Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I realized it’s been 2 years

Hello you awesome peeps!

I cannot believe it’s been 2 years since I have posted.  While I love writing and sharing my (hopefully amusing) posts, life certainly took over.  But that was then and this is now and I’m ready to just look and move forward 🙂

Over the last week I’ve been getting signs that maybe I should restart this blog.  First, I’ve gained like 5 likes on my blog Facebook page.  5!  That’s a 25% increase!   Flash to Sally Field’s 1985 Oscar acceptance speech.

Additionally, when I started this blog I signed up for a free weekly statistics report just to get to know my readers.  I’ve been getting the emails weekly but rarely look at them.  Well, I happened to open one this morning and found my humble little blog has been viewed 300+ times this week alone!

Page stats

So…in the awesome words of Si from Duck Dynasty:



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Today I walked the Million Bulb Walk (and Cuddle Duds)

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens creates a beautiful light display in celebration of the holiday season called the Million Bulb Walk.  This is the first year I’ve visited the display.  Normally, you would enjoy the lights from the comfort of your car however for a short period of time they open it for visitors to walk through the one mile path.


Gingerbread peeps and candy confections welcome you into the gardens.


Flowers and rainbows begin the light tour.


No light display could ever be without fireworks!


Caterpillars, mushrooms, butterflies and daisies…


Close up…


A rose…


A sunflower…


This Christmas tree was just one of several that was synchronized to the Linus song and Trans Syberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve/Sarajevo.


I love shooting stars! 🙂


A cutiepie elf!


A busy elf.


Wow…what a walk!  I started in Norfolk but ended up in the North Pole!


Beautiful trees!!


More beautiful trees!


Happy Holidays!! 🙂

After reading this, you may feel like you’ve seen the whole show.  No worries…there’s still a ton for you to see!

P.S.  I did not see one bulb burnt out…I looked…obsessively…believe me, you would have gotten a picture!!

Side Something New:
I knew tonight would be in the 30s and despite my plan to wear jeans and a sweater I also knew I’d be freezing my bootie off.  Earlier I found Cuddle Duds at Walmart and decided  tonight would be a great test of their worth.

Cuddle Duds are new fangled long johns.  No longer do you have to suffer the old timey, waffle fabric long johns.  Now they use microfiber as insulation.  The advantage is a less bulky, more effective method to hold your body heat.

I purchased both the top and the bottoms for $20.  As I opted for the black pair, with just them on, I look like cat woman!!! lol. Meow…I then put my jeans and sweater on.  Immediately I felt warmer and loved that I didn’t feel like the Michelin Man like you do when you have on so many layers.

Overall, they kept me toasty on a fridged walk.  Definately a great investment!!  As I’m losing weight (down 36 lbs!!) I tend to get cold easily.  I’m truly pondering an whole wardrobe of these to get through winter!!  Or Bradley Cooper…either one would probably keep me equally warm 😉


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 read a movie

That is I watched a movie with subtitles.

I’ve steered clear of subtitles.   Not that there’s anything wrong with them…please, let me explain…it’s just I find them distracting.  And let me explain further…when I sit to watch a movie, I’m usually doing something else also…Facebooking, shopping, knitting, cooking, etc…I’m more of a movie listener…so, a distracted movie watcher combined with a distracted movie equals a distracting 2 hours.

Today, I was tatting and “watching” a Fred Astaire movie, Daddy Long Legs.  Afterwards, Netflix said “Because you watched this, I suggest you watch this next” and recommended Populaire.  I read the description: 2012 movie about a 1950s secretary…made me think of Down with Love and View from the Top.  Alright Mr. Netflix…because you know me so well, I’ll take your recommendation.

And then it began…of course I wasn’t watching the screen but I heard French…and didn’t understand a lick of it.  I figured, oh it’s just the beginning…soon the English will begin.  But the English never began.  Then I looked up…

Oh….my….word!!  Yellow subtitles…

Oh man!!!



I could have just turned it off but I was already at the point of no return: 3 minutes into the movie.  I had already discovered that the main character secretly taught herself how to type on a typewritter, was going for a job interview and she hoped to get the job to avoid marrying a guy that her Dad insisted on.  Heavens NO, I couldn’t abandon her now!!  I had to see how this all would end!

