Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Today: Currently | August 2015

What a perfect month it has been.  I am holding on to summer for dear life.  And I’m not letting go… until at least October.

Currently | August 2015

Currently feeling…

  • Like I am 900 months pregnant.  I think it’s the heat.  Or it’s just being pregnant.  Regardless, I had an appointment with my midwife earlier this week and I’m grateful that the baby is healthy and everything is going well.
  • Like this really is the best summer ever.

Currently eating…

Currently watching…

  • The tide come and go.  Boats passing by.  Seals swimming around as fishermen unload their catch.  
  • The sky.  We’ve had the most beautiful sunsets and clear views of the moon lately. 
  • Grace play with Clark.  It’s so much fun to see them happily following one another around.  Not surprising: There are usually snacks involved.  Clark is no fool.
  • Oh… and should I admit this?  America’s Next Top Model on Hulu+.  I can’t look away.

Currently creating…

  • The usual mess.  I’ve loved this month’s theme of serenity for the Get Messy Art Journal challenge.  You can find weekly updates of my sketchbook here:  Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Weeks 4 + 5.
  • An iPhone mount for less awkward Periscope broadcasts.  I am following this tutorial and hope to have things up and running later this week.  I really enjoyed sharing my first scope (an art journal and sketchbook flip-through); my username is ElizabethEv if you’d like to follow along.  For now, I’m just enjoying everyone else’s scopes.  Be sure to leave a comment below with your username, please!
  • Lots of watercolor backgrounds and floral sketches.  I recently finished watching Lisa Congdon’s classes on Creative Bug and am hooked on the techniques she shared.
  • I also picked up some gold leaf this week and am thinking about gilding some of the shells I’ve collected recently.  Summer is worthy of gilding.

Currently enjoying…

  • Consecutive good hair days.  Usually my hair is like, POOF! the second we cross the Sagamore Bridge (I swear the Cape is covered by an invisible dome of humidity), but ever since I started using the fantastic products Living Proof recently sent me, my curls have been on their best behavior.  
  • Speaking of shampoo, I wish outdoor showers were a year-round option.
  • These illustrations of political leaders as hipsters.
  • As much yoga as I can fit into the week.  The women’s fitness program I joined in June is on hiatus for a couple of weeks (if you’re in the Boston area and want to know more, please let me know — I love this group!), so I’ve been focusing on fitting in lots of long walks and short flows.  I really like these prenatal yoga videos on YouTube.

Also On Tap for Today:

What were the highlights of your August?

Today: Drink Good. Do Good.

Nick, Grace and I spent last week at the Cape doing a whole lot of nothing together and it was perfect.  (Meanwhile, Clark was in the city enjoying the peace and quiet that comes from not being chased by a toddler all day long.)  With Nick back in the office come Monday, Grace and I snuck down to see my parents and soak up a few more days of swimming and walking around the neighborhood looking for poodles.  

For the record: there are nine standard poodles in the ‘hood.  I don’t think that’s normal. 

Before leaving Boston for the beach, though, we hit up the grocery store so that Nick wouldn’t go hungry without us… and so that we’d have no shortage of beach snacks.

 Grace is so much fun to shop with lately.  She can name most foods (zucchinis are still cucumbers to her, and lettuce is sometimes a flower… but hey) and loves make loud, enthusiastic requests for yogurt and bananas and strawberries and Popsicles.  

We make our way up and down each aisle as I double- and triple-check our list, filling our cart with the best options available for our little family.  With several markets so close by, safe and reliable transportation to get us there, and money to spend… those options are both healthy and plentiful.  

We don’t have to choose between what is heathy and what we can afford.  And if we do find ourselves with limited options… we can shop somewhere else.  This is something I take for granted all too often.

Drink Good.  Do Good

Meanwhile, nearly 24 million Americans are living in food deserts– urban neighborhoods or rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.  In Boston alone, nearly 71,000 residents live without ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  

In an effort to raise awareness for food deserts and to take action in making fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to everyone, Naked Juice has teamed up with the non-profit Wholesome Wave on the Drink Good. Do Good campaign.  I’d love for you to join me in this important effort.

