Category Archives: Health and Wellness

A Season of Gratitude: Week 2 + Gratitude Favorites

You can read a bit about my commitment to staying grounded in gratitude this holiday season and download your free (#printable #dopeoplestillhaveprinters #IDK) gratitude list here.  Feel free to share your own gratitude lists with me (#gratitudeOTFT @elizabethev) and the rest of our crew.

A SEASON OF GRATITUDE: WEEK 2

a season of gratitude week 2

  • Wednesday, November 8: I am grateful for Grace’s preschool teachers.  They are so kind and compassionate, and I know she is safe and happy under their care.  For someone who worries about everything (and then some), this means the world.  
  • Thursday, November 9: I am grateful for opportunities to connect with fellow bloggers/Instagrammers (slash-real-people) and brands I love.  Tonight’s holiday event with Whole Foods Market felt extra warm and encouraging.
  • Friday, November 10: I am grateful for our escape hatch Cape house. (It really does feel like an escape hatch, though.  And a cozy one, at that.  There’s just something about crossing the bridge that does it for me.)
  • Saturday, November 11: I am grateful for my sweet, silly, darling niece who turns 2 today and can play a mean (toy) electric guitar.
  • Sunday, November 12: I am grateful (and sort of terrified) to have two babes and zero cribs.  In less than a month, both our kids have made the move to beds (or “big girl beds” as Nicky calls them…).  They are growing and changing and learning… on their own schedules… just like they’re supposed to do.  It’s amazing and wild.
  • Monday, November 13: I am grateful for $5.99 craft/activity sets from CVS. 
  • Tuesday, November 14: I am grateful for the two women who gave me a manicure/pedicure this morning.  It was quiet at the nail salon, so they offered to save me 30 minutes and do both at once.  I felt extra cared for… and likely wasted that extra 30 minutes, but hey.

And a few gratitude favorites for the week:

And I’m currently super grateful for the microwave that has reheated the same cup of tea twice this afternoon…

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Timely for those hosting this holiday season: 6 Things Everyone Forgets to Tell Their Houseguests from Apartment Therapy
  • Not sure if this helpful/weird/both, but I added a SHOP ON TAP page for those looking for gift (or everyday purchase) ideas + recommendations
  • Digging out all our cold weather gear (and hoping it fits…)

What are you feeling grateful for today?

This week’s meal + workout plan | Week of November 20

If you’re short on time, my meal plan for the week can be summed up in two words: mashed potatoes.  But hopefully you’ve got a few minutes to stick around, because in addition to some meal + workout ideas, I’ve got a very cool mindfulness challenge from Coolidge Corner Yoga to share with you this week.

Back to the mashed potatoes.

meal and workout plan november 20

(These are not mashed potatoes.)

MEAL + WORKOUT PLAN | WEEK OF NOVEMBER 20

MEALS

WORKOUTS

  • Monday: Mama Beasts (hoping to get there in time from gymnastics… I don’t want to miss this year’s can workout/food drive)
  • Tuesday: Yoga 
  • Wednesday: Mama Beasts
  • Thursday: Row/basement workout of some sort
  • Friday: Walk at the Cape with the family
  • Saturday: Yoga
  • Sunday: Run (and/or family walk in the woods)

#OMFORTHEHOLIDAYS

I’m really excited to join Coolidge Corner Yoga (and their sister studio in the South End, Sadhana Yoga) for their #OMfortheholidays six week mindfulness challenge.  The challenge begins this week (Monday, November 20) and runs through New Year’s Eve.  All are welcome (and encouraged!) to participate, both in studio or at home.  The goal of this inclusive challenge is to make room for mindfulness, movement, and focusing on what matters most this holiday season. Coolidge Corner Yoga will provide weekly inspiration for self-care and mindfulness, as well as a chance to win prizes from their challenge partners.  I am really looking forward to continuing my daily meditation practice (going on 50 consecutive days, baby!), carving out more mindful + focused time with my children, and treating my body kindly.

