thankful in the tundra.

here’s another thanksgiving day blog post for you to add to your reading queue. because i’m sure you haven’t had enough of reading what other people are thankful for today. add it to the pile!


today i am thankful for cold weather that is perfect for snuggling with my Mister Man in front of a fire and endless episodes of doctor who.

i’m thankful for a wonderful family, both the family in florida right now, and the in-laws i get to spend thanksgiving with. how does any one person get so lucky as to like both of her families??

(bella is thankful for all of us, but especially a grandpa who gives her as many cookies as she likes!)

and like i said last year, and will continue to say always, i’m thankful for all of you who read my words on these virtual pages. it’s a lot easier to write when you know that someone is there to read, and i appreciate every single one of you, those who i’ve met and those i have yet to meet.

i hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving, full of stuffing and pecan pie and naps. (and for those of you not celebrating american thanksgiving, maybe you can get a nap in too!)


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recipe: prosciutto, caramelized onion, mozzarella, arugula pizza.

happy monday everybody! today is my thursday at work, and after last week, a short week is just what i need…if you’ve been around for a while, you might remember that every year my family goes to florida for a week over thanksgiving. and so you might have noticed that i have been pretty quiet on that front this year. the radio silence is due to the fact that Mister Man and i are staying home this year to spend thanksgiving with his family. which means i won’t have any beach photos to make you jealous, and truth be told, i will probably be a little quieter this week, as i’m missing my family while i get used to the new traditions that being married entail.

one tradition i CANNOT wait for is thanksgiving leftovers. we never have leftovers in florida, and i am so excited to bring home the fixings for a “day after thanksgiving” sandwich (you know what i’m talking about…turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, all smashed between two slices of bread. yeaaaaa!). i know i’ll be trying to cook as little as possible up to the big thanksgiving holiday on thursday, so i have nothing to distract me from the deliciousness.

“why are you posting a recipe then, erin?” well, even if we’re pumped for the holiday food coming up, we’re all going to need a break from the turkey and mashed potatoes at some point, right? i posted a photo of this pizza on instagram, and after i inhaled it, decided it would be a good recipe to share here in case anyone was looking for non-thanksgiving meal inspiration.

(sidebar: does anyone else use vscocam for their photo editing? i’m officially obsessed and won’t use anything else to edit my iphone photos…it’s that good!)

the mix of the sweet onions and salty prosciutto, along with the creaminess of the mozzarella and the slight bite of the arugula make this basically the most amazing thing you’ll ever put into your mouth. EVERY GOOD FLAVOR EXISTS HERE. it’s my go to pizza recipe, because it feels fancy and gourmet, but is oh so easy. i think that’s really the theme of my life: how lazy can i be while still appearing to be classy?

prosciutto/caramelized onion/mozzarella/arugula pizza

  • pizza dough (i use pillsbury’s ready-to-use thin crust, you can make your own if you’re awesome like that, but ain’t no shame in store-bought crust!)
  • 6-8 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 red onion (i used white, which works fine too)
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula (or spinach if you prefer)
  • 1 large ball of mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • finely grated parmesan cheese

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium skillet, slice the onion and add it to the skillet along with the brown sugar. cook on low to medium heat, stirring every so often, until the onion is softened and caramelized (generally around 35 minutes).

meanwhile, roll the pizza dough out onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a thin layer of parmesan cheese over the top. if needed, pre-bake the dough according to the directions. tear the prosciutto into thin strips, and slice the mozzarella into thin slices. add the mozzarella to the pizza dough, followed by the caramelized onions and prosciutto. bake 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is crispy. top with the arugula as soon as the pizza is out of the oven, and pat lightly to adhere it to the cheese. let cool a bit before cutting the pizza.  try not to eat the entire pizza by yourself, it’s nice to share.


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i double promise this is the last florida post.

there. that’s over with, right there in the title. (now, because i’ve made this rare double promise, you are going to get a crap-ton of photos in exchange.)

i’m (hopefully) going to let this be a photo heavy post for you kids, but i would like to start out by saying: i NEEDED this vacation. i had gotten to the point at work where everything was blurring into the same issue, over and over and over. and joe had been gone for his job for so many day in a row that i was forgetting what it was like to just relax with him. and let me tell you, this week fixed me. i think maybe it was hogwarts that did it…

oh, i’m sorry, did i not tell you that we got to go to the wizarding world of harry potter and now my life will never be the same?!? this place is pure magic. i will just let you marvel at the photos, which totally does not do it justice at. all. and if you don’t know what this place is, here you go. educate yoself.

beedge, probably after the weird guy who would not.stop.talking. told us how much he hated this place. ish.

okay, so i mainly liked the chimneys. because how perfectly tilted are they? i know. anyways, that was one of the most fun experiences i’ve ever had with my family, we spent the whole day at the park, with one short break for a nap back at our hotel. here are some other photos from throughout the day that i feel are particularly fun.

the aftermath of a poorly thought out ride decision.

our hotel, which was an exact replica of portofino, italy. america!

mama hools and me at dinner the last night. you will see this shirt again.

whew. you still with me? good. proud of you. onto the next part of the family extravaganza, meeting up with the rest of the clan and doing nothing for seven days. this is an annual tradition, but i never get tired of it. i could spend a month with these people doing nothing and i would love it. but i would also gain about 25 pounds in the process, if this last week is any indication. i already posted a quick bit last week about this dreamland, but here are some alternate views for your pleasure.

i hate swimsuit photos, but i’m putting this here for posterity. because someday i will not look like this. and i am going to want to remember that i used to look like this.

