On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


Today: Wine about it.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]This weekend I took a little road trip to Little Compton, Rhode Island with my family to Sakonnet Vineyards to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  Why whine about growing older more experienced, when you can wine about it?

While the rest of the gang enjoyed their tasting, I got to enjoy some time with my niece (she’s underage by… um… 20 years and 9 months) and walked around the grounds a bit.  My sister-in-law showed me how to feed Nora with a bottle, just in time for my little babysitting adventure next week.  I am going to teach her so many swear words.  Just kidding.  Obviously.

I made it back to the tasting room to sneak a few sips from my sister’s glass.  I usually gravitate towards the whites, but I really liked the Cock of the Walk Red(awkward name; tasty, spicy wine), and brought a bottle home to share with Nick.  Thirtieth birthday parties, bachelorette parties and Bruins games aside, I rarely drink beer (truthfully, I rarely booze anymore period), so avoiding gluten in that way hasn’t been an issue.  Wine’s sort of tricky though, because I’ve read that some vineyards use flour in their barrels, or during the wine making process.  I figure a sip won’t kill me.  And if it does… welp, that’s probably a good way to go.  Thoughts about death and diets aside (I am delightful, no?), we had a lovely afternoon.

After the tasting, we enjoyed a cheese plate on the patio as the sun started to emerge.  The property is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is very relaxed and warm.  It is definitely well worth a day trip from Boston.  There’s much more to see in the area now called the Farm Coast, including specialty shops, antiques, working farms, vineyards, breweries and lovely scenery.   When I worked in Rhode Island I called the area “the miles between my office and home, where I get speeding tickets and then cry because I am hungry, stuck in traffic and generally crabby.”  The Farm Coast has a much nicer ring to it.  Less whine, more wine.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you a wine person?  I tend to pick the prettiest label… clearly, I have a lot to learn.


Today: Photo booths, popcorn, and people. {#HLS12 Part I}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I went to bed at 8:30 last night, if that’s any indication of how much fun I had this weekend at the 2012 Healthy Living Summit.  (To be fair, I would go to bed at 8:30 every night if that was an option.)  From sponsorship to logistics, swag stuffing to registration, and meals to sessions, Meghann, Julie and Heather put in some serious work to ensure that everything went smoothly.  It was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with them and the planning committee.  Hands down (or hands up, if you prefer), the best part of the Healthy Living Summit was the opportunity to connect and interact with like-minded people, friends old and new, local and faraway bloggers, and fantastic brands.  Oh, and the three hours we spent in the photo booth.  That was good, too.

HLS Cocktail Party

Being just a few miles from this year’s Summit site, I was thrilled to help pull things together for our Friday night cocktail party.  After visiting a few sites and honing my negotiation skills a bit, we landed at the hotel’s Riverside Pavilion, a tented space that would also be home to our Reebok CrossFit and Drink Chia! workouts, as well as a few meals over the course of the weekend.  Having access to a small outdoor patio for  fresh air proved to be a great bonus.  We worked with the catering staff at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge to create a light, local, fun and fresh menu while the team rallied to put together a fantastic playlist.  If it was you who added all that Beyonce, thank you.  You’ve got me feeling so crazy right now.

Our sponsor for the evening, Rebootizer, provided their own jams, as well as sweet sunnies (which reminded me of the neon ones we got from Officer Friendly and the D.A.R.E. program back in middle school) and plenty of Rebootizer samples.  Stephanie and Sue were so wonderful to work with over the course of the weekend.  As I looked on from my drink ticket distribution perch next to Reebootizer’s booth, I couldn’t help but smile.   I know it’s not easy to wander into a room full of people, regardless of how well we know each other on the internet (that sounds very stranger danger), so it pleased me endlessly to see people being welcomed into the party.  I loved hearing the laughter and conversation flow right up to the ten o’clock hour.  I felt this warmth and friendliness carry right on through to Sunday’s brunch; it made me so proud of our little community.  And it made my face hurt.  From smiling.  And winking.

Ed from Wicked Fun Photo Booth set up shop just inside the tent to capture all the fun.  The props were a big hit, as were the lightning fast prints.  I’d highly recommend this company to locals.  Good prices, great service, no nonsense.  Except for the fun kind of nonsense.

