On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


Today: A weekend at home.

Home Alone

My older brother and sister-in-law celebrated their wedding anniversary this week, which meant Nick and I got to babysit our niece for the first time.  We partied like animals, singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star while changing into PJs at 6:45 PM and reading not one, but two books before bed.  She is just heaven to be around.

Home Improvement

Much of the rest of the weekend was spent working on wedding projects and trying to rectify the broken sink situation.  We made two trips to Home Depot and managed to sneak in a little fun between visits to the faucet aisle.  There is so much to see and touch (and break) in that store.  I was tempted to buy a pink ride-on pony from the Christmas section, but refrained.  Instead, we picked up some PVC pipe for mobility and Crossfit practice at home.  It will also come in handy when I want to turn off the light switch without getting up from the sofa.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

Home away from home


We spent this morning at Clark’s home away from home, the local children’s hospital where he does his therapy dog visits.  I can think of no better way to pass a rainy Sunday morning than watching the kids snuggle with the Frenchie, feed him treats, tug on his ears, and hold him in their laps.  It makes my heart swell.

Home cookin’

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I’m very excited to share that On Tap for Today was included in the North Atlantic edition of the Whole Foods Market 2012 Holiday Magazine’s “On the Web: Fresh Voices” feature, along with my pal Caitlin and the lovely We Are Not Martha girls.  I’m really grateful to the team at Whole Foods for including me, and was sure to pick up a few copies today after grabbing groceries at River Street.

On the menu tonight?  Enough vegetarian chili to feed an army.



What would Sunday night be without a do-it-myself manicure?

I live for rituals.  And weekends at home.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Packing up goodies for Kasee, my #atxbos match
  • Getting ready for the week ahead
  • Seating charts 🙂

What’s your Sunday ritual?


Today: Stocked up and bagged up.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Laundry’s folded, the Frenchie’s been bathed, and the fridge is stocked.  I’m ready to take on the rest of the week.  Mostly.  After taking a wild cab ride to Southie (lots of honking, not much signaling), snuggling Clark, and tossing my bags in the hallways Sunday afternoon, Nick and I headed back to Cambridge to restock at Whole Foods River Street.  We usually split up as soon as we get in the door: I head to produce, he heads to the fish and meat.  I get distracted at the cheese counter, we find each other at the almond milk.  It’s a beautiful system.

My favorite part of MTV Cribs was always the sneak peek inside stars’ refrigerators.  We’re not famous, but we do go through an inordinate amount of non-dairy milk.  If had half a brain a whole non-exhausted brain, I would have dug into my HLS swag stash for those Almond Breeze coupons.  Next time.

Other staples that always end up in our cart:

  • Bananas and grapes
  • Berries galore (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
  • Basil and other fresh herbs
  • Spinach and spring mix with herbs, and veggies for salad
  • Avocados (and occasionally WF guacamole– so, so good)
  • Gluten free cereal (Erewhon crispy brown rice is my favorite)
  • Yogurt
  • Olives
  • Beans and a wee bit o’ cheese for me, meat for Nick
  • Nuts and nut butter

I met with my dietitian late last week to review six weeks of “challenge” dieting (using a restrictive, low FODMAP diet as the baseline and “challenging” every few days with potential allergens… interesting at its best, awful at its worst).  We’re “revisiting” gluten, lactose, casein and fructans again, but fortunately, it seems like I can eat many of the foods that were originally on the no no list (i.e. the foods that scored a 2 or 3 on my ELISA food allergy panel) in moderation.  I am so grateful to have access to such a great health care team.  Especially when they tell me I can eat tomatoes again.

I loaded up my new Chobani lunch bag with all kinds of good stuff yesterday, including a handful of those little heirloom cuties.

