Friday, January 31, 2014

bye bye, snow. and january.

Well, our snow fun has ended. We headed back to work yesterday and life is pretty much back to its regular pace. For as beautiful as snow is when it's falling and covering everything like a white's really depressing to watch it melt away and turn everything into a mud pit.

Here's the front of our house as we left this morning. Womp womp-- no fun. Snowball fights are never gonna happen in something as lame as that.

Speaking of which-- I may not have blogged yesterday, but I made up for it in an over-abundance of sharing on Facebook and Instagram. If you don't follow me on either of those places, then you don't know that I treated Matt to a most worthy SNOWINYO'FAAAAACE!!! sequel: I pelted him with a snowball while he was showering yesterday morning!! It was awesome. And he has yet to seek revenge for either of my snow-related attacks, so...that's pretty much exactly how I expected things to go. I prank him. He gets mad for 10 seconds and then forgets to ever seek retribution. The key to a great marriage. 

Who needs marriage counseling when you have me? And I'm free!! Sheesh.

During our day and a half of snowcation we started two new shows on Netflix. On Tuesday night I decided to start Mad Men. I've heard many good things over the years but have never watched a single episode. So I watched three on Tuesday. But I'm gonna have to say...I didn't love it. Is that bad? It felt really slow. I kept getting bored and would look at the computer for a few minutes, then be slightly confused when I re-focused on the show...but then get bored again...and like, I didn't hate it, but it just didn't really draw me in. I turned it off easily and when I got up on Wednesday I didn't feel any compulsion to watch it again. Am I missing something? Have I dumbed myself down by a steady diet of reality TV and easy comedies? Oh well. 

So Wednesday night I decided to try something else. Revenge popped up on my recommended list, so I said why not?

And THAT is what's up. Revenge? Are you kidding me??! That show sucked me in within the first 10 minutes. We blew through about 5 episodes that night (staying up waaaaaay too late for a work night, oops!) and another dozen few last night. Maybe I'm wasting my life, but I really love marathoning TV shows. And this one is so worth it. Any other fans out there? I'm only about 10 episodes in or so, but I can tell this is how I'm going to be spending my weekend. Emily Thorne, you complete me!!

So that you don't think I'm totally, 100% nothing but lazy, may I present to you my almost-complete January workout calendar:

So far in January we've worked out 18 times!! And we're going to the gym today, too, so make that 19 when all's said and done. I am so proud of myself!  Considering there were several obstacles to overcome (bronchitis at the beginning of the month, a long weekend traveling, being snowed in)...I think we did really good!! I wanted to get my money's worth out of our new gym membership, and I'd have to wholeheartedly say that we did this month. 

Finally, a random screenshot of the funniest 'available wireless network' that popped up on my phone yesterday. I kindly bleeped out the most offensive words, but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to figure out what it said...

Sooo...yeah. It totally made me crack up. A house in my neighborhood has their wireless network named 'FBI SURVEILLANCE' and that makes me laugh every time too. Mine is something super boring, like a nondescript series of numbers and letters...and I don't really know how to change I feel like I'm robbing my neighbors of the pleasure of easy entertainment. Sad situation, folks. I'm trying to get over it.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

it snowed an inch and the world ended: life in georgia

Thanks to (at least in part, I'm sure) the devoted praying and hoping of millions of residents of the South, our dreams of snow became a reality yesterday. First snow since 2011, baby-- woo!!!! I am thankful that my personal snow experience has been all positive so far, but I don't want to be disrespectful to the thousands of people in Atlanta for whom that is not the case. In case you haven't heard, it was/is a mess there. As's 11:20 on Wednesday and people are still stuck in YESTERDAY'S after-work (which began about 1:00 p.m. for most folks/schools) traffic jams. It's crazy. Check out the Atlanta paper online or basically any major news's insanity. Kids and teachers stuck overnight at schools. Friends of mine stuck on interstates for 12 hours, eventually just abandoning their cars when they ran out of gas and walking to stores/strangers' homes/churches to sleep. It is insanity. None of that happened in Athens, a far, far smaller city...but since we're so close to Atlanta, with many friends living there and through Just bizarre.

Yesterday at work, before a single flake of snow had fallen, we were discussing when to make 'the call' about closing work, etc. Some of us were joking about all of the school systems that had already canceled school...even when it was still 60 degrees outside. "No wonder everyone in the country makes fun of us!!!" we were commiserating. But our boss-man said something very wise and it's stuck with me: When you overreact [to the threat of severe weather], you get mocked. When you underreact, you get sued.

Pretty sure we all have a new appreciation for that truth now. Props to the people silly enough to cancel stuff way early and not have their people out stuck in the madness overnight.

Anyway!! With all due respect to the people that are NOT enjoying this's been pretty great for me.

I spent the morning at work compulsively running to windows (and out doors) to see if it had started snowing yet. Finally finally fiiiinally, around noon, it started. Matt and I ate a quick lunch and then decided to take a 'snow walk' to a coffee shop a few blocks away. Since we had no idea whether the snow would actually stick or not, we wanted to at least enjoy it while we could.