We essentially set up shop inside the booth.  My apologies to everyone who had to wait their turn while we vogued.  And pretended to eat the chicken perched atop Theodora‘s head.

Meet the roommates

By the time my partner in crime, Bridget, and I made it up to our room, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to do more: eat or crawl into bed.

Sometimes the best choice is both.  

Pardon the blurriness. My hunger must have gotten in the way.

We wheeled the tray right between our beds, where we chowed down on our salads and fries.  We’re nothing if not practical.

Bridget had to dash early the next day, so I was thankful to have the chance to stay up and chat with her Friday night.  She’s been my tried and true roommate, from HLS 2011 to Reach the Beach, and I am so lucky to have her as such a great friend.  Speaking of friends and roommates, Michelle joined me on the 14th floor Saturday night.  Somehow, I have no photographic evidence of our roommate-ness, so I… um… drew a little something.

Oh, and then there was Rich.  My other roommate.

Who sleeps with a barbell locked out overhead?  The fittest man on earth, that’s who.  A little jealous?  Don’t be.  His muscles took up the whole bed, leaving me to sleep on the floor.   Just kidding.  I arm wrestled him for the bed and won.  Naturally.  Before I tell any more lies, I’ll wrap up here.  More to come.  Just as soon as I catch up on sleep life.

Also On Tap for Today:


Are you a wall flower or the life of the party?  


Today: Freshly showered.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I am as grateful as I am lucky, which is to say, very.  All of my lovely bridesmaids were in town this weekend, along with family and friends, to host the most wonderful bridal shower.  In short: I laughed, I cried (only a tiny, tiny bit… and they were happy tears), I got nail caviar.  I am still overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.  I really am so grateful, and so lucky.

Nick and I started the weekend at CrossFit Southie, where I was able to increase my PR by 10lbs for the power snatch.  After a few really helpful coaching cues, I have improved significantly on that Olympic lift.  That’s one of the best things: if you work hard, you’ll continue improve and grow stronger.  After sweating like a beast, I had less than an hour to transform into a beauty.  Thank goodness for mascara.  And antiperspirant.

I traded my new lightweight training tank (a gift from my friends at Reebok) for this cute eyelet sundress (what good is a selfie without a photobomb from a random stuffed French bulldog?).  Side note 1: Stuffed animals totally creep me out.  But this one is a Frenchie.  And the proceeds benefitted a charity I love.  Side note 2: I am a natural frowner.  Those mouth corners seem to go down, even when I’m smiling.  And smizing.

Kristine picked me up just before one o’clock for a manicures, pedicures, Prosecco and lots of catching up at Bliss.  It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.  It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole seven years since she traded Boston for New Jersey.  I miss living downstairs from her, and being able to see her at the drop of a hat (what a weird expression).  If I thought I could trick everyone into coming back home, I’d get married more often.  Sort of.

After plenty of pampering, we grabbed a bite to eat and did some browsing on Newbury Street before heading to my sister’s apartment.  Andrea, Katie, Meg, Kristine and Colleen had dangerously strong cosmopolitans, snacks, and plenty of Michael Jackson waiting, as well as some fun little surprises.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner and lots of laughs.  Pink prosecco?  Yes, please.  This little lady loves bubbles.

The next morning we headed home for the most lovely shower.  From the centerpieces (straight from my parents’ garden) to delicious food and incomparable company, it was just the perfect day.  I was spoiled rotten.

I’ve said it before, and I know I will say it again.  I am the luckiest.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are your dearest friends nearby, or far away?


Today: 21 hours.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Monday was a long day.  I was awake (and mostly functioning) for 21 hours straight.  When you’re up and about for that long, you’re bound to see some shi things.

4:00 AM Nick was planning to take an early class at CrossFit Southie, so when I woke up for no reason, just an hour before his alarm would go off, I knew my chances of falling back to sleep were slim.

5:45 AM When my alarm went off as Nick was heading out the door, I wrangled the Frenchie and took him on an extra long walk through the neighborhood.  We saw not one, but two dead pigeons.  That seems to be happening a lot lately.  It’s a bit concerning.

