On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: WOD bless America.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Happy Birthday, America!

Before celebrating our freedom to grill, swim, eat corn on the cob and play Phase 10, Nick and I hit up Crossfit Southie for the Lumberjack 20.

From Crossfit Southie’s website:

On Nov. 5 at 1:34 p.m., a terrorist named Major Nidal Hasan attacked fellow soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas. When the shooting ended, he had killed 12 soldiers and one civilian and wounded 43 others.  Spc. Frederick Greene, 29, of Mountain City, Tennessee, Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, of West Jordan, Utah, Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolingbrook, Illinois, and Spc. Kham Xiong, 23, of St. Paul, Minnesota, along with eleven of the wounded were active CrossFitters in the 20th Engineer Battalion, home to Lumberjack CrossFit.

The Lumberjack 20:

I am as new as new can be to CrossFit, and still have so much to learn, but I really like the concept of hero workouts, which honor America’s armed forces.  How appropriate for the 4th of July.  My partner for today’s workout (we shared equipment and staggered our starts, so that one of us was running what the other was performing box jumps, pull ups, etc.) is also new to CrossFit, which really put me at ease.  I kept telling myself that I was a runner, and to treat each 400m as a recharge before the next movement.  It sort of worked.  Mostly.  We scaled back on the weights and were able to finish in 29:04.

My red, white and blue Sparkly Soul headband arrived just in time for America’s birthday.  I may have felt like death when I finished the WOD, but um… at least I was well accessorized.

The cooler’s packed, the watermelon beers are chilling and Clark has his life vest at the ready.  It’s time to celebrate.  Happy 4th, friends.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite workout accessory?  



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Today: ‘Twas the night after Christmas.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]…when all through the condo, not a creature was stirring.  Not even Rajon Rondo.  Because he doesn’t live here.  Never bothers to visit (rude).

Nick, Clark and I enjoyed an absolutely lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, traveling a bit north and a bit south to see our families.  I even got a little snow on the way!  With all the good food, great gifts, and fabulous company, the weekend flew by.  I’m doing my best to extend the holiday a bit longer by donning my gnarly Santa socks and sipping a bit of hot cocoa by the tree.

I hope you’re all having a really happy and healthy holiday season.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Wedding dress shopping with my sister and sister-in-law 🙂
  • Amazing photos from The Natural World gallery
  • Playing with Clark and all his new toys

How are you spending this last week of 2011?


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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: A tasty holiday pie… chart.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]In a perfect world, I’d spend the month of December ice skating from one holiday party to the next, leaving a wake of biodegradable glitter behind me.  This year, however, it seems like I barely have enough time to lace up my skates.  When your plate runneth over with responsibilities, obligations, and really good things too… how on Earth do you fit it all in, and still have time to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation  fourteen times?  How?!

[click image to enlarge and see my not-so-masterful cutting skills]

Though I would love nothing more than to have perfect holiday hair, to wear a dazzling smile around the clock, to serve the most delectable holiday treats, to give the most impressive and crisply wrapped presents to everyone on my list, to fit in all of my workouts exactly as planned and leave the gym glistening like a dewy December morning, to rise early by the light of a Christmas star and go to bed dreaming of sugar plums…  You know what?

For me, maintaining balance during the holiday season is all about managing expectations.  And making lots of lists.  Like this one, for example.

  1. Make a plan…  As if the holiday season weren’t busy enough, December and January happen to be two of my busiest months at work.  Oh, and I joined a second soccer team.  Because I have an over-commitment problem.  At the start of each week, I map out my priorities and goals for the following seven days.  That way, I stay focused on what is non-negotiable, what really needs to get done.  These priorities are not just appointments I need to keep, but also meal plans, phone calls with friends, and workouts at the gym.  I keep a second list of items to check off once those priorities have been accomplished.  Sadly, “take my dog to meet Santa” is on that second list.
  2. …but be flexible.  Life is bound to throw us a snow curve ball or two.  Meetings get rescheduled, we catch a cold that leaves us with a man voice for four days, our rental minivans get flat tires.  While it would be nice to have a back-up plan for all of life’s unexpectedness, it’s sometimes just best to be flexible.  And, I find, it’s easiest to be flexible when I am well-rested, well-hydrated, relaxed and listening to Christmas carols.
  3. Take a time out.  Ever wonder how Santa makes it to every, single house in just one night?  Simple: he takes the rest of the year off.  Be sure to schedule some down time, even if it’s fifteen minutes here and there to clear your mind, take a walk, or a big deep breath.  As much as this is the season of giving, it should also be the season of taking.  It’s impossible to take care of everyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself.  Please re-read that last sentence until you believe me.  Now nod and say, yes ma’am like they do on that Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders show.  (You know you watch it.)
  4. Indulge in what makes you happiest.  Christmas is, far and away, my favorite holiday.  I love the anticipation leading up to it.  It is a time when I feel most in touch with my faith, and feel especially mindful of all that I have to be grateful for.  I love seeing friends and family, the excuse to wear overly sparkly things, driving around to admire Christmas lights (the tackier, the better) and enjoying all things peppermint.  It’s not hard for me to get carried away when those first few notes of “All I want for Christmas” (the Mariah version, obvi) play.  I like to soak all this in, and save it up for the less exciting, colder, greyer months of winter in Boston.  You know, like February.
  5. Say yes if you need help.  If someone offers to lend a hand, and you could use one (or four), accept.  Simple as that.

