Category Archives: Events

Free summer fun in Boston | fitness, cultural events + family activities

Free summer fun in Boston… Because the only thing better than summer fun, is free summer fun.  I think.  

Even better, still, would be if this free summer fun came with some sort of plan that enables you to prevent your toddler and preschooler from running in separate directions, at high speeds, at the same time, in public…

Holler at your girl if you have such a plan.  In the meantime, there are so many great (and yes, free) events being held in the Boston area this summer.  Here are a few that caught my eye.

FREE SUMMER FUN IN BOSTON

free summer fun

Sail Boston

June 17 – 22, Boston

All events are free + open to the public (see the link above for full listing).  I’m hoping to catch a few sail by’s (is that a thing?) at Castle Island as the ships depart next Thursday, and will definitely be taking the kids to see the ships docked in the Seaport earlier in the week.  You can find the list of ships by pier locations here.

W.E.L.L. Summit Yoga + Barre at the Lawn on D

Sunday, June 25th from 8 – 11 AM at the Lawn on D, 420 D Street in South Boston (see link above to register, attend one or both classes)

  • 8:30 AM: Barre with Jessica Diaz
  • 9:20-10:40 AM: Summer Spark + Revive Yoga with Emily Griffin and Sara DiVello

Summertime at The Street | music, kids’ events, yoga, etc.

June through October at The Street, 33 Boylston Street (Rt. 9) in Chestnut Hill (see link above for full schedule, and this Eventbrite link to register for events).  Highlights include:

(Very cute) side note:  That’s Grace playing the street piano at The Street a few weeks ago.  We took her to Shake Shack after her end of the year gymnastics performance.  A+ idea, if I do say so myself.

Free Fun Fridays | free admission at the area’s best cultural venues, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation

This great annual program sponsors admission at several different museums and institutions on Fridays throughout the summer.  Check the schedule (linked above) for featured venues, June 23rd through August 25th.  Highlights include:

  • June 23rd: Peabody Essex Museum
  • June 30th: Boston Children’s Museum, The Garden at Elm Banks
  • July 21st: MFA in Boston, Tanglewood
  • August 18th: ICA in Boston, Cape Cod Children’s Museum
  • August 25th: Boston Harbor Islands National + State Park

Seaport Sweat | free fitness classes in the Seaport

June through September at the Seaport Common, 85 Northern Avenue (see link above for full schedule).  The highlights include:

  • Monday: Box and Body with Monique at 6 PM, Kick It by Eliza at 7 PM.
  • Tuesday: HIIT with Athena at 5:30 PM, Boxing Conditioning with Monique at 6:30 PM.
  • Wednesday: Yoga with Jenna at 6 PM, Kick It by Eliza at 7 PM.
  • Thursday: Kick It by Eliza at 5:30 PM., HIIT at 6:30 PM.
  • Friday: Yoga at 12 PM.
  • Every other Wednesday: Free bike tune-ups with Landry’s, 7:30-9:30 AM.

More (free!) fitness in Boston

If you’re looking for additional (free!) fitness classes throughout the city…. from yoga to line dancing and yoga to boxing, Jamie Ducharme at Boston Magazine has a great round-up here: Your Ultimate Guide to Free Fitness in Boston.

City of Boston events | including a roller disco…

There are a number of great events on City Hall Plaza this summer, including the 4th annual Celebration of Summer (yes, a roller disco in honor of Boston native Donna Summer) and the Tito Puente Latin Music Series.  See the link above for the full city calendar.  You can also find summer reading, programs and resources through the Boston Public Library — each branch has a full calendar this time of year!

I hope you enjoy a really fun, interesting, peaceful, happy + safe summer.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your bucket list for summer?

 

Today: All I want for Christmas.

All I want for Christmas is this.

all i want for christmas

Materials used: Cold-pressed watercolor paper, Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, and a super crappy paint brush from a set of approximately 900 (it set me back a whopping $2.00 #treatyoself).  