How you can help

It’s as easy as hopping on Instagram or Twitter.  To help raise awareness about food deserts and the initiative…

  • Take a photo holding a fruit or vegetable
  • Share it using #DrinkGoodDoGood
  • And tag a friend to do the same

For every photo shared, Naked Juice will donate 10 pounds of produce (or the monetary equivalent) to Wholesome Wave.  

For more information about food deserts, how they affect our communities, and how you can help, please visit Drink Good.  Do Good.

I am grateful to partner with Naked Juice on this sponsored post and hope you will consider doing good by sharing a photo or two today.  

Also On Tap for Today:

How many poodles live in your neighborhood are you spending these last, beautiful weeks of summer?

 

 

 

 

 

Today: Yoga on the beach.

One surefire way to make yoga more enjoyable? Take it to the beach.

Nick, Grace and I are enjoying a few days of R + R at the Cape, and so when Charlotte, who heads up marketing for the new Boston-based startup MoveWith invited me to check out their classes and take one for free, I assumed I’d have to put that off until we were back in the city.

horseshoe crab

However, I was thrilled to find a beach yoga class just a few jetties away in Harwich Port.  I snuck out of the house early on Monday and had time to collect a few treasures before the hour-long class with Katelyn Gleason started.  Katelyn was so friendly and welcoming and quick to offer pregnancy-friendly modifications and lots of encouragement.  And all that sun, sand and crashing waves meant, basically, the best quick nap savasana ever.

Katelyn teaches this vinyasa flow twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays– check MoveWith for more details) and plans to teach in the Boston area this fall.  Class was so wonderful Monday that I quickly recruited a friend, signed up and paid for today’s class online.  I left my yoga mat at home and just used a beach towel, which was perfect (live and learn).  It was another beautiful way to start the day.   Just when I thought the Cape could get more relaxing…yoga on the beach.

A few other classes I have my eye on for upcoming workouts:

Most MoveWith classes are $10-15 and there is no monthly or long-term commitment, which I love, and they are currently working with instructors in Boston and San Francisco.  Check ’em out.

And the meet me at the beach?

Also On Tap for Today:

When was the last time you took a good savasana or nap or zone-out?

 

Today: Beach bag upgrades.

The sign of a great summer: My beach bag is getting more use than my handbag.

Whether you’re toting around a beach bag, a pool bag, a gym bag or a something-else bag, I’ve got a few upgrades to share.  Things that make my life a little bit easier and a little less messy.  

Beach bag upgrades

Some of these beach bag upgrades are technically baby items, but don’t let that scare you off.  And if you find yourself childless yet running to Babies ‘R Us after reading this post, allow me to either 1. talk you out of it (with one child and another on the way, that place still terrifies me) 2. offer you one of the 19 about-to-expire 20% off coupons I have crammed in my wallet.

A wet bag

This should really be called “a prevent everything else in your beach bag from getting wet… bag.”  We use this one from Skip Hop, which is on the small side, but is perfect for storing my wet bathing suit, Grace’s wet bathing suit, and at least one towel.  If you’re heading to the pool or a friend’s house, wet bags are a great place to store your change of clothes (which can be swapped out for wet suits).  This also works for sweaty gym gear.

I like the mesh pocket on the outside of the Skip Hop bag — it’s perfect for stashing keys and a few dollars, or an extra swim diaper or two.  The snap handle is great too — I often attach it to the outside of our beach bag if we need a little extra room.

A giant carabiner

I sort of wonder what life was like before I discovered stroller hooks. I also sort of wonder what I would get done if I weren’t wondering about things like life before stroller hooks. This thing is essentially a giant, glorified carabiner.  It’s padded on one side, allowing you to comfortably carry a bunch of bags or items that have been clipped together.  

During the non-summer (I’m just not ready to say winter, or fall even), I use our hook most often when trying to make a single trip into our condo with the groceries and Grace.  I keep one in my car, and another in or attached to whichever bag I am carrying.  In the summer, however, it’s perfect for securing extra items to our beach bag (sand toys, towels) or keeping multiple sets of keys from getting lost.

