Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Travel Purchases

I have been searching like crazy for a passport cover that wasn't plain and didn't cost me more than the passport did in the first place. Everything I found was either really plain or really expensive (it's just a passport cover!). A few days ago I found one that I liked; it was a black, patent leather, alligator skin looking design on it. I would have loved it if it had come in pink, but I only found it in black. So when I went to find it last night I couldn't and I'm glad I didn't. I ended up googling "black passport cover" and stumbled upon a person's Etsy page (I can't believe I didn't think of Etsy before this) that sells handmade wallets, purses and passport covers. the spotted barn is the name of the Etsy store and it took me almost 20 minutes to decide which cover I wanted to get. Granted I wanted it to match the credit card/change purse I posted about a week ago that I bought for my trip as well. Below is the one I chose. You'll never guess what I paid for it. The cover was $9 and shipping was $1.50...yeah I paid a total of $10.50 for everything. I was very excited. Please check out the spotted barn Etsy store, they have a ton of cute things!




I also finally got myself a new luggage set (thanks to my mommy). I needed to get something that was durable, but didn't embarrass Tim when he was wheeling it around the airport either. It's pointless for both of us to get our own individual sets. So I ended up choosing a 5 piece set from American Flyer that retails for nearly $400! The price I paid was...$149 on luggage.com! Ground shipping was free, but the only down side was that the site wasn't linked with Ebates so I didn't get cash back from it. I'm not complaining though I got a great deal on a nice luggage set. I was looking a set that had a carry on that wasn't hideous. I know you can't believe I based my purchase on just the carry on. Well, not completely. I read the reviews on American Flyer luggage and was impressed. I wanted something durable, that had a good warranty just in case, was tolerable by Tim, easy to wheel and didn't have an embarrassing carry on. Even thought the color wasn't my first choice, I know the darker the better (it's just going to get beat up anyway). The 5 piece set includes 3 multi size suitcases, a rolling duffel (which was clutch) and a cute hobo looking carry on. Sold!





♥ Erin

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

30 Seconds To Mars Pictures

Here are a few of the millions of pictures I took at the concert on Friday. We had so much fun, I can't wait to see them again. I was also really impressed with MuteMath. Tim and I both were fans, but they are amazing live. I would love to see them headline a tour soon so I can see them again as well. It was really hard for me to decide which pictures to post. I had taken almost a hundred of all 3 bands that played. If you're friends with me on facebook you'll get to see them all, but here are the best ones for my blog readers. Enjoy!

MuteMath

The sickest drummer ever from MuteMath


Jared Leto himself, pink mohawk and all



They opened with my favorite song on their new album, Night of the Hunter



In the middle of the show, he left the stage and did a couple acoustic songs from the sound stage

Tim & I with MuteMath, I got a drum stick signed by the whole band





♥ Erin

Monday, April 26, 2010

Current Playlist Volume 4

Last week was a very exciting music week for me because I got to see one of my favorite bands live in concert, 30 Seconds to Mars. I have to admit it was the fact that Jared Leto being the front man for the band got me interested in them originally, but he's not the reason they've stayed one of my faves. If their music truly wasn't good, I wouldn't still listen to them. I've loved them for 3 albums and close to 10 years and never saw them in concert until now. They mostly toured Europe and played smaller venues in the states that sold out way too quick. So when the opportunity came to finally see them, I jumped all over it. I had a blast and I will be posting pictures from the concert (including Jared's hot pink mohawk) some time this week. Instead of an Artist's Spotlight today I wanted to do a top ten of my fave 30 Seconds to Mars songs. If you're a fan, what are your faves?



Metric - Gold Guns Girls
*One of those songs that I heard on the radio and I immediately fell in love with. I've been a fan of Metric for a while, but I don't usually go out of my way to search for their music. Their stuff usually always finds me. It's been said that the inspiration for this song came from the movie Scarface.

Robin Thicke feat. Ludacris - Sex Therapy (Remix)
*When I first heard this song I actually thought it was Maxwell. They sound identical in this song and the remix version with Ludacris really breaks up all the high pitched singing. Who doesn't love baby making music? Haha, I joke.