I won’t turn down a good night’s sleep, two snuggly babies, and a cold and long-running IV of Diet Coke, however.

I hope you are enjoying a peaceful day filled with love.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your wish list?

Today: Happy Thanksgiving.

This quote has always been one of my favorites (and you know how I feel about doodling in white on black paper and, like, cutting stuff out when I should be doing other things).

Gratitude really does unlock the fullness of life.  I’m grateful for a day like Thanksgiving to spend reflecting on all that is good in this life.  I have so much to be thankful for, and in an ever challenging world, never has this been more apparent.

I have the love of family and friends, good health and good heath care, a peaceful and safe home, plenty of food to eat and clothes to wear, an education and all kinds of things to keep me occupied and interested, a stash of watercolor paints, and a generally secure life.  What I have is enough, and more.

I’m thankful to each of you, and wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you most grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Today: Our 3rd Anniversary.

It has been the best three years, and (somehow) it keeps on getting better.  I am the luckiest.  And I am thankful every day to have Nick as my partner.

More wedding posts (and photos!):

Time flies when you’re in love.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you celebrating this month?

Today: Halloween 2015 | A strawberry and a lobster.

I sort of have a love/hate relationship with Halloween.  Actually, it’s more of a hate/hate relationship.  Like, aren’t people creepy enough already, without having to dress up like zombies and murderous clowns?  

Also, I’ve said it before, but I’m not a fan of fall decor.  I have already promised Nick that if and when we move to the suburbs, I will not be decorating our lawn with punny tombstones and fake spiderwebs.  I just won’t.  And I’ll probably want to turn our lights off at 5 instead of give out candy on Halloween… mostly because I don’t want teenagers and their serial killer costumes to give me nightmares.

I’m the Grinch that stole Halloween.  Except that I’ll leave three very important elements behind:

  1. Candy (obvi)
  2. Babies in costumes
  3. Dogs in costumes

The rest is no good.  But these three things? These three, I embrace.

I had every intention of dressing Clark as a banana, to complement Grace’s strawberry costume (#fruitsmoothie)… but his, shall we say, robust figure did not fit into any of the peels I found.  The poor guy was almost off the Halloween hook entirely (and if anyone deserves a break lately, it’s him), but when I spotted a lobster costume tucked in among the Christmas decorations (Yesssssssss!  And no, it’s never too soon for Christmas!) at T.J. Maxx on October 30th, back on the hook he went.  

I’m basically keeping this costume accessible year round.  It’s just too good.

Grace’s strawberry costume got lots of use last week too, from gymnastics to running around Nick’s office, to actual Halloween.  She kept telling people, “This my costume.  A strawberry.”

We spent the evening with friends in Charlestown checking out the festivities around the monument, and I’ve got to say… Halloween wasn’t all that bad.  In fact, it was pretty great.  But now it’s time to get the Christmas boxes out of storage.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the best Halloween costume you saw this weekend?

 

Today: Dinner at Serafina with Google Express.

On Tuesday night, I did something extra rare: I went out, wore non-workout clothes and stayed up late.  It was such a lovely time!  Google Express treated me and fellow Boston mothers to dinner at Serafina, giving us all a chance to enjoy ourselves while learning about their newly launched service that provides same-day or next-day delivery from local stores and retailers.

Photo by Briana Moore

From cocktails to valet parking, dinner to a beautifully curated gift basket and vase of flowers, Google Express really treated us.  They even had a professional photographer on hand, so I stashed my camera in my clutch (hallelujah for leaving the diaper bag at home) and just enjoyed myself.  All the gorgeous photos in this post were taken by the talented Briana Moore (thank you!).  Side note: I’m feeling motivated to step up my photography game.  Big time motivated.

Photo by Briana Moore

The whole event was beautifully designed, but you’ll probably not be surprised that I gravitated first to the flowers.  In addition to an incredible living wall featuring spring roses and orchids, our dining table was lined with centerpieces that reminded me a lot of my bridal bouquet.

