Thursday, September 29, 2011

Awkward & Awesome Thursday

Here is a little awesome and awkward for ya.   As always, inspired by Sydney over at The Daybook.  


  • Spammy blog emails.  I love hearing from readers who are genuinely interested in my blog.  I love answering questions and meeting new friends.  However, I don't love emails that essentially say "I am only interested in you following me, and I haven't read one thing on your blog."  I love following new blogs, but the best way to get that to happen is to genuinely comment on my blog (because I always try to comment back.  When I do, I am looking at your blog too).   
  • Also, all of the odd Yahoo groups that I seem to be getting added to on a daily basis that look an awful lot like spam.  Does this happen to you too?
  • I saved this ad a while ago (it was real), and it still cracks me up.  I like to think the webmaster had a real sense of humor.

  • This is how Petunia rolls when I am blogging.  She is laying behind my rear, with her head poking out of the arm of my desk chair.  She is still adorable (and obviously very involved in the whole blogging process).

  • This "little" guy, made a web directly above the sliding glass door exit to my back yard (just above my head).  He is definitely plotting on me.  


  • I am so close to 100 followers.  I actually can't believe how close my little blog is coming.  I know, numbers are not supposed to matter (but not so secretly, I am thrilled).
  • Being this close to 100 followers means it is time for a blog redesign.  A total redesign.  This is more than awesome, and my first update ever.
  • Profiteroles for dessert.  Really pretty profiteroles.

  • This very cool invite I got to my nephews' b'nai mitzvah.  It was a message in a bottle (you pull the mylar strings and a scroll comes out.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I Need...Now (September Edition)

I can't believe that September is almost over.  Here are some of the current items on my wishlist.  

I really love the color and shape of this bag.  

Kooba Anya  $314.90 (on sale)

I have been eyeing starfish cuffs for a while now, and this is the most reasonably priced version I have seen.  Comes in both gold and silver tone.  

Blue Vanilla Starfish Cuff  $18

Yep, anxious to jump on the colored denim bandwagon.  

AG Stevie Ankle  $158

I love the fit and the style of these.

J Brand Lovestory    $200

 This smells absolutely amazing.

Jennifer Aniston Perfume  $18-70

I have been looking for a pair exactly like this (the blue stitching is a bonus).

Steve Madden Factoryy  $149.95

Very autumn-y.  Plus, I am such a sucker for watches.  And purple.  And Marc Jacobs. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jorie Purple Watch  $175

What are you craving right now?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blog Awards

In the past few weeks, I have so sweetly been given three blog awards.  I am so humbled by this and thrilled that you each thought of me.  I want to pass these all on to the many wonderful blogs that I frequent.  This is the first award that I received.

1) Thank the person who gave you this award:
Many thanks to Kathy from  Life As I Know It.  She has a really great blog all about the things going on in her life (and she knows a lot about penguins).  You know you want to take a peek:)

2) Reveal three random facts about yourself:
- I know all of the words to the following movies: Grease 2, When Harry Met Sally, Heathers, 13 Going on 30, Anchorman, The Princess Bride, and 10 Things I Hate About You.  I sometimes can't stop myself from saying them out loud.  And yes, I sing along with Grease 2 (and also with 10 Things, which one of my favorite bands of ever appears in).

- I had my two front teeth knocked out twice in my life. This also means that my mom was called to school to pick me up because I had my two front teeth knocked out twice.  Once when I was in kindergarten and a kid ran into me on the playground.  They were my baby teeth.  The other time was in 9th grade.  I was high-sticked in the mouth with a hockey stick in P.E.  These were my adult teeth.  It was not a good scene.  My bottom teeth actually went through my lip.  I had to get a root canal.  Then I had to get veneers.  Luckily, they look pretty real (thank goodness for modern dental technology).  

- I have a very dear friend that moved to England, and have developed a love of all things British (see Anglophile).  These are my favorite cookies in the entire world (and very hard to find in the states).  I love all varieties of Hobnobs (as you can see here). 

 I also have a girl crush on Nigella Lawson, and I can't seem to not buy any magazine with a Middleton on the cover.  I loved watching this.  And just between you and me...