B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams - Airplanes
*This was a random song I heard on iTunes and I'm sure it will be released next from B.o.B. I'm a fan of his current single "Nothin' On You", and anything with Hayley from Paramore I will usually like.

Lady Gaga - Alejandro
*I didn't know this was going to be her next single released from Fame Monster when I heard it. I thought it sounded less mainstream like she had been sounding and it sparked my interest.

Chevelle - Letter From A Thief
*I've always been a Chevelle fan, but I didn't really explore their newest album, Sci-Fi Crimes, when it was released. This was their next released single and I love it! When I have a moment I'll be sure to check the rest of the album for any hidden gems.

Paper Tongues - Trinity
*Yet another song that I heard on the radio and immediately became in love with. I have never heard of the band and they don't have much to share on iTunes, but I'll keep looking out for things from them.

Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over
*I already had a couple songs on my iPod when I heard this song during an episode of Gossip Girl. The little 30 second snippets that iTunes lets you hear doesn't always do the songs justice.

Three Days Grace - Wicked Games
*I think I heard this on my internet radio or on my local Rock station DC101. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to find it, but I did. I love the Chris Isaak original, but these guys do a great cover.

Diddy & Dirty Money - Hello Good Morning
*Even though I think the guy is a complete (insert expletive here), he does come out with one good song ever 2-3 years.

Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight
*Her new single from her upcoming album, Bionic. I have to admit, it took me a few listens to really get into it. It's been too long Christina, you can't leave your fans waiting so long. The song is dirty, but what else can you expect from the original Mickey Mouse Club good girl gone bad? Who do you think Brit learned it from?

Artist Spotlight:

Like I said earlier, instead of doing my traditional "bringing to light an artist that needs exposure", I'll be highlighting one of my faves. Here are my top ten 30 Seconds to Mars songs:







  1. Night of the Hunter
  2. The Kill
  3. Hurricane
  4. Savior
  5. Attack
  6. From Yesterday
  7. Beautiful Lie
  8. King and Queens
  9. This is War
  10. Alibi





♥ Erin

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stamps to the Rescue


Today I was tracking a package I sent USPS the other day and I saw an ad for stamps that help feed shelter pets. You know I'm a sucker for animals so I wanted to spread the word about this. The USPS in support with Ellen DeGeneres and Halo Pet Food have come together to raise money for pets in animal shelters across the country. Halo is donating 1 million meals to shelter animals through the purchase of animal rescue stamps sold through USPS. There are 10 different stamps with 5 dogs and 5 cats. Each pet was adopted through an animal shelter and now as a second chance at life. If you'd like to support a good cause visit the site and buy your animal rescue stamps. The website also contains information about the campaign, adopting a pet, Halo Pet Food, and the animals featured on the stamps themselves. Each has a unique story to be shared. Even if you are not interested in purchasing these stamps please pass this information on. This is a really great cause and it deserves attention. Thanks guys!



♥ Erin

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ebay Auction



I'm trying to get the word out about my current ebay auction for my Marc Jacobs turn lock hobo. I posted the auction yesterday and it's going to run for the next 7 days. So far there is one bid on it at $99. The bag retails for $500 and it is new with tags and never been worn. I'd like to get close to the retail value for it since it's in brand new condition. Even if you're not interested, but you know someone who is please pass this on. I don't mind if you re-post this and if you want to view the actual listing click here. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks guys!!



♥ Erin

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring/Summer Shopping

This weekend Tim & I went to the mall to get a couple of things we needed for our trip and for the upcoming summer season. Tim wanted a couple more bathing suits. I needed some staple pieces for the summer and travel accessories. Closer to our trip, I'll be doing more shopping and be sure to share with you what I got.




AE Twisted Glam Dress in Lilac (perfect for a beach getaway)




AE Favorite Short in Khaki (a definite summer staple)






AE Layering Bandeau in Grey & White (perfect for low cut tanks)




Style & Co. Change Purse (for my cash and credit cards so I don't have to drag my huge wallet to the DR)


AE Relaxed Shirt in White (Tim wanted a light button down to wear for a nice dinner that he wouldn't get too hot in)

AE Belted Plaid Shorts (to go with his white button down)

AE Exploded Plaid Board Shorts (one of 3 new swim suits for him)


These are some of the things we've started to get from our vaca list. Other items on the list include: a new luggage set, passport holder, Vera Bradley hanging organizer, some new flip flops, and a new bathing suit for me!



