Thursday, March 31, 2016


Happy Thursday!

What is everyone up to today?  Today is a pretty hodgepodge kinda day over here.  Last night my beloved spin class was cancelled so I decided to call it a night and curl up with a glass of wine and some DVRed Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  Guess who I found?!

Haley and Emily!  
Ben's TWINS!  How crazy?! Also, fun fact, Melissa Rycroft also started her reality tv fame on this show!

Also, Sean Lowe appeared on this show because he was Brooke Sorenson's boyfriend in season 2.  ALSO, Brooke went on to marry Laynce Nix a Philadelphia Philly for 2.5 seasons.  Cacacacrazy!

The title of the post is something that I found inspiration on Julie's blog.  The post is based on the Happiness podcast and it deals with 2 kinds of people:  moderators and abstainers.  Moderators can have one little nibble of a treat and be fine.  Abstainers have to have it all or nothing.  

I'm definitely an abstainer.  I can't have just one piece of chocolate.  I want it all.  I can't have candy, cookies, or cake in the house because I know that in 24 hours it will be gone.  I'm the same way with grapes.  I could live on grapes.  I've always been this way.  I could NEVER be one of those girls who can just *share* dessert.  No thanks!  I need my own piece.  For example, when I prep for races, I cut all refined sugar out of the house.  I can't have any of it or I'll eat all of it.  For short races, I cut refined sugar out for a week.  For longer races, it takes a solid month.  I just find this interesting.  Everyone has different vices and it's interesting how people engage and tackle their vices.  

Yesterday I ended up running around trying to accomplish some top secret errands.  I'll post them in a few weeks when the secret is no longer under wraps.  But until then, my lips are sealed.  

I went (unsuccessfully) shoe shopping for the upcoming weddings.  I didn't find any shoes, but I did find Jaclyn's birthday presents!  

Last night I was exhausted so I called it a night at 9:30.  I did not set an alarm since the only thing on the agenda was Pilates, Barred, lifting, and a run.  I woke up at 9 today!  9!  I never sleep that late!  I kinda enjoyed it ;)

 I went on a quick 5 mile run this morning.  It was a speedy, schweaty run...just the way I like them :) I usually like running at 5 am, but when the opportunity to sleep in presents itself, THIS GIRL will take it.  There's a few differences between running at 5 am and running at 9 am.  
  • PEOPLE will see you rundance.  Rundancing is something that I invented to keep me motivated to run at 5 am.  Rundancing is kind of a mix or dancing, running, and sign language. I kinda sign the lyrics while I dance a little bit and obviously run.  It's also great for the endurance!  It's totally dorky, but it's really really really fun! The cars I pass while rundancing at 5 am, I feel like we have a special bond  (who really wants to be up at 5 am?) so they don't care about what I do.  The 9 am-ers have all been up and had their coffee and they know that you are crazy.  
  • It's freaking bright!  I don't wear sunglasses when I run because I usually run before the sun comes up.  Plus I hate when they slip down your face.  I ended up with a squinty face.  Mix that with the rundancing and you've got one sexayyy runner...jk.
While I was running today I was thinking, wow, it would be great finances wise to get a babysitting job this weekend.  Well, when I came home and got out of the shower I got a text asking if I could babysit this afternoon.  I then immediately said wow, it would be great if Chris Evans showed up in my life!   Still waiting on that one ;)

Tonight is going to be a great workout, then some Scandal!  So excited!  This season is really picking up and I can't wait to see where all of the story lines go.  Also, it's my last day for wine for a whole month...gotta kick it into high gear for Broad Street! 

I hope everyone has a great Thursday!  



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why Is Everyone Younger Than Me?

Happy Hump Day!

So yesterday was interesting.  It's always interesting when you go back to your alma mater for a visit...on a Tuesday...that isn't homecoming.

I spent 5 years at TCNJ and LOVED my time there.  I learned a lot, made great friends, and it definitely helped me find my job.  I loved undergrad and grad school at TCNJ and highly recommend it.  If after reading this post you decide to go there, tell them I sent you and maybe they'll give me a little kick back for me loan?  No?  That's not how it works?

Since I'm on spring break, Jaclyn and I decided to meet up for a mid week lunch.  We decided to grab lunch at our usual post-class spot, Panera.  Isn't that every college kids favorite place?  Hello, carby goodness.

Jaclyn and I used to go after Wednesday night class.  Every.  Week.   Broc Cheddar Soup+Bread Bowl+Bread+Cookie+Soda.  It was amazing. We regret nothing.  I only miss my 20 year old metabolism.

