Tag Archives: Charlestown

Today: Halloween 2015 | A strawberry and a lobster.

I sort of have a love/hate relationship with Halloween.  Actually, it’s more of a hate/hate relationship.  Like, aren’t people creepy enough already, without having to dress up like zombies and murderous clowns?  

Also, I’ve said it before, but I’m not a fan of fall decor.  I have already promised Nick that if and when we move to the suburbs, I will not be decorating our lawn with punny tombstones and fake spiderwebs.  I just won’t.  And I’ll probably want to turn our lights off at 5 instead of give out candy on Halloween… mostly because I don’t want teenagers and their serial killer costumes to give me nightmares.

I’m the Grinch that stole Halloween.  Except that I’ll leave three very important elements behind:

  1. Candy (obvi)
  2. Babies in costumes
  3. Dogs in costumes

The rest is no good.  But these three things? These three, I embrace.

I had every intention of dressing Clark as a banana, to complement Grace’s strawberry costume (#fruitsmoothie)… but his, shall we say, robust figure did not fit into any of the peels I found.  The poor guy was almost off the Halloween hook entirely (and if anyone deserves a break lately, it’s him), but when I spotted a lobster costume tucked in among the Christmas decorations (Yesssssssss!  And no, it’s never too soon for Christmas!) at T.J. Maxx on October 30th, back on the hook he went.  

I’m basically keeping this costume accessible year round.  It’s just too good.

Grace’s strawberry costume got lots of use last week too, from gymnastics to running around Nick’s office, to actual Halloween.  She kept telling people, “This my costume.  A strawberry.”

We spent the evening with friends in Charlestown checking out the festivities around the monument, and I’ve got to say… Halloween wasn’t all that bad.  In fact, it was pretty great.  But now it’s time to get the Christmas boxes out of storage.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the best Halloween costume you saw this weekend?


Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 35

Take it from your friendly neighborhood not-a-meteorologist: It is hot as blazes today.  I slowed things down a bit at bootcamp this morning, but I’m not sure it made much of a difference.  By the time Grace and I got home, we were both ridiculously sweaty and in need of an extra nutritious lazy summer lunch: Popsicles, raspberries and lots of water.

Now that I’m feeling rehydrated and somewhat normal, let’s revisit the weekend according to Instagram.  

The Weekend According to Instagram

  1. There is no point to this photo, except that I am obsessed with my dog.  Clark has been extra patient and playful with Grace lately, and I think he’s finally back to his usual self after a not-so-usual winter.  The poor little guy had emergency spinal surgery at the end of February, was on bedrest for six weeks and is still waiting for most of his back fur to regrow.  It’s sort of like built-in air conditioning, but looks… weird nonetheless.  Nick recently found the breeder’s new website (she was sort of MIA for a while, which fits the bill)– the last thing we need right now is a puppy, but there were three that looked so much like baby Clark that I almost tried to convince Nick this was a good idea.  ‘Tis not.
  2. I know I need to get over myself (and I mostly did this weekend), but as long as we’ve lived in Southie (and in the past two years, right on the water), I couldn’t bring myself to swim at Carson Beach.  Supposedly the beaches in Southie are cleaner than Miami Beach, but… what does that even mean?  Long story short: We all went swimming on Sunday.  And it was actually kind of nice.  So that’s that.
  3. Sunday was National Ice Cream Day.  I don’t know where this crap comes from, but I am happy to celebrate anything that involves sprinkles.
  4. This poodle is one of Grace’s new best friends.  As previously mentioned, she is a miniature dog whisperer.  They flock to her (when she is not chasing them).  
  5. We went for a nice, long walk with my sister in Charlestown on Sunday (which is where we encountered the poodle), strolling through Paul Revere Park and through the Navy Yard.
  6. My first Google Express delivery arrived on Saturday afternoon.  We each received a gift code at last Tuesday’s dinner at Serafina to try out the service, and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed.  I’ve got a gift code to share with you (please see below), too.  The hardest part for me was deciding what to order.  I originally planned to go with diapers (boring, but necessary), but Grace’s size wasn’t available… which was just the motivation I needed to order a few fun things instead.  I love that you can purchase from multiple retailers in the same order.  I ordered some moisturizer and my favorite eye shadow from Ulta, and Go Set a Watchman and a grown-up coloring book from Barnes + Noble.  Everything was delivered the next day (in adorable packaging) during the delivery window I reserved.  I can see this service being perfect for last minute gifts or entertaining (in addition to household staples) and would love to hear if you have or planned to order from Google Express.
  7. We picked up all kinds of good food at the farmers market at Crescent Ridge (plus the ice cream….) on Saturday.  Summer tomatoes are heaven.
  8. A little surprise on a late afternoon walk: a giant sand sculpture in Southie.  
  9. And a leftover from Thursday:  Why bring a teddy bear to a teddy bear picnic when you can bring a slothExactly.

Here are the details for Google Express:

Now through August 2nd, use the code EXPRESSBOSTON to receive $25 off your first purchase with Google Express (limited to the first 2,500 users; please note it is stated in your cart when paying that Google Express may need to authorize payment method for the total amount of your order without the promotional credit, but the promotional credit will be reflected in the amount actually charged to your payment method.

