On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: A good start.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]A new day, a new week, and almost a new month.  Despite losing our playoff soccer game by one measly goal, I feel like things are off to a good start.  This may be an overshare, but I’ve taken to keeping fresh flowers in the bathroom so I am greeted by something happy and living (in addition to Nick and Clark, obviously) first thing in the morning.  I think it helps start things off on a lovely note.

I managed to get today’s breakfast and lunch all packed up, the dishes done, and my bag ready to go last night.  I am truly amazed by the amount of time I usually manage to waste before heading out the door in the morning.  Perhaps this weekend’s conference inspired me to get my act together.

After a short break, Clark is happily back at The Pawsitive Dog for day school.  He’s doing his best to start back on the right paw, but apparently he’s been a bit naughty as of late… which makes me love him even more.  Apparently someone left a door open today and, ever the opportunist, he went on a little adventure through the neighboring pet store.  What a goober.

Nick and I picked up the little guy before heading to our soccer game, which ended rather disappointingly.  We were the #2 seed heading into tonight’s championship games, but lost our first game.  Per usual, we had no girl subs, and I walked away from the field feeling utterly wiped.  When we returned home, I caught a glimpse of a box that recently arrived and just like that, instasmile.  With January wrapping up, it’s time to dig into my foodie penpal package. I was lucky enough to receive the most fantastic package from Alex of yums and loves.  As soon as I learned that she has a Frenchie named Clarence, I knew we could be kindred spirits.

Alex sent me a Frenchie memo pad, which you might recognize from Clark’s 2nd birthday when I came out of the crazy dog lady closet, creating goodie bags for all of Clark’s four-legged friends.  Thanks for replenishing my stash, Alex!  She also included a copy of Everyday Food, one of my favorite sources for tasty, healthy recipes. Other goodies included snickerdoodle animal crackers (straight into my little lunch bag those go!), tiramsu almonds, glazed almonds with honey, cranberries and sea salt, a bar of dark chocolate and Barney Butter packets (a favorite around our condo).  Alex completely spoiled me.  Thank you so much!

If you’d like to participate in this fun monthly exchange, hop on over to Lindsay’s blog for more information.

After such a good start to the week, it’s time to slip on my sparkliest shoes and relax a bit.  It’s likely I’ll be trading them for snow boots tomorrow morning, but that’s fine by me. 😉

Also On Tap for Today:

Is your week off to a good start?  What does February have in store for you?


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Today: Pen pals and a well-stocked kitchen.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]You know when you have a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear?  I felt like lately we’ve had a kitchen full of food, but nothing to eat.  Short on fresh veggies, yogurt and other staples, Nick and I literally emptied our fridge and cabinets before hitting up Whole Foods this weekend.  We tossed anything perishable (and therefore un-donate-able) that sat on our shelves, uneaten.  I was surprised to find more than one expired item.  Ew.

With our shelves wiped clean and everything reorganized, we sat down to make a shopping list with a much better sense of what we actually have on hand.  Clearly (if the three jars of whole grain mustard are any indication), this is a habit that I could stand to make more… habitual.

One of my favorite treats from the market is fresh flowers, especially as the weather gets more dismal.  This week, I picked up a bunch of snow white tulips, and a bunch of long-stemmed kale.  Greens make lovely arrangements.  Perhaps I will walk down the aisle with a bouquet of kale, carrots, and radishes.  Perhaps not.

As I carefully unpacked our groceries, I made sure to add my goodies from Parita, my October foodie pen pal, to the shelves.  In addition to some homemade chocolate chip blondies (which didn’t last long enough to be photographed… muhaha), Parita sent me a jar of nutritional yeast (something I have been looking forward to trying!), chocolate chip peanut butter Larabards (one of my favorite flavors– Parita recommends trying them frozen), and a jar of olive tapenade.  Thank you so much for this perfect assortment of goodies, Parita!  If you’d like to see what I sent my pen pal, Nicole, please visit her blog, Nicole on a Mission. 🙂

I used some of Parita’s tapenade when whipping up some quick and easy appetizers (Nick’s parents will be here any minute).  If you invented filo shells, thank you.  You, sir or madam, are a genius.  For toppings, I use three combinations:

  • Brie, hot pepper jelly and freshly ground peppper
  • Granny Smith apple, crumbled brie and dried cranberries
  • Olive tapenade and shaved pecorino romano
I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!  Come on over if you need a snack.
Also On Tap for Today:
  • Lunch at Local 149
  • Fine-tuning Clark’s Halloween costume 🙂
  • Countdown to the NYC Marathon: ONE WEEK!
How often do you grocery shop?  Do you go in with a plan?  Or so hungry you could eat your own arm?


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Today: I came, I saw, I conquered..

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]

..the One Day Sale on tulips at Whole Foods.  I know, I am truly a badass.

A really tall person took this photo. Just kidding. It was me, on my stepstool. Wearing heels.