3)  Pass the award on:
And now to pay this award forward.  I am constantly discovering new blogs that inspire me.     I love reading so many of them, and if I don't mention you this time, I still adore you, and your time will come.   

Stephanie at Big Mario Life.  I really love the story about how she got the name of this blog.

Jaimie at Everyday J.  Plus she both a Florida Gator and a lover of Survivor.  Future BFF!!

Adele from intotheblonde.  I know what you are thinking, and no, it is not just because she is British.  OK, that helps:)  She also has a fierce style (that just so happens to be sporting the Union Jack today).  

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Love Cheesy Potatoes

The arrival of autumn means it is time to whip out more comfort food recipes.  Au Gratin Potatoes (lovingly called rotten potatoes in my house) is by far, one of my favorite side dishes.  We have been tweaking this recipe for a few years now, and have found that you can use different kinds of cheese, depending on your mood.  We used cheddar and provolone in this version pictured below.

It is important to use cream in this recipe and not try to substitute with a lower fat milk.  In our trials, we found that it becomes watery instead of creamy.  Not good.  Allow extra time for this to cook all the way through.  We have noticed that it usually takes closer to two hours.  Also, feel free to experiment with different seasonings.  We have added thyme and/or chives in the past to mix the flavor up a bit.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Won Something

I love blog giveaways.  I also love art.  So when British artist Carly Watts was hosting a giveaway for one of her paintings, I jumped at the chance to enter.  A few short weeks later, this beautiful canvas arrived at my door.  I just adore this piece.  I am definitely not an art expert, but I love the way she seems to capture a certain sadness in her subjects.  She also does some great work in Photoshop.

  If you are not familiar with Carly's work, you should definitely pay her blog a visit and check it out.  Thanks again Carly, for sending me this beautiful piece.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finally, Zara! (And A Bay Area Blogger Meetup)

A few weeks ago, Zara (finally) launched an on-line presence in the United States.  Those of us that live in suburbia (me) and nowhere near an actual Zara store (nearest one is in the city) can finally fill up our virtual carts with thousands of dollars worth of items we can't afford to purchase all at once, only to narrow the cart down to just a few things.  Am I the only one that does that?  Here are some of my current favorites.

1)    Combined Dress  $59.90
2)    Basic T-Shirt With Relief  $29.90
3)    Feather Print Dress  $59.90
4)    Faded Two-Tone T-Shirt  $29.90
5)    Silk Scarf  $79.90
6)    Sequinned T-Shirt  $35.90
7)    Metallic Skull Scarf  $29.90
8)    Frilled Ankle Boot  $99.90
9)    Combined Fur Waitcoat  $79.90
10)   Biker Ankle Boot  $159
11)   Gold Jeans  $59.90
12)   Metallic Thread Dress  $79.90
13)   Jersey Blazer  $79.90
14)   Woolen Cloth Coat  $99.90
15)   Studio Blazer With Sequins  $189
16)   Evase Coat  $159

On A completely Separate note, a few san FRANCISCO bay area bloggers have been talking about having a meetup.  i am not exactly sure where everyone LIVES (so I apologize for not reaching out to you individually)  but if you are in the area and would be interested, shoot me an email at

I don't know why, but I can currently only type in caps in the post, SO I THINK I AM DONE.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something Borrowed

After reading a few (auto)biographies in a row, I thought it was time to check out a little mindless chicklit. I had seen the trailers for Something Borrowed when it was in the theaters, and decided that I needed to read listen to the book before I saw the movie.  So I immediately downloaded it, and I am pretty sure I finished it in record time.  I even listened to the book on my iPhone when I was getting my nails done  (which means I had to put down that Us Weekly).  It was just that good.

In a nutshell, the book is about a good girl (Rachel) who sleeps with her best friend Darcy's fiance (Dex) on the night of her 30th birthday.  The book deals with the aftermath of what started out as a drunken one night stand, and what happens in the few months leading up to the wedding. The lines between friendship and love and right and wrong become blurred, and the main characters all have serious decisions that they need to make.  You won't see the end coming (at least I didn't).  


I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.  The story moved quickly, and had some juicy parts (not racy, just a bit scandalous). There were a lot of flashbacks that explained Darcy and Rachel's friendship, and helped me to understand the dynamic they had when the story began.  I found myself rooting for Rachel.  I also found myself rushing home after I finished the book to go order the movie on Direct TV.


