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Sale Alert: Tuckernuck

Tuckernuck is running a sale on purchases over $200! Take 20% off with code summer20. I've talked at length about how much I adore the swing sweatshirt and now I want it in every color.

Molly Knorr
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This Time Around: Charleston

I've been meaning to put together a post about what we did on this particular Charleston trip. We really lucked out in terms of weather, like Jeff and I kept saying, "what did we do to make this turn around," weather. The hourly forecast LEGIT showed rain starting the hour we arrived on Friday and finishing up around the time we left on Monday. I'm not saying it wouldn't have been a great trip but certainly, if you're leaving Pittsburgh for warmer weather, you want some decent weather! All that to say, we lucked out and generally didn't get caught up in bad weather too many times!

This was an awesome trip to Charleston for a few reasons. Other than one wedding weekend away, Jeff and I haven't been on a trip alone together since before deciding to build our house! We were overdue and I was so excited to see what new or different options Charleston had to offer us. I've highlighted my favorites previously, but here is what we did this time that we really loved. Also bear with me, all of these photos are from my iPhone!

The Restoration. Jeff had previously stayed at this hotel for work before but I hadn't been. It was beautifully decorated and really unique, as well as being pretty easily accessible in terms of location. The rooftop pool was a nice touch on Sunday when I didn't want to do much else and started to get super anxious about being away from the kiddos (anyone else as nuts as me?). We also had this amazing long hallway to get to our room, I love something a little different! The hotel also offers a free breakfast basket that's delivered with biscuits or croissants, fruit, and coffee. We took advantage. Definitely a nice touch.

167 Raw continues to be our absolute favorite meal. They're moving to a bigger space on King Street this fall and I'm really interested to see how they scale. It's admittedly pretty awesome now, they don't take reservations and it's all pretty quick, an awesome oyster bar.

We didn't hit too many new places, but there's nothing wrong with heading back where you love! Our first stop was Lewis BBQ and that never disappoints. We also had brunch at the Obstinate Daughter and it was just awesome. Darling Oyster Bar (can we take a second to admire their incredible branding?) and Leon's Oyster Shop were both wonderful too. Can you tell we ate a ton of oysters? We had a super late reservation at FIG, but we were dying to try it. They had an appetizer that had house-made cottage cheese with grilled peaches and mints that we are trying to replicate - so light and amazing. We stopped by a few new-to-us bars, breweries and restaurants, Revelry Brewing and Bourbon n Bubbles, as well as a few we've visited: Minero (incredible wings!), Husk (you should absolutely visit their bar if you can't get a reservation), and the Rarebit. We also swung by Bitty & Beau's which I can't get enough of. Their "reason" means so much to me. I couldn't help but sob my eyes out because it's just so amazing.

We are kind of insane when we travel because Jeff and I don't get a lot of time to work out together. We arrived Friday and went on a run to Lewis BBQ, close to four miles, so when we arrived, we were the sweatiest humans ever. That was a common theme on this trip. We walked back and stopped by a few shops before we had to get ready for our dinner reservations at Darling Oyster.

Saturday morning we stopped by Miller's All Day for coffee and then reserved bikes from the Restoration. We allotted over an hour to bike the "45 minutes" Google Maps was estimating to get to our reservation on Sullivan's Island at the Obstinate Daughter. It took closer to an hour and twenty minutes and once again, we were so freaking sweaty. After brunch we spent the afternoon at Sullivan's Island and enjoyed the beach. We stopped by Saltwater Cowboy's on the way home and I really loved the casual, water-side vibe there! We biked home and it was a lot less stressful but wouldn't recommend taking beach cruisers without gears over the bridge. It was a lot!

By Sunday morning I was pretty tired of eating and we took it easy with lots of walking and shopping. There is a Pink Chicken location there and that's one of my absolute favorite children's clothing brands we carry at Mac & Mia. We scooped up some gifts to bring home for the kids. We ate and drank all evening and ended our night at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream which was heavenly!