It was so fun with the flurries gently swirling around us!! We could see the flakes in the air and on our dark coats, but nothing was sticking. We tried to take pictures anyway...

...annnnnd you can't see anything. But I promise it was snowing. I wouldn't lie about such a monumental thing.

Shortly after this failed snow photo shoot, it started really coming down and sticking. My work decided to let us leave at 2:00. This was awesome, except that Matt's work WASN'T letting them leave early...and we only had one car. Very thankfully, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law came to the rescue by volunteering to come fetch me and drive me home. I was SUPER happy about that, since sitting in the lobby of Matt's bank seemed like a really boring way to spend 3 hours of a snow day. (My other option was going to be having my coworker/friend drop me off at the gym and waiting out the time there. Three hours at the gym. Sounds great!!! Or not.) 

I got home around 3 and spent the afternoon monitoring the snow progress, watching Lola 'discover' the snow, and taking selfies with the snow to send to Matt, who was stuck in jail work and obviously needed to be updated about life on the outside.

Look at the snow progress!!
Matt eventually got to leave work and come home-- thankfully, the roads were still totally fine and he got home without any problems. Once he got home, we came to the scary realization that our supply of Adult Beverages was running low, which is obviously an unacceptable situation under these conditions. We took a quick trip up the street to replenish our supplies and admire the snowy landscape.

Those poor cows looked so cold!!! You should know that approximately 200 yards away from that tree they're all huddled under is a big huge open barn. One cow managed to think things through and go stand in the dry, presumably warmer barn. The rest of them...bless their hearts. It must suck to be not smart.

We made it back home and settled in for the night with plenty of snacks, a fire, and Netflix.
Lola knows what's up. She'd be the smart cow in the barn.
Around 8:00 I received the happy news that my work was canceled for today. We went to bed hoping that Matt would receive similar news in the morning. Around 7:00 a.m., he did. He didn't have to report til noon! There are two ways to respond to the news that you don't have to go in to work until late:

A) Yay, we can sleep in!
B) Yay, we can play in the snow!

Matt goes with A. I'm a B. 

Unfortunately for Matt, I'm also kind of a big jerk. And I'm easily entertained. And I like pranks. Therefore, this happened:

Please don't judge the tiny bit of snow I managed to grab. First of all, it was cold. Who knew. Secondly, I was having to hold/record with my phone in the other hand, PLUS open doors...and finally, I really didn't want to make a huge mess that I'd have to clean up. Or like...actually make Matt really, really mad. :) 

Luckily, even after my 'mean and terrible' prank, as Matt called it, we managed to have a great morning. Coffee and waffles fueled us for a lovely walk around our neighborhood. We sported the traditional snow gear of native Georgians: All The Clothes In Your Closet At Once.

Lola wasn't big on posing for the camera. Silly dog.

You might think that the most exciting thing we saw on our walk around the neighborhood would have been snow. Or ice. Or perhaps children sledding (on pool floats and trashcan lids, of course. Don't nobody actually own sleds).

You would be wrong.

Exactly my thoughts. Of course there are Halloweenish creepy dentures on the street in January. Welcome to the sticks.

Matt just arrived safely at work-- he said that the roads between our small town and Athens were 'treacherous' but roads in Athens are fine. So he'll be working while I'm holding down the couch and watching my snow attack video on repeat a couple dozen more times. I hope that you are all managing to stay safe and warm, and I highly recommend you take advantage of any opportunity to sneak attack your loved ones with indoor snowballs. It's as awesome as you are probably imagining it is.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

wintery precipitation, come and get us!

In case you live under a rock, or in the event that your Facebook newsfeed isn't filled with residents of the Southern United States, I feel compelled to inform you that it is probably going to snow today.


I feel sad for people who have never lived and experienced the palpable excitement that permeates the air of Georgia when there are snowflakes in the forecast. It's not just kids and teachers. It's this magically widespread, all-encompassing sense of anticipation, fear, and hope. We may be horribly unprepared for frozen precipitation, but we love to see it coming just the same.

And would you just look at that beautiful map?? By all accounts, if my sources can be trusted and the blue means ice (??? I think???) and the pinkish stuff off to the west indicates snow...well, the Athens area just may see as many as 14 flakes of the white stuff today.

11:15 a.m. edit: Obviously I am dumb and none of you bothered to correct me, but the BLUE is snow and the PINK is ice/mix. I will just say that we see these two colors so incredibly infrequently on our weather maps that it's understandable that I wouldn't even know what they represented. Also, may as well add that we still haven't seen a flake yet. Over and out.


And that means, naturally, life as we know it will cease to exist. All of the local school systems are all already closed or have announced noon closures. I'm hoping that luck will trickle over to my workplace and I'll find myself back home to settle in by the fire by early afternoon. And that means that instead of blogging this morning (or rather...instead of blogging for as long as I normally do), I'm going to actually get some work stuff done. You know. Just in case.

