Today: For my Peeps.

This is probably the last post my teeth want me to write, what with our two unplanned trips to the dentist last week… but um… YOLO.  And PEEPO (that doesn’t mean anything… or at least I don’t think it does).

for my peeps

Easter is just a few days away, which means a lot of things.  In the interest of being inclusive, I’d like to focus on one (very unimportant, not at all holy) aspect of the week. Easter time is high season for Peeps.  I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I do love a (pure sugar) bunny or chick this time of year.

If you’re wondering what to do with the Peeps in your basket (besides get a cavity), I’ve got a few ideas.

Ideas for my Peeps (and your Peeps, too):

Happy Peepin’…

P.S. This post is not sponsored.  Nor is it particularly healthy or inspiring.  But, um… whatever.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Push-up playdate!
  • Beautiful egg decorating ideas from Alisa Burke
  • Playing “pretend egg hunt” in our 1200 square foot condo… needless to say, many, many eggs have ended up in Clark’s food bowl

Salty or sweet?  (Both is a totally acceptable answer.)

Today: 2016 Boston Flower and Garden Show.

I look forward to the Boston Flower and Garden Show every year.  It means spring is just around the corner, and I get a chance to see how the other half (the half that can keep flowers and plants alive) lives.  Plus, flowers are fun to draw and paint, so it’s the perfect place to get a bit of inspiration.

This year I brought baby Nick with me to enjoy the roses, daffodils, pansies and pitcher plants… but he snoozed through most of it while I snapped away with my trusty sidekick iPhone.  

The 2016 Boston Flower and Garden Show

A few of my favorites photos from the show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

boston flower and garden show

The colorful beehive is my favorite.  Do you think I could keep, like, tee shirts in there?  Instead of bees?

Also On Tap for Today:

Today: What I made | 004

It’s 70 degrees and the sun is shining in Boston, so we’re making a dash for the Harbor Walk (it’s where we do our best puppy watching).  I’ll leave you with a few sunny creations from the past week or so.

What I made | 004

Materials used: Small hardbound sketchbook, watercolors, round brushes (sizes 2 and 6), Winsor and Newton drawing ink and acrylic paint.

I’ve been following along with Courtney Pilgrim’s Make Your Mark prompts — they’re the perfect way to keep up with a daily creative practice.  The last painting (sort of abstracted storm clouds) is my favorite, so far. I think a weather series would be fun.  The senior citizen in me just loves a good weather forecast.  And trips to the post office.

Materials used: Acrylic paint, black gesso, watercolors, Winsor and Newton drawing ink, white gel pen, and a pair of small + extremely sharp scissors (I’ve got the wounds to prove it).

I can’t believe the first Get Messy Art Journal season of the year is already winding down.  I’ve filled this sketchbook with lots of bright colors and happy sayings, though these pages are a bit moodier than others.  The quote about breaking through is from a recent Elephant Journal post.  It just seemed right to cut the edges of that page, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Materials used: Cold pressed watercolor paper (9 x 12), watercolor paint and a round #2 brush.

These paintings for Grace and our two nieces came together really quickly (as things must during Grace’s naps, which are getting shorter and shorter).  I almost made one for Clark… but no.

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?

Today: Last week’s workouts + a BeFit giveaway

Consider this post a two-for-one special… two weeks, one post.  Or, a three-for-one if you count the BeFit giveaway.  I’m all for rounding up.

last weeks workouts be fit giveaway

Last week’s workouts

Monday: Class with the Mama Beasts (a new session just started, and Saturday classes will be starting soon — check out the Quiet Beasts website for more info), BeFit Cardio Extreme (12 minutes)

Tuesday: BeFit Dynamic Strength (12 minutes), yoga (Mellow Me Out with One0Eight.tv — I am obsessed with this slow stretch)

Wednesday: Class with the Mama Beasts 

Thursday: Rest day (and lots of stretching… my birth week had me feeling especially old and creaky)

Friday: Class with the Mama Beasts, BeFit Lower Body Blast (10.5 minutes)

Saturday: Special challenge class with the Mama Beasts (aaaand it was a tough one)

Sunday: Rest

last weeks workouts befit giveaway

BeFit Toned Abs + Arms

…and the week before last week’s workouts

Monday: Class with the Mama Beasts 

Tuesday: BeFit Toned Abs and Arms (13 minutes)

Wednesday: Class with the Mama Beasts

Thursday: Make-up class with the Mama Beasts — 12 Days of Christmas!  I’m really glad I made it to this class, as I missed this workout when Antoinette ran it in December, just after Nick was born.  I had to scale back some of the running (indoor laps instead of outdoor) half-way through… I pretended I needed to be close to the babes, but in reality, my lungs and legs were burning).  Merry Christmas, body!

