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Out on the Farm with @BrooklynBrewery @JustinSeverino @BklynHouseChef

Summer has come, the air is warm, the wind blowing sweetly through the grass. It’s time for farm dinners. We kicked off farm dinner season at the Brooklyn Brewery Mash event at Blackberry Meadows Farm in Natrona Heights. The Brooklyn Brewery Mash is a traveling celebration of food, drink, arts and the cities they visit. The air was light with a celebratory spirit.

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Brooklyn Brewery provided the libations, Cure/Justin Severino and Wild Purveyors and Andrew Gerson supplied the eats. Union Rye charmed us with tunes, including a particularly sweet cover of Wagon Wheel that I’ve been humming all week.

Brooklyn Brewery Mash


Brooklyn Brewery Mash

Brooklyn Brewery Mash

We toured the greenhouse, pet the pigs, and clucked at the chickens. Baby Beez had a moment of trauma and betrayal when her beloved cow (whom she named “Buttercup” even though that wasn’t her real name) twitched and headbutted Baby Beez. She quickly forgave her bovine friend, and foreheads and hearts were mended.

Blackberry Meadows Farm

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Blackberry Meadows Farm


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The June Weekends, They Fly with @PghKids @BeerSince1933 @CLP_Tweets and @PghPassionFB

With a house all packed up and a 3 year old ready to GO GO GO, we’ve been out of the house a lot. She’d probably watch TV all day long if we’d let her, but no. Last Saturday and Sunday we filled the mornings and evenings with activity, with a nice big fat nap in the middle. Those naps. So glorious. This weekend looks to be shaping up similarly. Mr. Beez is out of town this weekend, so it will be adventures for us girls. We’ll be spending Sunday at my in-laws, as is appropriate for this Fathers Day weekend. We may also see them on Saturday, and of course a cake may be involved, since it is both of their birthdays.

Last Saturday kicked off with lots of playtime at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Due to the many events going on over the weekend, the museum was unusually quiet. This was absolutely perfect for us, as Mr. Beez and I are not tolerant of crowds. There were enough other people there that Baby Beez was able to chatter and play with other kids, but it was far from the chaos of a usual busy day at the museum.

Pgh Kids Water Room

This was our first visit since the new Water Play room opened, and we were really impressed. There are lots of different activities for the kids to do, such as water-painting on a special wall, playing with water whirlpools, putting boats and toys in a downhill stream, and my favorite: play in a crushed ice station.

Pgh Kids Water Room


Pgh Kids Water Room

This was the first visit in which we made any significant visit outside of the “Nursery” floor. I love the kids museum because it has activities for all ages of kids. We started taking Baby Beez there when she was a tiny infant, and she was able to lay and roll on the padded nursery area floor and reach for toys. As she’s gotten bigger, we’ve expanded to new rooms and new activities. This time she actually got to practice cutting and taping in the Maker Studio. We also spent some time in the fresh air, when she went in the museum’s backyard and played in the giant sandbox and even spitting mud pits!

Pgh Kids Maker Room

It’s hardly surprising that after all that fun, Baby Beez crashed hard in the car on the way home. Mr. Beez and I decided to swing over to Vecenie Distributing in Millvale to pick up a case of (be still my heart) VooDoo Love Child beer, which is, no exaggeration, the nectar of the gods.

VooDoo Brewery

Oh how I love thee

This adventure of course was followed up by a NICE BIG NAP. We needed to rest up, because Baby Beez and I had a busy evening planned with Sandy and Elena. I’ve been eager to provide Baby Beez with positive role models, especially of women in sports. A Pittsburgh Passion football game fit right into this priority, and promised to be a ton of fun, too.

Pgh Passion

Pgh Passion

Pgh Passion

Sandy and I love it, but the girls admittedly do not have the patience or self-control to sit through a full football game, even one so fast-moving and exciting as the Passion. Seriously, those women are skilled and tough. We were playing Philly that night, and we destroyed them. Just like they deserve. The small people were restless so we ended up leaving at halftime, but even then the score was 31-0. Sandy and I will be returning next season for sure, but probably leaving the small squirmy people at home (or possibly bringing along their male minders, a/k/a the husbands).

