We soaked up just enough sunshine this weekend to get us through a rainy start to the week. I hope you all had a lovely couple of days, too! Here’s what we were up to (in reverse order, Sunday to Saturday…).
We enjoyed quite a few walks out at Castle Island this week and weekend, watching the planes flyover and boats come in and out of the harbor. Oh, and waving to dogs, which is one of Grace’s favorite things to do. Someone painted this adorable alphabet on the sidewalk near the fort.
My parents’ backyard is in full bloom!
One of the highlights of our weekend was definitely strawberry picking on Sunday morning at Ward’s Berry Farm. Grace did some supervising while Nick, my younger brother and I picked nearly a quart of the most delicious strawberries.
Boston was fully decked out for Pride this weekend. I love this two-story flag hanging in the South End.
This is what I plan to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner this summer. The basil is from our little deck garden (soon enough we’ll have our own tomatoes, too!). If only there was such thing as a cheese plant. It’s important to have dreams.
One of my friends was in town this weekend (yay!) and we met for breakfast and catching up at the Lawn on D. Such a fun place!
Let’s be serious: It was time for the sleep-deprived lady to ditch the Roman numerals.
The Weekend According to Instagram #29
1. Our little deck garden has really taken off this week. We’ve got more cherry tomatoes and basil than I know what to do with… so I am eating all of them.
2. As I shared last week, I recently started using the Couch to 5k app and am embracing the opportunity to start fresh. I woke up Friday and thought “Yes! It’s Friday (standard Friday thought)! I get to run tonight!” I can’t remember the last time I felt that way about running. I think I stopped running and switched to rowing at CrossFit two months before Grace was born, but long before that I hadn’t run for the sake of running in ages. I broke out my KIND tank (given to me by the lovely KIND folks at FenwaYoga) and was thankful for the opportunity to be kind to my body and brain while out on the Harborwalk by myself for a little bit. Speaking of KIND, they are launching a really great program in Boston tomorrow. As the “official snack partner” of the Boston Red Sox, KIND is working with Red Sox Nation and the rest of the city to spread kindness this summer. #KINDBoston launches tomorrow and fellow Bostonians are invited to share their ideas for making Boston a kinder place to live and work.
For every kind act submitted, KIND will donate a piece of sporting equipment (up to $5,000) to the Red Sox Foundation’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program, which teaches inner-city youth the importance of being kind on and off the field. KIND will also bring select kind acts to life in August to demonstrate how small actions can make a big difference.
#KINDBoston will debut at Fenway Park on Tuesday, July 29, with KIND honoring an RBI player and coach who embody kindness. Fans attending the Red Sox game that evening will be able to share their ideas before exiting the ballpark. Anyone not in attendance will be able submit via Twitter using #KINDBoston until August 31.
3. Now that Grace is a bit more mobile, she and Clark have become fast friends. She loves to roll towards him and reach for his wrinkly mug, and he is being as patient as I could have hoped. They spent Saturday morning cozied up together, surrounded by various baby maracas, tambourines and stuffed monkeys.
4. It would seem my Instagram feed was very food-focused this weekend. We went to see my parents on Saturday afternoon and brought some strawberries, blueberries and blackberries with us. You can’t go wrong with berries. (You know how if you type a word too many times, it totally looks weird… that just happened. Berries.)
5. On our way back to the city, we stopped at the farm stand in my parents’ neighborhood and filled up a basket of carrots, Romaine lettuce, cherries and onions.
6. More food: After seeing this recipe for yogurt breakfast popsicles on The Kitchn, I thought I’d give it a try. I mixed Greek yogurt, gluten free granola and some raspberry preserves in an ice cube tray (which, technically, I bought for freezing baby food… but hey) and let it freeze overnight. The result: messy, but tasty. Perhaps they would make a good addition to a smoothie.
7. This is what Clark (my official snack partner) looked like while I sampled the aforementioned frozen yogurt bites. #gimmesome
8. And this is what Grace looks like when she’s being a goofball, which is quite often lately. She has been such a smiley girl these past few weeks. I think she’s enjoying all her newly acquired skills (yelling and rolling are her favorites).
9. Oh… and she ate her first solid food this weekend! It was so much fun to watch her reaction (she mostly looked horrified) as she tasted her first few bites of pureed sweet potato. I promised Allison a post on feeding Grace solids and look forward to sharing our experiences with that… once we have… a bit more experience with that. In the meantime, I highly recommend Lucy’s List and their series on starting solids. Oh, one thing I know for sure: You do not need to bake and puree three whole sweet potatoes for one small baby. That’s, like, two and a half too many. Trust me.
