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.]
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.
It’s been a hundred years several months since I shared a Weekend According to Instagram update. Mostly because I was trying to learn Roman numerals and figure out what came after XXV. Just kidding. Or am I?
Regardless, we really packed quite a bit of fun into the past two days. I wish every day was a summer weekend day. Except, like, Christmas. Obviously.
After Nick got home from CrossFit and I finished a little yoga on the deck and a walk with my lovely friend Alyson, we headed down to my parents’ house for some pool time. Grace is still too young to wear sunblock (though our pediatrician did say we could test a tiny patch on her arm, she emphasized that our best bet is keeping her out of the sun altogether), so we broke out her ridiculous sun hat and rash guard for quick dip. She seemed a bit shocked at first and was clearly holding on for deal life, but I have a feeling we’ve got a water baby on our hands.
We spent lots of time outside this weekend, including a little Sunday evening stroll around the neighborhood with the Frenchie. Earlier in the day, Grace and I met up with our mom/baby friends and JP and then picked up Nick for our baptism prep class and some lunch in the Back Bay.
There is more Black Mass filming being done in our neighborhood this week. On one hand, it’s rather exciting to have Johnny Depp walking around, but on the other, it was a pretty unnerving to see signs about forced busing at the old Southie High last night. Sure, the fresh paint on the street is part of a movie set, but the busing crisis was a real and critical time in the city and neighborhood’s history, one with powerful and lasting effects.
On a lighter (only 100 calories and not the least bit depressing) note: I am going to eat 600 Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars this summer. 2 down, 598 to go. I received a coupon for a free box a few weeks ago and highly recommend the sea salt caramel flavor (we’re already onto our second box), best enjoyed with your feet up on the deck. Oh, and save your popsicle sticks. I’ve got an easy DIY project coming up later this week.
Nick and I had our first date night (5 months in the making!) since becoming parents. Mom on the loose! We were able to get last minute tickets to Amaluna and my sister and brother-in-law generously offered to babysit. It was really nice to get out for a bit, especially knowing Grace (and Clark) were in such good hands. The pictures my sister took of Zach and Grace together basically melted my heart. Uncle Z is the coolest.
We were home before dark (and I nearly fell asleep during intermission — I need to step up my game if I want to convince Nick to go on a second post-baby date anytime soon), just in time to catch this beautiful sunset over the city.
I already want this summer to last forever.
Also On Tap for Today:
After watching Tiny, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of moving into a tiny house… maybe, like… in 20 years
If you have a lot of free time on your hands before the 4th, make these and impress your friends.
It’s snowing. Again. I made it back to Southie early enough this evening to snag one of the good parking spots on our street (if you’re from around here, you know how we treasure our spots), while Clark claimed his own parking spot. On the sofa. We’re planning to stay put for the rest of the evening, practicing our favorite new duet, “What U Want With My Body.” Clark called dibs on the Gaga parts… so I’m stuck being R. Kelly. Rude.
If you’re looking for something more normal to do this evening, I’ve got an idea… provided you have a bag of buffalo snow laying around. I was first introduced to this magical material at #WFMEtsy, a holiday event hosted by Whole Foods River Street in partnership with Etsy, Boston Handmade and local artists.
After perusing local crafts and meeting vendors at the event, I had the chance to make my own snow globe. As soon as I got my hands on that fluffy, sparkly faux snow, I knew I could make some really fun messes with it at home.
Make your own snow globe
All you need to make your own snow globe… or snow bowl… or snow jar:
Some sort of container (I picked up a few latched jars and shallow cyllinders at A.C. Moore)
A bag of buffalo snow
Random figurines (the weirder, the better)
(Super obvious) directions:
Place figurines in container
Add buffalo snow
Sprinkle some on your dog and transform him into an arctic fairy
New Balance celebrates another season of clear paths along the Charles
If the thought of making your own snow globe picking up tiny scraps of glitter for the next six months sends you running… I get it. And if you’re really running, New Balance has you covered for the fifth winter in a row, having renewed a sponsorship agreement with the DCR to ensure area runners and walkers have clear and safe running paths along the Charles River during the 2014 winter season.
