Family

Aunt Courtney

You know what’s better than renovating and blogging and most things in general?

Being an aunt.

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I’m spending the week at the beach in Stone Harbor with my sister, Kelly, and her baby girl, Lily.

Mama Kelly lets me help with the feedings and I get to play with her and rock her to sleep.

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Lily is the tiniest little thing and yet she makes the LOUDEST noises…sometimes we’re not sure what end they come out of. 🙂

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Getting the punkin to go to sleep is the biggest challenge and deserves to be celebrated with a glass of wine once it’s accomplished!

Mama Kelly has wayyyyy more pictures on her blog: http://www.kellybrennantv.com/blog

It’s amazing how babies bring so much JOY into a family!

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Family, Moving In

Life’s A Beach (Well, it WAS a beach)

My husband took his first vacation since buying and renovating our house. I begrudgingly went along with him. (HA!)

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We went to the warm beaches of Longboat Key, Florida where we did absolutely no remodeling, but LOTS of sitting.

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I guess we have good mojo because the weather was beautiful and hot almost every day we were there.

While we lounged, swam and played with our nephews, it was easy to forget that we had an unfinished house waiting for our return.

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Reality smacked us in the face when we got back to Pittsburgh…or maybe it was the below freezing windchills.

We are happy to be home, but no renovation elves finished the house while we were gone. As I said to Mark, our next vacation will be in our FINISHED living room…we’ll pitch a tent, stare at this picture and PRETEND we’re at the beach!

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Family

Proud Mary & Crazy Mary

My sister and I are HUGE spinning fans…nothing like riding 25 miles on a bike and never getting anywhere. 🙂

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We took some spinning classes in Avalon, NJ while we were at the beach and our one instructor was called “Crazy Mary.” She was probably 60 years old, had ZERO body fat and went so hard and fast, we both thought we were going to die. It was awesome!

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Then we went from Crazy Mary to Proud Mary…as in Tina Turner.

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My mom and our friend, Cathy, love to boogie down and we always have a dance party at the beach.

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All that exertion called for some burgers, pizza and steak salad.

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Looking at us, my dad said he has three beautiful daughters…how gorgeous does my mom look?!

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We ended the night at Springer’s ice cream shop (my dad’s FAVE) and polished off a couple of sundaes. I’m heading back to the ‘Burgh soon (where my hubs has been hard at work on the house) and I can’t wait to see this face!!!! —->

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Family

Coffee Talk & Cronuts

The beach is the best place to run, walk, bike…pretty much any physical activity is made better by the cool ocean breeze.

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After sweatin’ to the oldies (hello Tina Turner), we refreshed ourselves at Coffee Talk, a great spot on 97th Street in Stone Harbor. I got a green detox juice with pineapple and my dad got this little gem…

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We might be the only family in the world that hasn’t tried (and doesn’t like) the a Cronut. The only sweet part was the top glazed part and then the middle just felt like heavy bread…not a fan.

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It wasn’t a great beach day, but sitting in the sand with a book listening to the waves is still a pretty awesome day. BTW, The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls is AMAZING…read it in a day.

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Family

Cherry Beer Margaritas can fix anything

We have an “open house” policy at the beach. After my friends Tiernan and Rich left, my sister-in-law Trish popped in.

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It was great to have her and her two boys (who weren’t scared of the slightly inebriated and very loud adults) playing Left, Right, Center.

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The next day, Bridget and her friend Ally arrived. Bridgey and I haven’t seen each other in a year, but we still showed up with the same clothes. (We heart H&M)

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Then our long-time beach buddies Moose & Marcy (who said they couldn’t make it) surprised us on the beach!

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The following day my sister, Kelly Belly, showed up (desperate for some sun) and we only had clouds.

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We quickly fixed the no-sun problem with this delicious new drink called Cherry Beer Margaritas.

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All is right with the world. RECIPE HERE!

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Family

It’s totally acceptable to have ice cream every night

Every time I go to Stone Harbor, I walk right into this shop.

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I don’t buy anything, I just go in for the smell.

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As my friend, Tiernan, put it…”This is what heavens smell like.” After a glorious day on the beach (I was too busy enjoying it to take a pic) we hit the Whitebrier in Avalon for some sushi.

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We sent these photos to our dads and to some strange woman/man because I typed in the wrong phone number at first.

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Then we hit one of my favorite places on the planet.

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You have to wait in a long line for Springer’s but it’s sooo worth it.

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All the double scoops I’m eating will result in buying bigger pants. But hey, that means it was an awesome vacation!

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Family

Beach Bound!!

Mama B and I road trippin’ to the Jersey Shore!

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We’ve been going to Stone Harbor since I was two years old. Things are a bit different now…for instance, good ol’ Fred’s Tavern is now our first stop. 🙂

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When you vacation with your parents as an adult, this is what your refrigerator looks like…Activia & Corona, the perfect combination.

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My best friend from college and her super fun husband always join us and the three of us basically talked nonstop for 7 hours.

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It’s great to have my college friends, our family friends and my folks all together at the beach.

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We ended the day at Stone Harbor pizza and then it’s summertime nights on the deck.

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Heavy lifting

Life gets in the way

In my dream world, I’d be sitting in my newly renovated (and ultra chic) rowhouse sipping a nice Pinot Noir watching Louie or The People’s Couch…if you aren’t watching these TV shows, you should start NOW.

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Instead, my current reality consists of living stuffed to the brim in my childhood bedroom while my parents’ cat runs around like it’s possessed.

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Because of work, family commitments and necessary tasks like laundry and food shopping, we have not been able to work on the house for the last four days.

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This means we are no closer to moving in than we were last week. I cannot fully express to you how INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING that is. Because I’m not an heiress and Mark hasn’t won the lottery, we both still work full-time while trying to renovate full-time.

Let me tell you…it’s very difficult. It also doesn’t help that we have a beach vacation planned this weekend. We drew straws…guess who’s staying behind and working on the house??? (Not me.)

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Family, Heavy lifting

I was a B-U-Y girl. Now, I’m a D-I-Y girl.

I stole that quote.  It originally came from the uber-fabulous Courtney Kerr who said “I’m a B-U-Y girl, not a D-I-Y girl.”

And that quote totally encompasses my FORMER self.  I’m not a crafty person or a person who gardens or makes stuff or builds things.

I like to buy things in stores and watch TV. 🙂

But this house project is slowly changing that.  My husband, Mark, has always been a “hands-on” type of guy. He renovated his house in North Carolina…

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And the man can wield a tool and build almost anything…

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Mark is (slowly) changing me (for the better) into a more hands-on gal.  I feel very proud at the end of the day after we’ve worked on the house…proud and exhausted and dirty.

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I think my evolution is a good thing , although I don’t think anything beats DOING NOTHING while relaxing on the BEACH…

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(with Heinekens) 🙂

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