Tag Archives: family

August 2016 | Currently

August has been hot, hot, and hot.  

august 2016

I was driving through the city this weekend and saw a man wearing a wool-looking sweater and corduroy pants.  Mind you, it was 80-something degrees out.  I can only imagine two plausible explanations:

  • He was a tourist… visiting from, like… the sun (or somewhere just as warm).
  • He’s ready for fall.

I don’t believe in aliens and I want it to be summer forever.  Also I’m allergic to wool.  So basically, that man is my mortal enemy.  Just kidding.  

AUGUST 2016 | CURRENTLY

EATING

august 2016

  • Salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner – There is just so much incredible summer produce available and I feel personally compelled to eat all of it.  Looking for the perfect summer salad? I’ve got you covered.
  • 80% of all my meals and snacks – This is not some sort of fad diet.  My children and dog (and occasionally, my husband) eat all their food… and then they eat my food.  I am basically the peasant of the family.

READING

august 2016 reading

A bunch of books with pretty covers (and really good insides, too)

And a few articles and posts worth sharing

LISTENING TO

  • Adele on repeat… in anticipation of seeing her perform live next month (insert 100 of the red-dress-dancing-lady emojis, and then a crying emoji, and then the two-hands-in-the-air emoji and then 47 exclamation marks)
  • This fantastic episode of On Being: Running as a Spiritual Practice
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Big Feelings” album on Spotify during every, single car trip… while cursing the day I revealed to Grace that this was a thing.
  • Grace and Nick laugh hysterically on the swings.  And in the car.   And in their highchairs.  And in the bath.  It is the best sound ever.
  • A new workout playlist, which I’ll share here in the next few days.  I’ve been enjoying a few Pinterest-inspired home workouts and running at Castle Island during the break between Mama Beasts sessions.

FEELING

august 2016

  • Bittersweet about Grace beginning preschool next month.  She is super excited and I know she will love it.  And I’m looking forward to some one-on-one time with baby Nick, and a bit more structure to our weekdays.  But I also sort of want both kids to stay tiny and young forever.  Which would be very weird and hinder their prospects for becoming healthy, successful adults… I am aware.  Meanwhile, we’ve been painting and making some pretty cool stuff together.  The girl loves her googly eyes.
  • Way less itchy and way less dependent on Benadryl spray than I was two weeks ago… when I somehow got poison ivy all over both feet and like, in between all my toes.  We live in the city.  The only greenery on our property burned down a month ago (True story: someone threw a lit cigarette into one of our hydrangea bushes and it burned to the ground… but not before sending flames six feet into the sky.  We weren’t home at the time, and fortunately everyone in our building was okay.)  I still have no clue how or where or when I got it, but I’m telling you.  Poison ivy is no joke.
  • Excited to sneak in one more quick trip to the Cape this month

WATCHING

  • The Night Of on HBO – We have a couple episodes to catch up on, and I still run out of the room at least twice a show for fear of what’s going to happen next… but I’m hooked.
  • Bad Moms – Watched this hilarious (and surprisingly heartfelt) movie the best way possible, with 34 other moms in one of those fancy movie theaters with the reclining seats and hard cider and french fries and no children… such an awesome Mom’s Night Out with the Mama Beasts.  

LOVING

august 2016 babywearing

For the record, these are not ads, just things I’m obsessed with and feel like everyone should know about them.  Some of these links, however, are referral links.

  • Wearing baby Nick! He quickly outgrew our Baby Bjorn and was starting to feel not-so-secure in our linen ring sling… so we upgraded to the silk Sakura Bloom ring sling and I am completely obsessed.  I also really like the midnight black color way.  The silk grips really well and feels a bit more structured than the linen.  Let me know if you have questions about baby wearing — I could talk about it forever (or at least an hour).  
  • Ebates for “back-to-school” shopping, or more accurately “both kids outgrew all their clothes on the same day” shopping – I hit the BabyGap sale hard (and will get magical cash back from Ebates) earlier this week, saving baby Nick from a lifetime of wearing togas fashioned from swaddling blankets.  It nearly came to that.  But it didn’t.  I also use Ebates for regular purchases like Diapers.com.  It really adds up. 
  • Dollar Shave Club – I decided I was done spending a million dollars on razors and joined Dollar Shave Club on a whim (Nick uses Harry’s, a similar service).  For $6 a month, I get 4 razors delivered to my door.  The handle thing came in my first order, and yes, it’s super plain… but let’s be serious.  We don’t need lady razors.  Just like we don’t need lazy forks.  Or lady pencils.  Or lady steering wheels.  I’m super happy with the blades and for the first time ever, I’m remembering to use a new one every week.  So adult.
  • Instagram stories.  I love seeing everyone’s candid videos and fun photos!  You can find me on IG at @elizabethev and @elizabethevart (for the painting, doodling, making a mess-type stuff). 

