Tag Archives: Castle Island

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?

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 34

I can’t help but think this beautiful stretch of weather we’re having in Boston is reward for the winter that nearly did us all in.  We certainly earned our beach days this year.  Here’s how we spent some of that sunshine this weekend.

The Weekend According to Instagram 34

  1. Technically… this was from this morning.  Also true: The days sort of blend together now that I’m at home.  Bootcamp was canceled this morning, so Grace and I logged a few miles at Castle Island.  Boats, puppies and old people are our jam.
  2. We’ve been living out of a beach bag lately.  I’ll share a few of our essentials later this week, but I wanted to be sure to share a little offer from the lovely folks at Block Island Organics.  Use the code ‘elizabeth’ to save 15% on their site this week.  With so many options available for sunscreen and sunblock, I’ve been making an extra effort this summer to make better choices for me and our family.  To learn more about sun safety and how to choose the best sunscreen for you, I recommend checking out their Smart Suncare section. [P.S. I can’t type “Block Island Organics” without singing the Sail away on the Block Island Ferry jingle…]
  3. Fresh mozzarella + summer tomatoes + basil from the deck = Every, single meal.
  4. Nick has been giving our usual green juice a summer kick by topping each jar off with coconut water.  It’s really, really good (go do it).
  5. Speaking of drinks, I was super excited (and yes… this is the kind of thing that excites me these days) to find Crescent Ridge milk at Whole Foods Market in the South End this weekend.  Growing up, we had Crescent Ridge delivered to our house each week.  The milk man would leave the same glass bottles in a refrigerator box outside our house.  Oh and for the record: I am 33, not 103… and grew up in a suburb outside the city, not in a little house on the prairie.  I promise this sort of thing really did (and still does, I think?) happen.  Regardless, I had my Sunday morning chai latte with a little Crescent Ridge and a trip down memory lane.  Also: I love those glass bottles.
  6. This little lady is my heart in a hat.
  7. My younger brother (and one of Grace’s four favorite uncles) celebrated his birthday this weekend.  We love you, little buddy!
  8. You can see the full (3 second) video on Instagram, but essentially… this is dog jumping into a pool at a competition across the street from our house.  After seeing the tents and stands set up on Friday for the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge, I knew we needed to check it out.  It was super entertaining… and sort of like Best in Show IRL.
  9. Our deck herb plants are officially out of control.  We’ve got Italian basil, purple basil, spicy basil, chives, rosemary and lemon thyme to put to good use this week.  I’m starting with a little green goddess dressing and roasted potatoes with thyme.
  10. A little nap time project in the works.  I didn’t get much drawing or painting done this week, but have been sneaking in little bouts of creativity when the mood (and 10 minutes) strikes.
  11. When there are giant inflatable bunnies in your ‘hood, you visit them.  No questions asked.
  12. Same goes for most animals (real or not, in our neighborhood or not).  Grace loves just about anything with four legs, especially all the friendly farm animals at Drumlin Farm.   I swear our Audubon membership was some of the best money I’ve spent.

Needless to say, we are in love with summer.

Also On Tap for Today:

How would you use an overabundance of fresh herbs?

Today: Get Messy Thursdays | Adventure, Week 3

So, I decided to crack open a new sketchbook this week.  I was running out of pages in my old one, and everything that I loved about it (namely, the scraps and things spilling over the pages and spiral binding) was sort of driving me mental.  The binding was making it difficult to create full page spreads, so I went after something that would lay flat.  

I love the minimalist cover (I added the E for good measure) and the page size is perfect.  Buuut…. as you’ll see, the paper’s not holding up well with all the paint and ink.  I’m tempted to try making my own with loose watercolor paper.  Trial and error, my friends.

Speaking of trial and error, I accidentally used a “u” stamp instead of an “n” stamp for my first spread.  And I’m strangely okay with that (Look! I’m becoming a reformed perfectionist!).

Materials used: Bubble wrap used as a stamp, with ink and watercolor paint (applied with a brayer); letter stamps from Studio Calico with black StazOn archival ink; Sakura white gel pen; black fine point Sharpie pen; Sakura watercolors

One of the Get Messy prompts this week involved our biggest or greatest or most adventurous (I can’t remember the specific wording) adventure.  I listed a few that immediately came to mind in the bubble wrap circles.  Some adventures would revisit in a heartbeat.  I loved swimming to the back of a dark, sort of creepy, fish-(and who knows what else) filled cave off Cooper’s Island in the British Virgin Islands.  I would marry Nick and become Grace’s mother again in a heartbeat.  I’d even climb a bunch of waterfalls wearing gold leather sandals.  

The whole skydiving thing?  I’d probably skip that.  The more I thought about that absurd day, though, the funnier it became to me.  Like, to the point that I was in tears laughing.  And so, I feel like that one’s worth sharing.  If you’ve already been skydiving, we likely watched the same terrifying training video, wore the same hideous leather helmet thing, and possibly experienced the same life-changing, harness-induced discomfort.  Seriously.  I could barely enjoy the view, because all I could think was, “I survived free fall, and will come back to Earth only to die of the world’s worst wedgie.” 

