Tag Archives: Whole Foods

Today: Being responsibly indulgent.

The change in seasons, the end of Daylight Saving Time, and the final weeks of my pregnancy have combined forces to make me, basically, an exhausted grouch.  I had a routine appointment with our midwife last week (and am headed to see our ob-gyn this morning) and while everything is still going great, she told me in no uncertain terms that it’s time to slow down.  

There are going to be days when Grace doesn’t nap (payback, perhaps, for my own unwillingness to nap as a baby) or when my car needs to have its actuator replaced (and don’t worry, I called it an actuary… like the person who provides actuarial services… when speaking with the mechanic #whyme), and slowing down is just not in the cards.

But I’m quickly seeing just how many opportunities I do have to take it easy (or easier).  And while this often feels a lot like being indulgent, I also know it’s downright important.  I’d like to avoid getting sick or overly run down or more grouchy during these last few weeks, and ensure that I’m enjoying as much time as possible playing and reading and dancing and drawing with my silly, precocious, thoughtful and fun only child.  While she’s still our only child.

Ideally, I’d nap when Grace naps… but not only is her nap schedule unreliable, I can rarely sleep during the day.  I can, however, curl up on the sofa with Clark (and leave the dishes and laundry and writing projects and whatever else until later) and the baby monitor.  And that’s got to count for something.  I like to think of this hour or so (and any other chance I have to put my feet up) as being responsibly indulgent.  Here are few other ways I am indulging.

Being responsibly indulgent

Rethinking what constitutes exercise: I finished up my last outdoor bootcamp class last week and did not renew my membership or by a class pass for the new season.  While I absolutely loved the workouts and getting together with the other women and their kids, I just had the sense it was time.  One thing that has been different (and I am so grateful for this) the second time around, is that I am less inclined to compare myself to other pregnant women.  I’m much better at trusting my own instincts.

Instead of going to class, I’ve been making sure to get out of the house for walks (albeit, slow ones — and I’ve stopped wearing my fitbit, for now, because… welp, my weekly step count was getting depressing) with Grace.  We’ve made two trips to the Trailside Museum in the last week.  We’re getting plenty of fresh air, plus bonus points for improving our mental health by walking in nature.

Poodle doodles Being playful: We’ve got enough serious business to attend to as adults.  I try to draw or paint every day, which is usually very restorative, but sometimes I take even that too seriously.  I was recently inspired by one of Grace’s favorite books (it’s so, so good)– Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson— and cracked open a new sketchbook and doodled some poodles.  And Frenchies.   Happy, playful, and not at all serious.

Making “down time” appointments: This is more of a big indulgence, but sometimes we just need to treat ourselves.  The spa inside Whole Foods Market South End recently rebranded and when I saw they were offering prenatal massages, I jumped at the chance to book an appointment.  They were offering a 10% discount during the spa’s relaunch, but their prices are really reasonable… plus, you can get your grocery shopping done while you’re there.  Multi-tasking is (usually) responsible and (definitely) indulgent when a massage is involved.  The massage with LaToya was absolutely blissful and I am definitely looking forward to going back.  I wish scheduling in down time came as easily as scheduling in the necessary stuff (like last week’s dental cleaning… woof).  

Reading more, watching less:  Our midwife had all kinds of suggestions for (attempting) to get more sleep.  Unfortunately, I’ve been super uncomfortable at night and barely logged two hours the night before my appointment.  We’ve heard it all before, but when the woman you’ve entrusted with nine months of care for you and your child speaks up, you listen: limit screen time, don’t watch murder shows, don’t watch the news, don’t read anything upsetting, ease into bed and let your brain know you’re winding down.  Old habits die hard.  I sleep with my phone next to my head, the baby monitor cranked up to “can be heard on Mars” level, and you know I love a good true crime story (which is not to say that I love when crimes happen…).  But with the help of some new reading material, I’m making progress.  I’ve been watching less TV and crawling into bed as early as I can.  I’m currently working through Food Gift Love, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and the current issue of Yoga Journal.

