Friday, December 30, 2016

A Letter to My College Self

Happy Oxymoron Day!


How was everyone's Christmas?!  Ours was fabulous, low-key, full of jammies, and love.  All of my favorite things!

Today's post is going to be a letter to my college-self.  I've recently learned about Earnest a company that offers personal loans and student loan refinancing. They inspired me to write a letter to my college aged self offering advice/things I wish I did/knew. College was one of my favorite times in my life.  I met some of my best friends there, prepared for my job, and learned how to be a grown up.  For the first time ever, I didn't have anyone making sure I ate my vegetables, woke up on time, and did my homework.  Being super Type-A, these were easy accommodations, but still...college was different.  It was a huge learning curve, adjustment, and lifestyle change.  It was eye opening to say the least

Dear 18 Year Old Erin,

Hi!  How are you?  I am basing this letter on the Brad Paisley song, Letter To Me.  So...how are you enjoying your winter break?  Don't get used to it, because it will be a rude awakening come the real world.  Also, I know you're an anxious crazy person, so don't worry, you will get your dream job.  Everything career-wise will work out beautifully.  So keep up the good work and work that hustle!  You will eventually end up working 4 jobs and hold down a 3.8 GPA.  Money will be tight, but you will always be fine.  How will you be fine?  Here's how!


  • BALLIN' ON A BUDGET!  Make a budget at the beginning of the month.  When I was in college I made about $250 a month working at the dance studio, about $400 a month working at the day care center teaching dance and about $100 a month babysitting.  I would make a spreadsheet with the $650.  (Babysitting was too unreliable to actually add it to my monthly spreadsheet.  Babysitting became my "Fun Money")  I'd make a list of my expenses for the month:
    • $100 for gas
    • $300 groceries 
    • $100 supplies for work/school/personal hygiene products
Then I'd say okay, I have $150 left.  I regrettably didn't save a lot of money in college.  Something I changed as soon as I got my big girl job!  That meant I had $150 a month to play with.  That usually went to friend dinners, birthday presents, movies, shopping.  I still keep my spreadsheet to this day.  The funny thing is that now, even though I have 3 jobs, I still don't have $150 to play with!  



  • DON'T GET A CREDIT CARD!  Even though they seem like a good idea, don't bite!  Yes at one time your debit card will get declined at Walmart and you won't be able to buy that US Weekly.  It will be okay.  Better to be declined at Walmart, than have a car loan declined.  Credit cards seem like they will erase all of your financial problems and allow you to get the 16 oz. margarita at Applebee's as opposed to the 12 oz., but that's ok!  You don't need those extra 4 oz. that badly.  I've seen so many of my friends go on shopping sprees thinking that Oh, by the end of the month, I'll have the money.  And guess what?  They don't.  You won't.  Be a cash only girl for as long as possible.  Believe me, at 24.5 you got your first credit card and it is too easy to rationalize buying things when you have a credit card.  
  • PAY CASH FOR GAS!  I can't stress this enough.  The gas stations by TCNJ run a notorious gas hike game with the students.  The 3 of them on the corner of Pennington will assume you don't pay attention and will overcharge you if you use your debit card.  They will continually say they "thought you said $20" when in reality everyone knows you said $10.  Cash will keep you out of this situation.  
  • PAY ATTENTION!  Like with the aforementioned gas incidents, paying attention will save you $$$$.  When you go to the grocery store, make sure you scan your own groceries whenever possible.  If you go to a check out aisle, make sure you pay attention to the scanner.  Most times this is an accident, but sometimes you will get overscanned.  Speak up for yourself and ask them about the errors.  This happens at the mall, too.  Make sure you read the sale's fine print and always look for email coupons!  
  • ASK FOR DEALS!  Don't be afraid to ask stores for student discounts.  J.Crew, Loft, Regal Cinemas, local restaurants ALL offer deals for students.  Most are 15% off minimum.  
  • HAPPY HOUR-If you've read my blog long enough, you know that I love eating out!  It's one of my favorite things to do.  I grab my girlfriends, we pick a cool new-to-us place, and mangia!  College was no different.  The girls in my cohort and I would end up at a different restaurant every Wednesday night after class. We would go during happy hour and score great food for a fraction of the price.  We usually ended up in Princeton and would pop into a local eatery that would be waaaaayyyy too expensive for dinner.  We got the best of both worlds-yummy food at a huge discount!  We also got some cute IG pics at a trendy locale!  What could be better? 
  • COUPON LIKE IT'S YOUR JOB!  Life is expensive, y'all!  I would go online and find direct from the manufacturer coupons, I'd go to newspapers and check the circulars, download the apps for my favorite stores, and check my emails diligently.  All of these little things added up to major savings
  • SAVE YOUR PENNIES!  Since I usually paid cash for most things in college, I acquired some seriously heavy coinage!  I put it all in a piggy bank (yes a legit pink piggy bank) and when it filled up I would take it to the bank and cash it in.  I usually ended up with $60.  Not bad for a little junk change!  
Another tip for college finances involves a sticky situation.  We all know that going out for group dinners is a big part of the college culture and we all know that awkwardly trying to split the bill is another big part of college culture.  There is always that ONE person who refuses to pay their rightful amount.  Venmo!  Download that app now!  I wish we had this when I went to college (okay that makes me sound old!) because you always get stiffed!  Before we had Venmo, I always asked for separate checks.  It might sound like you're being petty, but seriously it's not fair!  It's okay to stand up for yourself and ask the waitress (at the beginning of the meal) for a separate check.  

