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 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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Great Gift Gambits: a Flimsy Approach to Secret Santa Success

Hello and happy to Day 3 of Blogmas, my friends! It is very late on this Sunday and I just spent almost an hour on the phone with my mom, trying to decipher a financial spreadsheet. (In case you didn’t guess, that is so not my sort of thing.) And suddenly it’s 9pm and I need to write a post, so I’m including you in my most recent stress spiral: what Secret Santa gift should I buy for my male coworker that I’ve literally spoken to thrice?

Right!? Last year we did a White Elephant style exchange and all I had to worry about was bringing something cute that most people like! (Spoiler: I brought a selection of local shower steamers and soaps. Big winner.) But this year we decided to do Secret Santa gifts! And the pressure is on! I have to pick something personalized!?

Drawing of a Secret Santa making a "shush" sign while holding a present

Ugh. So here are the things that I’m up to while I’m not at all stressed out about doing a cool and festive thing that I signed up for in my workplace.

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Riverona – Nov 12

Another Sunday, another Riverona rehearsal.

This day was a bit of a unique day because we actually started out by having a production meeting between myself, Claire, Megan, Hans, and Kevin. (The team that writes the Riverona script.) There are many forms a production meeting can take and most of them are significantly more professional than what ours look like. (I assume. Because we meet in a place with great food and drinks then proceed to discuss every element of the production and make sure someone has every element in hand. Or we decide we don’t care about that element anymore. haha.)

We spend most of our writing or production meetings at First Street Market, by the way. If we’re not currently in production, catch us there on a Tuesday evening, y’all.

Image of FCT working on Riverona at First Street Market
Yes, Feb 28 was a Tuesday.
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Riverona – Nov 8

Hello Riverona friends and fans! I’m here with another recap of a rehearsal that will maybe make theatre purists lose their minds about our process. So before I share what we did on Nov 8… just know that we had a very talented cast who is very familiar with our weird vibes. Look at how cool Hans Wackershauser, Sarah Nearing, and Joel Taylor all look in this show photo from Riverona Ep 1: Two Households by Hannah Anson and also know that all three of them are in Episode 2.

Riverona Ep 1 Production Photo of Joel Taylor, Hans Wackershauser and Sarah Nearing
Joel (Benvolio) is definitely saying “seeeeeee”(x). IYKYK.

So anyway. Controversially, maybe… on Nov 8, our fifth rehearsal, we did a stumblethrough of the entire show.

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Riverona – A Rehearsal Journey

Erin Weir (Tybalt) and Megan Baldrey (Juliet) in the cafeteria scene during Riverona Ep 1: Two Households
A very collaborative Director’s Relationship During Riverona Ep 1… (maybe don’t slap your hand over your co-director’s mouth?)

Y’all! I feel like this will be a bit of a unique series over on A Flimsy Plan, but it’s also very appropriate. This blog has always been about fun things that I do in Calgary, with a strong arts lean. It’s also always been super fun when I talk about the behind the scenes of the theatre industry. Finally, as the co-artistic director of a theatre collective in town, I’ve started hosting the Full Circle Theatre website as a sub-site on my blog. (Look, life is expensive now, let’s share web hosting costs.)

So, all that to say… it seems super reasonable that I should document the process of Riverona Episode 2: Yonder Window Breaks, from rehearsal to performance, on my blog. This gives everyone involved in the situation what they want – and also helps me get back into the habit of writing on this blog. You can expect a post sometime after every Sunday rehearsal and sometime after every Wednesday rehearsal.

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Five Days of At Home Online Workouts

Alright, my friends. It is already December 23 and things are about to get cozy. The weather in Calgary has actually improved (slightly), but I don’t really think that matters. Ultimately, the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful. So instead of going to the gym or pilates studio, we are all dying for ways we can stay active at home. And, as your non-fitness girl who wants to talk to you about fitness things, I took a hit for the team. I did at home workouts for a week so that I could tell you what was worth it and what you should be doing in your living room.

A few little comments – all the workouts I did were free, youtube videos. There are tons of subscription services out there, especially after COVID where all studios had to pivot to online offerings, but I decided to focus this post on free stuff. I am sure so many of you have passes to your regular studios… but you’re looking for something different to fill your time right now. Maybe you’re out of town. Maybe it’s just too much to drive somewhere away from home. Don’t worry. I got you!

Generally speaking, I tried to do a 45-min to 1-hr long workout. This meant I usually ended up doing more than one video per channel. If I did more than one, I usually tried to do something more cardio-heavy and then something more strength-heavy so that I had a range of workouts. 

And, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the five channels I interacted with during my week of at home workouts.

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Getting Organized for Fall – lolol

getting organized for fall

I know. This is a wellness post and it’s not Wednesday, just like my fitness post that didn’t drop on a Friday. My days are all over the place right now and it’s part of why I very much need to write this particular post. About getting organized for fall (hahaha). 

Sometime in mid-August, for no reason whatsoever, I announced on Academy Vs Audience that people should read my blog because we were getting organized for fall. Lol, what? 

In a not at all shocking turn of events, I proceeded to do nothing. In part because I had no idea where that announcement came from, but in part because I immediately started going through it. You know what it’s like. When everything just happens all at once and you absolutely cannot be alone with your thoughts because there are too many of them to reorganize into helpful patterns so why not buy a $17 cocktail and read a book somewhere loud and crowded so that the overstimulation can override said too many thoughts? 

And, honestly, sometimes that is kind of helpful too.

But things are slowing down now and I’m entering a new season of my life both literally and symbolically so… here we are, y’all. Come on with me… we’re getting organized for fall.

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