Photo by Briana Moore

I hadn’t been to Serafina before, but I know we will be heading back soon.  It’s just a block from South Station (and a five minute drive from our place) and the food, atmosphere and service were fantastic.  We dined in a private space on the lower level, which I have a feeling would be perfect for a shower or rehearsal dinner.

 

Dinner itself was delicious (and looked as good as it tasted).  I was happily surprised to see the entire menu was vegetarian, and noticed Serafina was great about accommodating special diets and allergies.

Photo by Briana Moore

Photo by Briana Moore

Photo by Briana Moore

By the time dessert arrived, I could only manage a few bites, but that creme brulee was divine.

  • First course: Caprese | Imported Italian fior di latte mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, basil
  • Main course: Ravioli al tartufo nero | Homemade black truffle ravioli, touch of butter
  • Dessert: Creme brulee | With a touch of limoncello

Even better than the food was the company.  During the cocktail hour, I had a chance to catch up with my pals Tina and Alex and loved meeting and chatting with LizSanTara and Kim over dinner.  The event was hosted by Amber of Barefoot Blonde, who shared her experience with Google Express and chose a few of her favorite Google Express items for our adorable parting gift (each basket was personalized with our last names — the event was full of beautiful details like this).

Photo by Briana Moore

We also received a gift code to try Google Express for ourselves.  I’m having a hard time deciding where to start (there are quite a few retailers in the Boston area to choose from), but I’ve yet to pick up a copy of Go Set a Watchman, so that might be a good start.  I’m sure we’re also running low on diapers… and one can never have too many shades of Essie polish. Right?  Right.

Photo by Briana Moore

I’ll be sure to let you know what I ended up ordering and what the experience was like, and I’ll also have a gift code to share with you! In the meantime, I’m off to finally start reading my camera manual….  Thanks for the lovely evening, Google Express! 

Also On Tap for Today:

If you could have anything delivered to you door today, what would it be?

Today: 2015 Boston Flower and Garden Show

For the past four or five years, I’ve looked forward to the Boston Flower and Garden Show as sort of an unofficial start to spring.  And given the wild winter we’ve endured, I practically counted down the days to this year’s show.

I took fewer photos than past years, mostly because I had my hands full protecting Grace from flying elbows.  We didn’t make it in until Saturday (word to the wise: go during the week) and had to battle the crowds a bit, but man.  It felt good to see some flowers.  In the pretend outdoors.  

I can’t wait until spring is really here.  In the meantime, I’m dreaming up all kinds of things I want to plant and grow on our deck.  My parents gave me a tomato grow bag kit for my birthday and I plan to plant a few containers of herbs, as well.  While it will be nice to have more space to work with some day (I am swooning over the outdoor living spaces we saw this weekend), there really is so much you can do with a few square feet and some sunshine.

Here are a few of my favorites from the 2014 Boston Flower and Garden Show for your own spring daydreaming:

I love a good water feature.

How pretty are these seed packets?

Love a good living roof, too.

I think Southie could use a fairy house.  Or twelve.

 

An unexpected, but super cool sand sculpture

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Want more flowers?  Here are my Flower Show posts from 20102011 and 2012… who knows where 2013 and 2014 ended up…
  • Oh, good.  We broke the snow record.  Now please come clean off my car.
  • Happy Parade Day!

What are you looking forward to this spring?

Today: FenwaYoga and taking my OM outdoors.

Shortly after writing up my little Summer Bucket List, I got an incredible invitation from KIND.  Did I want to join them for yoga with Mandy Ingber at Fenway Park?  A thousand percent yes (it didn’t hurt that I read their email while snacking on a Healthy Grains bar in between meetings).  KIND sponsored the 2nd annual FenwaYoga event, which benefitted the Red Sox Foundation’s Red Sox Scholars and RBI Youth Baseball and Softball programs.

