Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I started a photo blog

Today I am starting the Clean Eating Challenge.  During the first week, we only eat raw fruit and veggies.  This should prove to be interesting.  I will be documenting everything I eat on separate page.  Yah, I’m skeered but this morning smoothie was pretty good so we will just see how the rest of the week goes.  Because I know I will encounter all new things with eating raw, I’m counting these posts as my something new for this week.


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Today I registered for a Clean Eating Challenge

I could make so many funnies right now like…

Not sure why I need a clean eating challenge,  my dishes and utensils go through the dishwasher regularly.


I always use a napkin.  Rarely do I have food smeared on my face.  (Exception: eating wings.  Doesn’t everyone get sauce from ear to elbow?)


Do they mean clean as in boxing terms?  Clean fight?  I never hit my food below the belt…

Alright…that’s out of my system.

So yes, I signed up for a 3 month clean eating challenge.

One of my friends posted about the challenge on Facebook.  I followed the link and read all the features:
11-12 week program
Weekly educational classes online
Teams and cheerleaders to support you through the program
You earn points for food choices, exercise, sleep
Top earners win prizes at the end of challenge
Average member loses 8-10% of body weight…top losers lose 20%+
They stress this is a food only program.  No pills, no shakes, they aren’t trying to sell you anything.

Sounds like fun!  I’d do about anything for points, especially if I get a prize!  And, uh…top winners lose 20+% of their body weight…sign me up!!!

I clicked on the registration link and learned it would cost $125.  At first I was shocked.  $125!  Right before Christmas season?!  But I thought about it for a bit.  If the program lasts 12 weeks, that’s about $10/week or $1.50/day.  $1.50 is about the cost of a soda.  I’d be willing to chuck my soda budget to get healthy…I mean, I’ve gotta chuck sodas anyway.

And if all I have to do is make sure to wash my food before I eat it, this will be a cinch!!!

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Today I made Green Tomato Cake

I hear ya…Green Tomato CAKE?!  “Eeewww!”

That’s what I thought…until I tried it!


My dear friend researched some recipes and stumbled upon this gem.  Within a few days of discovering it, she whipped that cake up and brought me a piece.  I took one melt in your mouth bite and fell in love!!  The tomatoes almost tasted like apples!

If you happened onto a game show and they gave you a taste but you had to guess the key ingredient to win $5 million and you had 10 guesses, you would still lose the moola.  Emeril could find himself on the game show and STILL lose!

Sorry…I have full faith in your and Emeril’s taste deciphering abilities but the green tomatoes in this recipe is that deceitful!

I decided to try out the recipe for myself.  I had plenty of green tomatoes as I’ve been collecting them from the farmer market for about 2 weeks now. (The darkest green tomato came from my vine this morning!)

To start, put on some tunes!  You can’t do anything without some music!  I usually cue up the music channel on the TV.  Today I picked Top Hits.

First, I chopped the tomatoes to “All about that Bass” and “Boom Clap” & “Sing“.  Yes, I sung along.  Yes, I danced along too.


Then add a tablespoon of salt, mix around and let sit for 10 minutes or so.

While that is sitting, grab your softened butter (1 stick) and 2 cups sugar.  Now, I am infamous for forgetting to sit out my butter.  I have two cheats.  If you’re lucky enough to have a hot day, throw the still wrapped butter into a stainless steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set out in the sun.


Today however, the clouds decided to dominant the sky.  So option 2: place still wrapped butter into microwave at 10% power for 2-3 minutes.

I creamed sugar and butter together.  I used my handy Kitchen Aide mixer to do all the hard work.  I sung along to “Scream and Shout“.

Next add the 2 eggs.  “Sleeping with a Friend” played as I cracked the shells.  Mix those well with the creamed sugar/butter.

I preheated the oven to “Don’t“.  350°F.  I also greased and floured a 13 x 9 pan.  Ed Sheeran is getting quite a bit of air play today!

Next up, mix dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of baking soda.  “Fallin” playing in the background.

Now this is the point I call the recipe out for being stupid and make some corrections.  What sense does it make to add the raisins and walnuts to the dry ingredients?  And then you’ll add the tomatoes in separately?!  No sense whatsoever!!  Adding the flour will already make the dough stiff and hard to stir.  Then you’ll at the chunky ingredients to make it even harder?!   And then add another chunky ingredient later? Nah Nah says this baker!  I added the flour to my mixture using the mixer and then hand mixed the 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup walnuts and 4 cups of tomatoes in.  Yep, I worked my biceps.  Better I put in some elbow grease than the ingredients be obliterated in the mixer.  All of this was done to “Timber“, “Cool Kids” and “Rather Be“.


