Tag Archives: weddings

Today: Vegan roasted sweet potato salad and secret Pinterest boards.

Some things you want to keep secret.  Like, say… surprise party plans.  Or the fact that you have owned a home for nearly four years and still don’t know how to clean an oven.  Other things, like a fail-proof recipe for a delicious roasted sweet potato salad, are too good to be kept under wraps.

Vegan roasted sweet potato salad (gluten free)

Serves: 10 – 12 people


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped across the rib
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or currants
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your (recently cleaned?) oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Cook sweet potatoes until they are fork tender and slightly brown (stir occasionally) – approximately 35 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix celery, cranberries (or your choice of dried fruit – I’ve used both raisins and currants), and red onion in a large serving bowl.
  5. Once sweet potatoes are sufficiently cooked, mix them with other ingredients and top with green onions.

Notes:  This dish can be served warm or cold, and keeps well for up to three days in an air tight container, refrigerated (obvi).  Feel free to play around with other spices and seasonings.  I personally live to season everything with Old Bay, but am not certain everyone shares my love for the OB.  Got leftover sweet potatoes?  Why not whip up Alex’s spicy sweet potato lentil burgers?

While putting together the menu for Andrea’s shower, I found a few great ideas on the time vortex that is Pinterest, but didn’t want my sister to know what I was planning.  Ever the schemer, I created a secret board for keeping my ideas organized (and secret).  One secret board turned into two, two into three… and well, you get the picture.

How to create secret Pinterest boards

Secret  Pinterest boards come in handy when planning holiday gifts, gathering ideas for blog posts, or pinning chores that — as a 31 year old — you should know how to do without the guidance of the Internet.  They are only visible to you (unless you invite friends to collaborate — perfect for fellow bridesmaids and other co-conspirators), and appear at the bottom of your screen of boards.


To add your own secret board, simply click on “create a board,” as you normally would.

… and be sure to select “secret” before saving changes.

Two easy steps and you’re officially a secret (…Pinterest board) agent.  All I ask is that you don’t keep any tasty recipes to yourself.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where do you find the best recipes?

Today: Lies and surprises.

I had to take a little hiatus from The Weekend According to Instagram, mostly because I avoided Instagram and limited most forms of communicating with strangers online for the past two weeks, so as to not ruin the surprise part of my sister’s surprise shower.  (That was a long sentence.  I am making up for lost time posts.)

I bet it was a lot easier to surprise people before electricity was invented.

Somehow, though, we pulled it off.  But not without a lot of lying.  A lot.  Lies and surprises go hand in hand, I am learning.  I’ll tell you all about the food (complete with a recipe for roasted sweet potato salad) and decorations later this week, but first I need to come clean.

Lies I told my sister during the past 24-48 hours:

  1. We are going to surprise you for your bachelorette, but your shower is going to be the last weekend in April.
  2. I am stressed out (at this point, semi-not a lie, but mostly a lie) and can’t make it to our cousin’s shower (which is where she thought she was going yesterday) so Dad is going to pick you up.
  3. Someone (I think I specifically said “an idiot”… so I not only lied, but was mean) accidentally posted about your surprise bachelorette on Facebook, so please don’t log into your account.  Ever again. (In reality, multiple people posted about my cousin’s actual shower, thus threatening to topple our very delicately built house of lies.)
  4. I am at my office and I am very stressed out.  (I was at my parents’ house, unpacking glitter and cupcakes.)
  5. And when she texted to say she was on her way to my office to surprise me with tea: I, um… am still stressed out but I just left my office.
  6. I will talk to you tomorrow (or in an hour, when you arrive at your own shower) and yes, I will download that stress management app you recommended.

I was so relieved when Andrea finally walked through that door.  Who needs a stress relief app when you have that smile to look at?  She is going to be the most beautiful bride.  Being her sister really has been the joy of my life.  And that’s no lie.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the last lie you told?

Today: Here comes the bridezilla.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Just kidding.  I haven’t turned evil… yet.  Then again, we haven’t made any concrete plans, so who knows what I am capable of?  Muhaha.  We are visiting our first potential venue this coming week, but until we have an actual date set, it’s difficult to do things like, um… send out save the dates.  Or reserve a moon walk (some people call them moon bounces or bounce houses.  Those people also happen to be wrong.).

A bouquet from our sweet neighbor, and the box where I store my wedding secrets. Shh.

I’ve been all over Pinterest, however, pinning flowers and cakes and basically anything Martha Stewart has published in the past decade.

I’ve also been perusing various wedding magazines and I’ve got to tell you, the pictures are pretty, but most of the words make no sense.  Take, for example, this article by David Tutera.  You may have seen his terrifying television show?  According to David, a bride’s mantra should be “This is my day.”

