Pinch me… Summer Can’t Be Over!

29 Aug

 

c3086b9bd847f295094be4820efa554c

A Summer of Lobster Rolls

Cannot believe our summer of fun in the sun is coming to a close… Where in the world did it go?  San Francisco and Newport Beach, that’s where.  Don’t hate us, it couldn’t be helped.   And during our travels and back at home base , we became obsessed with Lobster Rolls.  Not low-cal, light sushi lobster rolls, but the sandwich kind, with lumpy pieces of lobster, smothered in mayonnaise, plopped inside a warm buttery roll…and usually served with a side of fries.  Not great if you are on a diet, but great if you forget you are on a diet.

875b308e3e0894e4ee62c4a4ee23a999

Because we spent much our summer on the west coast, and not the  east coast, where they truly are known for their lobster rolls, I’ve decided to mention where we have found our favorites, in the 3 cities in which we spent our summer.  I’m sure my friends in the NE will beg to differ, so we plan to do a trip to Maine, in the not too distant future, to check out their lobster rolls and hopefully one-up this blog.   Cannot wait!

Santa Monica Seafood – Costa Mesa, CA

Recommended by a dear friend… Fabulous.  Finding a great lobster roll in Orange County was easier said than done, so we had to rely on the advice of a local.  We were not disappointed.

seafood01-600

 

Shaw’s Crab House – Chicago

Meredith and I like to split one of these with 2 dirty martini’s.  Best Happy Hour Ever!!  Oh yeah, the lobster roll ain’t bad either.

home_lobster_roll shaw's

 

San Francisco Fish Company – Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro

This was the first lobster roll we encountered…we came across this little deli, and decided to split a lobster roll, as a little snack.   We promptly ordered 3 more.   And this is where our obsession started with lobster rolls.  And dark chocolate toffee as well.  The Ferry Building on the Embarcadaro is also where we take a ferry to Tiburon, to our favorite Mexican restaurant; where we sit outside for happy hour with the largest platter of a seafood appetizer known to man, enjoying carafes of not too terribly bad wine;  enjoying lattes and frozen yogurt, as well as fresh fruit from the farmer’s market on Thursday and Friday’s.  If you are headed to San Francisco, don’t miss the Ferry building.

01ee4fd0c4d1ddadae10fa5e72014ab7f25c1575a7

So, we decided we also wanted to make lobster rolls at home, so I searched high and low (or just googled best lobster rolls) and found a few options.   We tweaked the recipes, getting rid of the onion, lessening the mayo, and basically making them our own.  Oh, and we decided to come up with a lower cost version, since lobster can be upwards of $25 – $30/LB… which gives you almost No lobster meat.  So we found a less expensive option. Langostino lobster tails.  Found at Costco, for $23 / bag.  The bag makes about 6 good-sized lobster rolls.

00009241563801

My Favorite Lobster Roll Recipe

1 LB package Langostino lobster meat (I get mine at Costco)

2 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 New England Style hot dog rolls, ones with a split top (you can use regular if you can’t find New England style, which we have never been able to find in Chicago)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions

Chop the lobster meat into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk the mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the dressing with the lobster meat and set aside.  Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  We like the lobster filling, cold.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add two tablespoons of butter. Toast the outside of the hot dog roll in the skillet until golden brown. Flip and toast the reverse side. Repeat with remaining rolls.  Be careful not to burn the buns, as I tend to do more often than not.

Open each roll and fill with 1/4 of the lobster salad. Drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter over each roll and top with 1 tablespoon chives. Serve immediately.  Doesn’t get better than this, unless you use real lobster meat, but this langostino version is pretty darned tasty!

810f8ca7da32d068d73cb0548b74f984

 

Our summer in review - featuring not only pics of us, but some of our favorite haunts and views.

016e371d6e28ee3869c7a3f9a6b807ff363fcc308a

And the summer started with a girl graduating from college.

10268412_10150521772749945_4735381627844657338_n

Two girls, one Prom.  And not, we were not his date.  #spoilsport

411

 

I have the Best story of patrons behaving badly, and ripping to shreds the restaurant manager, all over a baby buggy, which was blocking everyone’s path, and the German patrons had no intention of moving it.  #noclass

415

This is Patrick’s happy place.  Mine as well.

 

10308099_10152379962859627_8751617896238229415_n

10309351_10152379963164627_8804738575174934635_n

 

Still not over the Blackhawks not winning the Stanley Cup.

photo

 

Awkward family selfie.

mer's first day of work

 

Mer Mer’s first day of work…

 

925

 

Dirty martini and seafood ceviche…happy hour of champions!

Alfred's

view in laguna

 

My favorite view in the world.

shenanigans

998

999

1000

 

We can do it!

1011

968

 

Cakebreak Cellars. The happiest place on earth!  And September starts my wine club with them!  #pinchmeIamsogiddy

 

terry and kevin donna's wedding

 

10390180_2237192366073_793338758942064348_n

 

Zack visited twice!

01bf5e6bf84579b3d2048beadfa2bedf2a1e2c17fb

Only thing missing in this picture is me!

10561587_816184778393791_4100022738184018525_n

 

One of my favorite pics of the summer…with my high school besties.

0147d819f81d69d986e544799472bd623934d66f8c

01eade52374d3210eb1dac6986ec63b05c78d2609f_00001

Combining pleasure with some work with some of my favorite people, ever!  We insisted on seeing the pictures the photog was taking, and had him delete the ones we didn’t like.  #controlling

01e04352af8b1429738748d4ae5764933ea2e4709f

First day of Senior year!  But it was still summer!

0101b75f1a188a369146d54ad53f2b72ac6018986c

The girl likes to pose.

010c074f52facb78ef584e4fac41d5f4ec10f82a0e

Another angle of our favorite view.

0163d005701f5e4c4b2ecdb707467fb8b20f5e95ba

Enjoying some wine at lunch overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf.

017997652a93294e2b2a75fae550f3d610cef02da3

Just a girl and a boy in a bucket hat, enjoying the beach.  :)

 

01f54e726e8e04beb60520d97a5235b7778e41b645

Arlington race track… lots of laughs, not too much in winnings.