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Making 9,000 appointments for the fall (check-ups, dentists, dermatologist, GI, vet, hair, and so on…)
  • Looking forward to a little brainstorming session with my fellow HLB ambassadors
  • Walk to the playground

How’s your August shaping up?

 

Today: Currently | February 2016

Am I the only adult who spells February wrong at least 78% of the time?  Regardless of how you spell it, February has been a really good month.  Just ask these two.

currently february

Currently | February 2016

Reading

  • This article on the ambition gap that my sister shared with me: America loves women like Hillary Clinton as long as they’re not asking for a promotion by Sady Doyle, qz.com
  • An embarrassing number of toddler development books… I mostly have no idea what I am doing… except I believe you’re not supposed to laugh when your toddler’s being fresh.  Even when her response to “Why are you standing on the table?” is “Because I’m being a freshie.”
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again)

Listening to

  • Foo Fighters on Spotify + noise-canceling headphones (this is how I survived getting a crown at the dentist last weekend)
  • Season 2 of Serial – I keep thinking I am done (I’m still not sure how I feel about this season), but then I get hooked.  That Sarah Koenig, man.  

castle island february

Watching

  • The St. Patrick’s Day decorations go up around the neighborhood
  • We just caught up on Homeland and now I’m morbidly depressed (I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, so I will just say this, I think you-know-who is still alive… which makes me think his or her life is going to be even more miserable going forward.  Also, post-partum hormones are real.  And TV characters are not.  But whatever.)
  • Election coverage… and now I’m morbidly depressed.  And we have months and months and months of this crap to endure.

Hi, baby Nick.

Enjoying

  • Signs of spring out at Castle Island (Sully’s opened this weekend)
  • A month of really consistent workouts
  • Baby wearing – I had forgotten how good it feels (and how it magically soothes a little one)
  • Grace’s newfound love for telling “jokes” (a recent favorite: “Grandpa is your sister!  It’s a joke!”)

Feeling

  • Extra productive and creative on some days, and like a nearly-expired sloth on others.
  • An itch to sign up for a race or two or six.  Blame the 50 degree weather and a fresh pair of sneaks.

Alright, I’m off to make the most of Leap Day… or as I think of it, an additional 24 hours for everyone to plan an extravagant birthday surprise for me.  Just kidding.  Also, I kind of hate surprises.  Toodles!

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Happy Leap Day!
  • Speaking of, what’s the point of Leap Day? via The Telegraph
  • Getting a printable March calendar ready for tomorrow #lastminuteLarry

What was the highlight of your February?

Today: Grace’s 2nd birthday party.

Grace will be two at the end of this month.  I can’t remember a faster two years.

2nd birthday party

Nor can this guy.

Grace had a few special requests for her family party this weekend and we were glad to oblige.

  1. The guest list had to include Baby Nick, Clark and Uncle Zach.
  2. We would listen to “Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson!” music.
  3. There would be balloons.
  4. We would eat a Gaston happy cake (they’re like regular cakes, only happier).

She may have a future in event planning.

Grace’s 2nd birthday party

family birthday party

I think I need to ask for a less freaky hand for my birthday.

The weather cooperated (sorry, mid-Atlantic states), but unfortunately cold season kept a few family members home.  We missed them and made sure to save them some cake (but I might eat it…).

french bulldog birthday cake

We kept the menu simple, mostly because nothing could top the Gaston cake.  Gaston is one of Grace’s favorite books (it’s about a family of poodles and a family of Frenchies), and the folks at Sweet Tooth bakery in Southie did an incredible job recreating the cover.

appetizers

Snacks included:

  • Cheese and herb flatbread
  • Italian turkey meatballs (this was semi-traumatic for my vegetarian self, but I thought they’d be a crowd pleaser and I am trying to branch out a bit when cooking for everyone else… even if that means simply heating frozen ballz from Whole Foods in our crockpot… baby steps)
  • Feta and onion tartes
  • Spanakopita
  • Tortilla chips and salsa
  • Cheese plate with fruit
  • Carrots, hummus and artichoke dip

frenchie food cards

I photocopied a page from my sketchbook (all little drawings of Gaston characters) and used those images for food labels.  Grace helped me make a few decorations over the past month or so, including a giant two and some not-so-giant party hats.

