All posts by Elizabeth

Float Therapy at inBody

This post is written in partnership with inBody, a natural therapy spa in Arlington, MA.  I received a complimentary float therapy session in exchange for this post.

I’m not sure when or where I first heard about float therapy, but I know I took an instant shine to the idea.  One of my favorite places to be is floating just far enough off shore that I can’t hear anything (or anyone… asking me for more snacks), but close enough that I won’t accidentally get pulled out to France and/or eaten by a shark.  I love the sensation of being weightless, but also totally aware of my body and breath.  I love the meditative rhythm of the waves, and that feeling that’s pretty close to surrender.  

float therapy

This is me casually floating in my bathtub (because I didn’t dare risk dropping my phone into the float tank), making use of a whole bunch of hoxie organics lemon + lavender bath salts… and following through on my #noshopfeb plans to use enjoy the pretty things I already have…

The water at the Cape is far too cold for floating these days, and we’re not headed south any time soon (though I am day dreaming of this amazing trip), so when Christine + Valerie at inBody invited me in for a complimentary service, I jumped at the chance to try float therapy. 

THE SCOOP ON FLOAT THERAPY at INBODY

float therapy inbody

The Arlington spa is a short drive from the city and is beautifully decorated (the fireplace in the lounge was my favorite, especially given that it was -300° F on the day of my appointment).  Valerie gave me a quick tour and then brought me to the float area, which includes a private shower + changing area, along with the float tank itself.  Unlike other places that offer float therapy, inBody’s float tank is not a pod (I was initially concerned that I might get claustrophobic, so I was both relieved and surprised by how spacious the float tank is).  Valerie walked me through the process, and then it was time to float!

You shower both before and after floating (inBody offers towels and basic shower supplies, as well as earplugs) and then step into the float tank.  The tank provides a total sensory deprivation experience — if that’s what you’re looking for.  I was a bit of a wimp at first and kept the lights and ambient music low for the first few minutes, but then decided to go for it.  

Float sessions last 60 minutes, and the water is filtered and sterilized between sessions.  Water is kept at body temperature and contains hundreds of pounds of epsom salt, so floating in the tank is truly effortless (like… you couldn’t sink if you tried…).

Thanks for all the great questions you submitted via Instagram!  I’m hoping I answered them all.  Got more questions about floating at inBody?  Check out their FAQ here. 

MY EXPERIENCE WITH FLOAT THERAPY at INBODY

float therapy inbody

I went into the float tank expecting (or hoping) to totally zone out and be, like, hyper relaxed.  It took almost no time for my body to relax and get comfortable.  I had gone to Mama Beasts class and run the day before, so my creaky knees and hips definitely appreciated the instant release.  The music and light controls were within reach and very easy to adjust. After a few minutes, I turned both off and really embraced the sensory depravation experience.

I’m sure everyone’s experience with float therapy is different, but it was not at all what I expected (in a very cool way).  I definitely did not zone out (though I know many people do).  Instead, I found my brain sort of kicking into overdrive.  At first I felt like I had failed some sort of mental test (shouldn’t I be able to quiet my thoughts, at least for a little bit?), but it occurred to me how rare it is to have literally nothing tugging at our attention.  No music, no noise, no people, no phone or other electronics, no imagery, nothing.  It made sense to me then, that the thoughts and ideas would flow, filling up the space that’s usually occupied by the daily noise.  I let go of my expectation of essentially water nap time (that does sound legit, though), and embraced what became a really productive  + energizing creative brainstorm.  I left the tank with renewed energy and clarity, excited about a number of projects I am working on.  

WOULD I FLOAT AGAIN?

float therapy inbody

Yes.  Absolutely.  And now that I have a better sense of what to expect, I think I’d get even more out of it. I think I’d likely try to go later in the day (I went straight from dropping the kids at preschool), if only to avoid having to rush home and make myself look like, well, I hadn’t just been floating for an hour.  I’d also recommend bringing your own deep conditioner or hair mask (this is what I use) to wear home, as I found the salt dried out my hair a bit.  Otherwise, it was such a positive and energizing experience.  

I’m also looking forward to checking out inBody’s other services, which include:

Services can be purchased separately, in sampler packages, or as part of a monthly membership.  For pricing info, visit inBody’s website.  Anyone wish they were headed to the sauna instead of out into the arctic tundra that is Boston today?