I could get used to this whole being indulgent thing.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you (responsibly or irresponsibly) indulge?

Today: Cleaning up at the farmers market, Whole Foods and freshii.

I held off on our grocery shopping this week until we had a chance to swing by our neighborhood’s Farmers Market (on West Broadway on Mondays, 12-6PM — click here to find a farmers market in your ‘hood).  

Clearly someone was excited to get her hands on a summer tomato.

We ended up checking off quite a few items from our shopping list:

  • a pint of grape tomatoes, a head of speckled romaine lettuce, a pint of strawberries and a bunch of asparagus from Freitas Farm
  • a bunch of kale and a half dozen or so tomatoes from Wenger Farm in Bellingham   

After walking back home and unloading our haul (minus the tomato that Grace ate like an apple on the way home, and the half pint of strawberries we shared as soon as we got in the door), we finished up our shopping at Whole Foods Market in the South End.  

  • Dairy: organic whole milk yogurt for Grace, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese
  • Produce: raspberries, blueberries, English cucumber, green apples, garlic, red onion, bananas, carrots, celery, ginger root, grapes, watermelon
  • Staples: quinoa, pearled couscous, canned whole tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas
  • Non-vegetarian things for my non-vegetarian husband: two spicy Italian sausages (basically, this is how I buy meat: I go to the butcher’s counter, have a mild panic attack, point to something and say a random number… in this case, two)
  • Impulse purchase: Caprese salad from the antipasto bar 

After the longest… winter… ever…. during which we ordered more…. pizza… thanweshouldhave… we’ve been making a concerted effort to clean up our meals. Being home and having more flexibility and time to shop, prep and cook has certainly helped, but I think our efforts (and all that sunshine) are definitely paying off.  I’ve been sleeping better, have more energy, and look less zombie-ish (I think).  I’ve kicked my Diet Coke habit (though I did sneak a few sips at my brother and sister-in-law’s cookout after Sunday’s 5k), have fewer sugar cravings, and generally just feel… less like someone who ate too much pizza.

I recently had the chance to check out the new freshii location that opened in the Back Bay this spring.  Freshii generously offered me a gift card for my first visit, and I’ve been back several times (both to the Back Bay and Fort Point locations) since.  It’s so nice to have a convenient and affordable place nearby to stop in for a quick, healthy meal or pick-me-up.  Their juices and salads, in particular, are really fantastic and I love freshii’s commitment to sustainability and their “Mission Green.”

Oh, and their frozen yogurt?  It’s the perfect compliment to all those fruits and vegetables.

Also On Tap for Today:

Where is your favorite place to food shop?

 

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: A sneak peek at Whole Foods Market South End.

When I get THIS excited about a new grocery store, one of two things is going on:

  1. I need to get a life.
  2. This new grocery store is a really, really great grocery store.

In the case of Whole Foods Market South End opening minutes from our condo (and on my commute home!), it’s sort of both.  

I always need to get a life. And this is a really, really great grocery store.  

A sneak peek at Whole Foods Market South End

Whole Foods Market South End Ink Block

Tonight, I had the chance to get a sneak peek at the store before it opens this Friday, and couldn’t wait to share some of the highlights.  So I stayed up past my bedtime.  And delayed getting a life.

Whole Foods Market South End prepared foods

Whole Foods Market South End Ink Block

Let’s start with this: It’s big (like… 50,000 square feet big).  There’s parking.  It’s T accessible (Silver Line, Red Line/Broadway, and Orange Line/Tufts Medical Center).  

And it’s pretty.  

South End’s Ink Block

The store occupies the old Boston Herald site in the South End’s Ink Block development.  I love that Whole Foods acquired the old Herald sign and incorporated all sorts of newspapery (not a word, but hey) elements in the store’s decor.  

Boston Herald at Whole Foods Market South End

As a flagship store, Whole Foods Market South End features several new retail concepts, including a one-of-a-kind Fish Shack, just around the corner from a frozen yogurt bar (you now know where to find me…).