Since I graduated form TCNJ, they have build a College Town.  There are basically 4 restaurants and a bunch of college apartment buildings.  Oh, and a Barnes and Noble.  I'm kind of surprised that this Town came to fruition.  Since I went on my first TCNJ College Tour 10 years ago (insert OMG I'm OLD mini-panic attack here), they've been talking about getting a Town.  Honestly, we need it.  There's not a lot going on around Ewing, NJ.  This will definitely help attract more students.  The Town is beautiful.  Anyway, they have a drive through Panera.  DRIVE THRU!  Jaclyn and I would have been so broke if this was in existence while we were there.

When I walked into Panera, it was like walking into a high school.  Everyone was young!  It was literally run by children.  I graduated 2 years ago and it never really sunk in until now.  All of the kids looked like kids.  I have a firm belief that when you are in your twenties and thirties, no one knows how old anyone else is.  Think about it.  You compare everyone else to you and your age by looks.  You just do a comparison based on looks.  I never know how old anyone else is.  Well, I KNEW everyone here was younger than me.  It was weird.  It was like finally realizing that you are no longer welcome at the children's table and you have to join the dull adult table full of mortgage talk and other boring topics.

After the culture shock of realizing we were surrounded by youths.  Youths everywhere.  We faced a new culture shock.  This Panera brings your food!  They deliver it to your table.  WHHHAAATTT?  It was so weird to sit and wait for your food.  Plus, it kinda took a long time because the restaurant was super crowded so the servers had to wander in and around a sea of backpacks, laptop cords, and jackets.

We chatted and caught up for a few hours.  It was great to see Jaclyn again.  We haven't seen each other in months and we jumped right in where we left off.

Reunited Partners In Crime <3
Also, Dylan's friend did in fact take this picture of us old ladies alums.

The weird factor of youngsters running the world only escalated when I saw one of Dylan's friends lunching at Panera.  We both looked at each other like What are you doing here?  It took me a second to realize that I was in fact the one who was peculiarly sitting at Panera on a Tuesday afternoon.  Why?  Because I'm an old person.  I'm a grown up.  I'm not in college anymore.

It's a weird feeling being older than everyone else in the room.  Yes, I'm even older than Jaclyn if you were wondering. 

The rest of the day was spent trying to wrap my head around being 25.  

I started the day off with a 9 mile run to make up for Sundays No Runday.  

After lunch I came home and got ready for a weight sesh, Pilates, and Barre.  

Dinner was roasted turkey with butternut squash and spinach.  Does anyone else think of the Friends episode where Joey tells the unfunny story about Ross saying Nutterbut Squash?  No?  Just me?  Okay, moving on.  

The familia and I then watched The Big Short.   It was really good!  It's more of a thinking movie.  You have to pay attention to the whole thing or you will miss it.  It's good if you have a lot of time and stay off your phone or lap top.  Steve Carrel is awesome and a total 180 from his Michael Scott persona.  Talented guy.  Also, one of the actors looks like Cole Hamels.  Makes my Phillies loving heart happy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Happy Tuesday!

Is everyone recovering from the sugar coma that is Easter?  After 40 days of peanut butter/chocolate/junk free I realized some things:

  • I am not a peanut butter monster anymore!  I had it mixed into my oats this am and I was like, meh I prefer actual nuts in my oats.  
  • I miss chocolate and sweets, but not candy.  I'd rather have cake, cookies, or a banana bread.
  • Peanut Butter Overload Smidgens are just that:  an overload.  WAYYYY too sweet for me.  I mean I still ate 4, but no more.
After 5 hours of IEP writing, I went to the gym to shake it all out in Zumba and do some weights.  It was schweaty and perfect.  Exactly what I needed.

It was great to be back on a normal schedule.  Healthy, whole foods, gym sessions, and no processed junk.  Plus tons of water.  It's amazing how normal I feel after eating real foods.  

I also made my favorite banana bread.  Technically this is zuke bread, but I replace the zuke with bananas.  I also add organic chocolate chips ;)

Twas delish!

Since yesterday was a rainy, blah day I figured I would write IEPs for work.  I had my leggins, banana bread, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reruns to keep me company and occupied.  

Today I'm off to meet Jaclyn for lunch at my old stomping grounds!  Ole, ole, ole, ole, TCNJ!  This is my second time visiting TCNJ's new college town.  We're going to meet up at Panera which used to be our go to spot after Wednesday Night Women and Gender's class.  It will bring back memories for sure.  Love my, Jac!



Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter in Virginia

Hoppy Eater!

Let us all take a moment to remember why we celebrate Easter.  Jesus is Risen and has saved us all.

