...and I'm sticking too it!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spring is Coming!

The following are photos from last year, that make me really excited for warm spring days this year. 

Things I am Looking forward to about Spring: 

  1. Meals on the Porch 
  2. Sunbathing
  3. Flip-Flops
  4. Summer Evenings in the sun 
  5. Ice Cream at Sonics 
  6. Road Trips
  7. Outfits that don't require: Tights, Long Sleeves, Scarves or Heavy Coats 

My goal this summer is to purchase some more furniture for my outdoor home, as during the summer months I normally spend the majority of my non-work hours in my yard; eating, reading or playing with my animals. For one thing with no air conditioning, its actually a little bit cooler out there, not to mention, who could stay outside while the sun is raining down warmth? Too long have I been sequestered inside this winter. It is time to get OUT into the sun, and warm up my long cold body. :) 

The idea is to clear off the one covered porch I have, place patio stones around the house, plant some shrubs, around the porch and install a nice patio table and chair set. 

What are you looking forward to about the upcoming warm season? 

erin leigh

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2.8.14 in 50mm

Writing about events is hard for me. Either I go overboard in the mundane details, or it becomes a step-by-step process. For instance:
  1. "We left the house at 8:00am sharp and pulled onto the road, headed towards the highway." (Which actually didn't happen due to the small fact that some of us were exhausted, didn't read the text properly, left their house at 7:00am, sat at the wrong house for 20 minutes before realizing for one thing, the meet-up time was 7:30am, and the meet-up house was in the other direction.) 
  2. We got on the highway headed towards Nashville TN (only an hour late, with a pit-stop at Bojangles all the while debating whether or not Biggest Loser Rachel F. weight loss)  

That's not what you would call, a fun read. But honestly its hard to put into words  ... the feelings, the fun, the laughter, the joking ... 

Back Story

Our church community is a very tight-knit group of people, despite the fact that we're spread across the United States of  America, and though there are general church meetings throughout the year, it wasn't until about a year or so ago, the group around my age, realized how close we were to each other.  2012 we took full advantage of being single, young and having money and literally met up every month. We went rafting, to amusement parks, met up for graduations, birthday's and simply "just because." Last year we decided to get the girls together and meet up for Valentine's day and met up in Chattanooga TN. 

This year, our group shrunk (new jobs, new boyfriends [ack!] etc..) but we decided to move forward with our plans anyway. Our desintation of choice? Nashville. 

The fun thing about going to a city neither group has been to (often) is you can do things without many preconceived notions. It greatly reduces the arguments about what to do and when to do it, if you plan from a far. 
The Plan
Our [though it was our fearless leader Rebekah (pictured below in the middle) who came up with it]  plan was simple. Eat, Shop and have fun. Our first stop was to a local coffee shop named Crema, which according to Foursquare is: "A coffee brewtique. Our love and respect for coffee means we never stop learning or experimenting and we’re always eager to talk about it, making us the most welcoming bunch of coffee snobs you’ll ever meet." Not being a coffee drinker myself, I just go along and hope they have hot chocolate. :) Unfortunately the general consensus about the coffee was mixed, some liked it, others hated it. Personally my hot chocolate was pretty yummy. What makes this stop so memorable in our minds, was the people we saw while we were there. 
If you're like me, you follow a lot of people on social media that you never expect to see in real life. I've had the pleasure of meeting quite a few SMPeeps over the past few years, some on purpose and unexpectedly in person, but non of "celebrity" status. (Sorry guys! You were still great!! I promise!) 

"I follow that girl on Instagram" 

Rebekah inclines her head, ever so slightly towards a young lady sitting with a group of men at the table behind us. 

"Really? Oh my goodness, you have got to say something to her!" Just don't be stalkish about it. What a small world? 

The girl in question was a nanny for several big name Christian Artist singers and happened to live here in Nashville, and just happened to be at the same coffee shop we were in. [It wasn't until later that we realized she was sitting with some of the band members from Christian recording artist Big Daddy Weave. We all had to laugh at us getting excited to see the Nanny, and completely not recognizing the actual band members) 

Anyway Kelsey was extremely nice and we all went away feeling warm and fuzzy. 
Footnote: Traveling in a new city? Download the Foursquare App! Not only do you earn points for checking into places, but you can general find great tips about where to eat, what to do, etc..etc.. [this was not a paid promotion, though they should probably do so.] 

The next stop on our [Rebekah's] list was the Nashville Public Library. We're all bookworms and this library was beautiful. It boasted three floors, with so.many. books. I could have stayed there all day and not been ready to leave. There were historic rooms, rooms just for research, fiction rooms, non-fiction rooms, rooms for the deaf, civil rights areas, a courtyard with a fountain ... a grand piano!?