But how in the world could I get anything done?!  I’m gonna really have to watch…and READ this movie!!

Well, I don’t give up that easily…I tried to continue to tat.  Tat a double stitch, then look up, read the subtitles, then tat another double stitch.  Grrr….I had to keep rewinding it to catch what I missed.  Ok, maybe I’m overly ambitious (who? me?!)…so I tried to just tat a half double stitch,  look up, read, etc…and still I missed stuff!!

***Sigh*** I’m going to have to surrender to just read this movie…

And that’s what I did…

So, I sat my tatting aside…

and picked up knitting…because I don’t have to look to do that 🙂

Happy 4th, by the way!!! 🙂

Update: I loved this movie…so worth the read!! : )


Today I met a 40 foot Rubber Ducky

Our local art museum has been closed for renovations.  As part of it’s reopening, it invited a rubber ducky to bob around in the water in front of the building…but not the rubber ducky bath toy from your tub…or mine…rather, a 40 foot tall rubber ducky.

The rubber ducky, created by Florentijn Hofman, is an art piece which travels the world to bring a sense of fun and renewal to everyday places.  This particular duck has happily bobbed in London, Sydney, Taiwan and Pittsburg to name a few places…and he decided to visit us in Norfolk…only the second American destination he has traveled to…we’re on the map!

The duck is slated to float away tomorrow so I knew I had to visit him (or her…it’s hard to lift a 40 foot ducky to determine it’s gender) today!  I arrived in the afternoon and parked further away than most of the crowd.  The weather lent itself to a nice stroll.  Also, as my pictures will show,  I got to sneak up on it 🙂

Yellow blob…


Oh…it’s a ducky…


Shhh…. (Elmer Fudd voice)…Be vewy, vewy quiet!…I’m hunting wubbeh duckyies…


Nope…he doesn’t see me yet..


Oh no..I think he spyed me!


Ah ha ha ha…caught him!


Look at that cute, smiling face!!  I have to say…this brought much fun and happiness to my Memorial Day!! 🙂

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Today I did a World’s Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle

wpid-20131230_110650.jpgSo, the Compact Puzzler rocks!  After completing my first puzzle, I am HOOKED!!

So much so, I contacted the company!

I’d only seen the puzzles at Barnes and Noble but they dont always carry them so I wanted to know if they sold them somewhere else and how many more they made.  I received a response in a day (wow!) where they responded they only sell them at Barnes and Noble and they make 10 puzzles.

10 puzzles?!


*hipper ventilate*

That’s only like 2 weeks worth of puzzles for me!!

At first, I figured my really cool Compact Puzzler would just gather dust on my book shelf once I worked all the puzzles.  What a bummy thought!

Oh wait!!  There’s a world full of jigsaw puzzles…all sizes…surly I could find some to fit my Puzzler (about the size of a piece of paper)!!!

On to Amazon I go!

And I found the absolute neatest puzzle!!!  The World’s Smallest Jigsaw Puzzle!!!  It’s 234 pieces that make up a 4×6 puzzle…and they include tweezers to handle the pieces!!!  Talk about a challenge 🙂  OOoo…the harder the better!

I clicked buy before I even realized!

But then had to wait the agonizing 6 days to receive it in the mail…Those were some dark, dark days…

Then the puzzle arrived!! 🙂  I skipped from the mailbox to the house!

*V8 Smack on the forehead*….I had already done something new for the day!!  I made the chili!!


Curse you crock pot goodness!!

So I had to wait for the next day…but I had to work that day…

Curse you roof over my head!!

I counted down until I could clock out and race home…good thing there was ice on the roads so I could ski home!  (just kidding…I didn’t ski home in the truck…that would be dangerous and irresponsible..I just slid home).

I burst through the door and headed straight for my puzzle board.  I didn’t have to worry about fixing supper…I’ve got enough chili to last until next winter.

I carefully ripped open the box, poured the pieces into the side trays and began my evening in puzzle paradise 🙂

I love the size of this puzzle…it’s just so little!  The tweezers are not really needed but a great marketing tool.

