Family

Of Course, Henry Took His First Steps In A Bar!

Since our sweet boy is a purveyor of all the fine establishments in Lawrenceville, it’s only fitting that he took his first steps at Franktuary!

Franktuary serves gourmet hot dogs (Mark’s favorite!) and poutines (Mark’s other favorite!) and so it was the absolute perfect place for Henry to take his first 5 steps.

The bartender, waitresses and other patrons cheered for him and then he gave everyone a Hi-5 because he just learned how to do that and loves it.

My sweet boy is also a biter…and seems to only bite the women in his life!

That would be me, my mom and my sister. (He tries to bite cousin Lily but hasn’t yet.)

I have 2 bruises from where Henry’s little shark teeth made me bleed. Every time I tell him “NO biting!” he laughs…and then I laugh…and then we just continue with this ridiculousness.

He’s so cute when he laughs that I can’t keep a straight face. Pretty sure that’s not going to bode well for me as a mom!

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The Row House

Babe, I can do anything!

My husband, Mark, is the definition of a good man.

He’s not full of bravado or a chest-pounding ego maniac who needs everyone to know how awesome he is.

Because he’s not arrogant, I knew it was a REALLY BIG DEAL when he called me after his latest home renovation accomplishment and said, “Babe, I can do anything!!!”

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We had to cut the water and gas lines in our kitchen because we’re moving the stove and sink in the remodel.

Mark cut them, capped them and then had to solder the water line.

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Soldering is not a difficult skill and is probably fairly simple compared to some of the other complex renovation projects we’ve done…but still…

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Anytime you get to use a blow torch…you feel pretty bad a$$.

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Moving In

A $2500 table? No thanks, we’ll make one.

Mark and I were in a very cool furniture store looking at a very cool table.

Then, we saw the price tag and thought we could totally make that.

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We knew we had this old wooden work bench in the basement.

It was left behind with the house.

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It took several tries but we finagled it and managed to fit it in the basement door hatch.

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A couple of Heev-Hos and we got it upstairs.

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The plan is to even out the legs and refinish it. We’re going to put it behind our couch.

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You know this is all playing out in my head way easier than it will be in real life. 🙂

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Moving In

DIY Doubles As Marriage Counseling

I keep looking around our house thinking, “I can’t believe it…I can’t believe we did this.”

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Our house was so dirty and yucky and crappy for so long…

And now, it’s not. 🙂

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This DIY home renovation project took a big leap of faith. But I always knew, deep down, that Mark and I could do it.

Same thing goes for this blog, I didn’t know if anyone would read it.

But here we are rocking and rolling…every week I meet someone who reads the blog and wants to say hello!

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As for my marriage, I would say PATIENCE and ENCOURAGEMENT is something Mark and I have gotten wayyyyy better at.

It really makes a world of difference when your partner builds you up and lifts you up. It also helps when you dress alike.

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I was trying to get Mark to show everyone his new summer loafers. He is going to be so mad that I posted this. 🙂

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Family, Moving In

Babies, blinds and beer

My niece, Lily, has quite the life.

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She eats, sleeps and gets her aunt and grandparents to lay on the floor and applaud every time she blinks.

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I want to put her in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Amazing Baby Ever.”

Even though I could hang out with Lilypad all the time, we needed to work on the house. Mark finished sanding and put the final coat of polyeutherane on our stair treads.

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He bolted them in and they are BEAUTIFUL.

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We take turns walking up and down them…Vanna White style making sure to showcase every step.

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There’s a slight complication with the railing. It’s metal with mesh wiring along the sides. The specifications don’t EXACTLY fit, so Mark will need to weld an “L” bracket to secure the top of the railing to the wall.

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I’m sure that will take us another 5 years.

Our espresso wood blinds came in, so we put up the window trim and secured them in place. (We know we’re missing the trim on the right side…miscalculation!)

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And we can’t go one weekend in Lawrenceville without exploring. Saturday night was spent at the famous Nied’s Hotel with Miller Lites and live country bands.

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On Sunday, we gave thanks with more libations at the Roundabout Brewery on 49th and Butler. Our favorite was the Pacific Ring IPA!

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Moving In

Mix and Match

My husband has an eye for great design, and so I’ve learned to just let him make all the decisions. How can I not with a face (and hair) like that?

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This weekend, we walked our neighborhood looking for an old antique mirror. We have an eclectic interior design vibe going on because who wants to be perfect and matchy-matchy? Not us, those perfect people are annoying.

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Pittsburgh Furniture on Butler Street (under Arsenal Lanes) was our second stop, and we found a mirror right away.

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I also wanted to buy those sexy man lamps, but Mark said no. 😦

The mirror is about 60 pounds. The gold brocade is so beautiful and it’s just the kind of ornate piece we were looking for.

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The plan is put it on the second brick fireplace closest to the kitchen. First, we have to figure out how to securely hang it so it doesn’t fall down. No broken mirrors in our place…don’t want that bad juju!

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Moving In

The PERKS of the job!

If I would have known how much BIGGER our tax refund is now that we’re OWNERS and not RENTERS…I would have bought a house a LONG time ago!

Seriously.

Even with a nice refund, they say money doesn’t buy happiness. It does buy a trip to the outlets, though.

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Happiness, however, comes when the home you envisioned and created in a 3D computer program…

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Looks almost exactly like what you’ve built.

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We’ve still got work to do. We’re working on painting our front door and threshold.

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That old elevator mill door we got from a Lawrenceville artist has been stripped and cleaned.

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We still have to put “light tape” on the back side so that it glows from above.

These are just small touches, but they’ll make a big aesthetic difference.

On a side note, the Pittsburgh City Paper featured my blog in their column this week.

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I was sooooo flattered and totally geeked out over it! Here’s the LINK!

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