0139f170153e3b1c618ee7f079ce2a4f577238beb7 0137ea367743c2732b6ac1852f24d2f7c5b81fe9c7

Murph does enjoy lounging on a lounge chair.

01a9919109deac1d78bb3cdb43615019e2b82f7934

AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco.  They service Stella and Napa Valley wines.  What’s not to love?!

016799454b90847a594dc8e013015203c3baf88297

 

View from our home away from home, overlooking the Bay.  We left our hearts in San Francisco. <3

1831160e823b160d1d75b427eb7eb065

Song of the Day:  Why Can’t I, by Liz Phair

Happy 2-year anniversary Murphy. She came to live with us 2 years ago today and has brought an additional element of  joy and love into our home.

969

018ecc6e31f907d729c6ca9aabf2fc9a2231ca1744

 

It’s gonna be a great fall!

Go Bears!!  Go Bronco’s (Barrington Bronco’s)

xoxo,

T.

c6749f067bc2d775956461faad99b25d

b5ba8b6e0ca62c8b443c8e2909c19870

Oh cabana boy!

0107d1ff22870c868c7bc490335d36a99d6ed0449b

 

 

10653680_760085464028382_8752530045764575075_n

crazy

0104ccf98e95b0b1ceb8dd6abbd25f11

 

 

Life is Short…

22 Aug

 

 

casual friday

 

No blog today, because it’s Casual Friday, and I’m traveling…but just a reminder that Life is short.  Make the most of it.  It’s the only one you got.  Unless you’re a cat…and I’m not a fan of cats…so this is the only one you got!

because life is short

 

tomorrow is nevefr promised

 

4bb5381483d628e7a81d6847b0062512 14c7ee2996a9b07b219d5d8b4259423d

Life is short…buy the shoes. :)

xoxo,

T.

fb71a4f7c6777201cc13a58860d97762

Brain Trust Society

1448761ea3e0c2f839ce8dec02f30b02 (1)

75424928db166590e8abbb125c7931ca#HPN2014

 

The Ice Bucket Challenge…Raising Awareness for ALS

19 Aug

f06b55468eaee0228d265f9b3d25010e

“I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for” – Lou Gehrig

The Ice Bucket Challenge, has gone viral…with hundreds and thousands, and hundreds of thousands of people doing the ice bucket challenge to raise money for ALS awareness, a cause that is close to my family’s heart.  As a matter of fact, I’ve actually had to edit this blog, with current information about 6 times, to try to keep as current and accurate as possible.  #journalismmajor

The Ice Bucket Challenge:  People make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads, post it on Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites, and then challenge friends to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS. (Many do both).   “In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally ‘soaked’ the nation,” the ALS Association said on its website. Between July 29 and Aug. 12, the association and its 38 chapters have received $4 million in donations, compared with $1.12 million during the same period last year.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or motor neuron disease (MND), is a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing and generally, complete paralysis. In most cases, while the body continues to deteriorate, the mind remains unaffected. The disease does not discriminate, striking any age, gender and race. In the US, someone is diagnosed every 90 minutes, and approximately 35,000 people are living with ALS at any given time. There is no known cure for ALS and once diagnosed, patients typically live only three to five years.  Right now, there is only one FDA-approved drug to treat the disease, and it only extends survival by a few months.   That’s right, a Few Months.

I am aware that there are many nay-sayers regarding people doing the ice bucket challenge…and I am not going to give them any blog time.   What I would like to say is, the ice bucket challenge, which admittedly did not Start with creating awareness for ALS, seemed to go Viral when it was Tied to ALS.  And correct, perhaps many people are doing the ice bucket challenge and not actually donating to ALS, (www.alsa.org), but they are still creating awareness for this disease.  The true win-win is to dump the ice water on your head, and donate to ALS.

Just like Katie Couric taking a colonoscopy on the air helped raise awareness and research dollars for colon cancer, and Susan B. Komen and the pink ribbon  has helped with breast cancer research and Robin Williams’ sad and untimely death, is helping raise awareness for depression…the ice bucket challenge  is helping raise awareness for ALS.   While many people may have heard of Lou Gehrig’s disease,  many people are unaware of the specifics regarding this devastating and deadly disease.  Statistics show that only half of the general public understands ALS, and the viral challenge is making a powerful push toward informing the public about the need to fund research for a cure.    Hopefully, since the onset of this challenge, more people are educated about this horrific disease and the influx of research dollars will help bring us closer to a cure, as well as a reversal for those who already have it.  #hope

0fa85906a569c0ebbbf78458a489057b

According to the New York Times, People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, (updated figures) the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors. (With a spate of celebrities and business executives joining in over the past few days and pledging contributions, that number is expected to rise.)

I first became aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge, raising awareness for ALS, when Julian Edelman, of the New England Patriots did it on July 29th.  Julian did the ice bucket challenge, in honor of Pete Frates, a Boston College baseball player, who is bring credited as being a Leader of this movement.  Pete Frates has ALS, and he is 29-years old.  This is his story:

The story of Pete Frates

I shared the video of Julian Edelman, (shown below)  with one of my dearest,  Cathy Friedman, who is as much of a Patriots fan, as I am a Bears fan, so she up and did the ice bucket challenge.  My favorite line of hers after she dumped an entire bag of ice into the water bucket,  and poured it over her head, “This is nothing compared to what people with ALS have to endure”.  So True. Love that girl, btw!

Mr. Pete Frates said in a video Last December: “The story right now goes: You’ve got ALS, have it for a little while, a long while, but either way, the end is always the same. ALS always wins. So in order to rewrite the end of it, we need to raise awareness, money.”  And raising awareness and money seems to be happening.

 

b2344c7b469ff69bcebff3542bcc4543

 

And yes, my family and I have participated as well…Thankfully, I have been unsuccessful at figuring out how to post the video to this blog,  that is not via Youtube, so here is a snap shot of me dumping water on my head.  And, I’m wearing a half zip, because it was 60 degrees out, and I had on a white t-shirt, which you do not want to show “wet”, so I threw on the half zip.  Thanks to Amelia for calling me out, and thank you to my high school friends, Kevin and his hotel, and my Dallas CVB alumni gang, for continuing with the challenge as those that I’ve called out.  #family

01b9d4c58a369e69c5584d90e4be16b12a33c1710d

 

Then lucky me, I got nominated twice.  Thank You Steven! xoxo .  And gladly did it twice. :)  Shouting out a nomination to Lora, NKO, and my siblings.

