Erin’s Favourite Things

Erin's Favourite Things image - with a candle and book by a rain-splashed window

Okay. Come with me on this very self-indulgent blog post. It is the week between Christmas and New Years, I am living in my feels because this is the time where I get to. I am watching a competitive makeup show and enjoying a glass of wine from my new “Riverona High School Fencing Champion – By Default” mug. (When do you ever get to have merch that is about you? When!? This is the coolest.) And I am also about to give you the ultimate cheatsheet for becoming my friend and/or boyfriend. Because this is a list of Erin’s favourite things.

What? Why?

Because earlier this year, one of my favourite podcasts Hey Riddle Riddle did “Favourite Things” Brackets on their Patreon. They have a host named Erin Keif. It started with Erin’s Favourite Things (in bracket form) and then it expanded to the other two hosts and their editor and one of their most popular guest hosts and… anyway. It was delightful.

I’m not going to do a bracket, because how could that even work with just me? And also, maybe I’m hopping on the “Erin’s Favourite Things” SEO, but who cares? It’s my name too!

Also, I’m doing 50 things because that is what Erin Keif did. Please enjoy some wholesome and fun stuff from two women who would like to do the splits. And if you wanna bracket it… who am I to stop you?

Erin’s Favourite Things

  1. Diet Coke on Fridays
  2. The part of The Hold Steady’s “Sixers” where this riff happens (You should listen to the entire song, but this moment is the reason why this was my #2 most listened to song this year)
  3. Uggs. I wore them when they were trendy, I wore them when they were cheugy, I wear them now.
  4. When it’s raining exactly the right direction outside so you can open the window and read or sleep without any of your things getting wet
  5. When the entire Riverona cast breaks because Joel David Taylor slapped Principal Prince and came up with an unreasonably funny ad lib
  6. When your niece or nephew demands that you flip them upside down “again and again and again and again
  7. When you find a new recipe that is both delicious and good for leftovers so you can meal prep on repeat
  8. That moment where your podcast is the exact same length as your walk
  9. Pantyhose/tights that are exactly the right size and still compressive, despite the size chart making zero sense
  10. How hard this part of Taylor Swift’s “Now That We Don’t Talk” sticks in my soul (especially “with important men who think important thoughts”)
  11. Rose gold anything
  12. The last 20 minutes of a Paint Nite where finally you start to feel like you’re a good visual artist
  13. Megan Baldrey’s tinted lip balm from Wild Briar Body Care
  14. When you’re in a fitness class and the instructor perfectly times the beginning of jacks with the beat drop
  15. Cambozola
  16. Having an amazing theatre project that other people are equally excited about
  17. Friends’ Trips with Claire
  18. Rom-com novels about sports boys that have a secret soft side
  19. Those rare moments when you finally overcome your time blindness and arrive at something early enough that you can circle for parking or read your book without being stressed about time
  20. When Kevin Weir introduces me to a book series that scratches an itch I didn’t know I had
  21. Gerard Bertrand’s Cote Des Roses rose. And not just because of the bottle.
  22. Transforming any Starbucks seasonal drink into an americano misto and then going for a walk with said hot beverage
  23. Seeing plays with my mom and then debriefing them afterwards
  24. When I’m out in public and see someone who I know but I think they won’t recognize me, but then they say hi to me!
  25. Vertigo Theatre opening nights
  26. Clean sheets and freshly moisturized legs
  27. The moment that Hans Wackershauser takes a joke too far that it becomes a joke again
  28. Para-social relationships with people I actually know on Instagram but don’t get to see nearly often enough (you know who you are!)
  29. When an actor walks into an audition and they are absolutely the right person for a role (Sarah, Mike, this is about you!)
  30. Getting needlessly fancy cocktails with Claire and Kendra
  31. When you’re thinking about someone you haven’t spoken to in a hot minute and they text you at that exact same moment
  32. Aerin Amber Musk perfume
  33. Ice cream with cookie dough or brownies in it
  34. When people do really good TransAtlantic accents or vague 1940s movie impressions
  35. Every single Seanan McGuire book, especially when you forget you had a pre-order and it’s delivered to your ereader
  36. Cooking mushrooms and onions in butter (or, honestly, anything in butter)
  37. When you arrive at an airport 45 minutes before you needed to and you just get to hang out, have a bevvie and not stress
  38. The Bath & Bodyworks Champagne Toast scent
  39. Sibling cooking nights (yes, Kevin Weir, Darci and Bryan, I’m talking about you)
  40. Titanic (the James Cameron movie. All of it.)
  41. When you can hang out with your partner’s family or friends without them and it’s cool
  42. Similarly, when you are equally friends with both parts of a couple (Mike and Meg, Hans and Megan, I’m looking at you!)
  43. When you let your hair air-dry and it does exactly what you want it to do
  44. Backyard fire pits
  45. Having a solo beverage and a book while in a bar or cafe
  46. Surprisingly comfortable 5-inch heels that are also cute
  47. Waking up early but also naturally
  48. When you go to a farmers/craft/holiday market and all the vendors are friendly but not too friendly, so it’s not awkward
  49. Hotels with heated towel drying racks
  50. Discovering someone else you just met or don’t speak with often is also super into that very niche thing you love and you both talk about it excitedly together.

