5 Things to do this spring

Toodles, winter.  Hello, spring.  

things to do this spring

These vases were a 3 AM online find (children who don’t let their mothers sleep are really good for the economy) + I picked up ALL the flowers at Whole Foods in Dedham this weekend.

Remember when it felt like spring a few weeks ago?  It will feel like that again soon.  I think.  In the meantime, let’s make some plans.

5 THINGS TO DO THIS SPRING

Now we just need Mother Nature to get on board.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your spring bucket list?

Meal + workout plan for the week of 3/20

True Life: Grocery shopping with a three-year-old and a one-year-old is (often) NUTS.  It can also be really fun.  Especially if no one manages to climb out of the cart, while still strapped in (that’s happened on three separate trips).  Grace’s additions to the shopping list today: a pineapple, two avocados, string cheese, and blackberries.  

Here’s this week’s meal and workout plan.

meal and workout plan for the week of 3/20

Accessories optional.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK of 3/20

  • Vegetarian burrito bowls (quinoa, black beans, corn, salsa, avocado)
  • Baked penne + salad
  • Taco Tuesday… maybe on Wednesday
  • Lentil soup + toast
  • Flatbread + salad
  • Sweet potato + black bean quesadillas with cilantro lime rice

WORKOUTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Monday: Mama Beasts class + personal assessment 
  • Tuesday: at home MB workout, walk
  • Wednesday: Run and Daily Burn
  • Thursday: Daily Burn
  • Friday: Mama Beasts 
  • Saturday: MB personal challenge workout + run
  • Sunday: Rest

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your plan for the week ahead?

 

Weekend musings

Spring is just on the other side of this weekend.  We are almost there, my friends.  Pay no attention to the snow storm in the forecast.   With the Well Summit’s Day of WELLness, the parade and a mind full of weekend musings, I’ve got plenty to keep me preoccupied (and my weather app closed).  

weekend musings

WEEKEND MUSINGS

  • I love how this mini sketchbook (above) I made turned out.  I cut down some 140lb. hot press watercolor, painted and mono printed several sheets and then bound them using a simple pamphlet stitch.  I ended up having enough paper to make four mini books, and each one (painting aside) took less than 5 minutes to assemble– it was a surprisingly simple + meditative process.  I’ve been using them for daily sketching and jotting down notes.  
  • Related: My friend and fellow Get Messy creative team member Vanessa just released a wonderful online class called Basic Bookbinding.  It’s a steal for $15 and covers 4 different methods (I am really excited to try the more complicated coptic stitch) for making your own sketchbooks and art journals.  
  • Unrelated: March Madness is here.  I came in third (I think?) in my sister’s office pool last year, and have high hopes for this year’s bracket too.  It should be noted that there is essentially no method to my (March… lololol) madness.
  • I’m only half-way through this Guardian story, but I think it’s worth a read: ‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death. It’s partly morbid, but fully interesting.
  • The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade route has been shortened (again).  We would normally watch from the top of our street where it’s fairly quiet and far less crowded than Broadway.  Grace has basically been looking forward to the parade… since last year’s parade, so I expect we’ll be braving the circus.  Seeing her enthusiastically shake hands with politicians is sort of the best thing ever.
  • A little meal plan inspiration from The Kitchn: 5 No-Brainer Dinners for the Week Ahead… I have a feeling you’ll see a number of these in my plan on Sunday night, mostly because No-Brainer is one of my current life keywords.
  • And because I know I’ll be taking notes at Day of WELLness, here’s a fascinating post on taking more efficient notes from Rescue Time.

Catch you (and spring) soon.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Making plans for this year’s flower + garden show 
  • Taking a quick stroll through Beacon Hill (one of my favorites)
  • Researching “how to talk basketball tournament smack” or whatever

What are you musing over this weekend?

 

An Irish blessing

An Irish blessing for you, on St. Patrick’s Day:

irish blessing

irish blessing 2

irish blessing 3

irish blessing 4

And also… may you celebrate very quietly on my street in South Boston this evening.  I am tired.  And my shenanigans tolerance level is dangerously low.

