NaBloPoMo Day 16: Birthday trip to @Nemacolin

NaBloPoMo Day 16: Birthday trip to @Nemacolin

So this is really yesterday’s post, but I was laying in bed last night and realized I forgot to post, and just was not going to get out of bed for the sake of blogging. So 2 posts tonight and I say we’re on track.  My birthday is tomorrow, and to celebrate my birthday we went on a family trip up to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.  I’ve never been there before and I always love spa treatments and excellent food.

We started our visit with brunch at Lautrec.  It’s a lovely buffet with all kinds of pastries, fish, pancakes & waffles, desserts and even prime rib.  Baby Beez’s behavior has generally been getting better as she has gotten older, but I wanted to make sure she was on her best behavior.  To encourage fancy manners, we wore fancy clothes. She loves fancy clothes so this was a thrill in and of itself.  She also likes getting to choose her own foods out of a buffet.  She was able to show her best manners for the meal and we had a very nice brunch.


Mr. Beez and I went to the spa while Baby Beez spent the day at the Kidz Klub. She was literally the only kid there, but that didn’t bother her any. In typical only child fashion, she made up stories with her imaginary Harry Potter friends, went swimming, watched movies and played with toys. It did not bother her any that there were no other kids there. Although I venture to guess she was a little bit lonely, because by the time we left the resort, she was saying that she missed her friends.


After having an amaaaaazing time at the spa, Mr. Beez and I spent a good part of the afternoon sitting around, drinking wine and reading the whole internet. It’s kind of a silly thing to do, but we don’t get to just sit and relax very often so it was very nice.


We had dinner at Autumn, which included scallops with bacon jam. Yes, Please.  The meal was lovely.  We do get to go out to eat quite a lot, but it was nice to be able to just wander down and pick up our kid afterward, and then wander back to our room. Because we are total party animals, we were all in bed and asleep by 9:30. But that’s a perfect birthday treat for me. I like sleep.


NaBloPoMo Day 14: A Trip up Rt 65 to @PenguinBookshop @AnchorAnvil

NaBloPoMo Day 14: A Trip up Rt 65 to @PenguinBookshop @AnchorAnvil

On the afternoon Alex and I chowed down on Mexican food in Leetsdale, I made the most of my drive by making a few extra stops on my way back to the City.  First, I crossed an item off my “33 before 33” list by stopping at Penguin Bookshop.

I have to admit that I’ve turned into the kind of person that bookstores probably hate. I get almost all of my books from the library and after moving a bunch of times in college and law school, I have no patience for shelves full of heavy things that I might have to move again someday. Even though when it comes to the destruction of the novel publishing industry as we know it I am the WORST, I do believe that independent booksellers are an incredible asset to the community, and I do try to support them.

Penguin Bookshop is cute, cozy and is excellent if you’re looking for recommendations. Their staff are avid readers and they have all kinds of recommendations posted for all kinds of different genres and interests.


Since I have a terrible GoodReads addiction, I have a huge “to reads” list, and found that they have quite a lot of books on my list.  I picked out Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, because I loved his We Live in Water. Since Baby Beez is 110% into fart jokes right now, a Captain Underpants book was perfect. I brought it home and she was immediately obsessed with it (that is, until she totally bumped it in favor of the Spiderman book in French. Nothing stands a chance against Spiderman in French).  I love Penguin Bookshop’s little reading nook– it’s perfect for storytime and their other events that they have for kids.

Penguin Bookshop

A few miles closer to downtown, I stopped in Ben Avon at Anchor & Anvil coffee shop. I’ve been following their twitter feed for a while, and they keep serving delicious stuff like Monkey Bread. Anchor and Anvil

The space is super big and would be perfect for book club or a crafters get together.  I tried their “Parking Chair” drink, which is like a melted espresso ice cream, super rich and sweet.  It is a lovely coffee shop, and it’s a shame that I’ve turned into a typical Pittsburgher who doesn’t cross rivers unless someone rips my arm off, because if it were a lot closer I would be there allllll the time. But since it’s kind of far for me, I’m going to have to be happy with visiting there whenever I head up Route 65.