Friday: Class with the Mama Beasts, BeFit Toned Abs and Arms — class three days in a row was no joke, but I really liked the abs/arms workout from earlier in the week, so I snuck that in, too.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Yoga (Mellow Me Out… again, and a yin yoga class)

BeFit Giveaway

last weeks workouts befit giveaway

In addition to making it to class four times both weeks (there was an extra class held both weeks), I managed to sneak in a few short at-home workouts, too.  I’m really enjoying BeFit’s 30 Day Workout Calendar, which corresponds to this YouTube playlist.  The program is free to access — I definitely recommend checking it out.

Each workout is short, but intense (check out this intro video to learn more) — perfect for fitting in between appointments, during nap time, or whenever your schedule allows.  You could work through the 30 day calendar as it is laid out, or pick and choose, as I have been doing.  This program is both really well organized and manageable (especially when you consider how little time you need to carve out) — and the variety of workouts has kept me feeling engaged and motivated.  

befit giveaway

As a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I was given the chance to review BeFit’s 30 Day Fat Burn program and received a generous gift of BeFit nutritional products from the company.  

Because I’m breastfeeding Nick, I am not taking any supplements (just a prenatal vitamin and my good ol’ Floridix for anemia), but I’ve heard great things about the products we received from my fellow ambassadors and look forward to trying them in the future.  I’m especially excited to try the pre-workout formula, as well as a few of the whey protein recipes that BeFit has shared on Instagram.  If you’d like to win your own gift set from BeFit, please see details below.

You can use any of the following methods to enter (each option will earn you an entry; please leave a separate comment below for each entry): 

Giveaway restrictions:

  • U.S. only
  • One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from BeFit through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner. 

One winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday, March 10th.

This post is sponsored by BeFit, in partnership with Sweat Pink.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Really helpful… and kind of cool: 36 Pictures To See Which Muscle You’re Stretching via Be Young Be Green 
  • Listening to Grace repeatedly talk about how she is going to pick up the Easter Bunny and take him for a walk (???)
  • Catching up on #makeyourmarkMARCH

What’s your favorite work out these days?

Today: Happy weekend.

This isn’t smell-o-vision (and yes, apparently that was a real thing), so you’ll have to take my word for it.  These hyacinths smell incredible.  There may be a dusting of snow on my car this morning, but there are near-70 degree days in the forecast.

happy weekend hyacinths

We’re almost there, people.

Happy weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

 

Today: March goals (and a printable calendar).

It’s March 1st, which means

march goals printable calendar

Materials used: Zig Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors, Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen (black), round brushes (sizes 2 and 4)

You can download your March calendar here.

March goals 

Family

  • This is mortifying… but I still need to make Nick’s birth announcement…
  • Date night afternoon at the museum
  • Make a few playdates for Grace
  • Make a “warmer weather” bucket list

Wellness

  • Continue to workout at least twice in the real world and twice at home (per week)
  • Meet my fitbit goals (10,000 steps/30 minutes of activity/10 floors climbed) 5 days a week
  • Increase low plank hold to 45 seconds, high plank to 1 minute 
  • Register for 2 spring races
  • Less TV, more reading

Home

  • Organize and donate Nick’s too-small baby clothes 
  • Wash deck windows
  • Limit food waste

Community

  • Make plans with friends
  • Win March Madness (or whatever)
  • Enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Southie

I hope your March is… super.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on tap for your March?

Today: Currently | February 2016

Am I the only adult who spells February wrong at least 78% of the time?  Regardless of how you spell it, February has been a really good month.  Just ask these two.

currently february

Currently | February 2016

Reading

  • This article on the ambition gap that my sister shared with me: America loves women like Hillary Clinton as long as they’re not asking for a promotion by Sady Doyle, qz.com
  • An embarrassing number of toddler development books… I mostly have no idea what I am doing… except I believe you’re not supposed to laugh when your toddler’s being fresh.  Even when her response to “Why are you standing on the table?” is “Because I’m being a freshie.”
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again)

Listening to

  • Foo Fighters on Spotify + noise-canceling headphones (this is how I survived getting a crown at the dentist last weekend)
  • Season 2 of Serial – I keep thinking I am done (I’m still not sure how I feel about this season), but then I get hooked.  That Sarah Koenig, man.  

castle island february

Watching

  • The St. Patrick’s Day decorations go up around the neighborhood
  • We just caught up on Homeland and now I’m morbidly depressed (I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, so I will just say this, I think you-know-who is still alive… which makes me think his or her life is going to be even more miserable going forward.  Also, post-partum hormones are real.  And TV characters are not.  But whatever.)
  • Election coverage… and now I’m morbidly depressed.  And we have months and months and months of this crap to endure.