After marching around our living room chanting “This is my day!” in my sweaty boxing outfit earlier this week, I found it prudent to assure Nick that our wedding day will be our day, not my day.  Imagine if Nick turned into a groomzilla?  That would be amazing.  Regardless, if that article is at all representative, the bridal industry thrives on tools tulles the self-absorbed. (Maaaan, I crack myself up.)

Then there are the ubiquitous countdowns, found in every, single magazine I’ve creepily bought.  Could they be any more anxiety producing?

Holy crap!  I’ve only been engaged for a few weeks, and I am not sure when the wedding will be, but Lord, have mercy.  I’d better ask my fiance what his groomsmen plan to wear!  And then I need to register for silverware and random kitchen gadgets!  And then I need to demand that my sister shrink by several feet so she can serve as both maid of honor and flower girl!

Thanks, but no thanks, crazy magazines.

For the time being, I am just happy to be focusing on the fact that we’re happy.  And lucky.  And excited.  And engaged.  And (mostly) not totally demented.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Prep for tomorrow’s long run (i.e. don’t eat ice cream)
  • Try not to get hit by a satellite 
  • Sparkling Chardonnay!  Yay! 🙂

What’s the wackiest thing you’ve witnessed at a wedding?

Today: What a ham.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] From turkeys to hams (and if you scroll down, a video of a mini pig courtesy of Nick)…  For those of you keeping score, I am still a vegetarian.  There’s really no meat to this post, just a photo booth gem I couldn’t keep to myself.


This is what happens when you give me nerd glasses, some sort of furry hat, and precisely two thirds of a vodka and soda water mere hours after I’ve run nearly 14 miles.

I am such a hotdog cocktail wienie.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your go-to photo pose? Fish face?  Deer in headlights?

Today: 10 miles of smiles.

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Okay…. 9.5 miles of smiles and .5 mile of blubbering.  But we’ll get to that.

On Saturday morning Nick and I were out the door bright and early to meet our Team in Training group for our first double digit run.  After battling a cold and some sort of pain in the neck (literally), I scaled back my training this past week to be sure I could start and finish the ten miler.  We could not have ordered better weather; it was sunny and cool when we set out as a team.  Our route took us through the Seaport and Financial Districts, twice around the Common and the Public Garden, out to Carson Beach and back to the South Boston Running Emporium.


Lovely place for a water stop, wouldn't you say?


Somewhere around the five mile mark, I slowed it down a bit and was about to take a quick walk break, when a person (possibly under the influence of a controlled substance… or maybe he just ate too many Gus or Clif Shots) started yelling swear words at me.  Oh, the Common.  Never dull people watching there.  Needless to say, I did the opposite of slowing down and kicked it into high gear until I was to the team’s water stop.  With the exception of those awkward five minutes, I was able to keep a slow, steady pace for the full ten miles.  I felt strong, and surprised at how quickly the time passed.  Though I love running in our neighborhood, the change of scenery was nice.  For the most part.

As I was approaching the Macy’s at Downtown Crossing, I noticed a homeless man looking at the window displays.  I am not sure what came over me, but I felt myself choking up and before I could stop myself, tears were pouring down my cheeks.  Thanks to my running hat, which I wear dorkily low to keep the sun out of my eyes, I don’t think anyone noticed.  I don’t mean to assume anything about this man’s life, but the scene struck me.  I can only hope that some day I’ll be able to do more good than weeping like a willow.  That some of us have so much, while others don’t have the security of food and shelter is impossible for me to reconcile.  Needless to say, I spent the last few miles of the run digging deep.  And getting snot all over the place.

Returning to the Running Emporium, where our fabulous coach and teammates were waiting, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment.  Accomplishment and gratitude.

Also On Tap for Today:

What do you think about when you’re out running, or doing something similar?

Today: Extra, extra! Somebody’s getting married!

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]

It’s 10-10-10, which means my brother and his incredible fiance are walking down the aisle today!


Practice makes perfect.


We are so blessed to be celebrating this perfect day with Jimmy and Colleen.  I am finishing up a few last minute things before my sister and I get our hair did, so I will let the Muppets take it from here.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Good luck to everyone running the Chicago Marathon!
  • Turning 10 on 10-10-10
  • Dancing, dancing, and more dancing!

What are you up to this fine 10-10-10?

Today: Take Your Germs to Work Day.

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To quote the genius that is Lil Wayne, “M***** f*****, I’m illllllllll.”

The remnants of this cold have been hanging out in my body for nearly two weeks.  Just when I think, Hallelujah!  I’m cured! my nose starts running and people start looking at me like, Gew!  Why does she not have a SARS mask on?

Though I’d like to be curled up in bed all day, drinking ginger ale and watching early episodes of Family Matters, I need to bring home the Imitation Bacon Bits (they’re vegetarian!).   In the interest of keeping my germs to myself, I am washing my hands more often than a vet tech, spraying Lysol on my phone and desk and door nob at fifteen minute intervals, keeping the office well ventilated, and refraining from breathing.  So far, so good… for everyone else.