How to get involved in #OMfortheholidays:

  • Join the Coolidge Corner Yoga newsletter or follow their BLOG
  • Follow @CoolidgeYoga on Facebook and Instagram
  • Make mindfulness part of your weekly routine, either in the studio or at home
  • Post it: Every week share your mindfulness practice on social media using the hashtags #coolidgeyoga #omfortheholidays, and tag @CoolidgeYoga (Make sure you use all three tags each week to be eligible to win prizes!)
  • Check in every Monday on the CCY website or on social media for your mindfulness inspiration for the week ahead

[Disclosure: I received a class pass in exchange for sharing about this challenge.  I truly hope many of you will join me in participating!]

LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING FINDS:

Also On Tap for Today:

Who’s with me for #OMfortheholidays?  And what’s on your Thanksgiving menu?

A Season of Gratitude: Week 1 + Gratitude Favorites

You can read a bit about my commitment to staying grounded in gratitude this holiday season and download your free (#printable #dopeoplestillhaveprinters #IDK) gratitude list here.  Feel free to share your own gratitude lists with me (#gratitudeOTFT @elizabethev) and the rest of our crew.

A SEASON OF GRATITUDE: WEEK 1

season of gratitude week 1

  • Wednesday, November 1: I am grateful for the chance to paint for a few hours once the babes are asleep.
  • Thursday, November 2:  I’m grateful for an interview I heard with David Ridgen from CBC Canada because there was a tiny aside where he said he prefers to call pets “friends.”  This made me smile (even though I’m prejudiced against cats).  
  • Friday, November 3: I am grateful for my husband.  This is true every day, but this is our 5th wedding anniversary, and so his thoughtfulness, generosity, ingenuity and enthusiasm for life are especially on my mind today.
  • Saturday, November 4: I am grateful for Grace’s compassionate spirit.  At nearly 4 (whyyyyyyy), she is becoming more and more aware of the world around us and it is both amazing and heartbreaking.  The other day she asked me why there were people in our neighborhood who hold up “signs made of cardboard by the streets.”  We’ve been talking a lot lately about how fortunate we are, and also how we can be of service to others (her school does a tremendous job with this too, involving their preschoolers in monthly projects).  This is turning into a novel, but today Grace and I went for a walk on the beach.  There was an older woman sitting on the bench near the parking lot, a cane resting at her side.  Normally I’m the first to yell stranger danger, but I watched with such a full heart as Grace climbed up on the bench next to her and told her all about her morning.  It was an unexpected gift.
  • Sunday, November 5:  I’m grateful for an extra hour of sleep.  JK.  Daylight Savings is a legit joke when little people run your household.  I am, however, grateful for a relaxing weekend on the Cape with our family.
  • Monday, November 6: I am grateful for the Motown Party playlist on Spotify.
  • Tuesday, November 7: I am grateful for the right to vote, and I am grateful that so many good people were elected today.

This first week has proven to be a really helpful exercise for me.  I find myself paying better attention to both the big things and the little things.  

And a few gratitude favorites for the week:

Oh… and I’m also grateful for those rose gold TOMS I found for 50% off at TJ Maxx.  I mean…

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Checking out the Connect Boston event with Verizon in the Seaport 
  • Speaking of David Ridgen, the entire third season of his Someone Knows Something podcast was released today– I highly recommend it!
  • Fully embracing cranberry season

What’s on your gratitude list this week?

This week’s meal + workout plan | October 16th

It’s been 3 months since I published a weekly meal + workout plan.  I assure you, I have been eating meals… and mostly doing workouts, too.  We’ve been back in a semi-normal (read: non-summer) routine for just over a month now, so I figured I’d get back in the habit of sharing my weekly meals + workouts.  Rejoice and be glad.  Or whatever.

