Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Chili Enchilada Meat Loaf

I got this great new cookbook at the supermarket a couple weeks ago and have been dying to try some of the recipes. So finally the other night I decided to try the Red Chili Enchilada Meat Loaf. Now, whenever I try a recipe for the first time I always follow it exactly. With that said, I would have made just a few changes, but for the most part I liked it. Tim and our neighbors loved it, but I tend to be a little more critical of my cooking. First of all there was way too much corn muffin mix, I should have never used the whole amount. And secondly, I wouldn't cook it for the full 50 minutes. I have a gas oven so I usually under cook things because our oven cooks things super fast. It's definitely an interesting take on a boring old meat loaf recipe. I will make it again, but of course I'll cater it more to our tastes.

1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup salsa
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 8.5 ounce corn muffin mix
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
Salsa (optional)
Tortilla strips, fried (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine egg, onion, 1/4 cup salsa, chili powder, garlic and salt; add meat; mix well. Shape into a ball. Place mixture in a 9-inch pie plate; flatten to a 6-inch circle.
Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread corn muffin batter over meat in pie plate. Bake 50 minutes or until inside of meat registers 160 degrees. Remove from oven. Halve cheese slices and arrange on top of corn muffin mixture. Cover loosely; let stand 10 minutes before serving.

*If you use the 8.5 ounce corn muffin mix you will have tons of left over once you coat the meat. I poured the whole thing on top because it told me too so I had a thick shell of corn muffin surrounding it. It was good, but if you're looking only for a light coating you should buy a smaller amount of the mix. While I was at the store I saw 6 and 7 ounce packages as well. Also, the meat loaf can dry out faster than you think so watch your bake time. I also could have used a little more kick to it, so next time I'll add more chili powder and maybe even some crushed red pepper.

So you can see how much corn muffin there is with this from this picture. I'm glad I didn't take a picture of it before we at it because it looked like a pie with cheese on top. This is what it's supposed to look like...

I guess I need to start trying harder with my presentation. I just always forget because I'm so excited to start eating! I'll work on that.







♥ Erin

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Organization is Key

Before we get started on our redecoration project in our house we decided that we needed to reorganize the things we already had. Our first project was to consolidate our toiletries. We had things scattered throughout the house in our bathroom, in the guest bathroom, in the guest bedroom closet, etc. We moved in from our parents house so we both had these plastic portable storage bins with all our medicine and toiletries. There was no reason to have those tacky things anymore. Plus once we cleaned them out there was stuff in there we didn't even need. So we neatly consolidated and put everything together under our sinks. We cleared so much extra space in the guest bedroom and bath just by getting rid of this stuff.

This is what my sink looked like prior. I don't have a picture of Tim's because he did his 2 days before me. What a mess right?

This is Tim's sink after.

This is my sink after. I guess I should have taken out the Tampons for the picture! Yeah well.

We got all the bins from Target for really cheap. The smaller bins are made of canvas so they're really durable and have a nicer look to them. The big plastic bins were the perfect size for everything we needed to store.

This is just the start of our project. It's going to take a while, but hopefully our house will feel more like home once we're done.

Aside from this stuff, I also started with some little things I've been wanting to replace for some time and just never got around to it. We currently have all of Dakota's toys in a basket downstairs. The basket was dying a slow death, plus it was a light wood color and we're trying to stick with a dark wood look for the rest of the house. We have been looking for a replacement for months, but things just weren't what we wanted. They were either too big, too small or just didn't have the look (yeah I know it's for the dog toys). Finally, I took a stroll into World Market the other day and BAM there it was. A beautiful dark wood basket the same size as our current one and it even had a canvas cover for the inside. The best part? It was $16. Sweeeeet! I don't have a picture of it currently, but I'll post it once I do some more changes to the living room.






♥ Erin

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

El Paso Quesadilla Maker

Thank you to my girlfriend Lara who introduced me to this wonderful appliance! While I was in PA this weekend she showed me this new quesadilla maker she got. Let me tell you, this thing is awesome. I mentioned it to Tim yesterday morning and by the time I got home from work he was ready to go get it. I'm making a big meal tonight (hint hint look for a recipe tomorrow or Friday!) so we wanted something simple for dinner last night.