Oops, did I give you that cold?

[Photo source]

Something tells me if I did stay in bed, tuning into some good ol’ fashioned Urkel/Stefan dramedy for even a half-day, I’d be healthy by now.  Unfortunately, that’s just not in the proverbial cards right now.  Too much excitement.  Too much work.  Too much apple picking with my dog.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was your favorite T.G.I.F. show?

Today: Hi, October.

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Wha chu doin’ here so soon? And why have I written September 30th on three different checks today?  If the old adage is true, and time really does fly when you’re having fun, it’ll soon be November.  And shortly thereafter,  Santa Claus will be breaking into our condo via an air conditioning vent (there’s no chimney, he has to get creative).

So in the spirit of being early, rather than late, here’s a picture of Prince Clark dressed for Halloween.  His “Whoa, whoa, whoa there, commoner. I was sired by a champion.” ‘tude really comes out when he’s wearing a crown.

I couldn't keep this gem to myself for more than six hours. And no, PETA, that's not real Dalmatian.

Don’t worry.  There is more where that came from.  Much more. So much more that I may need to find a part-time job to support my dog-costume-buying problem habit.  Just kidding.  It’s not quite that bad.  Yet.

Slightly less creepy things in store this October:

My brother is getting married in a week!  I can barely contain my excitement.  Seriously.  I am freaking out, man.  Any time I think about it, a goofy ear-to-ear smile emerges and I have to fight a very strong urge to high five strangers.  I put “Somebody’s Getting Married” (from Muppets Take Manhattan, obvi) on my iPod.  And I am incorporating various elements of purple (today it’s eyeliner) into every outfit between now and the time I slip effortlessly (here’s to hoping hahaha) into my bridesmaid dress.

Cristy and I are meeting up tomorrow for the Boston Local Food Festival.  Let me know if you’re going to be in the ‘hood, as well. 🙂

If my math is correct (safe bet that it’s not), we will be running close to 100 miles in October with Team in Training.  I am at that magical point in marathon training where every, single long run is a personal distance record.  It’s sort of nice to have a record breaking weekend, every weekend.  Nice and terrifying at the same time. I truly appreciate everyone who is so generously supporting me in this endeavor.  You mean the world to me.

I am also looking forward to the birthdays of my favorite (and only) sister and my favorite (and only) boyfriend, our Clarkiversary, the Boston Book Festival , hunting for non-itchy sweaters, apple picking and decreased humidity.  In no particular order.

Also On Tap for Today:

What sort of Octoberfests do you have planned?

Today: Newport news.

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Jimmy and Colleen’s wedding is less than two weeks away.  So we got away.  For the weekend.  We joined one of Colleen’s sisters and several friends and bridesmaids, my sister and my cousin Katie for a great weekend in Newport.  I was in a bit of a cold medicine haze, and I did my darndest to not cough directly on anyone’s immune system, but had a blast nevertheless.

Somebody's getting marrrrrrried!

We were staying in an adorable condo owned by a fellow Bostonian, and tchotchked within an inch of its life.  There were lobsters and crabs, shells and… disco balls.  It was perfect.  We spent much of the day Saturday enjoying the breathtaking views from the Cliff Walk, which hugs the Newport coastline from Easton’s Beach to the harbor.

Just a bit of flourish.

Do come in for tea.


We had a bit of excitement at Easton’s Beach later in the day, when a particularly bold seagull descended from the heavens to snatch Kelly’s sandwich right from her hands, as its fellow dirty birds circled around us.  It was straight out of a Hitchcock story, but with more sand.  And possibly more shrieking.  Andrea, Katie and I sought refuge in the waves.  What else is new?

Decorating wine glasses, which are a bit different than beer goggles.

We spent the evening sipping Champagne and assorted other adult beverages, singing along with Wicked Peach and dancing until the lights in the bar came on.  When I finally hit the hay, my face hurt from smiling, my arm hurt from fist pumping, and my stomach hurt from laughing.  I cannot wait until Colleen is officially family. 🙂

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have any weddings on the horizon?  What’s your favorite move on the dance floor?

Today: Please hold.

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Get your act together and unpack your bag already, lady. You've been home for two whole days!

Sorry, one person who reads my blog.  I’ve been a bit ill and infirm as of late.

I promise to regale you later today with stories of my longest run ever (8 miles, while hopped up on cold medicine), our weekend in Newport with the soon-to-be bride/sister-in-law, and the time a seagull stole an entire sandwich from the hands of an innocent woman.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Sorry to depress, but this is making my heart hurt
  • Our cabinets are overflowing with beans… so I am making chili 🙂
  • Picking up a few zucchinis to ward off the bears

I know it’s only Tuesday, but I’d love to hear your highlights for the week.  Like the good stuff, not the hair dye.