Mister Man thinking he can school me in tennis. yea right.

we tied.

me and the mister. and the shirt!

paper plates. but we do placecards, because we’re not heathens, PEOPLE!

post pie. holy tummy ache. and all the lipstick is gone.

sorry wegs. this is just a real thing that happened.


so that was my week. and now it’s time to get excited for Christmas! i will be decorating up a storm at the z household while Mister Man goes on his next round of trips.  we’re talking a wreath for the door, prepping all the necessary items for the Christmas tree, and my favorite: getting out the best movies of all time. i love those little claymation dudes.

thank you for sticking with me through this marathon of a post. i leave you with this photo of me drinking a thanksgiving maitai. in the shirt! (follow me on instagram if you want to see more self-portraits of me drinking  various alcoholic beverages at inappropriate times. i’m a big night-time bloody mary drinker.)


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thankful by the seashore.

i’ve taken an unexpected hiatus this week, due entirely to a lack of internet access and a family that is way too awesome to ignore for a blog. below is what my mornings have consisted of:


it’s tough.

today is thanksgiving day in the united states and i for one am thankful for mornings like the one above, and mornings spent with that guy below. Mister Man arrived yesterday after too many days of being apart, and now all is right with the world.


i am also thankful for all of you that come here to read my silliness, and allow me to wax not-so-poetic on the happenings of my everyday life.

i hope that today you all have something to be thankful for, and that you get to eat as much stuffing as you want at your dinner.

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as we’ve already discussed/freaked out over, thanksgiving is next week. and that made me think about the holiday season. which made me think about traditions. you see where this is going.

i come from a family of women who are experts at this time of year. it’s amazing how good they are at keeping treasured traditions alive and well, and how little effort it seems to be for them. it’s like they’re holiday fairies or something. both of my grandmothers, my mother, my sisters and a handful of the cousins all have this gift. it does not come as naturally to me.

i was not blessed with the ability to have gifts wrapped on time, to have holiday dinners planned weeks in advance, or to even plan ahead enough to send birthday cards on time. i struggle to keep up with how quickly time moves and how to get everything done in advance.

i’ve been pretty into nesting since we got married, and part of that for me has been this desire to celebrate things with traditions like i did growing up. so to keep me motivated, and to remind myself of the high bar that has been set for me, this holiday season i’m going to talk about all those traditions here.


in about three days here, i will be flying down to the land of the snowbirds with my whole crazy extended family (a whopping 35 of us i think…it might be more now) for a week of Thanksgiving vacation. this is one of my favorite traditions ever invented. every year since before i was born, all the aunts and uncles and cousins have been taking a week-long vacation during the holidays together. it’s a chance for us all to get tan, catch up, eat delicious food and take as many naps as we want. there are also some games of tennis and maybe even some jogging thrown in there for good measure.

each family takes turns cooking dinner for everyone else, which in our family is like having a huge holiday get together every night for a week. the nights start out with drinks and people trickle in during the first hour. that’s when the volume starts to get louder. and it slowly increases through dinner, ending in a dull roar by dessert. for a rookie like my husband, it can be a little overwhelming, but for a seasoned veteran like myself, it’s just the way things are. i thought this was normal until i was about fifteen. then i realized how different and awesome we were.

because of this annual family pilgrimage, i grew up with cousins that feel more like siblings, and a family that is completely invested in each other  lives. in the best way. it’s a gift that can never be replicated. i feel so lucky that Mister Man was able to experience this phenomenon, as i like to call it. seeing me in this element is a little window into my soul, and i’m so happy that he is a part of that now. this year, there have been some ups and downs, and we all feel really blessed to be able to enjoy another year together celebrating each other and everything we’re thankful for.

ok, end sappy speech. here are some sunset photos for you to look at. (sidebar: we have a tradition within this tradition called the sunset swim. my grandma demands that everyone meet down at the beach at sunset, and each one of us needs to be in the gulf and submerged by the time the sun dips under the horizon. it does not matter how cold it is, this is a rule. after we chant “SUN.SET.SWIM.” a few times for good measure, someone *coughfearsomefoursomecough* announces that we are to run, not walk, to the hot tub to warm up before dinner. weird. but good. real good.)


and for those of you who just found me on this great big internet (hello there you!), here are some helpful bits of reading that will give you a little insight into my brain. it’s one long train of thought after another. with sidebars here and there. proceed at your own risk.

about me! my oddball family! my lovely husband! my new mantra!

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