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Grocery haul + meal plan

Current forecast: Soup weather.

grocery haul meal plan

Baby Nick and I broke from our usual routine (mid-week shopping at Whole Foods) and hit up Wegman’s on our way home from our first Mama Beast workout of the year.  He was very interested in the samples and the train set that is suspended over the hummus area. I was mostly overwhelmed by the crowds and had trouble finding, basically, everything.  True Life: I am intensely a creature of habit.  

Here’s what we picked up.

GROCERY HAUL

  • Produce: Baby spinach, 2 seedless cucumbers, 4 apples, 2 lemons, 1 lime, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, 2 sweet potatoes, shredded carrots, normal carrots, riced cauliflower, 3 bell peppers, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, spring mix with herbs, cherry tomatoes, 2 avocados, garlic, yellow onion, red onion
  • Frozen: Brown rice, Ezekiel bread + tortillas
  • Dairy: Milk for baby Nick, Stonyfield organic yogurt for Nick and Grace, unsweetened vanilla almond milk for me, Chobani yogurt dip, fresh mozzarella 
  • Grocery: 2 cans of organic black beans, Cheerios for the babes, Erewhon g/f rice cereal for me, dried lentils, apple sauce, almonds, walnuts
  • Random: Lemon + dill hummus, 1 salt bagel (see also: shopping while hungry), g/f pretzels for me, pretzel sticks for Grace
  • Meat: Grass-fed beef for Nick 

And here’s what I plan to make this week…

MEAL PLAN

  • Cauliflower rice + beans (made this tonight — super easy and satisfying): sautéed cauliflower with a tsp of olive oil, plus salt + pepper, topped with black beans, sautéed onion + garlic with Cajun spices, cherry tomatoes + cilantro.
  • Baked stuffed sweet potatoes (with black beans, simple homemade salsa + guacamole)
  • Salads and veggie wraps for lunch
  • This delicious lentil soup from Sprouted Kitchen (h/t to my friend Laura for sharing the recipe) – I’ve made it twice in the last week (pictured above) and cannot get enough of it.  
  • Apple + sharp cheddar quesadillas on sprouted tortillas

Oh, and avocado toast… because I catch on to trends six months late.  At the earliest. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you cooking up this week?

 

Nick’s 1st Birthday

Today is baby Nick’s 1st birthday.  

In the fastest, most wonderful year, he’s traded this hat:

Nick's 1st Birthday

for this (ridiculous, but I couldn’t help myself) hat:

Nick's 1st Birthday

I love this beautiful, curious, adventurous, and sweet boy with all my heart.  

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you a hat person?

Today: Happy Weekend.

It’s barely 8:30 AM and we’re already on our third pair of shoes.  Grace has settled on these, the perfect (tiny) weekend shoes.

I hope you’ve either got your feet up, or a fantastic pair of shoes on.  

Happy Weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

Today: Happy Weekend.

October beach days are lovely.  There are no crowds, no man Speedos (no offense, men who wear Speedos), and very little risk of being hit in the head by a Frisbee (never say never).  

Lately, Grace and I have had the beach to ourselves.  We’ve added to our sea glass and oyster shell collections, and come home with extra windblown ponytails and plenty of sand in our shoes.  

Happy Weekend, my friends.  May your pockets be ever full of seashore treasures, and your ponytails lovingly styled by the wind.  Or whatever.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

 

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 33

We soaked up just enough sunshine this weekend to get us through a rainy start to the week. I hope you all had a lovely couple of days, too!  Here’s what we were up to (in reverse order, Sunday to Saturday…).

The Weekend According to Instagram 33

  1. We enjoyed quite a few walks out at Castle Island this week and weekend, watching the planes flyover and boats come in and out of the harbor.  Oh, and waving to dogs, which is one of Grace’s favorite things to do.  Someone painted this adorable alphabet on the sidewalk near the fort.
  2. My parents’ backyard is in full bloom!  
  3. One of the highlights of our weekend was definitely strawberry picking on Sunday morning at Ward’s Berry Farm.  Grace did some supervising while Nick, my younger brother and I picked nearly a quart of the most delicious strawberries.
  4. Boston was fully decked out for Pride this weekend.  I love this two-story flag hanging in the South End.
  5. This is what I plan to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner this summer.  The basil is from our little deck garden (soon enough we’ll have our own tomatoes, too!).  If only there was such thing as a cheese plant.  It’s important to have dreams.
  6. One of my friends was in town this weekend (yay!) and we met for breakfast and catching up at the Lawn on D.  Such a fun place!