WEEKLY MEAL + WORKOUT PLAN | OCTOBER 16th

weekly meal + workout plan

MEALS

Meal prep: Several jars of vegetable broth and miso soup (this week’s body experiment involves fermented foods + broth, so…), chop vegetables for snacks + salads, cook quinoa, make-ahead smoothie packs

WORKOUTS

  • Monday: Yoga
  • Tuesday: Fall 5 Workout (MB) + run
  • Wednesday: Mama Beasts + challenge circuit
  • Thursday: Spin class (or rest)
  • Friday: Mama Beasts
  • Saturday: Captain’s Choice (MB) 
  • Sunday: Run + yoga

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your plan for the week ahead?

This week’s meal + workout plan

Some weeks I fly by the seat of my yoga pants and things go well workout and meal-wise.  But other times, we have a week like last week and the lack of planning nearly does me in.  As much as I like to pretend I’m all Type C (is there one of those?), laid back and simultaneously highly motivated… I am not those things.  I need a plan.

meal plan July 17

I’ll be the first to admit I can be tightly wound and yet… given the chance to eat popcorn for dinner while watching three back-to-back episodes of The Great British Bake Off… I will take it.  Every, single time.  I thrive when my days are orderly and structured (which is sort of a pipe dream when you’re parenting).  

I like checking things (including workouts) off my list.  And who doesn’t love knowing dinner is made and safely waiting for you in its nice little glass container in the fridge?   I find a little planning and prep goes a long way.  Even in the summer.  When I’m trying to be all cool and casual.  

MEAL + WORKOUT PLAN | WEEK OF JULY 17

meal plan peach smoothie

MEAL PLAN:

MEAL + SNACK PREP:

  • Prepped today: Everyday Detox basil vinaigrette; smoothie for tomorrow morning (hemp milk, frozen pineapple, frozen peaches, raw honey + parsley); cooked farro; kale chips; cooked corn; washed + chopped fruit for breakfasts/snacks
  • To prep tomorrow during naps (…God willing): Wash + chop vegetables for salads/snacks; bake sweet potatoes

WORKOUTS

I have a newfound love for our C2 Rower in the basement at the Cape.  I’ve only ever rowed in short spurts during CrossFit classes, but realized this weekend how tough, effective and semi-fun a longer row can be.

  • Monday: Stroller run/walk 4 miles
  • Tuesday: Stroller run/walk 4 miles
  • Wednesday: MB Tabata workout + row 30 minutes
  • Thursday: Stroller run/walk 4 miles
  • Friday: MB class or rest
  • Saturday: Row 30 minutes
  • Sunday: Rest

Semi-related: If you’re looking for a new Spotify workout playlist, here are my current jams.  Pardon the swear words.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your workout or meal plan for the week?

 

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?

 

June 2017 | Currently

True Life: I meant to post this last month.  In May.  But I forgot.  So here we are… pretending I have my act together.  The more things change, the more I stay the same  (consistently inconsistent).

june 2017 currently

JUNE 2017 | CURRENTLY

May 2017 Currently

CURRENTLY MAKING

  • …moves on my soon-to-be-launched Etsy shop.  This was/is one of my major goals for 2017.  I’ve got the behind-the-scenes and initial concept (functional art) down, and plan to have about a dozen or so pieces finished this weekend.  I hope to be totally up and running before the end of this month.  My fingers are crossed that you’ll like it!
  • …a concerted effort to consume media carefully.  It’s such a careful balance between living under a rock and being entirely overwhelmed, especially given the current political happenings.  And by happenings… I mean… God help us.
  • …a summer bucket list.  We’ll be spending as much time as possible down the Cape, and I’m excited to share some of my childhood favorites (flying kites, mini golf, watching for whales at Race Point, um… ice cream, looking for sand dollars) with Grace + Nick.

