Tag Archives: food

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: Happy Weekend.

I finally found salt bagels for sale in Massachusetts.  

I’m quite pleased with myself.  And I hope you’re having a very happy weekend.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you snacking on this weekend?

Today: Drink Good. Do Good.

Nick, Grace and I spent last week at the Cape doing a whole lot of nothing together and it was perfect.  (Meanwhile, Clark was in the city enjoying the peace and quiet that comes from not being chased by a toddler all day long.)  With Nick back in the office come Monday, Grace and I snuck down to see my parents and soak up a few more days of swimming and walking around the neighborhood looking for poodles.  

For the record: there are nine standard poodles in the ‘hood.  I don’t think that’s normal. 

Before leaving Boston for the beach, though, we hit up the grocery store so that Nick wouldn’t go hungry without us… and so that we’d have no shortage of beach snacks.

 Grace is so much fun to shop with lately.  She can name most foods (zucchinis are still cucumbers to her, and lettuce is sometimes a flower… but hey) and loves make loud, enthusiastic requests for yogurt and bananas and strawberries and Popsicles.  

We make our way up and down each aisle as I double- and triple-check our list, filling our cart with the best options available for our little family.  With several markets so close by, safe and reliable transportation to get us there, and money to spend… those options are both healthy and plentiful.  

We don’t have to choose between what is heathy and what we can afford.  And if we do find ourselves with limited options… we can shop somewhere else.  This is something I take for granted all too often.

Drink Good.  Do Good

Meanwhile, nearly 24 million Americans are living in food deserts– urban neighborhoods or rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.  In Boston alone, nearly 71,000 residents live without ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  

In an effort to raise awareness for food deserts and to take action in making fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to everyone, Naked Juice has teamed up with the non-profit Wholesome Wave on the Drink Good. Do Good campaign.  I’d love for you to join me in this important effort.

How you can help

It’s as easy as hopping on Instagram or Twitter.  To help raise awareness about food deserts and the initiative…

  • Take a photo holding a fruit or vegetable
  • Share it using #DrinkGoodDoGood
  • And tag a friend to do the same

For every photo shared, Naked Juice will donate 10 pounds of produce (or the monetary equivalent) to Wholesome Wave.  

For more information about food deserts, how they affect our communities, and how you can help, please visit Drink Good.  Do Good.

I am grateful to partner with Naked Juice on this sponsored post and hope you will consider doing good by sharing a photo or two today.  

Also On Tap for Today:

How many poodles live in your neighborhood are you spending these last, beautiful weeks of summer?

 

 

 

 

 

Today: Fresh from the farmers market.

First things first: Thank you so much for all the love and kind words about our happy news!

We had great luck at this week’s farmers market at Crescent Ridge.  The farm animals were out and about, the weather was perfect, and we scored some really beautiful produce. 

farmers market haul

  • Eggs for Nick (and eggshells for me to grow little plants in)
  • Raspberries, blueberries and and a basket of “pretty uglies” tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Peaches and peppers from Silvia Farms

Needless to say, we also got ice cream.  With sprinkles.  

We’ve already done some serious damage on the berries, but the rest will go into breakfast parfaits and a blueberry + thyme lemonade I’ve been dreaming about (probably the most pregnant thing I’ve said today).  I’m also planning on a tomato tart and 900 Caprese salads.  As for the peppers, they are almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.  

Anywaaaay…. I hope your week is off to a lovely, delicious start.  To quote my animal-obsessed child, “Bye, goats. I love you.”

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your menu this week?

 

Today: Saturday at the farmers market.

This morning, we took a little drive down 95 to check out the farmers market at Crescent Ridge in Sharon.  I was on a tomato mission (our deck tomatoes are still a week or so away from ripening), but our first stop was to see the cows.

Hi, ladies.

It’s been raining off and on all day, so we didn’t last too long, but we did manage to pick up lunch (and dessert x2) and a few things from several vendors.  Oh, and we unexpectedly ran into two local celebrities… my parents.  Grace was quite pleased!

  • Raspberries and heirloom tomatoes from Ward’s Berry Farm
  • Corn from E.L. Silvia Farms
  • Whoopie pies from… Making Whoopie 
  • Pretzel roll sandwiches from Swissbakers
  • Fresh eggs (Nick eats them… I attempt to grow succulents in their shells, it’s how we roll)
  • Beef (Nick eats it… I make no attempts to grow anything anywhere near it)
  • And… ice cream from Crescent Ridge (obvi)

Not bad for a rainy Saturday at the farmers market, eh?  The market is open 11-2 on Saturdays through the end of October.  No guarantees about my parents being there… but you never know.  