He bought the maker at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20! I saw that Target had it for $20 as well and Kohl's had it for a little more, $35. It also came with a sweet recipe booklet that I will be adding to repertoire! Here are a couple of my faves:

Goat Cheese with Olives, Red Onion and Walnuts
4 oz. mild goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Dessert Banana Quesadillas with Caramel Sauce
1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 very ripe large bananas, peeled and mashed up
2 1/2 cups store bought caramel sauce, gently warmed
4 medium bananas (for slicing)
10 flour tortillas
whipped cream

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mashed bananas, continue to beat until smooth. Spread 1/2 cup of the filling over five tortillas. Top each with another tortilla and press slightly to seal the edges. Place quesadilla on maker, cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove and cute into wedges. Arrange slices in the center of each serving plate. Spoon a 1/4 cup of warm caramel sauce over each slice. Peel the bananas and slice 1/4-inch thick. Garnish each plate with the sliced bananas and a dollop of whipped cream. *I would add some vanilla ice cream to this one as well! Yum!

Last night I had one with pico de gallo, chopped jalapenos, shredded mexican cheese and chicken in my quesadilla. I topped it with sour cream, salsa and olives. It was very tasty.






♥ Erin

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tasty Cucumber Appetizer


This past weekend I was in PA visiting my dad for his upcoming birthday (being the good daughter that I am). On Saturday night my dad and step mom had a dinner party with a couple of their friends. My step mom is an amazing cook so I had no complaints eating her food. Currently her garden is over flowing with veggies. I was so excited she sent me home with tons of cucumbers and zucchini. One of the plans I have for these HUGE cucumbers is this appetizer she made on Saturday. Tim's family is coming to visit this weekend and I wanted to make a couple things while they're here. I was thinking this and some fresh cucumber salad. I just have to find a recipe I like. The appetizer is very simple and it tastes heavenly, it's perfect for the summer.

Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel Party Slices (spread with melted butter and toast in oven)
Spread a thin layer of Mayo or Miracle Whip
Add a cucumber slice
Sprinkle Grill Mates Lemon Pepper Seasoning

If you let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes the seasoning really soaks into the cucumber and adds extra flavor. I can't wait to make it this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.







♥ Erin

Have You Ever Been Stalked By a Song?

Have you ever had a song follow you wherever you go? I'm having that issue right now and it's not with just one song, it's with TWO! The first song is "Epic" by Faith No More. If you don't know the song you might remember the video, it ends with a fish flopping around out of water (it was very controversial for it's time). I blame the fact that this song is following me because DC101 has a terribly short playlist. This song started stalking me after Tim and I heard it in the car a while ago. Tim started telling me about this story that he always thinks of when this song comes on. Ever since then, I hear this song CONSTANTLY.
Next, (and this is the really weird one) is "Unthinkable (I'm Ready)" by Alicia Keys which I really don't mind because I LOVE this song. Unfortunately I'm being tortured because I only catch the last 15-30 seconds before it ends! I would say out of 10 times I get to hear the song in it's entirety once. Isn't that weird? And it's on like 3 or 4 different stations whereas the other song I only hear on one station. I think I'm officially nuts. I had to share this with you guys so you can tell me that I'm not the only one this happens to!
Sorry for the random post guys, like I said last week I have a lot going on and I'm not ready to share as of yet. Coming up this week though...Tim and I did a little reorganizing, I've got a great new recipe I'm trying and we're starting to redecorate our house. So I'll be doing a lot of before/after and decorating idea posts.






