Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boston Trip and Tufts 10K

A few weeks ago I took my annual Mommy only trip to Boston for the Tufts 10K. It's always a super quick trip but I have a ton of fun catching up with friends, touring the city and enjoying a much needed mommy break!

Typically fall in Boston is cool and crisp. Not the weekend I was there. Temps were in the 70s and 80s. It was a BE-U-TI-FUL weekend!

One of my favorite places is Beacon Hill. It's a gorgeous area of the city that's full of brownstones. If money wasn't a concern we'd definitely be living there.

So how much do places in Beacon Hill go for?

This is a posting for a one bedroom for RENT:
Would rather own? Here is a beautiful studio for sale:
Check out the square footage! Don't forget your MONTHLY taxes and condo fees!
I can only image how much normal-sized apartments cost!

Just south of Beacon Hill is the gorgeous Boston Common and Public Garden.

I could just wander the city for hours!

Saturday and Sunday were spent catching up with my dear friends Shanda and Trisha. I haven't seen them since my trip last year but it's like I never left. We just pick up where we left off. I'm so blessed to have such wonderful friends! Shanda and I have been running the Tufts together for 5 years (next year Trisha is joining us!). We ran our very first half-marathon together (many, many years ago) and I love that we keep up the Tufts tradition. We both can't wait until our girls can run it with us!

We spent our day going to all my favorite spots. First on the list was Bartley's Burgers in Harvard Square. Imagine my dismay when we say this:
I think I just stood there, not sure what to do! I've traveled all this way and they are CLOSED!!! I was so sad! After a few brief tears we were on our way.

Our next stop was our favorite bar on Boylston Street, Parish Cafe. Not only do they have any extensive martini list  (our claim to fame is that we tried them ALL on Shanda's bday many, many years ago), but they have a list of menu items that are from the kitchens of renowned chefs all over Massachusetts. The Benny is my absolute favorite. It used to be only on their menu seasonally (of course at a time when I was not in Boston), but by popular demand it is on the menu permanently. Bartley's being closed was soon a distant memory.
As an added bonus they have a ton of wonderful beers too!

The race is always on a Monday, Columbus Day (a holiday in Bean Town). Lucky for us the hubby had enough hotel points to get us a room at the W downtown Boston. After lunch we to the hotel and took a nap. A nap? Yes! A wonderful, glorious nap. Then we were refreshed and ready for more city fun. We met my friend Trisha and her adorable little one for dinner and drinks. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Trisha and I met in nursing school and my weekend was a reminder of how much fun we had together!

What do two mommies do when they have a hotel room to themselves? Watch Kim's Fairytale Wedding of course! I am proud to say that Shanda and I were in our jammies and in bed by 8:30. We're total party animals! I wouldn't have it any other way.


The Stats
Total Time: 53:46 (new PR!)
Pace: 8:40
Overall Place: 668/6442
Age Group: 214/1956

Overall the race was HARD! It was an unseasonably warm day without a cloud in sight and the race started at noon. We were sweating before the race started. Aside from the elite runners, Tufts lets you seed yourself. That means that runners get to line up with the pace group that most reflects their pace. My own independent research has shown that most people are HORRIBLE at pacing themselves correctly. This is extremely frustrating for runners like myself who have a specific goal in mind. Shanda and I lined up at the back of the 7-minute-mile group and there were still people who were WALKING in front of us. I'm sorry, but you cannot walk a 7 minute-mile. That meant I spent a lot of time and energy running around people. It's aways best to be ahead of your goal at the beginning so you have more wiggle room at the end. It's really hard to make up time when you are exhausted and already giving it every thing you got. My goal was to finish in under 52 minutes, but by mile 4 I knew that it wasn't going to happen. By then I was already 2 minutes behind and I knew it wasn't possible. At that point I stopped looking at my watch and just told myself to run as fast as I could. And so I did. I ran hard and in true Tufts style I "started strong finished stronger!"

Since the race is on a Monday I usually have just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat, hope in the shower and head to the airport. This trip I even had enough time to enjoy a fab-u-lous blueberry beer from Boston Beer Works-complete with really blueberries YUM!

