Kissing Toads

This post was one of my favorites from my previous blog  Enjoy!


Kissing Toads…

Have you ever kissed a toad?  Of course you have!  Everyone kisses toads in their lives. 

Hasn’t your mother ever said to you, “You’ve got to kiss a lot of toads before you get a Prince”?  Whether she used frogs or toads in this analogy is beside the point.  If by some stroke of luck your mother has never had to utter these words, consider yourself the luckiest person in the world.

Due to my recent dating adventures, my mother has once again passed the afore mentioned wisdom on to me.  I have determined the following: I hate when she says that!

Nobody wants to kiss a frog or a toad!  It’s gross.  I blame Disney.

For your amusement, I will now re-enact a toad encounter.

The setting is a nice, semi casual restaurant, complete with dim lighting and a secluded booth.  The choice was perfect for a dinner date because it’s not too fancy, where you are overdressed with your pair of jeans and a nice top, yet a step up from M.C.’s so you’re ok.  It’s about thirty minutes into the mindless first date chatter that you realize this isn’t going anywhere.

Your mind starts to wander a little. “I can’t believe I’m missing Real Housewives for this.  No, that’s bad.  This is good for me. Yes! Positive! Stay Positive!  I did set the DVR, didn’t I? Where is my brain sometimes?? Let’s see.  I curled my hair, then brushed my teeth, then looked at the dirty kitchen, then walked away from the dirty kitchen, then…grabbed the remote and set the DVR.  Awesome it’s done. Phew”

The time goes on and you give it an honest try by throwing some humorous remarks in there and trying to engage in the occasional witty banter.

As you finish the meal and engage in the “I liked the potatoes but the chicken was a little dry” conversation, you realize [CRAP] this date went a lot better for him than it did for you.  This is when you panic and prepare for the slightly awkward; I’ll walk you to your car, should we hold hands through our gloves action because you know the end of the night kiss is coming. 

Lips collide.  Maybe there were sparks, most likely there were not.  One or both of you lie, saying how great of a time you had and then it’s over.  In the end it was all relatively painless yet you are in desperate need of some comfort.  This is when go home, grab some wine and see what excitement DVR has in store.  Maybe later you will call your mom, ramble on about how you are going to end up an old spinster who talks to her cats while sitting in your rocking chair knitting them scarves and crying because you don’t even like cats in the first place.  Her response to this highly theatrical musing is, “It’ll be ok.  You have to kiss a lot of frogs (toads) before you meet your prince.”

And if your Mom is anything like my Mom, she will further comfort you by repeating a saying that I’ve heard since I was six years old, “Juilliard called.  They’re still holding a spot for you.”  From the other end of the phone, hysterical laughter commences.

End Scene.

For the record, I would now like to say something on behalf of the toads.  In this circus act we call dating, women meet every kind of toad.  Toads come in all shapes and sizes.  There are pretty toads, average toads, big toads, small toads, loud toads, quite toads etc.  And then there are the bat sh** crazy toads that are drawn to you for some reason or another and are in serious need of attention from mental health professionals.  I digress.

There is nothing wrong with these toads; they just aren’t the right toads for you.  Although I have never been a man, or ever claimed to know what they’re thinking, on some level the same must also be true.

Frustrations when dealing with toads are inevitable.  That is what your mother, or friend is there for.  To tell you that someday one of those toads will turn into a prince.  Until then, think of toad encounters as humorous collections of stories you can share for years to come.

Or until they get written into a book…things to think about.

Until next time,


Where’s My Resolution?

Figuring out how to be happy in all areas of your life can be nearly impossible.  Change is inevitable throughout your life and it seems to be that just when you think you’ve got everything figured out a new situation comes along to knock you off of your path.  If you don’t have good control of the handles you could very easily fall off all together.