[Rabbit trail: I'm not sure if I've explained this before, but I've had some folks ask, so may as well clarify now...Matt and I carpool to work, since our buildings are literally 25 feet apart from each other. We both get off at 5, but he has to start work at 8. My office doesn't open til 9. That means I get to work an hour early every day with time to kill. 98% of the time, as you've probably observed, I kill the time with blogging. In the event that I just don't feel like it, I've been known to kill the time reading or napping on the floor of my office. So if you've had the question how does Erika have the time to blog every single morning??? burning deep in your you know.]

But before I go, I'd be remiss if I didn't disgust you with share a story I heard on NPR this morning. I mean, since I am the de facto source of all health-and-beauty information for many of you...this is obviously news you need to know about.

Crest is about to release some new toothpaste flavors. Get ready.

And uh...yeah. You read it right. Mint chocolate trek.

Mind-blowingly awesome packaging aside, that is so gross I want to die.

And I looooooove mint chocolate chip cream. And Thin Mints. And basically any dessert thing that combines mint and chocolate. So you'd think I'd be their target market here. Except NO THAT IS DISGUSTING. Ew. Just stop.

Other new flavors they're releasing include Vanilla Mint Spark and Lime Spearmint Zest. LIME???? I have no words. Go home, Crest, you're drunk.

The NPR host dude made a comment about 'what's next, after-dinner-drinks flavored toothpaste?' Matt and I cracked up. We're holding out for the Brandy and Cigars flavor. Now that's a delightful combination I want to shove in my mouth before I go to sleep.

Anyway. Food (or flavor, anyway) for thought. Have a happy and hopefully snowy (if you're in the regrets to all of you being buried for the 200th consecutive day up north) day!

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm THAT teacher.

Didn't you just love those jerk-faced teachers in high school that did punk moves like springing pop quizzes on you on Monday mornings? No? Just me? While most people would find a Monday morning pop quiz offensive at best, those of us that regularly spent our weekends studying found it an optimal way to prove that we were better at life (or school) than the other kids who probably spent the weekend painting the town red.

That being said, guess what you're about to get?


Just because you're a good decade or two out of high school doesn't mean you shouldn't keep your skills sharp. You can thank me later when your mind fails you two years later than it would have otherwise. Because you can know that.

Since this is my blog, this quiz is going to be about me. Makes more sense that way.


Which important cultural event did I stay up late watching last night?

A. The Grammys
B. The Bachelor Wedding: Sean & Catherine
C. Both-- I'm a mad channel-changer and flipped between the two all night.

Have you made your choice? Bubbled in your answer on the scantron using your #2 pencil? Great. Now you can check your answer.

If you picked A or C, I appreciate you thinking so highly of me. But you're wrong.

The correct answer is B, Catherine & Sean's "Grown Sexy" wedding. Eeeeek! It was so much fun. I have followed both of them on Twitter/Instagram ever since Sean's season, so I feel like I'm pretty invested in their journey to marriage. I enjoyed the special last night AND the wedding itself. I liked their quirky vows, the way you could actually hear Catherine's panicked heavy breathing as she walked down the aisle, and that Sean cried at least 200 times. Oh, and Catherine's earrings. I wanted to snatch them through the TV screen. I also appreciated that Chris and the gang managed to make Sean & Catherine's much-publicized choice to save sex for marriage seem fun and sexy and not weird and laughable. All in all, it was a good choice for my Sunday night TV. And let's be honest. I probably can't name a single singer or song that was featured on the Grammys because I only listen to NPR. So unless Mozart or Holst or the awesome Irish jig people they feature on Sundays from 1-2 were winning awards...I'd have been lost.


On Sunday morning, Matt and I made an unplanned, unexpected $$$$ purchase for our home. And the dollar signs in the previous sentence do accurately represent the number of digits we had to spend on this purchase. What exciting item did we spontaneously decide we just couldn't live without?

A. New sofas.
B. New tile for the kitchen and laundry room.
C. New hot water heater.
D. New indoor pool for our pet manatee.

Think about this one carefully, people. Remember: cross off the ones you KNOW it can't be, then weigh out whatever's left.

If you picked C, you are obviously using the old 'if you don't know, just pick C' method that works 88% of the time (fake statistic), including this time. If you also think that I would much rather have had A, B, or D be the real're right about that, too.

Yeah. Being a grown up is SO FUN when you're going out to get in the car to go to church and you discover water leaking from your hot water heater onto the floor of your garage and laundry room. Oy vey.

Like any decent wife, I assessed the situation quickly: Looks like a mess. We're going to need a plumber. But I just put on a cute outfit, fixed my hair, and spent 20 minutes on my eye makeup. So obviously I headed on to church and Matt dealt with the boring and expensive stuff on the home front.

Throughout church I got exciting text updates like this:

Our hot water heater closet sans hot water heater.
 I know. Most exciting picture on my phone, probably.

So we have a new hot water heater. Woo hoo?? I'll be sure to feature it in my next home tour. 

And now an extra-credit question.

How much do plumbers get paid (for labor only) to make home visits on Sundays?

A. $20/hr
B. $500 flat rate 
C. $113/hr
D. $177/hr

The correct answer is, sadly, D. 

In other news, I'm going back to school to become a plumber and then I'm going to work for one hour a day. Holy crap. (heh heh) (although crap wasn't really the problem this time)

Other than the unscheduled and uber-exciting Sunday morning purchase, it was a fantastic weekend. 