To sum up this letter, always say yes to Pizza Friday (the bonding and laughs are totally worth the $.82 balance in your bank account), always say yes to Girls' Nights...as long as you have the cash to back it up!  Also...M&Ms are cheaper in bulk :) 

Enjoy the rest of your college career!  You'll love every minute of it.  Don't worry, you'll pass your Comp Exam!  Besides financial advice, I'd tell myself to have more fun!  Go to a freaking college party!  You should have started subbing earlier!  That was a great job and paid more than the day care, plus they treat you way better!  Better hours and a better job with more money?  What was wrong with you!?  In the love faction of life, let's just say you learn the hard way.  You still do.  Your 26 and still take being hit and dragged by a bus to learn a damn thing.  Maybe 2017 you'll figure it out?  

XOXO,

26 year old Erin

I'm off to the ballet and a Girls Night!  I'll post a weekend recap Monday!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

...but the Netflix is so delightful.  So since there's no place to go, let us view, let us view, let us view!


How is everyone's pre-holiday week going?!

If you answered, "Awesome!" or "I'm all finished my shopping!"  My answer to you is...

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I'm over here like...

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I have a few last minute gifts to pick up, I have to bake brownies and cookies, get a Christmas outfit...Okay, pass the chocolate martini now!

Well, not only has the week been crazy schedule-wise, but it's been crazy weather-wise!  This past weekend was our first snow *yay* and it was about 17 degrees!  

No no no!  I'm not built to withstand 17 degrees!  So when the weather gets this bad, I only have one solution:  

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Netflix, baby! I love staying in and watching Netflix when it gets to be like...oh -13532 degrees out!Those days are made for snuggling up on the couch, hot cocoa in hand, and sweatpants.Netflix has been my go to since college for snowy day activities. I've been inspired by Luma, the creators of a surround wifi network for you home, to make up my ideal Winter Netflix Viewing Party. So...gather up your girls, make a cup of hot cocoa (recipe below) and chill!  Or if you are in one of those adorable things we call a loving and committed relationship (what are those? lol)  enjoy with your love!


1. So I am craving a Snow Day so I can watch Viola Davis slay as Annalise Keating!  
2. Friends the old go to!  Perfect show for any occasion.  I'm pretty sure I've seen each episode about 6,5363 times and it never gets old!
3. Olivia Pope=Girl Crush 
4. I binge watched How I Met Your Mother  in 1 month during college!  That might be one of my most exciting accomplishments in life
5. The most underrated ABCFamily Christmas movie!  12 Dates of Christmas has Zach Morris and Jamie Pallamino!  What more could you want in life?  Also, can we get on Freeform to bring back the original Christmas movies?!  Every year I looked forward to them!  
6. Just Friends!  You need to see this movie.  It's hilarious and makes me laugh every time! Zach and I actually became friends because one of us quoted this movie to the other and we were like did we just become best friends?  So. So. So. Good!  A perfect holiday film...love, laughs, and Christmas!  What else do you want in life?  

Okay, so here's my favorite hot cocoa recipe!