Also On Tap for Today:

Tried anything new lately?  Let’s hear about it.

 

Soup weather + Just Add Cooking

I received a free meal kit delivery from Just Add Cooking in exchange for this post. 

It is 900% soup weather in New England (not that I don’t eat this lentil soup when during the blazing heat of summer, because I do) and I’m always on the hunt for my new favorite vegetarian soup.  Bonus points if the ingredients sort of magically show up on my door step.

just add cooking

I had the opportunity to try Just Add Cooking again this winter (I reviewed their vegetarian meals when the company was newly launched) and may have found my new soup of winter.  Their Tuscan Ribollitta was my favorite meal recently– delicious, easy to make and perfect for soup weather.  Technically it’s more commerce than magic, but the ingredients were hand delivered to our door in Southie, so… bonus points awarded.

just add cooking 2

One of my favorite things about Just Add Cooking is their commitment to sustainability across the board.  They source ingredients from New England, use minimal packaging and hand deliver their meal kits each week.  I was really impressed with how their packaging has evolved since I first tried Just Add Cooking (though I was impressed then, too).  The ingredients for each meal are packed together, making prep so easy and organized, and the packaging was all recyclable.  

Just Add Cooking offers three vegetarian meals per week (non-vegetarians have a few more options to choose from) and subscriptions are flexible (you can skip weeks as needed).

just add cooking soup weather

I had to reach out to customer service because I was missing some of my perishable ingredients (which are packed separately from the non-perishables) and… how often do you get to say this?… the customer service experience was honestly delightful.  Katie from Just Add Cooking followed up with both an email and phone call and was so helpful in sorting out the mix-up.  My subsequent orders have been perfect, and I sort of love how they use a frozen water bottle in lieu of those mysterious frozen gel pack things other companies use.  

I’m looking forward to adding a few new soup (and other non-soup foods, too) recipes to my repertoire this winter with my subscription.  Pssst.  There’s falafel on next week’s vegetarian menu…

To find out of Just Add Cooking delivers to your neighborhood,  please visit their website.  Plans start at $59 for new customers. 

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Dying over how cute the kids looked today in their TB12 gear at gymnastics
  • Trying to remember which tutorial I followed to get to gmail inbox zero… in like 2013… so, that’s my Friday night for you
  • 10 Ways to Fill Your Kitchen with Positive Energy from The Kitchn

What’s your favorite winter comfort food?

No Shop February

I am Jessie Spano level excited/scared (but mostly excited) to join my friend Danielle and Natalie and a (growing!) number of other lovely women in a No Shop February challenge.  I was on board the second D + N floated the idea, but I’ve become even more enthusiastic + invested after reading the flurry of emails that have come in from the group during the past few days. 

NO SHOP FEBRUARY

no shop february

I love that everyone is participating for the own reasons and motivations, following their own guidelines, and planning really great ways to give back and show gratitude, while still following the same spirit of not shopping for an entire (shortest of the year…) month.

February comes on the heels of the holidays and both our children’s birthdays, so the timing feels especially right to take a conscious break from excess spending, mindless shopping, and, well… accumulating more stuff.  I know I’m really lucky to be able to make choices like this (let alone to have more than I need).  So when I say it’s a privilege to join my friends in this challenge, I mean just that.  I am privileged.  (This NYT article on The Class Politics of Decluttering is worth mentioning.)

Back to my Jessie S. excitement (sans the caffeine pill addiction).  I figured I’d share my guidelines + plans for the month, and keep you updated (here + on Instagram with #noshopfeb) on how the month is going, what I’m learning, what has been especially challenging, what has felt like a breeze, etc.  Overall, I’m looking forward to taking better stock of what I already have available to me, both using + enjoying those things, sharing with others, and giving our home a little room to breathe.  Does that make sense?  That felt a little weird to say.  

