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

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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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Girl’s Weekend in God’s Country …

cowsThis past weekend, the girls from my LifeGroup (similar to bible study) and I left the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind for some peace and quiet … oh, and s’mores. One of my groupmates has a family farm and that was the perfect place for our escape. We walked around the property, said hi to the cows, cooked, drank lots of wine, played Cards Against Humanity (the Panda Sex card almost made me pee my pants), watched movies and talked. These women and the friendships we have created have been an absolute blessing in my life and this weekend only strengthened that fact. We are all different, but that’s what makes us such a strong group. I think that’s how all relationships should be: strengthened by each others differences. Here’s to the friends that make you laugh, let you cry, give huge hugs and don’t judge you for the number of s’mores you eat.

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chimney color

smores silly girls line girls on deck

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Sugar Free November, Running and Crossfit. Oh my!

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Whether it is learning a new skill, trying a new workout, or giving myself a challenge of some sort (here, here and here), I love getting outside the “box”. I’m all about challenging myself, but I’ll admit that recently I’ve fallen into a pattern of complacency. Blame the colder weather, a packed schedule, or the premiere of a bunch of shows on Bravo (I’m looking at you, Vanderpump Rules) but I have been more inclined to just crash than to do anything productive.

Well, that is changing. I’ve given myself 3 challenges for the next month. The first challenge is to go sugar free for November. My friend, Katie, came up with this challenge and so far so good. The challenge is definitely making me pay more attention to what I’m consuming. I now realize the reason I dumped spoonfuls of sugar and creamer into my work coffee was because it is horrible. Now I make my own before heading to the office. Full disclosure, I am giving myself 3 cheat days (my birthday is this month, after all), but so far I’m not missing sugar.

The second challenge is to train for another 5K and shave at least 3 minutes off my time from my last race. I’m being smarter about my running routine than I was last year. I’m incorporating stretching and weight training into my running routine to prevent injury and it seems to be working so far. My race is December 6.

Now for challenge number 3 … I’m starting a month of Crossfit. I’ll be honest, I’ve been hesitant and maybe a bit judgmental about Crossfit. Last night I took my first of two fundamentals classes, and I realize that I could not have been more wrong. I went to the South Charlotte Crossfit location and it was such a cool and welcoming environment. I’ll take my last fundamentals class tomorrow and then after that I have a month unlimited pass to the gym. I already learned some new things last night about myself and about proper technique. I also realized that I have a love/hate relationship with squats.

Last night was another reminder to not judge something based on assumptions or the usually biased opinions of others. You’ve got to learn and figure it all out on your own. I’m looking forward to seeing what else I learn this month.

 

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Travel: Washington, D.C.

This past weekend, my friends Magen, Mimi and I left the Queen City and headed to the nation’s capital for a weekend getaway. We had no real plans or agenda except to eat, drink and sight-see our way through town.We stayed at the amazing St. Regis and what made it even more amazing was that Drake was also staying there (Happy Birthday, Drizzy).

We saw the White House, took a tour of the Capitol, saw the monuments on the Mall, shopped in Georgetown and ate and drank our way through town. Some of our restaurant highlights included Birch & Barley (amazing beer selection), Old Ebbitt Grill (delicious drinks), Kapnos (take me back to Greece!), and Farmers Fishers Bakers (now that’s a brunch). The bar in our hotel was a nightly stop for us, as was the 6:00 p.m nightly Champagne Sabering Ritual.

The weather was perfect and it was great to go on a quick weekend getaway that included great food, friends, shopping and history (I’m a self-admitted nerd). I grew up in Virginia and it was an easy Metro ride for me to get into the District. I’ve visited as a child, a teenager, a college student, and as a college graduate. This was my first time going back as an “adult”. The city has definitely changed since I moved to Charlotte 10 years ago, but then again, I’ve changed too. It was pretty cool to walk around and have memories from when I was 10, 13, and 23 come back to me. There is a lot of history in that town, and it includes my history too. It was great to see the city doing well and I can’t wait to visit again.

IMG_4382 IMG_4386Construction was being done on the Capital dome and it was pretty impressive to watch the construction workers walking around the top. 

IMG_4402Amazing statue of Rosa Parks

IMG_4412Ceiling of the Library of Congress. The design throughout was gorgeous.

IMG_4419 IMG_4443Supreme Court

IMG_4337 (1)The White House was right behind our hotel. 

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IMG_4348 IMG_4355 (1)World War II Memorial

IMG_4450Showing some love for my home state at the WWII Memorial

IMG_4363 (1) IMG_4365 IMG_4341IMG_4376 (1)Cheers! Until next time, D.C.

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Nan and Byron’s Fall Menu Preview

Last night, some friends and I attended a fall menu preview at Nan and Byron’s. Nan and Byron’s is one of my favorite restaurants in Charlotte. This statement can be proven by the number of check-ins I have here courtesy of Yelp. Hey, I like what I like.

Some of my favorite appetizers from last night were the Crispy Oysters served with pineapple, shaved jalapenos, and a BBQ vinaigrette, the Porcini Mushroom Ravioli with lobster claw, herb ricotta, glazed peas, and truffles, and the Sushi Grade Tuna Tartare with crushed wasabi peas and a ginger aioli. The Braised Pork Belly served with fried green beans (oh my wow) and marinated grape tomatoes was also a highlight. We also ordered the Burrata Salad (white wine poached pears, roasted plums, and white balsamic vinaigrette) for the table.

For my main course, I ordered the Spicy NY Strip, which was served with crushed Yukon potatoes, crispy onions, garlic confit, and topped with a red wine sauce. This bad boy was incredible. A perfectly cooked medium rare strip and I may have clapped when it was delivered to the table. Seriously, it was sexy. I ended the night with the Brownie Sundae served with coffee​ ice cream and a chocolate chili sauce.

An amazing meal and a great night with friends … what more could a girl want?!?

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The Crew (photo courtesy of Katie)

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Finally Friday …

After a long, but great week, I’m off to Georgia to spend time with college friends and see a beautiful friend get hitched. I’m driving instead of flying and I’m beyond thrilled. Sometimes there is nothing better for the soul than a solo road trip. I’ve got my playlist ready to go and I plan to sing at the top of my lungs to end the week and start the weekend off right. One of the songs on my playlist is by a band I was introduced to by my friend, Magen. The band is called Wild Club and here is their song “Thunder Clatter”.

 

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