On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: Old kids on the dock.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Some people know my friend Elizabeth (we Elizabeths like to stick together) as my drinking buddy.  She’s been present 2 out of the 3 times I’ve been over-served in the past decade.  As she wisely put it yesterday, her gremlin speaks to my gremlin.  We have a way of getting into trouble together.  Which is why I enjoy her company so.  She’s not just my drinking buddy, she’s my thinking buddy, too.   We met at a conference in January, as I sat awkwardly at a lunch table, waiting for the keynote speech to start.  She recommended the vegetarian soup, and then asked if I wanted to grab tea.  We went to a music therapy workshop and giggled while the instructor sang about joy being all around us.  I think that song helped us to skip over being strangers.  The introvert in me is ever grateful for her friendliness.  Elizabeth is kind, generous, and compassionate.  We can talk hippie talk and hockey talk.  What more could a girl ask for?

We’re both running from one thing to the next lately, so I am so glad we were able to sneak in a little chat on the dock at the Esplanade last night.  Just two grown-up kids, talking about retirement accounts and bridesmaids dresses, and soaking up the view.  Life is good.

Also On Tap for Today:

 

What’s your favorite hometown view?


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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?


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Today: W-i-n-d-y… windy.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I stand by yesterday morning’s tweet.

If you have no idea who Marcel the Shell is, please get schooled on this squeaky footed sensation.  Your life will be changed for the better.  Speaking of, what better way to spend a windy morning in Boston than with three of my Reach the Beach teammates?  Bridget, Patricia, Tina and I joined The Most Informal Running Club Ever –along with sponsors New Balance, Race Menu, Go Motion Gear and NGR Bar— for a brisk run along the Charles.

[Photo courtesy of Tina]

The group, which meets weekly, was really warm, welcoming and well-organized.  With the option of a 3.5, 4, or 7 mile route, we chose the 4 mile loop up Commonwealth Avenue, and along the river.  At one point, I was more horizontal than vertical, thanks to the 30 mile per hour wind gusts.  If it weren’t for the railing along the Mass Ave bridge, we may have had to swim back to City Sports.

[Photo courtesy of Patricia]

[Photo of me and my partner in crime courtesy of Tina]

After the run, we chatted with fellow runners and some of the lovely folks from New Balance and Reach the Beach before headed to Eastern Standard for brunch (and a hot cup of tea) in our finest Spandex and Lycra.  I have a feeling 24 hours in a van will be some good (if not slightly smelly) fun.  I am looking forward to the coming weeks of training… especially if brunch is involved.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you prefer working out alone, or with a crew?


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Today: Times, they are a-changin’.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]For the first time since 1982, I will not be waking up at my parents’ house on Christmas morning.  I will not be making a holy racket at 5:45 AM in an attempt to wake my three siblings a bit early.  I won’t be sitting on the top step waiting while my dad checks “to see if Santa came.”  I think this means I’ve become a grown-up.  It only took me (nearly) 30 years.

In the past, Nick and I have spent the holidays apart, with our own families.  More often than not, Clark rolled with me.  A girl needs her bat-eared sidekick.  This year, though, the three of us are sticking together for a magical, whirlwind Christmas tour.  We will go north to spend Christmas Eve with Nick’s family, stay at our home, sweet condo Christmas Eve night, go to Mass on Christmas morning at our parish in the Back Bay, and then head south to spend Christmas day with my family.

It feels rather odd to be breaking with tradition, but at the same time, it’s exciting to start creating my own traditions.  With my own cute little family.  I fully intend to make a video as I check to see if Santa came (more specifically: did I leave paper, tape and scissors strewn about the living room?), and then release Clark from his crate to tear open a giant stack of (mostly edible) presents.  I am contemplating what I will make for Christmas breakfast, but it seems only appropriate to take a cue from Buddy the Elf and break out the maple syrup.  Lots of maple syrup.

I have already spent hours creating the perfect Christmas music mixes for the car rides.  I have baking supplies ready to go, and more gift tags than I know what to do with (which is why I declined my mom’s offer of approximately 8,700 of them at our dinner on Sunday).  Plus, I have been wrapping like the bad ass white wrapper I am.

Though I tend to be a bit resistant to change, my philosophy for Christmas 2011 is a resounding yes, we can make this holiday– complete with traditions old and new– totally awesome.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite holiday tradition?