Hi, baby Nick.

Enjoying

  • Signs of spring out at Castle Island (Sully’s opened this weekend)
  • A month of really consistent workouts
  • Baby wearing – I had forgotten how good it feels (and how it magically soothes a little one)
  • Grace’s newfound love for telling “jokes” (a recent favorite: “Grandpa is your sister!  It’s a joke!”)

Feeling

  • Extra productive and creative on some days, and like a nearly-expired sloth on others.
  • An itch to sign up for a race or two or six.  Blame the 50 degree weather and a fresh pair of sneaks.

Alright, I’m off to make the most of Leap Day… or as I think of it, an additional 24 hours for everyone to plan an extravagant birthday surprise for me.  Just kidding.  Also, I kind of hate surprises.  Toodles!

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Happy Leap Day!
  • Speaking of, what’s the point of Leap Day? via The Telegraph
  • Getting a printable March calendar ready for tomorrow #lastminuteLarry

What was the highlight of your February?

Today: What I made | 003

What I made this week: A crappy video.  Olé!  (I’ll embed it below for your viewing pleasure so you can mock me.)  I also made some other stuff.  Mostly all on the same night.  Nick and I caught up on Homeland (by watching 900 episodes), and I was afraid to go to bed since Carrie and Saul’s escapades usually give me ridiculous nightmares.  

So I made a bunch of stuff, and then went to bed.  And had nightmares about the toxicity of acrylic paint.  Whatever, man.  Here’s what I made.

What I made | 003

what i made watercolor no mud no lotus

Materials used: Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen (blue) and Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors

This sketchbook goes from subdued (this page) to extra jazzy (everything that follows) very quickly.  The quote is from No Mud, No Lotus and the pen is from college.  Those things seem to last forever.  

what i made

Materials used: Sharpie permanent marker, magazine cut-out, the Wall Street Journal, Micron pen (black 01), acrylic paint, glue stick

We recently started receiving someone else’s WSJ.  After three calls to their customer service line and just as many promises that delivery would be stopped, it’s still showing up on our door step (and piling up in our building’s lobby).  

One of the Get Messy Art Journal program’s recent prompts was street art-inspired, so I used a page of our magically appearing newspaper as a background.   I’m quite pleased with the hand lettering and I’m glad I hung onto that random hummingbird cut out (which, I’m fairly certain, came from a car ad).  

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] Acrylic paint, Micron pen (black 01); [Right side] Strathmore Artist Tiles (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), foil sheets, Micron pen (black 01)

That’s supposed to say “trembling”… not t-r-e-m-f-l-i-n-g.  The b looks like an f… and I meant to fix it, but forgot.  Anyway, you get the point.  

The right hand page is another Get Messy-inspired page.  I loved scrolling through Instagram to see how everyone else used that same quote (hi, Julia).  And I love cutting up my sketchbook a bit so other pages peek through.

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] White velum, Micron (black 1), acrylic paint, Uni Posca paint pen (black); [Right side] Acrylic paint, magazine cut-outs, glue stick

On the flip side, a great quote about happiness and and door… and some of the coral acrylic paint that I accidentally spilled all over my palette, thus necessitating I use far more of it than planned.  (I sort of wish I had spilled the sky blue instead… can’t win ’em all.)  Plus a bunch of windows… and a door.

 

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] Handmade Modern acrylic paint (platinum, from Target), Winsor and Newton professional watercolor tubes (moved around the page with a paper straw), Uni Posca paint pen (black); [Right side] Winsor and Newton watercolor paint (black), acrylic paint, Gelly Roll pen (white)

Some brain wave-ish watercolors, a “good ideas” light bulb and more cut pages.

what i made

Materials used: [Left side] All pink everything… Winsor and Newton pigment markers, Sakura Koi brush pens, Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen, acrylic paint, watercolor paint; [Right side] Grey acrylic paint, paper scraps (cut into cone flower shapes), white Gelly Roll pen, glue stick

The all pink page is sort of a little sister to something I made earlier this month and the right side is evidence that I can’t stop making cone flowers.

gelli plate what i made

Materials used: Gel printing plate, acrylic paint, string, cardstock circle, gold leaf, Uni Posca paint pen (yellow), Micron (purple, 01… I think).

