. syllabus week and the week after.

Anyway, after being overwhelmed at school, we all know what is necessary...GIRLS NIGHT NIGHTS!!!

Friday was one of my dear dear friends Jess' birthdays but we decided to celebrate Saturday.  Friday night I went for a nice lowkey poolside, carb & gossip fueled girls night!  Chips? Check!  Fashion? Check! Great wine? check! Catching up on each other's busy lives? Check!  Talking about traveling? Check! Planning future vacations? Check! All in all it was a fab nite!  I had to call it an early night because I had to get up early the next day to go to North Jersey (a whole different world!) for Jess' birthday adventure!

So Saturday finally rolled around and I couldn't have been more excited!  I picked up Jess and we drove up to meet our friend Sam for manicures!  I got a deep fall purple that I love love love!  At this salon the manicurist gives you a shoulder and back massage while your hands are drying (THANK YOU!) and she massaged me then said something in a foreign language to her boss and he came over to me and did an even stronger shoulder massage (I guess he could tell I'm an intense and overstressed person?!).  We then met up with Molly and went to Dough (a pizza place in Caldwell) for lunch!  OHEMMGEEE!!  We got a crab cake appetizer and a a Summer Pizza!  The pizza had summer squash, mozzarella, tomatoes, and just all in all deliciousness!  Food heaven!

After lunch, we went back to Molly's house to prep.  Girls' Nights are never fully dressed without a smile and a prep session!  Prep sessions involved hair, makeup, a cloud of hairspray, a little glitter, a touch of country music to pump us up, and unknowingly color coordinating?!  Yes yes yes, apparently all of our friends wear pink everyday and we usually end up looking like we are walking into a Sears Family Photo session.  We are all color coordinated but not exactly matching...get it?  I love getting ready almost more than going out.  Getting ready is Girl Talk Time.  We dish about boys, clothes, food, our week, air our grievances, harmless gossip, and send compliments flying like tables in Jersey!

After spending hours getting ready (not because we're divas but because we can't stop laughing and talking and actually getting out of the house because we need "one more picture") we head off to Hoboken.  I'd never been to Hoboken before (South Jersey to the core) so I was superduper psyched to play!  Hoboken is like a little mini NYC!  It's so cute!  Theres no skyscrapers but just pretty brownstones and cute restaurants.  Jess made the keen observation that in North Jersey there are no spaces between the buidlings.  That is fact!  South Jerz has lots more space.

Molly had done her research (such a good future teacher trait) and found this cute little restaurant called Trattoria Saporito on Washington St. in Hoboken.  OMG talk about a foodgasm!  I couldn't believe how amazing the food was!  The atmosphere was casual elegance.  I got bowties with salmon and caviar.  I died and went to food heaven.  Seriously food heaven!  Hold on...I'm still thinking about it...still thinking about it....okay I'm back!  I'm not really a pasta girl but this just hit the spot!  We had to toast Jess' 22nd with some pink Moscato (we're fancy...we know :)) We all ate our fair share of pasta and then had food babies.  Giant triplet food babies actually!

EVerything was going seamlessly...but this is Serindipity so something had to get a little hairy.  Molly and I had planned to have the waiters bring Jess cake and sing to her etc.  Well, after realizing we all were expecting food babies we decided to nix dessert.  So we decide to go walk around the city by the river.  Before we leave I run to the lav to touch up my makeup and the waiter asks me if we still want the cake.  I'm like uhhhhhhhh...So I zoom back to Molly and try to explain everything in the 20 seconds Jess isn't at the table.  We figure everything out and make awkward eyes at the waiter.  All of a sudden the lights go out and the music starts swelling and all of a sudden we see the light glow of candle light and the sweet aroma of strawberry shortcake.  Happy Birthday in Italian played over the loudspeaker and we all sang and cheered!  Jess loved it!  Mission Accomplished!

After our success of a dinner we went to walk around Hoboken.  We walked down by the water and looked at the city.  I like seeing the city from the NJ side because the city seems so quiet and peaceful from a mile away.

All in all it was exactly what we all needed:  girlfriends, manis, carbs, and good conversations.

Tanti Baci,