Having trained along the Charles through a particularly snowy and cold Boston winter, I know how valuable this partnership is to our city.
Enjoy those clear paths… while Clark and I enjoy the sofa. And the glitter.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I spent equal time napping, wrapping, and celebrating with family. Did I mention napping? As the third trimester has me slowing down a bit, I have adopted Clark’s preferred schedule lately: sleep as much as possible. And then eat snacks. And then go back to sleep.
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pair of slippers and after much searching, found this sparkly and furry pair at Target. They are so cozy that I didn’t mind risking identity theft. Just kidding. Kind of
I had every intention of going to CrossFit Southie with Nick on Saturday morning, but found myself craving a bit more sleep. Clark was happy to keep me company.
By Sunday morning, I was ready to get a move on, and set up a makeshift yoga studio in the baby’s room. I love the Daily Burn’s prenatal yoga app (available for iPad), and got a great 40 minutes of stretching in.
I picked up this “thinking happy thoughts” shirt at Old Navy a while back, and it’s still juuuuust big enough to fit over the bump. I sort of love it.
I overdid it on the bubbles (per usual), and gave our bathtub a giant bubble butt. I crack myself up. Get it… crack…
You know how I feel about sparkles, and have been adding glittery bows to every package I wrap. Things were getting a bit tangled around here, so I dug into our cabinets for a suitable corral for all that ribbon. This is probably not what bundt pans are for, but it did the trick.
While I slacked a bit on the crossfitting, our elf went to work on his kettle bell swings. You can find your own one pound baby bell, incidentally, at babykettlebell.com.
I like wrapping presents almost as much as I like giving them. Almost.
I saved the best for last. If you were born in the early 80’s (1980’s, just in case that warranted clarification), loved PBS, and celebrate Christmas, you just may remember the most amazing holiday movie of all time: The Muppet Family Christmas. And maybe your parents taped the movie for you when it first aired in 1987, and then you and your siblings watched it so many times that the VHS broke. Or you mistakenly thought something cooler came along (wrong) and taped over it (tragedy). And then… you talked about this movie, and how it was impossible to find the original (You could find a weird edited version, yes… but hello, we want to see the Muppets watch family movies of themselves as Muppet babies. Duh.) every single Christmas. Welp. My husband found the real deal and ordered DVDs for me and my three siblings. It is a Christmas miracle almost as miraculous as the actual Christmas miracle. And if you’ve seen the movie, you know I am not exaggerating.
We spent Friday night like a couple of cool college kids… at the library. BU hosts therapy dogs at the Mugar Memorial Library in the days leading up to their final exams. Clark and I have volunteered there the past few years and always have a great time, so I was psyched when Nick offered to come along. The program is really well organized and the reactions students have to Clark is so fun to witness. We were up past his bedtime (we took the 8-9 PM shift this year), so Clark was extra snuggly. And smiley.
We spend Saturday like a couple of unprepared parents-to-be… at our “prepared childbirth” class. While the certificate says we’re prepared, that really remains to be seen. Mostly because I got up to take a break anytime I felt squeamish. Which was often. Hopefully Nick was paying better attention that I was. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I fainted during two separate health classes about where babies come from, once in sixth grade and once in ninth grade. I tried to convince our midwife that we didn’t need to take the class (mostly because I was convinced, given my track record, that I would not remain conscious… so why waste the time and money?), but she was not hearing it. In reality, I learned a lot this weekend (and even stayed up Sunday night to read the full manual, semi-terrifying parts and all). I could have done without the video (there were scenes I will never be able to un-see), but everything else was super helpful.