I decided I needed to make a conscious decision just to relax (this would be a once in a lifetime experience, after all) and enjoy the ride, but apparently I relaxed so much that the instructor I jumped tandem with thought I had passed out, and he started sort of slapping me on the cheek.  So that was weird.

Also, I went on this whole “adventure” with an ex-boyfriend (it was all very fresh… like… I think he dumped me a few days before we went).  That seems like an important detail.  After the slapping thing happened, the instructor tried to make small talk while we circled back toward the ground.  

It went something like this:

  • Instructor: So, what do you do?
  • Elizabeth: I am in college.  Um… what do you do?
  • Instructor: I am a skydiving instructor.
  • Elizabeth:  Right. (Duh.)
  • Instructor: Is that your boyfriend (pointing to parachute a bit ahead of us)?
  • Elizabeth: Ex-boyfriend.
  • Instructor: Whoaaaa, skydivin’ with your ex-boyfriend!  That’s a new one.  You must really trust him.
  • Elizabeth: Yeah.  No.  Not really.

Add 20 minutes of awkward silence between me and the person tethered to my back.  And then cut to the part where I forgot the most important segment of the training video (pull your legs up at landing) and tripped us both, causing me to be flattened like a pancake into the ground.

END SCENE

After that little trip down memory lane, I’ve decided that my greatest adventure is yet to come.  

Materials used: Magazine clipping (how gorgeous is that matte black place setting?); turquoise ink; Sakura watercolor paint (black and grey); Sakura white gel pen

As for adventures (hopefully) never to come, the list looks something like this:

  • I will never be an adventurous eater.
  • I will never get my nipples pierced (this is probably an overshare, but really… it only takes being bitten once while breastfeeding to know that even if I had an overwhelming desire to get pierced… this ain’t gonna happen) and I probably won’t get a face tattoo.  
  • I will never go bungee jumping.  
  • I will never get a cat.

Materials used: Magazine page; washi tape; glue stick; black Micron pens; Sakura watercolors; white acrylic paint

I didn’t have much in the way of “craft trash” to use for this week’s art prompt, but I did have this lovely tear-out from the most recent issue of Domino.  I painted in what was missing and added a quote (often mis-attributed to Audrey Hepburn).

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” – Sam Levenson

Materials used: Black Pitt pens; mirrored geometric patterned paper from Studio Calico; Faber Castel gelatos; Sakura watercolor paint; bright pink ink; white acrylic paint; glue stick

And for my final page, I got a bit personal (because wedgies are so impersonal…).  I came across the expression “Your vibe attracts your tribe” at like, 4 in the morning earlier this week.  Grace was up and I was mentally willing her to go back to sleep, while simultaneously busying myself on the Instagram.

It struck a chord (mostly because everything strikes a chord when you’re overtired) because I feel a little bit tribe-less lately.  Being home with Grace has been such a wonderful change, but I’m finding myself really needing to make an effort to build new connections and fight my introverted desires to keep to myself all day.  We’ve got a few things lined up that I am looking forward to, and that I think will be a step in the right direction.

In the meantime, I am not totally sure what my vibe is… because our current tribe consists almost entirely of old men wearing Red Sox hats, enjoying the beautiful weather at Castle Island.  Bonus points if they’re walking dogs (Grace’s vibe is 900% “Bring me your puppy!”).  Making friends is an adventure.

Welp, that’s it for this week.  To check out what the rest of the Get Messy Thursdays crew is up to, you can find their links here.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your tribe looking like these days?

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: Scenes from the snowiest winter in South Boston.

snowy South Boston

I am not sure which is more unbelievable:

  • It has snowed 7 feet during the last 3 weeks here in Boston
  • I am about to quote a Florida Republican and member of the NRA (on the topic of winter, of all things)  

It has come to this.  My ability to use my own words is buried, along with my car, under all that snow.  However, the former Congressman’s words (in this instance, at least) felt spot on.

After Nick cleared out the SUV and picked up some iced coffees (always iced, even when the thermometer iPhone weather app thing reads 4 degrees), we bundled up Grace and took a quick drive around the neighborhood.

I’m not a betting girl, but if I were, I’d say there will still be snow on the ground come Marathon Monday. [Side note: our friend Sarah is running Boston in support of the MGH Emergency Response Team.  If you’re wondering what marathon training during this historic winter is like… welp, she’ll tell you.]

South Boston Emergency Transportation Reconfiguration

With no room for both cars and snowbanks, driving around here has felt a bit like living in a (mostly super-dangerous) video game.  Last Thursday, it took me two hours to get from the South End to Southie.  I was an hour late for daycare pick-up (fortunately, Nick was able to get there in time).  Most of those two hours were spent in my own neighborhood, trying to navigate too narrow streets, while attempting to neither hit a pedestrian nor get hit by a bus.