On Monday, Jeff dropped in to Holy City CrossFit and he really loved it! They get a ton of travelers and the owner actually took class with him. I'll be sure to take class next time! I was hoping to squeeze in a Pure Barre class while I was down there but opted to sleep in instead : ). Jeff grabbed a breakfast burrito at Basic Kitchen and we took a long walk along the Battery before leaving town!

It's always so great to visit our favorite city. It's insane to say, but I follow so many people that live there that it feels like we're visiting something totally familiar. I have enough "Internet friends" that it's comforting to get recommendations directly from them and you don't feel like as much of a tourist. There are always a few things we miss, we'd love to explore Mt. Pleasant a bit more, so we are hoping to get the kids down there for another trip soon. I think Georgia and Bodie would fit in just fine!
Molly Knorr
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Can't Miss It: Aerie

A friend of mine recently turned me on to Aerie. They've been around forever and it doesn't hurt that it's a Pittsburgh-based brand, but honestly I am blown away by these easy, comfy outfits. She got me an awesome set for my birthday (the cozy beach set pictured below), and I wandered into their new store at the mall last weekend and was so pleasantly surprised. Here's a few easy to grab pieces that take the brain work out of getting dressed as a mom, always a win!

Molly Knorr
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House Plans and Projects: Where are We?

Ready for a massive update on our house? We moved into our home in September of 2018. Since then, I'm honestly impressed with what we've been able to furnish. We came from a townhouse that had a decent square footage, but it was a completely different style (SO many stairs) and we essentially started over from a furnishing standpoint with the exception of a few area rugs and the kids' rooms. The whole home needs to be painted (I'll probably stick with white since the last house was all grey), but we wanted to wait until we were here for a year so we can properly deal with nail pops from the house settling. The plan is to walk you through my tentative plans, and hopefully these photos serve as the "before" and I can do a proper post for each update as we finish the rooms!

Starting with what I'm currently most excited about: we recently finished our deck and I couldn't be more obsessed with how it turned out. I KNEW I wanted horizontal rails (inspired by all things Charleston - we saw so much of this down there!), and we were able to find a contractor that could do it! This was only the second time this particular contractor did the horizontal rails and they said it was super labor-intensive, but man, I love it, so happy with the little risk. We were on the fence about adding a roof to our deck and we decided not to invest in that and instead made the deck a little larger. We don't get a ton of direct sunlight in the back of our home. I recently purchased an L couch with a coffee table for the seating area, and a pretty simple dining table with benches. Plan is to go bold with the accessories (rug, side tables, umbrella, maybe chairs at the head of the table?). Hoping to share this soon!

Living Room:
I shared our plans for the living room months ago and haven't updated a ton. I ordered a great navy blue velvet couch from Amazon, and it turned into a whole THING. Amazon recorded it as delivered, it was never delivered, and eventually I had to file a police report in order to prove to Amazon it wasn't stolen or hidden in my house. Moral of the story: don't buy furniture from Amazon. So, I still haven't filled that void in the family room! I'm now entertaining something a bit more casual - a lighter blue or even the love seat version of our couch. I need to replace the throw pillows soon too - they've worn pretty quickly, and I feel like that's an opportunity to introduce some color into the room and maybe coordinate with the additional love seat or couch. I'd also love to add a great console for the back of the couch so you're not staring at the back of my couch, leaning acrylic there.

I'm ready to admit that I goofed up not having a pendant light installed during construction. I can't even really figure out why I wouldn't have, but I definitely messed up here. We've found an awesome electrician we really love, so here's hoping he can install something fun there and I can stick with the coastal modern theme we've started.

I also need a new rug for underneath our table. This has proven to be a tough call for two reasons: one, my kids still throw stuff on the ground when they're eating - how much do I invest?, and two, I honestly can't decide on a color. It needs to coordinate with the runner in our kitchen, but our current runner was a big time budget buy and I feel like I can replace it if necessary. Since there's SO much blue in the house, I'd love to go a different direction. I initially wanted a deep green theme in the kitchen, so maybe that's the way to go?