I got lost a couple of times, just because it kept going on, and on, and the further you wandered the more you found to look at! I briefly considered finding out how much a library card would cost, but honestly it wouldn't be worth the cost of shipping books back. *sigh*

Once we gathered everyone back up, which took a while, we decided to walk the downtown area a bit, to see what we could see, to see what we could see... [But the other side of the mountain, the other side of the mountain, the other side of the moooountaaainnn... ok ok I'll stop] 

The Girls

We found lots of candy, and soda, and over priced tin signs. We found $10 shops, I found more scarves to purchase, and lots of yummy looking restaurants. By the time we hit the restaurant portion of town we were all starving, all that walking burning our sausage biscuits from the morning. Our plan was to try a burger joint across town, so we hurried back to our cars and headed out, tummies rumbling.

Burger Republic. Even Foursquare didn't have much to say about it, which should have been a sign in and of itself.  Located in an apartment complex, the restaurant itself wasn't very big, making our party of seven a large group, one that was going to take 30 minutes, at the very least, to seat.

This presented another problem, as there was no where to sit and wait. Now what? Luckily I'd spotted Urban Outfitters across the street. Do we have time to go there? Yes? Yes we did. Yay! An hour later, we moseyed out of the store, and back to BR. Were they ready for us yet? No? Are you serious?

The group at the one table you wanted to sit us at isn't leaving?

Ook. ....

Luckily the manager thought quickly, and maneuvered some chairs and tables together along the wall, and got us seated.  Adventure isn't my middle name when it comes to food, and I really just wanted something filling and simple, so I chose their Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, added cheese to it and switched Pickle chips for Fries.

The fries were good, but the sandwich was disappointing. The chicken was tender and well cooked, but it lacked flavor. My sister Kristen got the Veggie burger but was also disappointment as it was mostly just beans mashed to form a patty. Those who ordered actual burgers seemed well satisfied; but it was fun.

Our next stop was ... another book stop. McKay's book, a used bookstore where you can trade books for money or store credit (see also: Bookworms). Though we have one in Knoxville, Jennifer wanted to stop in Nashville, just to see. Since I do a lot of reading on my Kindle/iBook/Nook apps, I find myself steering away from books for new reading material. (I know, I know, its ... it hurts me as well) So I brought books to trade since we were going. I had a project I've been working on, and needed comic book pages ... :)

Alas all good things must come to an end, and after stopping at a local Cupcake shop, then a gelato (for those who didn't want cupcakes) We sat down to exchange our valentines gifts .... and that is when I discovered, my camera of six years had been violated. 

Well, technically it was the lense, but seeing's how it was the only working lense for this particular camera.. it might as well be the entire thing. 

As I sat in the ice cream shop, wailing hysterically ,  staring at what once had been my a part of me, while my friends tried to comfort me, oohed and ahhed over their gifts... all I could think of was ... 

Welp, its tax time, this would be a great time to upgrade my lenses! It was my fault for just carrying it in the bottom of my bag. I didn't baby it as much as I should have, and have dropped it many more times than I should have. *deep breaths* 

Oh yes. After that happened we headed home.

The End. 

RIP 50mm 1.8 lens. i loved you. 

erin leigh

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

12:16AM - First Day of Class

Ah the convenience of modern technology. The clock struck twelve, and just like that I'm a college student. After a quick glance at my college courses, a couple of things come to mind.

1.) I was hoping to get back into the blogging-on-a-regular-basis-thing, but if this schedule is accurate, then that's not going to happen.
3.) THEY OFFER 7 DAY FREE TRIALS? THANK YOU JESUS! (This is amazing since financial aid suspended my account due to attempting over 90 credit hours. The last thing I want to do is spend a whole bunch of money on books, just to find out they aren't going to give me more money. If that's the case, we'll have to take a harder look at school.)
5.) "SHE" DOESN'T ACCEPT LATE WORK? Can I just shoot myself now?
7.) Man this is going to cost a lot of money.

I know you are wondering if the capital letters are necessary, and the answer is absolutely. I'm freaking out in my mind. There goes my life. Love you guys. See you in May.



Sunday, January 5, 2014


On this, the third  fifth day, in the first month, in the year two thousand, and fourteen ... I Erin _LastName, come crawling back to my sorely neglected blog, after a six month hiatus. As usual.

Six months on, six months off. That's me yo!