♥ Erin

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Won!!


Yay me!! I won The Last Song giveaway at An East Coast Wedding this past Saturday! I posted about this giveaway last week. Thank you so much Nicole, that book is on my reading list and I can't wait to get it. I hardly win anything guys so I'm excited about this one. If you get a chance please go check out Nicole's blog, I really enjoy it.





♥ Erin

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spartacus Season Finale & Random TV News


Tomorrow is the much anticipated season 1 finale of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. I am in love with this show! I have to admit, I wasn't impressed after the pilot episode but I stuck with it and I'm very glad I did. Once I realized they were trying to make the visual effects look over the top (much like the movie 300), the more I opened myself up to the actual plot. Our neighbors watch this show religiously like Tim and I do and we even got Tim's bosses hooked on it. Even though it's bloody, violent and similar to soft core (sometimes hard core) porn, the plot is insane! There is never a dull moment and there are a lot of plot lines running at once so you never know what's going to happen. Below is the trailer for the episode to air tomorrow night at 10 pm with an encore presentation on Sunday at 10 pm. I'm so excited for the finale, but I'm going to really miss the show. The filming for season 2 has been postponed due to the the lead character, Andy Whitfield, being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Andy is due to make a full recovery, but until then Spartacus will be on hold.



There has also been speculation as to what Starz is going to do with what could be a huge break in between seasons. I found an article about rumors of a six episode prequel series that could be in the works to tide us crazy fans over until the second season can be made. Either way, I'm going to miss my Spartacus Fridays!

A few of my other favorite shows are coming back from either hiatus or to start a new season. HBO's True Blood will be returning for season 3 on Sunday, June 13th @ 9. One Tree Hill comes back from hiatus and will be taking their time slot back from Life Unexpected which has been filling in as a mid season series. OTH returns this Monday at 8 pm on the CW preceding Gossip Girl.








♥ Erin

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Look!

As you can tell, my blog had a make over! I finally check the gmail account that I had to open to start this blog and there was a message in there about a new template designer. When I started this blog, the templates were very basic and boring. So you had to go out on your own and find a template that best suited your needs. For me, I wanted 3 columns which meant slim pickin'! It took me forever and I eventually found one I could deal with. I never really loved my old layout. Anyway, the problem with picking your own template and adding it's HTML was that you couldn't change anything like colors or font (unless you were a whiz at HTML code which I am not). Since this was within Blogger I could pick a template, choose my background, and change all my fonts and colors. I still have a little bit of tweaking to do, but I'm pretty happy with it now. What do you guys think?




♥ Erin

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Summer Reading List

After a quick mention yesterday on one of my posts about some of the books I have on my reading list, I was asked by few people to go into more detail. Some books I've found on my own, some have been recommendations from friends. So here is the list of the next few books on my agenda. Now that it's getting warm out, I'll start blowing through them fast. I love to read and lay out. I appreciate recommendations and please let me know if you've read any of these or plan to.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - Yeah I know I've been slacking on this one. It's already been made into a movie (which I haven't seen either). Usually when I get a lot of books at once, I tend to read the ones I'm really excited about first. Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited to read this. I just know that this is one of those emotionally draining books and I need to have time to prepare myself for that. Everyone I know has had wonderful
reviews for it. I just have to suck it up and get started.





Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay - A friend of mine recommended this to me and I'm very excited to read it. I love all books that have to do with WWII. Here's the description from Publishers Weekly: "Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél' d'Hiv' roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself."

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks - I haven't seen the movie yet, but usually if a Nicholas Sparks book goes into production I try to read the book. It's an easy read that I can put in between two tougher reads. I read Dear John in less than 2 days.








Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith - This book was recommended to me by Borders online. After viewing my other purchases, they thought I would like this one. After some light investigating I think I'm going to commit to reading it. Part of me thinks it could be great, but another part of me is worried it's going to be cheesy. I haven't gotten any reviews from people I know yet, so if you've read it let me know! Here's a review from Amazon: "While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years. Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation."
Helmet For My Pillow by Robert Leckie - Another WWII book that I am very excited to read. However, no one recommended this to me I found it on my own. If you read my Recent Obsessions post from a couple weeks ago, you'll know that I'm addicted to The Pacific mini-series on HBO. The main character in the show is Robert Leckie who wrote this book in 1957 which Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks then adapted a large part of it(along with two others) to create The Pacific. So after 6 episodes of the show you get pretty attached to the characters and I always like to learn more. They're saying that with the success of The Pacific this book will soon be a New York Times Bestseller. Here's a description from Amazon: "Robert Leckie, one of America’s greatest military historians, was both an eyewitness and participant to some of the greatest battles in the Pacific. This is Leckie’s vivid account of combat and survival in World War II. In January 1942, in the aftermath of the infamous Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the United States Marines Corps. From boot camp in Parris Island to the bloody war in the Pacific, Robert Leckie experienced it all. The booze, the brawling, the loving on sixty-two-hour liberty; the courageous fighting and dying in combat as the U.S. Marines slugged it out, inch by inch, island by island across the Pacific to the shores of Japan."

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - I was recommended by a few friends to rent this movie which is currently on my Netflix queue along with 20 other movies. Hopefully I'll get to it sometime this year. I actually just found out it was inspired by the book. So I thought I'd give it a shot. It's a young adult read so it will be an in between book for me.







If you are a Borders Rewards member, they are having some really great online specials and free shipping on orders over $25. I was going to pre-order Avatar through them and get a few books I wanted. By the way, for the Blu Ray version of Avatar on pre-order they are offering it for $24! That's a steal!

*UPDATE* I forgot to add a book to my list. It hasn't come out yet, but I talked about it in a post earlier this month. I'll be pre-ordering it shortly, it shouldn't shock you guys at all...


The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer - Duh! Click here to read my earlier post about it.










♥ Erin

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dominican Republic!


For Tim's 30th birthday coming up in June, I decided to surprise him and sweep him away to the Dominican Republic for an early birthday present. We're going for an entire week from May 8th to May 15th and I can't wait. Tim and I never got to take many vacations and they have always been within driving distance and within the US. So for his 30th I thought there was no better reason to get out of the country and take our first plane trip together. Now that we're older I wanted to start traveling more and I thought we'd kick it off by going to a place Tim has always wanted to visit. So I tricked him into getting his passport and secretly planned this vacation. I have been keeping this from him for about 6 months and I finally told him about it this weekend when his passport came in the mail. It felt so good to get that off my back!

I wish I could say the planning of this trip was super easy, but it wasn't; it was a pain in the butt. I searched for months figuring out where on the island I wanted to stay. All the coasts in the DR are different depending on your preferences. For instance the north coast has better waters for windsurfing because the seas are rougher, Punta Cana on the east coast is a great travelers destination but can be crowded and finally the south coast (where we are staying) is calmer and less visited. All I wanted was an all inclusive with white beaches, clear water and a 24 hour bar! I found that in Oasis Canoa in Bayahibe which is right next to La Romana. So once the hotel was chosen, next was waiting for the best deal to book. I constantly checked Cheap Caribbean, Expedia, Book It, Priceline, etc. I was about to cave and just book something (I would have paid whatever) when I ran across a company called Vacation Store Miami. They had the cheapest price for Oasis Canoa by far and the cheapest transfers from the airport. They even sent a note to the hotel telling them we were celebrating a birthday. You could book your flight through them as well, but I got a great deal through Orbitz separately. Plus I used my Ebates account to go through Orbitz and got some cash back too which is always a plus. Needless to say we are very excited to go. I can't wait to show you guys pictures from the trip! It will be so nice for Tim & I to just get away and be completely cut off from the rest of the world.







♥ Erin

The Last Song Giveaway!


If any body is interested in winning a copy of The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks please checkout An East Coast Wedding. All you have to do is leave Nicole a comment and re-post her Giveaway! Thanks to Sara at That's Sassy for passing this on.

The Last Song is currently on my reading list. A couple other books I'm interested in are: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Anybody else read these? What are your thoughts?