The oven reached temperature.  The mixture has been appropriately mixed.  The pan has been greased and floured.  We are ready to finish this cake off and bake away.  I scooped the batter into the pan and threw that bad boy into the oven.

I cleaned the kitchen to “Best Day of My Life“, “Habits“, “Trojans“, “Reverse“, “Harlem” and “Rude“.  I always tear the kitchen up when I bake! After about an hour I returned to a baked goodness!!


As you can see, I had to perform a taste test.


Yumee!! :)  This time I sang and danced to my own tune “Mmmm…this cake is good”.

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Today I sat in a pod chair

(I’m an honest person so I have to tell you, I did this yesterday.  But I already wrote about a something new experience and this experience could not be cast aside.)

I hope I called the chair by the right name.

I shopped for some furniture today for the soon to be built craft building aka Tatty Shack (“tatty” references to tatting).  When I walked into one of the stores, I spotted the chair and had to try it out!  This chair reminds me of the scene in Sleepless in Seattle


But the chair isn’t like a regular couch or chair where you look completely natural trying them out.  It’s odd.  I feel awkward trying it out.  Who knows why…I know I make no sense…I mean it’s a furniture store.  They want to sell you furniture  Obviously,  they want to sell this chair.  That’s why it’s here on the sales floor…with a price tag.

But still, I feel weird.  And I’m alone so it’s not like I can point to my fellow shopper and say “He/She double dog dared me to do it.  I HAD NO choice…”  Because, yeah I’ll throw you under the bus to still look like the sane one.

As such, I just walked by it the first time, acting like nothing was up.  I had to buy time to scope who was watching.

Good…no one.

I took another trip around and stopped by the chair.  I looked at it’s pristine, shiny white shell and peeked at the price tag.  I stood back and looked at it a bit more and then walked away.  Again, I needed to REALLY make sure no one was watching me.

Good…not a one.

Alright, this time I walked by and stood in front of the chair.’s quite the low rider.  I turned around and lowered my bootie, just hoping for the best.

Nice, cushy landing.  Wow!  It’s actually very comfortable!

I leaned back to snuggle in and just look around.  The opening really does eliminate about 60% of your view.  And being in a 1/3 open egg really makes one feel cocooned…safe…in your own world.   And the sound…the chair cancels out quite a bit of sound.

Ooo…this is nice!!

About this time I decided to take a panoramic picture to show y’all.


Took me a few tries (operator error and artistic indecision) but I got it!

As I finished up my photo, a guy walked by, peered in to the chair.

Guy: “Everyone has to try out the chair.”

Me: “Oh…this isn’t just a chair…it’s an experience!!”

Guy: “Absolutely…very true”

Ack!  I’ve been made!!!

Well, if my cover is blown I might as well make the most of it.

What did I do?  I twirled.  I twirled around in the chair…wee!!  Wow!  What fun!

I stopped and pondered what all I could do.  I could imagine curling up in the chair, reading a book or crafting or napping or day dreaming or praying for restoration from the lie I just told…the possibilities are endless!!

Time to get out.  I almost didn’t want to leave.  It already felt homey.

Anyhoo, H and G!

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Today I visited a Flip Flop Shop

I love flip flops as much as I love to breathe.  I love the comfort, casualness, and versatility of the simple foot wear.   If they could just figure out a winter flip flop, I’d be golden!

When I heard they have a store solely dedicated to flip flops, I had to visit and see for myself!


I walked in and felt transformed.  Like I had just walked off the boardwalk into a cute beach shop.  Island music played above, a cool breeze followed me in, some coconut foot “chapstick” enveloped my nose.  The only thing missing is the sand between my tosies.

I began shopping the sale selection.  The first section I came to happened to be the sale section.  Flip flops AND a sale?!  Woah!  Wait!  When did we walk in to utopia?!

I have a very average size foot.  Like the most average!  And sure enough…I couldn’t find anything in my size.  Thats’ s ok.  I didn’t let it get me down.  I mean,  there is a WHOLE store of flip flops to explore!

I perused down the wall, studying each flip flop.  Some seemed average.  I’m sure they were higher quality than my usual Walmart fare but nothing really jumped out, grabbed me and dove onto my feet, which you know, happens to me a lot.

That is until I spied these:


Have you EVER seen a more beautiful pair of flippie floppies?!  The paisley and swirls for actually sewn into the material (faux leather?).  Oh, they took my breath away.  Then, I glanced at the price tag and took a double take… $90+!!!  I choked!