Cheers to you and yours.

Also On Tap for Today:

Did you remember to wear green today?

Winter on Cape Cod

When we closed on our beach house last fall, I was longing for summer.  I looked forward to long days at the beach, warm evenings on the deck, and starry nights with our family.  While I know this coming summer will be wonderful, I can’t tell you how much joy and peace winter on Cape Cod has brought us.  It has been the best surprise.

We’ve spent nearly every weekend down the Cape since October, escaping the busy-ness of our (equally wonderful, albeit noisier) lives in the city.  There is something so calm and lovely about the off season.

WINTER ON CAPE COD

winter on cape cod 1

winter on cape cod 2

cape cod 3

winter on cape cod 4

cape cod winter 5

cape cod 6

cape cod 7

Calm and lovely, indeed.

…And there’s plenty of beach parking.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite local escape?

Thinking spring fashion.

What better day than a snow day to daydream of sun dresses?  While Stella’s outside doing what she does best (snow + wind), I’m inside attempting to keep the babes entertained  + looking forward to spring’s return.

I had a chance to visit The Paper Store‘s headquarters west of Boston earlier this year (on the eve of our last big snowstorm), along with some of my favorite blogging pals, to get a preview of spring fashion trends from their lovely buyers.  We were treated to Champagne, Sugarfina treats, macarons and a peek at several racks full of beautiful spring dresses and tops.  

Those of you in the Northeast are likely familiar with The Paper Store (it’s my go-to for cards, gifts and Alex + Ani jewelry).  They have a really great fashion section as well, and many of their items (including their new private fashion and jewelry line, Mia & Tess) are available online.

spring fashion The Paper Store

Here are a few of the spring fashion tips The Paper Store buyers shared with us:

  • Off the shoulder tops and dresses continue to be on trend this year (and are universally flattering!)
  • Look for delicate chokers that can be worn alone or layered
  • Floral prints are updated in pale, dusty pinks, bold mints, china blues and pair perfectly with denim
  • Speaking of which, you’ll find denim dresses, footwear, scarves, hats, jackets and tops in store
  • Layer a longer lace or crochet trimmed tank under sweaters and tops to add some visual interest and update an old favorite

I visited the Legacy Place store after the event and picked up this adorable canvas sleeveless dress with the gift card we were given (in our adorable Scout swag bags!). 

I’ve been wearing the dress with with leggings and a cardigan (and snow pants and a parka and two scarves and giant mittens) for now, but I can see it being a spring and summer staple.

A few of my other favorites:

You can view their full spring fashion catalog here… much more fun than shoveling.

I received complimentary product from The Paper Store, but as always, thoughts + opinions are my own.

Also On Tap for Today:

Who’s ready to break out the sundresses?

Meal + workout plan for the week of 3/13

…Coming to you live from snowy Cape Cod with this week’s meal plan + workouts.  The babes are napping, so I figured I’d make an attempt to get my act together for the week before we head back to the city.

this week's meal plan + workouts

Note to the entire internet self: I need to figure out if Tuesday’s storm is the real deal or not and plan my grocery shopping accordingly.  My favorite meteorologist (yes, I have one of those) seems to be on vacation, so I am essentially lost.

THIS WEEK’S WORKOUTS

+ (a decidedly wintery) MEAL PLAN

  • Spinach + black bean quesadillas
  • Vegetarian chili for lazy people
  • Spiced lentil + sweet potato stew (recipe from Rachel Ray)
  • Flatbreads + salad
  • Stuffed baked sweet potatoes + salad
  • Grilled cheese + tomato soup

Breakfasts will likely be some combination of yogurt, fruit, cottage cheese, English muffins and/or a porridge made from my children’s table scraps… Lunch is usually a giant salad.  I expect these dinners will make for really good leftovers to tag along with my greens.  And my peasant parent porridge.  

Time to Google the weather.  Catch you on the other side… of the Sagamore.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on tap for your week ahead?  