The movies was OK.  I think good casting choices were made for the three main characters (except for the fact that Darcy was a brunette, and Kate Hudson is not).   Some characters from the book were omitted and the storylines changed to combine characters.  I did not care for this.  I would give the movie 2.5 our of 5 stars.  It is probably much more enjoyable if you haven't read the book.  Up next, Something Blue (a sequel), which in all honesty, I started reading as soon as the movie was over.    

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh So Good French Onion Soup

With the first signs of autumn starting to appear here in the Bay Area, my thoughts automatically shift toward comfort food.  Aside from mashed potatoes and gravy (which is the best comfort food ever, in my humble opinion), soup is one of the most comforting foods there is.  Nothing compares to homemade soup, especially when it is as easy to make as this French Onion Soup recipe.  

Husband  and I have been making this for a few years now, and one of the things that keeps us coming back is the sheer simplicity of the recipe itself.  The list of ingredients is small, and easy to find at your local supermarket.  Plus, it is a Rachel Ray recipe (and love her or hate her, she can cook).

We use Gruyere cheese (the smell is strong, but the flavor is big).  However, we skip the bread float.  I like to bake some crescent rolls, and dip them in the soup itself.  I would  recommend using fresh thyme (as opposed to dried), because it creates a stronger, fresher flavor.  Also, we use beef broth instead of stock, which is just a flavor preference for us. 

Not sure this picture really does it justice, but I tried.

 I would love to hear from you if you make this.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's In My Bag?

Curious?  I am doing my first guest post (ever) over at What Makes Me Happy.  Please stop on over and check it out (and check out Marissa's fabulous blog,).  I don't know about you, but I always love seeing what other people are carrying around.

I had a lot of posts planned this week, but work seems to have gotten in the way with later than usual evenings.  This did not go unnoticed.  It is funny how our dogs seem to have an inner clock, and  know what time to expect each of us home every night.  Yesterday, the pups sat looking out of the windows, anxiously waiting for me to pull into the driveway.  Husband captured the moment perfectly.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Powerful Words

I am just as obsessed with Pinterest as the next blogger.  I love having a place to go for so much inspiration.  I have always been a big fan of quotes, and these are some of my favorites.  I love it when someone has the ability to put into words the things that I wish I had said myself.  Everything below can be found in my Powerful Words folder here (I am always looking for new people to follow).

One of the best parts of blogging.  You discover these things quickly.

As I have gotten older, I have learned time and again that this is true.

This really puts it all into perspective.  We should count our blessings.

I am not a big grudge holder, but I have been guilty of this a time or two (ok, or three). 

This is such am important thing to know about ourselves.

You have met these people.  

I really love this.

This was written for children, but is something we adults need to be reminded of (I know I do).

It is ok to make mistakes.  

I never knew quite how to put this into words until now.

It is easier to ask for forgiveness, than it is to get permission.

Dr. Seuss was right.

Happens to me all of the time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Giveaway Winner (And Why I Love Autumn)

OK, it is still officially summer, but I am feeling autumn.  It is not because of the weather (September and October are notoriously the hottest months in the Bay Area).  It definitely isn't because of the time change (which is really dislike).  (But who likes leaving for work in the dark and coming home at dark?  Not I!)  And it certainly isn't because I now have to wait nine months to find out what is happening on True Blood (just how many people did they kill off last night?).  Perhaps I  should mention all of  the things I do like.

1) Football (both college and pro) starts.  I am a huge Florida Gator and Oakland Raider fan.  I know I have already said it once, but it is worth repeating:)

2) Halloween is probably our favorite holiday.  Even though husband and I do not have any children, we go all out decorating our house.  We have fog machines and spiders that drop from above, and in general, try to make it as spooky as possible.  Sometimes children don't make it all the way up our driveway without parental assistance.  Our house also ends up in lots of pictures.  We also get a lot of repeat trick or treaters.  Some of them way too old to be trick or treating.  

3) Boots are one of my most beloved wardrobe staples.  I have purchased a few pairs during the summer sales, and I can't wait to make outfits with them.  

