Tag Archives: New England

Today: Summer Bucket List and some sweet shades.

Let’s start with a question: Where did the expression bucket list come from? (Please pause while I Google…)  Hmm.  Not a fruitful search.  Ohhhhh….. it must have something to do with kicking the bucket, and like… things you want to do before that fateful day.  One thing that is not on my summer bucket list: kicking the bucket.

Morbidity (and flaky inner monologue) aside, here are a few things I am hoping to accomplish before Labor Day rolls around.

The coolest bro ever.

Summer Bucket List

  1. A little road trip with my little family – I’m toying with Montreal, would love to see Niagra Falls again, and have also been keeping an eye on the new Nova Star.  Oh, and I read about a library in Vermont that sits directly on the border and does not yet have a copy of Bobby Orr’s autobiography.  I feel like that’s a problem I can remedy with my dogeared copy.   Apparently, I’m feeling the call of Canada.
  2. Hiking in the Blue Hills – and by hiking, I likely mean the family friendly paved path… and a peek at the otters at the Trailside Museum.
  3. Yoga outside – and lots of it.
  4. SUP – Bonus points for SUP yoga.  Side bar:  I am convinced my sister, our cousin and I invented SUP.  We used to take our families’ ocean kayaks out on the Cape, stand up, and think we were incredibly cool (we were).  We called it “stand upon kayaking”… but maybe if we had abbreviated it to SUK it would have caught on?  No.
  5. See Wait Wait in person – Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is going to be at Tanglewood in late August.  I want to be there. Badly.
  6. Run a new race – my broken toe is nearly unbroken, so I think it’s time to set my sights on a new goal and get training.  Also, can I just say, broken toes are no joke.  I like to think I have a pretty high pain tolerance (hello, labor and delivery), but maaaaaaan.  You know when you stub your toe, and you get that feeling of I might throw up or I might pee?  And then the feeling goes away and you’re fine (and hopefully you neither threw up nor peed)?  It doesn’t go away when your toe is broken.  And you have to wear an ugly boot.  And suddenly this bucket list became a pity party.
  7. Tackle unfinished (or in some cases, un-started) home projects – I have grand plans for our pantry and a few art projects in mind for Grace’s nursery.  I’m looking forward to spending a few Summer Fridays getting crafty.
  8. Go to a hot air balloon festival – according to the Internet, there are a bunch in New England this summer.  This might be a reach, but I think it would be so cool to see a sky full of balloons.  There used to be a few that would float over our house when I was growing up.  It always felt like we were witnessing something magical (real magic… not the creepy, weird magician kind..).
  9. Volunteer – Clark and I took some time off from our pet therapy visits in the weeks leading up to, and following, Grace’s arrival.  I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things at the hospital, and finding other ways to support our community.
  10. Track 12 weeks of food and fitness – I’ve only ever successfully tracked my food intake for more than a day, like, once.  It was back in my food allergy/elimination diet/what is wrong with my stomach days, and honestly… it was not fun.  At the same time, it helped me see the choices I was making and the patterns I had fallen into, and how food affects my overall wellbeing.  I think a bit of accountability and self-awareness will go a long way, especially as I try to make the best possible choices for me and Grace.

Welp, there you have it folks: my I hope I go to a ballon festival before kicking the bucket list.

P.S. I recently received a complimentary pair of Nectar sunnies.  They’re fun and a bit flashy and very reasonably priced ($30 for a polarized pair, $20 for non-polarized).  In other words, they’re the perfect accessory for checking off summer bucket list items.  They were a bit big on Clark, but fit me perfectly. Looking for a pair of your own?  Click here and use the code ‘lovenectar’ for 10% off

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Planting a few more herbs for our little deck garden
  • My new obsession: produce bouquets
  • Packing for a day trip to DC

What’s on your summer bucket list?

 

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?

Today: Greetings from Boothbay Harbor.

We’re spending a few days in Boothbay Harbor, enjoying the relaxed pace of Maine life and cool ocean air.  Nick has vowed to eat lobster at every meal, while Clark and I are spending as much time as possible curled up on the porch swing now that the rain has cleared.

We love it up here; I am sure it’s easy to see why.

Also On Tap for Today:

How are you spending the 4th?

Today: The weekend according to Instagram VI.

Goodbye, weekend.  Hello, Monday. (That sounds like the title of a very emo song.)  For the first time in ages a few weeks, there was no storm to contend with in Boston this weekend.  I just remembered a saying: Only boring people talk about the weather.

As evidence that I am not entirely boring (just mostly boring), I give you:

The weekend according to Instagram VI.