1 C Wegman's Vanilla Almond Milk
5 TBSP (or more to taste) Double Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa from Williams Sonoma (the best!  It doesn't taste fake like those instant packets) 
1 TBPS Wegman's organic creamy peanut butter

Put all ingredients into your Vitamix and press the soup button.  Once it's done pour it into your favorite Christmas mug and chill!  I always add pb (for protein purposes...or because it's my favorite food) after I had it at brunch when I went to  Max Brenner last year.  Amazing!  Life changing!  


I will leave you with this cute little gif that is 100% me!  Dude, I want to watch the show.  I need to focus when I watch Breaking Bad!  

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Enjoy your snowy weather!  

Love, love, love,

E



Sunday, November 13, 2016

GOMO

Happy Monday!!

Or in the land of Serindipity...Happy Oxymoron Day!

I'm fresh off the plane from New Orleans and I already want to go back!  I'll post a recap tomorrow.

Today we're focusing on GOMO!  What is GOMO?

In the Netflix and Chill world we live in, GOMO (Go Out More Often) is, sadly, a novel concept!   Eventbrite, an event planning and management software company asked me to list some GOMO ideas!  Eventbrite is awesome because it lets you plan events, send out digital invites, track RSVPs, sell your tickets online and track ticket sales in real time.  This sounds like an awesome way to keep track of all of your holiday parties!

I know that with winter coming, most people prefer to stay inside and hibernate, but I LOVE this time of year!  There are so many exciting things to do outdoors this time of year.  I may be am totally 100% biased because of my December birthday, but I just have to celebrate the season by going to ALL.THE.HOLIDAY.AND.WINTER.THINGS!  I've created a list of holiday/winter things that are must do's in the Philadelphia/Souther NJ area.

1.)  Turkey Trots!

I LOVE this Thanksgiving tradition.  Most are 5ks and can be found in multiple towns around the area.  I usually run the Moorestown Turkey Trot.  I always feel less guilty pigging out once I've completed the pre-dinner race.  A little fresh air also cuts the family togetherness tension :)  Here are a list of local Turkey Trots near me!

Last Year's Moorestown Turkey Trot


2.) Dickens' Village

Macy's in Philadelphia, located in the old Wanamaker Building, puts on a recreation of Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol, every year.  Visitors walk through an impeccably decorated story walk.  Visitors wind through the 3rd floor or Macy's and view animatronic dolls that depict the major scenes from the book.  We've been going forever and it's something I look forward to every year.  It starts the day of Thanksgiving!  Macy's also does a light show set to Christmas music and features many classic Christmas stories including The Nutcracker, Frosty, and Rudolph.  My family used to go every year, but now my girlfriends and I have turned it into a fun prelude for festive cocktails and dessert at The Melting Pot or Max Brenner's.

3.) Santa Runs/Holiday Runs

After Turkey Trots, these have to be my favorite holiday races.  Racers dress up in holiday garb and run around different neighborhoods.  One cool thing about these races is that they tend to mix up the distance.  Most Turkey Trots are 5ks, where Santa Runs vary from one mile runs to marathons.  You can join a Running of the Santas, or an ugly sweater run, a hot cocoa run, and a reindeer run.  All of these are an awesome way to GOMO and get some exercise in!

4.) Christmas Village

Philadelphia holds an annual Christmas Village complete with a German Christmas Market featuring local vendors.  Every day there is something new for visitors to experience.  Buy some hot cocoa and walk around with a Bavarian pretzel and take in all of the holiday goodies.  Most events are free and family oriented.  Plus, it's Center City locale makes it a great way to start or end your Dickens' Village trip.

5.) Peddler's Village Gingerbread House Contest

On December 3rd and 4th, Peddler's Village hosts a Christmas Weekend complete with shopping, Santa parades, and a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest.  Peddler's Village is cute the other 363 days a year, but this weekend they go above and beyond.  You can purchase cookies and hot cocoa and walk around.  PLUS parking and admission is free!

6.) Living Nativities

As kids there was nothing I loved more than hearing the story of Jesus' birth. We would visit multiple local churches and see their recreation of the story of Jesus' birth.  Each church put their own spin on it, including importing livestock, music, stunts, and special effects.  Such a great way to remember the Reason for the Season.

8.) Craft Shows

Most local high schools and churches feature Christmas Craft Shows.  These are great places to go to pick up gifts for co-workers, neighbors, and hostesses.  Most feature locally made products (think homemade jams/honeys/baking mixes) at reasonable prices.  Plus, I always feel better buying from local artisans.  Most of these also feature a Cookie Walk...not that I ever visit those :)

9.) Ice skating at the RiverRink

Philly has a really awesome outdoor RiverRink where skaters can go to enjoy some exercise, treats, and family time.  I'm a horrible ice skater so you probably would only get a visual of me falling to the ground multiple times.  The rink opens November 25th!