CURRENTLY WATCHING

  • …the Stanley Cup finals.
  • …video from James Comey’s hearing today (can’t help myself).

may 2017 currently

CURRENTLY EATING

  • …a bunch of delicious smoothies (thanks to Molly for a few new recipes — local friends, check out her smoothie and meal prep parties!).  With the requisite cute straw, obvi.  
  • …more mindfully + thoughtfully.  Now that I am no longer breastfeeding (and bonus: baby Nick is sleeping so much better!), I’ve been doing my best to reset my diet a bit.  It’s been a month and a half or so, but I feel like my body is still sort of like… what are we doing here?  I wasn’t expecting the transition to be so rough, but here I am.  Trucking along.  I’ve eliminated most sugars (a wild craving for me while nursing) and yes… I’ve been caffeine + Diet Coke-free for 3 weeks.  I’m not doing anything revolutionary, just getting back to basics and re-learning how to treat myself as well as I can.

CURRENTLY READING

june 2017 currently

CURRENTLY ENJOYING

  • …the life-changing magic of tidying up sleeping.  I’m still waking up a few times each night, but still.  I am sleeping more (and hopefully better) than I have in years.  The credit goes largely to my children for (finally) getting with the program, but Nick gets points for the new blackout curtains, too.  The rest of my secrets will remain secrets until I share them here (ASAP #sharingiscaring).  I went to a great workshop at the WELL Summit Day of WELLness on sleep, and so much of what Sara DiVello shared really resonated with me.
  • …Grace’s end of the year gymnastics routine.  I could watch her dance and tumble and jump all day.  And some days, I’m lucky enough to do just that.
  • …how special old Clark is.  He’s the best dog and sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve him.  I’m so glad he promised me he’d live forever.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO

  • Elastic Heart (Piano Version) – Sia
  • Team – Lorde
  • Breaking the Law – Emeli Sandé
  • Living in Twilight – The Weepies
  • Slow Dancer – Noah Gundersen
  • Buckets of Rain – Neko Case
  • Romeo and Juliet – The Indigo Girls
  • Dust to Dust – The Civil Wars
  • Wish You Were Here – The Milk Carton Kids

june 2017 currently

CURRENTLY FEELING

  • …proud for growing this sweet pea plant from seed.  And keeping it alive (so far).  
  • …grateful that it didn’t rain today.  For the first time in 800 years (or so it feels).  My hair looks like a poodle moved in and plans to stay.   And all my shoes are permanently damp.  But one day of sun, man, and it’s all good.
  • …deep regret for not putting that folded laundry away sooner.  ‘Tis now 10 PM and well… ain’t gonna happen.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your current playlist or reading list? 

Gloomy ‘tudes + sunny dispositions.

Has it rained every Tuesday this year?  It seems like it.  

gloomy tudes + sunny dispositions

I’m one of those people that pretends to be even keeled, but the weather, man… it gets to me.  I wonder if this is fully science (a need for vitamin D, or whatev) or something we learn as we age.

I spent a good chunk of the day checking Dark Sky (likely my most used app #nerdalert), trying to do math (do I have enough time to get the baby out and into the running stroller, actually go running, factoring in route + speed/lack thereof, and make it back for preschool pickup before the next downpour?)… and mentally complaining.  None of this was especially helpful.

We got home from school and made it 1/29th up the length of our driveway (such is the pace of life these days) when the skies opened.  It was one of those rainstorms that’s over in seconds, but leaves you (and all the art projects you’re holding) soaked.  You might be able to guess my immediate reaction (and if not: it was to silently swear), but you’ve already seen how Grace and Nick reacted.  

With pure joy.  

The weather can ruin your mood.  It can ruin your day.  It can foul up your plans.  And it can foul up your I-look-chic-but-in-that-I-didn’t-try-kind-of-way outfit.

But it can also give you a puddle to jump in.  It can entice worms from where ever they usually are (who knows), so you can closely inspect them.  It can bring forth that inimitable spring rain on blacktop smell that makes me glad to live in the city.  It sustains plants (and all the things that plants sustain… like people).  And it can make my two babes laugh and squeal with utter delight.

But it’s not just the weather.

How many things weigh us down as adults, but with a simple shift in attitude, could be appreciated with the wonder and joy they might deserve?