MY GUIDELINES FOR NO SHOP FEBRUARY

  • NO: Purchasing clothing, accessories, shoes, make-up + home decor
  • NO: Drive-thru iced coffees 
  • YES: Necessities (i.e. food, diapers, gas, deodorant… I am basically on my last swipe, so a new deodorant is like community service for my family + fellow gym-goers)
  • YES: Mama Beasts and YMCA memberships, meter parking, pre-booked appointments for a haircut and color + RISE Beauty
  • YES: Valentines for the kids’ classmates + family

MY STRATEGIES FOR NO SHOP FEBRUARY

  • Avoid stores like Target AT ALL COST… Those, shall we call them, auxiliary purchases really add up.  I go in for diapers + yogurt, but find myself contemplating a giant blush pink shaggy pillow shaped like a heart.  No.  Not this month, my bullseye friend.
  • Avoid shopping with my children.  I love them.  I love bringing them (mostly) everywhere.  But I tend to lose focus when we shop together and also… one time Grace snuck a notebook with a chihuahua on the cover into the cart and so… we own that now.  
  • Meal plan on the weekends and when appropriate, order grocery delivery to eliminate the opportunity for impulse shopping.  I want to be especially mindful of cutting down on food waste this month.
  • “Shop” my own closet and make note of what I wear, what fits well, and what doesn’t.  I’ll be using a lot of the things I learned from my fall session with SwapIt (more on that soon).
  • Spend leisure time doing things that I love, that bring me real satisfaction + enjoyment, and that bring me closer to my personal goals (for example: reading grown-up books for fun, working on art projects with the kids, running, creating great meals, writing).  Seems obvious, but…
  • Check in with the #noshopfeb gals to share + learn 
  • Keep donation bags/bins accessible + make at least 2 trips to collection sites for Cradles to Crayons, the Family Pantry of Cape Cod, etc.
  • Make a “wish list” of items I am interested in (perhaps these will make it into my cart in March, perhaps not), rather than giving in to a need for instant gratification 
  • Unsubscribe (at least temporarily, possibly permanently) from mailing lists like Nordstrom, Etsy, and Loft.
  • Temporarily mute accounts that post a lot of shopping “stories” on Instagram.

NO SHOP FEBRUARY WILL FEEL LIKE A SUCCESS IF

  • I don’t shop for clothing, accessories, shoes, make-up and home decor (duh).
  • I see increase in saving + a decrease in spending compared to other months (again, duh).
  • I have a clear sense of what clothing items I truly love and enjoy wearing.
  • I have a realistic sense of “holes” in my wardrobe (and don’t immediately rush to simply fill them, but sensibly search for the perfect fit).
  • I am closer to establishing my personal uniform for this season of life (this was something I nearly perfected when I still worked in an office).
  • Our home feels less packed to the gills and more like, you know, it’s breathing.
  • I have used and truly enjoyed more of the things I own (fancy, pretty bath salts + bejeweled slides… I am looking at you).
  • I have contributed some of our excess in service to others.
  • I fit into Jessie Spano’s leotard (JK).

You can find + follow the whole lovely crew by following the #noshopfeb hashtag on IG, or here: @achicvoyage @afashionfix @amodestlife @asequinedlife @ashleyvbeine @bluebootsgo @champagne_thursday @cmcinthecity @d_mobley @elizabethev @emilyshell @gretsky126 @iceberghaha @jenfirshe @klassicallykaytee @kristinbassett @kristylyons @lyssmmm @mystyletales @natmazz @nishatnguyen @primandpropah @sassyysaraa @shaunagallagher @sixfeetinheels @speedy2ac @thechroniclesofsheel @aline_aesthetic @alexbyersays Feel free to join in!

What’s On Tap for your February?

 

New England Nachos for Game Day

I have my feelings about who is going to win Sunday’s big game (obvi).  I also have feelings about game day food.  Good feelings.  If you’re looking to win at snacks, I’ve got you covered with these New England Nachos.  They’re salty, tangy + fresh and (crowd) friendly… just like my favorite New Englanders.  

new england nachos super bowl

It’s worth noting that I ate these for lunch the other day (and called it recipe testing #noshame)… so really, you can serve these any old time.  But they’ll taste especially good when our team is winning. 

Per usual, all measurements are sort of free-wheeling.  You can’t really go wrong here.  These are nachos, not soufflés.  Recipe is vegetarian, gluten free and serves 8.