I would have to admire them from afar.

Then a little ways away, a gleem caught my eye.


Gray flip flops with a huge, glitzy stone. But $30+?!  Umm…I could grab a pair of my cheapies and bedazzle them myself..and still have enough left over for a beachside Mai Tai.

Earlier this year I bought my annual stock of flip flops at my neighborhood Wally-World (aka Walmart).  Four pairs…less than $30.


I loved the Flip Flop Store…and I never knew my feet needed chapstick!!  But for my cheapness, it will have to be categorized under window shop only.

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Today is this blog’s 1 year anniversary!

Welp, it’s been a year!


I could go into how much I’ve learned by doing this project.  How I have done things I never thought I would.  My personal growth…

But yada yada yada…

My blogs are always all about me.  All about my point of view.  My crazy antics.  Today, I want something different…there I go again!  Me me me!

Let’s make this you you you!

Thank you, you awesome peeps!   : )


Thank you for reading my ramblings.  : )

Thank you for your comments!  Thank you for your likes!

Without your readership, this would be all for nothing.  You’re crucial to this project!

Look at you beautiful, awesome peeps!!  You’re awesome!!


So again, thank you! : )

On to year number 2!



Today I made my Birthday Cake

Tomorrow is my birthday!  Woo-hoo!! : )

But I’m home alone…hubs is on travel for work.  So in order to have a birthday cake, I must bake it myself.  No pity party though…I’m having a blast celebrating by myself.  In fact, I started the celebration over the weekend.  : )

I have two favorite flavors:  Yellow cake with chocolate icing and Pink Strawberry cake with Pink Strawberry icing.  This year, I decided on Strawberry.  I even have some frozen strawberries that I envisioned thawing out and playing with cutting them in creative ways to decorate the cake…you know, something new!

On the way home yesterday, I popped into Walmart to pick up the cake mix and icing.  To my dismay, I had issues finding the ingredients.  Err, box and tub.  “Ingredients” sounds like I’m baking from scratch.  I could…but I’m not.

When I entered the aisle, I did the quick scan, figuring the pink picture would certainly stand out.  Didn’t see it.

Then I stood back, studying the whole cake section, feeling assured it would magically appear.  No abracadabra.

Then I thought, maybe it’s my method.  So I scan the shelves from top to bottom.  Still no luck.

I continued to stand…in total disbelief.  I mean, how can they not have it?!  Pink Strawberry cake mix is one of the pillars of cake mix flavors!  Vanilla…Chocolate…and Strawberry!  Totally evidenced by Neapolitan (aka Napoleon) ice cream…Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry.  Pillar!  They MUST have it!!

I’m determined.

I examined every price sticker label on the shelf.  Surly it’s here somewhere.  After a few minutes of reading the labels, I found it…on the bottom shelf!   Well, certainly an unfitting shelf spot, but at least they redeemed themselves for having it.  But it looked empty.  What’s a girl desperate for birthday cake to do?  Get on her hands and knees to look all the way in the back to verify.  Hey, I got no shame in my game.  Low and behold, they had one…one lone box!

Ah ha!  Yes!  Persistence pays!

Now for the icing…of course I didn’t see it with a quick scan.  Then I did a methodical scan of the shelves…bottom to top this time.   They caught me once.  Not again!  But I still didn’t see it.  Then I looked at every label.  NONE!  Nothing said strawberry.  But they sure do have dark chocolate, german chocolate, milk chocolate and homestyle chocolate.  But no strawberry.   AND they have both caramel cake mix AND caramel icing.

What?!  When did caramel earn it’s place as a cake flavor?!  Now, yes…that does sound delicious…but I’m on a mission for Pink Strawberry!

You know…I could more accept that they didn’t have either cake mix or the icing.  But to have one and not the other?!  Complete illogicalness!

Well, I’m not buying one without the other.  And they aren’t the only gig in town.  So I move on to Target.

I headed straight for the baking aisle and did a quick scan.  My heart jumped!  Yes!  They have it!  Oh, but wait…it’s a pink cake mix by Charm City Cakes.  Far from beloved Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines.  And it’s just pink…no strawberry.  I continued to scan.  Nothing.  I did my thorough scan, top to bottom (because for sure Target would have more respect for Strawberry).  Nothing.  Target, in contrast to Walmart, has neatly organized shelves and not a mix is out of place.  It’s very evident they don’t have it.

Target, you missed the bullseye.