Perhaps we can unlearn our gloomy grown-up attitudes.  Or at the very least, get some cool raincoats and enjoy the storm a bit.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you walking around with a gloomy ‘tude or a sunny disposition today?

Mid-week meal + workout plan

Better late than never?  Holidays (Easter) followed by other holidays (Marathon Monday a.k.a. Patriots Day) make for a delightful disruption to our routine, but a disruption nevertheless.  

We celebrated a really happy Easter at the Cape with our family and returned to the city Monday night with a little bit of chocolate… and a lot of delicious leftovers.   I like when my meals both plan and (sort of) make themselves.

meal workout plan for week of 4/18

Meal plan for the week of 4/17

  • Leftover roasted sweet potato salad (vegan): this is great in a quesadilla with some cheese and black beans
  • Salad + leftover wild rice with peas and pistachios
  • Baked stuffed sweet potatoes + salad
  • Taco night or burrito bowls
  • Spinach + artichoke quinoa bake

Workout plan for the week of 4/17

  • Sunday: Easter tabata + Run (done)
  • Monday: MB home workout (done)
  • Tuesday: MB home workout + Daily Burn barre (done)
  • Wednesday: MB class + this stretching routine (done)
  • Thursday: MB self-assessment + lots of stretching/foam rolling
  • Friday: MB class + Run
  • Saturday: Run

This is the final week of the Mama Beasts spring challenge (hence all the MB business above).  It’s been so fun to work with our team and to push myself a bit harder than usual.  A new session of classes starts on Monday — you can find all the details here!  I’m also so glad I re-started the Couch 2 5k program (using the app).  I’ve been able to switch things up for most runs, completing some solo and some with the double stroller (i.e. 50 lbs. of children + 37 lbs. of stroller) and on varied terrain (track, Harborwalk in Southie, hills on the Cape).  It’s really nice to be back in the running-ish groove.

For those who have asked, I have the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double (the 2016 model, which is what I have, is currently on sale on Amazon) and really like it.  I had a single BOB before Nick was born and liked that too, but find the Summit to be a bit more solid and comfortable for the kids.

Alright, time to dive into those leftovers.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your menu this week?

The next season

The older I get, the more I notice the way life really does follow its own seasons. Some seasons are for celebrating.  Some seasons are for learning. Some seasons are for waiting.  Some seasons are for grieving.  Some seasons are for growing.  And some seasons are for sitting on the beach sipping fruity beverages.

Fruity beverages is sort of a ridiculous, but semi-on target way to transition to this: I stopped nursing baby (toddler) Nick 9 days ago.  Oh, but this isn’t a post about boobs… so don’t panic (or sorry to disappoint). Considering I nursed Grace until a month before Nick was born, I’ve essentially been breastfeeding since the end of January 2014.  This feels like the end of a huge part of our lives, mostly because it is.  It has been wonderful, challenging, weird, exhausting, and amazing.  I am grateful I was able to have this experience with both kids.  

And now I am ready for the next season of our lives.

the next seasonObsessed with these shoes by Toms… and these shells by Mother Nature

I took a long walk by myself along the beach this past weekend and found myself thinking about what I hope for this next season to bring.  I bought a $1.99 notebook (the cover’s a really ug shade of yellow, but it’s all they had) on the way back to the house and started making a list.  

THE NEXT SEASON

In this next season, I want to invest more fully in my own health and wellbeing.  I want to sleep more (which isn’t saying much, since I am basically always awake).  I want to take more walks on the beach. I want to relish in alone time, without feeling guilty (real talk: it’s a careful balance).  I want to be better attuned to my own common sense and good judgement and rely less on scary headlines and unhelpful advice.  I want to spend as much time playing outside as possible.  I want to enjoy those little flashes of independence both kids share every now and then (it’s like watching them becoming themselves over and over).  I want to revisit some of the things that used to bring me joy, but that I stopped making time to do.  I want this next season to be for connecting and reconnecting and resting and recharging.  

And I want to find the perfect pair of cool mom jeans.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your current season looking like?