Things We Love | May Edition

Things We Love | May Edition

End of May already?! This month flew by! With everything looking lush and green thanks to all the rain, and the sun finally making it’s presence known, we’re more excited than ever for summer!

Here’s a round-up of some things we loved this month:
Picnic Anyone?
The Igloo Picnic Basket Cooler is Back!! The time was the 90s. Colors were bright, music was music, and parties were ( and still are) a summer staple but you don’t need to love the 90s to love this cooler. “Perfect for any beach, park or outdoor adventure. The full-size cooler is designed with handles that meet to allow for easy one-handed carrying and enough capacity to carry you throughout the day”. Get it while you can, this cooler is Limited Edition.
Take a Trip to Agrabah.
What year is it?? With the Igloo Picnic Cooler and the release of the Live-Action Aladdin Movie, we’re not so sure ourselves. The latest installment in Disney’s Live Action Series hit us right in the feels this month with family favorite songs and characters.
Hello, Sunscreen!
Sunscreen is a summer necessity, but sometimes we don’t love all of the not-so-great- ingredients it’s made of. That’s where Hello Bello comes in. The brain-child of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, this sunscreen is made of completely plant-based, renewable ingredients making it environmentally, and health-conscious, friendly! Exclusively available at Walmart, we’re in love with both the price point and the smell!
Tips and Tricks for an Easy Memorial Day Weekend BBQ

Tips and Tricks for an Easy Memorial Day Weekend BBQ

Well, it’s almost here! The unofficial kick off to summer… Memorial Day Weekend!

If you’re like us, you love a good BBQ and always have the intent of keeping it simple with a few dozen burgers on the grill, but then the reality of hosting sets in. Kick the long and tedious menu and enjoy yourself! These easy BBQ tips and tricks will help you keep your sanity, and a drink in your hand, while you enjoy some fun in the sun with your friends and family.

Keep the menu simple.
All you really need is an appetizer/snack, a main protein, a veggie or fruit based side, a starchy side and one or two desserts. While the intent to go full on Martha Stewart is admirable, 9 times out of 10, no one will notice if the pasta salad is store bought instead of homemade.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Employ the help of your friends and family by making it a potluck! Tell them you’ll take care of the main dish, but ask them to contribute a side, app, or dessert!

Get Creative!
If you’re looking for a “Pinterest-y” way to serve drinks, grab a few long window boxes from your local hardware store and fill them with ice. This gives people a place to keep their drinks cold, and the holes on the bottom of the boxes will drain them for you!

Most importantly of all, have fun!
The whole point of hosting a cookout is to get your favorite people in the same place to enjoy each other’s company, eat some good food, and make some memories. Don’t fret over every little detail. Just make some plans, light the grill, and enjoy!

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

As we come upon Thanksgiving, I want to wish each and everyone one a wonderful day filled with the joy that being grateful brings….Life is truly a blessing and while there will always be good times and not so good times, please take the time to reflect.  The good times will always be intentional and self thought driven…The not so good times will always be the lessons and the work required to get to those good times.  And when you view it that way, it makes those less than stellar experiences noteworthy, enlightening and redefining…..Cherish your memories and time with family and friends as much as you cherish your toys and you will have no regrets or disappointments.

Thank you mom, for the gifts you continue to give, the lessons you continue to teach, the support you still give from above that continues to inspire me  to not only do better, but enjoy the journey as much as the destination….. Happy Thanksgiving….

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Summer endings…Part 1

Summer endings…Part 1

Well it is that time again where we have to pull the boats and I start to go into my depression. I think this year will be different, I think I will re-acquaint myself with Maine. As I reflect on my summer boating season, there were a few rides that stood out.

The first being our annual family vacation to honor Ginny our mom. This year we rented a house in Oak Bluffs Martha’s Vineyard. The rental property just happened to include a dock for the boat and a private beach. What a great week we had. Other than blowing one of the transmissions in the boat the memories were awesome and worth every penny.

I highly recommend spending time there especially with kids. So much for them to do all within walking distance. Between the famous carousal, jaws bridge, bowling, movies, Backdoor Donuts and great food what else could you ask for. Renting bikes, cars mopeds, jet skis!

The kids truly appreciated it and I know Ginny was watching down upon us and smiling. Every year we will celebrate her legacy, thank her for the lessons she shared and the values she taught us to always appreciate. We will also make sure we grant her most important wish: That the grandchildren always know each other and reminded just who they are and where they came from….

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Proud Mamma…

Proud Mamma…

Well, Matt turned 16 this summer and on the day of his birthday he worked a double shift at The Lobster Trap, Happy Birthday Matt!

This summer his schedule has been work, hockey, driver’s ed and sleep. I have never been so tired in my life and, quite frankly, commuting each week to a different state for my career was much easier.

This summer has given me the necessary time to be “present” in Matt’s life. I had been traveling each week since he was, well, in the womb. Continued to travel after he was born.  I am certain many people judged and that is OK. I look back at my rationalization at that time and it was very clear — I did not want my son to become the crazy, type A, work 100 hours-a-week perfectionist that I had become. Nope, I wanted him to experience life, enjoy life, enjoy the journey versus just getting to the destination and, more importantly, not live in the daily fear I did of not being good enough. In my mind, had I  stayed home, I would have truly molded him to become me — and that was not what I wanted.

