On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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: A real Do-It-Yourselfer.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I was flipping through Allure last week and spotted this Sonia Kashuk for Target ad.

My imagination was captured.  I dug through my bathroom draw (contents: moisturizer, nail polish, more moisturizer, more nail polish) and got to work.

After removing my old polish, cleaning, filing and buffing nails, I applied two coats of Revlon Dreamer (pale blue).  Per usual, my impatience got the better of me and I moved on to step 2 (applying those half moon stencil sticker things) too early.  After reapplying two more coats of Dreamer to my pointer finger, I made sure to wait twice as long this time.

Once I was sure the blue polish was dry, I carefully applied the French polish guides.  I recommend doing your non-dominant hand first (which I didn’t do, naturally).  Next came two coats of Nicole by OPI The Next CEO (shimmery gold) above the polish guides, allowing plenty of time for the gold polish to dry.

The guides come off easily, leaving a nice crisp line of gold above the blue polish.  I finished up with two coats of top coat and carefully flipped through the rest Allure while my nails dried.

Could a professional have done better?  You better believe it.

Is it fun to do it yourself every now and then, regardless?  Yes, ma’am.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite DIY project?  Favorite nail polish color?


Today: Like a fine wine.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] There is still time to enter the Stages of Beauty giveaway, ladies …and gentlemen who might want to win a fabulous line of skincare products for a lady in their life.  I will accept entries until 7PM Boston-time (I don’t fully grasp the whole time zone thing) and post the winner tomorrow morning.


I am having so much fun reading your responses to the question What do you love most about your age?, and wanted to share some of your answers.  We really are like fine wine it would seem, gettin’ better and better with age.

Cheers to getting older and more and more awesome.

[Photo source]

From your responses:

The Twenties

  • What I love about my age is that I’m old enough to realize that things I worried about when I was younger don’t really matter, but I’m young enough to still change, learn, and grow.
  • I’m fearless.  I feel like my whole life is ahead of me and I’m unstoppable.
  • Life is getting better and better with age.
  • I look forward to the adventures and “unknowns” ahead.
  • During my twenties, I can put aside external pressures and just do what I love.
  • I’ve grown and experienced so much in my twenties: discovering love, traveling and doing what makes me happy.
  • I love the time to find myself, find stability in work, love and self-confidence.
  • I’m returning to my love of writing and learning to be more confident.

The Thirties

  • In lots of ways I don’t think MY life really began until my 30′s and I started to think about and pursue what I wanted instead of what I thought I was supposed to want.
  • Now that I’m in my 30s, I feel like I get more respect than I did in my 20s (and god forbid, before that).
  • Instead of worrying about what’s the ‘right’ way or ‘right’ path I am pursuing my interests and doing what I like.
  • I feel wiser and cooler than ever.
  • I feel free and am happy with who and where I am in my life.
  • I’m closer to finding myself.

The Forties

  • I’m more confident and content in my personal life.
  • What do I love about my age?  I love everything!
  • I feel more confident than I ever have.
  • I don’t care as much about what other people think and I am having more fun than ever with my children.

The Fifties

  • My relationship with my sisters and my daughter developed into strong friendships during this time. In my 50′s those friendships have grown even more deep. I find I do things differently now than I would or could have any other period in my life.
  • 50+ is the new 40!

I think Karen sums it up so well.  She said, “With age comes wisdom, confidence and knowing what is most important in your life.”  Thank you all for sharing these thoughtful, inspiring answers.  I’ll do my best to update this throughout the day.

Please be sure to enter the giveaway, if you haven’t already, by visiting this post.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Drinks with the girl next door.  Literally.
  • Make iPad wielding Nick download this app and read to me every night.
  • Write back to my new middle schooler penpal 🙂

What’s On Tap for your weekend?


Today: A Stages of Beauty giveaway.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] It’s high time we had a giveaway On Tap, wouldn’t you say?  With grey snow piling up in Boston, and seemingly perpetual gray skies above, my winter could use a little brightening.  I’m finding that a few small changes make  a big difference in keeping the winter blues and blahs at bay.

