On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: Better together.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I don’t know about you, but I always feel better when I’m with my mom.  She is the kindest, most caring person I know.  She’s the type of person who is always looking out for everyone else.  I’d be lost without her.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Eversave is encouraging everyone to tell the special lady in your life how much she means to you.  Finish this sentence Dear Mom, Thanks for _________ to be entered to win a Save for a facial at Salon Kokopelli in Belmont, Massachusetts.  

Click the image above to share what you’re thankful for before 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 10th to be entered.  You can earn an additional entry by purchasing the Salon Kokopelli Save on Eversave.com (which means you and your lovely mom can be pampered together, obvi).

Also On Tap for Today:

What do you love most about your mom (or dad, or grandmother, or best friend etc.)?


16 Comments

Today: I miss you, garlic. {plus a Fire + Ice giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I’m now solidly in Week 3 of my elimination diet (no gluten, no high FODMAP foods, no fun… just kidding… sort of).  As much as I would like to assert that I felt my absolute best when living on Annie’s Shells & Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos, the past few weeks are proving otherwise.

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If Week 1 were a work by Victor Hugo, it would be Les Miserables.  I had a raging headache the entire week, and felt compelled to slap the Diet Coke straight from the hands of people passing by.  While I did my best to pack enough food for the day, inevitably I came home starving.  And tempted to fall into a big bowl of hummus.  I did adopt one very important habit during Week 1, though: consistently eating breakfast.

I’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but then again, I grew up being told that Pluto was a planet.  I’m a born skeptic.  Regardless, I carved out time every morning for this meal– most important or not– and have stuck to gluten free cereal, unsweetened almond milk, heaps of fresh berries, and more bananas than any person should consume.  While I’d rather spend that time getting stuff done (like working, or talking to my dog), It’s refreshing to not want to eat my keyboard during a mid-morning conference call.

Week 2 was a vast improvement over Week 1, but that’s not saying much, considering I felt like hell on wheels for the first seven days of the diet.  By the second week, my deep longing for an IV drip of caffeine had waned, and I no longer sought physical violence against people who freely sipped the Diet Coke.  Avoiding all caffeine has three major upsides:

  1. I’m sleeping better.
  2. I’ve eliminated the risk of hitting a pole at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through, resulting in a dangling side-view mirror… again.  Yes, that really happened.
  3. If I can quit caffeine, I must be unstoppable.  Maybe.

I survived a weekend away, thanks to a stash of low FODMAP foods and some careful selection at meal times.  I was captain of the nerds with my handy allowed/not allowed food list always at the ready.  More than anything, I have such a better appreciation for those dealing with allergies.

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I gave myself a free pass (which is less cool than a fun pass) to eat a small portion of baked penne, and a bite of a brownie after my grandmother’s funeral.  Oh, and a vodka and soda, light on the vodka, which is technically not forbidden… but not encouraged, either.  I soon regretted that free pass, but hey.  This is a learning process.

While I’ve experimented with various dairy-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free packaged foods, I’ve been trying to stick to unprocessed foods whenever possible.  I’ve been packing salads, low FODMAP fruits and veggies, a bit of almond butter, sweet potatoes, precisely measured wedges of hard cheese (file this under confusing: brie is considered a hard cheese, according to my handy reference guide), and the occasional rice cracker or one of Lucy’s Cookies.  Dinner has been similar.

When it comes to snacks, I find myself starring into the fridge, making eyes at the hummus and Greek yogurt.  It’s kind of a bad scene.  I broke out the mustard and Glutino pretzels for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, though, and quite enjoyed the combination.  I think this may be a lucky snack, so they will be on the table for Game 7 tonight, for sure.  Plus, they taste good.  And grainy mustard just plain old rules.

Week 3 has been the easiest so far, which makes sense.  I tried another go at the free pass last night, when I arrived at my front door famished and exhausted.  Rather than going all out (I think the baked penne from Week 2 hit just about every category on the ‘not allowed’ list), I limited myself to one forbidden column, grains, and experienced no side effects (and sadly, no vodka….).  While I am tempted to press my luck… I am not willing to risk a whammy (…best game show of all time).  Back to safe greens today.