0178ec8c22824031763e0605f98b16a99585837db1

POB ice bucket

Patrick

mer doing challenge

Mer Mer

A few more of my favorite Ice Bucket Challenges from my favorite peeps…this is only a sampling,  (pictures, not the actual videos) of those who did the challenge while I was penning my blog, and those who either challenged me, or I challenged them.  I wish I could feature everyone.  Perhaps one day.  #longestblogever  #sobbingwhilewriting

01af92903dfac5823f6449f427d823058201d690f2

 

Tracy

 

01382a9bc104d5ae5c61804d0c9a585cd3c5435e15

Steven

01c906590eb224386b960918513cc085c3c605cdba

Carolyn

0110ff94358b7178b0139b2e870d545e9efa4783bf

Ellen

01b6ebffc749aeddcc02a532a2870b7c9c1529878f

Luke

01b38faca81924f2cc1c130d33d01c01410667102f

 

Dana

01eadca4196d6ff08dc2a16f2611588c0e37f40d3d

 

Amelia

mark bice

Mark

joy doing ice bucket

 

Joy

Some others doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, that aren’t as famous as those just featured above.  These are the actual links to the video, while the above were just a snapshot picture.

Bill Gates doing Ice Bucket Challenge

a542d48e8a23f03a7c1a035fbb1e390a

 

The Kennedy Family doing Ice Bucket Challenge

ethel kennedy

 

The Chicago Blackhawks doing Ice Bucket Challenge

blackhawks-ice-bucket-challenges

 

Charlie Sheen

 

b820123519203d63f9ce4a933becc4c6

My family is doing a walk for ALS on September 21st at Soldier Field…which happens to be my birthday.  I cannot think of a better way to spend my birthday, than walking with family and friends for such a great cause, and doing so at my favorite place, Soldier Field!  Join us, Team Kourage, to help raise more funds for this very cruel disease.  To date we have raised almost $5000.  Comment on this blog, or get in touch with me if you want to be part of this great cause and very fun day!  There will be snappy t-shirts provided for Team Kourage, and for all that participate, as well as a post-party.  #bribery

7821.283093846.custom

 

 

Song of the Day:  Wind Beneath My Wings, by Bette Midler.  Featuring my very favorite beach from the movie, Beaches.  #beachshack.  Ice, Ice Baby, would have been too obvious. :)

Best quote of the week from Meredith:  Watching the many videos of  the ice bucket challenge for ALS, is the new watching soldier’s coming home.  You can’t get enough of watching either.

Someday we’ll be able to name a cure after Lou Gehrig, instead of a disease.  ALS…it’s more common than you think.

xoxo,

T.

98b82510ba30782b6f79b7f418729db5

21b96809329f43202f4b81c9623a0da6

 

cc49627cd2ea832ff61f368bfb174f20 ab1dcf1eef463e073328d6b90eefd023 9e899ff6e710ea5cf2f994ab7b3d08a6 67472bc120ca2f8619d75eba110fe21b

 

Sources:  PCMA; New York Times

http://pcma.org/be-in-the-know/pcma-central/convention-and-meetings-news/news-landing/2014/08/18/what-your-organization-can-learn-from-the-ice-bucket-challenge?e=tobrien%40hpnglobal.com&m=21933239#.U_NwhPmICCd

50 simple ways to transform your life…for the better

15 Aug

63d4ed5b83f876b0f7e7c8f3a79e3fed

 

I was looking square into Friday, and really didn’t have a specific blog penned that tickled my fancy, and was headed to a girl’s night out with Mer Mer to the Bears game, so time was of the essence…And I pondered, what in the world should I blog about… and just like that…this appeared on Twitter.  #karma.  I love this and would have blogged it even if I wasn’t in a time crunch.  And yes, I still have to blog about a summer of lobster rolls, the Ice Bucket Challenge raising awareness for ALS and upcoming Fall fashions (eek), but I’m liking this blog for today.  Enjoy!

39e23c154af39a9f404a4c0a41f2f0fe (1)

 

50 Ways to Transform your life for the better…as if I’d ever post something about transforming your life for the worse?!  However, that could be fun, and I could site some stellar examples.  #beafraid  #beveryafraid  #power

A few comments by me are in italics.  Because I cannot help myself.

  • Everything isn’t always as complicated and messy as we have come to believe. Sometimes, life is simply about happiness and the small ways we choose to engage in the beauty of being alive.  Choose Happiness.  
  • Cling to your moral compass. Believe in the values that compose who you are and never allow others the power to strip that from you.
  • Make pancakes whenever possible.  Except on Christmas morning, because Patrick doesn’t handle this well… Boys!
  • Go follow @pugsofinstagram and laugh a little at those goofy freaking dogs.  Murph doing Happy Girl!

happy girl

  • More importantly, don’t hold back your laughter in life. Smile at the silly antidotes that make life amusing. Laugh loud and genuinely. Give those bursts of joy all you have because you only have so many.
  • Don’t forget your hobbies, they will save your soul one day. Try to set aside a little time for the little things you love.
  • Have an open mind. Let the walls of your brain be temporary and kind to the existence of new ideas.
  • Play. Play with your friends. Play with your pets. Play with your family. Play.
  • Retain a hunger for knowledge. Let life teach you and understand at the core of your being that there will never be a day that you don’t need to continue to learn.

d6c429ff7994d3582502ede8f9a2e9c0 (1)

  • Exercise forgiveness. Let your heart release the evil that weighs it down.
  • When with your significant other, take a second to really look at them. Follow the curves of their body and study the pigment of their eyes. Watch the way they light up with a smile. Melt a little when you see them. Appreciate the beauty of those you love and let it captivate you.
  • In addition to actually seeing the people you love, touch them. Give strong hugs. Lay on a long kiss that makes you ease into it with your whole body and forget everything else. Feel and physically exist with others.
  • Blast a song in your car like you did when you first landed your driver’s license and the stereo was essentially the best part. Let the music consume you and vibrate life through you.