Sunday brought the much-awaited Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza! We went last year, and even though Baby Beez was too young to do a whole lot then, we still had fun. This year, she was able to enjoy almost everything, and we had an even better time. The CLPGH does such an amazing job with this event.

CLP Summer Reading

We started things off by watching a puppet show and eating healthy snacks. We also saw the performance by the kids of the Pittsburgh Musical Theater, and Baby Beez got crazy into it. She was singing along, bustin moves up and down the aisles. It’s hardly a surprise that we’ve got a performer on our hands here.

Trolley

Neighborhood Trolley, ding ding!


According to the report she gave her teachers at school the next day, Baby Beez’ favorite part of the day was getting to go for a ride on the trolley. She was so excited when the trolley driver said “Hi!” to her, and for the whole ride, she kept exclaiming “We’re riding the trolley! We’re riding the trolley!”

CLP Summer Reading

She also got to try her hand at icing her own Eat & Park Cookie!

Although we don’t have much firmly planned for this weekend, we’ll probably fill it up with all the many things going on around town. I’d list them all for you, but Play Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Mommy Blog are already killin it on that front!

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No real title today

One thing you don’t realize when you get into litigation is that the busy times are actually manageable. When you have crisis upon crisis, you triage and get to work. It’s the more manageable times that feel more stressful. You’re so used to chaos that when things settle down a little, all the stress comes tumbling down. And even though the work itself is more manageable at those times, they’re more emotionally draining because it’s like you’ve stored up all that stress during the busy period and it all comes pouring out at once when you have a moment of quiet. This is a long way of saying that work is very manageable right now, but I’m still feeling stressed nonetheless.

If I’ve learned anything, its that the only effective way for me to burn off stress is to run, and I need to fit in a couple of runs this week. Also, I’m craving some TV binge watching. I don’t even know what I’d watch. I just want to sit and watch TV for hours on end. I was binge-watching Breaking Bad, but I only left seasons 1-3 out to watch, and all the rest of the DVDs are in storage (with the rest of our stuff). I’m considering re-upping my Netflix, if only to check out Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

June will be a month of fun. On Friday I have us all signed up for the Riverview 5k….however I just learned that Meeting of Important People will be playing (for free!) at First Fridays at the Frick! I really love Meeting of Important People, but I feel like I’ll be a flake if I don’t do the 5k. I’m not running it with anyone, but feel like if I signed up to be somewhere, I should be somewhere. Then again, I think we will all have more fun at First Fridays at the Frick. What would you do?

Mr. Beez is out of town next week, so it’s girl’s night every night. I think I’ll take Baby Beez out to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, maybe even a few times. With our house all packed we still have to eat dinner out every night, so we might as well enjoy some chicken-on-a-stick and gyros while listening to some music. The third week of the month brings the Ben Folds + Pittsburgh Symphony concert as well as my Bench Bar trip to Seven Springs. I’ll be speaking during the Young Lawyers Division CLE on issues about social media, and I’m really excited about that.

We’ll be going on family vacation late in June as well. We’ll be flying in to San Francisco and spending a day walking around there, then driving up to spend the week with my Dad & Stepmom in Oregon. We drive back down on July 5, and (I’m really excited about this!!) will be taking a tour of Alcatraz Island before hopping on our red-eye flight back to the Burgh. What are your favorite activities in San Francisco?

June is filled to the brim with fun things to do in Pittsburgh. If you haven’t checked it out already, you really need to give Pittsburgh Mommy Blog’s June activity round up a look.

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Are you going to the Royal Ball?

Mr. Beez and I are always up for a good party, but it’s not usual for us to be able to bring Baby Beez along. Cocktails, dancing and silent auctions aren’t usually compatible with a 3 year old’s interests, which is a little unfortunate, because boy does that kid love to put on a fancy dress.

Enter: The Gemini Children’s Theater Royal Masquerade Ball! Pittsburgh’s beloved children’s theater company includes the young ones in its annual gala, which is coming up on May 17, 2014 at the Syria Shrine Center. The event features a full dinner, singing and dancing, appearances by beloved storybook characters, prizes and FUN.

Gemini Children's Theater

The Royal Ball is an integral fundraiser for the operations of Gemini Theater. We attended our first Gemini show this January, and had a wonderful time. The shows are especially engaging for young kids. I love that the shows have a low key vibe. Gemini also hosts children’s birthday parties, and is an ideal spot for a big group outing. When we went in January, we went with four other families, and it was all pretty easy to coordinate. Then we hit up D’s Dogs for dinner afterward, which made the whole thing a perfect affair.