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Today: The latest buzz.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I made an incredible discovery on Wednesday night:  Espresso.  As usual, I’m a bit late to the game.  I have been awake for nearly 72 hours straight (just kidding… I took a three hour nap early this morning before heading to work).  I have done four loads of laundry.  I have updated my iPhone… twice (apparently I was more than one version behind). I’ve watched two episodes of Pan Am, while painting my nails three different colors.  I’ve written two grant proposals and drafted one budget.  I went seven rounds in the boxing gym without taking a single break.  I can’t stop dancing. Why is my eyelid twitching?

As someone who “swears off caffeine forever” multiple times each year, I may be venturing into dangerous territory. I had the pleasure of joining a few of my favorite Boston girls for a media dinner featuring coffee and wine pairings, hosted by Ted Allen and coffee expert Mark Uhlemann at the Nespresso Boutique on Newbury Street.  After only a few sips of my espresso martini, I felt like Jessie Spano on the trampoline (minus the diet pill addiction).  I was both so excited and so… scared that perhaps I had been invited to this fabulous event by mistake.  I prayed my over-sized lady briefcase wouldn’t knock over any of Nespresso’s teeny, tiny cute little espresso cups as I passed through the boutique.

When it was time to make our way to the dining area, set up towards the back of the store for this event, we spotted Ted Allen’s place card.  It didn’t take much coaxing to get Bridget to snag a seat next to the Food Network star, and our host for the evening.  Doesn’t she look like she’s up to something?

Our first course featured a sweet potato cup with parsnip puree whip and coffee caviar (yes, really).  The wine and coffee pairings included a glass of Argyle 2000 “Extended Tirage” brut sparkling wine, alongside a cup of Nespresso’s Livanto Grand Cru.  I think you know my policy on sparkling wine.  Bubbles make life better.  Prior to this event, I had no policy on Livanto Grand Cru.  I now do (it’s the same as my bubble policy).  I love when life gets unexpectedly better.

As our entrees were being served, we learned a bit more about the Nespresso brand, and their emergence in the US market.  Mark Uhlemann emphasized that this is not your run of the mill drive through coffee.  It is meant to be savored.  I started having flashbacks of the three hour lunch breaks I enjoyed as a sixteen year old exchange student in Rome (my host father once packed a Budweiser in my school lunch “because Americans love beer,” but that’s another story… and an awesome one, at that).  Does mixing espresso and sparkling wine cause flashbacks?  I’m willing to do the research and report back.

In addition to a glass of Pahlmeyer 2004 Merlot (not my favorite, but then again, I am white wine weenie through and through) and a tiny cup of Nespresso’s limited edition Dhjana (I love anything miniature, let’s be serious), I enjoyed one of the best vegetarian entrees I’ve been served in ages.  I savored nearly every bite of my roasted asparagus and crispy eggplant roulade.

Somehow, I saved room for dessert, which was paired with a glass of Niepoort 10-year-old tawny port and a cup of Nespresso’s Decaffeinato Intenso.  And my, was it intenso.  I probably could have sprinted home in heels, instead of lazily taking a cab ride (which wouldn’t be complete without a colorful lecture about the “jackassedness of paying for cab rides with credit cards”– direct quote.  Can you guess my new favorite word?).

I loved hearing Ted Allen speak about which restaurants he had visited in Boston, his experience with Nespresso, and his thoughts on the wine and coffee pairings.  He was truly charming, down to earth, and (not surprisingly) quite funny.  Mark Uhlemann offered great insight, and officially has me hooked on a new caffeine vehicle.  Diet Coke who?

It may have been the coffee, it may have been the wine, it may have been the chocolate… but I suspect it was actually the company– I had a fantastic evening.

Also On Tap for Today:

What advice can you share with a (sort of) young, naive coffee drinker?


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Today: Well read.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] Today marked the second annual Boston Book Festival.  It also marked the day I nearly lost a toe or nine to frostbite.

 

The Boston Public Library looks on, like a protective older brother. An older brother that has public restrooms.

 

 

Great music. Even greater solo-dancing by the lady down front.

 

 

When we get ideas in Boston, antique gas lamps appear above our heads.

 

 

Hi, Mr. Copley. Cute shoes.

 

 

Show's over. Pack up your books.

 

It was a lovely, well organized day.  I am off to thaw my face and de-ice my ear lobecicles.  And spend some quality time with Nick, who ran 12 miles today, and Baby Clark, who ran 12 feet this week.

Also On Tap Today:

  • Rest up for my 12 miler tomorrow morning
  • I finagled a delicious grilled cheese and tomato at Finagle a Bagel
  • President Obama was right down the street!

What are your reading these days?