♥ Erin

Friday, April 9, 2010

Victoria's Secret MLB Collection 2010

Thanks to my friend Sara, she told me about Victoria's Secret's new MLB collection from their PINK line. They have 11 teams to choose from: Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, Padres, Cubs, Twins, Cardinals, Mets, Dodgers & Angels. I'm definitely getting a couple things. I'm sure there will be more teams and more choices to come. You can check out the line here. Below are some of my faves.







♥ Erin


Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Fave Restaurant



A couple of weeks ago our neighbors took us to this sushi buffet they have been raving about for months. It has to be the biggest variety of sushi and Japanese food I have ever seen in my life! It was wonderful! And for those of you who aren't huge sushi fans, they have a salad bar and hot entrees like lobster, crab legs and chicken teriyaki. Of course what would a buffet be without dessert? They have a huge fruit bar and an amazing amount of dessert choices like banana crepes, cappuccino cup and strawberry cheesecake. They even serve alcohol!

I have to say I was really overwhelmed and I stuck to mostly sushi because they had so many choices, but I can't wait to go back. It's cheaper to go during the week and even cheaper for lunch. Prices during the week range from $16-$20 per person, but over the weekend it jumps to about $30 per person.

They have restaurants all over the world and the one near us is located in Fairfax in the Fair Oaks Mall. They are always rotating their menu so it's never the same. I hope you guys enjoy. Below are some of my faves. Mmmmm.


Seaweed Salad


Sushi


Soft shell Crab


For more information you can visit their website: http://www.todaifairfax.com/.





♥ Erin

Baseball Season Has Begun!!


Well, the 2010 baseball season has begun folks! It has been a long winter and I'm so excited for what's supposed to be another great season for the Phils. Last night Tim, me and our best friend Mike went down to Nationals Stadium to see game 2 between the Nats and Phils. We were very excited that the Phillies played their first series down here so we could see them. We had so much fun tailgating with some friends we met up with. A great thing about Nationals Park is when the Phils come to town, so do all the Phils fans! It's funny being surrounded by mostly away team fans. I felt like I was back at home! Anyway, here are some of the pics from last night. By the way the Phils won 8-4!



3 Amigos


Our seats in left field


Timmy & I


My other man, Chase Utley



BFF




♥ Erin

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Weekend Pictures

We had a wonderful Easter weekend with my family in town. We took them all over the area from Fair Oaks to Dulles to DC. On Saturday we went down to see the cherry blossoms and the monuments. My sister thought it was "awesome". She's 12 and had never been to DC before so she was really excited. It had also been some time since my Dad and step mom had been here as well, and they had never seen the cherry blossoms. They were quite overwhelmed! They didn't realize how much walking was actually involved, nor were they prepared for the amount of people that come to see them in bloom. My father had always believed that the cherry blossoms lined the reflecting pool so he really had no idea what he was in for. Even though the winter snow was tough on them they were still beautiful. A couple of the trees hung a little lower than they did last year, but they were still breathtaking. I'm glad we went the first weekend because I heard they're pretty much done blooming and are starting to fall off the trees.

We were very grateful to have our family down here with us for the weekend. Since we moved here, Tim & I had always gone up to PA for all the holidays. This was our first holiday in VA with our family. My step mom made a huge Easter dinner for all of us and our neighbor Jenny. We had a full house especially if you include my Dad's two labs that he brought along for the trip. Needless to say Dakota is still recovering from having two playmates for the last few days. Anyway, I wanted to post some of my favorite pictures from the weekend. I hope you enjoy.

My sister and I on a bridge crossing over the tidal basin.

A picture I snapped of the Capitol Building. It's pictures like this that make me love my little camera. I was really, really far away when I took this.

One of the close ups I took of a cherry blossom. I loved how they turned out so I'll probably frame a couple in color and black and white.
Tim and my Dad over looking the cherry blossoms.

Tim & I trying to get a nice shot in together.

Our favorite monument to visit: the World War II Memorial.

Another one of my favorite close ups that I'm going to frame.

You'd never believe that I was at the opposite end of the reflecting pool when I took this.

Tim & Alex striking a pose in front of the reflecting pool.




♥ Erin