10.) Xfinity Live!

We're really luck in Philly because right next to our sports' arenas is a really cool multi-bar hangout called Xfinity Live.  It features Philly favorites (Geno's and Chickie and Pete's) and other fun bars.  My friends and I like to go and watch basketball, hockey, and football games.  It's a great (and cheap) way to view the games!

11.) Hockey games

My friends and I love Philly sports!  We try to see a Flyers game live every season.  This year, we're going to see Carrie Underwood's husband, Mike Fisher's Nashville Predators take on the Flyers!

12.) Light Displays both local and independent

Many towns feature The Best of Light Displays and list homes that really go over the top with their decorations.  My friends and I like to do a Christmas Dinner Party.  We wear our jammies, bring a course, and eat a nice Christmas meal before we head out on a self-directed lights' tour.  We bring hot cocoa and homemade cookies and turn the Christmas jams up loud!

Last year's lights and dinner tour


If you want a more formal Christmas Lights' Display event you can usually find them at  local farms.  Johnson's Farm does a great one in South Jersey.

13.) Sixers Games

Just like hockey games, we try and visit a Sixers game every year.  Tickets are super cheap and can be found on Groupon!  I'm Cait, her brother, Dylan, and I may all join up and go see a game.

14.) The Nutcracker

My.Favorite. Tradition.  Deb and I usually go see The Nutcracker  every year because I love the ballet!  We usually see the Pennsylvania Ballet's performance, but tickets can be expensive.  Groupon currently has the NJ Ballet's performance for $12!  Local ballet companies also perform this show.

Deb and I before the ballet last year


15.) House Tours

Many older towns feature House Tours.  Moorestown, Haddonfield, and Riverton all host Christmas House Tours.  Visitors can pay a one time fee (usually $25) and get to tour houses decorated for Christmas.  The towns' historical societies usually put on these events.  They're super fun to explore and see all of the old, beautiful mansions' decorations.  We usually turn it into a family affair and bring my aunts, cousin, Cait, and her mom.  We do dinner before and turn it into a fun Girls' Night Out!

16.) Longwood Gardens 

If you are from this area, you know Longwood Gardens is a holiday couple's day out fave.  Everyone and I mean everyone takes their significant other to visit the Gardens and take a Christmas picture in front of the giant Christmas tree.  If you're rolling solo this holiday season (like me!) you and your friends can visit it and then grab a good dinner on the way home.

I hope you all enjoyed this list of holiday fun activities!  Remember, use Eventbrite to help you plan your holiday events!  It gives you total control over your event and keeps you in charge of your event with painless event guides and services!   


Can't wait to tell y'all about my trip to visit Zach!

XOXO,

E

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Happy Wednesday!

Can we just take a moment to talk about fall fashion?  Ok, good!  Now let's talk about the best fall fashion statement:  BOOTS!  This fall I'm rocking my fall uniform of leggins, long sweater, and BOOTS!


Raise your hand if you are loving fall because it is synonymous with boots!

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Boots are some of my all time favorite things and my super fave pair are my cowgirl boots.

Virginia Boots

Wine Festival 

Getting Ready to Shake It For Luke

As you can see, I'm a huge fan of boots!  With that being said, it's easy for them to get beat up and look more crumby than Carrie.  Even though I'm a huge fan of my boots looking a little beat up and worn, there's the fine line between messy hot and hot mess.  

I love my boots, but I always fear those inevitable salt stains that show up on the day of most-needing-boots-day!  You know what I'm talking about, those freezing cold days where there is so much snow and ice, so you need something durable and warm that will prevent you from falling.  THOSE are my favorite boot days.  What is a boot loving girl to do?!  

FEAR.NO.MORE.  The professionals at King's Ranch Saddle Shop are here to help!  




I agree completely!  I have to say I'm a little messy, but one thing I always make sure to do (no matter how much fun I've had dancing in my boots) is to put my boots away after every use.  They go back in their shoe box up on a high shelf.  

Some of my fave boot preserving tips are here!

1.  Always let your boots air out after they get wet.  I put them in my mud room and stick pool noodles inside them to help preserve their shape.  