I’m working to continue to build the good habits that have helped me lessen my symptoms lately.  Keeping a food log has been, well, annoying… but it’s been a great way to identify patterns and linking symptoms to potential triggers.  Making meals at home has been, by far, the most effective tactic.  It seems like the only way to know for certain what’s in my food, and to ensure that I will have something healthy and safe on hand when hunger strikes.  I’m giving myself a gold star for brown canvas bagging it on a Monday.

Also On Tap for Today:


What’s your favorite on-the-go lunch?


Today: Take your vitamins.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]My body celebrated the second day of summer by coming down with a cold.  Quite rude, if you ask me.  With the weather being so hazy, hot and humid I would much rather be up at the pool than zonked out on the sofa.

After a few days of sniffling and wondering if I had accidentally swallowed a knife, I am starting to feel better.  I wonder though, can I blame this cold for the fact that I attempted to meet my girlfriends at the wrong restaurant on Friday night?  I was quite proud of myself for being early and snagging the best table in the house, until I realized my error.  The waiter thought I had been stood up and insisted that my soda water was on the house.  It was rather mortifying.

Clearly my body (and my brain) could use a time out.  And perhaps, some vitamins.  I know there are those who are anti-vitamins and supplements.  In an ideal world, I’d get everything my body needs from my diet.  While I am not a doctor, a scientist, an astronaut, nor an RD, I do know this for sure:

  1. My diet is far from perfect.
  2. Vitamins will only work if I, um, actually take them.

And I often forget to take them.  Kelly reminded me to take yesterday’s multivitamin and vegetarian DHA (sort of like fish oil, minus the fish), but I am not certain that nooding around on Twitter is the most reliable system for ensuring I take them daily.

So I started thinking about my daily routine.  What’s one thing I never, ever forget to do?  Load up on the mascara.  I also find that planning out my week each Sunday, whether it’s meetings, meals or workouts, really helps.  You know those pill holder things that old people the most experienced members of our society use?

I now own a sweet purple one.  I filled the week’s worth of soft gels this morning (which reminded me of that pebble game, Mancala, that we used to spend hours playing at the beach), and tucked the container into my makeup bag, right next to the mascara.

I think I am on to something.  Maybe.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s one thing you never forget to do?


Today: An award-winning weekend.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]It’s been an award-winning weekend in our condohold.  We’re still waiting for the results from Saturday morning’s 5k, but Nick likely placed in his age group.  I have no idea how I did, mostly because my watch busted at the starting line.  And I forgot to check the clock at the finish.

Regardless, Feed the Need is one of my favorite spring races.  I like the vertical climb at the beginning, and rolling hills through the woods.  Best of all, they collect hundreds and hundreds of food items and raise important funds for local pantries.  We left before the awards ceremony, mostly because I was hungry, and made a beeline for the bananas at Whole Foods.

While we have no medals to show for Saturday, Clark has plenty of proof of his award-winning prowess.  After months of preparation, Clark and I met with two AKC evaluators at The Pawsitive Dog for the Canine Good Citizen test.  Despite a bad case of nerves on my part, and a bit of rambunctiousness on Clark’s part, the little dude passed with flying colors.

The test consists of ten items:

  1. Accept a friendly stranger
  2. Sit politely for petting
  3. Appearance and grooming (inspection of paws, ears, and overall appearance)
  4. Walking on a loose lead (with left, right, and about turns)
  5. Walking through a crowd
  6. Sit and down on command, staying in place
  7. Come when called
  8. Reaction to another dog
  9. Reaction to distraction, or a loud noise
  10. Supervised separation (handler leaves for three minutes)

We got off to a shaky start (I volunteered to go first, lest I faint in the waiting area, which may have worked to our favor), with Clark giving an exuberant welcome to the evaluator, when he was supposed to have remained seated at my side.

The remaining items went smoothly, but waiting for the evaluator to complete her paperwork felt akin to waiting for the trooper to announce the results of my road test fourteen years ago.  During the latter exam, I accidentally went 15 miles over the speed limit and hit the curb twice during my three point turn (which turned into a five point turn).  I was resigned to have failed.