Reusable snack bags

I use these reusable snack bags to store small items that, like keys, have a tendency to go missing in the very bottom of our beach bag– my phone, lip balm, hair elastics, band-aids, and sunblock sticks.  Again, these work for your gym bag, too.  The larger size can take the place of my wallet (because who wants to bring their entire wallet… 20% off coupons and all… to the beach?) and the smaller sizes are great for collecting shells and other treasures.  They can be easily washed or wiped clean.  

Also: I am obsessed with the patterns on these bags.  They make me want to start designing fabric.  If I had any clue how to do that.  Which I don’t.  Mostly because I am busy thinking about life before stroller hooks.

A waterproof camera

This is a bit of a splurge, but I bought a waterproof camera before our honeymoon to St. John and I’m so glad I did.  We’ve been able to capture photos from amazing snorkeling trips and swimming in tropical caves to Grace’s first swimming lessons and days spent at the Cape with our family.  In my dreams, I am the sort of person who swims under waterfalls and regularly partakes in SUP yoga in the harbor… but um, it’s perfect for my less cool, less adventurous (real) life.

We have an older version of the Nikon Coolpix Waterproof AW100 series.  It is waterproof up to 100 feet, is shockproof and has built in GPS/world map.  It seems like there are more options available (and at better prices) these days, and the new Nikons have built in wifi to easily transfer images to your smart phones.  If you’re going to invest in a camera, I highly recommend getting a waterproof camera float, too.  This can be used to carry the camera… but also lessens the chance of your camera disappearing, sinking, or sneakily bodysurfing ashore without you.  

Speaking of bodysurfing, I’ve got a wave to catch.  Toodles!

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, but this post does contain several Amazon affiliate links.  As always, I greatly appreciate your support.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you upgrading these days?  Has anyone figured out how to make laundry do itself?

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 35

Take it from your friendly neighborhood not-a-meteorologist: It is hot as blazes today.  I slowed things down a bit at bootcamp this morning, but I’m not sure it made much of a difference.  By the time Grace and I got home, we were both ridiculously sweaty and in need of an extra nutritious lazy summer lunch: Popsicles, raspberries and lots of water.

Now that I’m feeling rehydrated and somewhat normal, let’s revisit the weekend according to Instagram.  

The Weekend According to Instagram

  1. There is no point to this photo, except that I am obsessed with my dog.  Clark has been extra patient and playful with Grace lately, and I think he’s finally back to his usual self after a not-so-usual winter.  The poor little guy had emergency spinal surgery at the end of February, was on bedrest for six weeks and is still waiting for most of his back fur to regrow.  It’s sort of like built-in air conditioning, but looks… weird nonetheless.  Nick recently found the breeder’s new website (she was sort of MIA for a while, which fits the bill)– the last thing we need right now is a puppy, but there were three that looked so much like baby Clark that I almost tried to convince Nick this was a good idea.  ‘Tis not.
  2. I know I need to get over myself (and I mostly did this weekend), but as long as we’ve lived in Southie (and in the past two years, right on the water), I couldn’t bring myself to swim at Carson Beach.  Supposedly the beaches in Southie are cleaner than Miami Beach, but… what does that even mean?  Long story short: We all went swimming on Sunday.  And it was actually kind of nice.  So that’s that.
  3. Sunday was National Ice Cream Day.  I don’t know where this crap comes from, but I am happy to celebrate anything that involves sprinkles.
  4. This poodle is one of Grace’s new best friends.  As previously mentioned, she is a miniature dog whisperer.  They flock to her (when she is not chasing them).  
  5. We went for a nice, long walk with my sister in Charlestown on Sunday (which is where we encountered the poodle), strolling through Paul Revere Park and through the Navy Yard.
  6. My first Google Express delivery arrived on Saturday afternoon.  We each received a gift code at last Tuesday’s dinner at Serafina to try out the service, and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed.  I’ve got a gift code to share with you (please see below), too.  The hardest part for me was deciding what to order.  I originally planned to go with diapers (boring, but necessary), but Grace’s size wasn’t available… which was just the motivation I needed to order a few fun things instead.  I love that you can purchase from multiple retailers in the same order.  I ordered some moisturizer and my favorite eye shadow from Ulta, and Go Set a Watchman and a grown-up coloring book from Barnes + Noble.  Everything was delivered the next day (in adorable packaging) during the delivery window I reserved.  I can see this service being perfect for last minute gifts or entertaining (in addition to household staples) and would love to hear if you have or planned to order from Google Express.
  7. We picked up all kinds of good food at the farmers market at Crescent Ridge (plus the ice cream….) on Saturday.  Summer tomatoes are heaven.
  8. A little surprise on a late afternoon walk: a giant sand sculpture in Southie.  
  9. And a leftover from Thursday:  Why bring a teddy bear to a teddy bear picnic when you can bring a slothExactly.