♥ Erin

Friday, July 23, 2010

AMC Theater Concession Coupon


Since there are so many good movies out right now, I thought I'd post this for you just in time for the weekend. I found this great link today for those of you who are catching up on you summer movie watching this weekend. This Sunday, July 25, all US AMC theaters are letting you buy any size soda AND any size popcorn.....for $1!!! I'm serious! So you won't have to sneak all those snacks and drinks in that monster purse of yours! Tim does it to me all the time. Anyway, click here for the coupon to print it out. It's valid for one person only so make sure you're passing it along to anyone accompanying you so they can get the great offer too. There are 2 individual coupons to print, but you can use them together if you choose. This is such a great deal. I think even if I wasn't already planning on going to the movies on Sunday I would make a trip just to get this awesome deal. Concessions at movie theaters are OUTRAGEOUS! Take advantage of this if you can! My sister still hasn't seen Eclipse and she wants to go so while I'm at my parents house in PA this weekend I was going to take her Sunday before I head back home to VA. I know she'll enjoy getting a huge bag of popcorn! Have a great weekend guys!






♥ Erin

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dead Until Dark Review

Sorry for the lack of posts this week guys, there are a few reasons...first of all work is CRAZY! I do a lot of my posting on my lunch breaks at work so I don't have to ignore Tim when I get home and lately I have not had the time. Hopefully things will calm down soon. As far as my social life has gone this week, I haven't been doing anything but relaxing at home or going to see movies. Not very interesting to post about. I haven't even cooked much this week so I don't have any recipes for you either (I do for next week though so check back). Finally, there have been a few things going on in my life that I'm not ready to post about just yet (nothing bad, don't worry guys). I need to see how certain things pan out and I don't want to jinx anything so you will just have to be in the dark and wait patiently! I promise I'll share soon.

Anywho, back to the subject at hand. I finished the 1st Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Until Dark, yesterday. I like that each book coincides with the seasons on True Blood. It's not bits and pieces of each book scattered throughout the series. I did notice that a line in this first book was actually used in a recent episode of season 3, but that's all I've noticed so far. There are some differences (like Tara is not in the book), but for the most part it follows right along. I'm worried that once I get to the 3rd book I won't want to to read it because I'm afraid it'll spoil the rest of the season. My girlfriends said it wouldn't, but I'm just not sure. Has anyone already read the books? The series is waaaayyy more dramatic than the books so I know the show will still hold my interest. I know I'll end up reading the books anyway, I'm not waiting around to read them after the seasons are over. That's just ridiculous. I just want to hear everyone's opinions.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it was really entertaining and it was an easy read for me. Even though I already knew what to expect because I watch True Blood, there were some differences that surprised me. Plus most books will delve deeper into the characters and give more description which was really nice for some of the characters. I also thought in comparison to the actors on the show, there wasn't one person I didn't believe fit their character. Everyone was well chosen. Even though one of my favorite characters dies at the end of the first book, I'm glad that I can still see them on the show currently (I won't spoil it for people).

I got my daily Borders recommendation email this morning. A few caught my eye so I thought I'd share them with you.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - I love The Time Traveler's Wife, so I'll definitely give this a shot. It just came out at the end of June and I haven't seen such great reviews yet. I probably won't even get to any of these books until the fall anyway.









Juliet by Anne Fortier - As soon as I read the description for this book, I knew I would like it. "Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Juliers"s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key-one carried by her mother on the day she herself died-to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy. This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever-a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespearers"s famous tragedy. But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her-superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse-"A plague on both your houses!"-is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it? From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied-for better or worse-to literaturers"s greatest star-crossed lovers." Sold, the book comes out August 24th.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - I read Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments Trilogy and loved it! It was a recommendation from my neighbor Jenny. We had just finished all the Twilight books and we were looking for something to substitute our withdrawal. If this is anything like those books I'll definitely enjoy it. To read my short review on The Mortal Instruments books click here to go to my older post.










♥ Erin

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Hope I Look Like This at 41


Jennifer Aniston has decided to start her own perfume line, Lolavie, and let me tell you she's got my attention. I have always been team Jen. I love her as an actress and I think she is gorgeous! I'll go out and try her perfume and if I like it I'll probably buy it too. She's 41 and she can pose in ads that look like this...you go Jen.

Not to mention her Smart Water ads...I think it made men and women go buy it.






