Booze & Beverages · Grow Your Own Way · Recipes

Mojito Mocktail

First off: here’s a real Mojito recipe if that’s what you’re about! My friend Terri brought this to Mark’s birthday BBQ this year and they were outstanding. If you just want the refreshing, minty, limey, sugary taste without the booze, though, here’s how I do: 

In a large glass, like this mason jar, muddle (crush) 10 fresh mint leaves,  1 tsp sweetener (regular sugar, or stevia, etc.), and half a lime, cut into wedges. Add a large handful of ice cubes and pour ginger ale, seltzer water (plain or flavored) or club soda into the glass, topping with more lime wedges and sweetener to taste. You can also cut the fizz by using half plain water, half sparkling water. Stir to combine — don’t strain! — and enjoy without the hangover 🙂

Reasons I Love Mint

It grows easily. Ask anyone who’s put it in their garden outside a container!!

It’s a great digestive aid. Caffeine-free peppermint tea is fabulous for soothing an upset stomach, especially around the holidays when heavy food may be dragging you down.

It may relieve nausea. I did not find it helpful while pregnant (and some doctors caution that mint can cause contractions or discomfort, especially during your third trimester)… but at other times, it does seem to do the trick.

Mint can help inflamed, aggravated skin to calm down — especially if you tend to get hormonal breakouts. A few sprigs of mint in your water can soothe you inside and out! And some people swear by masks made of crushed mint. You can DIY, or try Freeman’s Feeling Beautiful Clay Mask with Mint and Lemon.

Have a great week everyone!

Boston Day Trip · kid-friendly · News · Tips and Tricks · Travel

August Day Trips from Boston!

It’s definitely late August now. Georgia has had her birthday party, my Florida squad has left town after their annual visit, and the fall calendar of meetings is already filling up at work (big, heavy sigh). I’ll share more photos of G’s party at the Stone Zoo soon, but here’s a sneak peek plus a couple snaps from some day trips that we have been taking while warm weather is still around us here in Boston. There’s nothing like summer in New England!  

We made trips to the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, Gary’s Best Hot Dogs, Bedford Farms Ice Cream, the waterfront and shops in Newburyport, and a fun new restaurant called City Streets where they put cooked pasta on top of tossed salad — what?!? Sounds crazy, tastes really good.


Order like a native with the works: mustard, relish, onions and celery salt. Junk food overload not required but encouraged.img_8312Awesome waterfront dining in Newburyport at the Black Cow, where I sampled an amazing veggie burger, fries and cole slaw alongside a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio.We rolled up on the night of a gigantic classic car show, complete with propped hoods and blaring 50’s music. It was awesome!img_8234img_8236

This past weekend, we had the rare treat of Mark being off both Saturday and Sunday, so we decided to take a trip to Revere Beach, home of the famous international sand-sculpting festival, which takes place every July. We love this beach because, at 9 a.m. on a weekend morning, you can have the place to yourself, and there’s parking right on the parkway along the shore. On Sundays, the parking is free and pretty easy, especially if you arrive early! Georgia was over the moon that Mom and Dad were off work at the same time, which hasn’t happened probably since we flew to Florida as a family this past winter. She kept Mark busy building sand castles and wading with me in the low tide for hours, and we made it home in time for lunch and a nap. Sometimes I can’t believe we are lucky enough to live within 15 minutes of the subwayhiking, and the ocean.

I feel like we’ve done our best to make the most of our summer before Georgia starts preschool in early September. Where did my baby go?? In preparation for going to the “big kids school” after Labor Day, we all decided it was time to give up the pacificer, which G has used for naps and long car rides since she was less than a year old. Last Sunday morning, we set the binkies out on her window sill, and after church we came home to find that the “Binky Fairy” — whose arrival we’d been discussing together for months — had swapped her binks for a big girl preschool backpack and lunch bag, some sticker books, some fruit snacks and a couple new stuffed animals to cuddle. She even left Binky Fairy Dust! So far, it’s been over a week and she’s made barely a passing comment about wanting them, so I am ready to call it a success.

I also wanted to share that we lost a dear family member this past week — Georgia’s Great Granddad, who lived a long, full life and passed peacefully just a few weeks after turning 94. He was very special to both Mark and G, who always wanted to be held by her Great Granddad and lovingly referred to him as “my friend.” Here are a couple of my favorite photos of them together, from the year she was born and again this past winter. He will be so very missed.

I’ll be back after the services ~ hope you all have a very restful week ahead.

Boston Day Trip · Uncategorized

What we’ve been up to

Lovelies, I’m sorry for being out of touch. Somehow I blinked and the summer is drawing down, a nip of fall air snakes through our window screens every night, my baby is about to turn three, and the last of our garden’s tomatoes are ripening on the vine (or getting swiped by some drought-plagued squirrels and chipmunks). It’s that time of year when heat waves alternate with bursts of thunder shower and you might consider dry-cleaning your most summery dresses just one last time before packing them away for fall’s plaids, jeans and galoshes. I changed out my bright pink polish for a wine-toned pedicure the other day, and I’m making plans to enjoy every last chance to eat a popsicle, make a day trip, dine on the porch, grill up dinner, visit the ocean, dip my toes in a kiddie pool, and slurp a cool beverage in the weeks to come.


While I love the idea of apple picking, over-sized sweaters and cider donuts, I thoroughly dread the actual onset of winter’s chill and the notion of being cold walking across the hardwood floors every morning, or needing to heat up the car, taking a scalding shower to wake up, and making the switch to hot coffee. (OK, fine, I never make the switch). No amount of fall shopping can cozy me up to the idea of needing a jacket every day or having to carry extra shoes and socks everywhere for the inevitable soaking that happens when you trudge through snow and slop. I might walk right out the door in flip-flops and order a salad and lemonade down the street right now, just because I still can!

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Georgia and I are trying to make the most of it. Though our garden really suffered this year through the lack of rain here in Boston, we did manage to make a few tasty meals from the peas, basil, tomato and berries we grew, and we got out to enjoy the sunny days at every opportunity. Where last year I had a toddler afraid of swimming and unable to walk long enough for morning-long excursions to the farm, I now have a miniature big kid who delights in swimming and building sand castles and who has to be dragged away from the fun of blueberry picking, ice cream eating and animal patting. She’s articulate enough to express disappointment when mom or dad has to go to work for the day, but she’s also cheerful and easy-going enough to enjoy our ad-hoc adventures and outings as a twosome. It’s amazing to see someone discover fireworks, bouncy houses, sprinklers, hiking, Italian ice, outdoor concerts, double rainbows and boat rides for the first time. The world is actually remarkable if you choose to see everything with wonder and focus.

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 Cheers to August and staying laid back before school, life and heating bills resume. 🙂