2nd birthday party

2nd birthday party

2nd birthday party

We had our loved ones there to celebrate with, balloons to play with, Michael Jackson to listen to, and plenty of cake to enjoy.  So by Grace’s standards (and mine), this was the perfect 2nd birthday party.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your list of special birthday party requests?

Today: January goals (and a printable calendar).

Hello from the other siiiiiide of New Year’s Eve.

(For the record: Now that we’re nearing a month of newborn-related sleep deprivation, everything I say and do is the funniest thing ever… to me, at least.  It would seem my siblings feel differently.  Either that or their phones are broken in such a way that they cannot reply to my hilarious bitmoji texts.)

January goals and a printable calendar

january goals and a printable calendar

Materials used: Micron pen (black 01), Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens, Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolors, random craft paint (acrylic), good old Microsoft Word (for the calendar table)

My questionable comedienne status aside, it is New Year’s Day and I’ve got January goals and a printable calendar to share with you.  Rather than setting year-long resolutions, I’m sticking to monthly goals and intentions.  Mostly because I can barely imagine what tomorrow will bring, let alone how many days I can deprive myself of Diet Coke come November.  

The calendar is a part of a larger goal I have to both make and share more art.  Please feel free to share, download and print as you like.  Consider it a gift to offset the un-funny Adele joke above.  And unless I completely space out, I’ll draw and paint a new calendar for you on the first of each month.

click here to download your free, printable January calendar

Here are the rest of my January goals, semi-organized for your reading pleasure.

Family

  • Celebrate Grace’s 2nd birthday in style (…whatever that means)
  • 2 trips to the children’s library
  • Photograph Grace and (baby) Nick and send out New Year’s cards/birth announcements (we sort of missed the boat on Christmas cards)
  • Listen to Serial with (adult) Nick each week (Nerdtown, USA: Population of 2)

Wellness

  • Schedule doctor’s and dentist’s and vet’s appointments for the beginning of the year
  • Get back in the workout groove (after being cleared to exercise at my six week postpartum check-up) and share weekly round-ups for accountability and motivation
  • Drink fewer than 600 Diet Cokes a week
  • Wear FitBit every day (this feels like a do-able precursor to setting a daily step or sleep goal)
  • Set aside 10 minutes each day to make something (and make peace with the fact that these “somethings” will likely take days or weeks to be finished products)

Home

  • Throw out, recycle or donate everything
  • Make a list of specific spaces in our condo to tackle and start chipping away at the decluttering
  • Hire a new housecleaner (we parted ways with ours in December, and I am not an especially talented duster… and let’s just say, both are evident)
  • Participate in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure

Community

  • Join a new parish (this is sort of major, and in the works — we love our current parish, but will be moving to one in our own neighborhood this year)
  • Participate in at least one of my fitness group’s social activities (the group has monthly birthday parties for kids, a mom’s night out, recipe swaps, etc.) rather than ducking out right after the workout, as I’ve done in the past #awkwardfaceemoji
  • Share at least one friend’s blog post or project per week

Here’s to a productive, happy, healthy, sort-of-hilarious month.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your January?

Today: My heart doubled in size.

On Saturday morning, we welcomed our son Nick to the world.

And my heart somehow doubled in size.  

BRB… soaking it all.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s filling up your heart these days?

Today: Happy Weekend.

October beach days are lovely.  There are no crowds, no man Speedos (no offense, men who wear Speedos), and very little risk of being hit in the head by a Frisbee (never say never).  

Lately, Grace and I have had the beach to ourselves.  We’ve added to our sea glass and oyster shell collections, and come home with extra windblown ponytails and plenty of sand in our shoes.  

Happy Weekend, my friends.  May your pockets be ever full of seashore treasures, and your ponytails lovingly styled by the wind.  Or whatever.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your weekend?

 

Today: Passing through.

I’ve always looked at spring and fall as transition times, not giving them the full respect of actual seasons.  Spring gets us to summer (Thank you, Jesus).  And fall gets us to winter (Happy Birthday, Jesus… and, in the case of winters such as the last one, Help us, Jesus).  These are months for passing through, for preparing.

This has never felt more true than this year, as I look ahead to our son’s arrival and attempt to (sort of) have my act together before that moment.  I’ve made lists (and added to them, like… an unhealthy amount). I’ve even accomplished several items on those lists.  I’ve pinned all kinds of crap to Pinterest boards and tried to imagine what the holidays will be like with a newborn and a nearly-two-year-old (the words magical and wild come to mind… I like both).  I thought about making and freezing food to tide us over on the most wild days… but I mostly just ate it.  

