My Favorite Quote

Do song lyrics count as a quote? Well, they do today. Today’s #Blogtober14 prompt is to write about your favorite quote, and the first thing that came to my mind, was this..

inthisdiary

It’s part of the chorus to a song by the Ataris called “In This Diary.” It’s been my absolute, number one favorite song for years now, and I’ve had that album on repeat since I was about 15. Something about those words has always stuck with me. I’ve always been one to follow my heart. Even when the logical answer was pointing me elsewhere. So far, I haven’t had much real world success in following my heart. But I believe one day it’ll lead me to where I’m supposed to be. It’s like the song says, “eventually, you’ll finally get it right.”

erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

Favorite Childhood Memories

20141014_153108000_iOS

When I was a kid, I never thought the day would come when I could say, “Yup! We’ve been friends for 20 years!” Because when you’re a kid, 20 years seems like a LONG ways away. But, I’m finally at the point in life where I can say, we’ve been friends for 20 years.

Yup, that’s Kendall. We met in kindergarten. I was so shy that she was the only person I would talk to.. Probably up until like, 5th grade. There was even a kid in school with us who was convinced I literally couldn’t speak. Anyway – Kendall and I had some good times when we were kids. For some reason, I don’t have a single freakin pictures of us from back then. I know she has at least one big photo album for our years in Girl Scouts together. And if I had planned this blog post better, I would have asked her for it and posted some pictures up. But I’m a procrastinator and new to blogging, so I didn’t do that. Just use your imagination. 🙂 I can’t pick one memory, so I’ll pick a few.
IMG_0394

1. We must have been in 4th or 5th grade when Kendall was obsessed with frogs. We were also obsessed with the Dixie Chicks. So for her birthday that year, my mom and I decided to buy her a pet frog. We got the frog, the whole little terrarium thing with everything in it needed for a frog to live. Still not sure how her parents thought about this.. But, her dad decided to name this frog Earl. The name comes from a song by the Dixie Chicks called Goodbye Earl. Pretty much, the song is about killing an abusive husband. Good name for a frog. (And an awesome song for a 5th grader!) A couple of days later, (it could have been longer, but I was a kid, so it felt like a couple of days) Earl died. Kendall and I, to this day, are convinced that the frog died because it was named after Earl from the Dixie Chicks song. I don’t remember it being funny when we were kids, but it sure was funny when we got older.

2. Kendall and I saw our first concert together in the 5th grade – the Dixie Chicks. The only thing I really remember about the show was Kendall and I would hold our arms open wide when they sang “Wide Open Spaces.” Yeahhh.. We were cute.

3. There was the time we tried to build some kind of club house in the backyard out of cardboard boxes. For some reason, we had all these carpet samples. You know, the little rectangle pieces of carpet? Yeah. Don’t know where they came from. But we put them in the backyard and tried to build a cardboard box wall around them. We couldn’t figure out how to get the boxes to stay together, though. We tried everything. Stapler, tape, glue. I don’t even remember if we ever got anything to work..

4. The time period when we were obsessed with Ricky Martin. No explanation needed.

5. One of my least favorite memories, (but it’s kind of funny so it gets to be mentioned) from growing up with Kendall was having sleepovers at her house. Kendall’s family always had cats growing up, and I was deathly allergic. So I was that awkward, puffy faced kid that Kendall’s mom had to drug up at all the sleepovers. That being said, I was also the first kid to pass out. Yeah, I was fun.

So there you have it, ladies and gentleman. Some random, little stories about my BFF Kendall. She is now married and about to have a baby and the whole thing freaks me out, because seriously, wasn’t it yesterday that we were making club houses in my backyard and obsessing over Ricky Martin? WHERE DID THE TIME GO!?

erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

The Best Advice I Ever Received

20141012_171630000_iOS

The best advice I ever received wasn’t even directed toward me. It was just something I overheard one person say to another. I don’t even think I have used this specific piece of advice in life yet, but the fact that it has stuck with me so long, tells me that it’s probably pretty important. Let me set the scene for you..

A few years back, (I can’t even remember what year) my mom and I were visiting my Aunt in Oakland. At the time, my aunt was working at a Michael’s craft store. My mom and I had gone in to visit her, and she happened to be talking to a customer about recently getting married. The customer asked my aunt if she had any marital advice. My aunt laughed, and said something along the lines of, “Don’t ask me, ask her! She’s been married forever!” Of course, she was pointing at my mom. My mom, without even hesitating or stopping to think about her answer replied with, “pick your battles.” She then said something like, “Let him leave his dirty socks on the floor.. There will be bigger issues at some point.”

