Elizabeth’s Top 5 Beach Bag Essentials

{Thank you Elizabeth! From On Tap for Today}

No Frenchies were harmed in the staging of this photo.

1. Protection

Nothing ruins a day at the beach quite like a sunburn.  I recommend leaving your aluminum foil sun-reflectors at home (or better, in the 1970’s).  They take up an ungodly amount of room, and I suspect their sun magnification powers are disruptive to airplane navigation.  To be serious, sun damage is no laughing matter.  You know the drill: Apply a water and sweat-proof sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 every two hours.    If your freckles start to connect, you should probably head indoors.

In addition to the regular old sunscreen, be sure your shades offer UV protection.  This might be overkill, but after sustaining multiple boogie boarding injuries and a handful of bee and jelly fish stings, I’ve learned never hit the beach without a miniature first aid kit.  I pack Neosporin, Band-Aids and meat tenderizer.  Yes, meat tenderizer.  It’s an old Cape trick I learned from my parents.  When mixed with salt water, it makes a grainy paste that takes the sting and swelling out of, welp, stings.

2.  Reading Material

Growing up, I avoided my summer reading list like the plague.  Instead, I read stacks and stacks of non-mandatory books, and hoped against hope that our summer reading tests would somehow be cancelled. I’m still not clear on how The Sun Also Rises ends.  But never mind that.  We’re adults now.  We can read whatever we want.  I currently have a self-imposed reading list that rivals, in length, the Great Wall of China.  I find the beach to be the perfect place to put a dent in that list.  Plus, pretending to read is a great decoy activity for what most of us are actually doing at the beach: people watching.

3.  Jams

Nothing says summer quite like listening to the Sox on an old-fangled AM/FM radio, but sometimes (i.e. when they’re losing) a day at the beach calls for something a bit more uplifting.  You can find inexpensive iPod speakers just about anywhere these days. My favorite picks for summer?  James Taylor, Bob Marley, The Weepies, and Eric Church.  What are your go-to summer songs?

4.  A plan

We’re lucky enough to live steps from South Boston’s Carson Beach, and hours away from some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches in the country.  My absolute favorite is Wellfleet’s Marconi Beach, part of the Cape’s National Seashore.  For more inspiration, check out the links below.

And last… but certainly not last…

Photo source: travelpod.com

5.  Your pals

Sure, they might not fit in your beach bag, but your friends and family are possibly the most important ingredient in the recipe for a perfect beach day.  Just as the Muppets.  Life’s a beach, and with your pals by your side, well… life’s a beach party.

Enjoy!

Elizabeth

www.ontapfortoday.com

Twitter: @ElizabethEv

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Here goes nothin’…

I started this week off right. Not that I organized the Boston Marathon, or that I ran in it or anything. I wasn’t even able to go watch (hey, someone has to bring home the bacon! I had work…) But I did read about it – and through reading different stories I felt the inspiration, the motivation, the hard work, the dedication, and the love that had been poured into this event. It is amazing and gives me an enormous sense of encouragement as I set out to tackle my first ever half marathon this weekend. 

The weekend has finally come. It’s time. I’m ready. It seriously feels like it has taken a long time to get here. Truthfully, it kind of has – it has been about two months of training. I decided for Lent that I would DO something positive instead of giving something up. My ‘something positive’ = train for a half marathon with the intention of actually signing up for one and not only signing up, but completing it. And I’m almost at my goal. 

It’s a great feeling to know how hard I’ve worked and now I’m just a day away from success (hopefully!) This process has taught me a lesson – no matter how much you want to give up on something, if you gave your word and if your goal means so much to you – you need to keep going, to push yourself and to finish what you started. 