I’m not usually one to go bonkers over a sale (though I will never pay full price at places the Gap, after realizing everything goes on sale 3.5 minutes after you pay full price), but this One Day Sale really got me jazzed.  I scooped up three bunches of tulips for $12.  That’s 40 cents per tulip.  I’m sure even Clark could afford that (Lord knows what sort of change he’s hoarding in his crate; I once found a pony hair ballet flat and a Michael Kors handbag in there).  Aaaand they didn’t die the next day!

I usually gravitate toward all white arrangements, but with winter’s unwelcome return to Boston this past weekend, I had to add a bit of bright and bold.  I love pairing pink and red flowers, and thought that’s what I was doing… but apparently I am colorblind, because upon closer review, those are clearly orange tulips.  Hey.  That works too.

I may get captured by scientists upon revealing this (they’ll surely want to learn my secrets), but I’ve kept a vase of white calla lilies alive since the weekend before Valentine’s Day.  I intend to keep these tulips alive until Thanksgiving, God willing.  I may need to shellac them.  To avoid being taken to NASA or wherever scientists live, I’ll just spill all of my top not-so-secret info.

  • Buy flowers when they’re barely (if at all) blooming.  The tighter the bud, the better.
  • Cut a half inch or so from the stems before placing them in water.  I find it easiest to do this while they’re still wrapped.  That way avoid getting stabbed by thorns, and your stems will be uniform in height (you can snip them shorter once you start arranging, if you’re into that sort of thing).
  • Remove any and all leaves.  They drain energy from the flower and turn all swampy if submerged.
  • Place the flowers in a vase of cold water.  Change the water daily.  Temperature is important.
  • I am not sure where those flower food packets come from, but I am pretty sure it’s a warehouse from 1970 that has been trying to unload those chemicals for decades.  You don’t need to use that stuff.

Incidentally, one of my favorite books growing up was The First Tulips in Holland.  I am thinking of writing a sequel called The Five Hundredth Tulips in South Boston.  It’s got a nice ring, eh?

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite flower?  Do you have any top secret knowledge to share?


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Today: Mob scene at the Flower Show.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] I would have stopped to smell the flowers, but I was afraid I’d get mowed down by the crowd.  I could have never imagined that the most dangerous place to be on a Saturday night in the city would be a flower show.  As we entered the Seaport World Trade Center, we were forced do dodge throngs of people wielding 4 foot tall garden stakes, bundles of branches, and various other garden show paraphernalia.

I have never been touched by so many garden club members in my life.  As we attempted to walk up and down the outer aisles (I like to tackle these types of events with a plan.. in this case, it was not a good one), we were crushed by people charging the Harbor Sweets booth as the salesperson announced he had toffee samples to give away.  Lord have mercy.  We, unfortunately, didn’t get to spend nearly as much time checking out the actual flowers and gardens as we did last year.  Visiting on the weekend was not the best idea.

I did get a few ideas, though, and a few good pictures.  Voila.

Yep!  That’s a real bird!

After being run over by some sort of hand cart filled with garden sculptures, I decided enough was enough.  We picked up a really cute window sill garden, some hydrangeas and white roses from Wilson Farm, a “Happy Dog Meal” for Clark and called it a day.  Next year, we’re sticking to a weekday night.  And wearing body armor.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s the most dangerous thing you did this weekend?


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Today: Thank you, Mom.

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.”-Abraham Lincoln

“I agree with Abraham Lincoln.”-Elizabeth

Happy Mother’s Day to each and every mother, but especially to my own.  You are an incredible lady and I love you with all my heart.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Marine Corps Honor Run recap (preview: I got a PR in the pouring rain 🙂 )
  • Red Sox v. Yankees
  • Sunday things (laundry, nails, the week’s meals and workouts)

What do you love most about your mother?


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Today: Flower power.

Or, Today: Devoid of creativity.

Last night Nick and I swung by the Boston Flower and Garden Show.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but given that I spent Tuesday night crying like a (crying) baby while watching “The Blind Side,”* I was hoping it would be an uplifting experience.  I analyzed the risk, and assessed the depressing factor of a flower show to be quite low.  I assessed the allergen factor, however, to be quite high.

So I overdosed on Zyrtec.

It was amazing… the show, not the Zyrtec.  The exhibit hall featured gardens created by local gardening clubs, garden centers and landscape architects.  Tucked in the middle of the room was one of my favorite sections, the Garden of Cakes, which included a dozen or so garden-themed cakes.

I loved walking around each exhibit, snapping digicam photos (over a hundred, I got a bit carried away) and fighting the urge to touch and smell everything in sight.  In the back of the room, we checked out the floral design and amateur horticulture competitions, as well as a display of Ikebana arrangements.  There was a great vase that looked sort of like a macaroni… but that’s neither here nor there.

Regardless, here are a few highlights (I’ll spare you the full 127 photos… unless I emailed them to you last night, in which case, you have not been spared).

I really enjoyed myself.  And I didn’t cry once.

*Don’t get me wrong: The movie was excellent (the book, too).  And transforming.  I was transformed into a weeping willow.

Also On Tap for Today:

Have you ventured somewhere new lately?