Eater has always been kind of nomadic for our family.  When we were little, we'd pack up and visit my Grandma outside Scranton, Pennsylvania.  After she passed, we stayed home for about 2 Easters, went on a cruise once (and the time change caused us all to miss Easter Mass), and now we visit Dylan at JMU.  I love the crazy Easter traditions we have developed over the years.  Gertrude Hawk Chocolate Company has become a staple in our house because the factory was near my Grandma's house.  Every year we get a box of Smidgens (I'm looking at your Dark Chocolate PB Smidgens and I can feel you staring back at me) and a summer "toy".  Since Dylan and my birthdays are both in December, the parentals decided that we needed summer toys at this juncture in the year long ago.  We used to get bikes/scooters/helmets/water guns, etc, but now we get concert tickets (Oh hey, MegaTicket!) and things like that.

This year was no different.  We made the 5 hour drive to Harrisonburg yesterday.  It was long and sprinkled with multiple naps and reruns of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2.  Does anyone else turn into a narcoleptic when they get in the car?  For some reason I can never keep my eyes open.  When we arrived we picked up the brother.

How cute is he?
I may or may not have tried to clepto his sunglasses muahahaha.

We ran some errands for him and then chilled at the hotel before dinner.  We went to Corgan's Publick House in Harrisonburg.  We went here last year and were very impressed so we returned this year with our mouths watering.  

It did not disappoint.  Corgan's is an Irish Pub/restaurant.  It's pretty small inside, but has an impressive menu and a cozy atmosphere.  The bar side of the restaurant was packed, but the dining room side, while still small (only about 8 tables) was relatively quiet and enjoyable.  

I ordered the blackened tilapia with asparagus, broccoli, quinoa, and veggie side.  I also ordered my new fave cocktail-tequila shot with seltzer and lime.  70 calories and tastes like a margarita!  I took some pix with the iPhone, but it was way too dark.  

We split a piece of decadent chocolate cake.  To say I'm excited Lent is over is an understatement.  I almost licked the plate...sorrynotsorry.

After dinner we headed out to Kline's Dairy Bar for some ice cream.  Kline's is a custard stand that always has chocolate and vanilla ice cream and then a flavor of the week.  If you are not singing American Hi-Fi's Flavor of the Week right now, I don't know if we can be friends.  The flavor of the week you ask?  CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER!  Ahhhhhmayyyyzing!   

Chocolate PB with cookie dough topping
I died!  I could have probably done without the cookie dough topping, but you live and learn.  It was  a little grainy.  It kinda tasted like the Easy Bake Oven cookie dough before you add the water and wait 100 years for the lightbulb to cook your food.

After dessert, we dropped Dylan off at his house and went back to the hotel.  We watched the Nova Kansas game, what a nail biter, then headed to sleep.  

Our hotel had breakfast so I mosied downstairs and picked up some fruit and a biscuit.  Gotta love the south and their biscuits.

Trying to be a Healthy Hannah

 I also may or may not have polished off 3 Smidgens.

We're heading to church and then it's Easter Lunch at the always classy Texas Roadhouse!  Guilty Pleasure admittance #253252 I am obsessed with TEXAS ROADHOUSE!  First of all the biscuits-OMG!
I only had 1 that's self-control

Then the peanut bucket?  Swoon!  They also give you a trash bucket for the shells!  Genius!
Peanuts have protein, right?

Finally, the grilled chicken, sweet potato, and broc is out of this world.  The funny part is that we have a few near us, but we still never go unless we're visiting Dylan or in Grammaland.  It kinda makes it special, no?

My favorite din din

After lunch, we'll head back to NJ.  It's always sad to say good bye to Dylan, but we pack a lot of fun and mischief into these 24 hours.  Raise your hand if you love hanging out with your sibling for the sole purpose of having someone else for your mom to pick on?!  

Dylan hates when I dress Southern for trips to visit him
I'm going to go on a 9 mile run when I get home because Broad Street is in 5 short weeks!  EEK!  Can't wait!  *Edited to say the run did not happen, but Chinese food did...soooooo*

This is a Mobile Car Wash and Barber Shop...only in Virginia
I hope everyone had a blessed Easter and enjoyed their family time...and chocolate :)

Here's hoping I don't repeat many an Easter and end up in a sugar coma!  I tried to take precaution and only packed 4 Smidgens (however, one went missing...I'm on the hunt for the Bunny Culprit).

To all of my teacher friends, enjoy your Spring Break!  



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Phillies 5k

Hoppy Easter Weekend!!

So...I'm the worst blogger ever.  I used to be good at this, but then I grew up, got a big girl job that I LOVE and completely ran out of free blogging time.


Today I ran the Phillies 5k!  If you know anything about me you know a few things

1.) I LOVE baseball
2.) I LOVE running

Put these things together and you get one happy Erin.

I had to do some mayyyjahhh convincing to sway Deb into letting me run this race.  We usually head down to Virginia to visit the brother on Easter Saturday, but she generously allowed me to run as long as I promised to be home by 10 am.  No greater PR motivator than an angry mama for 5 hours in a car.  Yikes!

