apartment dweller

humpday happy list.

two in one month?! what is this madness? does erin even have a schedule for these things anymore? or is she just flying by the seat of her pants like we all suspected she was this whole time? (and apparently talks in the third person now?) you all will never know!

let’s drink some summer drinks and eat too much salt and obsess over laundry rooms that only exist in magazines. because i think that’s what summer is for. and it is most definitely summer now. warm weather and cabin time and everything. hoorah!

at least this posted on a wednesday.

1) laundry rooms.

i’ve been obsessing over laundry rooms lately and i don’t even own one. i cannot wait for the day that i don’t have to put quarters or a laundry card into my washing machine. i can just throw a load in! what frivolity! what freedom!

2) beer.

beer flight

it’s summer so obviously this is just normal. but i have been craving frosty bottles of beer lately. it reminds me of the river and the cabin and happy hours on patios after work. i’m making myself thirsty now…

3) this cocktail.

okay, so when i was in spain in college, they had this drink called tinto de verano. it was crappy red wine mixed with orange or lemon fanta (the bartender would ask, “naranja o limon” and you got to pick!) it sounds disgusting, but i’m telling you, it is nectar of the gods status. it cost 1 euro most places, and there is nothing more refreshing than a pitcher of tinto on a hot day in the south of spain. joy’s is the grown-up version. although between you and me, i’d buy the crappy wine and fanta, it’s just as good. and now i’m making myself thirsty again…

4) fried pickles.

i just need to make these guys. because they are fried pickles people. oh, you’ve never had one? i just took a moment of silence for your tastebuds. i may have already talked about these in a different happy list, but they are like my ultimate guilty pleasure food. and yet, slightly refined somehow? if they are in chip form? i don’t know, i’m trying to justify eating a whole basket of them a couple times in my life.

5) mimosa kits.

aaaaaaand now i know what i’m bringing to hair appointments the morning of my friend’s wedding in august. just enough champagne to get a little bubbly, not enough to head too far down the road to sloppy in the morning.

6) patio lights.

aren’t they just so dreamy? just like my laundry room dream, this is not a reality…yet. i will have patio lights someday. and i will drink a gin and tonic under them with my love and know that i can die happy.

7) backpacks GUYS.

i fought it for so long. i loved the idea of big totes and purses as a carry on in addition to my suitcase, but on a recent work trip where, after a series of unfortunate events, i had to pack work materials in my suitcase, and my clothes and personal effects in another bag, i finally broke down and borrowed the husband’s backpack. and now i can’t go back. he says that i can keep borrowing his, but it’s so manly and i think i need a more feminine one, don’t you?

8) more laundry rooms.

i.have.a.problem. (probably the fact that i did laundry while writing this didn’t help…)

9) ranunculus.

these beauties were in my wedding bouquet, and i am still in deep, deep love with them. they are so round and folded out and gorgeous. they just demand a darling little vase or cup to live in, maybe on your mantel?

10) potato chips.


i’m obsessed with eating potato chips right now you guys. i don’t know why. maybe a sodium deficiency. that would explain the fried pickle obsession i suppose. (and the pickle juice drinking, but that’s a different story.) it’s not good for swimsuit season, but it’s so good for my mouth season.


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sources: 13 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

hunting for houses.

you guys know me. usually i keep it pretty positive up in here. i’m all about the silver linings, you know? silver linings and ice cream and holding hands. but what i am about to type out onto this page is going to come off as privileged and snotty. i know this. i am still going to type it. please forgive me.

i think that house hunting is maybe the most tiring and frustrating thing you can possibly do to yourself.*

there are rates and prices and taxes to consider. you have to think about how long you could fit into it if you had kids, and where they would sleep, and if the husband will have a place for his office. and you are constantly balancing how many updates you would have to do with how much it would cost, and if you will make your money back. bedrooms and bathrooms and square feet, oh my!

yes, it is also kind of fun and exciting, but i’m at a place today where i just feel like it’s endless. Mister Man and i have been house hunting for about a month now, and it turns out there is this faux-recovery going on, especially right in the neighborhood where we are searching (but of course), which is making the search just a teeny-tiny bit difficult. you see, this faux-recovery is causing home prices to be seriously inflated, and when you mix that with the fact that there are not that many people selling houses, every single place gets multiple offers on it. and it is just exhausting. i’m exhausted just typing that.