Here are the details for Google Express:

Now through August 2nd, use the code EXPRESSBOSTON to receive $25 off your first purchase with Google Express (limited to the first 2,500 users; please note it is stated in your cart when paying that Google Express may need to authorize payment method for the total amount of your order without the promotional credit, but the promotional credit will be reflected in the amount actually charged to your payment method.

Happy shopping! …Oh, and stay cool.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite way to cool off?

Today: Saturday at the farmers market.

This morning, we took a little drive down 95 to check out the farmers market at Crescent Ridge in Sharon.  I was on a tomato mission (our deck tomatoes are still a week or so away from ripening), but our first stop was to see the cows.

Hi, ladies.

It’s been raining off and on all day, so we didn’t last too long, but we did manage to pick up lunch (and dessert x2) and a few things from several vendors.  Oh, and we unexpectedly ran into two local celebrities… my parents.  Grace was quite pleased!

  • Raspberries and heirloom tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Corn from E.L. Silvia Farms
  • Whoopie pies from… Making Whoopie 
  • Pretzel roll sandwiches from Swissbakers
  • Fresh eggs (Nick eats them… I attempt to grow succulents in their shells, it’s how we roll)
  • Beef (Nick eats it… I make no attempts to grow anything anywhere near it)
  • And… ice cream from Crescent Ridge (obvi)

Not bad for a rainy Saturday at the farmers market, eh?  The market is open 11-2 on Saturdays through the end of October.  No guarantees about my parents being there… but you never know.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your Saturday?

 

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 34

I can’t help but think this beautiful stretch of weather we’re having in Boston is reward for the winter that nearly did us all in.  We certainly earned our beach days this year.  Here’s how we spent some of that sunshine this weekend.

The Weekend According to Instagram 34

  1. Technically… this was from this morning.  Also true: The days sort of blend together now that I’m at home.  Bootcamp was canceled this morning, so Grace and I logged a few miles at Castle Island.  Boats, puppies and old people are our jam.
  2. We’ve been living out of a beach bag lately.  I’ll share a few of our essentials later this week, but I wanted to be sure to share a little offer from the lovely folks at Block Island Organics.  Use the code ‘elizabeth’ to save 15% on their site this week.  With so many options available for sunscreen and sunblock, I’ve been making an extra effort this summer to make better choices for me and our family.  To learn more about sun safety and how to choose the best sunscreen for you, I recommend checking out their Smart Suncare section. [P.S. I can’t type “Block Island Organics” without singing the Sail away on the Block Island Ferry jingle…]
  3. Fresh mozzarella + summer tomatoes + basil from the deck = Every, single meal.
  4. Nick has been giving our usual green juice a summer kick by topping each jar off with coconut water.  It’s really, really good (go do it).
  5. Speaking of drinks, I was super excited (and yes… this is the kind of thing that excites me these days) to find Crescent Ridge milk at Whole Foods Market in the South End this weekend.  Growing up, we had Crescent Ridge delivered to our house each week.  The milk man would leave the same glass bottles in a refrigerator box outside our house.  Oh and for the record: I am 33, not 103… and grew up in a suburb outside the city, not in a little house on the prairie.  I promise this sort of thing really did (and still does, I think?) happen.  Regardless, I had my Sunday morning chai latte with a little Crescent Ridge and a trip down memory lane.  Also: I love those glass bottles.
  6. This little lady is my heart in a hat.
  7. My younger brother (and one of Grace’s four favorite uncles) celebrated his birthday this weekend.  We love you, little buddy!
  8. You can see the full (3 second) video on Instagram, but essentially… this is dog jumping into a pool at a competition across the street from our house.  After seeing the tents and stands set up on Friday for the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge, I knew we needed to check it out.  It was super entertaining… and sort of like Best in Show IRL.
  9. Our deck herb plants are officially out of control.  We’ve got Italian basil, purple basil, spicy basil, chives, rosemary and lemon thyme to put to good use this week.  I’m starting with a little green goddess dressing and roasted potatoes with thyme.
  10. A little nap time project in the works.  I didn’t get much drawing or painting done this week, but have been sneaking in little bouts of creativity when the mood (and 10 minutes) strikes.
  11. When there are giant inflatable bunnies in your ‘hood, you visit them.  No questions asked.
  12. Same goes for most animals (real or not, in our neighborhood or not).  Grace loves just about anything with four legs, especially all the friendly farm animals at Drumlin Farm.   I swear our Audubon membership was some of the best money I’ve spent.