If you’re interested in running your first half marathon, good for you! I say DO IT! First comes the decision to set out to run a half marathon, then comes finding a training schedule/plan that works for you (my recommendation, Fitness Magazine’s beginners training guide

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/running/training-schedules/half-marathon-training-beginner/

make sure your sneakers are comfortable – if you need a new pair, invest in them and then when you feel confident - sign up for a race. After you pay the $30 – $50 fee (typically around this amount) + all the hard work you put in, you are going to finish that race! Another tip I have is to constantly update the music on your iPod – it does wonders! My playlist recommendation?

http://thedailycraic.com/2010/03/12/falling-asleep-on-the-train-is-embarrassing/

So, Colin and I leave for Vermont soon! We’re heading to Colin’s parents house and my parents are going to meet us there as well. Mrs. Temple is cooking us a big, wonderful, delicious pasta dinner (which I can’t wait for!) and I think it’s gonna be a great time. Tomorrow we’re going to visit my mothers aunt in South Burlington, have lunch with the Temples, roam around and hopefully meet Meg, Matt and his parents at some point! I’m so excited that Matt will also be running in the race and that his family + Meg will also be coming up for the big event! Such a great weekend ahead :) I’ll let you know how it goes. 

 

For more information on the run go here – http://www.addisoncounty.com/pages/event.asp?content=halfmarathon 

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone for their support and for keeping me going! 

Have a great weekend!! 

http://www.addisoncounty.com/pages/event.asp?content=halfmarathon

Don’t worry, be happy

In order to be happy -

  • Don’t wear makeup if you don’t feel like wearing makeup.
  • Have 2 cookies, not just 1.
  • Blast some music and dance around your room like a crazy person.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Go for a run on a nice, sunny day instead of being inside at the gym.
  • Listen to calming music as you fall asleep (make a solid ‘bedtime’ playlist.)
  • Listen to your iPod when you’re out on a walk, or while you’re walking to work, and pretend you’re in a movie and the music you’re listening to is the soundtrack. It’s fun.
  • Go to a local coffee shop by yourself with a good book and just relax (read the book too.)
  • Smile at the person that annoys you at work.
  • Laugh at yourself (instead of bullying yourself) when you do something stupid.
  • Send a card to someone you miss, just to say hello.
  • Wear your old, ratty PJs to bed. Hey, if they’re comfortable who really cares?
  • Let a dog lick your face.
  • Buy scratch off tickets once in a while.
  • Fall asleep on the train.
  • Take a vacation.
  • Try something new, put yourself out there, take a chance.
  • Make up a phrase you can say in order to calm yourself down and turn sadness, anxiety, frustration, etc. into positivity.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Have faith in something, especially yourself.

Today was another long, busy busy busy day. TGIF (tomorrow!) Goodnight :)

‘Num nums?’ Really?

First and foremost - I am pretttty sure he doesn’t read my famous blog, but in any case I’d like to give a shout out to an amazing man, Fr. Jim! Happy Birthday!!

Ok, so my singing co-worker is at it again! Although it’s ridiculous work behavior, maybe it’s good for me to hear about ‘praising Him’ in order to get in the Easter spirit?

Another lady in the cube right around the corner from me (I won’t go into detail too much on this one, that would take a while…) was just on the phone and said the word ‘num nums’ in reference to her food. I have a major problem with a grown woman using this word/phrase (whatever it is!) Understandable if a cute little five-year-old is saying it, it’s even understandable when parents use ‘baby-talk’ around their kids (although, that can quickly spiral out of control) but it is 150% not understandable when a grown woman says ‘num-nums’ at work, out loud, on the phone, with no children in sight.

In other news, today is April Fool’s Day, so for all you fools out there – have a happy one! I don’t currently have any plans to trick anyone today, but hey ya never know. Ideas are welcome.

Gadling.com has a great prank on their site – Virgin America and American Apparel are merging into ‘Virgin Apparel’ and passengers are required to wear leotards, oh the horror!

http://www.gadling.com/2010/04/01/virgin-america-and-american-apparel-to-merge-passengers-require/

Also – Google, Starbucks and The Food Network are getting in on the foolish fun!