  1. I rounded out my birthday and kicked off the weekend with a 60 minute massage at the newly opened Bodywaves Therapeutic Massage, in the North End.  I had originally made the appointment for three weeks ago, but it got snowed out (there I go again, me and the weather).  I reschedule it for a week ago, and then remembered that I had stitches.  On my back.  Where I wanted to be massaged.  I rescheduled again, grabbing the first Friday evening appointment they had.  It could not have come at a better time.  To say I am feeling a bit stressed lately would be an understatement.  To say I would like to hole up in my condo with a limitless supply of Cheese Doodles (and without contact with the outside world) would not be an understatement.  Regardless, the massage was perfect.  Between Haymarket and the local bars, the area is bustling, but I almost prefer that to the absolute quiet of some spas.  After finishing up, my massage therapist gave me some great stretches for opening up my chest and counteracting all the slouching over my desk I seem to be doing.  Bonus: the prices are really reasonable.  I will definitely be back.
  2. Nick gave me this awesome Frenchie umbrella from The San Francisco Umbrella Company.  As with most things that come into our home, Clark assumed this was for him.  I am likely to blame for this.
  3. I cannot put this book down.  Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal.
  4. Ever the mature grown-up, I spent Saturday at the office.  At least my mouse pad is pretty.  And I have a ball of elastics.
  5. Sunday burn.  Self-explanatory (not that the other eight photos aren’t…).
  6. While out and about I felt compelled to snap this shot.  It just seemed so quintessentially New England.
  7. Nick and I did an especially gigantic grocery shopping this weekend.  You know those weeks when you seem to be out of everything?  I stocked up on lots of fresh produce, lentils, almond milk, tea, and rice noodles.  After unpacking the goods, I prepped as many meals as I could for the week ahead, including a roasted sweet potato salad with celery, red and green onions, dried currants and bell peppers.  So good.  Trust me.
  8. I love my crossfit log from Journal Menu.  They have a bunch of pre-made designs, but I wanted to make use of one of my popsicolor creations, so I uploaded my own design.  I love being able to log and track benchmarks and progress.
  9. This big vase of Queen Anne’s Lace reminds me so much of the Cape.  I love its organic, willowy shape.  The USDA, on the other hand, finds it to be a “noxious weed.”  (This, according to wikipedia, obviously.)  We can’t all have impeccable taste.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Today: Wine about it.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]This weekend I took a little road trip to Little Compton, Rhode Island with my family to Sakonnet Vineyards to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  Why whine about growing older more experienced, when you can wine about it?

While the rest of the gang enjoyed their tasting, I got to enjoy some time with my niece (she’s underage by… um… 20 years and 9 months) and walked around the grounds a bit.  My sister-in-law showed me how to feed Nora with a bottle, just in time for my little babysitting adventure next week.  I am going to teach her so many swear words.  Just kidding.  Obviously.

I made it back to the tasting room to sneak a few sips from my sister’s glass.  I usually gravitate towards the whites, but I really liked the Cock of the Walk Red(awkward name; tasty, spicy wine), and brought a bottle home to share with Nick.  Thirtieth birthday parties, bachelorette parties and Bruins games aside, I rarely drink beer (truthfully, I rarely booze anymore period), so avoiding gluten in that way hasn’t been an issue.  Wine’s sort of tricky though, because I’ve read that some vineyards use flour in their barrels, or during the wine making process.  I figure a sip won’t kill me.  And if it does… welp, that’s probably a good way to go.  Thoughts about death and diets aside (I am delightful, no?), we had a lovely afternoon.

After the tasting, we enjoyed a cheese plate on the patio as the sun started to emerge.  The property is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is very relaxed and warm.  It is definitely well worth a day trip from Boston.  There’s much more to see in the area now called the Farm Coast, including specialty shops, antiques, working farms, vineyards, breweries and lovely scenery.   When I worked in Rhode Island I called the area “the miles between my office and home, where I get speeding tickets and then cry because I am hungry, stuck in traffic and generally crabby.”  The Farm Coast has a much nicer ring to it.  Less whine, more wine.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you a wine person?  I tend to pick the prettiest label… clearly, I have a lot to learn.

Today: The Paparazzi Club goes to Portsmouth.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]As nine of us sat down for dinner at Portsmouth’s Black Trumpet, cameras were drawn from pockets and handbags and given prominent spots at the table.  “Is this a paparazzi club?” our waiter asked.  Sort of, if you consider artfully arranged plates of food, cute antique shops, and rustic bridges to be celebrities.  (Side note: If we were to form a paparazzi club, can our theme song could be modeled after that of The Babysitters Club?  Please.)

A day that had all the makings of a CSI episode (namely, traveling across state lines with people I met on the internet, complete with a dying iPhone battery) proved to be a fantastic way to spend a Saturday in New England.

Though I like New Hampshire far more than I like Rhode Island (which isn’t saying much, sorry), it has never held much allure for me.  I loved our family trips to the White Mountains to ski, and once even summit-ed one of those mountains (and stayed awake all night, convinced I’d encounter a mountain lion or serial killer… or both).  These days, New Hampshire seems like a good way to get to Maine.  Or, in an emergency, to the border.  I am pleased to report there is much more to New Hampshire than a lack of helmet laws, a now-defunct Man in the Mountain, and a penchant for living free (or, you know, dying).