The jury’s still out on my weekend polish change. Essie’s belugaria looks fun, but I’ve already started peeling away at the sparkly flecks of glitter. The polish itself is textured, sort of like nail caviar mixed with regular polish. I have a feeling this manicure’s not lasting past Tuesday.
We postponed our little Christmas party Saturday night, as several friends would be driving in from outside the city and if you’ve ever tried to park in Southie before, during, or after a storm… you know this is not a process for the faint of heart (the underlying theme of today’s post is fainting). Also, we wanted everyone to stay safe. Obviously. I couldn’t wait ’til morning to check out the snow drifts (which didn’t amount to much after the switch over to rain), so I bundled up Clark and headed outside as soon as we got back from baby class. I love weather. Almost as much as I love mail.
On Sunday morning, the temperature dropped 10 degrees in an hour or so and that light, fluffy snow became crusty, icy snow. I bundled up the little guy again, zipped my coat over the bump, and soon found myself carrying 30 lbs. of French bulldog across icy pools of slush. Not surprisingly, he pretended to be asleep for the remainder of the day to avoid going out again.
Meanwhile, Nick spent three hours shoveling and actually earned his spot on the sofa. As for Clark? He’s lucky he’s so cute.
Also On Tap for Today:
Trying not to fall (careful out there, fellow Bostonians!)
Things start to feel really real when you go crib shopping. Trust me. After a surgical strike at Jordan’s Furniture (we were in and out in an hour, and five weeks from now we will have a crib, a dresser — which we will also use as a changing table — and a glider), we spent a bit of time walking around Babies R Us. Those little folks need a lot of stuff! I am so excited for her room to come together though. While I am not wishing away then next couple of months, I just can’t wait for our baby girl to arrive.
After another long week (and yes, I did end up with a third nail in one of my tires…), I was tempted to skip Sunday’s workout and sleep in. A little encouragement from Nick and a fresh pair of Nanos from Reebok (thank you!) got me out the door, though.
The WOD required a bit of creative scaling, but it felt good to get moving. I strict pressed 50 lbs., but I think my days of PRs will likely be on hold for a bit. I’m getting more and more comfortable doing my own thing, substituting and scaling when needed (crossfitmom.com is a great resource for pregnant CrossFitters), and focusing on the fact that doing something is better than doing nothing. Especially when it feels like I am wearing a weighted vest… all the time.
I could make six different trips to the paint section at Home Depot and I imagine I’d leave with the exact same paint strips. Regardless of the intended room. We used chinchilla (Martha Stewart, surprised?) in our first condo, and I’m leaning towards the same color for the baby’s room. I love color. It’s like nail polish for your house.
Can we discuss the fact that I missed number 5? To quote my husband re: pregnancy brain, “What will you forget to think of next?”
This little snail keeps showing up on our front steps. I like his outfit.
Running low on mascara (my personal nightmare), I ducked into Sephora… and accidentally bought one of everything. While reaching for a fresh tube of Diorshow Black Out, a pre-teen (or tween… or maybe she was an actual teen) complimented me on “my makeup taste.” She then followed me around the store and approved of everything that went into my basket. She made my day.
I got to spend some quality time with my favorite blondes (my younger sister and our niece) this morning. We did baby yoga, hid in closets, sprinkled bagel crumbs everywhere, read a book about penguins, sang “head, shoulders, knees and toes,” put a human sweater on a baby doll, and made monster noises. I wish every day started that way.
Back in Southie, Nick and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and coaxed the Frenchie up a thousand stairs to enjoy the gorgeous view of the city from Dorchester Heights…
…which explains why Clark has been asleep for approximately 50 hours.
To make up for the lack of #5… a bonus instaphoto:
Whew. We are all moved in (unpacking is another story… but we’re getting there) and settling back into normal life. One that doesn’t involve Comcast coming over for tea to break and fix things three days in a row. We were excited to share our new home– and dinner and drinks– with a few friends last night. I’ve got a super easy, football-friendly recipe to share, but first… a little tour.