Happy shopping! …Oh, and stay cool.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite way to cool off?

Today: The weekend according to Instagram XXI.

I need to brush up on my Roman numerals.

In other news, it was a lovely fall weekend in Boston.  I feel like, lately, I am doing whatever is the opposite of nesting– running around from one thing to the next, spending as much time as possible with family and friends, and enjoying how wonderful I’ve been feeling recently.  The third trimester is just around the corner, though, and I have a feeling the urge to nest isn’t far away either.  In the meantime, I love being about chase Clark around the park, watch my niece climb and slide and swing at the playground, and catch up with friends in and around the city.

The weekend according to Instagram XXI

  1. Clark has taken to pawing down various blankets and pillows, making himself little thrones throughout the house.  If he had has own credit card, I imagine one of his first purchases would be a La-Z-Boy recliner.  Or a giant tub of cheese balls.
  2. ‘Tis the season to break out the legwarmers.  I wore one of my favorite pairs (complete with little heel openings) to prenatal yoga on Saturday afternoon, and for a nice walk through Charlestown with my pal Alyson on Sunday.  While I do not care for most things fall, I do like being cozy.  And looking like a jazzercise instructor.
  3. My Project X bulldogs and barbells tee has gotten a bit too snug.  Thankfully, their stickers are one size fits all.  They make really fun, limited edition gear.  I heard Bob Harper was wearing one of their tees in last week’s Biggest Loser episode.  Cool enough for Bob?  Cool enough for me.
  4. Speaking of cool, this little miss is off the charts.
  5. Tina‘s recent posts about English muffin pizzas got me craving one of these childhood favorites.  While I am still limiting gluten, my pregnancy m.o. has been if it sounds good… eat it.  Within reason.  Mostly.
  6. Few things make me laugh harder than when infomercial actors get fake-injured doing simple tasks.  After I chopped a bunch of vegetables for the week’s salads, Nick suggested I film an infomercial for my “2 minute, fail proof salad creation system.”   My draft script currently includes losing a thumb, spilling lettuce into some obscure place (like my shoe), and falling off a ladder (which I climbed in an effort to retrieve my 1970’s salad spinner… naturally).

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?


Today: Freedom Trail mix muffins.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I was strolling down Main Street in Charlestown when inspiration for the HLS Breakfast Showdown struck.  With the Freedom Trail at my feet, and a kitchen stocked with Wild Harvest goodies, I knew what I wanted to whip up.

Wild Harvest, Gold Sponsor of the 2012 Healthy Living Summit, sent this year’s participants ten of their favorite products, with the challenge to create a fun and healthy breakfast using three or more Wild Harvest ingredients.

Freedom Trail Mix Muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups trail mix (I used WILD HARVEST organic animal crackers, WILD HARVEST organic raisins, dried Cape Cod cranberries, peanuts, and miniature dark chocolate chips)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 WILD HARVEST organic eggs
  • 1 cup WILD HARVEST organic apple sauce


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prep your muffin tins.  This recipe yields twelve regular sized muffins and 24 miniature muffins.
  2. Setting your trail mix aside, combine other dry ingredients and slowly incorporate wet ingredients.  Mix well.
  3. Add in trail mix and stir.  And try not to eat the batter.
  4. Fill each tin 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Why buy a pre-made trail mix when you can get creative and use what’s already in the pantry?  Dried fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate are sure bets.  I used Wild Harvest’s animal crackers as the base, and felt a bit badly breaking the head off an elephant and the butt off a bison.  Oh and yes, vegetarians do eat animal crackers.  Using apple sauce instead of butter or oil is a great way to keep your baked goods moist and light.  From a little idea on Main Street, these humble muffins hit the spot.

[Image source]

This little breakfast treats are perfect for a morning meal on the go, or for enjoying while sightseeing or strolling.  If you’re visiting Boston this summer, the Freedom Trail is not to be missed.  The 2.5 mile route covers sixteen historical sites and tells the story of the American Revolution.  Pack a snack.  Nerds like us shouldn’t have to choose between monuments and monumentally good muffins.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

Today: A tartey for the party.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]After having such a great run on the Harbor Walk last weekend, I thought it might be fun to bring a few pals along.  Tina, Ali, Anne and I tackled six miles this morning, running from Southie to Charlestown and back.  It’s sort of fun to hop from neighborhood to neighborhood in the rain.

I stole this photo from Anne, while wondering what on Earth my hand is up to.

I’ve been rather enamored with the waterfront lately; nothing makes me happier than a salty sea breeze.  Besides cheese doodles.  And my dog.  And a few other things, too.

After our run, we enjoyed mimosas and brunch at our condo, while Clark and Murphy provided the entertainment.  I found these fun Japanese vegetable cutters earlier this week and was excited to put them to use.  I cut some fresh watermelon, honey dew melon and cucumbers into tiny flowers and tossed them with mozzarella and fresh basil.  The perfect summer salad.