Sometimes when I look back at pictures I tend to see the good and forget that there were difficulties too.  When I was 25 I was in the best shape of my life.  Sure I had no money, a beat up car, a job going nowhere and a very lacking social life but I looked fantastic so that made everything seem better.

When you go through positive times like that you think that you can really conquer anything but then life happens.  You buy a house, move, get a better job, make new great friends and suddenly you are having so much fun that you forgot to really take care of yourself.  Life smacks you in the face that way sometimes.

The very first thing I ever did with my life coach was to write down both what I liked and wanted to change in each area of life:

  • Health and appearance
  • Home and car
  • Career/job
  • Finances/wealth building
  • Social/friends/family
  • Romance
  • Fun/leisure
  • Spiritual and creativity

I’ve learned in the past 2 years that rarely, if ever, will all 8 areas of your life align.  Never will they be perfect because perfection isn’t reality.  Chasing perfection is like chasing a butterfly,  it easily slips out of your grasp.  Being content and happy with what you have is the key but you must also be willing to make the effort required to change.

By January 5, 2015, my resolution to get back on track was already waning.  Being social is so much easier and more fun that workouts and healthy eating.  However I was determined that 2015 was going to be different so I did something drastic that needed to be done:

5am RISE and SHINE workout class 5x/week.  Signed Up.  Paid. Done.

   No one said it was going to be easy only necessary.

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Just Call Me Daryl

Approximately 9:35 am last Friday my lifeline went black.  My phone was DOA, gone forever. 001
We all like to think that somehow we are above technology.  That somehow if it all went away we could thrive and stand victorious in the human spirit.  It’s the ultimate man against machine fantasy.   After all, I mastered a rotary phone at the age of seven so naturally I can defeat any machine.

While watching The Walking Dead, I sometimes wonder how long I would survive in an apocalyptic situation.  I’ve awarded myself points for common sense and ingenuity but demerits for my inability to effectively yield a samurai sword.  All in all, I’d probably make it to the middle of season three.

At first, when my phone died I was in denial.  It kept coming back to life only to die again after a few minutes (it’s very much like a zombie in that way).  I naturally assumed that if something like this were ever to happen it would be no big deal…WRONG.  This has proved to be a very big deal!

The weekend started well enough.  Best Buy could send me a new phone in two days.  But slowly a wall began to grow between myself and the outside world.  There was no one to tell about all the hijinks on Vanderpump Rules.  There was no one to tell that I wanted a cheeseburger, did they want one too?  And how is anyone supposed to know about a horribly amazing new show called Big Women: Big Love.  I CANT TELL THEM!  No Facebook.  No Twitter.  No Instagramming food.

Sure I could open my computer but it’s in another room!  When Monday rolled around I figured going back to work would be better but wrong again.  It was brutal.

Here is what I’ve learned. Yes, I am addicted to my phone and that is ok to say.  And I still think I could survive until season three of a zombie apocalypse…unless of course my miraculously operational phone is taken by a zombie.  If that is the case, just call me Daryl (badass zombie killer).





Family Room

Family Room

Having some extra time off I was determined to be productive so I decided to finish my family room.  For the better part of a year this room squeaked by on its charm with just the classic leather sofas

Side Table

Side Table

and red curtains.  While visiting my parents over the holidays, my mother constantly tried to convince me to take some old furniture from the basement.  It took her 10 days (and four years) to get me to concede.  To my surprise I got some inspiration.

Antique Mirror

Antique Mirror

When I decorate a room I find it really helpful to have a theme.  My philosophy is “Magazines are beautiful but your décor should have accents of your personality.”  So I decided that my theme would be Old World Meets Modern Chic.  Originally I wasn’t going to paint the back wall but I thought that it might add something extra to the room so I went with Valspar Chestnut Brown and it made the room infinitely cozier!

My Dad always told me you buy classic well-made furniture because it will last forever and I agree.  But for accents you can get amazing deals if you are willing to do a little digging!

