Memorial Day has come and gone. Time to put on your white pants, your white shoes, your white hats…. and make a summer bucket list.
We have time booked down the Cape (I’d be happy if the only item on my summer bucket list was “be at the Cape as much as possible, if not more”) and a weekend in Maine for a wedding, but the rest of our summer is free for all sorts of adventures. Or naps.
Mini golf. We pass by the golf course at Franklin Park a few times a week and Grace is fascinated. She keeps asking if Uncle Christopher will take her (and a dog… presumably Clark?) golfing. I sort of think mini golf might be more our speed. Holiday Hill in Dennisport is an old favorite, but there’s also McGolf closer to the city, in Dedham.
Take a boat somewhere. Another special request from Grace.
Swimming lessons for both babes. We took a little hiatus when Nick was born, but he’s now old enough for class and Grace has missed taking lessons, so we’ve got them signed up for back-to-back classes. We spend so much time near the water (we live across the street from the ocean + my parents have a pool), that focusing on water safety is sort of a non-negotiable. Plus, lessons are fun. And baby bathing suits are ridiculous.
Visit a lighthouse.
Read 5+ beach books. I feel like I used to read 1,003 books each summer. And if I counted how many times I’ve read Elmo Goes to the Potty, I’d probably be close already. And it’s been less than 24 hours since Memorial Day. But I’m talking about real, actual, normal, grown-up books. Please let me know if you have recommendations!
Visit Martha’s Vineyard and/or Nantucket. Both are easy trips from the Cape… and require boat travel, thus checking off two bucket list items. I love being efficient (mostly because it’s a very rare occurrence these days).
Make a non-dangerous (if that’s possible) slip-n-slide. Maybe get helmets. And mouth guards.
Mix protein powder, nut butter and oats in your food processor or blender.
Add agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt and pulse until dough is well combined.
Move mixture to a small bowl and carefully stir in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into small balls and place in a parchment-lined container, store in the refrigerator. Or just, like, eat them.
Recipe notes: You can use your favorite protein powder for this recipe — chocolate or vanilla would work great. And feel free to use maple syrup in place of agave. Oh, and you can omit the chocolate chips (thereby omitting the fun… but, hey) if you’d like.
I used a brand-new blend from Bob’s Red Mill line of nutritional boosters and am completely hooked. It’s made from pea protein powder, chicory root fiber, chia seeds, probiotics, and sweetened with monk fruit extract. It is gluten free, vegan, a good source of omega-3, an excellent source of iron, and high in protein and fiber.
No weird chemicals. No weird tastes. Just balls.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary samples of Bob’s Red Mill new nutritional boosters for an Instagram project (you can follow me here: @ElizabethEv) with Sweat Pink… but I didn’t want to keep this good stuff from you and just had to share it On Tap, too.
It took nearly all month, but the sun is shining and the temperatures are more May-like than November-ish. So we’re eating ice cream dairy-free sorbet (I’m like, Live a little. And my stomach is like, Please don’t.).
May 2016 | Currently
Grateful for improved weather – that cold, rainy stretch we had earlier this month made me feel positively… negative.
Happy that we got to see my extended family this weekend at my cousin’s wedding down the Cape!
A bit itchy. I don’t want to rush nature along and I know trees need their leaves and all, but I wouldn’t mind coming home from a walk or workout and not feeling like I’m wearing a pollen sweat suit. Or whatever.
Relieved (speaking of itchiness) that Clark’s vet referred us to a dermatologist who’s helping us get his allergies in check (hopefully). We started his immunotherapy injections last night, and I feel like an especially weird dog person, but these are the things you do when you love your aging, semi-grouchy, fully-sensitive French bulldog.
Like I need a new big project or goal or challenge to work towards. But maybe I should just put away last week’s laundry.
Lots of vegetables and fruits and sprouted things. Not so many nachos and pizzas and processed things. Girlfriend needs to reign it in a bit.
Aaaaaand the aforementioned lemon sorbet. With rainbow sprinkles. Just do it.
Currently listening to
The Bon Iver radio station on Spotify — it’s extra chill, which is good, because I am extra not.