What fitness class did Matt join me for at the gym on Sunday?

A. Zumba
B. Tabata
C. Yoga
D. Step Aerobics

Go with your gut (or lack thereof) here. It's C! Don't you know-- the couple that yogas together stays together? I'm pretty sure that's a saying. Somewhere.

Naturally, being in a yoga class gave me flashbacks to our controversial discussion of two weeks ago. I thought about assessing and judging the choices of all the other folks in class, but ended up being too busy concentrating on trying not to tip over and start a domino-chain reaction. This just in: yoga requires the ability to balance. And about as soon as I'd get myself balanced, I'd catch a glimpse of Matt out of the corner of my eye. 

Laughter does nothing for your balance. But it's great for your heart.

Hope you did well on the quiz. If you didn't, don't come begging for extra credit. You should have studied harder and partied less. Better luck next time! ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

broken. for real this time.

"I'm broooooken."

These words are commonly heard around our house. Matt and I are nothing if not dramatic about pain.

"Broken" can refer to the pain from any number of physical ailments, from paper cuts to sunburns to car wreck injuries to surgery recovery. But no matter how bad our current physical state is, you can bet we're whining to one another about how broooooken we are (and implicit in that statement is the fact that due to our brokenness, the other person needs to make dinner/walk the dog/get up and turn the lights off/fetch a glass of water/whatever is really hard to accomplish in a broken state).

But today? Today I am really broken. I even made a map of my brokenness to prove my point.

Yeah I know- I did that all by myself! Please appreciate how I mostly stayed in the lines.

If it's purple, it hurts. The darker purple, the more it hurts.


Thankfully, today's current state of ultra-brokenness isn't due to any recent tragedies. Only a tragedy of judgment.

A few weeks ago I took a new class at the gym that was billed as a "high intensity interval training" class. Sounds good. Whatever, right? The class was pretty brutal. I remember being in excruciating pain for like 97% of it (in other words, 3% of the warm-up was bearable). I almost cried on my friend Tiffany's shoulder at the conclusion (and also faintly recall scolding her for dragging me there in the first place). 

But as the days passed and I regained my ability to walk again, I started liking the class. In retrospect. I was telling Matt all about it, incorporating some of the exercises we did into future workouts, and somewhere in my brain, I started thinking of the class in a rosy light. So last night I thought I'd do it again.

I'm guessing this is similar to surviving childbirth or something. You know it's the worst thing in the whole universe, but eventually the pain fades and at some point you start thinking you should do it again? Something like that.


Before class started, as we were gathering our materials, the instructor commented for the newbies (not me, I'm a veteran now, right?!) that this was a "tabata-style" workout. Hmmm. Tabata, you say? I've heard that word before. I seem to recall some really fit preppy bloggers preaching about Tabata. But I didn't really know what it was. I thought it was the brand name of some workout class or something. So I tucked the word away in my brain as class started, reminding myself to Google it later. If I could ever move again, that is, of course.

We'll fast-forward through 60 minutes of excruciating pain and tears, hating life and the instructor, and thinking that never ever exercising again and having to be featured on that TLC show about people who weigh 800 pounds and can't leave their hospital beds would PROBABLY BE PREFERABLE TO FINISHING THIS CLASS.

I did, though. Finish. I may never walk again, BUT I FINISHED.

After getting home, "I'm brooooken"-ing myself through dinner prep and dish duties, and collapsing onto the couch, I decided to Google Tabata

And for once in my life, Googling something actually made me feel a lot, LOT better about life.

Feel free to look it up yourself (or click the link above, it goes to the results page). According, all the Google results, which we can summarize as EVERYONE ON EARTH, Tabata is basically the hardest workout method known to mankind. Like, look at those headlines! One of them says "Tabata- the four-minute workout that can replace your hour-long run." For SERIOUS?!?! Because let's be honest, I can only run for about....9 minutes. So do your fancy math and you'll see that I should only be able to Tabata for about 13 seconds.



So you know what? I earned my 'broken' status this time. This is no stubbed toe. This is legit pain. I'm just clueless and dumb enough to have survived a workout WAY above my fitness-level and lived to tell...I'm proud of that.

So if you see me in a wheelchair, now you know why. If you want to experience a taste of the pain yourself, it looks like there are tons of Tabata videos available on YouTube for you to work out with. And if you're super ultra sadistic and want to suffer with me live and in person...I'll see you next Thursday at 5:30. If I can walk. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm a scary person.

Do you have a reputation at work?? For what?

I've been at my job for a little over a year now. During that time I've been working hard to carefully craft my reputation both as a professional and a person. I feel like I've been pretty successful-- I am definitely the go-to girl for grammar quandaries, proofreading, and copy-editing. You cannot possibly understand how happy this makes me. I have secondary reputations for being efficient and getting things done quickly. And some other stuff that's really work-specific and not very interesting to anyone who doesn't work here. 

It seems, however, that I've developed an (or possibly more, but this one got pointed out yesterday) unintentional reputation. And this one...well, I'm probably not going to be putting it on my resume. Please observe... 