Hopefully this weekend’s Emergency Transportation Reconfiguration (doesn’t that sound so… serious?) will help.  Most numbered streets are now one-way (odd numbers head east, even numbers head west), through April 1st.  Ahh, April. That sounds nice.

While I lose my mind keep busy with glamorous things like laundry and pretend a heat wave is moving through, a few photos from our tour of the neighborhood:

Sully's Castle Island snow

Oh.  I saved the best for last.  How awesome (and unsafe, yes, but awesome) is this tunnel at the corner of K & 8th?  I like when people make the most of things.

snow tunnel south boston

With more snow on the way, that’s really all we can do.  Make the most of things.  Hang in there.  And be grateful that we’re warm and safe.  We’re going a little stir-crazy, sure.  

But spring is coming.  Eventually.

Also On Tap for Today:

Share something bright, sunny, warm, tropical, pink, lovely and/or Mean Girls related.  Please.

 

Today: Goods from the garden.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]When I walk around my parents’ garden, I can’t help but think that, despite wanting to living in Southie forever and ever, there are advantages to being in the suburbs.

For example:

  • You can walk around barefoot without needing a precautionary tetanus shot
  • There are few people to bump into and nary a MTBA driver to mow you down as you cross the street
  • It’s quiet, the air is fresh, and parking is a plenty

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone soft.  In fact, I just gave some serious attitude to a kid selling lemonade on Broadway.  Just kidding.  I would never do that.  I did complement her on the Disney princess table she was using to hawk her drinks, though.  It was really cute.  And I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit.

I love the city and scenes such as that.  I like the noise, the grit, the business.  The go-go-go.  Visiting my mom and dad, though, has me missing lawns.  And tomatoes.  And kitchens larger than a shoe.

Thankfully, there are plenty of places within the city where I can to catch my breath.  Many of them are right here in South Boston: Moakley Field, Castle Island, our roof (technically, not open to the public… but ours is not the only roof, surely), the Harborwalk, the parks along Carson Beach and the waterfront, Dorchester Heights, the end of Drydock.

I haven’t attempted to plant anything along the way, but hey.  That could be interesting.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you go to catch your breath?

Today: Proof that we’re engaged.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Welp, in addition to the ring.  And the fact that I talk about getting married every 30 seconds.

The proof is in our engagement photos, taken by Katherine and Craig of Henry Photographers.  A few of our favorites from Castle Island and our roof deck:

We’re planning to use some of the photographs Katherine and Craig took to fill the pages of our guest book, and others for thank you notes.  And maybe wallpaper.  And mouse pads.  We visited Henry Photographers’ new studio in Reading earlier this week to see our proofs for the first time– I never expected to like photos of myself so much (it’s easy to like photos of Nick).  If you’re looking for photographers, I highly recommend Katherine and Craig.  Highly.

Shortly after we got home from our meeting with them, we received an email containing a link to a mobile album of all of our pictures, which could be saved right to the home screen (complete with a Clark icon) of our little iPhones.  Or Driods, if we were into that sort of thing.

It so nice to be able to sneak a peek at these whenever I want.  Such a fun surprise!  We still have a few more things to check off, but with just over 100 days to go, I could not be more excited to be getting married.  In case that wasn’t obvious from my goofy grin in every photo.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you camera shy, or always ready for the flashing lights?

Today: Anatomy of an engagement photo.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]True Life: I don’t like having my photo taken.  Put a camera before me and I have an uncanny knack for freezing up.

Imagine my surprise and confusion, then, as I found myself actually enjoying our engagement photo session this weekend.  Perhaps it was having a handsome man on my arm, or great photographers to work with, or my sister alongside us (with a handbag full of Chapstick, comfortable shoes, and assorted other goodies), or the perfect weather, or the lovely locations.  Likely, it was all of the above.

Big primpin’

We planned to treat our session with Katherine and Craig of Henry Photographers as a practice run for the wedding, with hopes that I’d be at least slightly less terrified about being photographed on the big day.  I felt instantly at ease with them (it helps that I’ve known Katherine since middle school), and the process, so that practice run soon became a main event unto itself.  Nick and I were grinning from ear to ear the whole time.  I can’t wait to see the how the photos turned out.

Prior to our appointment, Katherine sent me a link to a post they put together with helpful tips for engagement photos.  Knowing she wouldn’t lead me astray, I grabbed my highest heels from the closet and made a list of important locations for our shoot.  We started at Castle Island, took a few shots in the courtyard of our building (after an outfit change, we’re very Hollywood), and finished on the roof (where Nick proposed) as the sun was setting behind us.

With cakepop tasting and our engagement photos behind us, it’s probably time to start making our “must play” list for the DJ.  😉

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your best tip for being comfortable in front of the camera?

Today: Relax in the grass.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]One of my favorite places in the city is just a short run (or if we’ve got the Frenchie with us, drive) away.  Castle Island is the perfect place to people watch, catch a view of ships and freighters coming in, or simply relax in the grass.

Life is good.  Really good.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you go to relax?