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Today: A slow and quiet Christmas (and a David’s Tea giveaway!)

If I had it my way, we would have a (childproof) Christmas tree up all year long and we’d live next door to the kind of people who leave a plastic Santa on the roof well into the Spring.  There would be an Advent calendar for every month (which, I know, doesn’t vibe with the story of Christmas… but, um, God wants us to be happy).  We’d listen to O, Holy Night every night.  We would say “Happy Holidays” to strangers (and mean it).  We’d always be on the hunt for the perfect gift and everything would smell like peppermint.  On cinnamon.  Oh, and we’d can our nasty ‘tudes (something that seems to magically happen this time of year, albeit temporarily).

More simply put: If I had it my way, it would always be December.  Because, you know, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

A slow and quiet Christmas

With all the energy that goes into baking and shopping, wrapping presents and decking the halls, finding that one broken bulb and hanging up the mistletoe… this can also be an overwhelming time of year.  I leave Thanksgiving dinner with grand Pinterest-fueled plans for the month of December, but by mid-month, what I really need is a nap.

Follow Elizabeth’s board Christmas On Tap on Pinterest.

This year, all I want is a slow and quiet Christmas.

I’m dialing back the decorations (generally speaking, neither lit candles nor glitter are baby-friendly), laying low, and soaking up as much of that Christmas spirit as possible.  Oh, and I’m drinking lots of tea.

a slow and quiet Christmas and a David's Tea giveaway

Growing up, we always had an advent calendar hanging in our kitchen.  It’s a tradition Nick and I have adopted — one I look forward to sharing with Grace.  In the meantime, she’s happy to be crawling here, there, and everywhere with one of the Wise Men from her Little People Nativity. This year, in addition to our traditional advent calendar, I picked up one of the coveted David’s Tea 24 Days of Tea sets.

I can’t wait to open the day’s tea and share a cup with Nick and take stock of the day.  I can see why this set sells out year after year (I lucked out in the Chestnut Hill store) and has become a tradition for so many families.  It’s exactly the quiet and slow I’ve been craving.

While on the hunt for the set, I went on a bit of a shopping tea spree (can we make that a thing, or at the very least, a hashtag?).  I picked up a few gifts for family and friends, some loose tea for yours truly aaaaand I also bought something for one of you, too.

David’s Tea giveaway (closed)

One lovely On Tap for Today reader will receive the Healthy Collection from David’s Tea.  Why?  Because I like you all a lot, and want you to stay healthy and enjoy your own slow and quiet holiday season.  This set includes three teas/infusions and ten filters for steeping your loose tea.  To enter, simply leave a comment below and share your favorite holiday tradition.  A random winner will be chosen and notified on Saturday, December 13th.  Thanks for entering!  Megan B. was chosen and has been notified.

Disclaimer: Don’t get it twisted.  This is not a sponsored post.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • New to the calm and serene world of tea drinking?  Here’s a little Tea 101
  • 21 homemade gift ideas from The Kitchn
  • Stay tuned for two more giveaways this week #tistheseason #partyonwayne

What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Are you having a wild or mild December?

Today: With a little time and a little space.

I used to be a morning exerciser.  I’d wake up before my alarm rang, head to bootcamp or the gym at our old condo.  It would still be dark and quiet when I returned from my workout, and I’d be ready to take on the day.

Fitting in fitness when you have a little time, and a little space

And then I traded morning workouts to become an evening exerciser.  I’d rush home and get changed, and Nick and I would head to CrossFit Southie together.  Like my morning workouts, evening workouts became part of our routine.  

And then I became a parent, and the only thing routine about our routine… is that everything changes from one day to the next.  There have been countless days when I’ve thought, “I’ll get up early and workout before work,” only to find myself up most of the night, nursing Grace and singing made up words to made up songs until she fell back to sleep.  There have been just as many days when I’ve thought, “I’ll workout when I get home.”  But when six o’clock rolls around, what I really need is a nap. 

These days, plans to workout don’t always pan out.  In fact, it seems they rarely do.  What does work, though, is fitting in a little fitness when I can, where I can.  I may not be able to count on an hour at the gym each night, but I can count on a 15 minute walk during lunch, some yoga in Grace’s room while she plays with her Little Tikes piano (not exactly ambient music, but I love it), a little balance work in line at the grocery store, and five minutes of weights while dinner cooks.  