You should probably know that Ike & Jane is a local bakery that has amaaaazing cupcakes and doughnuts. So the presence of two boxes of their goodies in the breakroom is no small thing. Diana is, however, conscious of my rekindled desire to stay away from the ever-present breakroom temptations...hence her observation that she wasn't sure if sharing this information with me was actually a good thing.

Definitely foe. Is she trying to sabotage me or something??!

 Ohhhhhh. The crux of the issue. 

You see, my office is downstairs-- a staircase and a hike away from everyone else's offices (and the breakroom). Now, I find plenty of reasons to go upstairs and socialize and scavenge for breakroom goodies during the day...but I'm not right there in the thick of the action like everyone else is. On many occasions I will go upstairs to discover that I've all but missed out on an impromptu coffee break, an office-wide discussion on important pop culture happenings, or a particularly decadent treat that got dropped off. Since I'm downstairs, I'm out of the loop unless I either a) happen to wander up and notice, or b) someone remembers to call/email and tell me.

Apparently I've pitched a few fits over missing out on things now, I tend to get multiple notifications anytime there's anything fun and/or tasty upstairs. Moral of this story? Being the squeaky wheel works.

But in the meantime, you have a reputation of being a pouty baby who pitches a fit if she doesn't get invited to the cool party (or food) upstairs. So that's not that cool, I guess.

 I mean...I certainly like to think that I'm scary. I will wield your fear of me as a powerful weapon!! Mwah ha ha!!


Or not.

So in conclusion, my coworkers fear my sadness that ensues from missing out on food and fellowship in the breakroom. It's not as good as fearing my volatile and explosive anger (hahahahaahahahaha) but I guess it's a start.

And for the record, I did not go upstairs to be tempted by the cupcakes. This definitely isn't the norm for me (my hips can affirm that truth), but I'll take a self-control win whenever I can get one-- and yesterday, I got one! Yay for me.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

if I were on The Bachelor

Did yall watch The Bachelor Monday night?? I found the episode to be a little boring. No drama? Who has time for that? I do continue to love Andi, Sharleen, and Renee though. They're my favorites. I would be friends with them in real life. As you can imagine, I was just devastated to see our Free Spirit sent home. What a crying shame. Fly away, Free Spirit. Go back to your nudist commune.

But enough about what's actually going on with the show. Yesterday E presented an exciting opportunity to personalize things a bit-- I'm a day late (and probably more than a few dollars short), but Polyvores like this don't get created in a gotta hold out for quality!!

E gave the task of assembling some outfits that represent what you would wear if you were on The Bachelor. I mean, even on weeks when nothing very exciting actually happens, I still enjoy seeing the fashion choices the ladies make. You know. Praising the good choices. Mocking the bad. (They're on reality TV-- it's what they signed up for!!)

Obviously if I were on the show, my wardrobe would be a never-ending string of hits. I would probably be trending on Twitter. My awesome outfits would get their own Twitters, even-- like Tierra's eyebrow last season? Ha! Or maybe that's overstating it a bit. But choosing what I'd wear was certainly fun, so here we go! First, a few 'rules' that E established:

1.) Money is no object.
2.) You are the perfect weight/height/skin tone/ etc. to wear whatever you fancy.
3.) There are no seasons. It can easily be 40 degrees for one girl and 80 for another on the exact same day.

These are excellent rules and I feel that they should be applicable in real life, always. Bummer that they aren't.

So! On with the outfit selections.

First of all-- you spend most of your time lounging around the mansion with the other girls. If you're lucky you'll see the hunky bachelor like...twice...over the course of a week. So most of the time you don't need to be dressing to impress him...but the cameras are always rolling, so it would be preferable if you didn't look like a complete bum. For this outfit I selected stuff that actually resembles clothing and outfits I already own and wear. That's how I know I'll actually like it.

If I Were on the Bachelor...
If I Were on the Bachelor... by mattyerika
A fun striped top in my favorite color, some distressed skinny jeans, simple jewelry, and comfy sandals? Perfect for sitting around and trying to stay out of drama all day.

After all that lounging and comfort, though, when Chris Harrison shows up at the door-- I'm gonna be hoping my name is on the Date Card. A one-on-one is a bachelorette's rare chance to shine (and escape drama for a few hours) (and probably jump off a building of some sort) never know what kind of adventure awaits you, but it's important to dress as cutely as possible. And then pray that your outfit is semi-appropriate for whatever you'll be doing.

Since I don't know where my one-on-one will take me, I just went with something pretty, flattering, and hopefully comfy enough to get me through a variety of scenarios. And a private concert, in the event that that rarity should occur.

If I Were on The Bachelor
If I Were on The Bachelor by mattyerika
I sense a theme in my outfits. Ha. Apparently I like stripes and mustard yellow. I think this dress is darling and would work for exploring a city, walking on a beach, or riding in a car-boat (lucky Cassandra!). It will turn out to be a TERRIBLE choice if my date ends up being any sort of building jumping...but also, if that's my date...I have bigger problems than a skirt. SO. I'll wear some comfy Toms wedges with the dress, and some simple (and blue, cause I love blue with yellow!) accessories. My hair will be in a simple updo so that I don't have to worry about it getting tangled all day. Nobody likes tangled hair. Or a girl constantly FUSSING with her hair to keep it untangled.