I am (mostly) patiently waiting for the results of my blood work to come back, and am (fully) crossing my fingers that it will be clear what foods I should be avoiding from now on.  In the meantime, though, I am feeling surprisingly better.  I am much more conscious of cravings, my hunger levels, and how I feel after eating.  I have gotten so much better at preparing food in advance, rather than leaving things to chance.  With a week and a half to go, I’m thankful for this insight…. and I’m looking forward to a normal night out (at a restaurant that serves garlic and onions, preferably) soon.

To enter, leave a comment below.  I will select a random winner tomorrow evening (Thursday, April 26) after 8 PM EST.  If you’d rather send all your good luck to the Boston Bruins, you can purchase this sweet deal until midnight tonight.

CONGRATULATIONS, Stephanie!  You were the randomly selected winner. 🙂  Stephanie writes a great personal finance blog; you should check it out!  Many thanks to Eversave Boston and all who entered.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • LET’S GO, BRUINS! 🙂
  • Popsicles in Prosecco: a match made in heaven
  • Doing damage with my new label maker (watch out!)

What one food would you have trouble living without?  (Be sure to indicate if you want to be entered to win the aforementioned giveway, ladies and gents.)


8 Comments

Today: The best things in life are free.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]The Countess would tell you that money can’t buy you class (elegance is learned, my friend), but anyone who has paid tuition might disagree.  Get it… class?  The Beatles sang, can’t buy me love.  And Sam Cooke hit the nail on the head when he crooned, the best things in life are free.

 

Fresh air, Frenchie high fives, quality time with friends and family, splashing in the waves, getting lost in thought… the best things in life really are free.  Free money is pretty awesome, too.  While it’s not straight cash, homey, Eversave is giving every, single member a $10 credit to spend on a Save of their choice between now and midnight on August 25th as part of their Member Appreciation Event.  If you’re not already a member, I highly recommend you sign up today and take advantage of the fact that Eversave is making it rain Save Rewards.  Or, whatever.

I feel like one of those Slap Chop commercials– but, wait!  There’s more!  One lucky On Tap for Today reader will win an additional $20 in Save Rewards, to be credited to your account. I will chose a random winner tomorrow evening.  To enter, please leave a comment below.  For an additional entry, feel free to tweet away (in order to be counted, please be sure to include @Eversave, @ElizabethEv and this link: http://wp.me/pySBS-1cf).

Full monty disclosure:  I received Save Rewards for hosting this giveaway.  I plan to cash them in for a much needed pedicure.  With the money I saved, I will buy an apology bouquet for my nail person, as my terrifying runners’ feet sometimes make her cry. 😦

Also On Tap for Today:

If $10 fell from the sky, and you had to spend it, what would you spend it on?


7 Comments

Today: The bad news sandwich.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]We’re in the process of hiring at work, which also means we’re in the process of not hiring 99.99 (repeating) % of people who have or will apply.  Nobody likes getting bad news.  Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true.  People who love to complain are fed by bad news in the same way that I am fed by cheese doodles.  And videos of French bulldogs sledding.  Regardless, I hate giving bad news.

Unless you’re a complete donkey, in which case, I sort of secretly like tell you that this is not your day.  For example, the people who automatically assume I am a dude, because I am the boss.  I don’t know many men named Elizabeth, but if you are out there, hello.  Or that I am multiple dudes (i.e., the person who addressed his cover letter to “Dear gentlemen”).  Or the person who declared in an interview (to my face, which was born in 1982, along with the rest of my body) that “people born after 1984 are much better at computers.”  First of all, that sentence is akin to saying you’re good at toasters.  Or good at planes.  And secondly, compute this: you are not hired.

But then, there are the people–and this is the vast majority of people (my heart is only partially frozen.. it’s more like a cute little icicle on one tiny corner or valve or whatever)–who you truly want to see succeed.  The people who are earnest, and kind, and hard-working, and trying their best to navigate a tremendously difficult job market.  The people that you want to advise, and help, and uplift, even though they are not the right fit for the position.