I was looking forward to checking off “practice yoga outside” from my bucket list, but never expected to have the chance to roll out my mat on the warning track along the Green Monster.

It was such an awesome experience.  Mandy lead a fun but challenging class (made slightly more challenging by the mid-morning sun) from the pitcher’s mound, while yoga teachers from the area provided additional guidance from the outfield.  I made fast friends with the woman next to me, as we swapped iPhones to grab photos of one another goofing off inside the park.

The yoga community in Boston was out in full force and everyone, especially the folks from KIND, made me feel so welcome and grateful to be a part of such an incredible day.

I really thought I’d be itching to get back to CrossFit once Grace was born, but lately I’ve been craving yoga even more.  I appreciate balance of gentleness and strength that yoga gives me, and love that Grace can squirm around beside me on her activity mat while I practice at the beginning or end of the day.  Now that she’s discovered her toes and is holding onto them for dear life, I can’t help but fit in happy baby pose whenever possible.

If you’re looking to take your om outdoors, here are a few ongoing opportunities in the area:

Also On Tap for Today:

What sort of workout have you been craving lately?

 

Today: Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts.

If you’re like me you are an incredible and wonderful creature have a tendency to leave things to the last minute.  For someone who loves to plan and make lists as long as my dog is cute, I have a real knack for procrastinating.  Fortunately, there is still time to pick up the perfect gift and a half gallon of milk at the same time.  Which reminds me: I forgot to buy milk this morning.

Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts

DIY gift baskets

My late uncle lived in Florida and often sent boxes of citrus fruit up North this time of year– the perfect bit of sun and warmth for those of us hunkering down for another New England winter.  Plus, it’s always nice to have a few grapefruits and oranges on hand to balance out the ‘nog and cookies.

You could spend a fortune on next day shipping and order a gourmet gift online, or you could simply hit up the produce section of your local grocery store and pick up a few of your favorite fruits (perhaps include something new and different for a friend to try?) and wrap them in an inexpensive bowl or basket.

Fruit not your jam?  Try a printed recipe and dry ingredients, or spices and cooking utensils.  Package your favorite teas with honey, biscuits and a lovely mug.  There are pretty much no rules when it comes to making your own food-themed gift baskets.  Welp, maybe that’s not true.

A few rules to abide by, lest ye give your sister botulism for Christmas:

  1. Include no fish, raw meats, nor cheeses that require refrigeration
  2. Avoid anything that could go bad and/or stinky
  3. If it doesn’t sound delicious, don’t wrap it up and give it to someone (unless you’re trying to send a very un-Christmas-like message)

Toys

Our favorite Whole Foods Market (the one on River Street in Cambridge) has quite the selection of toys, books, apparel and other gift-worthy items in their Whole Body section.  Who doesn’t love a sock monkey?  Someone I don’t want to know, that’s who.

Chocolate

When in doubt, give the people what they want.  I am a big fan of local favorite, Mexcian style Taza Chocolate, but most markets offer a variety of interesting brands and flavors, all of which make a lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

Something unexpected

The big advantage to holiday shopping at the grocery store (besides the opportunity to buy — or forget to buy — milk) is the unexpected factor.  Keep an open mind while browsing the aisles, and just about anything may capture your imagination as gift-worthy.

My favorite “unexpected” items:

  • The above mushroom kit from Back to the Roots
  • Potted rosemary “trees” — they look like little Christmas trees and make a great gift for your favorite cook
  • Items from L.I.F.E. line fashion (sold at most Whole Foods Markets), a remarkable project of CTC International created to employ and empower mothers of children with special needs in Kenya
  • The Whole Planet calendar — 100% of proceeds go to the Whole Planet Foundation, and the calendar (which costs $4) includes over $40 worth of coupons #winwin

See you at the market, fellow Larrys.

P.S. For the record:  This is not a sponsored post.  I just happen to really, really like our grocery store. 

Also On Tap for Today:

 What is your favorite gift to give?