I know this story isn’t special, and I don’t have some life lesson to tell because of those words of advice. I’ve never really been in a long term relationship, so I don’t think I’ve ever had to “pick my battles” with someone I love. But like I said, those three small words have stuck with me for some time now. There’s gotta be a reason for that, right?

erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

Throwback Thursday! My Best Halloween

20141009_212938000_iOS
Fun fact: I’m not a big fan of Halloween. Shocking, I know. I liked it as a kid, though. My mom always made costumes for my siblings and I, and a lot of the time, we matched. And what kid doesn’t like candy? Of course I liked Halloween as a kid. Then I got older and decided dressing up was not my kind of thing, and HEY, I can just go to the store and buy candy. Less walking around random neighborhoods, too. Now, as an adult, Halloween themed parties are cool and all, but they generally require you to wear a costume, and I just can’t seem to get into that. So, my Halloween’s generally consist of carving a pumpkin or two, buying my own candy, and sometimes I watch one of those lame TV specials about haunted places in the US.

There was one year though, (2010, to be exact) when I had a pretty cool group of friends. (I’m still friends with a few of them!) We had planned to have a Halloween party at our friend’s apartment. It was a tiny place, and parking always sucks in apartment complexes, so we decided to move the party to my house. I immediately thought, “Crap, I have to wear some kind of costume.” So I went in search of one of those t-shirts that looks like a costume. You know what I’m talking about?

costume

(You can find that awesome costume here)

So that’s kind of what I was going for. I’m a procrastinator, and by the time I decided to go shop for something, there wasn’t a lot left. I managed to find something, though. It was some kind of “sexy cop” t-shirt and I thought that was pretty funny. So I get home, and I’m kind of excited about this shirt, so I showed my dad. He leans in a little and says, “pecker inspector?” I say, “WHAT?” And sure enough, upon a closer look, the badge on this sexy cop said “Pecker Inspector” and had a nice little penis there in the middle. *Facepalm* Not EXACTLY what I was going for, but it worked.

20141008_213617000_iOS
20141008_213850000_iOS
20141008_213859000_iOS

So, my friends all came over, we got super drunk, took a million pictures. Looking back, though, I’m only in a few of them. This was the last time I wore anything resembling a costume. I’m fun, right? Like I said, I’m not a Halloween person. But at least I tried! So there you have it, folks. One of my best Halloween memories with the people I love the most. (:

erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

A Letter to My 15 Year Old Self

20141008_160719000_iOS
Today’s Blogtober14 prompt is actually, “A Letter to Myself in Ten Years” but I have a bit of a problem with that.. See, I can’t think that far ahead into the future. It actually freaks me out a little. I’ve always been this way. Even in high school when everyone was talking about what college they would go to and what career they wanted, I was in the corner like, “Uhhhh…” I’ve never been a planner. I ‘m just kind of on this road that we call life, not sure which direction I’m going in. I’ve never really had a problem with that, though. But, it makes today’s prompt a little difficult. I have NO IDEA where I will be, or even WHO I will be in ten years. I haven’t even thought about it. I have no goals or aspirations for that far ahead into the future. (Don’t think I’m a bum, I have short term goals.. Just not long term ones.) And please don’t get me started on the psychology behind goal setting. I could write forever. ANYWAY. Instead of writing to my future self, I decided to go back ten years and write to my younger self.. I’ve got a few things to say to her..

Dear 15 year old Erin,
I know you think how you’re feeling now will last forever, but I promise you, it won’t. The sadness, heartbreak and feelings of betrayal will soon leave you. That boy you thought you liked so much – he’s a coward. First break ups suck, I know that. But in a few years, you will be able to look back and laugh at him, and the entire situation. In the years to come, you will have your heart broken more times than you an count. That’s the downfall to feeling everything so deeply. Don’t ever put a wall around your heart, though. You can’t know love without heartbreak, and believe you, you will know love.

The girls who broke your trust aren’t your real friends. Unfortunately, that part never gets easier. Even as an adult, it sucks when people act the way they are. But those girls were never meant to be your life long friends. (You’ll meet your real BFF soon!) Try not to pay much attention to all the other negative people, either. I know it’s hard to do when you’re so young, but it’s a skill you will love. Cut Duncan some slack.. He just lost his dad and obviously doesn’t know how to deal with it. One day he will apologize to you, and I’m pretty sure he means it. Laugh at all the drama with Nathan. Ten years from now, you’ll still find yourself thinking about him from time to time. (That’s not a bad thing, though.)