Grace sing “Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of rosies!”
The OJ miniseries (that’s definitely not the official name, but you likely know what I’m talking about… and you also know I’m too lazy to Google)– I was skeptical when my parents recommended it (sorry!), but Nick and I got completely sucked in.
Not much of anything art-wise… but I just signed up for a new painting class (Mary Ann Moss’ Oh My Gouache — totally obsessed with the name) and started a new large format sketchbook earlier this week.
The sun has finally returned, so I decided to be a pleasant, semi-normal person again. I figured I’d do the things pleasant, semi-normal people do. For example, share. Let’s start with last week’s workouts (and who knows, maybe I’ll work up to sharing something you actually want. Or need. Or like. #nopromises).
Raining + training | Last week’s workouts
Monday: Class with the Mama Beasts – I’ve had to give myself some serious Monday morning pep talks the past few weeks. The gloomy weather hasn’t helped. I’m gladwe made it to all three classes this week, though… mostly because the alternative was being cooped up in the house. Where there is chocolate. And no other adults between 8 AM – 6 PM.
Tuesday: Tone it Up workout + 2.5 mile loop around the Sugar Bowl and Castle Island
Thursday: 3 mile walk in varying degrees of rain (sprinkling… drizzling… full on raining… and down pouring) to the post office (where we got to chat with a nun from the neighborhood, so that was a bonus) and the library (which was closed… and I am a dingbat for not checking the schedule ahead of time) and to the store for Zantac (the glamour of my GI-challenged life never ceases to amaze). And some much needed yoga.
Friday: Class (it seemed like an especially tough one), lots of stretching and foam rolling.
Saturday: Marine Corps Honor Run 5k and a 1.5 mile walk – I feel like kind of a boob saying this, but I’m pretty proud of how it went. Running with the double stroller is no joke. But Grace and baby Nick provide a good distraction. And there’s room for snacks in the handlebar pouch thing, so… there are definite advantages. I checked with our pediatrician first (obvi), but with its flat course and my current turtle pace, this race provided the perfect opportunity to run with both babes. I’ve run the Marine Corps Honor Run before and it’s always a pretty moving event. It’s an honor to be able to run it, for sure.
Sunday: Rest day
Despite all the rain, this felt like my strongest week of workouts in ages.
I’m slowly emerging from that postpartum fog (mostly I’ve come to accept that I will live like some sort of medieval peasant, getting 4 hours of sleep at night and subsisting solely on Grace’s table scraps until a miraculous 10 free minutes appear and I manage to consume the equivalent of breakfast, lunch, lunch 2, lunch 3 and dinner all at one).
And I’m so appreciative of this body I have. That matters as much (likely more) than any workout I finish.
On that cheeseball note, let’s go (responsibly) enjoy some sunshine.
This May calendar is coming to you a day late (sorry)… but it doesn’t matter if you’re a dollar short. Because you can download it for free. Or whatever.
If you’re down with the whole coloring book craze, this one’s for you. And if you hate the rainbow and are a strictly black and white kind of person, this one’s for you too (just skip the coloring part… obvi).
Materials used: Black watercolor paint (Winsor + Newton professional, ivory black), round brush (size 2), Micron pen (black, 01), Canson mixed media paper (160g)
You know you’ve been listening to more Prince than usual when your two-year-old starts singing “Purple Rain” to her Fisher Price farm animals. It’s making mealternately very happy and a bit depressed.
Materials used: Golden fluid acrylics (Dioxazine Purple), Handmade Modern acrylic paint (lavender, violet), Winsor + Newton professional watercolor (ivory black)
I think I’ve always loved Prince’s music. And while “Purple Rain” is sort of an obvious song to single out, it’s been an important part of nearly every race I’ve started (and finished). Long, short and everything in between.
Being a bit of a sponge person, I used to get way too wrapped up in the starting line energy (and all the weird vibes that come from other people being nervous, excited, and/or trying out new Gu. Or stretches. Or Spandex). In the corral before my first marathon, a woman told me she was going to run despite not training (like, at all) and I think I pulled every worry muscle in my body just listening to her.