That’s it. I’ve been looking forward to this post literally all December and, even if it doesn’t help me garner new friends and/or boyfriends, it helped me realize what I care about. I’ve always been relentlessly positive but it feels so good to deliberately articulate things that make me this way on the blog.


So! What are some of your favourite things!? And do you think we can make this a bracket? Many of the things are universal, so I think we could!

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Beer Exchange Day 11

Can I just say how many times I recounted today to confirm it was actually Day 11? It just does not feel like December 22. It does feel like the Christmas season (for me at least), but it doesn’t seem that close to the actual big day. I think I usually wrap on this day every year and it’s like 9 pm and I haven’t pulled that together yet so… um… probably not? Somehow I’ll figure that out tomorrow. I work at the studio and I need to record MOA, but as y’all know – I’m really good at fitting a lot of things into one day. 

Beer 11 Wrapped

But not today! Today is not about wrapping presents. Today is about talking about Beer 11, which I obviously drank while watching the Survivor season finale. Behind the cut is beer spoilers and also Survivor spoilers. You’ve been warned.

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Beer Exchange Day 10

Welcome to the shortest of Blogmas posts! The days are getting short, the number of social plans I have are getting long, and I am sort of ready for a night at home. I am always trying to find mildly fun (or interesting) things to do while enjoying the Beer Exchange beers, mostly for content reasons. 

But on this day? On this semi-worn out day? 

I made some dinner and then took a bath while enjoying Beer 10.

Beer 10 Wrapped

Oh! But this is very funny. Megan’s five or six year old nephew helped with the wrapping of Beer 10 by giving the beers names, not numbers. But he got bored partway through, so Megan and her brother (aka the dad) had to name the rest to keep it going. So my beer was named Karol. Named by a child, his dad, or his aunt? 

You decide!

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Beer Exchange Day 9 (plus a bonus cookie recipe!)

How is it Day 9 already!? (Of the Beer Exchange, I mean, I know it’s Day 18 of Blogmas.) I know people always say that as you get older, time passes more quickly, but this year it really seems that way. Whether I’m at work or at play, the one thing that seems consistent is that I look up and suddenly hours have passed. 

Gingerbread cookies

I am getting so much done in those hours, though! (Except for making my home not be in disarray. I haven’t found time for that yet. But I do have my Christmas tree up, so what more do you want from me?) For instance, yesterday we did our traditional Christmas baking with the girls and we somehow whipped through the four recipes in just over two hours. We are becoming efficiency machines!

Of note (and maybe why we were so fast), we didn’t have our usual little helper yesterday. Rylee was feeling a little boogie, so she stayed home to have a “couch day” with her daddy. And the little helper we did have was pretty chill – introducing Wren!

Wren!

Wren had very little input on what we baked yesterday.

We made a few usual suspects – the gingerbread cookies I shared a few years ago, classic chocolate cookies with Rolos in them, and our Toblerone shortbread. Plus we busted out something new – Mars Bar Squares. They were truly delicious. And Canadian. 