NEW ENGLAND NACHOS for GAME DAY

new england nachos super bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Cape Cod potato chips 
  • Approximately 6 oz. local blue cheese (I used Jasper Hill Bayle Hazen Blue + Great Hill Blue… basically, cheese heaven)
  • 1/2 c. cranberry relish or sauce (I used Stonewall Kitchen’s New England Cranberry Relish)
  • 2 tsp. fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh curly parsley, chopped

new england nachos super bowl

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange potato chips in a single-ish layer on the parchment and set aside.
  3. With a fork, gently crumble the blue cheese and sprinkle over the potato chips.
  4. Spoon cranberry relish over the cheese and chips.
  5. Bake until the cheese is bubbly (and/or you’ve lost the will to wait any longer), approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Give your New England Nachos a few minutes to cool.
  7. Top with fresh herbs and serve to your favorite fans (or… just like, yourself).

new england nachos super bowl

Yay, sports.  And yay, snacks.  These New England Nachos are #1.

Also On Tap for Today:

Who are you rooting for?  What will you be snacking on?  How do you stay up way past your bedtime on a Sunday night (asking for… myself)?

 

Meal plan + workouts for the week | 1/22/18

Welp, the Patriots are going to the “Big Game” (I think we’re not allowed to call it by its real name?) …again… and I’m already mentally making party snacks.  I should probably actually make actual food though… since we’ve got, like, two weeks to go.  Same goes for workouts that extend beyond pacing and fidgeting and acrobatic high fiving.  Let’s get down to meal plan + workouts for the week.

MEAL PLAN + WORKOUTS FOR THE WEEK | 1/22/18

meal plan + workouts for the week 1/22/18

MEAL PLAN 

WORKOUTS

  • MON: Mama Beasts class + TIU daily moves
  • TUES: MB home workout + run
  • WED: MB class + TIU daily moves
  • THURS: Run + plank challenge
  • FRI: Yoga + foam roll
  • SAT: Run + TIU daily moves
  • SUN: Rest 

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your plan for the week?  Feel free to share recipe links in the comments.

Meal plan + workouts for the week | 1/8/18

Part of me is like, “What can I accomplish food and workout-wise without leaving the house until the temperature exceeds 20°F May?”  But a larger part of me is like, “If I don’t leave the house this week, I will drown in Duplos.”  Also, the family cannot survive on yogurt pouches alone.  And grocery shopping is, like, my second or third favorite past-time (behind Googling Jeopardy! contestants, and talking about cool stuff with my dog).  So… here’s my meal plan + workouts for the week.

MEAL PLAN + WORKOUTS FOR THE WEEK | 1/8/18

gluten free avocado toast meal plan and workouts

MEAL PLAN

  • Grapefruit + Feta Fregola Salad (recipe from Real Simple): I’m going to use farro instead of fregola (I think fregola is going to be my new favorite substitute swear word) and add some arugula to the mix
  • Gluten free toast with hummus, avocados, tomatoes + greens:  So easy, so good.  I really like Rudi’s gf sandwich bread, for what that’s worth (not much, I imagine).
  • Vegetarian chili for lazy people (the old standby)
  • “The Best Lentil Dal” (recipe from The Kitchn): Will report back.
  • Roasted sweet potatoes with black beans, onions, garlic, pico de gallo + cilantro
  • Tomato soup + garlic toast
  • Spicy Spaghetti Squash w. Black Beans (Recipe from Whole Foods Market)

WORKOUTS

I’ve yet to successfully complete a full Tone It Up challenge, but… new year, new me?  we shall see.  I do plan to incorporate a bunch (technical term) of TIU workouts into my weekly plan since I have all the necessary equipment and a membership to both the nutrition plan + app.  I like that all the workouts can easily be done at home (where it’s warm and no one can see my embarrassing French bulldog socks). 

Similarly, the Mama Beasts winter challenge starts next week (those challenges are definitely my jam)– I’m especially looking forward to the added motivation, structure + accountability of that.  If you’re a mother in greater Boston, South Shore or MetroWest area, I highly recommend checking out Mama Beasts.

  • MON: TIU Daily Moves + MB class
  • TUES: TIU Daily Moves + Yoga
  • WED: TIU Daily Moves + MB class
  • THURS: TIU Daily Moves + Kettlebell workout
  • FRI: TIU Daily Moves + this 20 minute rowing workout
  • SATURDAY: Rest
  • SUNDAY: Maybe run outside… maybe turn into a human icicle?

I actually have enough embarrassing socks that we could add a sock schedule section next week… maybe.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your plan for the week ahead?