Anchor and Anvil


NaBloPoMo Day 12: A Highly Scientific Taste Test of @LeonasLLC @FFCreameries & Millie’s

NaBloPoMo Day 12: A Highly Scientific Taste Test of @LeonasLLC @FFCreameries & Millie’s

I checked the cooler on my way to the grocery store checkout tonight and finally found myself Leona’s Pumpkin Caramel Shortbread ice cream sandwich! I’ve been dreaming of it since they posted its gorgeous picture online, and since they finally had the flavor in stock, it was a sign that it was time to go for the local ice cream taste test I’ve been contemplated.  I wrangled Mr. Beez in to helping me, because ice cream happy loves company. He objected to me taking his picture, but was otherwise game.

I started with the Millie’s Homemade Vietnamese Coffee ice cream. The coffee flavor was surprisingly mild (I usually go for very strong coffee flavor) but nonetheless delicious. It was mild enough that I think you could trick those sad, misguided folks who claim to not like coffee into trying it and loving it. Well, maybe it’s better to have them keep thinking they don’t like coffee, that way you don’t have to share with them.


Next up, we tasted Family Farm Creameries‘ Landlocked Vanilla Ice Cream, featuring Wigle Whiskey’s Landlocked Spice whiskey. The ice cream is very smooth and creamy, and the vanilla flavor is distinct but not pungent.  Mr. Beez described it as “like a french vanilla” and liked the smooth texture.  I think it would be absolutely perfect in a root beer float.  They definitely have the best packaging, once the ice cream is done I’m sure Baby Beez is going to steal it to fill up with coins, beads, rocks and whatever other little things she squirrels away.

Family Farms Creamery

Last but not least, we shared the Leona’s Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream on Oatmeal Lace Cookie. He loved how the sandwich is substantial and did not squish between your fingers, and that it tasted like apple pie a la mode in every single bite.  I pointed out to him that the ice cream is lactose free, and he was surprised, because you wouldn’t expect it from the rich taste.  I love the chewiness of the cookie, it’s a nice contrast to the creamy ice cream.


For those not so familiar with handmade ice cream, all three of these melt pretty quickly. That is because they don’t have temperature stabilizers or other marvels of science that transform food to our expectations, rather than what the food really is.  Not a problem for me though, ice cream can hardly last a moment in my presence.

Mr. Beez had to go poop the party by pointing out that we weren’t exactly doing an apples-to-apples comparison. He did not understand the point of ice cream science. THE POINT OF ICE CREAM SCIENCE IS TO EAT LOTS OF ICE CREAM.  Of the three, we did not really have a specific favorite. We loved all three of them and, given a choice at the co-op, we would be most inclined to buy whichever one had the most-appetizing flavor in stock at the moment.  You have to be flexible with them, of course, because due to their small operations and seasonal ingredients, the flavors change constantly.


NaBloPoMo Day 3: VOTE!

I LOVE elections day. Sometimes my tiny vote in the sea of thousands of others feels so insignificant, but then I remember that all the campaign spending in the world doesn’t press the buttons at the polls– the voters do. Every election I bring Baby Beez to the polls. Mr. Beez usually does to. I want her to grow up as I did– letting your vote go unheard is not an option. It’s your right and your responsibility as a citizen– you VOTE.


Major judicial elections are happening today in Pennsylvania. The judiciary has more impact, day-to-day, on the average Pennsylvanian’s life than any of the other elected offices. A judge decides disputes, a judge hands down punishment for crimes, a judge decides where children live and with whom. It is critical that you educate yourself on this election and exercise your vote.

I was honored to serve as a member of the local bar association’s judiciary committee over the last three years, and in that row, I took a pledge not to participate in any campaign activities.  I’m not going to tell you who I voted for, or who I think you should vote for. But I am going to tell you that the ratings of the ACBA Judiciary Committee are well-informed and thoughtfully reached. They are worthwhile to review before heading to your polling place.

Now get out and VOTE!!