Juice and smoothie bar

The store’s juice and smoothie bar will serve menu options as well as just about any juice or smoothie customers can dream up (you now know where to find me, after I’ve moved on from the fro-yo).

Juice bar Whole Foods Market South End Ink Block

Bulk foods

The bulk food options go far beyond the usual nuts and seeds.  Offerings top 250 items and include bulk salad greens, pre-cut fruits and vegetables, bulk liquids such as aminos, and a special super foods bar.

Whole Foods Market South End bulk food

milk + honey at Whole Foods Market

Oh.  And there is a spa inside Whole Foods Market South End… yes, you read that correctly.  Just beyond the Whole Body department is a milk + honey spa (another first for Whole Foods), which will offer a range of services including facials, hot shaves, shoe shines, manicures and pedicures.

milk and honey at Whole Foods Market South End Ink Block

Wine, beer and spirits

In addition to a huge selection of wine and beer, Whole Foods Market South End Market will be the first Massachusetts Whole Foods Market to carry spirits.  I’m going to sit in this gorgeous leather chair while Nick explores 40 linear feet of craft beers (I don’t really even know what that means, but it sounds pretty cool).  

Whole Foods Market South End craft beer

A few unexpected treats

 

  • Kombucha on tap
  • A full service coffee counter featuring Boston’s first modbar, cold brew coffee on tap and single origin pourovers 
  • A Bikestock machine that sells bike parts (located outside, next to the bike racks)
  • An Art-o-mat (an old cigarette vending machine refurbished to vend… art!).

Grand opening details

If you’re in town this Friday, I highly recommend stopping by the Ink Block for Whole Foods Market South End’s Grand Opening.  5% of the day’s proceeds will benefit five local non-profits and Josiah Quincy Elementary School’s choir will perform before the store’s bread breaking ceremony (much tastier than a ribbon cutting).

Whole Foods Market South End opening day

Meet me at the frozen yogurt.  Or the juice bar.  Or the spa.  Or by the cheese… let’s meet at the cheese.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s new in your ‘hood this week?

Today: Floral Arranging 101 (Week 1)

I recently came across Nicole’s Classes, a selection of online video classes on topics like photography and design, while headed down a spiral of late night Internet consumption, when I should have been trying to get back to sleep.  Which reminds me, the next person who encourages me to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” … well, you don’t want to be that person.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Back on topic: I’ve always been enchanted by flowers.  I worked for a florist when I was younger and loved watching the designers carefully choose their flowers and artfully arrange them.  When I saw that a Floral Arranging 101 class was about to begin (and would wrap up just before I head back to work… cue all of the nervous, excited, conflicted and overwhelmed feelings), I bit the $125 bullet and signed up.

The class, taught by Chelsea Fuss, spans four weeks and features one project per week.  Each project is supported by video tutorials, recommended materials and flowers, and access to the instructor for feedback.  This week’s project was a hand-tied bouquet, along with an aqua pack for transporting the bouquet.

I’m having so much fun with the class, and figured I’d share my weekly progress here.  We like looking at pretty things, right?

After a few failed flower shopping trips, I found this selection at my favorite Whole Foods in Cambridge.  I would have loved a bit more greenery, but I’m happy with how it turned out.  And those tulips that could possibly pass for peonies or cabbage roses?  I am obsessed.

I really get so much satisfaction from seeing a project through to completion (I can’t tell you how many things I’ve started only to get distracted and stray… okay, I can: a lot.), having a chance to engage the creative part of my brain, and work with my hands (on something other than the ancient art of diapering) a bit.

Also On Tap for Today:

Got a favorite flower? 

Today: Last Minute Larry’s Valentine Gift Guide.

Just before Christmas, I threw together a Last Minute Larry gift guide, featuring presents found at the grocery store (and if you’re going that route, here are a few last minute Valentine’s Day deals you’ll love at Whole Foods Market).

I did a bit more advance planning this holiday, as Grace’s due date was 2/15.  I figured Nick and I might well be ringing in the sweetheart’s holiday in a labor and delivery room… but instead we’ll be at home with a very happy, teeny, tiny baby.