For these people, I try to serve up a bad news sandwich.  The bread is all positive and supportive in an effort to cushion the fact that I won’t be offering the recipient a job.  For example (ignore the fact that the cheese looks totally gross and sort of burnt at the edges, please):

Somewhere around the mushrooms or tomatoes, you say, “I’m terribly sorry, but I cannot offer you this job today.”  Your bread might say other things, like “I would like to pass along your resume to a colleague who might be hiring.”  Or, “You have so much to be proud of; I know someone will be very fortunate to have you their team.”  This is the key, though: whatever you say, you have to mean it.  Making things up isn’t helpful to anyone.

You can’t necessarily make this sandwich for everyone, all of the time.  But it is worth the effort when you can.  And it quickly washes away the bad taste being addressed as Mr. Human Resourcers (yes, that happened) leaves in my mouth.  If you’re out there looking for a job, hang in there.  Keep looking.  Something will happen, and when it does, I hope it’s really incredible.

In the meantime, want to win a real, actual sandwich or two? It’s Sandwich Day at Eversave and my pals would like to give one of you $5 in Save Rewards (for a Save of your choice) AND a Save for $10 worth of sandwiches and other treats at Pauli’s in the North End.  All you have to do is comment below.  Per yoosh, if you’d like an extra entry, feel free to tweet: I want to win free sandwiches from @EversaveBOS and @ElizabethEv! http://wp.me/pySBS-18y  A random winner will be announced on Saturday evening.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Fighter conditioning at Peter Welch’s
  • Check out Eversave’s Sandwich Showdown
  • Be a good neighbor in the heat: check in on the elderly and others who may need help!

Congratulations, Annelise!  Please send me an email (ontapfortoday@gmail[dot]com) to claim your Save. 🙂

What’s your favorite way to stack a sandwich?  Any tips for being the bearer of bad news?


1 Comment

Today: And the (wine) winner is…

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] Congratulations, Lauren!

Thank you to Colleen and my friends at Eversave for sponsoring this giveaway, and to everyone who entered.  I really appreciate all the fabulous wine recommendations.  We Bostonians have the Stanley Cup in town, and much to toast!  Let the wine flow like water…

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?


28 Comments

Today: Something to wine about {a giveaway}.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] There’s quite a bit to celebrate On Tap these days.  From Game 7  tonight, to Father’s Day this weekend, to my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary towards the end of the month, I can think of more than a few reasons to raise a flute of bubbly.  Or the entire bottle.  Not that I condone over-serving yourself.

 


Regardless, the lovely folks at Eversave would like to give one of you something to wine about: today’s bonus Save for $70 to spend at wine.com.  Pretty fabulous, right?  That’s enough wine to fill the Stanley Cup! 

To enter, please leave a comment below about your favorite wine.  For a second entry, feel free to tweet the phrase “I want to win free #wine from @ElizabethEv and @EversaveBOS!”

I will randomly select a winner tomorrow evening, after 6 PM.  Cheers and good luck!

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite type of wine for celebrations? 


3 Comments

Today: Butterfly in the sky.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Or inside.  Either way, they’re pretty.  Nick and I took a road trip in the rain to Westford to check out The Butterfly Place.  I bought an Eversave voucher for discounted tickets, but forgot to print it (minor details), so I shelled out the cash for full price admission.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, since the gift shop at the entrance seemed to be overrun with children buying “hatch your own butterfly kits,” but I was encouraged by all the full grown adults coming and going with camera equipment.

When we entered the butterfly flight area, we were immediately surrounded by the most beautiful butterflies I have ever seen.  The space is akin to a greenhouse, with temperatures kept between 80-85 degrees (my hair instantly frizzed into Cape-hair), and tall ceilings.  There are paths that meander through butterfly bushes, flowers and greenery… and some sort of chicken coop thing (for some cute little bird that is definitely not a chicken).  For the record, I totally tried to get butterflies to land on my hand, but to no avail.  I left the flowers alone.

Once the fog cleared from my lens, I started taking photos at random.  Fortunately a few turned out pretty well.  Including this one of someone’s bum.

Here are a few non-rear views, complete with some serious wing flapping.

I liked that yellow one best.  Nick doesn’t seem amused, however.

Incoming!

After we checked our persons for hitchhikers, we hit the road again.

None of the butterflies tried to escape, so that probably means they’re happy there. I can’t say I blame them; it’s a pretty cool place.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite flying species?