I’ve Googled things like “How do you dress up yoga pants?” and “Okay, but what if I no longer own a Beadazzler?” and “Skinny black tuxedo pants are out of the question” and “Does dry shampoo really work miracles?” and “Right, but it’s possible that I haven’t showered in days.” and “Why are you being so mean, Google! In this imaginary scenario, I JUST had a baby!”  And then I feel badly for wasting twenty minutes that could have been spent organizing baby clothes or making homemade jam for Christmas gifts.  Or, you know… napping.

My mind was feeling particularly busy this morning.  I must have been making more lists in my head on the way to Grace’s gymnastics class (which is basically the most amazing, most adorable hour ever), because I pulled into the parking lot without remembering most of the 30 minute drive. 

I’m doing all this preparing and passing through, and completely missing the view.  This is an actual season, despite my being prejudiced against orange and yellow and red and brown and turkeys.  It’s one that provides the opportunity to (spoiler alert!) dress Grace like a strawberry and Clark like a banana, stick them in a very oversized yogurt cup (that I need to invent) and call them a smoothie.   It’s one that makes me kind of itchy, but doesn’t make my hair frizzy… so I can forgive the allergies.  It’s one that brings us apples (and therefore, apple crisp) and leggings and dark nail polish and hot tea.

Instead of just passing through, I’m trying to stay for a while. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your fall checklist?

 

Today: Currently | July 2015

If I see or hear one more back to school commercial…  Lord, help me.  Because of all that snow, the last day of school in Boston this year was June 29th, which was basically five minutes ago.  So, please… let’s keep those school supplies out of sight for at least another month.  

[Also, this is the first time since I was in kindergarten that my life doesn’t essentially revolve around an academic calendar.  So that’s kind of weird.  After graduating, my work was largely tied to school partnerships and while I never had a summer break, things always really ramped up in September.  Now that I’m home, I think Grace, Clark and I will spend September at the beach.  Or, like… doing laundry.]

This isn’t a post about graphing calculators (do kids still use those?), though… right?  Right.

Currently | July 2015

Currently feeling…

  • Thrilled to have shared our news with you and grateful for all the love and support
  • Like it’s 95 degrees and I am pregnant (because it is, and I am)
  • Excited about our upcoming vacation
  • Like life has changed so much in the past two months.  “Clean out the pantry” has been on my to do list since June, I sometimes forget to shower, and I caught myself having a semi-serious (albeit one-sided) conversation with my dog yesterday.  But I don’t think I could be happier being home with Grace. 

Currently eating…

  • As much fresh produce as I can get my hands on– tomatoes and berries, especially.  I loved our trips to the farmers market (here and here) this month.
  • 900 popsicles a day

Currently watching…

  • “On the Way to School,” a beautiful documentary about several children and the challenges the overcome (in most cases, daily) to get to school.  It’s surprisingly uplifting.  And I want everyone to watch it. (It’s available on Netflix.)
  • File these next two under much less enlightened: Candidly Nicole on Hulu+ (fellow Simple Life fans, rejoice!) and Naked and Afraid XL on Discovery.  Both make me laugh, like, a lot.

Currently creating…

  • Some fun little sketches and paintings in my new sketchbook (details here).  I got out of the habit of painting daily this month, but have started to get back on track this week.
  • Playlists galore.  We’ve been in the car a lot (going from one fun thing to the next), and making good use of that Spotify subscription.
  • A plan for the second half of the summer and a list of everything I’d love to do, see, and enjoy
  • Lots of Chatbooks (they’re 20% through today with the code HOLDON) — I am officially obsessed after making a little book of photos from our 4th of July on the Cape.

Currently enjoying…

  • Lots of great workouts.  I absolutely love the outdoor bootcamp (yes, even in the blazing heat) I’ve been attending and have started working in prenatal yoga videos a couple times a week.  
  • Swimming as much as possible.  We’ve been in the water a lot this month, from swimming class with Grace to pool days at my parents’ house and dips in the ocean in Southie and on the Cape.
  • An unusual (but welcomed) desire to make plans.  No one would mistake me for a social butterfly, but maaaaan, I love spending time with our friends and family.

Also On Tap for Today:

What were some of your July highlights?

 

Today: The happiest news.

We’ve kept the happiest news under wraps (and oversized teeshirts) for long enough…

I am thrilled to share that Grace will be a big sister this December.  Nick and I are over the moon.  Grace doesn’t really know what’s going on (but she appreciates the balloons).  And Clark, welp… he’s taking a nap.

This wonderful life just keeps getting better.

Oh and yes… those blue balloons mean we’re having a boy! Yayayayayay.

Also On Tap for Today:

What happy news do you have to share?