While I’ve had a gift stashed away for my husband for a few months, some of you may be scrambling (as I usually am), so I thought I’d share a few inexpensive, last minute ideas.

You can’t go wrong with flowers and chocolate

You just can’t.  I think a simple bunch of white tulips is perfect for any occasion. Including Tuesdays.  Which is to say, you don’t need an occasion to give someone (or yourself, obvi) flowers.  Same goes for chocolate.

Tea for one

I love sharing my favorite teas.  Pair a few tea bags with a cute mug (try Homegoods for inexpensive, fun mugs) and you’ll have your Valentine warmed up in no time… quoth the lady in Boston presently wearing a bathrobe over a sweater.

Spruce up something ordinary

I am forever trying to justify the extent of my washi tape collection by embellishing any and everything I can get my hands on.  I found these cute notebooks at Target and added friends’ initials to the covers.

Give something tasty

These gluten-free thumbprint cookies take less than a half hour to whip up and say, “These are sort of healthy… I must really love you.”

Hit the beauty aisle

To know me is to love me to be semi-concerned with my nail polish obsession.  At a few bucks a pop, however, a new polish or lip gloss makes a fun little gift for a friend.

Get a little messy crafty

I love making things, but hate cleaning up the ensuing mess.  And cleaning glitter off Clark’s snout days later.  If only Pinterest (click here for my Valentine-inspired board… side note: my account was hacked by some dude in France, and I created such an airtight new password that even I can’t figure it out… ) had a messiness rating for each project I pin.  Regardless, I love homemade gifts.

A few ideas that seem manageable:

Then again, the best gifts (hugs, kisses, and telling it like it is)… are free.  So maybe just skip the shopping, baking, and crafting altogether?  Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your go-to last minute gift?

Today: If only this were smell-o-vision.

I love finding little projects at the market.  Satsumas were on sale at Whole Foods last week (I’m a sucker for produce with leaves attached.  Plus, they taste amazing.), so I picked up a few to snack on, and a few to use for pomanders.

The more cloves you add, the more fragrant your pomanders will be (click here for easy instructions… from Martha, obvi).  This pregnant lady can smell a scented candle being lit six city blocks over at this point, so I dialed it back a bit and went with a simple (but still lovely smelling) message.

If only this were smell-o-vision.  Citrus and cloves?  So, so good.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Enjoying a lovely baby shower with family and friends 🙂
  • Steeping some “bath tea”
  • Prepping for a day trip to Detroit (cross that off the, um… bucket list?)

Made anything cool lately?

 

Today: The weekend according to Instagram XII.

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.

The weekend according to Instagram XII

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Sempervivumor 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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: Treat yo self.

I’ve recently become addicted to Parks and Recreation.  I think Ron Swanson might be my spirit animal.  I am channeling my inner Donna Meagle after a truly absurd week, though, and treating myself.

Yesterday morning, I treated myself to half an hour of no phone calls and no emails, and a little mind-clearing run and no awkward eye contact (unfortunately, there was an abundance of awkward eye contact – that comes with the territory in small hotel gyms with giant mirrors and only two, side-by-side treadmills). I tried to treat myself to a massage this afternoon, but the massage place had to stay closed today (Rude, Nemo.  Rude.).  Minor setback.  The foam roller will do.  For now.  Back to the treats.

You want some pretty orange-ish tulips?  Treat yo self.  You want a new book (an actual, real book – not an electronic, ebook, digi-book thing)?  Treat yo self.  You want to spend twenty minutes of your life painting and repainting your nails until they are the perfect, smudge-proof shade of Ballet Slipper?  Treat yo self.  You want to take your little dog for an extra long walk slog through the snow?  Treat yo self.  You want to fill up the tub and overflow it with some Mr. Bubble (or maybe something less likely to cause you to break out into hives… like, Aveeno oatmeal bath, perhaps)?  Treat yo self.

Seriously.  Treat yourself.

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you treat your lovely self?