Rug: Target Clearance $90

Coffee Table: Marshalls $30

Antique End Table: Good Will $10

Curtains: Bed Bath and Beyond Clearance $40

TV Stand, Wall Hangings: Grandmas Basement FREE

Act Your Age

Many of us have heard this phrase.  Many of us have used this phrase.  Even Prince, or the artist formerly known as, sang this phrase, “Act your age, not your shoe size…”

But what does it really mean?  Is there some rulebook somewhere that contained and detailed set or rules and regulations regarding each specific age?  Where is this rulebook?  I would first like to read it and then promptly throw it out a second story window.

I’m sure at one point or another in our lives, everyone has been told to act their age.  Most likely it was said by your mother referring to some deviant act occurring between the ages of 8 -12.  Another likely possibility is that it was said by a girlfriend, sister or friend to a male of a certain age with a Peter Pan complex.

This past weekend I spent all of Saturday playing in a pool with family and friends.  During my game of ‘airplane’ with my very giggly three year old friend, I looked around the pool and realized that I was the oldest one by about ten years.  This made me think; at 25 what am I supposed to be doing?  Should I be sitting on the sidelines watching the kids play?  Am I too ‘old’ to be horsing around in a pool?  Before I could give this anymore thought I was promptly tackled underwater by the boy’s team.  Silly I forgot about the game of ‘keep away’ I started 20 minutes prior…water up your nose still hurts at any age!

Thoroughly exhausted and showing my age, I crawled out of the pool and into the car where my mommy and daddy were waiting to take me home to bed.  On the way I started mulling over this whole idea of “Acting your age.”  At some point everyone grows up.  You mature, gain wisdom and accept more responsibility in life.  These are all necessary and wonderful things.

But, what about fun?  I consider it lucky to have family and friends who don’t take themselves too seriously because we have a lot of fun.   Sometimes I think when people ‘grow up’ they forget all about being a kid and that’s a shame.  When you’re a kid ‘fun’ isn’t proper or neat.  Kids don’t do things for show or to impress people.  Kids don’t care what you think!  They seek out fun!

In the end I decided that I don’t give a flying leap if people think I should act my age.  If I want join a neighborhood game of dodge ball or slide headfirst down the slide or yell really loud in an appropriate venue or let a three year old push me in the pool twenty times in a row, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  Everyone has an inner child.  Mine is slightly theatrical and loves the water.  I let her play as much as I can.

What does your inner child want to do?  Maybe you should let them out sometime.



Christmas Letter 2013/2014

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????For those of you new to this Christmas tale, welcome to my yearly review.  After growing weary of the traditional letters sent year after year I thought, “Someone needs to remedy this injustice!”  It was then that I decided to right everything that is wrong with this tradition.  Cast aside the pleasantries and provide friends and family with an honest, humorous, sometimes inappropriate review of my life. In the hope of spreading joy through the season, here, for your Christmas reading pleasure, is 2013 AND 2014 in review…

The beginning of 2013 was a blur, and not for the typical reasons of too much egg nog.  In February 2013 I began the interview process to become a pharmaceutical rep, aka Hypertension Superhero.  It was a challenging time but definitely the highlight of 2013.  My good friend Sarah and I became the drug pushing dynamic duo of Fredericksburg, VA.  Adored by all and feared by none.  Our fearless leader Brenda guided us through the trenches and taught me some valuable lessons I carry with me.  For example, “That guy is salty; you need to Cancel Christmas on him Kid!”  Later we added Jack and Beth to make us unstoppable.

Before I started training to become an Rx superhero, I decided to celebrate my 27th birthday in a big way.  Twenty of my closest friends, perhaps some were enemies (you know who you are), helped me throw a big bash to send off 26.  Waking up on the front lawn with a Twilight sticker stuck to my forehead was not what I imagined but beggars cannot be choosers.