Naturally, I'll be receiving a rose at the end of my one-on-one, so I won't have much to worry about the rest of the week. I'll still want to look smashing for the Cocktail Party and Rose Ceremony, though. You know-- gotta keep the other girls on their toes. I hear that the Cocktail Party is actually really long, so I don't want to wear something skin-tight...I just feel like that would get uncomfortable. I am, however, going to wear something ridiculously short. It's going to show off my spectacularly long, toned, tanned legs juuuuuust right. I mean...if you can't show too much leg on The Bachelor, when can you, really?

If I Were on the Bachelor
If I Were on the Bachelor by mattyerika

I love everything about this blue dress...if it were about a foot longer, I'd wear it in real life. Even though I'm going to be flashing two miles of gams, I'll balance things out by having a modest neckline...after all, I am a lady. I don't want to embarrass my mother. Some super fun strappy sandals, teal jewelry, and a gloriously smoky eye will complete my look. You know they zoom in on everyone's faces during the Rose Ceremony. It's really no time to skimp on the eye want to look good in all of your faux-shock and awe as the roses get handed out.

So basically, I'm sure we can all agree that my fashion choices alone would win our valiant bachelor's heart. Such a shame that I'm already spoken for. My deepest apologies to ABC and desperate men everywhere.

Wanna share your personal fashion choices (or see other girls' picks)? Go link up with E! Or just describe them here. I'll admit: I'm a little sad none of my picks here included sequins. You can trust that I'm incorporating them into several of my 87 evening gowns I'll need for the season...I just couldn't narrow it down to feature one here!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the weekend I discovered I'm a terrible detective (and other adventures)

We had a wonderful long holiday weekend. Although I do have a question about the 'holiday' status of the weekend-- here in Georgia, observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is super common...definitely the norm, I'd say. I mean, banks are closed, schools are closed, most businesses (offices, not like stores/restaurants) close (and give workers the day off). However, based on my blog observations, maybe that isn't the case in the rest of the US? Years of dedicated blog-reading has led me to conclude that on holidays/days off, MOST regular bloggers don't blog. But yesterday it seems like no one (except me) observed the blog That said, I have a lot of reading and commenting to catch up on.

We spent the weekend traipsing around the state of North Carolina with our siblings. It was wonderful, relaxing, and tasty-- and I have NO pictures to show for it. I guess there's something to be said for enjoying the good times and not just obsessively documenting them,'s a little sad I didn't even get a picture with or of my nephew!! Or my beautiful sisters-in-law...I mean, one of them even put on lipstick specifically because she figured I'd be Instagramming pictures of us and she didn't want to be caught unprepared. Ha. Waste of a lipstick application, I guess! (Just kidding, wearing lipstick is never a wasted endeavor.)

Oh wait. Closer inspection of my photo roll reveals I did take pictures. Approximately three of them. And MAN are they exciting...

This was my view for the approximately one billion hours we spent in the car this weekend. There's a lot of beauty in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. And none of it is on I-85. Lamesauce.

Oh, shocking-- a selfie!! I was killing some time while everyone else got dressed and also I was super impressed with how I woke up with naturally wavy hair on Saturday. Apparently the North Carolina atmosphere agrees with my sleeping-on-wet-hair was a happy surprise!

In the interest of full disclosure (because I'm sure your life will be incomplete if you don't know EXACTLY how many pictures I took this weekend), there were two more: the milkshake board picture I posted to Instagram Friday night while we drove up, and a shot of a yummy-looking recipe in a magazine. And that's all. Whew.

We played a lot of games (apparently I've recovered from the Christmas Game Overdose of 2013). You will be thrilled to know that at the ripe old age of 31, I finally learned to pay Clue. And I consequently learned that I made a good life choice in not choosing to be a detective for a career. So that's good to know. Your world is a safer place with me not in charge of the crime-solving.

Not surprisingly, the ladies ended up spending some time at Ulta. It was one of my SIL's first time ever experiencing the magic of Ulta!! I felt so proud of her as she bravely sampled and selected a new makeup regime. Is this how parents feel when their kids go off to kindergarten? Possibly. I ended up with two new nail polishes (Ulta brand, of course!) and a new-to-me product (It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer) that so far I'm loving!

We had a blessedly uneventful (and'd be shocked at how many silent hours Matt and I can spend in the car together. The strange side-effects of two introverts marrying...) trip home. We did ourselves proud by heading to the gym as soon as we got home (after unpacking, of course. Did you think I was the kind of person who could leave luggage packed for more than 12 seconds after arriving home? BECAUSE I AM NOT). And then late last night I heard the happy news that one of my dearest friends got engaged and I get to be a bridesmaid!!! I am super thrilled for her (and for me, because I get to pick out any teal dress that I feel like!) and it was the perfect ending to a great weekend.

Have a great (shorter, if you're the type who got to have yesterday off) week! If you happen upon any super cute teal dresses (knee length-ish) during your internet perusal, send them my way...I'm in the market!