Fortunately, in both cases, the results were much more favorable than I expected.  And fortunately, for all of you on the roads, my driving has much improved.  Clark was awarded a big ol’ PASS on his Canine Good Citizen test.  We have less than a week to go before we take the Therapy Dog exam, which I am very excited about.  We are crossing our fingers (and paws) that this exam goes just as well.

Now if only he could teach me how to react to distraction and loud noises.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?


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?


Today: A day late, a mile and a half short.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]3.1 plus 9.4 does not equal 14.  Even I know that.

I woke up Saturday feeling the effects of all of those sprints, lunges and squats at Fighter Conditioning and decided to delay my long run by one day.  I planned to crank out 11 miles after this morning’s Whole Foods 5k, but as I neared the 9 mile mark, I knew it not going to happen.  I made a quick detour, reaching for the stash of ones I keep in my Camelbak as I entered the sketchy convenience store near our condo, and asked if they sold ice.  They do.  They also sell travel-sized toothpaste alongside single cigars.  Makes sense.  Sort of.

Some dude, seated by the Keno machine, gave me ‘tude as I hobbled my way past his folding chair to the makeshift ice chest.  I thought about talking back, but I was fresh out of Gu and really didn’t have the energy.  Instead, I lingered a bit longer than necessary so that the smell of two hours of sweat could ruin his day.  Just kidding.  Or, am I?

Clark would prefer not to be seen with me.

One ice bath, two bananas, a three hour nap and four layers of lasagna later, I feel (mostly) human again.  For a split second, I was tempted to hop on the treadmill and finish that last mile and a half, but I decided to get a life instead.  And by get a life, I mean continue to lay on the sofa making injured cat noises.

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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Today: Are you ready to do something besides watch footbaaaaaall?

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I stayed up past my bedtime watching A Football Life last night.  More accurately, I sat around doing nothing for three hours, I didn’t get anything done, I watched A Football Life, and then stayed up past my bedtime doing things I was supposed to have done earlier like doing laundry, putting away groceries,reading fashion magazines, doing more laundry, and painting my nails. Because people keep staring at my fingers.  Well, one finger, specifically.

I know we're both super busy, but maybe Bill would like to join me for a pedicure this weekend?

[Photo source]

Bill Belichick may have five rings (and a boat named after that fact, naturally), but I’d take my one ring over his five any day.  I won the Super Bowl of love, baby.  It boggles the mind that someone would want to be in the same room with me for more than two minutes, let alone want to marry me.  Especially when I say things like Super Bowl of love, baby.  Anyway, while my fiance, Coach Belichick and nearly everyone else in my Universe spends the weekend eating, sleeping and breathing football, I’ve got a few other things On Tap.

  • Fighter Conditioning class
  • 14 mile run
  • My uncle’s band’s concert (I am totally related to a rock star!)
  • 12th Annual South Boston Street Festival
  • Whole Foods Market 5k to support City Sprouts and The Food Project  (Registration is still available at the Whole Foods Market Fresh Pond store in Cambridge on Friday 9/16 from 4 PM – 8 PM and Saturday 9/17 from 1 PM – 5 PM, and onsite on race day beginning at 7:30 AM)
  • Baking and eating brownies
  • Packing summer stuff (including my truly amazing pretzel float) for storage
  • Putting together a gigantic book donation for the Prison Book Program
  • City Wine Tours event
  • Meal planning for the week (i.e. something other than seven nights of brownies)
  • Orchestrating an elaborate prank whereby I claim our cable has gone out 3 minutes before kick-off

It’ll be a miracle if I am not crip-walkin’ (as in, mobility-impaired not gang-involved) like that’s what’s up by the time Sunday evening rolls around.  Worse case scenario, I could always save my “honey, the cable’s out” prank for Monday Night Football.

Also On Tap for Today: