Tag Archives: Cape Cod

Happy Weekend.

Happy Weekend, my friends.

happy weekend

We spent much of yesterday at the Cape, measuring walls and windows and cabinets in the new house while my parents helped us tremendously by taking the babes for a mystery ride.  After dinner at Brax Landing, we headed back to the city with a plan (and a healthy to do list) and some sand in my favorite peace moccasins. 

happy weekend peace shoes

The sun is shining in South Boston and baby Nick slept for nearly 6 hours in a row (it’s been a struggle to get more than a couple hours of sleep lately; please reference the dark circles under my eyes and/or my lack of patience for more information).  The morning is aglow with possibility.  And piles of laundry.

You know how I preach getting your Sunday things done on Saturday? I have a feeling, this week, they’re getting done on Tuesday or next Thursday.  Or two weeks from tomorrow.  There’s something to be said for taking it easy when you can.

I hope you’re having a happy and relaxed weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are your designated Sunday things?

Happy Weekend.

Happy weekend, my friends.  

happy weekend cape cod

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for ages.  Today we’re showing the kids our new vacation home on the Cape for the first time (we closed on the property yesterday– this is the happy surprise I alluded to earlier in the month).  

Some of my happiest memories were made in Harwich; it thrills me that Grace and baby Nick will get to make similar memories finding hermit crabs at low tide, devouring Sundae School ice cream after dinner, swimming with their cousins, and racing around the backyard with Clark.  

I couldn’t feel luckier in this moment.

After a quick trip over the bridge, we’ll be back in the city for baby Nick’s baptism.  At 10 months and 20 lbs., I fear we might need several priests and nuns to help hoist him over the font.  We’ll see.  I can’t wait to share this occasion with our family.  Grace is especially excited for “wearing party shoes and being quiet at church!”  Again: we’ll see.

It feels so good to be occupied by happy things, and to have family and friends to share them with.  Wishing you and yours the same.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s at the top of your gratitude list this week?

The week according to Instagram

It’s been a while since I shared an Instagram-ish update, mostly because that used to be a weekend thing… and there’s not much difference now between my weekdays and weekends.

2 Exceptions:

  1. The number of adults present (a.k.a. persons capable of rational thought + behavior, most of the time) in the home during the day — There are twice as many of these on the weekends.
  2. The number of leotards worn to gymnastics class– That number is 1 during the week.  And 0 on the weekends. (… please note that I did not simply say the number of leotards worn).

week according to instagram

I love a good ill-informed, politically charged Facebook post from a middle school friend happy life update from an old pal as much as the next person.  And as you’ll see from my Twitter “likes,” I can’t get enough tweets about the Pope.  Or preserving tomatoes.  Or Jeopardy! contestants’ opinions of Alex Trebec.  And don’t get me started on Pinterest.  It’s the best way to waste time, while pretending that it’s going to help you me more productive in the future.  If only I’d remember I pinned that workout for slim and trim hips.  Or a month’s worth of dinners in 2 hours flat!  

But Instagram is my favorite.  While I aim to keep things light-ish and bright-ish, these are still very real moments.  Ones that I want to share, but mostly ones I want to remember.  Here’s a bit of a scoop on the last week’s posts.

THE WEEK ACCORDING TO INSTAGRAM | @ELIZABETHEV

It’s rare for Nick to fall asleep in my arms any more, but he seems to get extra cozy in his new ring sling.  We upgraded from the linen sling to silk, which feels much more snug for my toddler-sized infant.  I took this selfie (us-ie?) after we finished watering my parents’ plants when then you were away.  Pretend gardening is tiring work apparently.

Quinoa and pesto had been a late summer standby.  And you already know how I feel about heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella.  The spicy micro greens are from Whole Foods and make a nice addition to this warm salad.  (You could eat it cold, obviously… but that would require patience.  And they were sold out of that.)

These are my new shoes.  The ones my husband bought for himself, and then I copied him and ordered a pair.  So, that’s special.  I’ve mentioned the On Being podcast before, but I sort of feel like I’m going to keep talking about it until everyone is listening.  What do shoes have to do with a podcast?  A recent episode that aired during the Olympics featured a group of runners sharing how running is a spiritual practice for them.  I was listening in the car on the way to Mama Beasts and, as soon as I grabbed a parking spot, grabbed my phone to jot some quick notes from the episode.  

“The blessing is outside your comfort zone” is something someone said to Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls Run, as she was prepping for the Chicago Marathon.  I thought that was pretty powerful.

I also found myself wanting to learn anything and everything about Billy Mills, the first (and only, so far) American to win Olympic gold in the 10,000 meter race.  His interview was really compelling, too.

Such a good episode.

These two are the cutest.  I love how gentle and playful Clark is with both kids.  The old guy has seen better days, health-wise, so I’m feeling extra mushy about him lately.  We are so lucky to have him at our sides.

Goodbye, weekdays. Hello, weekend. ✌🏻️ What's on tap for your weekend? #southie #castleisland #weekendviews

A post shared by Elizabeth | On Tap for Today (@elizabethev) on

We’ve been spending a lot of time out at the island lately– running, walking, counting boats, learning about fishing (Grace has taken a particular interest, which grosses me out, but hey), playing on the “big kid” swings, and looking for seagulls.  Oh and marveling that people are still playing Pokemon Go.  Apparently Castle Island is a hot bed of pokemon activity (I don’t really know what that means, but I heard it somewhere… so it must be true).

But seriously. I would eat snacks for every meal.

I love everything about seeded eucalyptus — the color, the varied textures, the incredible fragrance.  I always pick up a bunch when it’s in stores.  Same goes for new issues of domino.

No Lifeguard on Duty (#storyofmylife) 🏊🏻 Are you a risk taker or a play-it-safer? #instacapecod #wickedcapecod #itsstillsummer

A post shared by Elizabeth | On Tap for Today (@elizabethev) on

…and the full view of the tiny Instax shot included in the photo above.  Nick and I were down the Cape for a quick half-day trip (we’ve got something really fun in the works) and I couldn’t resist a quick stop at the beach.  It was quiet, overcast and a bit chilly– perfect off-season weather. 

And last, but not least, confetti from the best date night ever with Nick, seeing Adele live at the Garden (I forget what the real/new/current name of that place is).  The show was incredible, and I couldn’t help but grab a few pieces of confetti (each piece had a lyric or note in her handwriting… but despite what people were claiming, I don’t think she hand wrote all 9 million pieces… or whatever).

She performed for just over 2 hours, I think, with no breaks and no opening act.  I loved the format– especially the short acoustic set in the middle.  I have been listening to “Don’t You Remember” and “When We Were Young” and “Hometown Glory” on repeat.

Semi related: Lemon water with a bit of honey is great for your throat… you know, if you’ve been walking around your condo pretending you can sing and sort of lost your voice.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite social media platform?  If you could be any diva (current or past) who would you be?

September goals + a printable calendar

I’m pretending all the days leading up to Labor Day are still August.  Mostly because September feels like the time when all kinds of things change.  And I’m only 82% ready for those changes.  

Grace starts preschool next week, which means we’ll have a new routine to follow (and lunches to pack), along with a bit more structure to our days.  Structure sort of thrills me… so there’s that.  Meanwhile, she’s really excited to see her friends, “do letters” and be a good listener.  While she’s doing her thing three days a week, baby Nick and I will have some one-on-one time (and I’m hoping I’ll, like… maybe get the laundry done).  

Before I left my career to be home with the babes, my work life revolved around the academic calendar (minus the cool stuff like summer and holiday and February and April vacations), so it feels sort of natural to be back on that track.  

At the same time, I’m holding onto summer for dear life and hoping we get at least a few beach days in before September is over and I skip straight to Christmas time (you know how I feel about Halloween and fall colors and wool sweaters and hay and stuff like that… no thanks).

So this month’s calendar is an attempt to savor these warm days and ocean views before we need to do things like wear pants.  And roll our eyes at anything pumpkin spiced.  Please note that I finally wised up to the fact that I can’t paint numbers in a straight line, fired myself from that part of the job, and replaced myself with a robot computer.  The end is near.

SEPTEMBER GOALS + A PRINTABLE CALENDAR

september goals printable calendar

Click here to download your free, hand painted calendar

Materials used: Cold pressed watercolor paper, Winsor and Newton professional watercolors (tubes), round brushes (sizes 2, 6, 10), liquid gold gilding (so fancy)

Health + wellness

  • Keep up with a regular self care routine: This sounds super woo-woo, but whatever.  I’ve been making an effort to do little things for myself here and there, and I think these little things are making a big difference. For example, two Fridays in a row, I took a nice salt soak after the babes went to sleep.  I’ve decided adults should have bath time too.  Why let the kids have all the fun?  I have more ideas for easy ways to incorporate self-care, but that’s a different can of worms (gross expression, sorry) post altogether.
  • 4+ workouts/week
  • Meal plan and prep on the weekends
  • Register for 2+ fall races
  • Incorporate more yoga… ’tis National Yoga Month, after all! 

Family

  • Spend as much time as possible with our new + perfect nephew
  • Super fun date night
  • Make a list of fall-ish family adventures
  • Playdates!  We haven’t seen some of our favorite friends in far too long.
  • Finalize plans for baby Nick’s baptism in October
  • Keep better track of the amazing things Grace says on any given day (I recently overheard her asking Clark if he wanted a kitten… and if he did, she would ask me, since he can’t talk… and that I might say no, but then I’d say yes… whaaaaat?)

Miscellaneous

  • Re-start The Artist’s Way
  • Get my hair cut, colored + straightened (I accidentally haven’t had a hair appointment since May… so I am basically more poodle than human)… priorities, people
  • Donate/share all the clothes both babes seem to have outgrown over night
  • Do some important research about when the new emojis will show up on my phone

Let’s have a lovely month, my friends.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you most looking forward to this month?

Cape Cod Lavender Farm | an afternoon visit

When we were kids, our parents would take us on “Mystery Rides” on summer evenings spent on the Cape.  I think we usually ended up at Sundae School or Chatham Light.  Or maybe one of the bayside beaches.  

I still love a good mystery ride.

cape cod lavender farm
The rain let up yesterday afternoon just in time for a late afternoon Mystery Ride with our own babes.  We were at the lighthouse on Sunday and it was too early for sundaes (actually… it’s never too early), but I had the perfect (sort of mysterious) place in mind.

cape cod lavender farm
I’ve wanted to visit the Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich for ages.  It’s hidden among conservation land, at the end of a long, unpaved path.  Just when I thought we were lost, I started to smell the lavender.  Just heavenly.

cape cod lavender farm
We arrived just before the little shop closed, picking up a bunch of lavender that had been harvested the day before.  The gentleman there encouraged us to walk around, pointing us in the direction of a castle and some fairy doors.

cape cod lavender farm
I don’t know who loved this little set-up more, me or Grace.  It was enchanting– the whole farm was, really.  We stumbled upon a bunch of kindness rocks and fairy houses, all the while being lulled by the calming lavender fields around us.  I bet I could take a legit nap there.  Or at the very least, chill out for 20 entire minutes.

CAPE COD LAVENDER FARM

cape cod lavender farm

cape cod lavender farm

cape cod lavender farm

cape cod lavender farm

cape cod lavender farm

I have a feeling we’ll be back to the Cape Cod Lavender Farm for a plant or two before the summer’s over.  It has definitely earned a spot on our Mystery Ride destination list.