Friday, January 17, 2014

all about red

Sorry. I'd like to say something intelligent but I'm still laughing at the ridiculously amazing comment thread on yesterday's post. Who knew workout underwear was such a controversial and passion-filled topic? I'll definitely spend at least 20 times as much time stressing over my future undergarment choices, that's for sure, so...thanks?

It's Friday!! Yay!! I've declared today to be Red Day (because apparently I'm a preschooler who needs themed days?), so if you're reading this before you get's not too late to join in. Here's how I'm celebrating the color red today:

Red (fleece-lined, woot!) tights. My mom gave me these for Christmas and I've had no idea what to wear them with, but today I just went for it. They are super cozy and I regret nothing so far.

To go with the red tights, I chose some...

Red lipstick, of course! It looks a little pink here-- trust me, that's just the awesome fluorescent lighting in my office. It's red. A bold choice for a Friday morning, perhaps,'s Red Day, so what could I really do? There are also red flowers on my gray scarf, in case you can't tell. I truly committed to the theme today, I tell ya.

And...that's the extent of my red. Oh well. BUT there's another exciting theme for this day!! Although...unless you work at home or for like...Google or something...(PS if you work for Google, please mail me some of your money. Thanks!) it may not be so easy for you to join me in embracing this theme.

Bring your doggie to work day!

Lola is still learning to perfect the art of the selfie, so cut her some slack. She's proudly sporting the new puffer jacket I nabbed on clearance yesterday, too! Pay no mind to the fact that it's HUGE on her. Poor thing. I read the list of breeds on the back of both the medium and large jackets and went with large...big mistake. Poor skinny thing. Oh well. 

Despite her unenthused expression, I promise she LOVES coming to work with me. And I love having her here! 

So that's my day. Red Day and Lola Comes to Work Day. After work we hit the road and head to North Carolina for the long weekend! Have a happy sure to declare and observe a theme day of some sort-- it's fun, I promise!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ask the gym fashion expert!

Ladies, ladies, ladies.

I'm simply appalled by how many of you claimed to be completely clueless about and terrified of lipstick yesterday. Seriously? I am typically the last person on earth to jump on board with a trend. And since lipstick has been a trend for like...200 years or something...I really, really did not think that there were this many other adult earthlings left walking around with naked lips. Apparently I was wrong. Lots of you asked for a post about lipstick/lipstick wearing...don't worry, nothing would thrill my heart more. Clearly we are living in a world completely devoid of fashion magazines, beauty blogs, and I can see how you'd need me, who started wearing lipstick about 6 months ago and knows about 3 brands, to guide you. ;) Kidding! But yes, a comprehensive guide to the little I know about lipstick will be coming your way. But not today.

So yesterday I mentioned that you should build up your 'expert' reputation about something and become people's go-to person on the topic. One of my friends provided a perfect example of how awesome that can be later in the day. I'm not sure whether she'd read my post or not, but I mean...either way, she had a conundrum and she knew who to contact! And it seriously made me laugh. Please observe:

(The first picture is a full-sized screenshot of the screenshot she originally sent me, which is obviously way too tiny to see in the screenshot of our ensuing texts.) (Did I use the word 'screenshot' enough yet? No? SCREENSHOT!)

Unrelated side note: If you enjoy Bachelor and you're not following @Possessionista on Twitter, you're missing out.

Isn't this just beautiful? See...if you blog/Instagram/talk about fashion AND the gym enough, people will naturally assume you know everything that there is to know and come to you with their burning yoga pants etiquette questions!! Love it!!

Don't worry, I answered her questions and tried to calm her fears. But we also both agreed that in addition to the regular tours and orientations gyms provide when you join, someone (probably me) should teach Gym Fashion 101 class. Not knowing the unspoken rules about underwear should never hinder someone from wanting to work out! This is an atrocity!! No wonder Americans are obese- there are so many tricky obstacles preventing us from wanting to work out!

Anyway. I thought about making a survey to gauge yall's opinions on the question my friend asked. An underwear survey, if you will. But I didn't. If you're brave, feel free to speak up your opinions on this extremely important topic in the comments. Or put forth your other burning Gym Fashion questions, like is it okay to mix neons? (yes!!! according to me, anyway) and how many days in a row can I wear the same workout leggings before it's considered really gross? (definitely not something I've ever pondered myself) Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to Feel Like a Grown-Up

Despite the fact that my birthdate tells me otherwise, sometimes I forget that I'm not a college student still. Does this happen to you? Like...I'm at the gym, surrounded by sweaty blonde sorority girls and I find myself thinking that these are my people. I am one of them. And then it always comes as kind of a shock that they're probably not thinking the same about me. When it comes down to it, I probably have more in common with their moms than I do with them. That's scary. 

But there's nothing wrong with being a grown-up. In fact, there are a lot of perks. And (except for those occasional moments during gym classes when I forget) for the most part, I finally feel like a legit grown-up. For awhile there, in my mid-to-late-twenties, I felt like an imposter most of the time. age and job both declared me an adult, but I didn't really feel like I imagined that 'real' grown-ups felt like grown-ups. And I just...didn't.

