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I believe we all have certain paths we are supposed to take in life. Some paths may lead people to become doctors, teachers, or world travelers. Some paths may lead people to become parents, animal rescuers, or crusaders of causes. And there may even be a path for a thirtysomething writer with a passion for all things related to the ocean.

I fought my path for a long time. I always knew I would be a writer and my own boss. The reasons I knew all of this was because a normal 9 to 5 job never fit my personality, I like doing things my way, and writing always made me deliriously happy. Even though I knew these facts about myself I never fully accepted them or my path. Time for some honesty… fear was a huge reason I avoided my path. Fear of the unknown. Fear of going against the grain and doing something different. Fear of admitting to myself that I had made wrong decisions in my life.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

There was a time when instead of going down the long and winding road, I took the path of least resistance. I decided I could be happy where I was and I just needed to ignore the voices in my head telling me to be brave. Well, God had different plans for me. Whether you believe in God or not, I truly feel that if we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing, we will somehow be put back on our path. Usually, that process is a lot more painful than if we had stopped being fearful and stubborn in the first place (I’m totally talking about myself here).

We all will experience different paths in life. Some paths will involve careers, love, friendship, heartache, missteps, face plants, but everything will be worth it in the end. The path I am on now has broken and rebuilt my heart piece by piece, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe I’d change a few things, but I’m trying to follow my path with a sense of humor and an open heart.


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IMG_3383I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, so for the past three years I opted to select a word or a theme to shape my year. In 2014, my word was my name, Erin. I had gotten so far away from who I was that I needed to get back to the heart of me. It worked. I felt more like me than I had in years.

In 2015, my word was Fearless. I did things that both scared and challenged me. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and to pursue my dreams. Well, 2015 ended with me leaving my job as a marketing director and going out on my own as a writer and a business owner.

Although 2016 is half gone, I realized I haven’t written about my word yet. This year, the word I selected didn’t come easily. It didn’t roll off my tongue and I didn’t have a big “a-ha” moment. My word came to me one day while I was reading. I kept seeing the same word scattered throughout the pages of my book. By what was probably the tenth time that I saw the word, I paused and said it quietly to myself. A sense of peace came over me and I let a small smile spread across my face. I found it. My word for 2016 is Grace.

Life, love, writing, and everything in between.

This year I’m going to make brilliant decisions and I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to get hurt and I’m going to hurt others. I’m going to have adventures and I’m going to have missed opportunities. I’m going to laugh and I’m going to cry. I’m not perfect, and I like knowing that about myself. There is comfort in being imperfect.

I’m going to give myself the grace to learn from every decision I make, every person I let in my life, and I’m going to give that same courtesy to others. Grace is a gift that I plan to accept and to give.

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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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