7:40 AM I was off to work in record time, and about to turn the corner to my office, when the biggest rat I have ever seen came sprinting towards me.  It was as big as, like, my dog.  Or Splinter from TMNT.

The last time I was that close to a rat (this is gross, but I am going to tell you any way), it had been run over and flattened next to my car.  It was winter time, and the puddle that the flat rat came to rest in eventually froze over.  It was there for weeks.  I had to find a new parking spot.  When the ice thawed, and my overwhelming fear of that dead rat waned, I went back to my normal parking habits.  Little did I know, the dead rat was still there.  One evening, after I had locked up the office, a strong gust of wind lifted the rat and hurled it straight at me.  I think I blacked out, because I don’t really remember what happened after that.

Anyway, Monday’s rat was very much alive and, fortunately, never made contact with my body.  I couldn’t help, however, but to enter a spiral of irrational fears.  What if the rat came back while I was out grabbing the newspaper (I am an old man) at lunch?  Maybe it would catch me by surprise, and bite my ankle, and then I’d have to miss my soccer game.  And probably, I would get rabies.  Or something.  Once I start worrying, and my imagination takes over, it’s hard to stop.

8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Fortunately, my workday was productive and largely uneventful.  Mostly because I skipped my lunchtime walk and stayed firmly indoors.  Two dead pigeons and giant rat?  I was not taking any chances.

5:45 PM I got home just in time to give Clark’s talons a quick trim, his coat a quick brushing, and his ears a quick cleaning.  The little dude has to look his best when he’s making his therapy dog rounds.

We spend an hour and a half visiting some great kids at a local hospital.  I don’t think either of us wanted to leave when our time was up.  It’s so incredibly moving to see children– up against so much– delight in rubbing Clark’s ears and crouching down on the floor to kiss his wrinkly face.  They were curious about his missing tail (perhaps he is, too), whether or not he could fight a lion (I suspect not), and what he keeps in the pouch on his therapy dog vest (treats, obviously).  Clark was in his glory.  I likely would have only been awake for 20 hours, but I had to stay up an extra hour to tell Nick all about it.  I can’t wait for our next visit.

7:30 PM I contemplated taking a nap before my soccer game, but instead I watched half an episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Why do they wear so much under brow highlighter?  Puzzling.

8:45 PM I was about to head out the door for soccer, when I received a very important FaceTime call.  From my three week old niece.  When an infant calls, you answer.

11:30 PM Though we lost our playoff game, we had a great 11 v. 11 season.  It was nice to play on a big field again.  I won’t miss being out so far past my bedtime, however.  I had to employ my very best “stay alert and awake” tactics for the ride home (Call Me Maybe at full volume, a handful of Haribo gummy bears, and the AC cranked as high as it would go).

When I finally made it back to my warm bed, I felt like I had been awake for 400 hours.  In truth, it had only been 21.  And that was plenty.

Also On Tap for Today:

Which critter are you most afraid of?  Snakes?  Spiders?  Teresa from RHONJ?


Today: Proof that we’re engaged.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Welp, in addition to the ring.  And the fact that I talk about getting married every 30 seconds.

The proof is in our engagement photos, taken by Katherine and Craig of Henry Photographers.  A few of our favorites from Castle Island and our roof deck:

We’re planning to use some of the photographs Katherine and Craig took to fill the pages of our guest book, and others for thank you notes.  And maybe wallpaper.  And mouse pads.  We visited Henry Photographers’ new studio in Reading earlier this week to see our proofs for the first time– I never expected to like photos of myself so much (it’s easy to like photos of Nick).  If you’re looking for photographers, I highly recommend Katherine and Craig.  Highly.

Shortly after we got home from our meeting with them, we received an email containing a link to a mobile album of all of our pictures, which could be saved right to the home screen (complete with a Clark icon) of our little iPhones.  Or Driods, if we were into that sort of thing.

It so nice to be able to sneak a peek at these whenever I want.  Such a fun surprise!  We still have a few more things to check off, but with just over 100 days to go, I could not be more excited to be getting married.  In case that wasn’t obvious from my goofy grin in every photo.

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you camera shy, or always ready for the flashing lights?