Beer 9 wrapped (with toblerone shortbread recipe)

Plus, I took this opportunity to enjoy Beer 9 from the exchange! So follow me through the cut to find out what the beer was and maybe even get a recipe as well…

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Beer Exchange Day 8

I feel like you all can kind of guess what’s coming. This is the point in December where days are getting busy. We have nine (9!!!) days until Christmas and my schedule is starting to get jam-packed with plans. In fact, I’m darting off this post quickly before I go to see blog favourite, Forte Musical Theatre’s Naughty… But Nice!, enjoy my yearly festive get-together with Claire and Kendra, and then read a new play by one of my favourite new collaborators.

Beer 8 wrapped

So, you can imagine – I was looking for a little bit of consistency, familiarity, and comfort this week. Beer Eight gave me exactly what I needed as I settled in to watch another episode of Survivor. (And significantly less infuriating than last week’s episode! What a delight!) Though Austin should definitely be making that penitent face that he is making in this photo.

Beer 8 unwrapped - Sea Change Brewing Company's Prairie Fairy
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Mindfulness During the Festive Season (Wellness Wednesday)

Like many moments of providence on this blog, today’s Wellness Wednesday comes at exactly the right time. Today, I actually wrote a little column for the resident newsletter at work about how to keep study momentum going during the holiday season. And I’m about to settle in to do a couple of more hours of work tonight. (Emergency situation, not my norm… don’t feel bad for me, though! These things happen!) All that to say, Wellness things are on my brain. And this brain needs a little mindfulness during the festive season.

Mindfulness During the Festive Season Splash image w Christmas tree
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Fun Holiday Things To Do Alone

fun holiday things to do alone image

Long time readers of this blog know that one of the key tenets since the beginning has been getting comfortable with your own company and doing things alone. I started the blog not long after going through both a major romantic breakup and a major friend breakup. I needed to learn how to be there for myself. And, now, my friends? I do so enjoy my own company. So deeply, in fact, that today’s post is all about fun holiday things to do alone.

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Beer Exchange Day 4

My beautiful friends! Today has been so much of a day. So good, but very energy consuming. We had a major work retreat at the Jubilee Auditorium today with a ton of great knowledge transfer, resource discussion, and QI exploration. 

Also, I delivered an hour long presentation on effective communication to reduce cognitive load and supporting struggling learners to a type of audience I’ve never presented to before. 

Also also, I found out that a poster presentation abstract I submitted to an international congress in April was accepted. (It’s times like these that I am so glad that I have the blog. It will one day be so nice to have a record of exactly which day all of this happened, so I don’t have to rely exclusively on my memory.) 

But it’s also days like today where I am so glad that I have the Beer Exchange as a content avenue during Blogmas, so I don’t have to come up with something new to write about today with my very tired brain.

So without further ado, let’s get into it! Beer 4, here we come!

Beer 4 Wrapped
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Beer Exchange Day 3

You know what’s super fun about doing the Beer Exchange instead of an advent calendar

The community! (You’ll notice this is going to be an on-going theme throughout Blogmas this year. Community, surrounding myself with people, is just what I’m looking for in this season of my life.) As I write this post, we’re all typing away in our group chat, discussing the beers by number and not name so there’s no spoilers. The conclusion from everyone who has experienced Beer 3 so far is that it is a whole lot of beer in one single tall can.

No, we didn’t get to have the kick-off party, but we’re still a team and that’s so cool. There are a couple things that we took away from our years in our homes that are, like, not the worst. (Look, I know that is the most tepid statement ever, but I said what I said.)

Beer 3 Wrapped

So why don’t we just move onto Beer 3 instead? You know what to do… follow me on through the cut.

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The Best Party to Throw After Christmas

The best party to throw after Christmas - Cheese Party

We’ve made it to Day 5 of Blogmas and I officially got my first request for a post. And thank goodness because I am both experiencing the post-Riverona blues and have a presentation to deliver at work on Friday, so my mental faculties are minimal at best right now. But y’all came through! Back on Day 2, I mentioned Cheese Party and you needed to know! What is this glorious sounding event? Well let me tell you – it is the best party to throw after Christmas.

But What Is Cheese Party?

Cheese Party is exactly what it sounds like. It is a party with cheese.

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