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your Saturday?

 

Today: Currently | June 2015

And just like that, May is over and June has arrived.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Or attempting to clean out your closets.  Or making a fresh start.  Or maybe just some fresh juice.

It’s been a week now since I’ve been office-less, business card-less, commute-less and fax machine-less.  I hesitate to call myself (or anyone else, for that matter) a “stay at home mom” because, like… we’ve been out of the house quite a bit since I left my job.  

It currently feels less like a life change and more like a vacation, but I think we’re all settling into this new way of being quite well.  I’m resisting the urge to over-schedule and fill up our days, but I also don’t want us to become weird shut-ins.  It’s all a careful balance (I think.  Who knows?).

Either way, here’s what I’ve been up to…

Currently | June 2015

Reading

  • Per usual, I’m late to the party, but I’m nearly finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  There are parts that were so funny (made even funnier by the fact that they were intended to be serious) that I cried.  Overall, though, I think it’s worth a read.  
  • When my mom asked for reading recommendations, I came up empty.  Because I can’t remember the last non-how-to-clean-your-house-book I read.  Not good.  Meanwhile, I was attempting to work some life-changing magic on our bookshelves when I came across an unread copy of J. Courtney Sullivan’s The Engagements.  I loved her first two books and am excited to get started on this.  Magic, indeed!  
  • Oh, and magazines.  They’re like books… for lazy people like me.

Watching

  • Lots of sunrises… because Grace has taken to getting up at 4:30 AM for the day, regardless of how early or late she has gone to bed.  The upside? We suddenly have an extra hour or two to our day (or something).  Our pediatrician recommended we check out this toddler alarm clock.  At first I thought she was kidding… but she hasn’t steered us wrong yet, so into the Amazon cart it goes!

Listening

  • Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”  It was playing in the Birmingham airport and I have been blasting it in the car ever since.  One of my first tapes was Whitney — I think I need to go Spotify the entire album.

Eating

  • We’re spoiled with Whole Foods just over the bridge in the South End, and a farmers market just around the corner (which opened for the season today!).  I can’t get enough of the early summer produce available — watermelons, berries, corn and tomatoes!

  • Lots of “hers and hers” meals.  Grace shares my love of snacking and enjoys a bit of variety at lunch and dinner.  I saw these adorable stainless steel divided bus plates on Peas and Crayons (thanks, Jenn!) and ordered a set for Grace.  They are perfect for plating toddler-sized portions of whatever I happen to be snacking on.  

Making

  • Progress on my “stuff to do around the house” list (how domestic, I know).  I’ve been adding to that list since we moved, but barely but a dent into it until this week.  So far, I’ve cleaned out my closet (three bags of clothes went to the Red Cross, and fourth went to ThredUp — we shall see how that goes), hung up our new artwork from Minted, packed up Grace’s 6 and 9 month clothes, cleaned out the super-cluttered, super-dangerous (mandolins!  knives!) kitchen utensil drawer, and purged most of our kitchen cabinets.  Next on the list: Change our wifi network name to Hillary Clinternet (this is a major priority), recycle every single scrap of paper in the house, find a new rug for the living room, make order out of the chaos that is our bathroom cabinet, and wrangle all those books and toys.

Feeling

  • Like this is going to be a really great summer.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is on your home “to-do” list?

Today: My grocery staples and a Dairy Pure giveaway.

My diet has changed a lot in the past year.  When I was pregnant, I ate around the clock to keep morning sickness at bay.  I was able to tolerate gluten again, mostly (there was a week in August when all I wanted was bread… so all I ate was bread).  I tried to form a fan club for Whole Foods mashed potatoes.  I gave up caffeine and tried to cut back on anything especially spicy or acidic (holy heartburn).

Now that Grace is three months old, I am eating more like, well, myself.  One changed that has stuck, however: I am drinking milk again.  Not almond milk, not cashew milk, not goat’s milk… straight up cow’s milk.

When we were kids, we drank milk with dinner every night and lived close enough to a dairy farm to have it delivered by the cold, glass bottleful.  (Believe it or not, I grew up in Greater Boston in the 80’s, not in a Little House on the Prairie.)  At some point, though, once I was out on my own, I stopped drinking milk altogether.  When I started seeing a registered dietitian and embarked on one elimination diet after another, dairy was often the first to go.  And then I would miss cheese (real talk).  I skipped the milk, however, until I was pregnant.  It was one of the few cravings I had during those nine months.  It’s been a personal choice (and one I researched and discussed with my midwife), but adding several servings of milk to my diet has been a healthy way to help meet my calcium, protein and vitamin needs.