We need a runner. Another one of those construction errors. As soon as the stain was finished, I knew I went too dark for our super light floors. I honestly thought the construction crew messed up. A runner will generally mask or resolve this, and I definitely want to go funky neutral here, and I'm leaning the antelope route by Stark if all goes to plan.

Dining Room:
I need to do a deep dive into everything I've found for our dining room and I'm so excited to share the details. Next up is plans to wallpaper the room and our entryway. I'm leaning above the chair rail only, but who knows. Loving the Palm Wallpaper by Serena and Lily. Again, wanting this bold and loud but in a more neutral tone as to not totally overwhelm since the rest of the house is all blue. Not sure of the plan for that awesome chair just yet. It may live in our bedroom permanently!

Powder Room and Office/Playroom:
These are easy projects we can knock off in the Fall/Winter. The powder room is boring and I replaced the mirror and light ASAP, so it's livable. Next up is replacing the sink fixtures and wallpapering! We scooped some inexpensive peel & stick wallpaper from Target - we had some good luck with that in Georgia's room.

Turns out we don't really need a playroom. The kids play in the basement for the most part and the playroom is just always a mess. I'd rather keep a basket of toys hidden in the family room and the majority of their toys in the basement, and turn the office/playroom into a proper office so Jeff can work from home when he'd like, and I can work from the office in solitude and not surrounded by toys : ).

We've got Bodie's big boy room on the horizon, and we also should really finish up our room and paint the master bathroom. I know Jeff would have that done by now if he could and I've been dragging my feet. Georgia's room is looking pretty good, need to hang some curtains, spray paint her wardrobe gold, and get rid of some typical 4-year-old girl garbage : ), then will share that!
Molly Knorr
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What I'm Packing: Charleston

I joke and say that Charleston is the only place we go on vacation but it's kind of true. You can visit my travel guide here, and I'm looking to add to it on this trip! The weather looks less than stellar, but I haven't been in over a year so I'm still looking forward to it.

Speaking of Charleston, a blogger I follow had highlighted a cute little clothing store called Pitt Street Kids and I ordered a tee - they were sweet enough to include a pair of Babiators sunnies (another Charleston-founded brand!) for Georgia. Come to find out they're also Pittsburghers and so many people know one of the owners! How sweet?! Check out their shop, here.

While we generally have our trip planned completely, I know the humidity is a huge factor and this is all subject to change based on weather over the next few days, but here's the general packing plan for Charleston, with links below! I plan on forcing Jeff to take my picture so I'll round up what I end up in when we get back!

one | two - similar | three
four - originally purchased @ nordstrom | five | six - mine is a cream color
ten - originally purchased @ pure barre mt. lebanon! | eleven | twelve
Molly Knorr
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Why Do I Blog?

In what is my first TRUE Motherhood post, I had something I wanted to share. I read this article today and man, did it speak to me. Why do I blog? Why do I generally share (maybe too much) on Instagram? The short answer? It provides me with personal growth. Reading through this article, it put to words what I've been feeling for ages:
For me, putting myself ‘out there’ has created both a channel of connection and a means of self-reflection, a time for self that has helped me grow and accept myself more, as a mother and as a woman, in ways I am still surprised by. 
"I’ve connected with women and mothers in person and online, both of which have brought me support and helped me feel less isolated, and surprisingly, much more confident in my own skin. I think isolation in various forms is one of the things that women struggle with regardless of how they navigate the lifestyle and work shifts in their life in the earlier years of motherhood. Certainly so for me; isolation from others, isolation from community and in some ways, isolation from parts of self that you aren’t sure how or where they fit."