2.  Dry wipe your boots!  If you like your boots to look a little more worn in, I suggest dry wiping your boots.  I grab a soft tooth brush/kitchen brush and start rubbing them down when I get home.  My boots are dull leather so this does not effect their shine or polish.  

3.  Know your boots/weather/day.  When it's raining I don't wear my good boots (Tory Burch boots or suede Toms boots).  It's super irresponsible to wear your good boots out in the rain.  If you're caught out in the rain with your boots, I am not ashamed to say that I've wrapped my boots in Shop Rite bags.  #shoes4life!  

4. Leather Honey!  Leather Honey is a great product that helps you shine up your boots and make them look brand new!  

I hope you enjoyed this little care post!  Keep strutting in your boots!  I have to link you to their beautiful boots page!  OMG!  I want those Ladies Tall Wine Boots!  SO so so beautiful!  Plus they scream fall to me!

Check out all of their stylish cowgirl boots!  And if you are feeling like a generous lady...there are some boots for your cowboy, too!

XOXO,

E







Monday, November 7, 2016

He's Her Lobster

On September 23, 2016 my blonde bestie Kate married her lobster Bill.

Kate and Bill are such a fun couple and it was truly my honor to stand up them on their special day.

The day started early on Friday morning with hair and makeup at Salon G in Hamilton.



When we walked in we were greeted with Mimosas and breakfast.


Kate said yes to Bill and I said yes to champagne!  That's the same thing, right?
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Post Glam Shoot


It was a pretty chill atmosphere in the salon.  Everyone was calm and excited.  The country jams were  pumping through the speakers and we all sat around chatting and giggling.  Mimosas+girl talk+being serenaded by Luke Bryan?= My kinda party!

Kate getting glam

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A little Maid of Honor/Best Friend Bonding session courtesy of SnapChat

We then went back to Kate's house to get ready for the wedding.

Kate looked incredibly gorgeous!  Kate is one of those people who looks amazing without makeup on, too.  Some of us (me) look like Death's ugly sister when we wake up, but Kate wakes up looking glamtastic.  She looked insanely gorgeous on her wedding day!

Gorgeous!


All hail the veil!

Seesters 

The photographer took pictures at her parents' house and we all got ready.  Shout out to Kate's dad for being the only one who could lace up our bridesmaids' dresses!

We then piled into the limo and drove off to the church!  When we got there, we were greeted by a bag piper!  He was a surprise from Kate's dad as a nod to Kate's Irish culture.  It was so romantic and added a fun upbeat element to the entrance.  We MAYBE felt like we were being ushered into a real life fairy tale.  #Cinderellagoals

The ceremony was a beautiful service given by Kate and Bill's childhood priest.  I always love when the clergy knows the couple because it makes the service more personal and special.

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Getting ready to greet the couple

After the wedding, we piled into the limo and the party started.  There was a ton of dancing, champagne sipping, and laughing.


Our first stop on the Kate and Bill Wedding Photography Tour?

The elementary school where Kate and Bill met.  So sweet!  Bill's class came out and they took a group shot with the newlyweds.

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After the elementary school cuteness, we went to Princeton University for the majority of our shoot.  It was the perfect day...80 and NO HUMIDITY!  My hair thanked God for this!

Next, we headed to Point Pleasant for some pictures on the beach.



Finally, we ended our tour at the reception hall.  We went into the Lobster Shanty and we were filled with anticipation about the upcoming night's festivities.  First of all, the food?!  OHHHMYYYLAWWWD!  We munched on calamari, veggies, fruit, cheese, lobster rolls, wontons, pretty much anything and everything!





How cute is this cake?!  He's her lobster <3 
The bridal party then was summoned to make our grand entrance.  To keep up with the school motif, the 3 groomsmen and I came out by leap frogging.

Kate's dad gave a great speech welcoming Bill and his family into their family.


 Bill's dad sang Frank Sinatra's All The Way for Bill and Kate's first dance.  It was beautiful and so touching that his dad was able to perform it.

The band started to play and from their first note to the last note, no one left the dance floor.  The band was so good!  They were awesome because there was not "break"!  Every few hours some band members would go take a break, so the band was never "off".


Kate's sister gave a beautiful speech that was both funny and touching.

Dev killing the MOH speech
Bill's best man, Charlie, gave a funny speech and revealed some secrets!  Everyone was cracking up.

Charlie making the room laugh


Dinner was amazing!  I'm pretty sure I ate more seafood that day than I have in my whole life.  I regret nothing!