I welcomed in 2014 with the flu! Spent all day Wednesday - Friday in bed, trying to recuperate, so I feel, despite being five days into this, the New Year just began ... Yesterday. Wait, no Today. I feel normal today.

Typically at the beginning of new years, I'm full of ideas, and goals and plans, but not this time. This year has barely begun, and I'm finding myself with a plate crammed full.  After a year long break (was it only a year?) I am officially a college student again, and heading back to school this semester with nine credit hours worth of classes. I'm only taking nine due to financial issues, as usual, but I feel it will be for the best, considering everything else going on in my life.

I've also recently excepted the volunteer position of Area Coordinator for the Gui.de D.og Fou.ndat.ion for the Bli.nd, and have on small pup in my group; that will keep me busy; not to mention church activities through the week, and work, and of course raising my current guide dog puppy.

Oh yes, and of course the four other animals I have as pets. Let's not forget them!

So needless to say, I'll be busy!

I thought about setting some goals for this year, but honestly I just need to survive all this!

Until we meet again! :) 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Joe's Crab Shack

Today I ate ... Popcorn Shrimp, Fries, Crab Dip, 2 Snickers Bars ....

And I wonder why I'm lethargic all the time ... ha!

A "meh" sort of day definitely made better with great food, good friends and our first win for the Volunteers!  There is so much more than could be written down ... some much more I wish I could express ... I hate sitting down to a blank canvas and only be able to pour my heart out a little bit.

However, I will say that sometimes doing what is right ... is so incredibly tough, especially when the repercussions could affect the rest of your life immediate life. <cue panic attack> Granted, I may expire due to fearing the unknown ... that would take care of my problem I suppose. :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013


Jump 5 blaring through my cell phones small speakers at 7AM (Google them, its been awhile since they were "cool" i know) 
The high pitched squeaky bark of my friends yorkie pup visiting 
The soft thump of a 15-year-old dachshund headed for the back door, and her morning relief 
The subsequent thumps of human feet as they dash after her, to make sure she gets outside in time. (Old age ... aaaah ) 
The squeak of mattress springs as the human makes another mad dash BACK to bed, two hours till its "really" time to get up. 

Refrigerator doors opening and shutting
The rustle of thin worn pages 
Kibble hitting metal bowls
The crunching of dog teeth 
The swish of fabric being pulled on 

The comforting sound of a "healthy engine" 
Music blaring through the speakers in an effort to pump oneself up for work 


The ringing of phones
The banging of doors 
The requests of customers
The response of co-workers
The laughter,
The sighs
The eye rolls (... oh wait, that's not a sound!) 


The clink of coins hitting plastic 
The swish of a mop 
The locking of doors 
The sighs of contentment, turned to consternation once the realization that the day, while over starts a new in the morning ... 


The soothing sound of an audio book reader 
The roar of a vacuum cleaner
The hum of a microwave
The growls, grumbles and thumps of playing puppies 

The high pitched squeaky bark of my friends yorkie pup protesting bed time
The squeak of a mattress spring as the human + dogs claim spaces for the night 
The clicking of the lamp turning off.. 

And the high pitched scream of one mad little puppy.

Then silence 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Into the Whirlwind

Into The Whirlwind

by: Elizabeth Camden
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction
Medium: Kindle Document 
Date Read: July 19, 2013
Stars: ★★★★

After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

☆ ☆ ☆ My Review ☆ ☆ 

I struggle with book title's sometimes. Some are just a line from the book, perhaps it was significant to the author, but makes no sense to the reader. Sometimes its right, and sometimes its spot on. Into the Whirlwind did just that. As I dove into the first chapter, I was swept into a fire storm of events, relationships, people, places things! This tale starts six days before the historic Chicago fire, with Mollie Knox owner operater of 57th Watch Company trying to come to a decision as to what direction her company would go. Would she strike out on her own and end her relationship with the largest retailer in Chicago, or give into pressure for the store's Handsome lawyer and sign over her rights? And then disaster struck.

This tale was nothing if not gripping, and to be honest I found myself opening the app on my phone and reading snatches of it every-time I could. However there were still some points that found me not placing one more star in my rating. Though the book's premise seems to be about Mollie, to me, it felt as if we followed and got to know Zach a lot better; and we also could understand why Zach loved Mollie, we knew where Zack came from, how he fought tooth and toe nail to get where he was, we got to meet and know his family; whereas Mollie's sections of the story were very abrupt and by the time I finished the book I didn't feel as if I knew HER. I knew about her she's loyal, she's compassionate, head strong, and vocal; but also very mistrustful. But I didn't know why.

