When we closed on our beach house last fall, I was longing for summer. I looked forward to long days at the beach, warm evenings on the deck, and starry nights with our family. While I know this coming summer will be wonderful, I can’t tell you how much joy and peace winter on Cape Cod has brought us. It has been the best surprise.
We’ve spent nearly every weekend down the Cape since October, escaping the busy-ness of our (equally wonderful, albeit noisier) lives in the city. There is something so calm and lovely about the off season.
I don’t know about you, but putting away the holiday decorations nearly does me in every January. The gloomy weather and a cold I can’t seem to kick (kids and their germs, I tell ya) aren’t helping.
Winter Elizabeth is a lot less fun than Summer Elizabeth.
Semi-related: Winter Elizabeth somehow lost one of her children’s birth certificates. Not my finest work. Hence, baby Nick and I made our way to the registry office at City Hall today. As much as I would have rather stayed home, curled up on the sofa with a blanket and a book…
One-year-olds don’t do that. They just don’t.
An object in motion stays in motion… while staying put is a great way to lose momentum. And I’d already lost the birth certificate, so…
I couldn’t help but brighten up a bit as we approached City Hall, though. I love the juxtaposition of old and new less old buildings. I like seeing tourists milling about. I like the buzz of it all.
Once we finished the grown-up business part of our outing, I figured we may as well embrace a bit of adventure, too. We were bundled up and had plenty of snacks, why not?
We split a cup of Unicorn Blood (yes, really… it’s a delicious mix of beet, carrot, celery, watermelon + pineapple) from Mother Juice at the Boston Public Market, walked along the Greenway and did some people watching at Faneuil Hall. A little adventure was the perfect antidote to my winter mood.
For me, keeping busy (especially with good, fun, interesting things… not just boring, necessary things) goes a long way in keeping the winter blues at bay. In that vain, here are a few things to do in January.
Take an art class. (Creative Bug is my favorite source for online classes– I gravitate toward the painting and drawing classes, but you’ll find really accessible courses on knitting, sewing, collage, drawing, etc.)
The Polar Vortex is baaaa-aaack. So I made it some chili (vegetarian, obvi). In my opinion, it’s what to eat when it’s freezing.
You can find my original recipe (a term I use lightly, mostly because it’s just like… sauté onions and garlic, add beans, add tomatoes, add whatever spices you have on hand, simmer, eat) here: vegetarian chili for lazy people.
I topped today’s piping hot bowl with a handful of tortilla chips, some Fire Roasted Corn + Black Bean Salsa from Nola’s Fresh Foods. Nola’s is made minutes from our place in Southie and is a 2015 Martha Stewart American Made award winner. After receiving a complimentary sample a few weeks ago (delivered to my doorstep, no less), their salsa keeps ending up in our shopping cart.
As for the lime wedge and the useless miniature wooden spoon… they’re mostly there because chili looks like, you know… chili. And I wanted to distract you from this. Did it work?
But seriously. Make yourself a bowl.
Also On Tap for Today:
Friday morning workout with the Mama Beasts and re-remembering how to dress myself and my children for the cold (something I seem to need to do every winter…)
I wanted to be the first to wish you a happy spring. Since I’m not above cheating (but I am over winter), I’m coming to you a day early. Sneaky, I know.
Perhaps it’s a result of being cooped up in maternity pants since the fall (the season, not the time I slipped on my neighbor’s icy sidewalk… which reminds me, I still need to draw him a note expressing all of my emotions about his lack of shoveling using solely emoji), but I am done with winter.
I’m more than ready to spend some solid time outdoors (in regular pants). I’m ready to wear pastels. Just kidding, it’s still all black, all the time. Even on Wednesdays.
I’m ready to keep the windows open. I would be ready to keep our backdoor ajar, but Clark got so excited about the temperature reaching 40 this past weekend that he busted through our screen, Kool-Aid Man style (fortunately, he was totally fine… apparently the screen was on its last leg… or wire… or whatever that thing is made of). I guess we could still keep the door open, but I don’t want, like… a squirrel or a theif coming in.
I’m ready to eat fresh fruit and vegetables grown somewhere closer to Boston than, say, Chile. I’m ready to leave my jacket and my bad New England attitude at home.
I’m ready to drive around with my windows down, cranking Turn Down for What (I have no idea what the song means, and I am afraid to Google it. If it turns out to be something perverted, well… I don’t want that in my search history) like the cool mom that I am (play along, all those sleepless nights have given me a fragile ego).
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.