Hibernation Faves

It’s 9° F (-13° C if you want to be dramatic and/or Canadian) and I am just about ready to hibernate.  I usually don’t mind the winter much, but I do mind being trapped inside with every single one of our children’s toys and books strewn about the floor.  Our living room looks like failed performance art.  Or an especially colorful episode of Hoarders.  

Regardless… Lord knows we’re lucky to be safe + warm. 

The only person more ready to hibernate than me is my dog.  Who is not technically a person.  But he kind of is.  I’m letting him hide out in the peace of the master bedroom with my other favorite child… the surprisingly alive $10 monstera plant I got at the grocery store this summer.

Here are a few of my hibernation faves.

HIBERNATION FAVES

hibernation faves

  • TOASTY HOME IMPROVEMENTS (all credit goes to Nick): We live in a renovated three family in Southie and the front of our house is always freeeeezing.  This winter, Nick sealed our windows with this insulating kit ($13, one box worked for all three windows) and (this is very geriatric but also very amazing) surprised me with a heated mattress pad for Christmas.  I didn’t know these things even existed, but I am glad they do.  I use the pre-heat feature 30 minutes before I go to bed + feel like I’ve been touched by an angel (that can be delivered the next day by Amazon Prime…).  
  • RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR SHOTS from Vermont Village: These single serving shots come in 5 varieties and provide the same healthy benefits of regular ACV (including that sort of warming kick I love), but without the harsh taste.  Vermont Village sent me all 5 varieties to try, and I am especially enjoying their Cranberries + Honey and Turmeric + Honey shots straight in the morning or mixed with plain seltzer for a little afternoon treat.
  • LENTIL SOUPTORTELLINI SOUP,  VEGETARIAN CHILI, LENTIL + LEMON SOUP and KALE/WHITE BEAN SOUP… ’tis the season
  • DEDICATED TIME TO SET GOALS + INTENTIONS: This year, I am using an Inkwell Press Daily liveWell Planner (I love that it is bound and lays flat #thelittlethings) and the six-month undated Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner from Cultivate What Matters.  Both provide really great space, formatting and prompts for staying focused, accountable and (at least semi-) organized.  The liveWell planner serves as a daily planner (appointments/to-dos, etc.), while the PowerSheets planner is more of a workbook.  
  • MANHUNT UNABOMBER + THE CROWN on Netflix and ON BEING WITH KRISTA TIPPETT (podcast): All are perfect for watching/listening to from the comfort of your preheated bed…

AND A FEW MORE HIBERNATION FAVES (in soothing tones, because I’m guessing I’m not the only one surrounded by Duplos and helicopters and toy dustpans…):

This post contains affiliate links.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • And because it’s probably not a great idea to actually hibernate, here’s a great opportunity to get out of the house on Sunday if you’re in the Boston area: Gabby Bernstein’s Judgement Detox book launch on 1/7 at the Strand Theater (click for details, tickets + a preview of the book) — very looking forward to this!
  • Putting away the Christmas decorations (bittersweet, but I’ll always welcome a clean slate)
  • Working on my 2018 reading list

What are your cold weather or hibernation faves?

End of the Year Creative Team Blog Hop | Get Messy Art Journal

In some (most) ways this was a very long year.  But in a few ways, it really flew.  I really loved my year on the Get Messy Art Journal Creative Team and will miss my time with this incredible group of women.  We are closing out the year as we started it, with a blog hop.   

I barely shared any artwork here during 2017, mostly because my usual painting time was spent on the phone with my senators instead (or like, trying to prevent my children from doing dangerous things like scaling the kitchen cabinets).  But the Get Messy community and Creative Team kept me accountable for creating when I could, with what I had– and I am infinitely grateful for that.  We all need outlets, dude.  

If you follow the links at the bottom of each of our posts, you’ll get a chance to get to know each of the talented, generous, spirited artists I’ve had a chance to work with this year.  And please check out the Get Messy Art Journal Community if you’re interested in learning more and/or exploring creativity in the new year.