add to this first-world problem that our realtor thinks we have way more money than we do, and is constantly sending us homes that are pretty far outside the price range we established with her, and you get an epic erin meltdown at the bar at t.g.i.friday’s in the pittsburgh airport on a monday evening. it was as pathetic as it sounds.

i think part of my sour grapes today is that moving is one of my least favorite things. it stems from my deep hatred of packing. so the more we look for our first home, the more i just want to find it and get the moving part out of the way. so i’m not really enjoying the process like i should. i’ve had this problem before. i want to be at the next stage, instead of enjoying the journey to get there. (i make a great therapist, really i do)

in order to avoid future meltdowns, and to stop stressing my husband out with my privileged badittude, i think i need to start focusing on the fun parts of this process. which are mainly my home pinterest boards and all the excitement i will feel when we finally find THE place. because it’s going to happen. i just need to enjoy the ride for now. and maybe sternly tell our realtor to quick playing games with us, because my b.s. detector is on high alert!

*please note that the above is all tongue in cheek complaining. i know how lucky we are to be able to afford a house at all, and looking for our new home with Mister Man has been a great experience for both of us. of course i know that this is not a real problem, and that many people don’t have homes at all. so before you tell me to shut up, sometimes a situation just needs to be generalized and humorized so you can write a post to work through your annoyances with your realtor and all the dead ends. thank you, good night.

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sources: 1 | 2 | 3

something other than the weather.

i had a nice post composed in my head about how nice it was to finally be able to sleep with the windows open. because that’s really a sweet spot time here in minnesota. between snow and murderous humidity, there is a small sliver of the year where we can open all the windows and breathe in crisp air. and it is glorious.

but since it snowed today and it’s may and yadda yadda how many times can i talk about the freaking weather on this blog(?), here’s what we’ve been up to this week so far.


i got my hairs did:

went from grown-out highlights circa the last time i dyed it (two weeks before my wedding) to dark reddish/auburn ombre. you’ll be able to see it better in future photos, but you get the gist here, right? gosh do i like getting my hair done. it makes me feel all special and pampered. also, do you like my bathroom selfie? thanks. the lighting is much better in there.


my friend brought me a mini baby orchid:

i have the most lovely friend who is also my neighbor and her fiance happens to be pretty knowledgable in the orchid area. and because they are so thoughtful i am now the proud owner of a baby orchid as well as my big orchid and plastic orchid. how i’ve managed to keep the real one alive so long is a mystery to me too, but i have high hopes for the new one.


i did a mountain of laundry:

holy cow did we have a lot of laundry (and yes that’s a bra). Mister Man did some, and i did the rest, and it is never-ending! i don’t know how two people can have so much laundry. or maybe it just seems like a lot because i have to walk about a half-mile from our apartment to the laundry room….i can make a good case for not working out on laundry day, let me tell you.


i had popcorn for dinner:

i ate an entire bowl. normally there are leftovers. what the hell? i can’t even blame it on the wine because i only had one glass, so i think i’ll blame it on the pms. i’m thinking about making wednesday night popcorn every week, even when the husband is in town. it’s a tradition i can get behind.



i also failed to turn in my translation homework on time (still haven’t), my husband went on a business trip, and i binge-watched “arrested development” on netflix in preparation for the new season coming up in may. it’s been a fabulous week so far. and surprisingly fast, especially considering that on tuesday i was convinced it was wednesday until about 2:30 in the afternoon. so thank goodness for that!

(ed: i feel like the tone of this post is shaky at best…i was going for happy and carefree, but really feel like it sunk to barely hanging on to my sanity by a thread. it really went downhill didn’t it? i’m trying! it snowed today, i don’t have a lot left in me!)