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. At 15, the world is a scary place. It’s going to take a few years to find the solution to that big ugly problem they call depression; but I promise you, it’s so worth it. So hold on. Keep your head up. Don’t ever lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel.. The view from the other side is beautiful.

Don’t ever forget; “The only thing that matters is just following your heart, and eventually, you’ll finally get it right.”

Love, your totally awesome, future self.

PS: Take more photos! You’re 25 now and can’t find any from that year.. Seriously. Do it.

erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Best (So-Called) Vacation

20141007_231948000_iOS
Happy Tuesday, everyone! If you have been following along, I am participating in Blogtober14 with some other awesome bloggers. The challenge is the blog EVERY day in October. Of course, you don’t have to. There are no rules. You can pick the prompts you want to write on & leave it at that. But I thought it would be pretty cool to blog every day for a month. Yesterday, I had every intention on blogging along with you guys. However, other priorities came first. I don’t see my blog as a job, like others do.. I certainly don’t make any money here. So when a good friend surprised me by saying she was flying into town, I ditched my computer and went to pick her up. We then spent the majority of the afternoon/evening drinking. (As is tradition) So! With that said, I’m moving on to day 7 of Blogtober14.

I think people have different definitions of vacations.. For some, (like my parents) it’s traveling somewhere, and then doing ALL kinds of stuff. They are currently in Hawaii, zip lining and snorkeling and hiking. Honestly, that sounds exhausting to me. Others, (probably like myself) think an awesome vacation would be to go somewhere and just CHILL. No real plans, no big activities.. Just get away from home and relax a little. My idea of a good vacation is probably a little different than most. I’ve never had a job that made me scream, “I NEED A DAMN VACATION!” And I really don’t feel the need to “get away from the stress” like some do. So, really, I don’t take vacations. I went on a few family vacations when I was a kid, but even then, it was nothing crazy. I remember going to Vegas a few times.. And really, that was it. I’ve traveled to a few other states to visit friends, but nothing really exciting.

Then, in July of 2011. My friend (at the time) Sam lived in Sacramento.. She called me one day and said she was planning to drive out to Texas to pick up a friend, and bring that friend back to Sacramento. Then she told me she wanted to make a stop in Orange County to hang out for a day or two. I said cool, come on down. She spent a couple of days with me, and the entire time, tried to convince me to drive to Texas with her. At the time, I was working part time as a nanny, and didn’t feel comfortable just taking off from work. It was the summer, so the kids weren’t in school or anything.. My mom thought they could probably find someone else to watch their kids for a few days. Eventually, she convinced me and I decided to go.. Here’s how that kind of went down..

It was real early in the morning, probably close to 7am. I was standing outside, still in my PJs, while Sam loaded up her stuff into the truck. We were about to say our goodbyes and all that, when my mom pulled up. (She took my dad to the airport that morning; besides the point.) My mom asked why I wasn’t going.. I told her again, I had to work. This is when she convinced me that I should just tell my boss I couldn’t work that week, and go to Texas. So what did I do? Ran inside, changed my clothes, packed a bag real quick, and got in the truck.
arizonastatelinenmsateline
I don’t know why there isn’t a picture of me at the Texas state line.. But anyway! Luckily, Sam and I are both somewhat photographers. Which was cool, because we both wanted to stop every 20 minutes and photograph weird things. Okay, maybe not literally every 20 minutes, but it felt like we stopped a lot. I won’t bore with you all the photos, because there’s a million of them. But here’s a couple I thought were cool. I don’t remember what state they were taken in, but they highway was so quiet, I was able to run across to the middle.. I even stood in the middle of the road, at one point.
5 (2)3 (2)
Here’s a selfie of us.. 11
And at one point, we drove right into a giant storm. Our bags were in the bed of the truck, and obviously were getting wet. So we stopped at a truck stop, and bought this big blue tarp to put over them. Got that all tied down, and got back on the road. It wasn’t more than a couple of miles before the tarp started to blow right off. This is Sam, after fighting with the stupid thing in the rain.
10
It’s kind of weird, but I don’t remember a lot of the details of what happened when we actually got to Texas. The friend that Sam was supposed to be driving back to Sacramento bailed. We get all the way out there, and this chick decides she doesn’t want to go anymore. I don’t remember why. It was kind of dramatic, and stupid. So Sam and I decided to drive into San Antonio, check out the River Walk, and stay there for the night before coming back home. It was pretty cool, I guess. A little hot for me. But it made for some cool pictures.
8 (2)
We also found an old Wal-Mart building. I think they just changed locations, but again – cool pictures!
6 (2)
This wasn’t a typical “vacation” by many peoples’ definitions. But to me, it was exactly my kind of trip. Spontaneous with no schedule to be on. I wish we would have had more time to explore some other stuff throughout New Mexico and Arizona, but that’s okay. It was a pretty awesome trip, despite all the drama and road blocks along the way.
erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Fall Bucket List. (& Other Things)