END OF THE YEAR CREATIVE TEAM BLOG HOP | GET MESSY ART JOURNAL 

get messy art journal creative team

get messy art journal creative team

get messy art journal creative team

Materials used: Gouache travel set, v. random (and v. inexpensive) set of acrylic paint I found in the “crafternoon kit” I made for Grace and me, mixed media sketch book

This page was inspired by Katie Smith and her vibrant, expressive (often nature-inspired) art journal spreads. The quote is from astronaut Jim Lovell and reads:

We got to the moon on Christmas Eve 1968, at the end of a poor year for this country. We had Vietnam. We had civil unrest. We had the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. But we went around the moon and saw the far side for the first time. A script writer couldn’t have done a better job of raising people’s hope.

Such an encouraging message for the yearend.  We can do amazing things despite our current set of circumstances.  We can find moments of wonder and joy and hope and peace in the face of all kinds of darkness.  

Katie’s Painting Galaxies class was one of my favorites of the year — it’s where I learned to paint the moon in the above spread.  You can purchase GM classes even if you’re not member of the community — and this one is well worth checking out.  In addition to being wildly talented, Katie is just a really, really lovely person.  Please check out her Instagram accounts (see a bit of inspiration below): @studio.katie + @katie_smith_art.  I’m especially excited to see that she’s recently gotten into oil painting…

Happy Saturday y’all! Here’s one of my most recent galaxy paintings!

A post shared by Katie Smith (@studio.katie) on

It’s finished & on its way to its new home! 🙌🏻🐧

A post shared by Katie Smith (@katie_smith_art) on

To see more of Katie’s beautiful artwork and continue on with our Get Messy Creative Team Blog Hop, please head over to Katie’s blog, Punk Projects

Also On Tap for Today:

  • For more art related posts, check out the Get Messy Instagram account (@getmessyartjournal) — I’ll be doing a takeover the week of January 1st #woot
  • Wearing 9,012 layers
  • Starting my 2018 reading list (and maybe thinking over some other goals too)

What sort of end of the year things are you getting into this week?

Staying calm + bright during the holidays with Legacy Place

This post is part of a paid partnership with Legacy Place.  Please be sure to scroll down for details on your chance to win one of three $200 Legacy Place gift cards on Instagram.

STAYING CALM + BRIGHT DURING THE HOLIDAYS with LEGACY PLACE

Last week I had a few hours to myself (the ultimate mom luxury) and a lengthy holiday to do list (my favorite sort of to do lists) to tackle.  After dropping Grace and Nick at preschool, I jumped on 93 for the 20 minute drive from the city to Legacy Place in Dedham.  Since becoming a mother, I’ve really come to appreciate the convenience of one-stop destinations like Legacy Place.  I am very down for the ample free parking, not to mention the fact I only need to make the car seat to stroller transfer once.  And the kids love it because the Whole Foods there has the cool tractor shopping carts.  

As I scanned my list (groceries, a card for our neighbors, baby items for the Mama Beasts donation drive, stocking stuffers for my Secret Santa, and *fingers crossed* a polish change),  I noticed the Christmas music playing over the outdoor speakers and the planters brimming with evergreens, berries and ornaments.  I think you know this already, but I’m the sort of person who would play Christmas music and deck the halls year-round if I thought I could get away with it (I’ve tried… and failed).

Legacy Place

I am so easily swept away in the busy-ness of this season, so easily wrapped up in the need to check every box.  But with so many gentle reminders (the music, the decorations, the general spirit of it all) around us, I find myself feeling more grounded, more present, more calm and more bright.

I hope these tips will help you to stay present among all the presents, too.  And I wish you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday season.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY… AND YOUR MIND + SPIRIT, TOO

treat your body well legacy place

I told you they have the cool carts at Legacy Place.

If you have kids, work with kids, encounter kids on the T, saw a kid once at a restaurant… you know that the holiday season is also cold and flu season.  This is the time of year to be loading up on the healthy foods that help your body’s immune system (the Pink Juice from Whole Foods Market at Legacy Place is loaded with Vitamin C and, basically, I am obsessed with it… it’s so good).  Save room for treats, obviously, but be sure you are taking care of your body.  

athleta legacy place

And please be sure you’re taking care of your mind + spirit (or whatever you want to call it), too.  Make time for rest, for restoration, for long chats with friends, for snuggling with your kids and pets, for good meals with your partner, for stretching, for yoga (if that’s your thing), for ridiculous holiday movies, and for all the things that make you feel your best.