But I've been doing some thinking and assessing, and I think I've identified some of the key components that contribute to me feeling like a grown-up (as opposed to a very elderly teenager). Because I think we can all agree that being a grown-up is awesome-- after all, we spent the first 18 or so years of our lives pretending we were grown-ups-- I figured I'd share some of the elements that I've deemed critical to Feeling Like a Successful Grown-up. 

[Point number one should probably be that you stop using the word 'grown-up' and start saying 'adult.' Obviously I'm failing there...but I feel like there's a distinction. 'Adult' seems more objective, like it's a fact based on age and not at all up for discussion: if you're over 18, you're an adult. Period. But being a 'grown-up' seems more open for interpretation. So I'll stick with that.]

(these are in no particular order)

1. Wear lipstick.

Sorry, do I talk about makeup too much? Maybe. But here's the thing-- teenagers and college students don't tend to wear lipstick. I only started wearing it with much regularity myself in the past year, and I must say: when I'm wearing lipstick, I feel like a grown-up. I feel more pulled together, more confident...I feel like a better version of myself. It's a strange correlation, but it's distinctly different from just wearing lightly-colored glosses, which I've been doing since high school. I suggest you give it a whirl.

2. Make a budget and live on it.

I've been doing this since we got married and I must say-- it makes me feel successful. Even if you don't have much money- knowing where it's going and being the boss of it is empowering. I love being a successful budgeter-- it definitely separates the grown-ups from the college-kids-living-on-Daddy's-bottomless-money. 

3. Learn how to order drinks (both coffee and alcoholic) with confidence.

When I was a little kid, I was amazed at how complicated it seemed to order a drink in a restaurant-- and at how easily my mom answered all their tricky follow-up questions. She didn't order drinks often, but when she did, it was a margarita. And when they asked if she wanted it frozen or on the rocks, she had a quick answer. What kind of tequila? Had an answer for that, too. Salt on the rim? Yes. She didn't waver, didn't have to think about it-- she knew. I respected that. Making an order at Starbucks can be equally confusing to the uninitiated. I feel successful when I can order a drink with confidence. Bonus points if I don't get carded.

 4. Become an expert on a health condition.

It could be one you're personally afflicted with or one that a loved one suffers from. Maybe you're a caregiver for someone with it. Whatever it is-- get good at speaking the language of that condition. Meet other people who speak that language. Obviously my condition of choice (or not) is infertility. There's a certain sense of accomplishment that I get when I have a conversation with someone that the uninitiated would think was all in code. The procedures, the acronyms, the drug names-- I feel smart when I can carry on a conversation of intelligence with a friend or doctor and know what I'm talking about. I definitely couldn't have done this in college.

5. Plan and fund your own vacation.

I felt like a super legit adult the first time Matt and I did this

Our view from the cruise ship- September 2009
We budgeted. Then we planned. Then we got our documents in order. Then we made work arrangements, got a house sitter, and showed up at the right place at the right time. And although I've been quite blessed to have nice vacations all throughout my life-- the first time it was because I planned it (and footed the bill)?? It was something special. We've gone on several great vacations since then, and each time-- there's an extra bit of enjoyment knowing that I was the one making it happen....which obviously means I'm a grown-up.

6. Know what's going on.

During college I lived in a bubble. I knew what was going on with my friends in my world...but not much else. I didn't read the paper or watch the news much. Facebook wasn't around, so no one alerted me to whatever heinous political things were taking place. I was pretty insulated. Maybe that isn't the case for college kids now, what with their fancy phones and all...but I started feeling very adult when I started realizing that there was more to the world than me and the things that directly affected me. I still don't actually watch the news much, but I peruse a newspaper almost every day (online, of course) and feel like I generally have some sense of what's going on in the world. I'm much better at keeping up with current events in pop culture and entertainment, but it's a similar principle: being aware of what's going on allows you to connect with other people and not feel lost during 'water cooler talk.' 

7. Be someone's go-to 'expert' about something.

I really enjoy this one. Pick something you like and are reasonably good at and build a reputation on it. Be the one people call when they have a question about ______. It's fun! It makes you feel like you have something to contribute to the world! My current 'expert' statuses are mostly grammar, infertility, and makeup. Nothing thrills me more than a random grammar inquiry via text or someone coming to me wanting advice on how to be a friend to their sister dealing with infertility. And I similarly love knowing exactly who I'm going to call when I need someone to explain something football-related in terms I can understand (Mollyanne) or I need a book recommendation to suit a very particular mood (Colleen). 

8. Get interested in something you used to make fun of your parents for liking.

You know you've really arrived at grown-up-hood when you realized that you've turned into your (younger, much cooler) mom or dad. When I started getting excited about weeding the flower beds and actually chose to spend money on plants...I knew I was there. Who is this weird girl and why is she suddenly obsessed with her yard??? Oh, it's just Grown-Up Erika, reeking strongly of her mother. It's okay. My mom is awesome and so is her yard. Maybe your parents played bridge or bird-watched for fun. You probably spent years mocking them with your siblings. Don't worry. Your day will come, too. And when it does, embrace it. And order up a margarita-- with confidence.