Yep...get jealous

There was a cake AND a chocolate fountain.  This is a wedding trend I can get on board with.  I dipped strawberries, pineapples, marshmallows...and all the cookies on the dessert table into the chocolate.  It was perfect!  Some people may have judged me for eating all.the.brownies. but I don't care.  Bridesmaid privilege.

Maria and my adopted Aunt Dee! 


Everyone had a great time and I was truly sad that it was over.

The happy couple
Kate and her dad's father/daughter dance


Pretty much sums up the night
Love those smiles 
Kate's Annie Banks Mackenzie Father of the Bride-esque sneaks 




The next day we all reconvened at breakfast and talked about what a fun night it was.  There was so much love and family sitting around the table that even though it was raining outside, it seemed to be sunshiny and bright.



This was the fruit cup.  I kid you not.  


It was a beautiful weekend and I am so happy for Kate and Bill!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for this beautiful color!  

XOXO,

E


























Happy Monday!

Iiiiiii'm BACCCKKK!

How are you lovelies?!

I feel like I haven't been here in

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**Enter tear that baseball season is now officially over**

Although, if the rumor mill is to be believed we could oFISHally be picking up Mike Trout!!  Did y'all love my fish pun?  #dork4life

This week is especially exciting for me because I'm going to visit Zach in NOLA on Thursday!  I'm beyond excited to be back in my 2nd favorite city.  This time my friends will be joining us for half of the trip.  Hello Haunted History tour, beignets, and Muriels!  Plus...I hear there's a Gumbo Festival happening!

Anyway...where have I been?  

First of all, it's the beginning of the school year and that is it's own brand of crazy. 
Second, Kate and Bill got married!  I'll post about that soon!

Third, I've been training for the Philly Half Marathon...YES I'm cleared to run again!  

Lastly, I've been a busy bee with just running around, teaching, visiting friends, tutoring, and working at the gym. 

I just wanted to stop in and say hi to all of you!  

Also here's a fun recipe to try this week!  It's easy, involves cheese, and takes under 10 minutes to make!  Winner winner grilled cheese dinner!

So Deb just got knee surgery and one of her favorite meals is grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I stepped up to the plate (metaphorically and literally) in a valiant, yet futile attempt to gain some FCP (Favorite Child Points) and decided to make this for her.  The trouble is that I'm not a grilled cheese fan because it's so greasy and full of pointless calorie bombs (hello butter I'm looking at you).  So I decided to attempt a healthier alternative.  

I'm a huge fan of cheese, though, and the highlight of my week is sampling the new cheeses at Wegman's Sample Saturday!  You can roll your eyes all you want, it's the little things my dears!  

So a few weeks ago, I was happily sampling away, and I tried the cheese on a piece of Fluter Bread.  It was a life changer let me tell you.  So the idea of a healthier grilled cheese was born.  My cheese lady, Vicki, put some truffle honey on top of the cheese and 

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So I decided to ask Vicki what kind of cheese would be good for my grilled cheese dream!  She suggested an organic creamy jack cheese.  She's a brilliant woman!

Here's the recipe if you wanna give it a whirl!

1.  4 slices of Wegman's organic flute bread
2. 2 oz of creamy organic jack cheese
3. a drizzle of Wegman's truffle honey

Step 1:  Turn oven broiler on high

Step 2:  Take four slices of bread and lay them on foil on the broiler.

Step 3:  Slice the cheese into .5 ounces and put atop the bread

Step 4:  Broil bread and cheese for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Step 5:  When done, top the grilled cheese with a drizzle of truffle honey

If you want bonus points... try it with this soup recipe!  I added 1 cup almond milk to the recipe for extra creaminess!

Twas delish!

Enjoy your Monday!  I'll be back with updates from the rest of my life soon!

-e


Monday, October 3, 2016

Weekend ReCap

Happy Monday!

To my Jewish friends out there, Happy New Year's!!  I'm off today and I slept in until...drum roll please...10!  It was delicious!

Is it bad that now I kinda feel guilty about sleeping in?  I'm sure I'll get over it as soon as I fire up the laminator and begin looking around for work for the week.