As usual, it was a fantastic weekend and I'm already looking forward to next year! If you ever get the opportunity to visit Boston TAKE IT, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Day At The Pumpkin Patch

One of our favorite family activities in the fall is to visit the pumpkin patch.  Lucky for us Indy has many to chose from. The girls love being able to run outside, take a hayride and pick the perfect pumpkin. Nate and I love seeing the girls with huge smiles on their faces. This years trip was an all around hit. Logan's favorite part was the sandbox filled with corn kernels, Noa loved the bounce house, Daddy loved watching his girls throw baseballs (in perfect form) and Mommy loved that the whole day (pumpkins, games, hayrides and fun) only cost us $15-Thank you Groupon!

Happy Halloween from Indy and we wish you a spooky and family fun filled fall!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ghosts Of Halloweens Past

Oh my has it been CRAZ-Y around here! I'm not sure how it happened but Halloween is almost here. As you may guess, Halloween is pretty special around here. We start planning our costumes in August and I usually make by kids lock in their choices by September so we can get to work. Usually we send out Halloween cards (pics of the girls in their costumes), but this year it doesn't look like it's going to happen (sorry family!). Somehow it's October 24th and I'm still frantically putting together the finishing touches. We're still not ready for the "unveiling" but I wanted to show you some of the highlights from the past few years.

We try our best not to purchase our costumes. First they are so ridiculously expensive and there is little fun for me in buying something already made. I like the challenge of taking what the girls pick out of a catalog and make it my own.

Last year Lo wanted to be a dog. She found a very cute (and super pricey) dalmatian in the Pottery Barn Kids magazine. We convinced NoJo to be Cruella Deville and we had the perfect duo.
Not to be left out Nate and I went as Dorothy and the Tor-Nate-Do
In 2009 Lo again found her must-have costume in the Pottery Barn Kids magazine. These two lil' cupcakes were quite the challenge. They were designed without a pattern and literlly put together with thread and glue. They were quite the hit that year and even won the costume contest at school.
I made this set a few years ago, before my sewing days. I used only foam, felt and a hot-glue gun.
One of my favorite costumes was my "Dora The Later Years" costume. I was Dora after she was too old to go exploring and couldn't find any work because she is always typecasted. She and boots had turned to drinking, smoking and a few other extra curricular activities that Nickelodeon wouldn't approve of (every good costume has a back story!). Of course when I was out with the kids and at work I was just regular Dora. To make my wig I hot-glued yarn to a wool beanie. The clothing was all found at Goodwill. I probably spent only $7 on the whole thing. The accessories were all borrowed from various toy boxes.
Those are a few just a few of my recent favs. Stay tuned for the reveal of this year's costumes!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Super Easy, 5-Minute, No-Sew Teacup Pin Cushion

A few days ago I came across {THIS} tutorial at Punk Projects. There's nothing better than a quick and adorable project on a rainy day. My favorite part was that I already had all the supplies so I didn't even have to get out of my jammies!

How cute is this!?!?! The perfect place to put all my stray straight pins and it looks adorable on my crafty shelf!

Here's what you need:

  • A teacup
  • Scrap piece of fabric
  • Rubber band (a twist tie would work too)
  • Cotton batting

...and now for the super-duper easy steps...

Place the cotton batting on the wrong side of the fabric:
Use your elastic to secure the batting inside the fabric:
Trim off the excess fabric and put your "poof" inside the teacup, elastic side down (the one in the tutorial is a little bit "poofier" so I might add a little more batting to mine):

See. Super easy and super cute. You could add a little glue inside the teacup, but I don't think you need to and I like that you can change the fabric as often as you'd like.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! We are looking forward to our rainy jammie day here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nana Was Ahead Of Her Time

This past weekend we took a family visit to the pumpkin patch and the girls "carved" their pumpkins. They love these Mr. Potato Head pumpkin kits and this crafty mama loves the mess-free pumpkin fun they provide!

Lo chose the witch this year...
...and NoJo wanted the princess...
This is me circa 1980. Check out our pumpkin! It only took Hasbro 30 years to catch up to my mom!
Happy pumpkin carving or "carving"...whichever you prefer! Have a great week and thanks for checking in!