From bustling sidewalks to charming seaside vistas, Portsmouth was the perfect day trip from Boston, made only more perfect by the company (Elina, Jen, Michelle, Bridget, Meghan, Bianca, Megan, Daisy, and Emily).  Emily, Megan, Bridget and Daisy all have ties to the area– they had great suggestions for places to eat, grab coffee, shop and explore.

We started the day with lunch at the Cataqua Public House and a tour of the Red Hook Brewery.  We ordered samplers of Red Hook’s brews (never fear, I only had a few sips of each… I was driving, after all) and appetizers to share.  The fried artichoke hearts and sweet potato fries were especially good.

After plenty of snacking and lots of catching up, we made our way over to the brewery’s store, where the tour would begin.  Having toured the Dogfish Head not too long ago, I sort of knew where beer comes from, but looked forward to touring Red Hook.  Our guide was quite a character (in the best possible way), but rather than actually tour the facility, we went up to a single room overlooking the the brewery floor.  It was a bit stuffy up there, so I ducked out early to get some fresh air (I make a point to not faint whenever possible).

We were soon on our way to downtown Portland, where we enjoyed tea, treats and people watching at Breaking New Grounds.  We stopped into Stonewall Kitchen and several other shops and took in the view from a waterfront park.  Elina and I ducked into Three Graces Gallery and fell in love with Denise Duong’s whimsical paintings.

By the time 5:30 rolled around, we were all eager to sit down for dinner.  We had the back wall of The Black Trumpet to ourselves, and settled in at copper topped tables with glasses on sangria in one hand, and cameras in the other.  While most of the girls ordered from the Restaurant Week menu, I chose a salad and one of the “medium dishes,” a squash ring potato latke with sage quark and candied crabapples.  While the menu was quite varied, there were few vegetarian options.  Both the salad and latke we good, but nothing extraordinary.  The ambiance, sangria, and delightful company more than made up for that, though.

We are so lucky in Boston to have such a warm, welcoming community of bloggers.  To be able to venture outside of the city with this group of ladies was a real gift.  By the time I pulled into my driveway in Southie, I had a full stomach, a much evolved appreciation for the Granite State and a smile on my face.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite day trip?

Today: What the peck?

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Nothing says fall in New England quite like a morning spent apple picking.  Nick, Clark and I joined our friends from The Pawsitive Dog for a field trip to Schratner Farm in Bolton.  After some training, we spent a bit of time at the farm, filling up our peck-sized bag with apples straight from the orchard.

I am excited to break out my newest cookbook and put that peck of apples to good use.  I saw Amy Traverso, author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook and lifestyle editor at Yankee Magazine, speak at TECHmunch this year and couldn’t wait for her book to hit the shelves.  As luck would have it, Amy was signing copies at Twelve Chairs this past weekend, at the first Eat Boutique Local Market.  I have a feeling I may need more than a peck to work my way through these tasty looking recipes.

As we headed back to the city, with a very stinky Frenchie in the back seat (he spend the morning chewing on fallen apples, rolling in mud, eating grass, and swimming in a drainage pool), I had to pull over to capture a shot of these beauties.

Isn’t it amazing to be stopped in your tracks?  My mind– racing from the directions on the GPS to plans for making apple crisp and apple muffins and baked apples and apple sauce and oh crap, where’s my phone— was instantly quieted by this perfect moment on a back country road.

Why the peck don’t I head out this way more often?

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite apple recipe?

Today: Help, I’ve fallin’.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]

(…and I can’t get up (at 00:30.) And I can’t stop laughing. And I am going to Hell.)

Okay, but where are the Splenda Pumpkins?

Fall is a magical time in the Northeast.  And other places, too, I’m sure. Even though I’m practically elderly, I still get those back-to-school butterflies and look forward to the promise of a new (you are no longer in) school year.  While some may choose to mourn the passing of Summer, I’m trying to focus on all the fun Fall has in store.  That doesn’t mean I’m taking my beach chair out of the trunk just yet, however.

On Tap for Fall

  • Marathon training continues and the weekly mileage creeps higher and higher
  • Soccer starts next week (which gives me juuust enough time to buy shin guards and attempt to re-learn how to play via You Tube videos)
  • A weekend in Newport
  • Green Monster seats for the Red Sox v. Blue Jays
  • Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run 10K in New York
  • Jimmy and Colleen get married!
  • Paint, fabric, built-ins, and furniture galore
  • Tufts 10K for Women
  • The Boston Book Festival …bigger, better, and still free.
  • Clark’s anniversary (hard to believe a whole year has passed)
  • Speaking of Clark, he’s definitely wearing a Halloween costume this year
  • Christie and Mike run the NYC Marathon
  • Vacationing in the Western Caribbean and Mexico!
  • Thanksgiving (a.k.a. an excuse to bake turkey-shaped cakes)
  • My 10 year high school reunion (should be good for a laugh or ten)

Squeeze in some apple picking, leaf changing, college football watching, and a sweater dress or two and I’d say we’ve got quite the Fall ahead of us.  Press your Life Line if you agree.

Also On Tap for Today:

What do you love most about Fall?