Needless to say, we are in love with summer.

Also On Tap for Today:

How would you use an overabundance of fresh herbs?

Today: Ready for Action! (a preview and giveaway)

One of the many advantages to being home these days is the opportunity to take my workouts outside.  In addition to long walks and short runs at Castle Island (who can beat that view?), Grace and I recently started joining my sister-in-law and friends for a stroller-friendly bootcamp a few mornings a week. 

I am absolutely loving it.  It’s exactly the structure and community I’ve been craving.  I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun working out, and it certainly helps having a cute little spectator cheering me on.  After having spent most of the winter cooped up inside, though, it’s taken me a while to get my act together in prepping for these workouts.  From sunscreen and plenty of water, to diaper stuff, toys and snacks (Grace snacks while I work out… I think she has the right idea), to a yoga mat and resistance bands, I’m bound to forget something.

After falling for nearly every product inside the Hello, Beauty! bag from Whole Foods Market, I was so excited to hear that they would be releasing a second bag, filled with Whole Body products, just in time for summer…. and just in time for me to stop making a second or third trip back inside our condo before bootcamp.  

My lovely friends at Whole Foods Market River Street in Cambridge hooked me up with a complimentary Ready for Action bag to preview before they are available in stores on Saturday… aaaand I’ve got one for you, too!

Each Ready for Action bag contains a carefully curated collection: sunscreen, aloe, Toms of Maine deodorant, arnica gel, Nuun electrolyte tablets and superfood shake mixes, along with coupons for other great products.  And the bag itself is really cheery.  It is hand-printed bag by RIJI Green, a company committed to ending human trafficking.  It’s perfect for storing sunscreen and snacks (clearly, we are all about the snacks) in your beach or gym bag.

When it comes to active living, our local Whole Foods Market really is a one-stop shop.  I know the products and ingredients on the shelves are going to be safe and family-friendly, which I can’t necessarily say about so-called nutrition and supplement stores.  

I couldn’t wait to put the Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen and Boiron Arnicare Gel to good use during this week’s workouts, and I’m looking forward to mixing the Amazing Grass vanilla chai Amazing Meal into my next shake.

You can pick up a Ready for Action bag for just $12 (it is valued at $50) tomorrow, Saturday June 27th at 10 AM at your local U.S. Whole Foods Market store, in the Whole Body department.

Ready for Action giveaway

I’m excited to share a Ready for Action bag with one U.S. reader.  To enter, please comment below.  A winner (though… you’re, like, all winners… and don’t you forget it) will be randomly selected on Tuesday, June 30th.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your list of summer essentials?

Today: Cleaning up at the farmers market, Whole Foods and freshii.

I held off on our grocery shopping this week until we had a chance to swing by our neighborhood’s Farmers Market (on West Broadway on Mondays, 12-6PM — click here to find a farmers market in your ‘hood).  