My weekend was super busy!  The best kind if you ask me :)

Friday night I started working out with my trainer.  I decided to hire a trainer because I kinda feel like I'm in a fitness rut.  I feel like my routine is becoming, well, routine.  After a month of not running, I decided that I needed to switch up some things to spice up my workout.  I LOVED all of the new things my trainer showed me.  My trainer and I happen to be gym friends and when he asked me what I wanted, I told him anything that wasn't usual/typical/something I already do.  Basically I gave him free reign to go crazy!  He did and it was so so so fun!  I can't wait to see what he's going to torture me with next.

Friday night I met up with Kate for dinner at...you guessed it...Seasons 52!  I am loving that they still have the Grapefruit Negroni (160 calories to boot)!  It's still as spicy/tangy/and subtly sweet as can be.  They also have pumpkin pie dessert shooters!  SWOON!  Pumpkin anything+Girl Talk=Best. Nights. Ever!

Saturday started as it usually does, gym marathon!  Zumba+TBB+Pilates!  It was super fun!  I'm not subbing TBB anymore, and it's fun to be in someone else's class.

After gymstravaganza, I hit up Wegman's for Sample Saturday!  It's dorky how much I love this place...and my samples!  Also-I only ran into one parent when I was sweaty and double fisting it with juice samples!

source

Saturday night, Cait and I went to Cape May to watch her boss' band play at Carney's.  It was so so so much fun!  We met up with her friend Jackee and Jackee's boyfriend, Andrew.

We've never met a dance floor we didn't love!


The two second dance break we took to get our pic on


Carney's also has delicious sweet potato fries...if you're wondering :)

We also made friends with a party granny.  Why do you become friends with Party Granny? Because she might have a cute grandson.  

Sunday started unGodly early with a 5k for Jake's Place.  Jake's Place is a foundation to build accessible playgrounds for kids.  This was my first race since my Achilles Tendinitis.  I ran it in 21:12 and came in second in my age group.
It was so fun to be running again!
Almost across the finish line

After the 5k, I went on a six mile run to keep up with my trainer schedule.  After 9 miles painfree I was so excited!  I'm back baby!

**Fun note** My dad kept saying, Erin you are doing a great job!  Especially since you just got done with rehab.  Yup, we're going with rehab instead of physical therapy.  People stared.  I live in a very small town...let the gossip begin!

After my run I went to get my nails done.  When I saw the OPI color called, Maralga Wine, I knew I had to have it.

Sunday night was...epic/delicious/amazing/sweet.  Any adjective will work here!  Cait and I went to Heaven aka The Melting Pot.  They were having a Back the Blue fundraiser.  It's $34 for 4 courses (cheese fondue/salad/dinner/dessert) and they donate proceeds to a town of your choosing's first responders.  Eat chocolate and drink martinis for charity?  We can do that!

Back the Blue Martini?  Yes please!
While you don't get to pick your dinner, you do get to pick the broth (we went with Croq au Vin)!

You do get 3 shrimp, 3 pieces of steak, 3 pieces of chicken, and 2 raviolis.  Veggies are also served!  

Dessert was Cookies and Cream Fondue!  We thought that meant white chocolate wit Oreo's mixed in.  We were surprised to find out that it was actually dark chocolate with marshmallow and Oreo's mixed in.  After this game changer, we needed a time out to think over our decision.  We opted to *customize* our order.  We take our chocolate very seriously!  We ordered Ying/Yang with milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate with the cookies and marshmallow mixed in.  

We always knew we were smarties!

I came home and went right to sleep!  In bed by 10 and asleep until 10 the next day?!  What a great day! 

Today is filled with catching up on the DVR, gymming, and getting things ready for work this week.  

Happy Monday!

xoxo,

E












Thursday, September 29, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

How is everyone?!  Is it just me or has this week been the Mondayest week of all time?  I think it's a combination of the super hot weather and the awful rain/wind/floods.  Gross.  Gross.  Gross.

In traditional Friday Fashion, I'm going to list off my new faves!

1.)  Notorious  O.M.G.  If you were a fan of Covert Affairs you will LOVE this!  I love Piper Perabo and I think she's brilliant!  The show is part television producer ruling the world/legal drama.  All parts perfect!  Thursdays at 9, y'all!

2.) Erin Oprea's book The 4 X 4 Diet 
If she trains Carrie Underwood, then she's good enough for me!  The book is a great combo of fitness, lifestyle, and food.  The book reads like a casual conversation with an amazing trainer friend.  The book is chock full of recipes and tabatas for all fitness levels.  Erin then goes into the science behind all of her finds, ideas, and recipes.

