When you Almost Ruin a Surprise Party

Yesterday I decided I wanted to check out a nearby winery: reason number one I have never been there, and number two wine-not?

My date and I waltz right in to the tasting room and it looks like there is a private party going on in the back behind the big black curtain. The lady behind the bar asks if we need anything and I told her we were hoping to do a wine tasting. To my disappointment, she told me they were closed for a private event. I’m thinking well that really sucks, until the lady sitting at the table next to us says “Will you please stay? I’m throwing a surprise 50th for my very best friend and I need you two to be the cover!”

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I love this already! We say yes, of course.

The best part is — had we showed up 10 minutes later, we may have ruined the surprise! Typical. Another day, another story to tell.

So we are sitting at the bar tasting delicious wines (trying not to be overly excited or suspicious) when the lady tells the bar to cut the lights in the back and wait for the signal because the birthday girl has arrived! I’m just thinking how happy I am to witness this and how funny it is that they have big balloons in the back that read “21”. She is 50.. These are my kind of people.

The birthday girl walks in and they tell her there is a coat rack in the back where she can hang her coat and when she pulls the curtain, we hear the big “surprise!

It was honestly the most heart-warming, cutest thing ever. I am so happy we got to be just a small part of it. Side-note: it was actually my first time witnessing a surprise party!

If you are a wino, Greenwood winery is the place to go. Their bistro is right next door (which is open later than the tasting room) for dinner and drinks. We had dinner in the beautiful dining area paired with my favorite glass of wine called sincerity — a smooth white semi-sweet wine made from the Niagara grape. For another favorite wine spot, check out Best Desserts of CNY: Dani’s Dessert and Wine Bar.

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Smoked turkey avocado
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Fried haddock special of the day

They have live music every Friday so we got lucky to enjoy that after dinner! Also worth mentioning — there is a huge fire pit outside to enjoy your wine while keeping toasty. If you love this story, read about the crazy cab ride with the man-bun.

Cheers!

 

xo,

-E

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How to Hit on a woman (and succeed)

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I absolutely have to share this story because it was just that hilarious.

Me and my roommate went out for a few drinks the other night and were not the least bit interested in talking to anyone besides each other. We had a beer at one bar before deciding that we were hungry and had to find somewhere to eat (in walking distance) before we might die of starvation.  I recalled this nice bar/restaurant with great burgers & fries—which conveniently was right around the corner. So, off we went.

We ordered loaded burgers and spicy fries as soon as we got there. 😍 AHH, just what we needed. After we ate, this young man in a hippie-type hat approached two guys directly across from us asking if we were all together. They quickly said no, (I think they were actually with each other.) Anyway, we overhear part of the conversation introducing himself as Ryan, Co-owner of the bar/restaurant. He walks away and then comes up to us a few minutes later and says something along these lines “Hi, I’m the Ryan co-owner with that man over there in the glasses.” We each shake his hand and glance over at the man in the glasses and smile. He then says “How was everything, is there anything you wanted to try on the menu?” I pipe up immediately because if you’ve read my blog, you understand my true love is actually food. So I’m like “Mac & cheese!” He’s like ok they’re a little busy, but it will be right out. He gives us two drink chips & walks away.

We talk amongst ourselves about how that was really nice of the owner to come up to everyone and make small talk and give out drink chips. What a great way to keep people coming back we both nodded. I would never think twice about it, but my intuitive roommate saw a few holes in the story. He only talked to the guys across from us, asking if we were together—no one else. Not to judge a book by the cover, but he didn’t look like an owner of a bar/restaurant. Then, out of nowhere a cook from the back comes out and says “Sorry about that guy creeping on you.” Before we could reply, he set down two drink chips in front of us and quickly walked away. Wait, what creep? The owner? Then it was like a light bulb went off and it hit us. We laughed SO hard in disbelief of the lengths “Ryan” was willing to go to just to come up and talk to us. We enjoyed the Mac & cheese and free drinks.

Of course I went up to the other “owner” in the glasses while he was paying his tab and said “Wait, if you’re the owner then why are you paying your bill.” He laughed and said he WAS the owner and that his friend Ryan really liked us. Pretty sure he was not the owner either, but at this point who really knows?!