No matter how many pieces of pie you are trying to cram onto your plate, if something is important, you will make room.  And if it’s not… welp, sneak it onto someone else’s plate.  ‘Tis the season for sharing, is it not? Wishing you all a very merry and balanced holiday season!

Also On Tap for Today:

How do you stay balanced during busy times?  And, where are the best Christmas lights in Boston?


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Today: Rosemary is the loveliest.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]The herb, not the lady.  (Though I’m sure that, if you know someone named Rosemary, she’s lovely too.)  My parents sent me and my sister back to the city after Thanksgiving dinner with a potted rosemary plant for each of us, and the thing seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  Much to my delight.  There is no such thing as too much rosemary.  Same goes for mascara, but that’s a different post altogether.  There are a million and one uses for this lovely herb, and I intend to partake in all million in one.  Starting with a zingy dip.  And ending with a wreath that may take a decade to complete.

Fresh rosemary dip

Before heading to my parents’ house for the holiday, I whipped up a bit of a ‘hmmm… let us see what’s left in the ‘fridge‘ dip, grabbing garlic, fresh lemons, and what herbs we had in the ‘fridge.  I combined some baby dill with a heaping amount of (you guessed it… and if you didn’t… well, that’s okay too) fresh rosemary, juice from half a lemon, two crushed cloves of garlic, and a pinch of cayenne  and blended for 30 seconds in the food processor before adding 1.5 cups of Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic).  Delicious, with just the right amount of kick.  Or zing.  Or ka-pow, whichever you prefer.

Sweet outdoor centerpieces

It was a bit to cold to eat outside on Thanksgiving (meanwhile, it is now December 6th and approaching 65 degrees in Boston) , but my parents dressed the table on their deck just in case anyone was feeling brave.  I loved the pairing of mason jars and clay potted rosemary.  Tasty and beautiful? That’s quite a multitasking herb.  I am hoping my little guy continues to grow and grow, so that come Christmas 2018, I will have enough rosemary to make one of these:

Rosemary wreath (or, what to make if you have 20 bundles of herbs just layin’ around)

[Click the photo for complete instructions, via Rachel Ray]

Welp.  A girl can dream.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite herb to cook, garnish or decorate with?


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Today: A day of gratitude.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]  As you well know, I won’t be touching the turkey.  I might touch the sweet potatoes, though. Multiple times.

Tomorrow is all about being thankful, which is easy when you have so much: good health, strong faith, the love of a lifetime, parents who lead by example, siblings I adore, friends that feel like family, creative outlets, work that I am passionate about, a safe and happy home, more than enough to eat, more than enough to wear, and more than enough to spend.  Twenty-four hours is far too few for a day like Thanksgiving.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you most grateful for this Thanksgiving?

 

 


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Today: Back in the saddle. And in the ring.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]After spending nearly two weeks whining (which, it turns out, does not count as exercise), I successfully made it through an hour of fighter conditioning at the boxing gym, and a soccer game (we won, finally) nearly pain-free.  My little foot is on the mend.  Time to start training for another marathon! Siiike.  It is time to get some new goals, though.

In no particular order:

  • I will run a (relatively) fast 5 and 10k.  Who needs distance when you can just cruise?
  • I will focus on strength training
  • I will fill an entire fitbook without a single missed day
  • I will get so awesome at boxing that old men will quake in their weird boxing boots when I enter the gym

And if they don’t quake, I will settle for an end to the eye rolling when I pull of my gloves to reveal hot pink hand wraps.  I’ll take my victories where I can get ’em.

Friday’s class finished with partner drills on the heavy bag.  One partner punched out, while the other did 30 seconds each of squats, alternating leg lunges, fast 180’s, deep 180’s, squat thrusts, side planks, and front planks.  We held that last front plank for what seemed like 13 years.  My core burned and my arms were shaking, but then the drum solo from Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” came on full volume and the guy next to me yelled out a crazed “Yesssssss!” and I forgot that I felt like I might expire.

It feels good to be back.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Love these sustainable centerpieces
  • Today is my Thursday (hooray for holiday weeks!)
  • Sneaking over to the storage unit to pick up our Christmas decorations… shh… I know it’s early…

What goals are you currently working towards?