4) New TV shows are all about to start.  As much as I love the break from TV in the summer, I love trying out new shows in the fall.  Because I am overly organized, I even mark what starts when on a calendar, so I know what to DVR.  There is quite a method to my madness.  Sadly (or perhaps happily, since husband and I share space on our DVR) within a few weeks I will be disinterested with most of what I was originally excited to watch.

5) Survivor starts...finally!  I know I have mentioned it before, but I love this show.  

6) The Sephora Friends and Family sale is in October.  When else can you get 20% off of cosmetics and beauty tools?    

7) The changing of the leaves is so pretty.  I love all of the oranges and reds and yellows.  I grew up in Florida (without any seasons), so I think I have a special appreciation for it.  

8) It doesn't rain in the Bay Area at all during the summer.  In fact, most days there isn't even a cloud in the sky.  I love the smell and sound of rain, and welcome it back (until the first time I am caught in a traffic jam, because no one can drive in it).  

9) The colder days in late autumn mean that it is time to light a fire.  I love coming home and smelling other people's fireplaces in the air.  It is kind of comforting.

10) Thanksgiving, a time when we are with family and we remember to give thanks for all of the many blessings we have in life.  It is a time to reflect.  Plus, I LOVE Thanksgiving dinner.  I have the most perfect recipe for homemade cranberry sauce (I will share, promise).  I love any holiday that celebrates gravy.  And have you tried a deep fried turkey?  Because you aren't living until you have.  

That was my list of the top ten things I am currently looking forward to this autumn.  What about you?  What are your favorite parts of the season?  I am sure I missed a whole bunch (like Uggs...I love my Uggs (no matter how unfashionta-like that is)).  (Also Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks.  How could I not list that?)  What are you dreading?

And now for the giveaway...

I put together some of my favorite things for this autumn.  Included in the package is a Frankenstein candle holder with a spiced cider candle, plum scented vampire blood hand sanitizer (like I said, I adore Halloween), Essie nail polish in Lady Like (very autumny in person), a pack of Emi-Jay hair ties (they are my favorite, very unique and impossible to find in stores), Almay eye makeup remover pads (for the price, I really adore them- they made me switch from a more expensive brand), a little pink pig notepad (with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure), a nail file, and some samples of two of my favorite Dermalogica products (that I can't live without).  

And the winner is Kristina of the very lovely blog Pretty Rambles.  You should definitely stop by and check it out. Congratulations, Kristina!  Please send me your address so I can get your package out to you.

* I am in no way affiliated or paid to represent any of these products.  They are just things that I genuinely happen to like. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Want S’more(s) & The True Blood Finale

One very important thing to know about me is that I LOVE anything that contains chocolate and marshmallows.  I am not crazy about graham crackers, but put them with the other to ingredients, and you have dessert perfection (if only I could find a way to add Nutella into the equation, heaven).  Every once in a while, I will stumble upon a recipe on another blog that I just have to try right away.  This very thing happened a few weeks ago on Josie's blog, With A Wink And A Smile.  She made these incredible S'mores Brownies (see the actual recipe itself, here).  Are you gathering your ingredients already?

My one warning to you, should you choose to make this recipe, is not to overbake the brownies.  I did, and they came out a little on the dry side.  Needless to say, I am ready to try them again.

On a totally unrelated to food note, did you guys catch the season finale of True Blood last night?  I think my mouth was wide open in shock for most of the episode.  What did you think about it?  How am I supposed to wait until next summer?

Lastly, please don't forget about my giveaway.  Get all of the details here.  Entering is easy-peasy-lemon squeazy.  All you have to do is follow.  I look forward to hearing from you!    

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Nemesis Part 2: The Nighttime Nemesis

A while back, I told you about a certain nemesis that has been tormenting the dogs and me for a while now.  Well, he hasn't given up.  In fact, he has grown braver. He jumps right onto the feeder and swings in the wind.  The local bird population is not amused.  

There is a giant old oak tree in my backyard.  When we chase the squirrel away, he jumps onto the tree and escapes the wrath of my three pups.  OK, my two pups (because Petunia could actually not care less).  And now there is a new nemesis in town.  This one only comes out at night and sits in the giant oak, staring down at us from above (and I suspect he is doing it on purpose).

