Music Monday: Nina Simone

A gorgeous tree outside my building

Although this weekend was chilly in the Queen City, it was gorgeous outside and I tried to take advantage of the sunshine. Long walks with Smitty and a little hike on Sunday at McDowell Preserve was a great way to clear my head and enjoy the sunshine.

IMG_5281One of the views at McDowell Preserve 

This weekend, I also listened to a lot of different music and rediscovered some classics. I was really feeling Nina Simone and that carried over to today too. What better way to get through a gloomy Monday than by listening to one of the greats? If you haven’t, you should absolutely check out Nina’s work. She was one of a kind and left an incredible legacy.

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Music Monday and Weekend Wrap-Up

Smitty is not feeling Monday at all.

Apparently, I needed sleep this weekend because I slept for 10 hours on Friday night and 11 hours on Saturday night. Full disclosure: I also took naps on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure if it is the time change, my hectic schedule, or the fact that allergy season is upon us, but I definitely needed the rest.

While this weekend was a delightful time for sleep and Netflix (I rediscovered Alias), I also did ‘things’. One of those things, is something I’m extremely excited about and happy to share. Two Bottles Wine Co., invited me to attend an information session about their company. The concept behind Two Bottles is to bring delicious wine produced by small batch, family owned wineries in Italy to consumers via online orders. The wines are currently unavailable for purchase in the U.S., and all have a unique story of how Two Bottles discovered the wineries. As a lover of stories, I was fascinated by the Italian adventures and relationships created by business partners Adam Hill, Katy Hill and Justin Gallo. I’m also incredibly honored to have been asked to write content for the Two Bottles website, which will be launched in the coming months. Keep them on your radar, especially if you love delicious wine and stories of far off adventures.

Adam Hill telling about the different wines being tasted  IMG_5241

This weekend I also tried ROCKSALT, a new restaurant tucked away behind a Charlotte shopping center with a great patio that specializes in sustainable seafood. The food was fantastic. I had oysters to start and then had their famous (that’s what our waiter said and I believe him) Chesapeake Crab Cake with cream spinach and a grit cake. It was amazing. The crab cake came with a Boo-Ya sauce (I did not make that up) that I want to put on everything. The food was amazing, but there are a few growing pains that still need to be worked out regarding service and timing, but that will get fixed in no time.


I did a closet purge this weekend, and I now realize that a good chunk of my neighborhood may have seen me dancing around my place like an idiot. My apologies for my singing (my dance moves are on point). One of the songs on repeat was a favorite of mine by Feist. It helped me clean yesterday and get up today, although Smitty was not feeling it. Enjoy and happy Monday.

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So much water, so little time

smittySmitty passed out after a long walk this weekend

Today marks day 10 of my month of no alcohol and I’m shocked at the changes I’ve already seen. Before I get to that, I’d like to say thank you for all the encouraging words and inspiring stories I’ve heard in the past few days regarding this reset. I love that people want to share their experiences with me. It’s very humbling and I don’t take it for granted.

So back to my month sans alcohol. It’s been 10 days and I feel amazing. In the past 10 days, I’ve lost weight without really trying, and I’ve noticed I’m sleeping through the night even with a million things on my mind. I’m also proud to report that my social life hasn’t taken a hit. This past Friday, I went with friends to the first anniversary party for Fahrenheit, a great restaurant where the bartenders will dress up your water with fruit so you still feel fancy at a party. The rest of the weekend consisted of dates (yes, plural), brunch with friends, and being outside enjoying the weather with my pup. 

A lot has happened in 10 days and I’m curious to see what else happens as the month progresses. In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be writing about my observations on things such as my energy level and my adventures in dating. I seriously think I’m a character in a weird Rom-Com movie and am waiting for Meg Ryan to appear at any moment.


farenheitMy friends and I with chef Rocco Whalen at the Fahrenheit anniversary party
Photo courtesy of Kseniya Martin

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March Challenge: I’ll have a double water, please.


Confession, I love wine, good beer and bourbon. Drinks on a patio with friends, drinks while cooking, drinks with dinner, after dinner drinks, etc. etc. The reason for my confession is because I have decided to challenge myself and give up all alcohol for the month of March. Cold turkey. Hmm, it’s been a while since I’ve had Wild Turkey, but I digress.