While at Legacy Place, I made sure to stock up on the ingredients for my favorite lentil soup, our usual fruits and vegetables, some turmeric for tea and golden milk, and treated myself to a new water bottle (gotta stay hydrated, my friends) before perusing the new Restore line at Athleta.  I want to live inside that rack — all those cozy greys!  I bought some warmer tights for outdoor runs and a new tank a Soul Cycle ride or two.

MULTITASK… AND UNI-TASK

blue mercury legacy place

There’s a time and place for multi-tasking (for most people, that’s all the time/everywhere)… it’s how we get most of our things done in life.  While picking up stocking stuffers for my Secret Santa (my siblings and I draw two names for Christmas — one for a larger gift, and one for a stocking), I asked Elissa at bluemercury for her skincare and beauty recommendations.  My skin tends to go rogue as the seasons change, and I found her suggestions really helpful.  While waiting in line, I did the usual (check emails, check messages, confirm a doctor’s appointment).  

caffe nero legacy place

But when I stopped to grab a coffee at Caffé Nero, I did just that.  No multitasking, no checking my phone, just 10 minutes of sipping my latte.  I’m amazed by how much more I notice and absorb when I am not trying to fill the minutes with productivity and other things.  Semi-related: Caffé Nero is basically Instagram heaven.  The design is as good as the coffee.

If you can, balance your holiday multitasking with some uni-tasking (is that a word?).  Holiday traditions like decorating your tree, preparing special meals, reading favorite stories, and wrapping gifts provide great opportunities to focus and really enjoy those specific activities.  

GET SOME FRESH AIR + TAKE NOTE OF THE LITTLE THINGS

get outside legacy place

Though it’s finally starting to feel like December in New England, I’m a firm believer (though not a scientist nor doctor) in the power of fresh air.  One of my favorite things about shopping at Legacy Place is all the outdoor space.  The sidewalks are wide and safe (very stroller friendly) and you can easily get your 10k steps (or whatever) while running errands. 

From their own Little Free Library to public art like their new mural, Legacy Place has lots of delightful elements and artwork throughout the property.  Can you make time this week for a short (or long) walk?  What sorts of things will you notice along your way?  

UNPLUG + CONNECT

unplug and connect legacy place

While I hope you know I’m glad you’re here (and I’d love to see you on Instagram, too — and I’d especially love for you to win one of the Legacy Place gift cards we’re giving away this week…), I encourage you to spend as much time offline as you can this holiday season.  Consider how you can replace time spent scrolling through photos of strangers’ Christmas light displays (#guilty) with time spent connecting with family and friends.  

I first met Simone and Laura, sisters and owners of Elburne, an eco-friendly home and decor shop, on the Insties (or the ‘gram… I prefer Insties… also, I’m 35 and should call things by their real name).  They have a beautiful shop on the Cape in Dennis, not far from my favorite place to collect mussel shells (Cold Storage Beach).  One afternoon, I pretended to not be an introvert and stopped into introduce myself (and shop their amazingly curated collection of local art and goods). 

I was thrilled to find out they would be opening a pop-up shop at Legacy Place this holiday season (through January 15) and loved having a chance to chat with Laura (in real life) in their new space last week.  Their pop-up is full of beauty gift items, home goods and furnishings, and plenty of good vibes.  Technology does so much for us, but nothing beats making face to face connections.  

FOCUS ON GRATITUDE

focus on gratitude

My last tip for enjoying a calm, bright, happy and healthy holiday season will likely come as no surprise to you (especially if you’ve joined in my Season of Gratitude project).  Make a commitment to focus on gratitude this holiday season. Take note of what your thankful or grateful for and note how that shift in thinking affects how you feel and how you approach your to do list, your family, your health and wellbeing, and the world around you.  

I’m thankful I ended up with enough time for that polish change (T-Style Nail, located next to Hanna Andersson, was lovely!).  But even more so, I’m thankful for each of you.