In conclusion, I think most girls admire boldness and/or ballsy-ness. He left his number, but we left it on the bar. Whoops. Any man who is willing to buy me food gets a gold star. LOL. For another funny, yet true story you have to read this one: Cab Ride With the Man-bun.

 

 

Xoxo

 

-E

10 Ways to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

1. Take care of your health (physical & mental) — Believe it or not, they actually go hand in hand.

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Benefits of exercising include, but are not limited to:

♥  Improved self-confidence

♥  Improved overall Well-being

♥  Sexual satisfaction

♥  Improved Intellectual functioning

Exercise has even been reported to decrease the following:

Alcohol abuse

Headaches

♥ Hostility

Mild to Moderate Depression  1

2. Keep A Clean Living Space

The importance of a clean house is not to be underestimated. Having a messy area can actually be distracting and prevent you from getting other things done.

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3. Cook More Real Food

There is a certain amount of self-satisfaction knowing you took the time out of your busy day to make your own meal.  With all of the overly processed foods out there, knowing exactly what ingredients you’re putting in your body is a comforting feeling. After all, you only get one body—unless you’re Kim K. of course.

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4. Make personal connections with people

This world can be an increasingly lonely place, but making personal connections with others makes life that much better. Social media can make you feel distant or loved, depending upon how you use it. Reach out to people and engage in real conversations. You’d be surprised how much you may have in common with a stranger. Now — Don’t forget meeting people in person is just as important. I’m available to chat on various social media platforms, don’t be afraid to chat me up on Instagram or Facebook.

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5. Fear-less, Do More

I’m not saying go out and live a fearless life, but fear can be crippling. How about actually living—try something new & step out of your comfort zone. Remember that one time I went camping in the Adirondacks on an island?! No? No worries, catch up here..  Adirondack Island Getaway. How about the time that I snuck up on a roof top and stood on the edge? Read that epic story here.

 

 

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6. Focus On Your Strengths

God knows we have plenty of weaknesses, but how about we try focusing on our strengths for once. For those looking for an enticing read in the new year, I highly recommend you add this to the list: Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to develop your talents and those of the people you manage. For example, I have a way of connecting with people through writing; however,  I’m not so good at math. The concept is as simple as this; focus on connecting with people through writing and create momentum for yourself. So—blogging, here I come.

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7. Be a Woman Who Empowers Other Women

It’s a common, almost disgustingly popular trend to comment negatively regarding other women’s bodies. We are almost all guilty of this. Just because everyone else does it and just because they think it’s okay, doesn’t mean it actually is. Challenge popular opinions. You can find a prime example of women empowering other women in my post titled Every Body Is Beautiful and read about how I took the pledge.

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8. Surround Yourself With Likeminded People

We are most at home when we are surrounded by others whom we are most comfortable around. Finding  people that have the same mindset or outlook on life as you do are where you are bound to shine the most. One diamond is shiny, but how about 100,000 diamonds?  🙂 Now that is real shine.

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9. Attract What You Expect, Reflect What You Desire

This is for all my single peeps as well as people in relationships. Say it a couple times aloud to grasp the full meaning. No doubles standard here, just love. Keep in mind, this also applies to friendships.

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10. Be UNpopular

Last, but certainly not least. My blog title. You don’t have to go with the crowd. Stand up for what you believe and be Unpopular. We need more of you.

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erinhartle@yahoo.com

 

XOXO,

-E

 

 

 

References

  1. Taylor, C B, J F Sallis, and R Needle. “The Relation of Physical Activity and Exercise to Mental Health.” Public Health Reports 100.2 (1985): 195–202. Print.

Ways To Adventure On A Budget

One of my favorite quotes is “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” And so I shall. Quarter of a century old and having the time of my life. Every day is a new adventure. What if the best vacation, or rather staycation was in your own backyard? Sometimes it doesn’t take a trip to the Bahamas to feel like you’re winning in life. I came up with this blog because not everybody (including me) have the funds to permanently vacay, so why not explore your surroundings?

#1 Go for a drive

Sometimes when I have nothing better to do, I go for a drive in hopes to stumble across a new place to adventure. Thus far, I have had pretty good luck. I found an abandoned train and watched an epic sunset. Pink and blue skies and not a care in the world. They say the best things in life are free.