Is it fall yet? With the weather in southern California being SO STINKING HOT, I couldn’t tell.. Everyone is talking about sweaters and boots, and I’m over here in 100 degree weather. It’s hard to think about doing “fall” things when it’s still so hot out. I don’t necessarily have a bucket list for fall, but there are a few things I am going to do.
1. I am a sucker for fall-type photos. I love photographing things/people at pumpkin patches, but I always seem to get there too late in the season. I didn’t make it last year, but the year before was awesome. Everything was picked over and the only pumpkins left were ugly and gross. This year, I WILL get there earlier! Although, they’ve been open a week and I haven’t made it yet.. So we’ll see..
pumpkinpatch12

See? This picture sucks! I am going to do better this year, I promise.

2. I think apple picking would be kinda cool.. But I mostly want to go and do it so I can take photos of an apple orchard. I really only go out and do cool things because I like taking pictures of stuff. That’s normal, right? So I looked up where to go apple picking, and I found a place.. But on their website, at one point, they say apple season is through September, and there probably aren’t many apples yet. Then, on another part of their website, they say they say apple season is through December. SO WHO KNOWS. I should probably call & talk to a real person. Sometimes that’s easier. If I get this done this year, I’ll drag my sister and take cute pictures of her. She knows the drill..

3. I really would love to make it up to Big Bear by the end of the year. There’s a lot of offroad trails up there, all my friends have been, and everyone says things like, “You really missed out this weekend!” And I just have to keep reminding them that gas is expensive and money doesn’t grow on trees. But, hopefully I can make it by the end of the year.
bigbearoffroad

(Ps, I borrowed this photo from Rock-Tech Offroad)

4. This has nothing to do with fall, but I’ve been dying to go to Bodie, CA. It’s a ghost town about 75 miles east of Lake Tahoe. (Got that fun fact from Wikipedia!) I first saw it on the homepage of Bing, and of course, I fell in love. The amount of photos I could take in this place is endless. One day..
Bodie1-1024x682

(Found the image here)

Bodie-Home-Sweet-Home

(Found this image here)

So I guess that’s kind of part of my bucket list.. I tried to stay away from posting about leaves and scarves and pumpkin slice lattes. (Although, I really do love PSL.) When fall finally decides to make an appearance here in SoCal, I’ll probably post some fall-like photos. Stay tuned!
erinmichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Favorite Instagram Photo!

favoriteinstagram

Fun fact: As of writing this, I have 2,146 photos posted to Instagram. I am a photographer by heart & nature, so, of course I post a ton of photos. Since I have SO many, it was insanely hard for me to pick just one favorite. I somehow managed to narrow it down to FOUR. Actually, I managed to do that because I only went back as far as like, a year and a half ago. Had I gone all the way through, I would have had 20 favorites and this would have been a huge problem. Anyway! I narrowed it down to four photos that meant something to me and then I took to the virtual streets of social media. I asked friends and family to vote for their favorite.

20141004_003145000_iOS

1. This photo marked a year of being anti-depressant free! (Now, it’s almost two years, by the way.)

2. March of 2014, when I saw one of my favorite bands – The Ataris – play my FAVORITE album of all time, So Long Astoria, from start to finish. Seriously, I’ve had this album on repeat since I was 14. It was an epic show.

3. March of 2013. This was taken half-way up Saddleback mountain. It was my birthday, and I am standing there with two of my best friends.

4. Just an awesome photo I took of a good friend. For some reason, I’ve always loved this one. (And it was taken almost in the same place as number three.)

Friends and family spoke, and number three is the winner! Here’s a closer look..

faveinstagram

This was an awesome day. Of course, I had a few other Jeeps with me, and my two best friends. Alex was pregnant, so she probably peed in the bushes like 80 times that day. And I made Brittany cry when I accidentally put one of my back tires into a little ditch thing.

20140331_172951000_iOS

So there ya have it, folks. One favorite Instagram photo. (:

ErinMichelle

If you are new here, I am blogging everyday in October with Helene & Taylor. Check it out!

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Dream Job – Then & Now

dreamjob

I’d like to think I had a somewhat typical dream job when I was a kid.. See, I wanted to be a pop star. Yup, I admit it. (Excuse me while I run and hide now.) I aspired to be someone like Britney Spears, before I knew that she was in fact a little skanky. Or maybe someone like Hanna Montana; although I didn’t want it to be a secret, and there was no such thing as Hannah Montana when I was 12. I spent hours a day dreaming of what it would be like to be amongst the famous..