♥ Erin

New TV Obsessions

In my spare time (haha what is that?)...I've been utilizing our Netflix account and watching a couple TV shows that I never had the chance to get into. Usually when Tim has volleyball I get to indulge in movies and shows that he can't stand watching.

I always wanted to get into Lost, but it always fell on a night where I watched another show or I had something going on. By the time I heard that it was "the show to watch", I felt it was too late. I am absolutely addicted to this show. Unfortunately it backfired on me and Tim caught a couple episodes and now he's hooked too. I'm not allowed to watch an episode without him! He's very specific whenever he goes to volleyball, he makes sure I know not to jump ahead. It's too funny. We are almost through the first season, I'm so glad Netflix has them all. We have a PS3 so we just download it directly to our TV, it's so awesome.



I haven't started this yet, but I have heard nothing but good things about this show. My girlfriend Lara has been telling me to watch this show for a long time so I'm finally taking her advice. Does anyone else watch this show? What do you think?








Man Woman Wild on Discovery Channel is awesome! Tim and I were over at our neighbor's house this weekend for dinner and afterwards we were just hanging out watching TV. They, like us, love the DC and watch it religiously. Tim and I were always a fan of Survivorman, but that show ended a while ago. Apparently they have a new version of it called Man Woman Wild where they take this husband and wife team and put them in survival situations all over the world. Now the husband is no joke folks, he's an ex Army Ranger, so he's legit. The wife is a British TV reporter who is pretty tough, but she has her moments. This team is great together. If you haven't seen it yet you definitely have to check it out. First of all what they do is amazing, but it's really entertaining especially when the wife gets involved.

Another new DC survivor type show is Dual Survivor with Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. Cody is a self proclaimed "hippy" that has been walking around barefoot for 20 years. And when I say barefoot, I mean barefoot. I watched him walk around Louisiana swamp land with nothing to protect his feet in water moccasin and alligator infested water. However, he is a professional survivor instructor and he's even written a couple books. Dave is an ex Army sniper and SRT instructor. Once he left the military he worked for a reptile farm and as a commercial fisherman. These two guys couldn't be more different, but they mesh well together for TV. Cody is a constant source of laughter because of his passive demeanor about everything while Dave is a more all American tough guy. The Discovery Channel never lets me down. Plus Shark week is approaching...I can't wait for that! My DVR is going to be full.






♥ Erin

Monday, July 19, 2010

Current Playlist Volume 5

It's been 3 months since my last current playlist post so I figured now was as good as ever. I've been finding some really great music lately so I'd figure I'd share it with you all. Since it's been a little bit since my last post, I'll have a little more than 10 to post. Plus I have a great artist to recommend in my Artist Spotlight. I hope you guys enjoy!

Stateless - Bloodstream
* This was a song I heard on the season finale of The Vampire Diaries. As soon as the scene was over, Tim and I looked at each other and said, "Ooooh, I really liked that song!" I looked it up immediately and had it on my iPod in minutes.

Justin Bieber feat. Sean Kingston - Eenie Meenie
* I'm not proud to admit that I like a Justin Bieber song, but this was is just too darn catchy!

Usher feat. will.I.am - OMG
* Every time I hear this song I wanna get up and dance. It is the perfect summer song.

Black Eyed Peas - Rock That Body
* The minute I heard this song I was in love. The song they use the beat and background vocals from is one of my favorite old school songs, "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. I don't think I could ever get sick of it.

Carrie Underwood - Undo It
* How I love Miss Carrie Underwood (now Mrs. Carrie Fisher). I was never a huge country fan, but lately because of her and others like Taylor Swift have made me a fan. Carrie has such a beautiful voice and this song has a little bit of Pop in it that it has been one of my faves lately.

Taio Cruz - Dynamite
* This is another one of those songs that as soon as I heard it on the radio I immediately downloaded it and put it on my Summer playlist on my iPod.

Drake - Find Your Love
* I absolutely love Drake, whether it's got more of a Rap or an R&B feel I am so into his music right now.