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#2 Waterfallin’

As it turns out, NY has a ton of waterfalls to see. So, I packed a lunch, and had a picnic right in front of a 137-foot waterfall. This picnic included a sandwich, pasta salad, mini blueberry pie, and red wine which I happily drank out of my favorite “wine bitch” glass. Who says you can’t be fancy in the middle of the woods? If there were ever a statement to describe me better than the previous one, I don’t know what it would be. My family can attest.

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Pratt Falls -Manlius, NY
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Salmon River Falls -Pulaski, NY

 

#3 Run a 5k or 10k

I love the way running makes me feel and what better way to stay in shape than signing up for a 5K? It gives you an excuse to train and gives you something to look forward to. The feeling afterward is one of accomplishment, plus you usually get a free pint of beer. win-win. Got a team of friends together for the annual cider run and had a blast! If you’re not an avid runner, I almost encourage you to try it even more because the satisfaction (and free cider) afterwards. Scenic views and running for a good cause—practically spells adventure.

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Chair for 3?
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Free cider, success!

 

#4 Explore the outdoors

Snapping a picture on a railroad track with an oncoming train? Checked that one off the bucket list. I enjoy walking around the closest downtown city and appreciating the architecture of the buildings, the graffiti, and the simple fact that there are homeless people out there playing saxophone on the streets. I also enjoy exploring the country-side just lying in a field of dandelions just for an epic picture. Leaning out on the top of a parking garage downtown? Been there, done that, and took some photos, obv. Find happiness in all things.

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#5 Try a new restaurant

New parks, new restaurants, new dessert locations, and new coffee shops as you will see in my future blogs. I’ve found some amazing restaurants in surrounding areas. I cannot wait to share them with the world. Every restaurant is unique in its own way. It is especially fun to speak with the owners just to get a taste of their different personalities. One restaurant I’ve recently discovered has a pasta man in his own little bubble cranking out fresh pasta right in front of you! It’s like they imported him straight from Italy. I love food. Exploring new restaurants every now and again is completely affordable and super fun as long as you appreciate the details of everything it takes to successfully run the place. Remember, you are paying for the environment and the service, not just the food. That being said, be sure to tip your servers!

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Just Donuts: Pheonix, NY

 

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Olives Eatery: Baldwinsville, NY

 

#6 Winery/Brewery

So many wineries and breweries to choose from. They are all a blast. Do some research in your surrounding area and go for it. Grab a group of friends, split a bus or limo, and prepare to have a hangover that will be well worth it—I promise. Just don’t be silly and think that you can drive just because it is just a few wine and beer samples. You cannot and should not. Some samples turn into full glasses for some reason. It is no surprise that I recently bought a shirt that has a T-rex and it is holding two glasses of wine. The wording states “WINO-SAUR.” For a taste of my style, you can look forward to unique style blogs here. 💁🏼

 

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#7 OH CANADA

Ok, so there are so many things to see in Canada. If you want it to feel like a real vacation, what better way than technically being out of the U.S.? Niagra falls really is beautiful, especially if you walk over to the Canadian side when there is nicer weather. If you are close enough to go for the day, super cheap. If not, Airbnb.com is a great option. I did that while visiting Toronto, check out my experience in Toronto here.

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Niagara Falls

 

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Rooftop: Toronto, Canada

 

Moral of the story: if your life is lacking adventure, make your own. While its more fun to venture out with another, it’s also fun now and again to venture out by yourself. It takes me back to green beer Sunday and my cab ride home with Mr. Osirus (the amazing ninja cab driver), if you haven’t read it—here it is.. Cab Ride With the Man-Bun. What are some of your favorite adventure spots?

Happy adventuring.

 

 

-E

Cab Ride With The Man-Bun

The best cab ride ever. I had the time of my life on green beer Sunday right before St. Paddy’s day. I started drinking at noon if that tells you anything. Like any typical girls night, I was having way too much fun to leave — so I didn’t.

9:00 pm rolls around, all of my friends are already gone, and I’m finally ready to leave. Two cabs are sitting out front, so naturally I approach the first one. He said “$45.” My house is ten minutes away. No wonder Uber is taking over. Me being the sassy girl that I am said “I bet this other cab driver will give me a better deal!” I may be sassy, but I was right. Other cab driver said he’d give me a $10 break. You get vibes from people, and this guy sent good ones. I sat in the front seat with a beer in my hand — apparently I walked out with it, sue me.