3fff539f121aadf173575fad4925bd19

 

  • Cuddle.
  • Go outside.
  • Seriously, if there aren’t any hazardous weather conditions outside, get out there as soon as you can. You can take five minutes from the day to just breathe in the air and let the sunshine warm your face.
  • Don’t be afraid to fall in love.
  • Love who you are while still constantly working towards self betterment. Know that you’ll always have room to grow.
  • Share your funniest stories.

anti-joke-chicken-meme-generator-a-horse-walks-into-a-bar-the-bartender-asks-why-the-long-face-the-horse-said-nothing-because-it-is-a-horse-and-horses-cannot-talk-d45de2

 

  • Explore. The world is filled with unimaginable beauty if you take the chance to discover it. Traveling can be expensive, but you would be surprised by how many amazing places you can uncover in only a short distance from your home.
  • Give yourself “me time” whenever life gets too overwhelming.
  • Be completely enthralled by the people you are with. Put away the phone and emails while you are trying to have a conversation with someone. Half-hearted interactions are disguised failures.

6e474836002d670313a49d7a0097fd28 (1)

  • Be humble.
  • Be imaginative.
  • Be brave.
  • Search for the positivity in your life and share it with others.

9f2ab6238e7067d66765df596c9ab90d

  • Exercise your body as you do your brain. Train it to be healthy and strong in a way that supports you and all of your dreams.
  • Look at the stars.
  • Give real meaning to the phrase “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” and actually try to understand the perspective of others. It is so easy to judge or be angry with others without taking into consideration why they behave or feel the way they do.
  • Recognize that no man or woman carries the same burden as any other, and that is a beautiful obstacle we all must work to overcome and learn from each day.

1ae0e4e557a5ca5956d1dc0547ed2d0c

  • Express yourself freely.  One word.  Blog. ;)
  • Take road trips.
  • Dance.  I dance every day!

don't walk dance

  • Let yourself be vulnerable and share your deepest thoughts.  This is why I blog.  
  • Show yourself to the people around you and allow them love you for all that you truly are.  What’s not to love?  :)
  • Indulge in a few Netflix marathons when you are feeling down.

5198YBH8R8L

  • Let yourself have a good cry if you need one.  The above movie will allow you to do just this.  
  • Be healthy while still understanding that it is still OK to go for the extra cookie every once in awhile.
  • Cookies won’t kill you, I swear. I’m a firm believer that they may actually be saviors in some ways.

2f44a62b3785bd457064a7096c06c28b

  • Try to do the things that scare you.  This would have to do with rodents.  
  • Take photos.
  • Play games. Anything from shooting hoops in the drive way to a deadly game of Go-Fish can do wonders for your overall happiness.  May I suggest a game of Apples to Apples?
  • Learn to love the beauty of the mini-conversation with the office janitor or check-out lady at the grocery. Too often we walk through our days ignoring the little opportunities we have to influence others.  Consider this Done!

256a49e45b5e3dd949c494068cd89e76

  • Spend more time with animals. Cuddle with your kitty. Throw the ball with your dog and laugh at all the funny ways he tries to grab it from the air. Love them for their innocent companionship and let them love you.
  • Keep a list of goals and work towards them.

ca43a0494c0f8f03fa5fc166b6dc3f40

  • Stop passing judgements. The condemnation of others will never make you better and won’t ultimately make you feel better either.
  • Take a few cat naps.
  • Create. Use your imagination and talent to create anything from a superb batch of brownies to a DIY Pinterest creation for your new apartment.
  • Laugh at yourself.  I do this every day.
  • Engage in the activities that cause you to be sincerely proud of yourself. These are the moments where you can feel in the pit of your stomach that you are doing something solely because it makes you feel accomplished, happy and meaningful. Keep feeling that way and working towards those moments.

d87915d4950bd2808abf811d7e4abe5a

  • Make a difference. Make a difference with your work, with your smile, with your bare hands, or with your heart. You are alive; live each day understanding what an incredible opportunity that is. You are an opportunity for greatness, so seize it.

b297018b788f76780357db67519bda9f

Song of the Day:  Follow You Follow Me, by Genesis (another one of Kevin’s favs)

10599680_10152575544539627_8986467835280172232_n

Great time at the Bears game last night (Yes, Steph, I was at the game ;) )… and as I posted on FB, “Weekend at Bernie’s meets Clueless (all grown up)”.  yes, this man is passed out…and yes, the Preppsters  above him were truly the “beautiful people” in our section.  The handsome man was wearing a very light cream suit…to a Bears game.   I felt like I was in When Harry Met Sally, because the entire stadium did the Wave.  9 times.  Yes, 9 times.  #excitinggame   My favorite part of the game, (other than the win and the wave) was befriending the couple next to me…who for 3 quarters did not make a sound, say a word, cheer or crack a smile… I showed them the above “selfie”, and we became fast friends.   They rooted, they cheered and they laughed throughout the entire 4th quarter! #makingfriendsinfluencingpeople

0147d819f81d69d986e544799472bd623934d66f8c

Girls night out!  And, we got a W!  Even if it doesn’t count in pre-season, it’s still a win!  Note how we are not wearing Bear’s jerseys, but sporting Bears colors.  #options.  This picture is approved by Mer Mer…which is easier said than done.  :)

Size does Matter…in regards to the size of purses allowed in NFL stadiums.  Two weeks in a row, we have seen hundreds of women (yes, mostly women, and not men carrying the man-purse), being turned away from Soldier’s Field, because of the size of their purses.  Hundreds.  Maybe even a thousand gals.  My goodness…do these people not watch the news, or read my blog?  Ladies…you are not allowed to bring a purse into an NFL game, that is bigger than “the size of your hand”.  This would be a small clutch purse.  You can put all your belongings in the “stylish” Plastic tote sold by the NFL, (or mine given to me by D) and put your small clutch inside, along with your jacket, hairbrush, camera and allowed snacks…but no beverages or water bottles.  Or just bring a small clutch purse.  Of course, you could put mace or a knife in a small clutch purse, and probably a few small bottles of vodka, similar to those you get on an airline, but as long as they are in this small clutch purse, you are good to go.  Super policy, Mr. Goodell.  Go Bears!