Eminem feat. Rihanna - Love the Way You Lie
* What a great combination of voices for this song! I've listened to the rest of Em's new CD and it's much better than his last one. I'm glad he's back.

A Silent Film - You Will Leave a Mark
* Tim and I were in the car driving up to PA, and as soon as we get Philly radio stations we turn off the iPod. We were rocking out to one of our favorite stations, 104.5, and we heard this song. It was just one of those that you couldn't turn off. Thank goodness for my Shazam app on my iPhone that tells me what every song is.

Natasha Bedingfield - Touch
* Amazingly enough I heard this song on Elliot in the morning here in DC which is a rock station. Elliot always plays intros everytime he comes back from commercial and this was one of the songs he played. It's off her new album that is coming out this fall.



Artist Spotlight:

Florence + the Machine - Let me tell you , this girl can sing. She reminds me of Janis Joplin with her soulful yet throaty vocals that in some songs can sound haunting while the next song she sounds like she's going to bring down the roof. I first heard of her on The Vampire Diaries when they played the song, "Cosmic Love". When I sampled the rest of the band's songs on iTunes, I didn't download anymore of them because they didn't impress me. Then they released "Dog Days Are Over" which I fell in love with as well. Finally, after they contributed the song "Heavy in Your Arms" to the Eclipse soundtrack I decided that maybe I hadn't given their album Lungs enough of a chance. Plus iTunes is known for playing odd parts of songs during their 30 second snippets. I must not have liked what I heard originally. After going back and listening to the snippets again, I ended up downloading two more amazing songs, "Howl", "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)". I have been so impressed with this band, I can't wait to hear what they come up with next.




♥ Erin

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Early Morning Surprise

At around 5 am this morning I was awakened by Tim sitting up suddenly in bed and saying, "I think we just had an earthquake" to which I responded, "you were dreaming, go back to bed". He then began to argue with me claiming that even the dog had gotten up and he felt the house shake and the windows "shattered". I believe I followed the conversation with "shut the f up and go back to bed". Well wouldn't you know it when I awoke an hour or so later, my night stand was all askew. I thought that was weird, but maybe I knocked things over as I was turning off my alarm. However, as soon as I got in my car it was all over the radio. The DC area had a 3.7 earthquake with an epicenter just south of Germantown, MD that was felt all the way down to Woodbridge, VA (about 30 min. south of me). Now I don't know if I woke up because of the earthquake or because of Tim. I don't remember feeling or hearing anything, but I do find it weird that my eyes were already open when Tim sat up alarmed. I'm a heavy sleeper what can I say. Tim called me earlier this morning to rub it in my face that he was right and he didn't mean to use the word "shattered" when he was talking about the windows. He meant "rattled" and I shouldn't be so judgemental in an emergency or when he's drowsy from sleeping. Haha. He cracks me up sometimes. He also said it's good to know that his girlfriend sleeps through earthquakes, one quality he didn't know about me after 7 years (hey, neither did I). So that is how my Friday started. I thought you guys would like to hear about it since it's all over the news from what I hear. I hope you guys had as interesting a start to your day as me!






♥ Erin

Early Car Shopping

So my car had to go into the shop this week to get some warranty work done. I have a Jeep Liberty and while I was picking up my car the other day, they finally had a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee on the lot. Tim and I have fallen in love with this car ever since they announced it. I probably won't get it because the gas mileage is worse than my car and I'm sure it will be out of my price range. However, it was really nice to look at and you never know what can happen in a year. My warranty runs out next August and I really don't think I'm going to keep my car after that (even though I absolutely love my Big Red). Tim is rubbing off on me. He's been buying a brand new car as soon as his warranty runs out with his last couple cars. I've always kept my cars as long as I could, pumping money into them along the way. It takes some getting used to I guess. Anyway, you can't build a new one on the website yet, but they have some sweet videos and pictures. Here are a few:




Soooo pretty! What do you guys think? I've still got a lot of time until I start my car shopping, but it never hurts to look! Maybe I can get a used one that's only a year old, that's how I got such a good deal on my Liberty.