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He probably thought I was just drunk and wouldn’t remember our conversation, but to his surprise, I remembered every word.

I asked him what he wanted to do in life and he replied with how much he wanted to be an actor which lead to the topic of martial arts. I’m thinking maybe like a Jackie Chan kind-of-thing. He showed me insane videos with him hitting dummies left and right. Hi-ya! Turns out, he’s somewhat of a ninja. He told me a story about one time this man three times his size put a knife to his neck and tried to rob him.

Say what?

Thats crazy because the cab driver is a pretty big man, too. Little does the robber know that man-bun is a martial arts master disguised as a taxi cab driver.

He was so funny and animated while telling me this story. So he goes on to tell me he is “acting” nervous while grabbing the cash for the robber, making a point to tell me he was actually very calm and that being calm is important. So out of the blue, he grabs the robbers hand so that he drops the knife, elbows him in the face, and then pushes off the dashboard to end up in the back seat with the robber.

He kicks him while opening the door so that he falls out onto the street. He gets back in the drivers seat and the robber is up and on the hood of the cab. So — he did the obvious and drove off  with the bad guy still on top of the car. Just like the movies. Man-bun-1, other guy- 0. I’d watch a movie starring Mr. Osirus, he even has a cool name.

So instead of a silent ride home, we just talked like we knew each other. I adore conversations with strangers. Not a big fan of small talk like “Hey how are you?” and “I’m good thanks.” Its like a never-ending cycle of boringness. I don’t care if it’s customary, Be UNpopular. Get to know each other. Let’s forget pointless polite convos that are easily forgotten. I don’t want to be easily forgotten.  I don’t want to look back and wish I would have done things differently. Find your shine lovies — because when you do, the feeling is like no other. I’m never going back.

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Attempting a Kick..
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Oh and he carries a wooden sword in his car, you know just in case.

It was a $35 cab ride btw. Totes worth it though.

Had to meet up with him sober for these photos. I’d say it was a success. ✔️ Do something crazy today. Do something UNpopular. Interview below.

1.   Q: What inspires you everyday, what gets you motivated? 

A: I feel needed in the community, that’s why I don’t drink at all. I like to be ready at all times, in case someone needs a ride.

2.    Q: Are you going to try to be an actor?

A: That would be cool, maybe if I had the chance.

3.    Q: What is one thing you wish people would know about you?

A: I wear driving gloves and I think people get the wrong idea. Just because I look tough, people judge me right away, but I’m a really nice person.

 

xo,

-E

13 Things to do on VDAY for a Single lady + Recipe

With Valentine’s day here, one might wonder what there is to do as a single lady. I have come up with a list for you.. You’re welcome.

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  1. Listen to Beyonce` —If you like it then you shoulda put a… Never mind.

  2. Go watch 50 shades—Probably with a friend of some sort, yes it still counts if no one else can actually see this “friend”. It’s weird though because you know everyone is going straight home & you know, let’s Marvin Gaye and get it on (awk).

  3. Bake goods all day—like heart-shaped cookies and other red, vibrant desserts. Everyone likes desserts, so that’s an easy win (If you don’t, I don’t think I need your negativity in my life). Trifle recipe below.

  4. Go on a date—yolo. There’s Tinder, and like this thing where you actually can introduce yourself to people face-to-face. Mind-blowing, right?

  5. Hang out with other single friends—If these people even exist.

  6. Drive without a destination in mind—All by Yoseeeelf (Insert song here).

  7. Whine & chill—’Nuff said

  8. Sleep all day, wake up on FEB 15th—Cross that off the bucket list.

  9. Hang with your pet—If you don’t have one, refer to #10.

  10. Go buy a pet

  11. Have a VDAY party for girls only—Including food, dessert, and obviously chick flicks. No, that doesn’t make you a loser.. (ok maybe a little, but I’m not judging you).

  12. Pamper yourself with an at-home spa day or if the bank account agrees, go to a spa—look good, feel good.

  13. Do something spontaneous. Spontaneity is contagious. Ex: Travel to a nearby city and explore. Loserville is my absolute fave.