Fitting in fitness when you have a little time, and a little space

Things I love: a little understated flair on my running tights and some pink laces.

I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for a few months for back and hip pain, and she has given me a series of exercises that, as she says, you can do pretty much anywhere and not look like a weirdo.  I like not looking like a weirdo.  And like a quick yoga flow in the nursery or some squats in the kitchen, they require only a little time and a little space.  

Fitting in fitness when you have a little time, and a little space

I’m no longer a solid morning or evening exerciser.  A workout is only going to happen if it’s easy and accessible.  (And if I don’t find or make excuses, but hey.)  In the interest of ease and accessibility, I’ve started laying out my workout gear again and even put together a little home gym in a bin.

CS by City Sports for women

City Sports recently sent me a few items from their CS by City Sports fall line, including the See Me Go 1/2 zip top (on sale for $38), Sporty long sleeve (on sale for $18), and Dual Fashion tight (on sale for $38).   I’ve always loved City Sports and used to walk down to the Chestnut Hill store (which got even better when it reopened last March) when I was in college for new running gear.  Their CS line is an affordable, well-made and well-designed alternative to, welp… the alternatives.  

The See Me Go top is great for layering (and it has thumb holes, yaaaaaasss!), as is the long sleeve tee.  I’ve worn the tights for both workouts and for running errands (paired with a black tunic and ballet flats).  CS by City Sports comes extended sizes (something I think all fitness companies should get on board with), and their apparel is flattering, functional and unfussy.  In other words: exactly what I’m looking for.  

CS by City Sports for women

Speaking of functional and unfussy, here’s my home gym in a bin.  I pulled together the things I use most often, or that could motivate me to fit in a quick workout without much (or any) planning.  

Home gym in a bin

In the bin (which, for bonus points, is paisley and adorable):

Other home gym essentials that didn’t fit in the bin, but that hang out nearby:

  • Foam roller
  • Yoga mat
  • Exercise ball (which doubles as the most amazing way to soothe or rock bounce our baby to sleep — seriously, all parents should have one)

While this little home gym in a bin is cute enough to leave out, it fits perfectly in our front hall closet (safely tucked away from curious babies and Frenchies) and can be pulled out whenever I have a few minutes to fit in a quick workout.  Easy and accessible, functional and unfussy.  

Obvious disclaimer: I received complimentary apparel from City Sports.  As always, thoughts and opinions shared on these items are my own.  Oh, and here’s something timely: City Sports’ Black Friday deals include 30% off CS apparel.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your workout style? 

Today: An inch wide and a mile deep.

Thanks to the lovely people (and they really are lovely) at Whole Foods Market River Street, I had the chance to connect with an incredible organization a couple of months ago (time flies, my friends).  Whole Foods hosted Zane Wilemon and Jeremiah Kuria of CTC International, giving them a platform to share their story with bloggers and social media enthusiasts (who, I am sure, also happen to be Whole Foods ethusiasts and are now firmly CTC enthusiasts).  While we did learn about CTC International’s products, which are available in Whole Foods stores, the real narrative shared was about relationships.  Connectivity.  Community development.

We heard from both Zane and Jeremiah, whose friendship is the foundation on which the organization was built, about the work CTC International does in Kenya, and its impact on education, the environment, the economy, heath, and community.  With projects in each of those five distinct–but clearly interrelated–areas, CTC International takes a holistic approach to community development.  These projects are providing innovative solutions to global issues like HIV/AIDS, deforestation, unemployment, while promoting fundamental human rights and fostering sustainable change.

I had purchased a few L.I.F.E. Line (livelihood, invest, future, empower) products at Whole Foods for stocking stuffers, but after hearing about the women who make the L.I.F.E. jackets and change purses and other items, I loved them even more.  CTC International currently employs 40 women (meet the Malaika mums and read more about the L.I.F.E. Line project here), whose children have special needs and attend a CTC school in Kenya.  Through this project, these remarkable women earn an income, support their children’s education, and create really great looking, sustainable, eco-friendly products.  The organization also employs over 40 Maasi women who create traditional beaded leather bracelets (like the one that joined my arm party above).

Learn more about L.I.F.E. jackets, available at your neighborhood Whole Foods Market, by clicking the photo above.

So much that was shared resonated with me, especially Zane’s observation that their approach is “an inch wide and a mile deep,” as opposed to the opposite (a mile wide and an inch deep), how many Western organizations approach foreign aid.  I know that “throwing money at the problem,” even with the best intentions, does not equate to longterm, viable, appropriate solutions.  Having struggled with this, and the pressure for organizations to get big (and fast), in my own work, it was so affirming to hear how much real, sustainable good has grown from a single friendship, when allowed to grow and deepen and develop.  That depth and sharing of ideas is so important.