Clearly someone was excited to get her hands on a summer tomato.

We ended up checking off quite a few items from our shopping list:

  • a pint of grape tomatoes, a head of speckled romaine lettuce, a pint of strawberries and a bunch of asparagus from Freitas Farm
  • a bunch of kale and a half dozen or so tomatoes from Wenger Farm in Bellingham   

After walking back home and unloading our haul (minus the tomato that Grace ate like an apple on the way home, and the half pint of strawberries we shared as soon as we got in the door), we finished up our shopping at Whole Foods Market in the South End.  

  • Dairy: organic whole milk yogurt for Grace, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese
  • Produce: raspberries, blueberries, English cucumber, green apples, garlic, red onion, bananas, carrots, celery, ginger root, grapes, watermelon
  • Staples: quinoa, pearled couscous, canned whole tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas
  • Non-vegetarian things for my non-vegetarian husband: two spicy Italian sausages (basically, this is how I buy meat: I go to the butcher’s counter, have a mild panic attack, point to something and say a random number… in this case, two)
  • Impulse purchase: Caprese salad from the antipasto bar 

After the longest… winter… ever…. during which we ordered more…. pizza… thanweshouldhave… we’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up our meals. Being home and having more flexibility and time to shop, prep and cook has certainly helped, but I think our efforts (and all that sunshine) are definitely paying off.  I’ve been sleeping better, have more energy, and look less zombie-ish (I think).  I’ve kicked my Diet Coke habit (though I did sneak a few sips at my brother and sister-in-law’s cookout after Sunday’s 5k), have fewer sugar cravings, and generally just feel… less like someone who ate too much pizza.

I recently had the chance to check out the new freshii location that opened in the Back Bay this spring.  Freshii generously offered me a gift card for my first visit, and I’ve been back several times (both to the Back Bay and Fort Point locations) since.  It’s so nice to have a convenient and affordable place nearby to stop in for a quick, healthy meal or pick-me-up.  Their juices and salads, in particular, are really fantastic and I love freshii’s commitment to sustainability and their “Mission Green.”

Oh, and their frozen yogurt?  It’s the perfect compliment to all those fruits and vegetables.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where is your favorite place to food shop?

 

Today: One tough mother and a Ziploc® brand giveaway.

 

This post is sponsored by Ziploc® brand. I received product and compensation, but as always, the opinions shared here are my own. I truly appreciate your support of the brands that, you know, support On Tap for Today.

While I couldn’t be more happy and proud to be a mom, motherhood can be tough. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by tough mothers who serve as role models, advisors and middle-of-the-night “Is anyone else awake?” text-mates. I would be lost without the close-knit community of mothers we’ve formed since Grace was born. 

We benefit from the fact that we’ve grown up differently, have our own parenting styles, and our little ones are at various stages of walking, running, climbing, talking and, yes… biting. One mom’s tough day might be someone else’s proverbial walk in the park, but we’re all in this together. In that spirit, I’ve partnered with Ziploc® brand to share a few lessons I’ve learned over the past 16 months (some from friends, others from trial and error…there’s been a lot of that).

Whenever possible, plan ahead

It only takes running out of diapers on the road once before over-planning and over-packing becomes second nature for even the most disorganized crew. Though it takes a bit of energy (which can be tough to find at the end of the day), I swear by this rule: Clean out, re-pack and re-stock before going to bed. This works wonders for a diaper bag, but it can be applied to your gym bag or handbag (Side bar: Is it true that fanny packs are making a comeback?).

 

Ziploc® brand Freezer Bags Quart with Easy Open Tabs are the perfect size to hold 3-4 of Grace’s tiny diapers and a few wipes. I can quickly stash this bag in any handbag or tote to run errands or take a quick trip. The new Easy Open Tabs make Ziploc® brand bags really easy to grip and open, which helps because so much of parenthood is spent with one hand full.