I also whipped up my first berry galette, a free form tarte perfect for showcasing the summer’s best blueberries, raspberries and–my favorite– blackberries.  I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the dough, and sort of winged it from there.  You know Martha would never steer you wrong.  Clearly, this tartey was perfect for our little party.

All that remains is a piddly, little blueberry.

Running with friends, towards a delightful brunch… now that’s how to train for a marathon.

Also On Tap for Today:

Make anything tasty this weekend?

Today: The Townie.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]

I am fairly certain I’ve mentioned before my dreams of becoming a detective, or even just a regular officer of the law.  The thing is, I like working regular hours and I don’t think I’d ever want to walk around with a weapon on my belt.  Incidentally, I hate wearing belts.  And I like the security of walking around with a handbag.  I have never seen an on duty officer with a handbag.

Every now and then, though, a local crime story catches my attention and I find myself obsessing over the facts and questions.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I don’t like when bad things happen, but I do like when justice is served.  So imagine my fascination when one of the year’s semi-biggest news story hits home.  Literally.  The home of my brother.

Do I have your attention?  Okay.  So.  The Town opens in theaters on Friday to much fanfare.

According to the trailer, Charlestown produces more bank and armored car robbers than any where else in the country.  I have some evidence that points to this statement being (at least slightly) true.

It was a crisp January evening when my older brother returned home from a late night at the law firm.  As he approached his Charlestown apartment, he found shattered glass littering the sidewalk.  What he didn’t find was his car.  This, dear friends, is the Townie: (one of ) the true stories behind The Town, an interview with an innocent victim of Charlestown’s ruthless bank robbery machine, a night we will not soon forget (because it is forever immortalized on this pathetic blog).

[Some of the specifics (like my brother’s street address and social security number) have been omitted to protect the innocent you know, like, the people involved.  This is, however, a completely real scenario.  Bible.]

Imaginary Det. Elizabeth: Earlier this year, your sport utility vehicle was stolen from the streets of Charlestown and driven to Waltham, where the “perps” robbed a bank and took the police and Feds on a wild goose chase.  Walk us through this.

My brother: After we realized that the car was missing, I called all of the towing companies in the city and determined that it hadn’t been towed.  Then, we discovered a pile of broken glass next to where the car had been.  (This was a good clue that it had been stolen and not towed.)  But I didn’t learn that it was involved in a bank robbery until the following day.  I got a call from law enforcement saying that my car had been recovered but was being held as evidence in a “serious crime.”  Eventually I learned that it was a bank robbery.  No one could tell me whether the car was damaged in the heist.   A month and a half later, I got it back.

Imaginary Det. Elizabeth: A month and half is a long time to be dusting for fingerprints, but from what I have gathered in my dossier on the case, justice is being served.  Have you ever met a bank robber in real life?

My brother: Not knowingly.  But, based on the movie trailer, it’s likely that I encounter bank robbers on a pretty regular basis: in line at Dunkin’ Donuts, in Johnnie’s, outside Sully’s, and in the hangout spot between CVS and Papa Gino’s.

Imaginary Det. Elizabeth: Hangout spot?  That sounds creepy.  You should probably do your food shopping outside of Charlestown from now on.  Tell the truth.  When your car was returned to you, was there any money stashed in the glove compartment or under the floor mats?

My brother: No comment.  Except that I did get a new ski mask.

Imaginary Det. Elizabeth: Interesting.  Do you have any other comments to share with our readers?

My brother: If the thieves are reading this, I want my bungee cords back!

Welp, there you have it.  I haven’t seen the Town yet, but if this gripping interview I forced my brother to engage in is any indication, we have a real-life crime thriller on our hands.  Ripped from the headlines, as they say.  I wonder what Serena van der Woodsen‘s Boston accent sounds like.

Also On Tap for Today:

Have you ever had anything stolen?  Are you going to see The Town?

Today: Hometown tourists.

I may have left my scrunchie, white socks and Tevas at home, but this afternoon I embraced the role of tourist.  In our own city.  Nick and I boarded the North End Norma, one of Boston Duck Tours’ original ducks, and set out to see Boston.  Though I’ve been on the tour once before, I learned a thing or two and truly enjoyed seeing our beautiful city from high atop the back of a WWII amphibious vehicle with my quacking companions.

I took well over a hundred photos, rivaling the best equipped out-of-towners, as we cruised under bridges, alongside landmarks, and up and down the Charles.  Though I pass through the Back Bay every day, I’ve never stopped to really enjoy the beauty of Trinity Church, or to read the names carved below the BPL’s grand windows.

The last time I spent more than a few minutes passing by the Museum of Science, it was more than three years ago, and I was very nearly late for a job interview.  Rather than noticing the giant section of the Berlin Wall displayed in front of the EF building, I was checking my nylons for snags.  I hate nylons.  Almost as much as I hate the word pantyhose.

We enjoyed breathtaking views of the Zakim Bridge, the city’s skylines, community boaters, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Common, and so on.  All good reasons to love Boston.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Figure out what the heck to pack for Houston
  • Today’s Boston Globe Magazine is all about SUMMER! 🙂
  • Get two runs in before Thursday’s race

What your favorite part of your hometown/city?