So are you up for dressing like princesses and prancing in to the Royal Ball? It’s this Saturday, and you can buy tickets here. You’ll notice from my blog that I don’t do giveaways, product reviews or sponsored posts. Gemini hasn’t offered me anything in exchange for promoting their event. I just think it’s a great event and an awesome theater organization. I hope my readers will as well!

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Essential Pittsburgh Outings and @PageDairyMart

Essential Pittsburgh Outings and @PageDairyMart

My recent hankering for a hot fudge sundae reached an apex yesterday, and I could no longer stand to go without. An after-dinner ice cream outing was essential. Baby Beez, having not fallen far from the tree, was equally excited for ice cream. So excited that she complied with my order to eat all her green beans at dinner, with little complaint.

I have long preferred hard-scooped ice cream over soft serve, but this may be due to a lack of exposure to proper soft serve. Up until a few years ago, the only soft serve I knew was from McDonalds or Costco, each worth every penny of their paltry $1.49 price. I suppose anyone would be ambivalent about soft serve given that limited exposure.

While pregnant with Baby Beez, I had my first taste of real soft serve, with a late afternoon sprinkle-rolled cone from Wiener World. Now that was some good ice cream, and I realized that I may have been misled.

So last night we ventured to the local mainstay of all things soft serve, Page Dairy Mart.  Page has cultlike devotees, and quite frankly, I felt shame for never having visited before, because it’s one of those quintessentially Pittsburgh places. I intended to get a simple hot fudge sundae, but when I saw the Hot Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae (featuring Nancy B’s cookies!) I could not help myself. Gluttony it must be.

Page Dairy mart Chocolate Chip Sundae

The sundae was enormous. Usually I am one to finish every last bite, even if it makes me sick, but this sundae simply defeated me. I got about 2/3 of the way through and declared “Uncle!” But every bite on the way to that sugar coma was decadent. The members of the Page Dairy Mart cult certainly know good ice cream.

Page Dairy Mart

Baby Beez was thrilled with her simple chocolate soft serve. It’s nice that they offer a wide range of sizes, and I was able to get her an “Xtra Small” which was just perfect for her 3 year old appetite.

Given the ridiculous prices I’m used to paying at other ice cream outlets, it was a thrill that our entire bill came to $6. ONLY SIX DOLLARS, and this isn’t for pathetic icy-milk, this is for delicious frozen confections. What a treat.

Today I’m continuing on the theme of Pittsburgh Mainstays with lunch at Fiori’s Pizza. It, too, has a firmly entrenched following that rivals the Mineo’s aficionados (personally I’m a Jioio’s girl).

My colleague, Tania, recently moved to Pittsburgh. She asked me yesterday about essential Pittsburgh experiences (for new residents, not just for a quick visit), and I sort of surprised myself that I didn’t have a list at the ready. These are the things I’ve thought of so far.

  • Shopping & snacks in the Strip District
  • Burgers at Tessaro’s
  • Dessert at Oakmont Bakery
  • Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte
  • Primanti’s
  • Movies on Flagstaff Hill
  • Pirates game on Skyblast night
  • Dave & Andy’s ice cream
  • Three Rivers Arts Festival
  • Kennywood visit! Complete with Potato Patch Fries
  • Riding the Incline
  • Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning
  • A hike through Homewood Cemetery
  • The Warhol Museum
  • (not Pgh but close enough) Fallingwater
  • St Anthony’s Church in Troy Hill
  • Lunch at a Pittsburgh Fish Fry
  • Get yourself invited to a wedding and chow down at the cookie table
  • Thumbprint cookies from the Arcade Bakery at the-Macys-formerly-known-as-Kaufmanns
  • Visiting the Christmas Windows at the-Macys-formerly-known-as-Kaufmanns
  • Sunday brunch and breadmaking at Enrico’s in the Strip (h/t Randy)
  • A visit to the Point State Park fountain (h/t Sonia)
  • Indulging at Fat Heads (h/t Sonia)
  • A Vinnie Pie from Vincent’s Pizza Park (h/t Peter)

What else should we add?