I am tempted to say the kitchen is my favorite part of our new condo, but I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it all. Perhaps I will quit my job and start filming a cooking show from our new kitchen. My target audience would be people who like lettuce and Cheez-Its (but not together). It would soon be canceled for one of two reasons:
No one would watch it (highly likely)
I would start a fire while cutting off a finger (equally likely)
I still can’t believe we found such a perfectly us home.
I love a good divided recycling and trash center. Thank you, Jesus. And the Container Store. #nerdalert
Unpacking our kitchen boxes was surprisingly fun. There is the perfect place for everything, including our entire wedding registry. We had put many of our gifts in storage, as space was at a premium in our first condo. Opening everything for the second time reminded me how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends and family. I wish we could get everyone together again, eat some cake pops and dance to DJ Sheldon’s jams until we get kicked out th’ building.
Just off the kitchen is our deck. We have great sunset views and Clark has plenty of people to creep on. He is a one man dog neighborhood patrol. We’ll likely wait until next spring to um… spring for new deck furniture, but for now, we’re making do with a pair of old camp chairs and a gas grill (which Nick has used every night since we moved in).
We had a shared roof deck at our first condo, which was lovely, but being able to step out onto the deck each morning with a cup of decaf tea (for me) or Nespresso (for Nick) has been such a great change. Clearly, the Frenchie approves.
The new kitchen (and the disappearance of morning sickness, hallelujah) has motivated me to spend a bit more time cooking, baking and creating. Last night, I whipped up a really easy black bean dip to share with Matt, Pam, Tina and Mal, who joined us for dinner. I grabbed a few ingredients we always seem to have on hand, sort of measured, and threw everything in the food processor. The result? A really tasty appetizer and the perfect tailgate snack. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, and can be refrigerated for a day or two in advance.
Easy, gluten-free and vegan black bean dip
1 can or carton organic black beans, rinsed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
juice from half a lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, to your food processor and blend until smooth.
This is a really important step: Pretend that the blended mixture doesn’t look like poop.
Taste, and season with additional spices, plus salt and pepper, if desired.
Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and serve with vegetables and tortilla chips.
While I didn’t do a whole heck of a lot this weekend (I think that’s why weekends were invented?), those two days flew by. Beautiful weather, a few good workouts, and plenty of time spent goofing around with Clark…
I overslept a bit on Sunday and made it to the first class at CrossFit Southie by the skin of my teeth. I hate that expression. I have no idea why I just used it. Sorry. (And sorry that I am too lazy to swap it out for something less creepy.) For the strength portion of the workout, we worked up to a 1 rep max of the strict press. As the weight got heavier, I wanted more and more to rely on my legs (i.e. not a strict press). I added weight in small increments (even using the 1 lb. discs towards the end) and worked up to 73 lbs. Also, I managed to ding my forehead with the barbell. Not surprising. The workout itself was challenging, but I love AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible for a set amount of time). The bear complex is a series of movements (completed in sequence, without putting the bar down): power clean, front squat, shoulders to overhead, back squat, shoulders to overhead. Each round consisted of 5 bear complexes, followed by 10 burpee lateral jumps (over the barbell). I spent the rest of the day feeling like I needed a nap.
The weekend wouldn’t be complete without a polish change. My hands and nails tend to be dry, so I started using cuticle oil (almost daily) and love it. Essie makes an inexpensive tube (I found mine at Target) with a genius applicator.
Highlight of the weekend: FaceTime with my niece. She loves dogs (and birds), so I made sure Clark got in on the action. She spent most of our call walking around, grabbing books, and showing Clark pictures of other dogs. And then my heart turned to complete mush.