***For your chance to win one of three $200 Legacy Place gift cards to enjoy the fun and convenience of #LifeAtLegacy, please click over to my Instagram feed for details this week.  Winners will be announced and contacted by Instagram DM on 12/22 You can find direct links to my giveaway posts below:

#ad I’m thrilled to partner with @legacyplace + some of their generous retailers to give away a series of Legacy Place gift cards this holiday season. Here’s our 2nd #giveaway of the week!🎄 Today is for my beauty obsessed mamas… 💋 From beauty and skin care to hair and nail salons, Legacy Place is your one stop lifestyle destination! . Enter to win a $200 #LegacyPlace gift card courtesy of @bathandbodyworks, @crabtreeandevelyn, @saloncapri, @sephora, @bluemercurylegacy, + @genkiya_sushi! . To enter: 💇🏻‍♀️Follow @LegacyPlace 💇🏻‍♀️Tag a friend in the comments 💇🏻‍♀️Tag additional friends for extra entries 💇🏻‍♀️Winner will be randomly selected and notified by DM on 12/22 #LifeAtLegacy #momlife #bostonmoms

A post shared by Elizabeth | On Tap for Today (@elizabethev) on

#ad I’m thrilled to partner with @legacyplace + some of their generous retailers to give away a series of Legacy Place gift cards this holiday season. 🎄 Today’s giveaway is for my fashion forward mamas! 👗 Whether your shopping for yourself (hint, hint: that buttery soft baby blue clutch is from @kudetaboson…), your partner or children, Legacy Place has everyone on your list covered. * Enter to win a $200 #LegacyPlace gift card courtesy of @freepeople, @kudetaboston, @jcrew, @aquitainededham, and @madewell! Stay tuned for two more chances to win. * To enter: 👛Follow @LegacyPlace 👛Tag a friend in the comments 👛Tag additional friends for extra entries 👛Winner will be randomly selected and notified by DM on 12/22 #LifeAtLegacy #momlife #bostonmoms

A post shared by Elizabeth | On Tap for Today (@elizabethev) on

#ad I’m thrilled to partner with @legacyplace + some of their generous retailers to give away a series of Legacy Place gift cards this holiday season. ✨This is our third and final giveaway— please feel free to enter all three!🎄 Today is all about the new mamas! From adorable baby bows to healthy meals for your family (and plenty of opportunities to treat yourself, as well), Legacy Place has it all. 💁🏻‍♀️ Enter to win a $200 #LegacyPlace gift card courtesy of @gaplegacyplace, @wholefoodsdedham, @henrybearspark, + @happyhannas! . To enter: 💃🏻 Follow @LegacyPlace 💃🏻 Tag a friend in the comments 💃🏻 Tag additional friends for extra entries 💃🏻 Winner will be randomly selected and notified by DM on 12/22 . #LifeAtLegacy #momlife #bostonmoms

A post shared by Elizabeth | On Tap for Today (@elizabethev) on

To learn more about Legacy Place, visit them at 680 Legacy Place in Dedham or online:

What are your favorite ways to stay calm, bright, happy and healthy during the holiday season?

 

Currently | December 2017

I just spent the better part of my evening trying to wrap teachers’ gifts using a pair of floral snips (I don’t want to know where the scissors might be… actually… I am very concerned about where the scissors might be) and the very tail ends of three rolls of Scotch tape (like, the parts that are attached to the holder and probably aren’t as sticky as the rest of the tape, because they have been too busy being responsible for the integrity of the entire roll). 

In other words: My magic Christmas powers organizational and planning skills are not what they used to be.  Alas, it’s December.  The most wonderful time of the year.  And I’m doing what we’re all doing… my very best.  Kind of.

CURRENTLY | DECEMBER 2017

currently december 2017

Winter’s for the birds… and Bean boots.

CURRENTLY EATING

CURRENTLY WATCHING

  • Two long-ish time Christmas favorites: The Holiday and The Family Stone 
  • And a new family favorite: Trolls Holiday (…get tickled by spiders!)

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO

  • The Motown Party playlist on Spotify (it, along with three rounds of Novocaine, sustained me during last week’s dental adventure)
  • Two Sam Smith covers: Joni Mitchell’s River and Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know (both so good)
  • All of Nick’s new words — his vocabulary has exploded in the past month or so, he just amazes me
  • This rendition of O Holy Night, which I share every year, because it is breathtaking
  • Oprah’s interview with my forever Vice President, Joe Biden on her SuperSoul Conversations podcast

CURRENTLY FEELING

  • Like this has been the fastest and the slowest year ever (which makes no sense, but I think you understand)
  • Especially excited for Christmas morning with Grace + Nick
  • Grateful for so much

Okay, but seriously… where do we think the scissors are?

Also On Tap for Today:

Hit me with your favorite soup recipe.  Please.