Favorite Childhood Memories


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.

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!?


Helene in Between Blogtober

The Little Things in Life

So, today is day 13 of #Blogtober14, and the prompt is something about fall recipes. As some of you may know, (and others will find out) I don’t do recipes. Like, at all. Unless it’s alcoholic. And even then, it’s as simple as vodka and cranberry juice. But since I am trying to keep up with the challenge of blogging everyday, I want to post something today anyway. (Ps, I know I haven’t posted every day. But it’s the effort that counts!) So today, I’ve decided to give you some insight to who I am. I believe it’s the little things in life that keep us sane. Without things like our morning work outs, trying a new beer, photographing something awesome, going for a hike, or brand new pens to draw with, I think our lives would be a little less bright. Here’s a few things that bring a smile to my face.

This is Jerry the Jeep. Some of you know him already. If you don’t, I wrote about him here. If I go longer than day without being in the Jeep, I start to go a little crazy. And I’m obsessed with taking photos of him. Seriously. I have tons. I generally smile just looking at it. Couldn’t tell ya why, but I freakin love this thing.

I love fish! And my fish tank. I’ve gone through quite a few fish since getting my tank set up almost 2 years ago. But it’s a learning process. The tank sits kind of next to my tv, and I swear I look at the tank as much as I do the tv. And how cute is the snail!? I love going to tropical fish stores and the Aquarium up in Long Beach. I could probably spend hours there, just walking around in circles looking at fish.

Fun fact: Hobo Co Pizza is THE BEST PIZZA EVER. No doubt. No competition. Best. Pizza. Ever. They’re a food truck here in southern Orange County. Check out their Facebook page, track them down, eat their pizza. Seriously, people. It’s worth it. Their pizza makes me insanely happy. (And full)

I couldn’t live in southern California without being a fan of the ocean. Isn’t everyone? Who knows. But there’s something about standing next to the ocean that makes me feel so.. Small; like my problems mean nothing. There’s a certain calm I get near the ocean that I don’t get anywhere else.

Last but not least – Holy Jim Canyon. The very first time I went here, I was drug out of my house at like, 10pm with a friend. She wanted me to meet some guy and told me we were going offroad. I told her she was crazy. I thought going offroad sounded dumb and a complete waste of my time. Well, that guy is now one of my best friends, (HI MIKE!) and Holy Jim is one of my favorite places EVER. A lot of more experienced offroaders will argue and say that this isn’t “real” offroading, and that it’s just a lame fire road, so it’s boring, and blah blah blah. But this is where I fell in love with offroading. I learned to offroad here. Learned to use my 4wd here. (With the help of Mike.. Thanks again for saving me that one day I got stuck.) I’ve spent a lot of time with friends here. No matter how into this offroad thing I get, I will always consider Holy Jim to be home.

So, that’s kind of me in a nutshell. Well, plus a few other things. But you’ll learn more as time goes on.

What are the little things in life that keep you sane?


Helene in Between Blogtober

The Best Advice I Ever Received


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?


Helene in Between Blogtober

Throwback Thursday! My Best Halloween

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?


(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.


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. (:


Helene in Between Blogtober

A Letter to My 15 Year Old Self

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.


Helene in Between Blogtober

My Best (So-Called) Vacation

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.
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.
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.

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..

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.

(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..

(Found the image here)


(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!

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Favorite Instagram Photo!


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.


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..


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.


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


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

Helene in Between Blogtober

The One Thing I Can’t Live Without


Over the years of dealing with depression and anxiety, one of the most important things I’ve had to learn, (and sometimes have to keep learning) is how to cope with the anxiety. One of the ways I’ve learned to cope is to just get out. So naturally, the one thing I can’t live without is my jeep. Really, I’d settle for any vehicle that runs. But since getting my jeep in March of 2013, I have absolutely fallen in love with it.


I can’t tell you how many days I’ve felt claustrophobic in my own house, or stuck inside my own head, even. I’m sure some of you know the feeling. My escape is driving. And of course, good music. Driving is insanely therapeutic for me, and I don’t know what I’d do without it. Actually, scratch that. From 2013 into 2013, I went 9 months without driving, and it was HELL. I never want to be in that situation ever again.



The jeep specifically gives me a freedom and joy that I’ve never felt before. My vehicle is better than most (in my opinion) because it’s taken me to some pretty cool places. I’ve been to the top of Saddleback Mountain (here in Orange County, CA) more times than I can count. There’s nothing better than being out in the dirt, with the windows down and the music up. I’ve been in the sunshine, watched the sun set, and seen the stars and city lights from over 5,000 feet of elevation.


What can’t you live without?


Link up with us for Blogtober14!

Helene in Between Blogtober

My Dream Job – Then & Now


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?


Helene in Between Blogtober