When I owned my business, blogging was a necessity, a way to share my work which ran through word-of-mouth. But even prior to that, I ran a Tumblr. I've truly been blogging in one form or another since just after college graduation. I received my MBA in digital marketing and this is not only a way to market me, my brand, but it provides me a way to feel a little more confident in my own skin. I feel really great when I put together a sales collage, or share my favorite athleisure looks, recommend a few treadmill intervals that a follower or two tags me in after they've completed it, asking for more. There's a reason some people are more popular than other people on the Internet, just like some people are better at working the room during a cocktail party - and while I'll likely never be a super popular blogger, it's something I really do for me - and I'm grateful for the friendships I've made through Instagram or blogging. I feel a little silly mentioning my blog or frankly, my Instagram to people I know, but what's wrong with putting yourself out there a little?

It's really easy to feel isolated when you have young kids, and by no means is the Internet a replacement for in-person conversation (and that's actually why I found Pure Barre, I really needed to talk to an adult or two after I had Georgia), but used as a tool of connection and inspiration, it is a big plus.

"For all the negatives that social media can get, and I agree with a lot of them, but I have found the experiences and connection I have been able to foster to be overwhelmingly positive as long as I focus on balancing my time and energy, and ‘unplugging’ when I find myself treating online networks less as a tool of connection and inspiration and too much as one of a measuring stick. The worst is falling into the impossible always to outrun, fomo but I would like to point out to that point, that feeling like you are missing out or aren’t as great as someone else, that isn’t because of the internet, it just surfaces it faster and more furiously, because I have felt the exact same thing when I go to a meetup or meeting of minds and meet impossibly chic mothers with gorgeous children or killer businesses. Which is all to say, the internet isn’t the enemy, but it is a tool, and it is how we choose to use it and don’t use it."

I enjoy sharing my life, style, food, interior recommendations, and everything else with you, whether 3 people are reading it or many more, I'm taking the pictures, I'm thinking of the content, I should share it. Blogging encourages me to make a recipe I've wanted to write down for friends, it encourages me to finish decorating a room and share the links, and it gives me a medium to share articles like this that might improve someone's day. It's not always the most timely and I do a better job of updating my personal Instagram, I'm still super uncomfortable with sharing photos of myself, and I'm not making a killing from affiliate links, but I genuinely LOVE to share the things I enjoy in the easiest way possible (if only Instagram would get rid of that lousy 10k follower rule for swipe-ups).

All this to say, I'm looking forward to growing a bit more and continuing my dive into blogging over the next decade. Thanks for sticking with me! Check out the article and let me know what you think.
Molly Knorr
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Easy Dessert: Dirt Dessert

A few months ago my friend hosted a dinner party and made a dirt dessert for all of the kids and I genuinely hadn't been able to get it out of my head since then. Memorial Day served as the perfect excuse to make dirt again. We followed Brown Eyed Baker's recipe but did substitute regular Oreo's for Double-Stuffed. What a world. It's definitely not a healthy recipe but it's totally worth it. I'll have a smoothie today. I didn't get a nice photo of the dessert so I should probably make it again!

Dirt Dessert
Makes 16 to 20 servings

  • 14.3 ounce Oreo Cookies (one package - we used Double Stuffed)
  • 7.8 ounce instant chocolate pudding (two small packages)
  • 4  cups milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounce container Cool Whip
  • Gummy worms (optional)
Cooking Instructions
  1. Crush the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor (or, place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin); set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both boxes of the instant pudding with the milk for about 2 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the powdered sugar, then gradually increase the speed back to medium until a fluffy texture is reached.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate pudding, then fold in the Cool Whip until completely combined.
  5. Assemble the dessert in a square glass pan or in individual cups. However you plan to serve it, layer the dessert with alternating layers of the crushed Oreos and pudding mixture, beginning and ending with the crushed Oreos. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving. Decorate the top with gummy worms before serving, if desired. They'll get soggy if you refrigerate them in the mixture too long!
Truly so easy and so delicious, which is the name of the game!
Molly Knorr
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