I got an endorsement deal!

Well me and 50,000 other people.


Brooks Athletic Company has launched a new campaign to celebrate runners who put in the time, day in and day out. They are supporting morning miles, lunch break runs, sunset sweat sessions, and every single celebratory post-run beer.

As part of my endorsement deal I got a contract and a big fat $1.00 check!


I took my big endorsement deal and put it towards my new treadmill fund!


Along with my endorsement deal I have access to weekly emails with training tips and updates on new Brooks gear. Yes, I know this is a marketing thing and to most people it’s silly but I don’t care -but I run with a fuel belt and neon spandex- silly doesn’t bother me. I love the St. Louis running community and now I have the chance to be apart of an even larger community.



Restaurant exploration

For the past several years Jake and I have been using Ian Froeb’s STL 100 to broaden our knowledge of the St. Louis food scene. And well ok to make me eat something other than chicken fingers. You can find Ian’s 2017 list here. Ian is a writer for the STL Post Dispatch and complies the list each year. He gives a recommended item based off his visit to the restaurant as well.

We have tried several of the restaurants on this year’s but I thought why not start sharing  our experiences. In true Jake and Erin fashion we are keeping a spreadsheet that lists the grade that each of us gives a restaurant. Sometimes we both have the same rating and sometimes we really differ.

Last week we tried La Vallesana or “The Taco Stand” (2801 Cherokee St. 63118). It was actually a nice June night in St. Louis so we elected to sit outside on the patio. The patio is pretty big and gives you a great vantage point for people watching on Cherokee St.

We started with with guacamole and some drinks. Pacifico beer for Jake and a margarita for me. The guacamole was awesome, very fresh and chunky.


For my meal I got the taco plate and a side of rice. The tacos I chose were Chrizo, Al Pastor (pork and pineapple) and chicken. I asked for no lettuce but because this is an odd request I wasn’t mad when they came with lettuce. I as able to pick most of it off.



Jake also got the taco plate with a side of rice and refried beans.  His taco selection was beef tongue, the Al Pastor and beef cheek.

The tacos were good and the ingredients were fresh. We both gave it a B and said we would return.  I liked the atmosphere and the guacamole was really good! If you are looking for good and cheap authentic Mexican food I recommend the taco stand.

They also had a large selection of ice cream but we finished the night in true St. Louis fashion with a visit to Ted Drewes.

Happy eating!


What I have been reading…

If you are still looking for some summer reading, here are a few I have read. The ones in green  are my most recommended. Happy reading!

Prep – By Curtis Sittenfeld I have read other books by her (yes her) and this was not one of her better ones. I was long and some of the characters got a little irritating at times. If you have choice I would choose another book by her.
The Underground Railroad -Colson Whitehead If you like historical fiction then I would recommend this book. It’s not a light read, some of the slave situations get pretty graphic. It’s not really a summer read
Dancing with the Tiger -Lili Wright This one had a slow start but the suspense picks up and it turned out to be a pretty good book.
Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close If you are looking for a good chick lit book then this is your book. I have read other books by her and I am a fan.
Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology – Leah Remini I got sucked into the A&E TV documentary featuring Remini so I had to read her book. It’s a simple read and a little maddening at how scientology is screwing over people left and right. If you looking for a celebrity gossip read I recommend this one, just be warned you might end up a little angry like me.
All By Myself, Alone -Marry Higgins Clark  Mary Higgins Clark has been one of my favorite authors since I was in high school. I forget how I came across one of her books but I have always been a fan. She writes suspense and all her books have a twist at the end. Always a good option and she has a ton to choose from, so start with this one and you will see.
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided – Diane Guerrero Are you an Orange is the New Black fan? Diane Guerrero plays Maritza Ramos- google her name when you see her picture you will know her. I could not believe all that she has gone through – family deported, depression and being told she wasn’t pretty enough for acting. A good read!
Before You Leap Keith Hougton This was a twisted suspense thriller. There was a big twist I didn’t see coming.  A good read, I would recommend.
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time -Greg Mortensen I thought this was going to be an uplifting read about Greg’s journey to build schools in Iran. Ugh this was a story of every detail of his life from when he almost died as a hiker and his journey to build schools. It’s an interesting story and he is doing great work but the book was just not that great. I would google him and read his Wikipedia page as opposed to reading the book.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things – Bryn Greenwood This is another dark story and one that left me not really sure how I felt at the end. The characters were interesting but hard to relate to- an interesting read for sure.
Soulmates -Jessica Grose This was a really good book until the last chapter then it just became garbage. The main character just takes this turn and all I wanted to do was punch her in the face.
Silver Sparrow – Tayari Jones Great Book! I have added all the rest of her books to my To Read list. This was an interesting story. I kept things I had figured how the story would end up but then it changed course. This is a suspenseful read but one where you get invested in the lives of many of the characters as they intersect.
The Wonder – Emma Donoghue In all the reading I have done this summer this would be my pick for worst one yet. Which looking back shouldn’t have surprised me since she wrote Room and I didn’t like that book either. The story just dragged and the characters were too whiny for me.
Nutshell – Ian McEwan  I had high hopes for this one and in the end I just didn’t like this book. The characters are just awful people which made it hard to read. Not one of my favorites but a quick read.
In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware I really enjoyed this one! I listened to it has an audio book. It’s set in England and the narrator had an English accent which made it even more perfect. It keeps you guessing to the end.
All the Missing Girls – Megan Miranda This was a dark book, it was suspenseful but the story was pretty heavy and didn’t really have a happy ending or bright spots. A good read but I just felt like a dark cloud was over me while I read it.
Queenpin Megan Abbott  I have read several of Megan’s books and really enjoyed them. This one was a little off the rails for me. It was a good story but I like her later stuff better.