By the time I convinced her, the race was up to $50.  That's usually more than I spend on a 5k, but the buy in included:  2 100 level seats to 2 different games, a 20% coupon to the Majestic Club House (hello new running jacket), a free app at Xfinity Live, a medal, and post-race snacks.  You also get to walk around the warning track to cool down.  Since I have no kids under 12 and am not a senior citizen, this is my only *legal* opportunity to go on the field.  I seriously think people have kids for 2 reasons: their Halloween candy the bases at professional baseball games

The race was super fun and well organized.  They gave you multiple options for packet pick up, easy to swap game tickets, and a chance to walk around the field!  The runners were a good mixture of competitive and casuals.

Phillies shoe wine holder?!  Does this scream Erin or what??
The race also started at 9 am which was nice because then I didn't have to get up super early.  Parking was a breeze (and FREE) and as we walked to the starting line we passed pretzel vendors (gotta love Philly) who also had COTTON CANDY!  Swoon.

The race started at the stadium and had us run around CBP and then under the 95 overpass and through FDR park.  There was one water station and I (unsuccessfully) guzzled some water.  Can anyone tell me how they manage to actually get the water into their mouth?  I end up looking like a rabid dog trying to lap up water.every.single.time.  I end up wearing the water on my shirt like a boss dork.  The race course was really fun.  It was a good mix of scenery and was all pavement running.  The race ended with us coming up Broad Street and having to run a minor hill before we went down hill to the finish line.  There were multiple bands playing to encourage us, but minimal spectators.  No signs either.  The signs are really motivating so I definitely missed them.

Of course the Phanatic was there to officially start the race.

Oh hey, Big Buddy!
Once we finished, we were greeted with our medals, a bottle of water and our choice of either a soft pretzel or a banana.  I rolled with the pretzel because, let's face it, I wasn't going to make the 10 am departure time requested by Deb so I figured I'd bring her a pretzel peace offering.  If you're wondering it worked like a charm ;)

Peace Offering

The coolest medal!

It's a baseball cap
After catching my breath and guzzling the water, I went down the tunnel to the field.  It was pretty cool being in the tunnel.  I got to walk the warning track from 1st base, around home plate, and up to 3rd base.

View from the field
I asked one of the sweet ushers to take my picture, but it was kind of a weird picture.  Note to self, always ask a girl to take the pic.  We know the good angles.  Guys are like, whatever you're in the frame and it clicked so it's good enough.

Awkward post race pic
Baseball season is right around the corner :)
Post-race view 

The race was really good.  I didn't PR, but I finished in 22:43, 172nd out of 6,000 entrants, 8th female overall, and 25th in my age group.  Not too shabby for my first race of the season.

Phanatic Love

A lot of people ask me if there's a difference between short races and long races.  I think short and long races are totally different animals.  My longest races have been half marathons and my shortest races have been 5ks.  Here's how they are different:

  • Half Marathons require a whole lifestyle change.  You need to change your approach to eating, sleeping, and training.  When I'm in "training season" I cut out all processed sugar and alcohol. I also up all smart carbs--hello, baked sweet potatoes!  I also get up to run 5 miles a day Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.  Sundays are dedicated to long runs.  Speed isn't as important as endurance.  I try to get an hour of cardio in a day just to teach my body how to withstand the 1:45-2 hours it will take me to run the half marathon.
  • Halves let you find your pace.  You eventually settle into a pace that is comfortably uncomfortable for you.  I usually end up running those miles in about 8:10-8:14.  I'm tired, but not out of breath.
  • Halves require less food before the race...for me anyway.  Before halves I usually eat a homemade breakfast cookie.  Nothing too heavy or big because I'll get sick.  I usually eat this about 5 minutes before the race.  No water before a long run if it's in the am.  
  • 5ks are more about speed. I sprint the entire thing.  My pace usually falls within the 7-7:20 range.  
  • 5ks also require more food...for me anyway.  I eat oats, almond milk, 1 oz walnuts/almonds/pecans or whatever other nuts we have on hand, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla.  I ate this about 2 hours before the race.  I also drank about 4 cups of water before this race.  
  • I don't refuel carbs wise while running halves or 5ks so in that respect they're the same.  

I'm off to VA now to visit Dylan!  I'm hoping there's some biscuits in my future!  And maybe some ice cream from Kline's...

This race made me even MORE excited about the upcoming season.  April 11th can't come soon enough.  Padre and I are going to the game on April 12th for Opening Night.  Hello free tee and Dollar Dogs (for Dad...I eat before the game)!  I'll also be there next Saturday for a Future's Game!  We also have tickets for Runner's Day!