Grace turned a month old and I turned 32. Nick crushed 14.1, Clark discovered heating blankets. Speaking of Clark (and Nick), a few people have asked how I switch back and forth between my Instagram account (@ElizabethEv) and Clark’s (@clarkthefrenchie). The answer: I don’t. Clark’s account (and his recent summer slim down plan…) is all my husband’s doing. They’re quite the pair.
I spent my birthday morning the best way possible: curled up with my little family.
Naturally, Clark wasn’t far away. I love his squishy face and greying beard. He’s like a distinguished old gentleman (if you ignore all the farting).
Nick put together a lovely dinner (takeout from my favorite Mexican restaurant, grown up things like candles and place mats, a perfectly portioned cake) while Grace napped (hallelujah). It’s been ages since we sat down together for a meal. It was wonderful. And so appreciated.
I love wrapping paper. Maybe when I am old and retired, I can get a part-time job merchandizing wrapping paper at Homegoods. If you’re going to dream, dream big.
I’m all for inspiring tea quotes, but the “warmth and love of my soul” has been no match for this frigid polar vortex nonsense. It was, like -100 in the midwest this weekend, so 18 in Boston probably seems balmy, but enough already. This lady needs some fresh air.
My parents, sister and brother-in-law stopped by on Sunday after Mass with all kinds of treats (including a hundred CDs from my childhood bedroom… more on those gems later). These macaroons are incredible.
I channeled my inner Donna Meagle and treated myself to a new electric kettle. I’ve been drinking quite a bit of tea lately, and have become paranoid about everything potentially unsafe. Like boiling water and open flames and stoves. I like that this kettle sits a safe distance from our counter ledge, promptly turns off when the water boils, and stays cool to the touch. Also: I like cute things.
You’ve heard this story before: I’m attempting a full month of #fmsphotoaday. Saturday’s prompt was yellow. What’s the over/under on me making it past Tuesday?
As I mentioned earlier, Clark recently discovered heating blankets. He’s nothing if not resourceful.
Nick and I spent the better part of the weekend in various parenting and child safety classes. Needless to say, not a whole lot of Intagramming (or housework, or real work, or napping, or Netflixing, or CrossFit) happened. Sometimes adult responsibilities trump social media addictions. That’s probably a good thing. In fact, if I teach a parenting class one day… I’ll add that important note to the syllabus.
Clark loves being towel dried. He enters some weird euphoric state as soon as one of us breaks out a towel for him. It’s one of my favorite things to watch.
I am making a concerted effort to finish a full month of fatmumslim’s photoaday challenge. We shall see. Saturday’s prompt was looking down. While I try to take a fresh photo for each challenge, I woke up at 11:30 PM for a nearly-midnight snack and remembered that, welp… I had forgotten. So I dug up this one from a few weeks back. I only managed one workout last week and truthfully, I’ve felt pretty run down lately. I’m proud of myself for CrossFitting and staying active through 35 weeks of pregnancy, but I am beginning to feel that it’s time to pull back a bit. I’ve been trying to fit in as much as possible lately (at work, at home, at the gym and elsewhere), and I think it’s catching up to me. This week’s m.o.: more rest, less stress running around like a nut.
As I mentioned up top, Nick and I took two prenatal classes this weekend– one was on breastfeeding (can I just say, I was not prepared to see so many PowerPoint slides of boobs…), and the second was infant/child CPR and baby care and safety. I supposed we are officially as ready as we’ll ever be. The instructor for our second class was especially… um… free-spirited, and offered some pretty amazing advice. One of my favorites: Worried someone’s not holding your baby properly? Say something like, “In our home, we like to support our child’s head.” We’re lucky to have such great healthcare, and really like our OB and midwife. Which is good, because we’re seeing them at least once a week at this point. We’ve taken advantage of many of the classes offered, including an early pregnancy class (which exists because when you find our you’re pregnant, you call the doctor and they’re like, “Cool. See you in ten weeks.” And then you worry about all the things you can mess up during those ten weeks.), a tour of our hospital, and a one-day childbirth class. Knowledge is power. As long as you don’t faint while the knowledge is being imparted (there were a few close calls).
Taco Tuesday Saturday. Don’t these little guys look good? I piled on Amy’s vegan refried beans with green chiles, spring mix with herbs, hot sauce, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and some lime juice. And then I devoured them. And then I went to bed at 7:15 PM. Ole!
Clearly Nick paid attention during the swaddling portion of class this weekend.
And one last photoaday prompt: colorful. You know how I feel about glitter, and you know how I feel about Martha Stewart. In both cases, more is more.