In June I was off to New Jersey for intensive training.  Immediately I was faced with quite possibly the biggest challenge of my life; what to do when the wine store closes early and left turns are illegal?  Touché Jersey, the first round goes to you. Luckily with the help of my trusty sidekicks, Fillie and Jeslyn, we overcame our oppressors and found the appropriate wine serving establishments.  Couldn’t have survived without them!!

For the weekend I was off to visit Ruth, an English friend, in NYC.  We had delicious food and ventured to another world called Brooklyn via the underground tunnel.  Immediately upon emerging to the surface, I was approached by a local chap inquiring whether or not I grew my own butt or obtained implants.  It’s safe to say those gentlemen were unlike any other.

On our last night in New Jersey, Jeslyn and I decided to treat ourselves to a fancy wine dinner with a side of food.  People watching, as I do, I noticed a rotund Mr. Potato head shaped man at the next table.  I began to think, “Who in NJ is famous, short and kind of looks like Mr. PotatoHEAD? “  Why the governor of course!  Who knew Jeslyn and I were special enough to eat with Gov. Christie. Maybe he heard of our drug selling superpowers!?!

In the summer of 2013 I had boy band fever!  The Package Tour (NKOTB, Boyz to Men and 98 degrees) was coming to DC so Katy, Sarah and I bought tickets immediately.  At the show my inner 14 year old self was brimming with glee while my 27 year old self lost her voice and took 2 days to recover.  When Donnie Wahlberg is shirtless I’m not complaining.

Mom and Dad came for two visits in 2013! One was a lovely 4th of July celebration with my friends, the Vance Family.  We went hiking in the Shenandoah Mountains and chose a trail that was a little too difficult for our skill level.  I spent the final climb trying to calculate how long it would take me to summon a helicopter if they didn’t make it out alive.  Thankfully they lived and in December came back for the WI Christmas bash.  No one lost an appendage to a tiny westie with an attitude problem this year, thankfully!

After such an eventful 2013 I was ready to meet 2014 head on but 2014 had other ideas, namely snow.  Come March the snow melted and the British Invaded.  Ruth and Laura came for a visit and I showed them everything Virginia had to offer, Vineyards!  We also went shopping and had brunch as proper ladies do.

A few weeks later I flew home to host the bachelorette party for my best friend Michelle.  Note to self, heart burn is a real thing and needs to be taken into consideration when drinking heavily after eating spicy gumbo.  “It’s never too late to be what you want to be unless what you want is to be younger, then you’re screwed” ~my new mantra.  In April Michelle got married to Jason and I gave a kick ass maid of honor speech.  So happy for you, love you both!

In June I went to see Luke Bryan and bought a townhouse, importance in that order.  In July, Sarah gave birth to my Mini Me! Don’t we look alike?  She tells people that he wasn’t named after me but Aaron and Erin are essentially the same so I am honored to have a child named after me!  Everyone thinks that was really nice of them since I’m such a good friend!

Later in July, for Naomi’s dirty thirty, I embraced the hipster trend of infusing alcohol with questionable things.  The blueberry shocker was a mixture of blueberry and gin infused with cedar (as in wood).  If you ever want to know what blueberries and woodchips taste like just ask.  In August, Bryn came for a visit.  We sat by the pool, got massages and saw Guardians of the Galaxy.  Tough life for the Callen girls!

At Oktoberfest 2014 I got the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull, jump in a bouncy castle and ride in a hamster wheel after pints of beer.  Don’t worry, eventually I recovered from my injuries but those things are dangerous for people over the recommended weight, height and age restrictions!  Really the attendant should be more selective about who he lets in.

For Thanksgiving I went home to surprise my family.  It was one of my favorite trips and quite possibly the most exhausting trip of my life!  Maybe I will recover in time for Christmas!  This years Christmas Party was a Whitetrash theme and as you can see below, I have some incredibly stylish friends!

That just about brings us to the end.  It’s been a fun ride and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!

Merry Christmas

Love, Erin25043_794806883731_205892946_n