Here is my bag, packed for the game, with my white denim jacket, wristlet and sunglasses.  #savvypacker

01ce88e4b18b825a0aadfbd7469aacb1aae727a5a8

 

Last weekend of summer before school starts and I go to DC to see some of my very favorite peeps.  #shenanigans.  Gonna make this the best weekend ever!

Happy Friday…now be a love and pass the wine. :)

xoxo,

T.

10530740_10154518722090455_6435791578024769791_n

who ties your shoelaces

 

03a1e14c4188e5338732697584e37056

 

862fa1066452caeda191dddfcb98f8b8

c194c62e693301b6c9e57580c9945a57

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lexi-herrick/50-simple-ways-to-transform-your-life_b_5667069.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046

 

What a Guy Should Pack for College

13 Aug

This is a Reprint of my blog:  What a guy should pack for college…because I am an equal-opportunity blogger, and posted what girls should pack for college last Friday.  So, here it goes…and a few new tidbits and sassy cards at the end of the blog. ;)

It has been almost a year since I was helping get Meredith ready to leave for college…and since that little turn of events is basically what started this blog, we know what a girl packs for college…EVERYTHING…I think the guys deserve equal time.   And here is a flashback of some of Mer Mer’s clothes she had set aside (only half of them, as there were no jeans, pants, skirts of shorts here).  And this is a Packing DON’T, btw…

So… you are going away to college, and going to live in a dorm?   The college kids are extremely excited, while the mother’s are secretly crying themselves to sleep every night…so let’s try to make the packing go as smooth and efficiently as possible, to lighten the stress load on your poor Mom…and I’m not saying that Father’s aren’t upset either, but speaking from our situation, I don’t think Kevin was crying while going for a morning run the day we were heading to take her to school (of course I could be mistaken, but I think not).

Going away to college there are a few staples that every student should have. There are tons of checklists for the obvious things.

http://packinglistguru.com/college-packing-list-for-guys/

http://www.collegeandfinance.com/18-overlooked-things-everyone-should-bring-to-college/

http://www.justtherightthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Julies-College-Packing-List.pdf

But I asked some friends for their overlooked essentials, and came up with the following list:

I am aware that some of these items depend on your dorm’s policy.

Pack your clothing.  Bring only three weeks of clothes since you won’t be able to fit everything you own into one dorm.  ( Of course, don’t use Meredith as an example as it was like shoving clowns into a phone booth).  Also, make sure you have at least one nice outfit. Two nice outfits are best, especially if one is more conservative and the other outfit is more funky. You never know when you will have to  go to a job or internship interview, a fancy restaurant, or a religious service . Don’t forget clothes hangers .  Meredith’s room did Not have a dresser.  I found that really strange, but we bought 2 sets of plastic 3-drawer carts from The Container Store, which were a god send!  If possible try to rotate seasonal clothes back and forth from dorm to home.

A Microwave/refrigerator Combo
You can rent one of these combo models, or you can buy one at Target.  This is a necessity.  You will not always be able to get a snack at the cafeteria, whenever you wish.  Your meal plan is either very expensive or very limited, and you will not feel like walking to a store at 1AM. Do yourself a favor and pack some Easy Mac or some lean cuisines (:) )to heat up.  Microwave Popcorn is always a crowd pleaser, and basically the simplest thing to prepare.  Just make sure you know how to nuke popcorn without setting off the fire alarms.  Many colleges offer a refrigerator/microwave rental…It’s up to you if you want to rent it for $75 and have the luxury of having it waiting in your room (my recommendation), or buy it at Target, for $150 or so, then be responsible for getting it to and from.

cc298cb_open

Laptop, Printer, Paper, School Supplies

And make sure you have everything backed up on an external hard drive!  This…is extremely important!

b4f11f90013b19aae419ff07eff2f5f3

 

Bedding

XL Twin Sheets, a Blanket or Comforter, Mattress Pad and your pillows.  And bring an extra set, because it’s my experience that guys did NOT change their sheets…As a matter of face, it’s also my experience that girls did NOT change their sheets either. :)

0deff7807f040f12093f183bb43c4cc8

Toiletries – I’m not going to elaborate here, because you know what you need…But make a list, and make sure you bring everything you have on your list.

a711f3e084d57b49a3e8c1954709981b

 

Medications – and have copies of your prescriptions.  And make sure you have your own insurance card.  Making a First Aid Kit to go for a college student would be a great gift!

Aspirin; Tylenol; Advil; Pepto Bismol; Allergy Medicine; Cough Medicine; Cough Drops; First Aid Kit

d87b5f03a29e979f04ddf521f6efb08d

 

Electronics

iPod/iPad; Chargers; Batteries; Alarm Clock; TV; iPod speakers

15e58110aa112f7fbec3e9ae1b04b3d0

Flip Flops/Shower Shoes ;Towels

Clearly guys will not wear “Shower Shoes”…but you really should wear flip Flops into the shower.  These are essential.  Do not walk around barefoot in a public washroom.  I have 2 words for you:  Athlete’s Feet.  I have 1 word for you:  Gross!  Wear flip-flops.  And I’m aware (based on feedback from my friends) that guys will probably not wear flip-flops into the shower, but it really would be a good idea.

966ae6756709455d13787bc33eb3e53d

Cleaning Supplies/Laundry Supplies

Clorox Wipes are the bomb!  I used them to clean Mer’s room when we packed her up to leave.  Bring 2 containers.  And if you can, a small hand-held vacuum will be handy.  And you will be doing laundry, so have laundry detergent, a laundry basket or bag, and fabric softener sheets.  When we were going through orientation at Indiana, someone asked about the “laundry service” for the students.  One of the student aides, suggested skipping the laundry service, as  “doing laundry is a good skill to have”.  I couldn’t agree more!

8f0285221ce84ee12bb161ca2c73eaca

Fan

You can buy a great fan for $25.  Money well spent for keeping cool, as Not all dorms have air conditioning.

35909391df9b6aae38693e66051351d2

More Tips:

Try and buy your textbooks on eBay or Amazon, and not through the student center.  If you can get the list of books required prior to school, you can save loads by getting them online.