What an inspiring evening.  CTC products are all very reasonably priced and make fun gifts.  Check them out at your local Whole Foods, or swing by their online store.

Also On Tap for Today:

Find anything unexpected at the market lately?

Today: June Foodie Penpals.

I received the best foodie penpals package from Taralyn this month.  She sent over all kinds of tasty, gluten free treats.  I can’t wait to dig in and enjoy it all!  I really appreciate all the thought and care that went into this package.

I am a huge fan of chips and salsa (the spicier the better), and loved Taralyn’s idea of baking these Chimayo Red Chile Sandwich Petals (gluten free flatbread) into chips, and topping them with chia, quinoa and flax salsa.  Both sound delicious!

Taralyn included Kathleen’s curried beans with lentils, garbanzos and split peas for a “quick lunch.”  Being a vegetarian, I eat a lot of the magical fruit beans and love keeping easy options like this at the office.

The snap pea crisps and NuGo bar barely made it through Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals (#nervouseating).  I love NuGo bars (they’re gluten free and pack some serious protein) and snacked on the brownie crunch bar, while Nick went to town on the snap peas.

I am especially excited about these honey sticks.  I bet the lemon flavored honey would be perfect in tea (I’ve managed to come down with a summer cold… bring on the tea!).  I had no idea Utah was famous for honey (another reason why the notes our foodie penpals include in each package are always my favorite part!).  Thanks for a wonderful package, Taralyn!

This month, I sent some of my favorite vegan goodies to Sydney.  Click over to her blog to see what I mailed from Boston.  Interested in becoming a foodie penpal?  Lindsay’s got all the details here.  You’ve got a few more days to sign up for July.

Also On Tap for Today:

Which do you prefer: salty or sweet?

 

Today: Girl Rising.

Finding your cause (or causes) may sound daunting, but you likely already know what burns you up.  What keeps you awake at night.  What you find yourself thinking about when you’re supposed to be thinking about something else.  I was flipping through last month’s copy of Yoga Journal (looking at pictures of people doing yoga is just about as close to doing yoga as I’ve come lately, but it’s quite relaxing) and saw this quote, which really resonated with me.

Each of us feels some aspect of the world’s suffering acutely.  And we must pay attention.  We must act.  This little corner of the world is ours to transform.  This little corner of the world is ours to save.”

–Stephen Cope, from The Great Work of Your Life

We are meant to take care of one another, and the best place to start is with the people, places or things we feel most deeply.  I’ve written about a number of incredible organizations, like The Greater Boston Food Bank, before who are not only solving critical problems, but also engaging regular people like you and me in the process.  We can certainly act on our own — and these small acts are important — but being a non-profit leader myself (that’s how I bring home the imitation bacon bits), I know how critical collaboration and sharing the story of your work can be.

[Image source: girlrising.com]

My hope is that by sharing the stories of organizations and individuals that have captured my heart here On Tap every once in a while, you may find a new cause to engage with, or an organization to support.  And I would love for you to share suggestions in the comments below for future posts.  Let’s round out the week on an inspired and empowered note (before we go on to party like it’s 1999, or in my case… 1749 or whenever people went to bed at 7:30 PM).

10×10 and Girl Rising

I had a chance to attend a screening of Girl Rising with several work colleagues earlier this month.  After leaving the theatre, I knew I couldn’t keep this one to myself.

Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries (including Haiti and Afghanistan), written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses.  Interspersed between each girl’s story is eye-opening (sometimes jaw dropping) information about the state of girls’ education on our planet, and the very real impact educating a girl can have on our global society, economy, and health.  10×10 worked with a number of impact partners, those organizations on the the ground in each of those 9 countries.  You can learn more about these impact partners here.

There are screenings being held in numerous communities, but the film is airing on national television this weekend.  This is DVR worthy – trust me.

North America and Latin America

  • Sunday June 16th
  • Eastern: 9pm premiere, 12am (June 17th) rebroadcast
  • Central: 8pm premiere, 11pm rebroadcast
  • Mountain: 7pm premiere, 10pm rebroadcast
  • Pacific: 6pm premiere, 9pm rebroadcast

 I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the film, and encourage you to share your favorite cause or organization below.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s one organization or cause you’d like to share?