This summer was very different and at first I did not realize what needed to happen. I had to step away from work to deal with family health issues, one of them being Matt. What a gift it was being around and present to watch my son start to grow into the man he will eventually become. He’s more mature, thinks things through, strategic and, most importantly, acknowledges there are consequences. Yet, at the same time, he is turning into a very sensitive young man with ethics and morals.

Now on to the real story, which, of course, will be about me as much as him. He wanted to use our season tickets to the Patriot’s, but instead of bringing me as chaperone, or poor Dan Maurice, he wanted to bring three of his friends. Immediately my mind jumped to two fronts — first and most importantly, this would be the first time he went to any event without being supervised. Oh hell no, I thought. Secondly, and what should be less important, I was worried — WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY GET EJECTED AND I LOSE MY SEASON TICKETS FOR LIFE? Yes, I know, very selfish of me. You can imagine the discussions.

And the discussions… and the discussions… and the discussions.

So after quite a bit of discussion, we landed on this:

He could go with his friends, but only if he went to the game in a car service and came home in a car service.

Now, originally this was Matt’s idea. But after he thought about it, he wasn’t so sure he wanted to be driven to and from the game by a driver who would be watching their every move. We insisted and used the same car service we’ve used for years, PRO LIMO. It’s always been the deal with anyone who uses passes for the Optum Lounge.

Well, Matt and his friends had a great time. The car actually stayed and parked for the entire game. I filled a cooler with subs, water, chips and cookies. I sent a text to the driver, Alan, and he assured me Matt and his friends were doing great, tailgating with other cars around them.

Now, for the big question: Did they ever even go into Gillette and watch the game?

Yup, Matt was on TV as he and one of his friends were in the End Zone in the Optum Lounge watching one of our Patriots score. His dad snapped a picture and here is the proof:

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Denise’s journey to size 4

Denise’s journey to size 4

Preface:

What is the best path to being healthy? I think most of us ask this daily. Do we eat fat, do we not? All organic or does it matter? Do we want to be thin and healthy or just healthy. Do we restrict carbs? No alcohol?

My position has always been what ever direction you choose to go, it has to be sustainable. Especially as you deal with metabolism changes with age, new medical information and break throughs and your own experience of what works with YOUR body.

This is not an advertisement for Weight Watchers. Rather inspiration to do the work and find what will ultimately work for to create a healthy lifestyle. I hope you are inspired by this story as much as I am…… And just fyi…. 5 ounces of Champagne is 4 points….

My Cousin Denise’s journey and my Inspiration to healthier habits…..

A friend of mine, Danielle posted in late December about a walking challenge that she did in 2016 and wanted to know if anyone wanted to participate in it for 2017.  The walking challenge was to walk 2017 miles in the year 2017.  That works out to be 5.5 miles a day.   I read the post and thought to myself, “why not?”    I figured that I was up for the challenge since I participate every year in the First Day Hike at the Blue Hills and tackle a 5 mile hike.  That would be my kick start.  So, on January 1, I began to challenge.  I hiked 10 miles in the Blue Hills!  2017 was going to be the year to take care of me!

 

My friend Marcia asked if we could walk every day after work together and I said absolutely.  That way I would have someone else make sure I stuck with it.  While walking together on January 2nd she told me she had to cut our walk early because she had to go to WW.   I had  no idea that she had been going to WW.   At that point I thought since I was doing this walking challenge I should start to take care of myself and look into WW.  She told me she would bring me home information about WW.  We continued our walk and I asked her if I could go with her to the meeting instead of her bringing me home the information.  Why wait another week.  So off we went and that’s how my journey began.  It was time to take care of me.  Every Monday night at 5:30 I weigh in.

Since January 3rd I have lost 47 lbs.  I have gone from a size 14 to a size 4.  Never in my life have I worn a size 4.  I follow the WW guidelines and most importantly I track everything I put in my mouth.   For breakfast I have Quaker Weight Control Instant Oatmeal or a Vermont Made 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin and a banana.  Mid-morning I have a cup of mixed fruit.  Lunch consists of a garden salad with balsamic glaze drizzled over the top or a bowl of cut up fruit with ½ cup of Greek yogurt and ¼ cup of Bob’s Natural Granola.  Mid-afternoon I have ¼ cup of roasted chickpeas as a snack.  Dinner is where I experiment with different foods.  It usually consists of chicken breast, flank steak, ground turkey, chicken sausages or some type of fish.  I also stir-fry vegetables or have a salad and have some sort of starch such as brown rice.  I have given up bread with meals and in the beginning,  pretty much gave up alcohol until I began the maintenance program of WW.  I now allow myself to have beer or wine when I go out to dinner.

The key to the WW program is not to restrict yourself from having something you like, it is limiting the amount of what you put in your mouth.  I measure things and check the serving size for each item and I track it.

I have maintained my weight for 9 weeks now.  Just a few weeks ago I cleaned out my closet of all my “big” clothes and went out shopping and bought new clothes.  I had to try on everything I took off the racks to make sure I got the right size and was amazed when I thought I knew my size and had to go get a smaller size from the rack.  I have not felt this good about myself before.

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