If you cannot “Loft your beds”, you can buy bed risers, to raise your bed by 8″ to give you more space to store your things.

363520a835dbb2aded9fe1f5ca4f41aa

A great way to make some extra money for college, is to offer to help others move, and charge $10/hour.  I would have happily thrown a “hundo” to someone to help load, and unload the large laundry cart we were using to move Meredith into her dorm.  And think ahead to next year, put out some flyers with your cell phone and e-mail , and schedule yourself for the entire week.  I’m sure it will More than pay for the pitchers of beer. :)

Please remember to call home.  With cell phones, laptops, iPad, and Skype…you have No reason Not to stay in touch with your family.  Your family will miss you, and you may (or may) miss them as well…Even if you don’t, tell them you miss them and love them.

And here are Moving Tips, courtesy of Mayflower:

  1. Be realistic and clutter-free: Let the size of the space you are moving into, not your emotions, determine what to bring.
  2. Think ahead, buy green: Most of the new stuff you buy before school will be thrown out when you move out in May. Purchase green items such as organic sheets and natural material furniture to reduce your carbon footprint. Donate your used items to local nonprofits.
  3. Roommate basics: Coordinate with your roommates before the move. Share decorating ideas and plan what items each roommate should bring, so you don’t waste money and end up with duplicates.
  4. Priority packing: Organize your belongings in boxes by priority. The most important items, such as medicines, toiletries, valuable jewelry and paperwork, etc., should be packed clearly marked boxes.
  5. Survival kit: Pack a clearly marked “essential trip kit” that includes items that you will need for the first night in case you arrive late or are too tired to unpack. This will save you from rifling through boxes to find your toothbrush or pajamas.
  6. Wrapping: Save time by NOT using newspaper for wrapping like your parents did. The ink can rub off and damage or dirty your valuables.  Use clean, white newsprint which you can get from moving companies or at office supply stores.
  7. Label it: Whether you move into a dorm room, apartment or house, label boxes by location, so you know where each box should go.
  8. Decorating essentials: Pack a small toolkit with items like a screwdriver removable adhesive strips to hang pictures and decorate your new place without damaging the walls.
  9. Function first: Personalizing a new space is important, but make sure furniture is moved before unpacking personal items.
  10. Take a break: Take short breaks throughout moving day to avoid burnout. Meals and sightseeing on campus are great ways to stay refreshed throughout the day.

And for those of you who are saying to yourself (Cinda)…”Yeah, when I think of someone to ask advice on what a guy should pack for college, I automatically think of Terry O’Brien…since she has had One girl go to college, and she totally over-packed”.  This blog was based on “research”, not personal experience…and for those of you who are saying, “I’m sitting here with her, and two of us have had two sons go to college, did she call us”?   No I did not.  Again, Note to self…don’t publish a blog while sitting with a group of girls on a girl’s weekend. :)

Oh, and here’s another Tip…when developing a taste for beer (as I’m sure you never partook in high school), try to stick with a cheaper beer…aka, Keystone Light, Coors Light, and other more inexpensive beers…My recommendation is Not to develop a taste for “Chimay” Ale.  This is the beverage of choice, of one of my all time favorite people (former, actually, but that’s another blog).  A case of this will set you back $141.99.  A case of Keystone Light (which is the beer of choice for beer bongs) will cost you $15, and probably for 30 cans.  You’re in college now.  You do the math.

Enjoy!  You are about to have the time of your life!  I’m jealous!!

10463048_10152562012729627_6434695854778262414_n

How lucky was I to hang out with my two favorite college graduates at Friday’s Bears game?  Probably should have worn more sunscreen, from my day at the beach, with one of my favorites, Joy!  #lessonlearned  #greatdayregardless

d96531443ac0554541c69fb9c054c581

Coming up Friday?  I have No idea!  This should be interesting.

Song of the Day:  Bruises, by Train (feat. Ashley Monroe)

“Someday we’ll be able to name a cure after Lou Gehrig, rather than a disease”.

Creating a world without ALS.  www.alsa.org

xoxo,

T.

10530740_10154518722090455_6435791578024769791_n

Be kind…

MjAxMS0zMjUwZmVlZWQ2YWI2ZmFh

f97827b364991a4db86ac4622b56616e

 

This is for you, Mer Mer!

0efcc1773c63c4353052c0b088df711b

This, happens to be true. ;)

good hair day

Again, true. :)

 

Girl’s Guide to Packing for College

8 Aug

Now with Pants

Four years ago, I started this blog…and started it with the blog, What does a Girl Pack for College?  Everything was my response.  And this was not a “how to”, but rather, “how Meredith does it”. Here’s the link to that blog, which is still my most favorite blog: What Meredith packs for college.  We learned, by trial and error, what you really should pack for college.  I even published blogs about what Guys should pack as well sa those traveling abroad.  I will repost those two versions next week.  I have found, a great, zippy little guide, from a Preppy girl’s perspective, and thought I’d share.  I also have links to my other college packing blogs at the end of this blog.  #peoplepleaser

eeace16e4651068a036fde8473544d73

A PREPPY GIRL’S GUIDE TO PACKING FOR COLLEGE

Detailed & organized packing list for college.  The things that you want/need along with the little things you might forget all organized by category into a single list! Keep in mind this is just my suggestions! Your list may vary to fit your personal needs & wants! Please leave comments with anything you think is essential that I have forgotten! Enjoy!
*I would also suggest that you communicate with your roommate so you don’t spend more money than you need to. For example, one of you buys the rug & microwave & the other buys a fridge & lamp!