I retreat home.  After supper, I began planning my tomorrow and figured I would pop into another store while out and about.

But then I had a thought.  What if I don’t make a Pink Strawberry cake?  What if I make something else?  Who says I have to have cake?  It’s my birthday!  I could have anything I want!  Maybe there’s something more indulgent that I don’t dare ever make.

And then it hit me!  My grandmother’s French Silk Pie!!  I ALWAYS asked her to make it for me!  It’s absolutely my favorite.  My dear grandmother passed in 2009 and I probably haven’t had it since.  Considering it’s just butter, sugar and chocolate…yeah, I don’t make that…ever!  It’s definitely a rare occasion indulgence.   Luckily, I don’t even have to venture out to those disappointing stores!  I have all the ingredients already on hand!


Tonight I whipped up the pie of spectacularness!  Yeah, I just made that word up…it’s my birthday!

The whole time, all those lovely memories of cooking with my grandmother in her kitchen flooded back to me.  I could almost hear her giving me guidance as I measured and poured into the mixer.  “Use your wrist when you beat your eggs” or “Don’t worry about exact measurements…a little extra sugar never hurt anyone”.  And I remember every time she used vanilla, she’d put a few dabs behind her ears.  “No man can resist a woman who smells of vanilla” she’d advise.  I miss her more than words could ever express but I focus on the blessing she was in my life, the close, deep bond we share and treasure my sweet, tender memories of her.


Anyhoo, back to the par-tay!  Thank goodness for Kitchen Aide mixers!  When we used to make the pies together, we used a hand mixer…and stood…and stood mixing the pie filling for like 10 minutes.  Not anymore!  I threw (well gently poured) all the ingredients into the mixer bowl, closed down the mixer head, flipped a switch and stood watch as it did all the work.

French Silk Pie is similar to a mousse.  You have to introduce a lot of air into the mixture for the pie to have some body.  After about 4 minutes, I turned off the mixer and taste tested it.  Oh my golly…it melted in my mouth.  Ahh!! Heavenly!!

But I like mine a certain way.  I like mine to have just a bit of the sugar granules in the filling.  And in this mixture, the sugar had been beaten to perfect blendation.  (Yep, that’s me…just weaving together new wordage!)

My grandmother would add a small amount of powdered sugar in the recipe.  Mostly because after hand mixing the filling for 10+ minutes, your hands get tired…your shoulders aches…you regret your choice to stand at the counter when really sitting at the table would have been oh so comfortable…but the cord won’t reach and the mixing angle would be awkward…and about that time you think “Ah ha!  Powdered sugar would get this to set quickly!”

Thus far I hadn’t used the powdered sugar so I added some more sugar, let the blender mix it for 30 seconds and viola!  Perfection!

Now the pie is ready for the fridge to stiffen up.


And you know the best thing about celebrating your birthday alone???


No fighting over the beater.

Oh yeah!!




Today I created a Fantasy Football team

Football makes fall!

I love the whole social aspect of football.  Once you pick your team, you create either a level of comradery or playful competition between your friends.   I also love snuggling in on a crisp, cool Sunday with a lap blanket, some knitting and snack food to watch the game.

Now…I have a very superficial understanding of football.  I totally get the touchdowns and even field goals…but start talking downs and yards and my girlie ears shut down.  You’ll sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher

But I’ve always been intrigued with Fantasy Football…well, in that everyone I know does it and I want to do it too!

Today I decided to begin.  I signed up on and joined a league.  With not knowing much technical stats about players, I just let the computer pick for me.

Here’s my line up for Team Gonna Score (our colors are red and blue and our mascot is Sassy Sammie – a patriotic platypus – because platypi rock!  Oddly enough…I cannot find a picture of a patriotic platypus…):

Line up

Based on the projected points, I moved Steve Smith from my start line to the bench and moved Jerricho Cotchery from the bench to the start line.

I’ve also ventured into trading someone.  I don’t have a spare QB if Cam flakes so I offered up Steve Smith to get Brian Hoyer.

Poor Steve Smith is having a bad day!  Swapped, dropped and traded!

Wow!!  Sounds like I know what I’m talking about, doesn’t it?!

I have one player, Jordy Nelson, on my start line that will play in tonight’s game.  Normally, I would forgo watching a midweek game to watch some Dr. Who or a chick flick but now I have a vested interest!

Are you ready for some football?!!



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Today I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the big screen

Today I saw THE Breakfast at Tiffany’s on THE big screen!!