This is a picture of a picture (weird, I know) from 1982. My older brother’s 2nd birthday happened to fall on Easter, and the world’s cutest grandpa made him a snow bunny in the backyard to celebrate. [Meanwhile, I was five weeks old and likely crying.] Both sets of our grandparents always made the holidays so special for us. I miss them and love seeing photos like this when I go home.
While Nick was at CrossFit this weekend (no big deal, but I had to have teeny tiny surgery and am not allowed to hit up CrossFit Southie until the stitches come out… hence no WOD instagrams this weekend), I reorganized our baking/supplements cabinet. And broke out the neon washi. Naturally. Normally I’d refrigerate nuts (keeps ’em fresh… and, um… fresh nuts are a good thing…), but these ones are being used early in the week.
If you live in Southie, or read The New York Times from cover to cover on December 29, 2010, you know these are no ordinary jugs. These are space savers. When Nick, Tina, Mal and I headed out for dinner on Saturday night, I found a primo parking spot, previously cleared of snow and “saved” with two water jugs connected by blue ribbon (well done, I must say). I know better than to move someone’s savers (let’s be serious), but someone before me tossed them to the sidewalk. I parked at my own peril, but not before asking if I should a. try to be sneaky and move the jugs to another spot or b. write a note explaining that I did not move the jugs. Nick’s advice? “Don’t touch the jugs.”
We hit up the Lincoln Tavern for an early dinner and lots of laughs (mostly about jugs). The food is great, and the space itself is pretty incredible. Especially when you consider that it used to be a Payless. I love that they exposed the original tin ceiling and brick walls. I ordered the chopped salad (no bacon, no eggs, no croutons… just the lettuce, bleu cheese and high maintenance) and a side of mashed potatoes. Oh, and a glass of Prosecco.
Saucony sent me a pair of their new Virrata running shoes. They are beyond. I can’t wait to give you the full scoop.
You know that I am weather obsessed. This time of year, I delight in finding the first sign of spring. Just before the weekend’s snow storm, Clark and I happened upon a soon-to-be crocus, peeking out from the ground. It’s the little things.
You also know that I am Frenchie obsessed. On a recent trip to Target, I cut through the children’s bedding aisle (at least I think that’s what that was) on my way to the Diet Coke aisle and happened upon this ceramic Frenchie bank. We’ve been sticking our loose change in various jars and vases, but feeding a little bulldog quarters seems so much more satisfying. And cute.
I met Michelle for afternoon tea on Sunday at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We shared a table by the water, a tower of treats, and two hours of non-stop chatter. I chose a pot of peppermint tea and devoured a (non-gluten free… can’t win ’em all) lemon poppyseed scone and a few bites of flourless chocolate cake. It was such a lovely way to spend a snowy afternoon.
Thankful to have today off, Clark and spent the morning at the hospital, making therapy dog visits with our favorite kids. I can think of few better ways to start the week.
Also On Tap for Today:
Getting sucked into presidential documentaries on Hulu and Amazon Prime
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] When Clark and I headed out for his first walk this morning, just before 7 o’clock, the snow had begun to slow. The roads were still quite a mess though, so after wading through a few snow banks in my new bright yellow boots, I picked up the French Fry and heading back inside. I spent the next few hours working by a roaring (electric) fire before we braved the wild outdoors again.
Hey, lady. Let's get a move on.
I assumed this would be another short-lived adventure, but Clark had other plans. He played tour guide, darting up the steps leading to the Broadway Bridge. Thanks to his sassy red fleece and Musher’s Secret on his paws, Clark and I were able to stay out for a nice long walk around the neighborhood.
Whose job was it to shovel? Yer firrrred!
After feeling a bit of cabin fever setting in (along with a regular fever, due to this stinkin’ cold), it was great to get out and enjoy the crisp winter air and soak up a bit of vitamin D. I really love our neighborhood. Clearly, Clark does too. So much to see and smell.
Supervising the MBTA. Please hold your complaints.
The sidewalks along the Broadway and W. 4th Street Bridges, and the Harbor Walk were really well plowed. Apparently a bobcat (and presumably a human driving it) were out just before us.
And then, we spotted Batman's shadow... waaaait a minute!
Homeward bound. Like the movie. Except that we're still attached by a leash and collar.
Even though it seems like there’s a storm following each storm, I couldn’t help but enjoy my snowy stroll. Everyone we encountered seemed to be in a good mood. The sun was shining, the sidewalks and roads had been cleared, and all seemed right. Then again, I am hopped up on cold medicine. So who knows.
Also On Tap for Today:
Thank goodness this story out of Lynn has a happy ending