We spent Saturday night in, surrounded by boxes and packing supplies, watching documentaries on Netflix. Nerd power! A few that I’ve enjoyed lately: Urbanized and The Interrupters. Oh, I also watched one about animals making friends with other species… like a goat and a blind horse. And an orphaned deer and an old dog. I am hoping I can somehow arrange for Clark to befriend a small hippo. Or a turtle. Or maybe a parrot. Definitely not a cat, though.
Our neighborhood association has done an incredible job cleaning up our end of Southie, planning and growing gardens and adding unexpected bright spots, like these morning glories climbing a chain link fence. Especially as we’re getting ready to move, I can’t help but notice how much has changed in just the four short years we’ve been here.
I ended the weekend the way it started, with a tall glass of fresh juice. As many people ask for the ingredient list as they do for photo app recommendations, so I will happily give you both. My usual juice consists of a bunch of kale (6-7 stems, trimmed), 1 English cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 2 lemons, 2 green apples, and a small piece of fresh ginger. I use a number of different photo apps on my iPhone (and usually upload photos to Instagram, rather than using the camera feature within the app). For collages, I recommend PicFrame – it’s simple and easy to use. For adding text to images, I use TypicPro and Over most often. While I like the camera on the iPhone 5, I sometimes use Camera+ or VSCOcam instead, and recommend Self Timer for… welp… self timed photos.
Also On Tap for Today:
A little Monday motivation: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
After several weekends on the go, it was nice to enjoy a few days at home — especially since we’re scheduled to move in just a few weeks.
Not only did I fit in multiple workouts and multiple naps, but I also found time to read an actual non-work book (Orange is the New Black, which I picked up after watching the entire first season on Netflix in the span of, like, two days. I definitely recommend the book, but um… spoiler alert: what happens in the show is not exactly true to life).
Our fridge is stocked, my nails are painted, the laundry’s done and the condo’s clean. I try to balance laziness with short spurts of productivity when I can.
It’s been a while since I posted a daily juice photo, but a glass of fresh juice is still my favorite way to start the day (but only after going for a run… no need for any added, um, excitement).
Another favorite ritual: the at-home polish change. I’ve been obsessed with essie limo-scene lately, it’s a bit more opaque than ballet slipper but just as pretty. And, according to essie, it’s perfect for the prom. So there’s that.
We’ve officially started packing, which means I have officially started coming up with excuses to take Clark for extra walks or reasons to check the mail multiple times a day, and I’ve essentially begun vanishing into thin air as soon as I spot a box being opened. I did help Nick take everything off our walls and (not-so-helpfully) watched as he spackled, sanded, and touched up paint. And then I accidentally peeled some paint off our bedroom wall. I am worse than useless. I am harmful.
I am a sucker for cute packaging. I’ve always loved adding POM Wonderful to seltzer, but when I saw this grass skirt-wearing bottle of POM Hula, I convince myself it would taste good in everything (except cereal, well… and probably other things, too). Regardless, it added a lovely tropical kick to my DD unsweetened iced tea.
I think graffiti is probably against the rules, but I can look the other way when it provides a little inspiration. Spotted on a recent run: Never lack ambition.
Clark is obsessed with cats. There are a bunch of terrifying strays in our neighborhood and whenever we spot one on our walk, the Frenchie enters some sort of weird trance.
While Clark was dreaming of a starring role in Cats, the musical, I was celebrating (and sweating through) a 15lb. PR on the strength portion of Sunday’s workout at CrossFit Southie. There were a number of new people and drop-ins at the 9 AM class and I couldn’t help but think about how warm and welcoming the crowd was when I first joined last July. One of the few feelings that can trump earning a PR is the feeling of belonging, of community.
More post-workout juice. Our usual recipe: kale, cucumbers, green apples, celery, carrots, ginger, lemons.
We enjoyed a little fresh air at the SoWa Open Market. If you’re in town, or visiting on a Sunday, the market is definitely worth a trip. This year’s market includes the usual art, handmade goods, and crafts, as well as a vintage market, a farmers market, and a lot full of food trucks. Oh, and the people watching? Top notch.