Our newspaper movie reviewer, THE Mal Vincent, hosts a summer movies series at a local theater where they bring the oldie, goodie movies back to THE big screen, where they belong! This season they featured movies like Casablanca (I am still kicking THE bootie that I am sitting on for not going to this!), Auntie Mame and East Side, West Side.

I arrived to the movie theater at least an hour early and still found quite THE line. I had planned to meet my dear friend but when I rounded the corner, I almost paniced I wouldn’t find her.

I did what any good movie goer does, I took my place at the back of THE line. I searched the line as I passed, looking for my friend but got to the end and still didn’t see her. I thought to myself, well at least we’ll have a spot in line. Just as I was settling in to line, I heard my name and wouldn’t you know, she found me!!

Now, because I just followed the masses, I didn’t realize one needed a ticket. Luckily, I have a super smart friend who scored THE tickets before seeking me out. It’s good having genius friends!

Once in the theater, one of the theater employees introduced the opening act. Because Breakfast at Tiffany’s premiered in 1961, he thought it would be great to show THE moment that changed life as we know it…

A little show hosted by THE Ed:

Featuring THE Paul:

And THE screaming girls:

Oh yah, and THE John and THE George

And THE some other guy…

Then THE Mal spoke to intorduce the movie

He shared some wonderful movie facts:
* His right hand has touched THE Audrey Hepburn.
* Audrey’s dog, Precious, got Mal an interview with Audrey…although he never met the pup.
* Audrey hated the opening scene of the movie. She loathed danishes and had to eat several while window shopping at THE Tiffany’s.
* Henry Mancini wrote “Moon River” specifically for Audrey’s limited singing range
* Tony Curtis was originally set to play Paul, however Audrey’s husband said no to THE hell no. Actually, I improvised…he probably simply said hell no.

And then he gave us quotes to listen out for during THE movie:
“It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I’ll give you two.”

“You could always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say, the mind reels.”

“A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.”

“Promise me one thing: don’t take me home until I’m drunk – very drunk indeed.”

And then THE movie began…and it was everything you could imagine. We got to spend 115 minutes in Holly Golightly’s world where every night is party night and reality only ruins the party. Glamour at 30′ by 70’! It should be considered against THE law to try to watch this movie on a lesser scale screen.

I walked out of the theater absolutely mesmerized. I never imagined I would have THE opportunity to see this movie in a theater. In fact, I left wanting to grab my little black dress, 2 foot cigarette wand and hop THE first plane to NY City to just stand in Tiffany’s.

And I still just might!

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Today I ate at a vegetarian restaurant

I’m not a vegetarian…but I deeply respect and admire those who are.

I have a dear friend who opts to live this incredibly honorable choice.  We go out to eat on a pretty regular basis but we don’t have any solely vegetarian restaurants in our area.  As such, she’s forced to have a limited selection of menu items to choose from.

Today however, we took a small trip out of town to pick apples and made a point to go to the vegetarian restaurant in that area.

On the way she said the menu was on the restaurant’s website.  I cued up the site and studied it for the rest of the ride.  This way I’m prepared.   Otherwise, they’d be on desserts before I even chose an appetizer!

The restaurant has a huge menu and a wonderful variety.  They offer items that mimic meat dishes such as “beef” lo mein which uses soy protein to stand in for the beef.  They also offer many dishes which are just vegetables.

I wanted to spread my wings and pick something very vegetarian.  I completely ruled out the dishes that had a substitute protein.  I’m not out to be a faker like that…not that there’s anything wrong with it…I just wanted to be adventurous :)  But I’m a scaredy cat too so I kept gravitating to the items I knew the most about…like cheese ragoons.  And of course I could have gotten down with any of the desserts.

I narrowed it down to 2 dishes:

Hawaiian Deluxe, a dish of fresh pineapples, bell peppers, onions, tomato, celery, and soy protein nuggets

California Avocado Sandwich, a fresh avocado, spinach, sun-dried tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese… served with fries and a soup

But I already eliminated the nuggets and honestly the sandwich had me at avocado AND sun-dried tomatoes!!  And mozzarella cheese!!! The sandwich won out…hands down.

I opted for wonton soup and we ordered fried black pepper mushrooms appetizer. The mushrooms came with a brown garlic sauce that I could have added to dirt.  It was that good!!



Let me just say…everything was delicious.  Like slap yo’ mama kind of delicious…not that I’m pro violence towards any mamas out there… And the sandwich…oh the sandwich…everything I imagined and more!!  Absolute heaven on a bun!!

If I could have this everyday,  I could sooo be vegetarian!!! :)

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