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scheduling life.

you guys ever notice how life gets in the way of things you’re planning on doing? like this week, i was planning on working out everyday. it’s even written into my planner. and then life decided it had other plans for me, so i spent my evenings away from our apartment until 10pm or so instead, not working out or doing anything productive really. which is sad because i have my last large translation project due on monday and will now be spending my weekend up to my ears in research and reports (and coffee).

i was also planning on writing new posts about grand plans, life stories and recipes. shocking then that when i’m not home and still working full time that i didn’t get those written, huh?


i don’t say all this to throw a pity party for myself, no. more as an attempt to release myself from the standards i hold myself to. the arbitrary standards i set to do certain things and cross items off lists i make. oh, my lists. i’m the queen of lists, i love to cross off those tasks and to-dos. and they’re all for what? who am i trying to impress? no one is grading me on these things i do (well, except the translation, i’m definitely getting graded on that).

so if life starts to get in the way of what i said i was going to do, then it does. and shouldn’t i just be okay with that? shouldn’t we all just be okay with that? so one week goes by and i can’t work out. it won’t be the first time that happens and it certainly won’t be the last. so i have to cram all my homework into the only free days i have in my week. that IS the last time i’ll have to do that. and you know what? being away from the apartment wasn’t all bad. a lot of the stuff i was doing was pretty awesome, i may have to tell you guys about it in the future? sometime? we shall see.


what was the point of this again…? ah yes, life. we just have to live it don’t we? all our schedules and planners be damned. and isn’t that a better way to do it? i think yes. i think doing it that way makes you feel just a little bit more free.



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erin go bragh.

see what i did there? i used my name in a seasonally appropriate blog post title to tie it in to my own life. but it does fit pretty well, doesn’t it? erin go bragh means “ireland forever”, and i’m happy to share a name with such a wonderful place!

but even being proud of my irish heritage is not enough to get my butt to the st. patrick’s day festivities in downtown st. paul. too many people, not enough bartenders, and this year, way too cold! plus, Mister Man and i had more pressing celebrations to attend to on our own.

you see, as of saturday, we are officially credit card and short-term debt-free. we still have MM’s student loans to deal with, but in the last 8 months, with some serious budgeting, sacrificing and saving, we’ve been able to pay for trips, pay for my translation classes, and pay off all the short-term, high-interest debt we had from school and the wedding. and we are BEYOND excited!


see, i wore green to the russian restaurant on the irish holiday, i still participated in the fun.


this is about one-third of the bar. mostly vodka.

so we decided to celebrate with dumplings and vodka at moscow on the hill, an amazing russian restaurant down the street from us in cathedral hill. and celebrate we did…if you guys ever have a chance to eat real russian food, make sure you get the dumplings. holy cow, those things are so simple, yet so delicious. i can’t explain why, i think they put drugs in them, but they are amazing.


and those vodka drinks. goodness me. i was in the mood for a dirty martini, which they make goooood at moscow. i also had a drink called a skazka, cinnamon infused vodka with apple juice. that one could end you if you’re not careful, it is really easy to drink. Mister Man had a couple of fun ones as well, and the night was absolutely the best way to celebrate our newfound financial freedom!


the real st. patty’s day was spent like a good old-fashioned irish family. the husband woke up to put corned beef in the crockpot, and i whipped up a loaf of irish soda bread to go with it for dinner. then we headed to Mass at the Cathedral (i wore my green!) before straightening up around the apartment. we had mama z and my friend ashley over for a dinner of corned beef and cabbage right after a stop at costellos for a guinness, and thank goodness we had someone to help us eat the food! do you guys know how much steamed cabbage one head of that stuff makes? i’ll tell you: a crap ton. if anyone wants some, we have plenty of extra, i’ll bring it over to you! we finished the night with some green peppermint ice cream and sunday night cartoons.

corned beef

i really tried you guys, but there is no way to make cabbage photogenic. it’s not possible.

this recipe is the best.

the weekend was perfect, and now we will spend the week getting ready to jet off to sunny maui! which for us means that today we will do as much cleaning as possible while my husband is still at home (he is out of town for work until friday), then i will attempt to cross as much off the to-do list as possible until saturday. i don’t know if i’ve ever told you before, but i HATE packing for things. it’s just so much to think about! it makes me crazy and then i procrastinate until 2:00am the night before the trip. i may try to take my childhood friend caitlin’s packing tips to heart. she gives the best advice regarding fashion and related topics. (i highly recommend her blog if you like pretty outfits!)


tulips from mama z.

hope your weekends were just as wonderful as mine and that you have nice, easy weeks ahead. raise your hand if you drank some green beer or participated in green-related activities! then tell me about them!

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