Though the lack of character depth in Mollie had me struggling at some points, I still have to hand it to Ms. Camden for another well written tale.

I recieved this book for free through Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

07-02-13 10:38p:

"So That Happened" 

That pretty much sums up my day. Despite having big plans of renewing my registration and using a gift card I'd received, one look at my stitched up dachshund this morning, and I knew I'd be hanging around the house today. He had a major surgery yesterday in an effort to "fix" this ... and has been in a lot of pain all day. He's been exhibiting a lot of anxious behaviors, and would almost panic if I left his line of vision/side. Scared that he would do something like rip out his stitches i did a lot of hovering this afternoon. Hovering stresses me out. Being helpless in the face of pain of a non-verbal being is exhausting, not knowing what the screams, or the sudden jerks that leave my bed splattered with blood mean, then finding out he couldn't use the restroom properly due to bandages, which was causing some of the anxiety. Not to mention the fact that I have two puppies in my house I have take care on top of this? 

It feels like to much. Despite my almost four hour nap this afternoon, I find myself wanting to crawl right back into bed and shutting everything out. 

I'm ready for this whole deal to be over. 

However I did finish a book today. I've been slacking in the reading area so it was nice to lose myself in a story once again ... 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Month 6, Day 12

Now that summer has arrived I face an all to frequent dilemma. Do I sleep with the fan in the window and have cool air, or do I close the window, suffer and stay bug free.

These are the things you face when you have no air conditioning. 

Sometimes I can convince myself that I'm camping. 
Other times I have to fight tears as I pick bugs of my covers, arms and legs. 
There's no imaging things crawling on me. 

They are. 

I just picked a beetle off of my stomach. 
And then capture a June Bug and carried it BACK outside. 
Now there is a flying flying around my room. 
My bathroom was crawling with ants, but I dosed it with Raid, and now its not. 

I generally tolerate bugs pretty well. I've had do deal with a lot of horrid critters over the last five or so  years. But now I just can't. But I have to.

At this point its only been a few weeks and I'm beyond over it. If pulling my hair out and screaming would get some results? I would do it. 
But what can you do?

Right now I'm looking into portable air conditiong units. 
They're kinda of expensive, and don't eliminate the whole 'open window let in bugs thing'. 

Anyone know of any cooling systems (beside central air) that is windowless? 

In the meantime imma start saving my pennies for a new house and tuition to get back into school.  

P.S. (Compared to many things in the world this is minuscule I realize. But I needed to vent. Thanks for listening!) 

erin leigh

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Month 6, Day 8

Today we learned a valuable lesson in espionage and playing cards. It all started pretty simple. A conversation between friends at 6-year-olds birthday party (cause that's how we rolllll) Chatting about work, life events and etc. 

Somewhere in the conversation Friend A brought up the fact that I had swapped her shoes for mine, about eight month ago .. .with not a little bit of 'bitterness'. I personally didn't see what the big deal was, they were the exact same shoe, same color, just a half a size smaller than mine. NBD. In fact she just learned I swapped her shoes a few months ago, when I happened to mention it in passing. Thus solidifying the fact that it was really no big deal. Friend B then remembered I still owed them $15 from a few weeks ago. Defenses and explanations rose and were given. The conversation died as the parties wandered this way and that. 

After refilling my supply of cake, Friend B and I stepped outside to survey the kids running around in the yard. 
That's when I saw her. 
The red-headed, skirted figuring moseying non-chalantly down towards my house. Now I love Friend A a lot, BUT when it comes to my stuff? I trust her not one bit. (Due to many past pranks, which I think trust on things like this is mutually not there. hehehe)
Also what in the world could she need (legitly) from my house? Nothing. Notta athing. 

So I do what any suspicious person does, and ran after her. 
All those 5k's were worth something after all!
I decided to sneak attack and go in the front door, in hopes of catching her in the act. Alas my attempts were in vain, as I dashed in the front, she slipped out of the back, with me hot on her heels. 

After chasing her like a five-year-old around the yard and in and out of buildings, I finally stopped and watched as she "stealthily" dumped my stuff (whatever it was) in the back of her car, locked it and wandered away. 

At this point, I casually walked down to her, pretending i didn't see her and after exchanging the cursory "what in the world! GIVE ME BACK MY STUFF WOMAN. I donT CARe If YOU don' THINK i'll miss it" etc..etc.. 
That done, I snuck back to her un-locked car, hit the trunk button and raced around on the opening trunk lid. Unfortunately I attempted it too soon, and within seconds she was on top of me, wrestling the lid of her trunk back into a locked position, following up with  locking her car, and taking her keys.