Keep fresh flowers on hand

"Pink and Yellow," my soon-to-drop awesome rap jam.

I try to pick up a few inexpensive bunches of flowers at the market each week– usually tulips or roses, in bright, cheery hues.  I am strictly anti-baby’s breath, and think the most simple arrangements are also the most gorgeous.  I worked at a florist when I was in high school and swear that I am the rose whisperer.  I can de-thorn a dozen roses faster than, well, someone who doesn’t know how to.  Bringing a little natural beauty indoors is a great mood elevator.

What do you calla this lily? Get it...? Oy.

Nick took over flower duty this weekend.  They’re so beautiful, our wallpaper person thought they were fake.  Until he poked them.  For the third time.

Work out more than once a month (and enjoy it)

Get a grip, woman. Or at the very least, take a shower.

I feel like I am finally bouncing back from a little (um… month long) motivation rut and exercise hiatus following the marathon.  During the week immediately following the race, all I wanted to do was run.  Our coach had us under strict orders to do nothing of the sort.  As soon as we were cleared for light cardio and easy runs, all I wanted to do was curl up like a beetle on the couch and be fed cheese doodles by my French bulldog.  Not normal.  I’m happy to report though, after sweating like a man during last week’s soccer game and running faster than I’ve ever run before in this weekend’s 6k, I’m finally feeling like I have some motivation back.  Hey, if Stella can get her groove back, who says I can’t run for more than two minutes today?

Woo! Exercise is scientifically proven to make you happier!  And happy people do not flip off plow drivers or shovelling-challenged neighbors.

Re-evaluate my beauty routine

Between whipping winds outdoors and poor air quality indoors (I think our office thermostat is permanently set at “Sahara”), the winter always punishes my skin.  I was definitely in need of a change when this arrived at my door:

Hey, beautiful? Oops, was this for Clark?

Stages of Beauty is a new skin care line, developed just around the corner by a brilliant young woman in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Their full line is launching soon– I was thrilled to get a little sneak preview.

What I love:

  • All of the products are dye-free and fragrance-free.  As someone with hyper-sensitive skin (and feelings… juuust kidding), this is a major plus.
  • I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but beauty products are not books.  So I can judge freely.  Stages of Beauty‘s packaging is whimsical, cheery and eco-friendly.  First impressions matter, and fabulous first impressions really matter.
  • The line of skin care features four special formulas for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s– each line addresses the special challenges and priorities for those age sets.  For example, women in their 20s benefit from the Radiance formula, which help to protect skin from daily stressors and sun exposure.  Factors such as hormonal changes, changes in sun sensitivity and moisture levels helped to determine these different formulas.
  • At the risk of sounding like a Spice Girl, I love that these products were developed by a young woman.  I’m all about the girl power.
  • It works.  I wouldn’t be saying this if it didn’t.  I’ve been using the Radiance treatment cream for a few weeks and just this morning, as I checked myself out in the glass door of our condo building, I thought– Yowza!  That is one good lookin’ lady!

What I’d love to see:

  • I’d love to see some SPF injected into the treatment creams in the future.  Otherwise, I think this product is pretty much perfect.

Whether it’s fresh flowers, a fresh attitude, or a fresh face, trying something new is a surefire way to keep  a smile on my (glowing) face this winter.  I want you all to keep smiling, too, sooooo….

The lovely ladies at Stages of Beauty are offering one lucky reader (US only, sorry my beautiful Canadian friends) a full line of their age-appropriate products: Radiance for the 20-somethings, Harmony for the 30-somethings, Elegance for the 40-somethings, and Grace for the 50-somethings.

To enter:

  • In the comments section, let me know what you love about your age.

For extra entries (please leave an additional comment for all extra entries):

A winner will be randomly selected on Friday, February 18th. 🙂

So let’s hear it.  What do you love most about your age?