In addition to milk, here are few of my other weekly grocery staples:

  • Salad mix (usually baby greens with herbs)
  • Fresh vegetables for salads and snacks (bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, onions, sugar snap peas and radishes)
  • Tomatoes, bananas, apples, and berries
  • The magical fruit Beans, nut butter, hummus
  • Couscous, quinoa, rice
  • Guacamole (which, in my opinion, should be its own food group) – I usually buy single serve portions – a bit more expensive, but less goes to waste for us
  • Cheese (duh)
  • Fresh herbs
  • Cut flowers (always)

With so much non-food being added to our actual food these days, I think it requires a bit of extra effort to shop these days.  I started drinking Dairy Pure milk this winter, so when the company reached out a few weeks ago with information about their new Worry-Free Flip Caps, I was happy to share their info with you.

All Dairy Pure milk passes a 5-point Purity Checklist, ensuring the following:

  1. Dairy Pure farmers pledge to use no artificial growth hormones
  2. All milk is tested for antibiotics
  3. Milk is continuously quality tested to ensure purity
  4. Milk comes only from cows fed a nutritious diet
  5. Milk is cold-shipped fresh from a trusted dairy within hours

The new caps, which stay on the bottle and keep milk fresher, give me even more peace of mind when shopping the dairy aisle.  To find Dairy Pure milk at a market near you, click here.

Dairy Pure is giving away 5 of their insulated shopping totes for your next trip to the market.  To enter, simply leave a comment below.  I will select 5 random winners on Saturday, May 10.

Disclosure: I received a gift card to cover the cost of purchasing Dairy Pure milk at my local market.  I was not compensated for this post, nor for my comments about the product.  I only review products and services that I feel good about (obvi… I hope).

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your take on dairy?  Care to share your usual shopping list?

 

Today: The SparkPeople Cookbook

Update:  Congrats to Sophie @ Life’s Philosophie!  And many thanks to all who entered.  This giveaway is now closed.

Late last year, I received a complimentary copy of The SparkPeople Cookbook.  I was familiar with the SparkPeople website and love their Instagram account, and had heard great things about that community from friends looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.  After spending some time enjoying the cookbook and perusing the hundreds of searchable recipes (including a special section for parties and seasonal dishes) on SparkRecipes, I’m hooked.

I’ve never been much of a meal planner.  While pregnant, I stuck with small, frequent meals and seemed to experience new food aversions daily (root beer, raspberries, mashed potatoes and cucumbers… those were my safe foods hahaha).  I’m still eating round the clock (and often with one hand), but have been so happy to crave actual meals again.  Whenever I get a new cookbook, I seem to spend hours marking pages that whet my appetite.  That way I can easily find meal inspiration when I’ve grown sick of, welp… raspberries and root beer.  (Bodies are so weird.)

The SparkPeople Cookbook is full of healthy recipes, along with really helpful instructions for healthy cooking techniques, inspirational stories from the SparkPeople community, ideas for ingredient swaps, and other educational content.

It’s the kind of cookbook you’ll want to actually read.

The lovely folks at SparkPeople are offering a copy of The Spark People Cookbook to one On Tap for Today reader in the U.S.  To enter, simply leave a comment below.  I will choose a winner (using random.org) at the end of the day on Monday, February 17th.

Full monty disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of The Spark People Cookbook.  I was not compensated for this review or giveaway.  As always, I’m happy to share my honest thoughts on products I enjoy.  Also, it’s been two weeks since my last sip of root beer.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your meal planning style?  Always prepared… or fly by the seat of your pants?

 

Today: Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts.

If you’re like me you are an incredible and wonderful creature have a tendency to leave things to the last minute.  For someone who loves to plan and make lists as long as my dog is cute, I have a real knack for procrastinating.  Fortunately, there is still time to pick up the perfect gift and a half gallon of milk at the same time.  Which reminds me: I forgot to buy milk this morning.

Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts

DIY gift baskets

My late uncle lived in Florida and often sent boxes of citrus fruit up North this time of year– the perfect bit of sun and warmth for those of us hunkering down for another New England winter.  Plus, it’s always nice to have a few grapefruits and oranges on hand to balance out the ‘nog and cookies.