Available in freezer, storage, sandwich and snack varieties (in a number of sizes), the new Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs can store food, art supplies and other household items. These are great for keeping an extra change of clothes (one for me, one for the baby) and keeping dirty laundry separate in the event of spill, spit-up or other excitement.  All Ziploc® brand bags can be recycled at your local grocery store.

 

At 33, not only did I just discover the merits of our freezer, I’ve also (finally) started putting some real effort into meal planning. Nothing beats waking up to a pre-prepped breakfast, or coming home to an effortless dinner. Tossing ingredients for fresh juice in a Ziploc® brand bag with Easy Open Tabs at night makes sticking with a juicing routine so much easier. The same goes for chopped vegetables for a salad or for roasting, soup that can be frozen and reheated, and a cool summer treat.

Take notes

Lately, if you tell me something (especially if I am in the midst of multi-tasking), there’s a chance I may forget it. But, what if I write that same thing down (or see it written down)? It’s trapped in my brain forever. With multiple schedules and social security numbers to memorize (seriously, I still can’t remember my child’s number… is that normal?), I think we could all use a break. Figure out your learning style (you likely know this already, you’re a grown-up after all), and do what works for you.  For visual learners like myself, we’ve got to take notes.

Other times to take notes:

  • At the pediatrician’s office: Both before and during visits. Our doctor encourages us to come with a list of questions.
  • Future plans: I keep a running list of books I want to read, movies I want to watch, and museums I want to check out (the Eric Carle Museum is at the top of the list for a summer visit). I also take notes for paintings or art projects while I am out on the go (because this is when inspiration most often strikes… not when I am actually sitting down with a blank page). 
  • The daily routine: Sure, it’s routine for us, but having notes on your little one’s “schedule” (whatever that means, these days) is really helpful if you need someone to step in for the day. It’s also pretty amazing to look back and see how this routine has changed. I have an iPhone note from when Grace was 3 or 4 months old that details every waking and feeding…we’ve come a long way, baby.

In the spirit of staying organized, I attempted to pack light for a recent work trip and realized I could keep my flight info and plane-friendly toiletries (I had electronic boarding passes and wanted to be covered just in case I lost my phone or whatever other imaginary scenario I had dreamed up) stored in a Ziploc® brand bag with Easy Open Tabs. I thought I was a genius.

Take care of yourself

I think it’s possible to balance both the importance of self-care, and the realities of life.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I got a massage or manicure.  My “me” time often consists of a quick trip to the grocery store.  And that’s okay.  But it’s important to do something for yourself.  It’s important to make time for the things that you love to do.  And it’s important, above all, to take care of yourself.

For me, that means having a little sketchbook on hand, traveling with little luxuries like cuticle oil (it’s easy to apply in the car before you start a trip and so good for your nails) and light, natural roll-on fragrance in a Ziploc® brand Snack bag with Easy Open Tabs, always having a great playlist ready to go, and keeping a stash of magazines to enjoy during Grace’s nap time.

The best way I can think of to take care of yourself, though, is by asking for help when you need it. Lean on your family, friends and fellow tough mothers for support. We need each other, and that’s a good thing.

“Team Tough Mother” at Tough Mudder events

To celebrate the launch of their new bags, Ziploc® brand is partnering with one of the most challenging events around, Tough Mudder, in celebration of moms who are taking on a whole new level of strength. They’re creating Ziploc® Team Tough Mother to compete at Tough Mudder events across the country to honor tough mothers everywhere. By the way, I love this Ziploc® Tough Mother YouTube video created to mimic real-life motherhood; some days I really do feel like I am completing an obstacle course!

New England friends: It’s not too late to sign up for this year’s Tough Mudder on June 6-7 at Mount Snow. You’ll find Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs at bag drops to store your gear during and after the event.

You can find more inspiration from Ziploc® brand and other Tough Mothers by visiting www.Ziploc.com.

Giveaway

To win your own set of Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs, please leave a comment below. This giveaway is open to US residents and will close on Friday, June 12th.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Another great use for your plastic bags: printmaking with Alisa Burke
  • Working on our summer bucket list
  • Potting this year’s first tomatoes!

When the going gets tough… let’s hear your best tips!