Family Beach Day

I almost called this post “Irish People on the Beach.”  Saturday was our beach day with the family.  Such a different experience for Scott and I with the little ones running around!  No sleeping on the beach that day.photo 4-10

We had the whole family on the beach, even Nanny and Pop Pop!  That might be our biggest achievement of the weekend. 🙂

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Scott’s Aunt and cousins from Colorado were in town and it was such a pleasure spending time with them.  Those boys are so wonderful and could not have been better with the little ones.  And I found another kindred foodie spirit in Aunt Janine!  She knew more about the farmer’s market in town than I did.232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv6722477=6-2667-;9467253ot1lsiI also enjoy seeing my niece and nephews getting to spend more time together. And if I’m honest, I love hosting that because it is special time.  I LOVED spending time with my cousins growing up and whenever I did it was magical.  I don’t have a little one to contribute to the cousin gang so it makes me feel like I can still take part in it.

I see many more beach days in the future for these guys.  Owen and Liam are both such sweet boys.
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And Miss Avery has such a tireless, adventuresome spirit.
photo 1-12 photo 3-10 Jess told us that Owen wouldn’t wear hats, which is a shame since he has such lovely, fair skin.  Well, he didn’t seem to mind Aunt Becca’s fedora!  I put it on his head and he took off!photo 2-12

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It was a nice day and a nice change of pace for us.232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv62477=6-2667--;47-253ot1lsi232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv--6;=ot>2477=6-2667--;487253ot1lsi232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv6-63=ot>2477=6-2667--;484253ot1lsi232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv6829=ot>2477=6-2667--;47<253ot1lsiI’m hoping there are many more Shore days for us in the coming years.232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv659-=ot>2477=6-2667--;48<253ot1lsi

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Summer Family Fun

We had an epic, all-encompassing, wonderful, exhausting, full-of-summer weekend.  Last weekend.  I sat at home and ate popsicles this weekend.  Please.  We kicked off with a 21 person cookout.  We had everyone there:  in-town family, out-of-town family and friends-that-are-family.

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Twenty one people is definitely the most I’ve ever hosted.  Lucky for me, I had helpers.  One even made a delicious concoction straight from my Pinterest board…you know, to keep my strength up.

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Please do yourself a favor and try Champagne Prosecco Margaritas.  My two favorite things in one sugar rimmed glass.  Also, I was reminded again that I do “have a brand” as Scott says.  I received no less than three hostess gifts of bottles of Prosecco. 🙂  And one bottle of Williams-Sonoma Margarita mix.  Happy Hostess!photo 2-18

We learned that our house is kid-friendly.  A mom actually told me that, so hooray!  photo 3-17Scott was pleased to see that kids could play in our backyard which is much narrower than our front yard.  photo 4-13

So many children!  photo 2-15 And all of them wonderful.photo 4-16 photo 5-11

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit of a whirlwind rushing around.  But it made me so happy to see everyone at our house.photo 5-8

There were fireflies, popsicles, and playing with cousins.

Popsiclephoto 3-8There were adults acting like kids.  The boys raced in our street.  Scott smoked ’em.  Just sayin’.  He’s the blur in the blue.photo 5-4 And best of all, we had a late night dance party.  To Michael Jackson, who else?photo 2-11

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Our cousin, Jeff, taught the kids the Michael Jackson kick.   It was epic and wonderful and I may have joined in.

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Be still my heart. photo 3-9

Pretty Little End Tables

On Friday, I mentioned that I finally used Annie Sloan chalk paint to redo two little end tables for Scott and I to use in our bedroom.  I snapped a few quick pics of the finished product here. I am pretty happy with how they turned out.  Here you go!

The first is on my side of the bed, cause she’s pretty.

photo 1-9 As a reminder, here is the before.

photo 3-5Hello, gorgeous.

photo 2-10I like all the girly curves and lines.photo 2-9 I decided to try distressing the tables.  I figured, I had nothing to lose.  I was always to scared to try it on other pieces I’ve done.  I actually like it.  And there were plenty of edges and cut outs that lend themselves quite well to distressing.  I just used a sanding block before the waxing step required by Annie Sloan products.photo 4-6

And here is Scott’s table.  There was weird lighting in the room.  It’s the same color as the other one, not pink, I promise.

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Before:

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photo 5-6Overall, I think chalk paint is fun. It hasn’t changed my life or my mind and I’m not in a hurry to purchase another {expensive} quart for my next project.  It is thick and does cover very well.  It does show brush strokes, but because of the consistency, I feel like it just adds to the rustic charm.  And I thought that the waxing step was fun.  It made me feel like I was a legitimate furniture re-finisher.

In my opinion, the benefit to paint lines such as Annie Sloan (or Serena and Lily or Milk Paint, etc.) is the limited number of color choices.  Someone else, with a good eye for design, has already curated the thousands of paint colors into just a few of their top favorites.  And then they name them something fancy and you have a much easier decision to make.  I hate standing and staring at the wall of paint chips at Home Depot.  Because as much as I love that Turquoise over there, it would make a great ring but would be garish on my walls.