You could spend a fortune on next day shipping and order a gourmet gift online, or you could simply hit up the produce section of your local grocery store and pick up a few of your favorite fruits (perhaps include something new and different for a friend to try?) and wrap them in an inexpensive bowl or basket.

Fruit not your jam?  Try a printed recipe and dry ingredients, or spices and cooking utensils.  Package your favorite teas with honey, biscuits and a lovely mug.  There are pretty much no rules when it comes to making your own food-themed gift baskets.  Welp, maybe that’s not true.

A few rules to abide by, lest ye give your sister botulism for Christmas:

  1. Include no fish, raw meats, nor cheeses that require refrigeration
  2. Avoid anything that could go bad and/or stinky
  3. If it doesn’t sound delicious, don’t wrap it up and give it to someone (unless you’re trying to send a very un-Christmas-like message)

Toys

Our favorite Whole Foods Market (the one on River Street in Cambridge) has quite the selection of toys, books, apparel and other gift-worthy items in their Whole Body section.  Who doesn’t love a sock monkey?  Someone I don’t want to know, that’s who.

Chocolate

When in doubt, give the people what they want.  I am a big fan of local favorite, Mexcian style Taza Chocolate, but most markets offer a variety of interesting brands and flavors, all of which make a lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

Something unexpected

The big advantage to holiday shopping at the grocery store (besides the opportunity to buy — or forget to buy — milk) is the unexpected factor.  Keep an open mind while browsing the aisles, and just about anything may capture your imagination as gift-worthy.

My favorite “unexpected” items:

  • The above mushroom kit from Back to the Roots
  • Potted rosemary “trees” — they look like little Christmas trees and make a great gift for your favorite cook
  • Items from L.I.F.E. line fashion (sold at most Whole Foods Markets), a remarkable project of CTC International created to employ and empower mothers of children with special needs in Kenya
  • The Whole Planet calendar — 100% of proceeds go to the Whole Planet Foundation, and the calendar (which costs $4) includes over $40 worth of coupons #winwin

See you at the market, fellow Larrys.

P.S. For the record:  This is not a sponsored post.  I just happen to really, really like our grocery store. 

Also On Tap for Today:

 What is your favorite gift to give?

 

Today: The weekend according to Instagram XIX.

We had quite the lovely weekend.  We started with an exciting doctor’s appointment, followed with lots of time spent with family and friends, and ended with paying attention to football a nap on the sofa.

The weekend according to Instagram XIX

  1. You likely already saw the news (mostly because I can’t keep anything good and exciting to myself), but Nick and I found out Friday afternoon that we are expecting a girl.  And I am expecting her to have her father wrapped around her little finger.  Clark is excited because (among other reasons) they’ll be able to share clothes.  He loves ruffles.
  2. I found this little guy beneath our stoop early Saturday, just as the rain was clearing.  I like when nature visits the city.  And isn’t that shell gorgeous?
  3. I whipped up two batches of this easy, football-friendly black bean dip this weekend.  You can find the vegan, gluten-free recipe (along with a tour of our new kitchen) here.  (And thank you, Emily, for catching the #2 pun…)
  4. We spent Friday night laughing, eating, and more laughing with friends.  Our new place is really feeling like home, especially with friends and family there to share the space.  Matt and Pam brought us this cheery pink begonia plant.  I have a feeling there’s going to be more and more pink coming our way.
  5. I don’t know if I should tell you this or not… so naturally, I am going to tell you.  Clark got peed on by another dog this weekend.  He was standing on one side of a chain link fence, and the perp was on the other, attempting to mark the fence post (presumably).  Instead, he decorated my dog (who seemed oddly oblivious to the whole thing).  Next stop: the longest, most thorough bath of Clark’s life.
  6. We enjoyed this gorgeous view of the city from my sister and brother-in-law’s new apartment on Saturday night.  I love having our family just minutes away.  The next day, we had dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and niece.  We’re spoiled.
  7. Who ever said you don’t win friends with salad has never eaten salad with me.  I love making a big salad to enjoy on Sunday night, with enough to pack for lunch on Monday.  Because I am both lazy and a forward thinker.
  8. It wouldn’t be the end of the weekend without a polish change.  I went from dark (essie no more film) to light (essie pilates hottie).
  9. Meanwhile, at the other end of the sofa, Clark was down for the count.  That’s what a weekend of fun with do to a Frenchie.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?