Lastly, I’m finally starting to get a hang of my Gelli plate (used for making mono prints).  I’ve had one for ages, but never liked anything I made with it.  I think I was over-thinking the process… which is kind of how I roll.  

I really like these two pages though.  I added a bit of leftover gold leaf and some doodling to make the circle look more like the moon.

Ok… now for the video.

Art Journal Flip Through Video | February 2016

Art Journal Flip Through | February 2016 from Elizabeth D. on Vimeo.

I’m looking forward to making a few more of these videos and improving as I go.  I’m glad I managed to paint my nails before filming, though.  That’s got to count for something.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?

Today: Library finds.

library finds

Recent library finds:

  • Paper to Petal: 75 Whimsical Flower Ideas to Craft By Hand by Rebecca Thuss // I’m not crafting anything whimsical by hand at the moment… but this book is a great visual reference for a painting class I am taking (Pam Garrison’s Painting Petals class)
  • Cat Says Meow and Other Animalopoea by Michael Arndt // This book is incredibly clever.
  • Fabulous Fishes by Susan Stockdale // Grace really likes the illustrations in this one, and I like the little reference guide at the back.  Apparently the real, common name for pufferfish is… pufferfish.  And they’re poisonous.
  • The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman // I own the Flower Recipe Book (and love it), so I thought I’d borrow the plant version from the library.  I like this one mostly because I am pretending that a. It’s not winter, and b. I can keep plants alive for more than a week.  Like Paper to Petal, this is a great reference for painting.
  • Anything in the Peas series by Keith Baker // Grace’s cousins got her one of these books for Christmas and we’ve been hooked on the whole series.  Just last week I caught Grace “reading” to Clark, “We are peas!  Alphabet peas!  We work and play in the A-B-Cs!”  
  • I stumbled upon an entire child development section in the children’s library at our local branch in Southie.  It’s skewed a bit older than our children, but I could see it being really helpful in the future (there were a lot of books about helping your children succeed in school, etc.).  
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee // I tried to finish Go Set a Watchman, but I just couldn’t hang.  And I sort of feel like maybe it shouldn’t have been published, especially if it wasn’t intended to be published.  Starting it made me want to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird (one of the very few books I can stand to re-read), though.  So, so good. 

Cleary I don’t read much in the way of normal and grown-up books anymore… but hey.  I know a tiny bit more about pufferfish.  So, there’s that.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you reading these days?

 

Today: Postcrossing | Mail from strangers

I’ve gotten so used to connecting (like, not in a creepy way) with people online that comments, pins“likes”, whatever those heart things on Periscope are called and emails to/from strangers seem normal.  

postcrossing

If, a month ago, you suggested I start sending and receiving actual mail from strangers, though… I would have assumed you were trying to have me murdered.  Or added to some sort of watch list.  We all know I have an active imagination.

I stumbled upon Postcrossing a few weeks ago, though, and my curiosity trumped my suspicion, so I signed up and headed promptly to the post office for some global forever stamps.  

Side note: Did you know global forever stamps were a thing?  I spent entire days of my working life in line at the post office (not an exaggeration… and, on second thought, I am probably already on various government lists because of those days) trying to get mail to various corners of the globe and I had no idea.  Also, I love the post office.  I just do.

Postcrossing

postcrossing

Postcards from… people I don’t know.

Postcrossing is a free community that connects (hopefully normal non-muderous) people all over the globe with the goal of sending and receiving postcards.  When you join, you request your first recipient’s address and send a postcard to that person.  As soon as your postcard is received, your name and address are given to another member and the cycle continues.  

In just a few weeks, I’ve sent eight postcards and received four.  Each postcard has a unique registration code, and the site tracks how far your cards have traveled, how long each traveled for, and other interesting stats.  I’m not really a numbers person, but love checking my personal map.  

postcrossing

Who knows what (if anything) I’ll do with them, but for now I’m keeping the postcards on a little binder-ring-thing.

So far, I’ve sent postcards to 

  • Belarus
  • Canada
  • Germany (2)
  • Russia
  • China 
  • Taiwan
  • Estonia

And received postcards from

  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Great Britain
  • Netherlands

I like reading about people’s lives (what people choose to write about really varies) and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of coming up with something interesting to share about my own life.  Postcrossing is sort of like a low-commitment (you only request an address when you’re ready or want to send a postcard) grown-up pen pal thing.  You can learn more here.

Projects like this help make the world feel a bit friendlier than the news would lead us to believe.  Plus, it’s really nice to have something other than my next door neighbor’s Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon in the mailbox.

Also On Tap for Today:

Did you have a pen pal growing up?