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

Girl, the world is at your fingertips

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I wish I had known this fact some odd years ago. The world is literally at my fingertips. What I mean by that is this.. The only difference between the people out there killin’ it and myself, is how I decide to spend my free time.

One day I got to thinking about how many resources are available to me. This little guilty feeling crept over me. Oh how much time I have wasted doing nothing for myself, not taking advantage of the world. I wanted desperately at that moment to get out there and just start killing it (translation-maximize my days).

I asked myself one simple question—What are you passionate about? I have no idea. How am I 24 years old and I still don’t know what I’m passionate about? It’s like I don’t even know myself. Wait one minute… when I was young, I absolutely loved reading and writing. Oh snaps, maybe I still do! Here is a thought, remember those resources I was talking about a second ago? Libraries are free, hello. Im like wake up Erin—free knowledge.

 

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So where do I start? Hmmm, well I want to learn about myself, life, etc. I want to know grow as a person.. maybe I even want to be my own boss someday? The possibilities are endless. Ok I admit it, so I don’t exactly know—but I do know I want to learn.

My mind races like this all day every day, from thought to thought lighting fast. My mind always racing full of creative ideas can be super annoying at times, but it has always been this way. Maybe I should start using this to my advantage. I’m going to play my strengths here and capitalize on that. Then I realized I needed to start putting said thoughts down on paper, or in my case—notes on iPhone.

First step, library card.

Step two, check out my first book. Literally so exciting to get out there and start taking steps toward bettering yourself. Insert “nerd” emoji here. I liked reading at one point in my life, but lost the passion along the way. It’s funny how your greatest weakness (mind racing, full of ideas) can be converted into your strength. Hey, it’s all about perspective.

I love that I was able to reconnect with my passions from when I was a kid. Why do we lose some of our hope and excitement when we get older? Who knows. I’m just glad I found it again. All it really took was to really think deep about the title of this blog! The way I see it, everyone has the same opportunity. Use your potential, its yours to own. Now, get out there and start killin’ it, girl.

 

 

-E