I’ve added all the other designs of this puzzle to my Amazon wishlist.  : )




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Today I saw The Addams Family

wpid-wp-1390173129041.jpgI have season tickets to the Off Broadway shows at a local theater.  I’ve had them for several years and as such many of the shows get duplicated.  For instance, this season Mamma Mia, West Side Story and Chicago have all returned for repeat performances.  I’m not complaining at all.  Each tour gives a unique perspective to the stories, the sets are never the same but really…even a bad performance at the theater is still a good night at the theater.  This is the first showing of The Addams Family and I’ve been eager to see it!

The show opened, ever appropriately, in the graveyard.  We get to meet the whole family: Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley and Lurch.  We also find out Wednesday has fallen in love!

You can imagine what a curious story that is!!

I won’t go any further about the story line because I would hate to spoil it for you!  I will just say the whole cast did a great job but some actors just really stood out.  Wednesday and Lurch stole the show.

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Today I experienced a Mikey Mason performance

Some friends have raved about a comedian/musician named Mikey Mason.   He only comes to our area a few times a year and tonight happens to be one of those nights.

He performed at a local bar/cantina named Froggies at the oceanfront….about 50 minutes away from my house.  I thought I knew where the bar was but I programmed the address in the Waze app on my phone, just as a backup.

Waze and I have a sordid affair.  When our relationship began, I followed him blindly.  I took every turn as he directed, even when I knew a better way.  Our relationship hit a severe rough patch when I asked him to take me to a dealership to look at a used Buick Enclave.  I knew exactly how to get to the dealership.  I could easily get there in two turns from the main interstate.  Waze however thought differently…and proceeded to tell me to go way off the beaten path, through two neighborhoods, a zillion turns (that’s a precise measure by the way, I counted), and double the travel time.  Needless to say, both that Enclave and Waze failed to impress that day.  I have distrusted Waze ever since (but still heavily in love with the Enclave).

Waze though is a fun, useful app.  As you are driving, you can share incidents on the road to warn other drivers.  Accidents, slow traffic, police…you can give/get heads up about whatever occurs on your path to your destination.  And you get points for reporting incidents!!!  I don’t know what you use the points for but getting points always seems rewarding!

So…back to tonight…I programmed the address in and I expected to turn off on a certain interstate exchange.  When Waze didn’t signal me to turn, I turned anyway.  I knew I needed to get to the oceanfront and my way led me to the oceanfront.  Waze objected the WHOLE way…uturn here…do a clover leaf there.  **Geesh!** He doesn’t surrender!!

I arrived at the oceanfront and pulled off into a hotel parking lot to determine where to go next…as I looked at the map, I realized I needed to be in the northern part of the oceanfront.  I went south.


I turned around and followed exactly what Waze told me to do.  He got me there just as the show started and before my friends so all worked out in the end.

I weaved my way through the packed bar and found the only available table for four in the back.  Mikey Mason was already performing some cover songs which was not his normal material.  I had never heard his comedy/music until today…earlier I crammed for the event and listened to every song I could find on his website.

I had learned enough to recognize his songs, but not enough to sing along…out of consideration for those around me.  I don’t know the exact name for this natural law but those who cannot sing always feel compelled to belt tunes out…loudly.  And that’s me!  I have the music in me!  I feel the uncontrollable urge to sing…especially those soulful ballads!  But I recognize it’s to the detriment of others.  So, I restrict my singing only to in the car (when I am alone), in the shower (when I am home alone) and (my absolute favorite place!!) at concerts where even I cannot hear myself sing.

Mikey Mason continued  with some cover songs until the crowd warmed up.  During his warm up, he sung “Call Me Maybe”.

Just imagine this guy:Mikey

Singing this chicks song:Carly-Rae-Jepsen1

Totally odd…totally quizzical…totally hilarious!!

Then he infused his music into the show.  He did songs like Mama’s Goin Dancing, Mad, and King of Nebraska.  His songs range from “cute funny” to “so weird but funny” on to “Woah, that is SO wrong…but still freaking funny”.  If you don’t know his material, let me just warn you…no topic is off limits.  He can sing about zombies, Grandma now likes girls, games, browncoats…seriously, nothing is taboo.wpid-20140116_213744.jpg

But you will still enjoy it!!

You just have to check him out on his website.  To hear his music, peruse through the blog posts and you will be treated to full length recordings of his songs.

On his website he states he has 3 different shows.  His music gig rocked…I can only imagine how great his geeky and con shows will be!!

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