I wasn't actually aware of his presence at first.  However, Meatball and Harriet (again, Tuna was not really interested) would sit and wait for the opossum to come out of his den (which seemed to be the attic of my neighbor's house) on a nightly basis.  They would stare as dusk fell, silently waiting.  And then I would hear the barking.  I had to find out what all the commotion was about. So first I got myself a flashlight.  And then I grabbed my camera.  This is what I saw.

Lastly, please don't forget about my giveaway.  Get all of the details here.  Entering is easy-peasy-lemon squeazy.  All you have to do is follow.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Autumn Basics at the Gap

For me, one of the most important parts of my wardrobe is having a good selection of basics. I learned early on that once you have that covered, it is easy to fill in the rest.  Who doesn't just adore a well-fitting pair of jeans with a top that flatters you in all of the right places.  My go-to store has changed over time, due to both my changing tastes and those of the people that buy or design for the store.  Lately, I have found myself turning to the Gap for most of my basics needs.

Admittedly, I was not a fan for a while before this.  I had stopped shopping at the Gap for a few years, because I could find anything there that I would actually wear.  Then about 2 years ago I found myself back in the store, and excitedly choosing several items that I NEEDED to try on.  A love affair as born that day.  Ever since, I have been hooked.

I have put together a college with some of my favorite items that I have been stalking casually visiting at my local Gap store.  I have a feeling that a few of them will end up on my recent purchases list soon.  How cute are the suede wedges?  And who would have thought you could find such a cute leather shift?  Plus, everything goes on sale at one time or another, so I hardly ever end up paying full price.  Winning!

Have you been to a Gap lately?  Did you like what you saw?  Where do you find yourself purchasing your basics these days?

Lastly, please don't forget about my giveaway.  Get all of the details here.  Entering is easy-peasy-lemon squeazy.  All you have to do is follow.  I look forward to hearing from you!
    *I am in no way affiliated

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's Going On In My Garden?

I haven't talked about my garden in a while, and there are lots of good things going on.  If you have been following for a while, you know that we did an expansion early this summer, that at this point, will clearly be a work in progress for a while longer.  We kind of got stuck, not being able to move the things we planted in early summer, and not wanting to kill anything that we would try to move.  The result is a little bit of chaos, but the rewards will be worth it in the end.

So these are the things that are currently going on in my garden.  The top row shows some of the pretty flowers that are continuing to bloom through the end of summer: blue pansies, dahlias, and foxglove.  The second row has some of our veggies: San Marzano tomatoes (the perfect tomato for making homemade tomato sauce), lemon cucumbers, and inferno peppers (which oddly, aren't all that hot, and a little bit sweet). The third row is a bit of a mixture: orange-flesh honeydews (try these, and you will never go back to the green flesh variety), roses, and grapes on our vine.  

Lastly, please don't forget about my giveaway.  Get all of the details here.  Entering is easy-peasy-lemon squeazy.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day & Giveaway!

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all having a fantastic Labor Day here in the states, and a happy Monday wherever else you may be.  Since Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, I think it is time to host my second giveaway.  And much in the spirit of my first giveaway, I will be putting together a little package with some of my favorite things for the autumn (pictures to come, but I promise it will be good stuff).  If you want to see what my last giveaway package contained, look here.  Surprises are fun.   

Here Are The Rules:
1) You must be a follower on Google Friend Connect  (to the right)
2) You must be a follower on Bloglovin  (to the right)

Then leave me a comment below letting me know.  I will even give you two entries if you follow me on both and comment once for each.

Additional Entries:
For an additional entry, follow me on Twitter (@PopPugPeoBlog) or Facebook for one entry each and comment each time below, letting me know. 

The rest of the information:
I will keep this giveaway open for one week.  Drawing will close at 8PM PST on Monday September 12th.  Please leave me a way to contact you, in case you are the winner.  Winner will be selected by

Good luck to everyone!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Are We Ready For Some Football?

This weekend marks the start of something very near and dear to my football season!!  Wait....don't leave. I promise to get back to clothing and cooking next week.  I proudly attended the University of Florida and am a die hard Gator fan.  

Is anyone else out there excited about football season (college or pro) starting?  Who are you rooting for? 

P.S.  I am also a Raiders fan.  Times are tough. 

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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