It’s not that I drink a lot at one time, but I’ve noticed that over the past few months I’ve been drinking almost daily. I started to feel the toll it was taking on me and knew I needed to do something. You know it’s time to do a reset when you can barely finish a glass of amazing wine because it feels like your body is rejecting it.

Always up for a challenge, I decided to see if I could go booze free for the month of March. This declaration has already been met by interesting comments and questions from friends and acquaintances.  Some favorites have been”how are you going to go on dates?,” “what will that mean for your social life?,” “what about St. Patrick’s Day?,” and the most popular comment, “I don’t understand.”

After hearing those and other comments, I’ve realized the central role that alcohol plays in the social scene for people in their twenties and thirties. So what started as a detox is becoming a social experiment of sorts. If I need to drink to get through a date, I probably shouldn’t be on that date. Friends won’t care if I’m drinking water or wine, because I’m fun sober or buzzed (if I wasn’t me, I would want to be my friend). St. Patrick’s Day is my least favorite day to drink, but one of my favorite for people watching. Most importantly, people don’t have to understand the choices I make in my life.

My first week has gone pretty well. I had a rough day earlier this week and wanted a glass of wine, but I grabbed a book instead. Let’s see how the rest of this month goes … cheers! (with water, of course)

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Music Monday: 50 Shades of Grey


Photo by thelovelyday taken at The Daily Press

Monday, we meet again. I’m actually not mad at Monday this week because I had a great weekend and it’s going to be warmer in the Queen City today.

This weekend I was running around like a crazy person and loved every minute of it. While driving all over God’s creation this weekend (I’m being dramatic, but I did have 4 events on Saturday), I was blasting tunes from a CD my friend Magen made for me. She knows my love of music and makes me mix CD’s from time to time … to me, that’s love.

The CD that got me to my various destinations this weekend, and helped me clean my closet, is the soundtrack to “50 Shades of Grey.” I know many people have strong opinions about the books, movie, actors and the subject matter, but the soundtrack is amazing. New songs from Sia, The Weeknd, and Skylar Grey mesh with classic redos such as the AWOLNATION take on Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” and “I Put a Spell on You” by the religious experience inducing Annie Lennox. And let’s not forget about Beyonce, The Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. Yes, even ol’ blue eyes makes an appearance.

Here is the amazing Annie Lennox singing her incredible take on the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic “I Put a Spell on You” to get you through your Monday. And the best part is that you don’t need a flogger, or to be tied to some sort of apparatus to enjoy this song.

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My Word for 2015


Happy New Year! As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a fan of creating resolutions to usher in a new year. Instead, I believe in coming up with a word, or theme, to set the tone for the year. Without further ado, my word for 2015 is … fearless.

This year I want to focus on doing things that will challenge me, even if it is something that scares the ever loving shizz out of me. Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to jump out of a plane, but then again, I’m not saying that I won’t jump out of a plane. There are different things, whether physical, mental or emotional, that I know scare and intimidate me. One thing off the top of my head is being in a relationship. I’ve dated here and there since my separation and divorce, but the thought of letting someone “in” is absolutely terrifying. I’m not saying that my life is incomplete or lacking because I’m not in a relationship (far from it), but I will admit it is something that I have avoided. To me, fearless in that situation would be to actually give someone a chance.

Growing and developing relationships, improving my mile run time, writing more and submitting items for publication, and travel are just a few things on my list for 2015. I know there will be more things that will reveal themselves over the course of the year, but I like to leave some things to fate.

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So Long and Farewell to 2014

Tomorrow photo

Once again it is time to say goodbye to one year and welcome another year. For me, 2014 was a great year. I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions as those tend to be unrealistic and easily broken (hey, life happens). Instead, I believe in creating a word, or a theme for the new year. My word for 2014 was Erin.  I selected my name as my word because it marked the first year in a long time that I was finally just me, just Erin. I wanted 2014 to be a year where I was able to get back to the basics of me. I traveled, discovered new music, tried new restaurants and cuisines, spent time with family and friends, stepped outside of my comfort zone, and remembered what makes me, well, me.

I’ve selected my world for 2015 and will share that in an upcoming post. In the meantime, farewell 2014! Thanks for the memories, the lessons learned and the challenges met. Cheers!



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