That is probably why when Pottery Barn releases a line of paint, everyone jumps on board.  I was talking to the guys at Benjamin Moore and they told me that whenever Pottery Barn releases their paint, they are just Benjamin Moore colors.  But Pottery Barn has taken much of the guesswork and paralyzing amount of choices and narrowed them down for you.  And they weeded out the costume jewelry colors and only left the colors that look good on walls!  But I digress.    I hope you like our new bedside tables!

Painting Furniture, Soccer and Heat

Life has been pretty quiet for the past few weeks.  We’ve actually been able to spend time at home and work on the house.  We are almost done with the molding in our bedroom, finally.  And I finally decided to do something about these two little end tables that have been sitting around our house.  We found one on the street in NYC (free) and another at a yard sale here in NJ (free since it was the end of the day and teenagers were left in charge).

They are about the same size and the same yucky orange.  photo 5-4

photo 3-5 I decided to finally give chalk paint a go.  I painted them both Old White and they are now in our nightstands.  Scott has had his for two nights and both nights he has said he feels so grown up having a bed side table.  I’ll post the finished product on Monday, when I can snap a picture.photo 4-5But there is a sneaky peek in the below selfie.  Ugh, shameful selfie in a messy room.  But I wanted to capture my America t-shirt! I wore this the day we played Germany.  It is my new favorite.photo 3-6 We definitely got into the soccer spirit around here.  There was even an official showing in our common area at work.  I feel like I always do at the end of the Olympics. I’m so sad to see the World Cup end.  Now that ESPN is covering more basketball (anyone else tired of LeBron?) and tennis (just not as exciting at soccer) I feel kinda let down.  I’m looking forward to watching the final match this Sunday.photo 2-8

Last thing going on lately?  The heat.  I don’t actually mind it. I was raised in Virginia where it’s almost 100 degrees by May.  But Scott stayed home the week of July 4th and I got multiple text messages showcasing the below.photo 1-8
I think this poor buddy is getting the worst of it. Did I mention we don’t have air conditioning?photo 5-3

The Big Numero Uno

Our second nephew, Mr. Owen, turned one in May.  You may remember his Under the Sea baby shower.  And then we went to visit him after he was born and he looked like this:

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And now look at him!IMG_1084 He is SUCH a happy boy!IMG_1085

Scott and I were able to get up North and visit for his birthday party.  And we discovered that looking good in hoods is a genetic thing in the Fitzgerald family.IMG_1117While there, I learned that I actually COULD have boy children.  My sister-in-law’s nephews played catch with me by process of elimination.  All of the older boys, uncles, and grandfathers weren’t around.  And suddenly I found myself playing catch.  And then they told me I was good.  And then they were asking to play with ME.  Even when other people were around.  A child that wasn’t wearing a tiara and a tutu was having fun playing with ME!  It was a revelation.  At one point I looked over to see Scott and his dad smirking at me.  I need to get Scott to take more photos so I can actually feature in my own blog.  And prove that I played catch.

Oh, here I am.  Because a one year old’s birthday is clearly a cause for celebration, Aunt Rebecca brought Prosecco. As you do.
IMG_1087 IMG_1107 Owen didn’t feel the need to smash his cake.  Too much pressure, I suppose.  IMG_1110
We were blessed with great weather and better company.  IMG_1114

Happy Birthday (again) Owen! We are all so very happy you are here with us as part of our family.  IMG_1100

Fourth of July Festivities

Getting back to real life after a three day weekend is rough, no?  Lets relive the three day weekend again, yes?

Thursday I had the trifecta – early dismissal from work, a glass of wine with an out-of-town girlfriend before catching the boat for my commute home.
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It was so beautiful I sat on the deck for the whole ride home.photo 2-7I got to see Lady Liberty to start off the holiday weekend on the right foot.photo 4-2photo 3-3Scott and I popped by the beach on our way to dinner at our new favorite place, Eventide in Seabright.photo 2-5How can you not love a place where the buzzer is a lobster?photo 1-5Arther got the better of most of our Fourth of July, so we spent the rainy day at the outlet mall.  When the sun did break through, I made sure our new, beautiful yard was putting it’s most patriotic face on.photo 5-2 We joined friends at a beach club for the evening.  Palm trees: native to Jersey, obviously.photo 4-3The rest of the weekend was spent beachin’, brunching, trying a new church, working on the house, catching up on TV shows, painting furniture, seeing friends and enjoying.photo 2-6 Basically, living free, loving America.  I hate to sound trite, but I truly am so grateful for and humbled by the freedoms we enjoy here thanks to the men and women in service, protecting us and our way of life.  photo 1-6

Freedom, Fireworks and Fireflies

Happy {day before the } Fourth of July! I hope everyone has a fantastic Independence Day.  I have a feeling the effects of good ol’ Hurricane Arthur will be an un-invited guest at our celebration.  But we hope to have a day at the beach with friends.  I did a teensy bit of decorating around the house, mainly on our two chalkboards.  There may also be a patriotic banner on the fireplace mantel.
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I was still finishing up the below when 24 came on the other night.  Scott was getting mighty impatient with my divided focus.  Until I told him that Jack Bauer would totally approve.  You can’t argue with that. No one loves America more than Jack Bauer.

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Except maybe us.

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Happy Fourth of July, y’all!