Today: The ultimate cup.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Most days, I am an ROP (a regular ol’ person).  On Thursday, though, I had the privilege of being a VIP guest of Nespresso at the America’s Cup World Series in Newport.  I’d likely jump at any chance to wear my boat shoes on an actual boat, but this day on the water topped all others.  I cannot thank Nespresso and Emirates Team New Zealand enough for the incredible experience.

As an official sponsor of Team New Zealand, Nespresso invited me and several others to join them for a front row, on the water viewing of Thursday’s quarter final ACWS fleet and match races in Narragansett Bay.  We spent the better part of the afternoon on the top deck of the Gansett as the nine competing AC45 catamarans flew by.

If your grandfathers had anything to do with sailing, it would be appropriate for me to say something like, “This is not your grandfather’s America’s Cup.”  This is fast, extreme sailing.

Recommended reading: America’s Cup racing now goes to extremes (Stan Grossfield, Boston Globe).

After a scenic drive to Newport, I met up with Jackie and our other generous hosts from Nespresso at Emirate Team New Zealand‘s base camp.  We were treated to a delicious light lunch (complete with espresso, which only added to my high-on-life buzz) and a quick catch up on the course and the team’s history.

My knowledge of sailing is rather limited, but I did my best to follow along.  Fortunately, the lovely people from Nespresso were there to talk us through the race, which was especially helpful as the course changed several times throughout the fleet race.  The brand has a long history with sailing, and clearly the sport is something their team members are passionate about.  What could be better than watching America’s Cup, with the perfect cup of espresso in hand?

We were truly right in the thick of things, cheering on the Kiwis and marveling (I couldn’t think of a more accurate word, and no, I have not aged 50 years since my last post) as the other eight catamarans flashed by.

Though they fared well in the fleet race, Emirates Team New Zealand was unable to finish their match races after their catamaran capsized.  It was quite dramatic to witness, especially when it was clear the boat had sustained damage and it continued to  drift farther and farther away from Fort Adams.  At one point, we were close enough to see that a team member was in the water, working to lift the sail as the crew attempted to upright the boat.  Truly, this is not your proverbial grandfather’s America’s Cup.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.  The crew worked tirelessly to get the boat repaired (something we got to see first hand upon returning back to their base camp).  They were back in the race the next day.  Talk about perseverance.

Today’s culminating race in Newport will be televised lived on NBC (2:30 EST) and is definitely worth a watch.  You can also watch all of the action live on YouTube.  I’ll be cheering on Emirates Team New Zealand with an iced Nespresso protein shake (recipe to follow, promise) in hand.  Perhaps I will even wear my VIP credentials and demand to be treated as such (which, likely, will not be received well).

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite way to pass a summer day?


Today: Anatomy of an engagement photo.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]True Life: I don’t like having my photo taken.  Put a camera before me and I have an uncanny knack for freezing up.

Imagine my surprise and confusion, then, as I found myself actually enjoying our engagement photo session this weekend.  Perhaps it was having a handsome man on my arm, or great photographers to work with, or my sister alongside us (with a handbag full of Chapstick, comfortable shoes, and assorted other goodies), or the perfect weather, or the lovely locations.  Likely, it was all of the above.

Big primpin’

We planned to treat our session with Katherine and Craig of Henry Photographers as a practice run for the wedding, with hopes that I’d be at least slightly less terrified about being photographed on the big day.  I felt instantly at ease with them (it helps that I’ve known Katherine since middle school), and the process, so that practice run soon became a main event unto itself.  Nick and I were grinning from ear to ear the whole time.  I can’t wait to see the how the photos turned out.

Prior to our appointment, Katherine sent me a link to a post they put together with helpful tips for engagement photos.  Knowing she wouldn’t lead me astray, I grabbed my highest heels from the closet and made a list of important locations for our shoot.  We started at Castle Island, took a few shots in the courtyard of our building (after an outfit change, we’re very Hollywood), and finished on the roof (where Nick proposed) as the sun was setting behind us.

With cakepop tasting and our engagement photos behind us, it’s probably time to start making our “must play” list for the DJ.  😉

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your best tip for being comfortable in front of the camera?