Bed:

  • Sheets
  • Comforter or duvet with cover
  • Mattress protector
  • Mattress pad
  • Two pillows & one body pillow
  • Decorative pillows
  • Risers (If needed)
  • Throw blanket
  • Bed carry/something for things next to bed

4e6fa17967b4c657a27c4f7f461e0006

Bath:
  • One washcloth, one hand towel, two bath towels, two hair towels
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Tissues
  • Robe
  • Toiletries
    • Shampoo & conditioner
    • Deep conditioner
    • Body wash
    • Shaving cream
    • Razor (& refills)
    • Feminine products
    • Face wash
    • moisturizer
    • Makeup
    • Deodorant
    • Bobbi pins
    • Hair ties
    • Hair spray
    • Nail polish & nail polish remover
    • Lotion
    • Hair brush
    • Cotton balls & q-tips
    • Toothbrush & toothpaste
    • Tweezers
    • Perfume
  • Hair dryer, straightener, curing iron, ect.
  • Brushes

861f8bd663a2edb4ad6cfd725e5e42ce

Laundry:
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer sheets
  • Stain remover
  • Hangers (felt)
  • Laundry bag/basket
  • Lint roller
  • Steamer
 4ec4c62c4b6d84e81cd5470ce44dc964
Kitchen:
  • Mini fridge & microwave (If not already provided by your college)
  • Microwave safe plates & bowls
  • Spoons, forks, knives
  • Keurig
  • K cups
  • Cups & mugs
  • Brita water filter
  • Ziploc bags
  • Dish soap
  • Snacks

a784d87a5c3d1fc9713d8627b7e38294

Desk:
  • School supplies
  • Lamp
  • Desk Calendar
  • Something for pens & pencils
  • Mirror
  • Agenda
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • Tape
  • Post-its
  • Clear post-its
  • Paperclips, pushpins, ect.
  • Scissors
  • Index cards
  • Glue
  • Bulletin board

5965a7c2d0b0acc646f7fda94ab0e88a

Organization:
  • Makeup drawers
  • Makeup brush holder
  • Pallet holder
  • Shoe hanger for closet
  • Something for keys
  • Drawers for under the bed
  • Hot tool holder
d84338f46c8855c3f57dde5abce630fc
Cleaning:
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Air freshener/wallflower (with refills)
  • Trashcan
  • Paper towels
 8f0285221ce84ee12bb161ca2c73eaca
Electronics:
  • Phone charger
  • Computer with cords
  • Tv with cords
  • Dvd player
  • Apple tv
  • Mouse
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Flash drive
  • Extension cords/surge protectors
  • Headphones
  • Desktop cord holder
  • Alarm clock
 15e58110aa112f7fbec3e9ae1b04b3d0
Misc:
  • First aid kit & medicine
    • Bandaids
    • Neosporin
    • Pain reliever
    • Airborne
    • Cold medicine
    • Allergy medicine
    • Sleep aid
    • Tums
  • Small umbrella
  • Rug
  • Fan
  • Flashlight
  • Safety pins
  • Batteries
  • Command hooks
  • Duffle bag
  • Step stool
  • Decorations

school-supplies-for-the-college-girl

Source: Preppy Girl packing list

HOW TO PACK FOR COLLEGE:  TOILETRIES

861f8bd663a2edb4ad6cfd725e5e42ce

4e6fa17967b4c657a27c4f7f461e0006

 

10 Most Forgotten Items…from Prepavenue.com

55218f45721af113d006ae1d85bda4c8

1 | Full length Mirror- Take my word and get one before you get there. This is one of those conveniences that you don’t realize how much you love it until you don’t have it anymore. Flashback to my month in New York City this summer. I was staying in a dorm that lacked a full length mirror. My suitemate and I decided it was worth the money to spend, so we made the 11 block walk to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought ourselves a full length mirror and hauled that thing 11 blocks back to our dorm. Talk about the looks we got. Save yourself this hassle and buy a full length mirror before. I have to say though, we were the popular room because we were one of the only rooms with a full length mirror. Girls would flock to our room in the mornings before work to just take a quick peek at their outfit before hitting the city streets.

2 | Umbrella- We can only wish that classes got cancelled when it rains, but unfortunately, they don’t. Not only don’t they cancel class, but your professor probably won’t allow the excuse of rain when you walk in tardy. Keep an umbrella in your dorm for those rainy days where you have to trek all the way across campus in the nasty weather. No one wants to sit in class soaking wet.

3 | Flash Drive- I use my flash drive so often I have it connected to my wallet. Bottom line: get a flash drive (or 2). You never know when your printer will stop working and you frantically have to get over to the library to print a paper!

4 | Dust Buster- As much as I don’t like to thing about it, dorm rooms get messy. I however am not to into this whole dirt thing. A dust buster will be so convenient when you quickly want to suck up crumbs (or hair in the bathroom)!

5 | DVD’S- You may not have a lot of free time but when you do it’s nice to be able to chill out and watch your favorite movie. My friend recently moved into her dorm room and texted me and told me to ensure that I remember to bring movies! Not only are they good for you, but they are great (and easy) way to make new friends the first week. Turn on a chick flick and leave your door open and you’ll be surprised how many girls will end up lounging in your room!

6 | Air Fresheners – It’s nice to have a yummy smelling room. Simple as that.

7 | Batteries- You’ll be surprised how useful these are! Although not too many things run on batteries any more it’s nice to have them “just in case”.

8 | Duffle Bag- Make sure you bring a duffle bag that is able to be folded and is small to store. A duffle bag is perfect for long weekend where you are headed home and only have to bring a small amount of clothes!

9 | Water Bottle- One of my goals for this new school year is to drink more water! I found that if I always have a water bottle sitting on my desk filled I am more likely to drink it!

10 | Door Holder – The first week is crucial. You’ll find yourself sitting in your room and you may be tempted to stay in and just watch Netflix by yourself because, well because it’s easy. Keeping your door open the majority of the first week will help you meet all the kids on your floor!

2be5aa3a4a0eda692b662750853d875b 46f37412e82fe1f1055fb98fc0d59822

(Source:  10 most forgotten things)

a784d87a5c3d1fc9713d8627b7e38294

Are you ready for some football?!!!!  Tonight…first pre-season Bears game!  Cannot wait…and to remind everyone, here is a picture of what to carry, and what not to carry into your NFL game, because size does matter when it comes to carrying a purse into an NFL game.  #ridiculous

bag_image_v3a_1371166608 bag_image_v3b_1371166617 858d3ea5a081f1501c2de9e2fa484910

My favorite…a large plastic bag!  Ha…like I’m going to carry a gallon baggie into Soldier Field!  I think not.  Check out my previous blog on Size does matter…what to bring into an NFL game:  Size does matter.   I have to say, it’s a great blog! :)

terry and kevin donna's wedding

Just an old married couple heading to a wedding. <3 <3 <3

Song of the Day:  Come on Eileen…by Dexys Midnight Riders…because this is one of the best songs to dance to at a wedding, or just around the house!