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!)
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.
While summer is still a few weeks away, Memorial Day always feels like the unofficial start to the season. With gratitude to all those who served our country, and their loved ones, we enjoyed a lovely few days.
Clark and I kicked off the weekend with a pet therapy visit at the hospital. With my work schedule settling down a bit, we’re able to make weekly visits to see those awesome kids. It’s just the best.
Saturday morning’s workout at CrossFit Southie left me Crip walkin’ crippled walking all weekend. I added 10 lbs. to my usual shoulders-to-overhead weight, started to figure out how to kip, and managed to not hit myself in the face with anything (all victories in my book).
Though it rained off and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it was too warm for hot tea so I opted for iced. I dressed up my Dunks in a l.i.f.e. jacket from Lifeline Fashion (a CTC International Program). I met the founders of CTC at a Whole Foods event recently and can’t wait to share more about their story later this week. They are doing incredible work.
I recently found this little terrarium for $12 at HomeGoods. It fits perfectly on our windowsill. I lined the bottom with rocks and added a bit of soil before planting basil, parsley and chive seeds. Here’s to hoping they sprout soon.
With work events and travel, I’ve been a bit of a flake lately when it comes to grocery shopping, meal planning and food prep. In an effort to get back on track, I spent some time on Sunday washing, chopping and organizing my vegetables for the week. I also whipped up a quick and easy salsa (3 tomatoes, 1 yellow onion, 2 cloves of garlic, a bunch of fresh cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon) for use throughout the week.
Nick, Clark and I headed down to see my parents yesterday and made a stop at their favorite garden center to browse a bit. I picked up these three varieties of Sempervivum, or hens and chicks. I love that they’re called that (I am easily amused). The “hen” is the main plant, and the “chicks” are the smaller plants that surround it.
Said it earlier, but it’s certainly worth saying again: I am so grateful to all those who served our country, and their loved ones.
After poring over plants, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon with my parents. Clark was in his glory, rolling in the grass and walking around with my Dad. And standing on Nick while soaking up some sun.
Speaking of Nick, it would appear he did a little re-decorating in our kitchen this weekend. We spent plenty of time watching the 2013 CrossFit Games Regionals again this weekend (you can catch more action next weekend at games.crossfit.com). Watching the live streaming is almost as good as being there in person. It’s been so motivating and exciting to watch athletes like Talayna Fortunado, who now graces our kitchen wall, compete.
Words fail to describe Friday in Boston and neighboring cities and towns. I am proud of our leadership, our law enforcement, and our fellow citizens. And I never, ever want to see another day like that. At a loss for words, I offered a hand to hold.
With the “shelter in place” order lifted, one suspect dead and another in custody, it felt important to get out of our condo and try to restore some semblance of normalcy. Our box, CrossFit Southie, was hosting a special Marathon Monday workout and fundraiser for the Richard family. The WOD (with a rep scheme of 4-15-13 followed by a half mile sprint) was sent to boxes across the country. Feeling flat out exhausted, I choked up multiple times during the workout, just trying to wrap by head around the week.
We are just so lucky to be safe and sound.
The three of us headed out for some fresh, ocean air. I love this little fishing boat (it’s named Success), and living so close to the water. Clark and I went straight for the shoreline, and he took his first dip of the season.
A good workout, some fresh air… and some sparkle. I wore these flats on my wedding day, and love breaking them out on a regular ol’ Saturday.
After a week of waffling between emotional eating giant bowls of popcorn and forgetting to eat altogether, we showed up for a verrrrrrrry early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Franklin Cafe, before they even had a chance to unlock their door. I felt like one of those people who shows up for door buster sales. Or a very elderly person. I would have been embarrassed but I was too hungry for that.
If you’re wondering who the biggest goofball on the planet is, look no further. How did I possibly manage to hit myself in the head with a loaded barbell on Sunday morning and still get a 10 lb PR on the snatch? Sometimes I think I should be monitored by scientists, or something.
After CrossFit (and a shower, obvi), I scooped up the Frenchie and headed to the hospital for pet therapy. Clark cannot get into the car fast enough once he has that vest on. We spent a little over an hour hanging out with the kids and when we left, my heart and head felt a million pounds lighter. Clark, on the other hand, felt six pounds heavier. He can’t say no to treats.
We rounded out the weekend with a beautiful Mass at St. Cecilia. As we listened to Fr. Unni’s sermon, I knew that I was hearing what I needed to hear. We need to be gentle with ourselves, and with one another. There will always be more light than darkness.
Also On Tap for Today:
Maybe we won’t lose tonight’s soccer game 99-0… maybe?