And then came high school, where I joined choir, learned I’m really not the best singer, and I have horrible stage fright. So that dream went out the window pretty quickly. As I got a little older, I started to see myself as taking a different route than others. I can’t remember ever saying I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or PRESIDENT when I grew up. I started to see that the traditional route wasn’t for me. I didn’t really want to go to college, (although I tried) get a good job and play by someone else’s rules. I wanted to play by my own rules. And I think that has led me to my very own (realistic) dream job.

Earlier this year, it was brought to my attention that I could get into social media marketing. I had never even considered this as a career until a friend of mine was telling me how much his boss hated using Facebook. A couple of days later, I was like, OMG I COULD DO THAT FOR PEOPLE! And it turns out, there’s a little bit of a market for it these days. So many new companies (and old ones, I guess) are popping up out there who don’t have the time or energy to deal with social media. But guess what? I love doing stuff like that. Bam. Dream job.
So I decided to build somewhat of a business for myself. It’s still in the beginning stages. But I get to “work” wherever WiFi is available, and most importantly, play by my own rules.

What is your dream job?

ErinMichelle

Helene in Between Blogtober

New Blogger Introduction & What I’d Do If I Won the Lottery

Hello to everyone in blog land! I’m glad you could stop by.. This is my very first post, so of course, things look a little quiet around here.. That will change soon, don’t worry.

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Erin; super simple, easy to spell, and no cute little nicknames. (Thanks Mom & Dad!) I have spent all 25 years of my life living in beautiful Southern California.
Unlike other bloggers, I can’t exactly tell you why I’ve decided to start blogging. I think I have an idea, but it’s still not very clear to me. For years, I have been somewhat struggling to find my place in the world. If there’s one thing I’ve seen (almost) every blogger write, it’s how much blogging has changed her life. So maybe I’m hoping the same will be true for me.

I have a pretty interesting background. I was diagnosed with depression when I was about 14 years old, and in December of 2012, found a treatment that ended the majority of my suffering. (I say the majority of because, like every other human being, I still have bad days – I feel sad, angry and a little on the down side. But there is absolutely a difference between being sad and being depressed.) All throughout my years with depression, I knew two things to be true;

One – I would eventually find the light at the end of the tunnel. (One of my therapists thought this was strange because it’s rare for people suffering from depression to have that kind of hope.)

Two – Someday, I would have a story to tell.

So, maybe that’s the reason I decided to start blogging. I have a story to tell. I may not have a college degree, a husband, (or even a boyfriend) a great job, or more than $5 in my savings account.. But I’ve got some awesome life experiences. Maybe by telling my stories and sharing my life experiences, I can prevent someone from making the same mistakes. Or, you can all laugh with me as I recap some of the silly and impulsive things I’ve done over the years. We’ll see.

Who knows what this blog is going to become. Whatever it is, though, I hope you’ll tag along for the ride.

Helene in Between Blogtober


Today is October 1st, 2014, which means it is the first day of Blogtober! I decided to jump on this crazy train because, as a new blogger, I’m finding it difficult to figure out what exactly to write about. Seems like a great way to jump in head first and connect with some other people. For day one, I bring to you, What I would do if I won the lottery..

First things first; I would NOT quit my day job! Whatever my day job happens to be, I would continue to do it. I would probably work less days, or less hours. But I once learned in a psychology class that people who win the lottery and quit their jobs are significantly less happy than those who continue to work. Makes total sense to me. I wouldn’t go too crazy on the spending, either. Don’t get me wrong, I’d splurge a little.. I’d buy an awesome piece of land to live on, with enough room to store the 8 jeeps I want. (Okay, maybe not 8 exactly, but I want more than one!) I also want one of these bad boys:

vwthing

(Thanks for the inspiration, Dad!)

I would probably do some traveling.. Buy myself a nice, fuel efficient car and see all 50 states. Maybe not all at once, but eventually I’d get there. I don’t even have to see the big cities, either. I want to see the small towns, the lame tourist attractions and abandoned stuff. And of course, I would do the logical, no brainer things.. Invest some, help out family if they needed it, and pay my parents back for all the shit they’ve gotten me out of over the years. I don’t think anyone is really counting, but I owe them a lot of money.

Writing this post is a little ironic, because I’ve never actually purchased a lottery ticket.. Maybe I’ll do that today..

Until next time, folks.

ErinMichelle