Today: Ma’am, your epidermis is showing.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] The older I get, the more refined my sense of humor becomes.  Clearly.  Fortunately, I moisturize on the regular, so I have the dewy complexion of a eleven year old, which is right on par with my emotional maturity.  Speaking of eleven year olds, if you passed sixth grade science, you know that the skin, or epidermis (from the Greek, dear spelling bees, meaning upper skin),  is our largest organ.

Oopsies, wrong organ.

[Photo source]

As I was reminded at last night’s Whole Foods Market Whole Body showcase, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. You body ultimately absorbs whatever products and chemicals you slather on your skin, which gives me great pause when I consider the body glitter craze of the late nineties.  I am pretty sure I can break out in hives on command, so I have always been extra careful about which products I use, but I certainly have a lot to learn.  About mostly everything.  I was like a veritable loofah last night, soaking up all kinds of information.  Let’s wring it all out, shall we?

Inside each Whole Foods Market is a heavenly little section called the cheese department.  The is also a section equally as heavenly, called Whole Body.  Whole Body features carefully selected products that can be characterized as quality, safe products with an emphasis on natural ingredients– plant-based, naturally-derived, with pure essential oil fragrances, gentle preservatives, and non-petroleum ingredients.  In other words, no Bonne Bell Lip Smackers.  Oh, and no Whole Body products are ever tested on animals (obvi).

I had the chance to meet some of the glowing (seriously, these people practice what they preach) faces behind many of Whole Body’s featured brands last night.  The event had sort of the same appeal as my favorite farmers’ market up the street: we enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the people who care about the product, and learn a bit about why and how it should be used.  This is how I found myself smelling all kinds of lotions, serums and spritzes, enjoying a facial on my hand (a handcial?), sipping an elderberry elixir, and eating goji berries, mulberries and chocamole on a Tuesday night.  Yes.  Chocamole.

My first stop was the Kiss My Face table.  I’ve long been devoted to the brand and loved chatting with their lovely representative about their new products, and their partnership with Seeds of Peace, the recipient of 10% of sales of their new castile soap, aptly named Peace Soap.  You can learn more about that partnership and the great work that Seeds of Peace does here.  Doing good while looking good?  I’ll take a piece of that.

I was similarly attracted to the partnership between Mineral Fusion and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and many of the other brands represented that have relationships with organizations dedicated to environmental protection, land preservation and other important issues.   Cause marketing is such a brilliant way to attract consumers, while elevating organization’s public profiles and often channeling valuable resources.  As someone who runs a non-profit, I always love to see how brands interact with causes.

This post has officially reached “bordering on way too long, sister” status, so I will wind things down for now, with the threat promise to be back with more soon.  In the meantime…

If you’re interested in learning more about keeping your body “fit and sassy both inside and out,”  I recommending visiting the Whole Body website, which is ripe with information about quality, safe, natural health, beauty and wellness products.  They also offer great resources on a variety of topics, including health and wellness for young adults, supplementing with superfoods, and how to create a spa experience at home.  Given the wealth of products I received last night, I am quite certain a spa day (or month!)  is in the cards.  Someone bring me my slippers.  Please.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Returning to the Heights to steer impressionable undergrads down the career path at an alumni/career center event
  • Owl jokes are the new pirate jokes
  • Invent a new type of laundry that washes and dries itself …psssssssh

If you had a million dollars to give away, which cause (or beauty product) would you donate to (buy)?


Today: (Try to) Become a Guru

Even more updated UPDATE: I was chosen!  Aaaaah!

shine post

I entered a contest of sorts to become a member of Shine from Yahoo!’s Beauty Panel. You can check out my entry here, but only if you proceed with the warning that the topic was “the one beauty product you can’t live without” aaaaand the response had to be under 200 words. Two things I have difficulty editing down: products and …my inane rambling.

While this hair of mine could use a product or six to keep it check, and I do love playing with makeup, I’ve made strides in streamlining the morning routine. Mostly so I can stay in bed longer.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Visit new middle school in West Roxbury
  • Pack a weekend bag for the Cape
  • Crack a Presidential code

Any super hero products in your arsenal? How are you celebrating the 3rd? And the 4th?