3.) Girl on the Train hype!  Is anyone else as excited as me about the release of this movie?!  Currently I'm in a Facebook chat entitled Girl on the Train Groupies!  I loved this book and read it in 2 days.  2.  DAYS!  It usually takes me a while to read a book because I'll get sleepy or caught up in work, but this kept me riveted from start to finish.  I think Emily Blunt will kill it!  Also, Justin Theroux is yummy so I want to see him.

4.) PT is ovahhhh!  I loved PT and I had a great experience at Strive PT in Moorestown.  If anyone needs a PT, get there ASAP!  I worked with Abby and she was amazing.  I cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work.  I think she really took all of my goals and made them come true.  She was fabulous and I cannot say enough good things about my time there, but I'm happy to be back to my usual self.

5.) Return of Running!  I can run again and it feels amazing!  I ran 6 miles on Sunday and 5 miles on Tuesday with little pain!  I had the biggest and goofiest grin on my face the entire time I was running.  I probably looked insane to those spectating my run, but I don't care!  I loved it :)  It feels good to be back.  This past month was hell for me, with not being able to run, and the whole mental game, so this was an amazing experience!

5.) Calia!!  I can't believe that I've gone a year and half without these workout clothes in my life!  In the past week I've ordered 3 pieces.




All can be found here

They're so comfy and perfect for transitioning from summer to fall and from the gym to brunch :)

6.) Brantley Gilbert's new CD is coming soon!  I heard his new song The Weekend and then the DJ said that the CD is coming out in November!  I can't wait!!  He's one of my favorite singers and songwriters.  No one writes a love song quite like him.

7.)  Carrie Underwood's Calia commercial!  So inspirational and it definitely gives me all the feels.  It's the only commercial I watch lol

I'm off to work with a new trainer (He's trying to kill me.  He texted me that.  I. CANT. WAIT.)

After that, (If I'm still walking) I'll be grabbing din din with Kate!  Can't wait to see her after the wedding and her minimoon!  I can't wait to hear all about it :)

Enjoy your weekend!  I have a 5k on Sunday, and dinners with Cait on Sunday and Saturday!  There may or may not be some Melting Pot in my future...


-E

Friday, September 23, 2016

Kate & Bill's Rehearsal

Hi All!

Today I'm enjoying a glam day because IT'S KATE AND BILL'S WEDDING DAY!  All of us girls are hanging at the salon getting our hair and makeup done while drinking mimosas!  

But let's backtrack a few days, shall we.


After work on Wednesday I drove up to St. Anthony's Cathedral in Trenton for the rehearsal. Usually it takes me 45 minutes in rush hour traffic to get to that area, but this time? 27 minutes!! Such a record!  That's NEVER happened to me before. I got their at 5...the rehearsal started at 5:30. I even backed into the spot. 

Look. At. That. Park. Job. Baller status! 

Kate and Bill arrived shortly after I did and we all went into the church to hang out before the rest of the party got there. 

The rehearsal went off without a hitch. We practiced walking in and sitting and standing...all the essentials ☺️

It was crazy seeing Kate walk down the aisle with her dad. It's strange that she's getting really married...like not 8th grade married...real married!


After the rehearsal, we went to Gennaro's in Hamilton for dinner. It was amazing!  

No dinner is complete without a snapchat party?!


Posing with Dev, Kate's uncle...and wine. It's a shame they don't make wine bottles that serve more than one person, strange. 

Congrats Bestie! Wishing you and Bill so much love and happiness! 

For dinner we had chicken Marsala, chicken parm, veggies, cheese/meat board, salad, and bread. Daaaalish! 

Then it came time for for the toasts. Kate and Bill made beautiful toasts to everyone and thanked all of us for coming. It's so special to be around so much love and happiness. Bill said it best when he said how cool it will be to look around the church on Friday and see all of your favorite and most loved people all in one place. 

Next came the presents. 

Kate gave us all Vera Bradley bags in our signature color. Guess who got pink?  In our bags we got a bottle of wine, a wine tumbler that is spill proof (genius), and a customized beach towel with our monogram on it!  We also were gifted our earrings to wear with our dresses. 

Dinner concluded with a trip to Halo Pub. 

Chocolate peanut butter paradise. It's name really says it all. 

Halo ice cream tastes like college to me. It's a TCNJ staple. 

I'll be back on Monday to recap the wedding and the other weekend festivities!

Xoxo,

E