I’d start each race all wrapped up in everything going on around me, inevitably running too fast, and nearly expiring by mile two.
I knew early on that I needed a strategy. (For the record: I don’t mean that in a competitive or high performing way… I mostly mean that in a “figure out how to keep running without dying” kind of way.) I must’ve had my iPod set to shuffle during a run (or maybe I intentionally picked “Purple Rain,” but I don’t think so), but as soon as I heard “I didn’t mean to cause you any sorrow,” I knew Prince would join me for the rest of my races.
“Purple Rain” is just slow enough to keep my heart rate low and pace on target. And when all 8 minutes and 24 seconds have passed, I’m approaching my first mile and first third of a 5k. And if I could do math, I’d tell you how much of a 10k or marathon would be left. But I can’t (do math, that is). Like so much of Prince’s music, the song is somehow uplifting, confusing, bittersweet, sad, and weird all at once. In other words, it’s the perfect soundtrack to all the things that might pop into my head on any given run.
Oh, and don’t get me started on the music itself. If I wasn’t positive I’d be an even worse musician than I am a runner, “Purple Rain” would have convinced me to take up guitar lessons.
While I’m saddened that so many talented people have left the Earth lately, I’m grateful we can still take them along on our runs, our races, our walks, our adventures, our drives and our day-to-days.
I recently found myself scrolling through the entirety of the Internet (it’s an uppercase word… until June 1…) for a good granola bar recipe and scanning the contents of our pantry, hoping the stars ingredients would align.
It was 10:30 on Sunday night, and I had no business being awake, let alone attempting to make granola bars… but sometimes we get peer pressured into these things (i.e. I did it for the Mama Beasts Spring Challenge points…). And in this case, the pressure paid off.
I should know better than to mess with baking recipes (unlike cooking, there’s some actual science and measuring involved) and you know I’d never be so bold as to question my queen Martha… but um… I messed with a Martha recipe (this one for peanut-butter granola bars — you’ll see I made a few changes, but used her recipe as a guide). Mostly because I needed to work with what I had. And because Martha seemed to have forgotten to include chocolate chips. She’s got a lot going on.
I’ve made these granola bars twice now (proof that they don’t take a lot of effort or time or thought, all things I seem to be perpetually lacking).
I’m always looking for filling, mostly-healthy snacks and these turned out to be both. And they don’t taste like an old shoe (always a plus). That’s a terrible way of telling you they’re delicious. They’re delicious.
Homemade peanut butter, cranberry + dark chocolate granola bars
gluten free, makes approximately 12 bars
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup palm sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
Pinch of sea salt (I use Maldon flakes)
Prep work: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment or freezer paper, leaving a bit of overhang.
In a large bowl, mix oats, cranberries, almonds and dark chocolate.
In a small sauce pan over low heat, mix nut butter, oil, and palm sugar until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and mix in egg white.
Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into prepared pan, pressing mixture evenly with a spatula.
Top with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Bake for 30 minutes, allow to cool in pan (approximately 10 minutes).
Remove baked granola (technically, they’re not bars… yet) from the pan, using the parchment or freezer paper and freeze overnight on a cookie sheet.
Cut bars to desired size, store refrigerated.
Recipe notes: You could include just about any nuts and dried fruit. I don’t recommend skipping the chocolate. (Because, really, why?) You could throw caution to the wind and cut them after cooling, but I found freezing the bars really helped keep them from crumbling. Martha’s recipe calls for light brown sugar, which you could use if you don’t have palm sugar on hand. Similarly, you could substitute (1:1) coconut oil for vegetable oil. The Maldon is definitely optional, but I have such a thing for salty/sweet. I used 70% cocoa chocolate chips and Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats, but again, use what you have.
That’s basically my life’s motto at the moment… use what you have. Or, like, order it from Amazon Prime. Just kidding. Kind of.
Attempting to read an actual book (one that is not about “positive parenting” or “thriving toddlers” or “making your dog promise to live forever”) …I’m currently on page 13 and consider that a huge victory