Thoroughly non-plussed, I hurried back to my house to figure out what she'd taken. While I knew one scarf was missing I couldn't determine the other items that were now in her possession; so I headed back outside. Seeing she was occupied with the kids, I decided to hunt for her keys. But what I found was so much better.

An unlocked iPhone. 

Oh yeaah. Two can play this game baby. 

So I slip her phone into my pocket, and wander back outside, I wander here and there, before walking back to my house. Once there, I locked all doors, removed fans from windows and set about looking for a good hiding place. 

But not before I locked her previously unlocked phone, and changed all of her ringtones. I would have messed with her facebook accounts, if I could haven't linked into my neighbors wifi, but I didn't have time. 

At that point, I went about my evening routine, and started preparing for the next day. 

It was quite sometime before the banging started on my door. Apparently she'd gathered a posse to confiscate her phone. 

I, of course, ignored them. 
As if i was just going to open the door and let them waltz in. I.THINK.NOT! 

Things started heating up outside, so I locked everything down, grabbed a key and headed outside, as I round the corner I tossed my keys into a bush, and strolled up to the group of kids and Friend C standing on my back porch. 
Friend A was desperately trying to find my spare key (which I'd removed) and checking windows. I smirked as I watched their fruitless efforts to obtain entry into my house; until they found a way in. Within in minutes the rest of the posse was helping Friend A hoist herself through a window, (shoving furniture hither, thither and yon) and gain tumble into my house. I was still confident in my hiding spot, and casually unlocked the front door, and came in and watched my house come to peices.  

I must entergetic I was a really good sport about all of this ripping and running. 

I would have won out, had I not decided to change the hiding place from [place that cannot be reveal] back to my person. Unforutnately one of the kids saw me change it, and started shrieking like a banshee. I did what any smart person would do and tossed it behind a dresser. A tussel insued, craziness happend and somehow the phone slipped from my hand, into the hand of the enemey. I gave up in defeat as the phone was triumphantly paraded through the house, and back to its owner. 

My stuff was put down, and kids filed out of the house. 

At this point I also demanded my clothes back since I'd given up the phone, but Friend A was insistant. 


At this point, I was starting to get irritated, I'm girl enough to admit. 

So instead of being smart, about how I played my cards, I threw down my trump card. 

"Well its not like you can use your phone anyway." 

I should have waited until after she'd left, and then couldn't access her phone. 

20/20 <- HINDSIGHT 

"Why what'd you do to my phone? Did you lock my phone!?" 
"Guess you'll have to find out!" 
"Tell me the password to my phone!" 
"Give me my clothes!" 
"You don't even know what I took!" 

"Guess you won't be able to use your phone ... hmmm.. " 

At this point, Friend A tears back to my house to confiscate more ... collateral? 

And I grab one of my dogs and drive down the street for a few minutes. 

If I'm not there, with no phone ... guess who REALLY can't access their phone .. even with all of my stuff? 

Friend A THAT"S WHOooooo. 

When I came back 5 minutes later, Friend A, C & kids were triumphantly holding my computer, cell phone, kindle fire, and some other such non-sense they'd collected. I ignored them, went into my house, locked everything down, and set about putting my house back together, turning lights off as I went. 

Then I waited. 

I knew they would think I would be desperate to have my electronics back. 

So I waited some more. 

I snuck out of my house a couple of times and monitored them. 

I changed into dark colored clothes and walked through my neighbors yard in an attempt to sneak up undetected. Unfortunately barbed wire and flip-flops don't mix, so I gave up on that idea. By this time it had almost been an hour since I'd arrived back home, and I really wanted to get close enough to snatch my things and run. so I decided to risk going through the lighted areas by army crawling very slowly. By this time Friend A really wanted her phone back and had sent the kids to call me to parly. I'd almost made it to my next hiding spot when i was spotted. 

stupid street lights. 

Too make a long story longer, I finally revealed the password, once I realized they'd changed my computer password, locked my phone for 45 minutes (cause guess whose smart and puts a lock screen on her phone! duuuuh), changed my facebook password and changed my relationship status ... yeah. The Oscar the Grouch thing? All them. 

Needless to say, once I got my stuff back, all passwords have been changed and are all different. 

Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me. 

Even still it was another hour before I got my clothes back. 

Is it sad I was more concerned about that, then my electronics? 

I suppose this was good pay-back for the time I hid her laptop and they couldn't find it for hours... as I was at work and "couldn't respond to texts or phone calls right away. 


erin leigh