Day of WELLness

Over the years, including the 8 I’ve spent blogging here (making me essentially an Internet senior citizen), my understanding of words like fitness and healthy and wellness have changed and evolved.  From running marathons to training to being able to run a 5k again, from getting “wedding ready” (whatever that means) to becoming a mother, from learning to eat mindfully to managing stress, I’ve found that health and wellness is not a linear journey.

There is no one path to wellness.  We all make our way.

One of my favorite things about being in this community is learning from the paths and experience of others.  For that reason, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Day of W.E.L.L.ness in Boston on 3/18.  For those of you living in the New England area (or looking to make a weekend trip!), you might want to check it out, too!

I think it’ll be a worthwhile stop on our path.

day of wellness

  • What: Day of W.E.L.L.ness 
  • When: Saturday, March 18th from 8:15 AM – 6 PM
  • Where: Wyndham Beacon Hill (a short walk from the Charles Street/MGH T stop on the Red Line)
  • Discount: Use code ELIZABETH to receive $20 off your ticket order

This Day of W.E.L.L.ness is sort of an off shoot of the annual W.E.L.L. Summit (hosted in New York City) and showcases wellness from a 360 degree viewpoint.  Breakout session topics include Ayurveda, meditation, nutrition, fitness, financial health and building a wellness business.  The day also includes a DIY breakfast oatmeal bar from Thirst Juice Co., a custom tea bar and healthy snacks, an incredible gift bag, an afternoon yoga class, access to New England based exhibitors and more.

I’d love to see you there!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ticket for this event and this post contains referral links.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you define wellness? What’s your path looking like these days?

 

 

On our walls | at the Cape

After three or four consecutive weekends in the city, we are back at the Cape, enjoying the peace and quiet of the off season.  Since closing on the house here in mid-October, we’ve been down as many weekends as possible.  We’ve made a lot of progress in some areas, but in other areas, maybe not so much… both kids’ rooms sort of look like the second child’s room in this hilarious BuzzFeed post that I can’t stop scrolling through. 

We have some really fun things up on our walls, though, so I figured we could start there. It’s been so fun to start from scratch, building an inexpensive collection of pieces we truly love. I think that’s really the only rule that matters when building an art collection: Buy what you love.

I’ve linked to products when possible, mostly because I think everyone needs at least one of Elizabeth May’s seagulls in their home.  Please note that some links are referral or affiliate links.

KITCHEN

on our walls kitchen

The first things to grace our walls were these Elizabeth May seagull prints (Seagull 15 + Seagull 16).  I absolutely love her style, and just saw that she has new Barack Obama and Joe Biden prints for sale in her Etsy shop so…. they will be joining us soon, along with her Maya Angelou and Susan B. Anthony portraits.  

Cool/important people art party at the Cape!

I used these brass matted Target frames throughout the house.  I am obsessed.

LIVING ROOM

living room on our walls

  • Photos of Grace, Nick + Clark,  all taken at the Cape
  • Minted signed print (Mid-summertime by Emily Jeffords) + a photo of Grace birdwatching with “the giant ‘noculars'” at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History 

*You can use your Ebates account for cash back at Minted (PSA for those not already using Ebates: sign up for an Ebates account and go to their website when shopping online– by going through them first, you’ll earn cash back at many of the sites you usually shop.  For me, that’s diapers.com, LOFT, Nordstrom, Minted, Athleta, etc.)

CapeAbilities flag

We have this Cape Cod flag, made by Cape Abilities participants, hanging on the wall heading upstairs.  Proceeds from these flags (this size was $35) support the organization, which serves individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod through a range of programs.  If you’re on the Cape, I highly recommend a trip to their farm in Dennis and store in Yarmouth.  They do wonderful work.

GUEST ROOM/DEN

guest room on our walls

I normally wouldn’t paint over someone else’s work… but I figured a mass market paint-by-number is fair game, right?  You can find similar vintage paintings at thrift stores and on Etsy or ebay, often with wooden frames, for $20 or so.  I used leftover paint from another project and simply blocked off a third of the image with blue painters tape and added a single coat of paint so that the original painting is still visible up close.

OUR BEDROOM

our bedroom on our walls

I hadn’t planned to hang the tapestry and Top Knot print together, or even in the same room… but then I saw them side by side and loved the repetition of those red stripes. The rest of our room is super white and restful, so these pieces punch things up a bit.

The tapestry is from the Pillowfort kids line at Target, but it totally works in a grown-up room.  Kids decor is often less expensive… and more cool.

GRACE’S ROOM

Grace on our walls

Grace fell in love with this swan (and her tutu), and who could blame her?  The framed print is actually a Valentine’s Day card that cost $3 ($15 including the frame). Framing greeting cards is an easy, low commitment way to add a little something to your walls.

NICK’S ROOM

Nick on our walls

One of the artists for Modern Map Art generously sent us this print, which I thought would work perfectly in Nick’s room (I’m going for a mostly navy vibe in there).  There are several options for Boston, all in local team color ways.  My photo doesn’t do the print justice, so I recommend checking out their website to see more detailed shots.  They sell similar prints for cities all over the globe, as well as some really cool ski maps.

I love how major and local streets have been painted over the map in red.  It’s really bold and graphic and I think it pairs well with the anchor tapestry (another kids department find).  

Plus, it’s nice to have a little Southie with us at the Cape. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite piece of art or inexpensive decor tip?

 

 

Currently | February 2017

February is wrapping up.  And no, it’s not a leap year.  Consider this a friendly PSA that my birthday is basically moments away (March 1st always seems to sneak up on people).  I’m not always so clear on how timezones work, but I think I’m already 35 on the other side of the world.  Meanwhile, Grace keeps asking if I’m 45 yet.  So there’s that.  

But I don’t want to rush February out the door just yet.  Despite the country imploding, I’m grateful we had things like my nephew’s baptism, Valentine’s Day, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, Hillary’s message to the people and 70 degree weather to celebrate.  We left our jackets at home and walked on the beach.  We spotted the first plants sprouting.  Spring is coming.

CURRENTLY | February 2017

currently february 2017

Currently eating

  • …like summer has already arrived.  Tacos, tomatoes, salads and strawberries.
  • …dinner with Nick most nights after the kids go to bed (as opposed to snacking from the babes’ plates at 5 o’clock).  It’s been such a nice change.

Currently watching

  • So we watched like 5 minutes of a PBS special featuring various spy cameras disguised as animals, both because it sounded cool and it was not about the government.  The idea is that you get to see animals behaving as if they were not being spied on.  Unfortunately we caught the part where the baby monkey spy camera fell, and the real monkeys thought it had died and were, like, mourning.  It was devastating.  Did I mention that I am generally an emotional basket case?
  • Superstore + Homeland (they sort of balance each other out)
  • 900 “how to sew” YouTube videos 

Currently reading

Currently making

  • …plans for a meaningful Lenten exercise.  In the past I’ve given up Diet Coke, snacking, sugar and swearing (but not all in the same year… I’m neither a saint nor a martyr).  Other years, I’ve added more prayer, more intentional acts of kindness and more time away from technology.  For me, Lent is the ultimate lesson in patience.  In waiting.  In remaining hopeful.  Perhaps I’ll simply meditate on that lesson.  While not drinking a Diet Coke. 
  • A set of mini, mono-printed art journals.  It was a random Tuesday night project, but I am thrilled with the results.  I’ll share photos later this week.
  • A “good behavior” jar.  I am semi-mortified and semi-amazed at how well it’s working.  (To clarify: We are rewarding Grace’s good behavior, not mine…)

Currently listening to

  • “Call on Me” (Ryan Riback Remix) by Starley — it’s the perfect windows down in February song
  • Call Your Girlfriend (podcast)
  • This Irish Flute & Tin Whistle playlist on Spotify… baby Nick and I had music class this morning and the teacher broke out his tin whistle (apparently we missed the Irish flute last week).  Nick was mesmerized in class and keeps dancing and clapping along to this lively mix.  I think it’ll do wonders, too, for those times we are nearrrrrrly home and one or both kids is starting to nod off in the car.  

I hope you’re enjoying these last bits of February and looking forward to a lovely March.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your February?