So excited to bring Zack to his first Bears game…we will turn that young man into a Bears fan!  At least make the Bears his second fav team after the Colts!  :)

10390180_2237192366073_793338758942064348_n

And some great karma…Last night Brian’s Song was on TV, so Meredith and I watched it…twice.  We cried  7 times.  Best. Night. Ever!

“I love Brian Piccolo. And I’d like all of you to love him too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him”.  Movie quotes don’t get better than this!

Go Bears!

xoxo,

T.

b0efa30be1d2a3e091ac5825178f7e02

06a17f7d87570ff9aef79451c7e7f8f1

12745b3340ba003e0a79b1f91eb38f93

 

41a16019f99fc6f5ced6640d29cf808c

 

76b8d958f9cc88e5d26e9d3e13363d65

52585542126b43d3575901450f6f01a6

 

afc547312139aa0210ca8127b5d2aecc

youre-not-paying-me-enough-attention-to-notice-that-im-ignoring-you-c4567

 

Related Posts

http://dressedtoat.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/college-packing-lists-again/

http://dressedtoat.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/packing-tips-for-studying-abroad/

http://dressedtoat.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/what-a-guy-should-pack-for-college/

Timeless Life Lessons we’ve learned from I Love Lucy!

6 Aug

 

c2e92e519f72cad3f270185af9c23873

I saw this article this morning, and thought, “my goodness, I Must blog this”!  Especially after this weekend, being with my life-long friends, laughing, giggling  and crying… Totally resonates with me, so, I am reprinting this article I originally found on the Huffington Post!  And while I haven’t featured all my dear friends, critical friends, BFF’s and BFFL’s in this blog, they’ve gotten previous mentions (at least most have), and certainly will get mentions again.   <3 <3 <3

cde64dcb949db24d4bea778036e75fb8

Life Lessons from I Love Lucy

Lucille Ball was born on this day in 1911, and though we lost her long ago, her legacy as America’s favorite redhead lives on through the timeless classic, “I Love Lucy.” People of all generations still enjoy Lucy’s antics as much as they did over 60 years ago when the show first premiered.

We can always count on Lucy to make us laugh, but the show taught us some memorable life lessons as well.

1. Never give up on your dreams.

Not one to be confined to her status as a housewife, there was nothing Lucy wouldn’t do to get what she wanted, whether it was scheming her way onto Ricky’s performances at the Tropicana, finding a job to make an extra buck, or learning French to dine at the fanciest restaurant. Lucy’s confidence and persistence were purely inspiring. She never let anything get her down — even if she’d had a little too much Vitameatavegamin.

06edc7b433035ee29106d14c67931284

2. Funny trumps pretty, any day.

Sure, Lucy had her looks going for her. Lucille Ball actually started her career as a fashion model, and with her porcelain skin, long legs, and that unforgettable hair, it’s no surprise. But it’s not her looks we remember her for. Lucy was one of the first female comedians to gain popularity, reminding us that women are far more than just pretty faces.

maybe-booze-talking-friendship-ecard-someecards

 

3. A best friend is simply priceless.

Like Batman has Robin, like Sherlock has Watson, everyone needs a sidekick. Yes, a good friend will be there to catch you when you fall, but a great friend will be right there, falling with you. Ethel and Lucy’s friendship is one all women wish they had. From enrolling in charm school together to get their feminine wiles back, to teaming up to prove their husbands wrong, no task was too big for the dynamic duo — and their shenanigans were guaranteed to flop spectacularly. It only made us love them even more.

images (1)

This, happens to be very true.

4. Laughter is the best medicine.

OK, maybe this is one lesson we learned at Lucy’s expense. “I Love Lucy” never fails to cheer us up… and her antics, though ridiculous, are strangely relatable.

tracy terry robert 2

Tracy…#SoleSister.  Never have I met someone who, without fail, makes me laugh, every single day!  Love this girl…and there is a chance, albeit slim, she’s actually funnier than I!  And did I mention, she’s also younger?  Still love her!

5. Be yourself.

We loved Lucy no matter what sort of trouble she got herself into, but if there’s one thing she can teach us, it’s that no good ever comes from pretending to be someone you’re not. Literally. Like the time when Lucy dresses up like Superman, only to be shown up by the real deal. Or when Lucy’s feigned illness ends up scaring her more than anyone else. Or the time when she pretends to be Ricky’s agent and accidentally gets him released from his movie contract. Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do.

10561587_816184778393791_4100022738184018525_n

This blog is dedicated to my life-long friends, two whom I’ve known since kindergarten. Carolyn, Donna B, Donna R, Kristy and Shari.  You’re never too old to go “Gangsta”… or “surfs up”, as my kids told me I was doing.  #Clueless. To my favorite girls…always  there for each other, through thick and thin, in good times and in bad.  Don’t know what I’d do without you!  #Priceless.

a48526ca064d690fed9c4740a2d6d650

 

We are missing Donna, the bride, because she didn’t go gangsta with us, as she was busy playing the role of the Bride at the wedding, so here we are with the bride.  #Bridesmaids2014

donnas wedding

Song of the Day:  Build me up Buttercup, by the Foundations…Yes, this is the 4th time it’s been featured, but it’s really that great of a song…Plus, at the wedding, I missed dancing to it, as I was otherwise engaged, and every one of these girls ran up to me, as I came back into the room, “You just missed Buttercup”.  Nothing like friends who know your fav song!  Not even Kevin knew to mention that! ;)

Peace, love and fun in the sun!

xoxo,

T.

glad-share-sense-humor-friendship-ecard-someecardsfacebook-friends-friendship-ecards-someecardsRottenecards_76344873_842wdkvvtz

3750867795fc290441ebbcb50a925aed ef434a56fb1d9b316d7699aa0d76bd17 87b88c4b3a1e8c73ac2b76c42c2b67c8 61269ab4de40cbe7a5cf37e6d3f40a3d

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 178 other followers