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2010/04/01/google_and_starbucks_are_fooling_around_today/?camp=localsearch:on:twit:hp

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/couldrsquove-fooled-me-april-foolsrsquo-day-recipes/pictures/index.html

*Free* wine tasting + discounted Wine Riot tickets at Huntington Wine and Spirits tonight from 5pm-7pm tonight

http://www.thewineriot.com/2010/03/wine-riot-warm-up-wine-tastings/

Today’s Buywithme is $15 for $30 at the new Boston Wine Exchange downtown

http://www.buywithme.com/bostondotcom/deals/505-boston-wine-exchange?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Today’s Groupon is $15 for $30 worth of pizza and drinks a la Cafe 47 – 47 Mass Ave, Boston (617) 536-1577

http://www.cafe47.net/

http://www.groupon.com/boston

New search engine helps you find new restaurants, bars, clubs, places, people, etc. all based on what you already like!

Check it out – www.sortuv.com

Tonight at Bombay Club from 6pm-10pm they have a $10 all-you-can-eat special! 1415 Washington St (617) 247-2500

http://www.bombayclub.com/

Night wine bar at Central Bottle – 195 Mass Ave, Central Square (617) 225-0040 – $1 wine bar! Today from 5pm-9pm

http://www.centralbottle.com/index.php/wine/thursday-wine-bar/wine-bar6/

Today is ‘Thrifty Fifty Tuesday’ at the GSpa - 35 Newbury Street, Boston – Receive 50% of all colors and cuts. If you mention their new esthetician Caitlin, you can receive 50% of all facials/waxing as well! Only valid today. www.gspa.com *Call for an appointment (617) 267-4772, mention facebook while booking.

Every Thursday at Dbar, the guests get to pick the music. Make sure you bring your iPod or iPhone and your playlist could be featured. (617) 265-4490.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this – tomorrow is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day – here are some good places around Boston to go to in order to get your fix http://www.citysearch.com/list/188441

I have some interesting plans tonight. Will share more later…

Have a great rest of the day! :)

Running 8 miles gives me butterflies

I let myself sleep in today – these past few weeks have been exhausting. After I finally pried myself from my bed, I made some pancakes (special treat!) and got ready for mass. I’ve always liked Palm Sunday mass – it reminds all of us how much Jesus went through not for himself, but for others. No matter what you believe in, or don’t believe in – you have to give Him credit.

I was dreading my run since my eyes opened this morning. Today was the BIG one (for me at least) – eight miles. I’ve never run eight miles at one given time in my life. As I laced up my sneakers, had a little water, and stretched everything out – I had butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous. However, my iPod was charged (with a kick-ass playlist), I did feel well rested and I had my favorite sports bra on – I was good to go. I went to http://www.mapmyrun.com, created a nice eight mile loop, and then went off to actually run that loop.

I made it! I finished doing a little under ten minute miles – which I’m quite happy with for now. I had a little cramping around mile five or so, which was frustrating, but other than that it went really well. I even saw Meg and Matt (in their car going to the grocery store) towards the end of my run – they were waving and cheering for me which gave me an extra boost!

After my run I was thinking… I’m really lucky to be surrounded by people who encourage me. My sister lives a very healthy lifestyle – eats really well and works out almost everyday, her fiance Matt has run 1/2 marathons as well as marathons, Colin gives me the best pep talks and always helps me celebrate after a big run, a few of my girlfriends are also planning on doing a 1/2 marathon (at the beginning of May), my parents are coming up to Vermont for the run, Colin’s parents are also going to come watch, Meg’s coming, Matt might run with me, and of course my main man Colin will be there cheering me on. I have all of these people encouraging me and helping me each step of the way. I’m pretty sure I would have given up a few weeks ago if I didn’t have such a great support system. Thanks guys :)

So, I signed up for the race. Now I definitely, 150% have to do it. Ahhhhh!

Need some running tips? I found a good list…

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/running-tips-beginners-guide?cat=12761&tip=12765

Such an inspiring story from the Globe – it really is amazing what kindness can do for people.