♥ Erin

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So Flippin' Cute

Ok, so I came across this article today about Prince Harry visiting a charity in the UK called Canine Partners that trains dogs to help the disabled and I just had to post it. Hot boys + puppies=swoon and I thought you would appreciate the post. I love that Princess Diana's boys are following in her footsteps.

While I'm on the subject of the Princes...has anyone else noticed that Harry & William have completely flip flopped? When William was younger he was sooooo good looking and Harry was not at all, now Harry is H-O-T and William is starting to resemble his father too much which is not a compliment. Does anyone else feel this way? Here are some pics to prove it.


VS.

Yikes, that is a HUGE change! Here's some of Harry.

VS.


I used to love Prince William, but Harry is clearly now the hotter brother.






♥ Erin

Caught My Eye...

Tim and I were at Target the other day and I took a quick look at their clothes because I was looking for another swim cover-up when I ran across this cute thing...

How freaking cute is that?! I love when I find random cuteness at Target. I have a great pair of flat, silver gladiator sandals by Guess that would look awesome with this. The neat thing about this dress is that it can totally double as a swim cover as well. If I get a chance I'll run over to Target this weekend and pick it up.






♥ Erin

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Commencement Review


So I've finished Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan and I absolutely loved it! If you have a group of close girlfriends it is a must read. I honestly didn't expect the last 3/4's of the book to be what it was. Most of the book is about these four girls that unexpectedly befriend each other during their freshman year at an all girls college. Each chapter in the book is based on one of each of the four girls' perspectives. Unexpectedly, something happens to one of the girls that brings them back together years after graduation. Once I hit the last 5 chapters I could not put the book down! I'm so glad this was one of the most recommended books of the summer. Here is Amazon's review by Allison Winn Scotch (author of Time of My Life):
"There is a curious thing that happens to nearly all of us in the haze of our post-college years, and that is this: we anticipate the prospect of becoming honest-to-God adults with both heady excitement and unfathomable dread. Dread because we know, wisely, that once we cross this threshold, we cannot go back;
there is no sleeping in past eleven, no immature antics that can still be written off to childhood, no phoning our parents when the checkbook hits zero. Excitement because it is such a relief to evolve into something bigger than we were before, to embrace the world as ready, steady grown-ups. And J. Courtney Sullivan, via her debut novel, Commencement, explores these very complexities and growing pains of leaving behind our adolescences and surrendering to adulthood.
As I followed the intertwining paths of her four protagonists, each written honestly and tenderly, I couldn’t help but recall my own tangled path toward adulthood, the missteps, the right steps, the paths that have lead to a content life. And this is what the very best fiction does: it draws you in, resonating, asking you to reflect not just on the characters, but yourself. There is Celia, who can’t get unstuck from her rut; there is April, whose convictions threaten to overshadow the rest of her life; there is Bree, who faces a choice between her happiness and that of her family’s; and there is Sally, who is taping herself back together after the loss of her mother who held her family together.
The four of them, united as freshmen at Smith, slowly bond to form their own family, and like even the best of families, they find themselves both dependent and also fractured at various points in their lives. Sullivan does a fabulous job steering the quartet through realistic, life-changing events, events that so many of us have experienced in these growing years that usher us into our thirties. She never loses control of the plots, never lets the characters spill into something false or untrue. An unplanned pregnancy, a dead-end job, a relationship that might be worth salvaging, but who really knows how or if?
What I enjoyed most about Commencement, and there were many things—the smart writing, the laugh-out-loud dialogue, the ending that I truly couldn’t predict—was that it reminded me so much of how much I loved those years of my life. And how much I loved my friends who I have been fortunate enough to have along in my journey. I found myself rewinding through memories, sifting through old pictures, smiling as I was reading because Sullivan managed to transport me. She created indelible characters who became part of my life, and thus, allowed my life to become part of her book. This is also what the best fiction does, it pulls you along for the ride as if you were there, as if you were in between the pages, as if Sullivan knew my own story and made it hers."

One of my favorite parts is when Sally becomes pregnant. She is married to a very sweet guy who is far more excited about the baby then she is. He reads the baby books while she constantly gorges herself and has terrible mood swings. "She had read somewhere that women became mothers the moment they found out they were pregnant, while men didn't become fathers until they saw their babies for the first time. In her marriage, the reverse seemed to be true." This is exactly how it would be if Tim and I ever decided to have a child. It's quite a comical chapter. I laughed out loud a lot between Sally's constant cursing (that only started after she was pregnant) and her husband's ridiculous quotes from, What to Expect When You're Expecting...cracked me up! Tim kept looking at me wondering what was so funny.

Have any of you read this? What are your thoughts? If not, take my advice and give it a whirl. You won't regret it!






♥ Erin

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Free Slurpee Day and 2 Birthday Shout Outs

Today is July 11th aka 7-Eleven Day and from 8 am-11pm at participating stores you can get a 7.11 ounce slurpee!! I loooooove slurpees. I drink them all summer long. I always get the same flavor, I mix Coca-Cola and cherry to make a cherry Coke. Mmmmmm, I can't wait to get mine today.


Another great thing about July 11th is that it marks when two special people in my life were born. First up...my wonderful Aunt Diane! She'd kill me if I said how old she was on here so I'll be nice and just say she's old, haha! Sorry, I can't find a picture of us together that's recent.

Next up is my future sister in law, Grace. She turns 27 today! I've always thought of Grace like a sister and we wish we could be up there to celebrate with her! I love this picture of us it's from 3 years ago...oh the days! Happy birthday!








♥ Erin

Friday, July 9, 2010

World Cup Hotties and Not So Hotties

I was going to save this topic for next week, but I thought I'd give you guys a nice little Friday treat.

Dating site BeautifulPeople.com named the hottest players and teams in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and also it's "homeliest". I got such a kick out of this, but I must admit...the hotties are HOT! So let's start with the bad and end on a good note.

England's captain Wayne Rooney has been named the ugliest star while his team was ranked 2nd ugliest only to be out uglied (is that a word) by Algeria. I guess David Beckham's pure hotness was not enough to propel England to a higher ranking. It's ok Beck's, you'll always be #1 in my book.

The hottest footballer was Italy's Fabio Cannavaro (sometimes he looks hot and sometimes not, I can't decide) and the hottest teams included Spain, Italy, Brazil, France, Denmark, and the USA. Ok, so I might be biased, but where are the Germany men, hello Lucas Podolski?! Don't worry US fans, Landon Donovan ranked #4 hottest. Below are the top 10's of both categories. What do you guys think?

Most beautiful (in order of attractiveness):
1. Fabio Cannavaro, Italy
2. Fernando Torres, Spain
3. David Villa, Spain
4. Landon Donovan, USA
5. Thierry Henry, France
6. Edinson Cavani, Urugay
7. Kaka, Brazil
8. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
9. Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast
10. Keisuke Honda, Japan
11. David James, England

Most ugly
1. Wayne Rooney, England
2. Franck Ribery, France
3. Carlos Tevez, Argentina
4. Vladimir Stojkovic, Serbia
5. Benjamin Huggel, Switzerland
6. Zdenko Strba, Slovakia
7. Rafik Saifi, Algeria
8. Scott Chipperfield, Australia
9. John Terry, England
10. Ryan Nelson, New Zealand
11. Daniel Agger, Denmark

Since I didn't completely agree with these lists from BeautifulPeople.com, I decided to make my own (of course with pictures...there are no words here!). Drum roll please...in no specific order and the countries they played for.

John Heitinga - Netherlands

Gonzalo Higuain - Argentina

Fabio Cannavaro - Italy

Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal

Carlos Bocanegra - USA

Xherdan Shaqiri - Switzerland

Toni Kroos - Germany

Tim Howard - USA

Lukas Podolski - Germany

DUH, no words needed!


Hope you guys enjoyed your Friday treat! Have a great weekend everyone!






♥ Erin