     

I joke a lot, but seriously there is nothing wrong with being single on V-day. Don’t let this amazing day make you feel unworthy. Remember, no one else is like you. You’re a rockstar. Choose to make today your day! Remember: Girl, the world is at your fingertips, you just have to believe it.

Recipe Time. 👇🏼

The other day my mom called me to tell me that I could open the package she sent me for Valentines Day because she was not available to FaceTime on Valentines Day because of things going on that day (I was supposed to wait until VDAY to open).

eeeek, what did I get?! She said I have to open the card first I’m like “what card?!” “What if it’s not here yet?!” She said “Then you’ll have to wait!” So I ran to check the mail and I see a red card—thank baby Jesus, hallelujurr. So we FaceTime and I open my card which consists of a single recipe card for a trifle dessert. Yes please. I precede to open the package and see a glass trifle bowl! What a thoughtful and amazing gift! I have never actually made a trifle before, but no worries! It was not-so-complicated and it tasted even better than it looked. I made sure to mention she gave me the perfect dessert to blog about. Thank you mom.

Ingredients:

1/4 plus 2/3 Cup sugar

1/4 Cup Fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. Almond extract

1 Angel food cake, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 Pound cream cheese (at room temp.)

2 Cups heavy cream

1/4 Cup water

2 Pints Strawberries

Handful raspberries to top

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Directions:

Heat 1/4 c sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4c water in saucepan over medium-high. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Dip 1-inch angel food cake pieces in the syrup and start layering in trifle bowl. Beat the remaining 2/3c sugar and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and light. Add heavy cream and mix until consistency of whipped cream. Layer cake cubes, followed by strawberries, and lastly the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layering of cake, strawberries, and then cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

 

-E

Single & 25

I think of everything in life as an experience -The good, the bad & the ugly. Even if things don’t work out the way you had hoped, you still learned something in the end. As I am recently single, it only makes sense to do a relative post. You might think I’d be a little down on myself, after all, single & 25 isn’t the most glamorous of titles. I actually feel hopeful. Its MY year. My year to learn everything I possibly can, do everything I’ve ever wanted to do, and just be myself. While I’m admittedly sad & disappointed that things didn’t work out—still nothing can stop me from achieving my dreams.

For the first time in my life, I realized that I didn’t like being alone. Why though? Ask yourself if you had one day to hang out with yourself, what would you do? Ask me that a year ago & you would undoubtedly get a deer in headlights stare. Ask me that now and you will see my face light up! Wake up, drink coffee, read a book, practice my guitar, go for a run, do some squats, etc. Goodbye to that girl who was afraid to be alone—time to enjoy being single & hanging out with my cat. LOL But seriously Instead of looking for the next partner, I’m working on me. I will not settle this time.

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Things to know about me— 1. I don’t owe anyone anything 2. I am more than capable of being happy alone 3. Dating can be super fun 4. My time is valuable to me and it will not be wasted 5. I will always stick up for myself 6. If you don’t like me, that’s ok— not everyone has good taste. hehe.

I’ve changed so much in the past year, it’s hard to know where to start. So I’ve zeroed in on the conclusion that the next one will find me when I least expect it. It’s how I know I’ve recently grown & changed. My outlook isn’t “I hate all guys.” It’s more like “The next one will be worthy of me and what I have to offer.” If I don’t feel like the most confident and unstoppable girl that I know I am —he’s going to be sidelined.

 

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It is crucial to take the good and not just the bad when exiting a relationship, even though they may not have been the ideal partner. We have all had a few less than ideal partners (eye roll). Everyone is different and has different experiences and personalities. That’s the beauty of life. Although we may not agree with everything our past partners stood for, we still have an opportunity to learn from them. I chose to take a great deal from my ex-boyfriend. I took an AMAZING amount of knowledge and wisdom. In a way, he inspired this blog. So the only words I would have to him are THANK YOU. Try it—thank your exes, even if they don’t deserve it.

There is no need for all of the hostility and drama involved with break ups. FORGIVE. Choose to forgive— not for them, but for yourself and your inner peace. Of course you don’t have to forget, for the past makes you wiser. Being sad is normal, you’re grieving the loss of a former BFF. Stay strong and move on. You rock.

-E