Harvesting hope from a giving tree – The story of three couples, three kidneys and one goal: life

http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2010/03/28/harvesting_hope_from_a_giving_tree/?page=1

Did you miss Boston’s Restaurant Week?? Well, you’re in luck! The North End Restaurant Week started today, Sunday March 28th and will run until April 2nd, then again from April 4th – April 9th. http://www.northendchamberofcommerce.com/

I’ll leave you with this – Rachael Ray’s Taco Pasta Toss

http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipes/rachael-ray-30-minute-meals/Taco-Pasta-Toss

I made it for dinner and it turned out really good!

Goodnight and have a great Monday morning! I heard there’s gonna be rain – stay dry!

Nice, I’m gonna make the train!… NOT!

You could say that missing the train is a good start to a rainy Friday morning, but you would be very wrong. I knew I had been running a few minutes late, but miss the train late? I didn’t think so… Little do I know.

My sister kindly drove me down to the station, we were rushing cause I was late as usual (being late is my thing, my special talent.) When we crossed the tracks I saw that the train just pulled up. Nice! I made it, I knew I would. Oh wait, it’s just pulling away from the platform, not pulling up? Right, of course.

So, I drove in today. I was all ready and didn’t feel like waiting around for the next train. Suddenly my dreary – miss the train – type lousy day turned around into a promisingly good day due to the fact that I remembered to charge my iPod last night. I truly don’t enjoy talk radio in the morning; I just rather not listen to people bitch before having my coffee (that’s reasonable isn’t it?) So I plugged my iPod in and performed a concert of about 10-12 songs for my non-existent audience. Rocking out in your car at 7am is good for the soul, you should try it sometime.

Anyway, here are some fun things I’ve learned about today…

Stoddards Fine Food & Ale just opened in the Downtown Crossing area at 48 Temple Place at Washington (617-426-0048.)

Stoddard’s is serving up American comfort foods along with an 80+ beer list. With all the vintage decor surrounding you, you’d swear you went back in time. Entrees include burgers, steaks, chicken pot pie, clams casino; all the classics. Learn more at http://stoddardsfoodandale.com/.

I really want to try Redbones. It’s located in Davis Square, Somerville and promises to serve up some delicious southern BBQ which is right up my alley. They also have 24 microbrews on tap to wash it all down. Good to know: Both catering and delivery are available as well as a gluten-free menu.

*Also, Monday – Friday from 4pm-6pm their appetizers are half price. Wings, chili, buffalo shrimp, corn fritters, etc. Check it out at http://redbones.com/.

Another good deal – Mondays at Sel de la Terre at 774 Boylston Street (617-266-8800) they offer a variety of $2 sliders from 5pm-7pm. They also offer a Saturday morning cooking class at either their Natick or Boson location for only $48 a person, not bad compared to what some other places charge!

More info on that, here: http://www.zagat.com/Blog/Detail.aspx?SCID=34&BLGID=26805

Possibilities for the weekend -

Tomorrow, Saturday March 13th is the 2nd Annual Spring Microbrew Fest at Ball Square Fine Wines from 2pm-5pm where you can try out 40 brews.

Tomorrow is also the 4th Annual Bacon Eating Contest at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge at 1pm. Their advertisement for the event reads, ‘Music! Booze! Bacon!’ Music + booze + bacon = 3 of my favorite things in the world. Seems like Atwood’s Tavern is promising us a very good time.

 +  +

Tonight the Joshua Tree (U2 cover band) is kicking off some St. Patrick’s day fun at The Hard Rock Cafe, 22-24 Clinton Street, Boston (617) 424-7625. Starts at 8pm, cost is $15. The Dropkick Murphy’s are playing seven shows at the House of Blues for six nights starting tonight. Ship yourself up to 15 Lansdowne Street, Boston (888) 693-2583. Tickets might be hard to find though, fyi.

http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/boston/

The Celtic Women are also playing at the Wang Theatre tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, tickets ranging from $42-$78.

Click here for more – http://www.citicenter.org/shows/

Don’t forget about the Southie St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday! Here is the map of the parade route -

http://www.boston.com/thingstodo/special/stpatricksday/parademap/

By the way, isn’t it great that it’s Friday? :)