The details:  The Cape Cod Lavender Farm is located at 41 Weston Woods Road in Harwich.  It is open 10 AM – 4 PM and 12 – 4 PM on Sundays.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your Mystery Ride list?

Summer Bucket List | 2016

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.

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.  

SUMMER BUCKET LIST | 2016

  • Yoga outside.  A few classes I have in mind: Pop Up Asana in the Seaport and M Street Park, Castle Island Beach Yoga with Radiant Yoga, Fit By the Field yoga at Patriot Place (free), Yoga on The Green at The Street in Chestnut Hill (free), Island Yoga on Spectacle Island (free with ferry ticket, requires pre-registration) and hopefully a few beach classes in Harwichport with MoveWith again this summer.
  • 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!
  • Watch fireworks.
  • 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.

You know me.  Safety first… (summer) fun second.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your summer bucket list?

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: Happy Weekend.

If you’re reading this, I’m already gone… to the beach.  These are the days to soak up as much of this New England summer as we can, commit every moment possible to memory, get lots of sand stuck in the bottom of our canvas bags, spring for the medium large sundae and just simply enjoy life above 70 degrees.  

Because, like these incredible summer sunsets Mother Nature has been painting for us lately, these days are all too fleeting.

Happy Weekend, my friends.

Also On Tap for Today

  • Why you should bury your cooler from The Kitchn
  • Pretending to underpack (I always panic and overpack at the last second)
  • Looking forward to some beach yoga

What On Tap for the rest of your summer?

Today: I woke up like this | Cape edition.

Who needs a vacation alarm clock (set for 3 hours earlier than you desire to wake up), when you have a toddler at the foot of your bed?

I woke up like this.  With Grace pinching my toes and yelling, “Hellooooo!”

In an effort to spare the rest of our family the 4:30 wake-up call over the 4th of July weekend, we snuck out for some early morning walks down to the beach.  The Cape might be my favorite place on Earth.  Except for the place where they make popcorn (I’ve never been to a popcorn factory, but I just know it’s magical).

Not a bad way to start the day.

We covered 3.5 miles on Friday on our own, and 2.5 miles on Saturday with my brother and sister-in-law and their own mini-human alarm clock, my niece.  

6 AM pajama parties on the beach are the best.

And with the entire world still sleeping, we had the beach to ourselves and our pick of the prettiest shells.

Any day we are lucky enough to wake up at the Cape (even if it’s at 4 AM), we are lucky enough.

Also On Tap for Today:

How did you spend your holiday weekend?

 

Today: A mid-week day trip and the perfect Cape playlist.

Every now and then, it’s good to get away.  I don’t think it’s considered playing hooky when you’ve made it clear you’ll be out of the office and are using one of the vacation days you’ve been saving up since 2007, but it still feels a bit sneaky to be at the beach on a random Wednesday.  That’s where I ended up yesterday, enjoying plenty of sun (responsibly, mostly from under an umbrella like a good pale Irish America gal), catching up on some reading, and splashing in the waves with my one-year-old niece.

I picked up my younger brother bright and early and cruised over the Bourne Bridge while blasting James Taylor, quintessential Cape music.  Other artists who belong on a Cape playlist (for a shortcut, simply play the JT Pandora station):

  • Carole King
  • Belinda Carlisle
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Bruce Hornsby
  • Don Henley (and/or The Eagles)
  • Bonus track (for those who like something a little more current… but not actually current) and a random anecdote: Back to the Earth by Rusted Root.  This song was playing when our catamaran sailed back into the harbor after Nick and I did some island hopping on our honeymoon.  It was like God himself was DJ-ing our lives (but he probably wasn’t… mostly because I am sure there are more important things to attend to, and I don’t know if he has an iPod); regardless, the timing and sentiment was so perfect.

It’s probably worth mentioning that when the day is done and you’re heading back to the city, feeling a touch overtired and under-caffeinated, you should trade James Taylor for Skrillex.  Safety first.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite summer song?