Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What A Weekend

I've been MIA lately--mostly due to my best friend visiting this past Thursday-Sunday.
Kaitlyn came in with her husband from Lancaster, PA to spend the weekend with
friends and family and to celebrate her birthday! I don't see her that much (much more than you would think considering she lives on the other side of the state), 
so I always take a break and clear my plans to spend time with her. 
The long weekend was filled with lots of birthday drinks and birthday dinners. 
Her husband and his friends have a company, Dynamic Decor, that specializes in
linens, tables, chairs and other things like that--and they took part in the 
big bridal showthat was in downtown Pittsburgh over the weekend. 
Kate and I went to visit them at the show on Sunday and 
got to walk around and see all the pretty dresses and try some tasty cakes!
Dozen Bake Shop, located in Lawrenceville, was by far the best. 
They had these "cupcake pops" thing the ice cream push pops but with cupcakes! 
The main baker was a contestant on "The Next Great Baker" with Buddy from Cake Boss.
Afterwards we visited my favorite place, Francesca's in Shadyside--I bought the cutest black
lace dress with gold buttons, a tan cropped jacket and a beautiful necklace.

All-in-all it was an amazing weekend! I get to see Kate again in a few weeks--we are going
to Atlantic City for her husband's birthday! Should be fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Comeback Kid

I must have played this song over a dozen times in the past 24 hours. 
Doesn't Brett Dennen have the coolest voice?
The song is awesome; and as of now, I don't even mind having it stuck in my head!

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Work Space...

is happening. I love it--the cluttered yet clean look of the space is just what I like.
For me, it's important to have color and inspiration surrounding you, but at the
same time I hate when I feel over-cluttered, mainly with junk. 
I recently moved into a new office (new job--more on that to come!) and 
I've spent the past few days gettind rid of any old files, boxes, etc. 
The space not only looks better, but I feel better working there. 
It still has photos, plants, posters for that creative inspiration and the homey feel, 
but all the unnecessary items are now gone. 
I'm also on the look-out for the perfect print to hang in my office--
this one is pretty great, looks like I'll be searcing Etsy for this quote!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


How did it take me so long to discover this site? Birchbox is your one-stop shop for all things beauty. It’s filled with the best products around and some you may have never heard of. But the best part about Birchbox are the monthly beauty samples. 

For just $10 a month, Birchbox will send you a box filled with new samples of beauty products. Unfortunately it’s currently sold out, but my name is on the waiting list and as soon as I get that email I will be anxiously awaiting my little package filled with beauty surprises. You can choose from being a yearly member, a monthly member, or to send a gift Birchbox. The gift idea is super cool. For 12, 6, or 3 months you can send a friend, bridesmaid, sister, etc. a Birchbox in the mail! How cool is that?! Something so different and you know she’ll enjoy it. I’ll keep you updated on my waiting list status.

Do any of you subscribe to Birchbox? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jeffrey Foucault

This talented artist was recently featured in Pittsburgh’s City Paper. He is described as “a man born into the wrong era.” Um, hello… sounds like someone else I know. Me. Until reading this article, I’ve never heard of Mr. Foucault; but man am I glad I can now add him to my list of new favorites. I spent hours listening to his songs and fell in love with his lyrics. He has a folk-rock sound and love and loneliness are found in his voice and in his words. The kind of love and loneliness that everyone knows, and the kind that inspires you in ways you can’t explain.
I’m pretty bummed I missed his show this past Friday. But don’t you worry Mr. Foucault; you better believe I’ll be on the look-out for you and your next stop in Pittsburgh. I’m crossing my fingers that it’s soon.

Until then, here’s something to pass the time:
One of my favorite parts of traveling was 
seeing the different styles of houses throughout
the United States. Oregon, New Mexico, Florida
all represent a different climate and culture--
ending up in different styles of homes.

When I visited Portland I fell in love with this type of home. 
I love the big windows, bright colors and cozy porches.
Houses in the small neighborhoods throughout 
Pittsburgh are actually very similar, 
but are usually made out of all brick instead.
These pictures are definitely on file in my
"dream" folder. Hopefully they come true!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blogger Swap

I could not be more excited--I am taking part in my first "blogger swap!"
A blogger swap is usually held by the creator of one or a few blogs, they advertise, you register and within a few weeks get assigned a blogger to befriend and swap goodies with!
The package is usually within $10-15 and is filled with 
the bloggers favorite things to share with their new blogger friend! 
After you receive your package, you blog about your new friend 
and the gifts she shared with you! 
I should be finding out soon who my new friends are!

Here are the two swaps I'm taking part in--be sure to sign up too!
This swap with Casey, Danielle and Alycia.

And this Valentine's Day swap with Celia, Meg and Tara!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crayon Art

So this is ALL over Pinterest, but I just had to try it out for myself. I love all the colors & it was so simple to make. I used a variety of colors, but I think it would look nice to do all the same as well. I first took the wrapper off all the crayons and cut them into thirds. You can really do any shape you'd like, I thought a heart would be cute! I aranged them how I wanted and hot glued them on the canvas.
 Set your blow dryer on hot and start melting the crayons! I did a section at a time--that way I could rotate the canvas and have the wax melting around the sides.
 Here is the finished product! I love it! I definitely want to try some other shapes--have you tried this yet? I'd love to see your ideas!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Welcome Home Breakfast

Last night was my grandma's first night in her home in about a month. 
She needed to have surgery which resulted in her being in the hospital for a while 
& spent the first part of her recovery at my aunt's house.
Christmas morning I made this delicious monkey bread recipe, 
and when we went to visit her in the hospital I showed her a picture and 
told her I'd make it for her as soon as she got home. 
Well, she's home! We all couldn't be more happy with her progress,
 so I think a "welcome home" breakfast is definitely in order. 

I made a version of monkey bread--it may have been the easiest thing I've ever made!
Here's the recipe:
1 tub Grands biscuits
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup nuts (I used pecans)
Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Melt the butter and syrup in a small bowl.
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Chop the pecans--I used a little more than 1/4 cup.
Spray a bundt pay with Pam and pour in half of the butter/syrup mixture & half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and nuts.
Layer the Grands biscuits--you can cut these and roll them in smaller balls to make it more of a pull-apart bread--I chose to leave them as is.
Pour the remaining of both mixtures & the nuts over top.
It should look just like this before you bake it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
Let it cool & reverse it onto a plate.
Ta-da! Here is the finished product:
See how easy that was! Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Have a great weekend! I hope you braving the winter weather (if it's near you) and enjoy your days doing the things you love. I have a three-day weekend due to Martin Luther King Day--so I'll be relaxing, spending time with friends and family and I'll probably end up doing a little shopping--sounds perfect to me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Visit Pittsburgh

New things are going on here on the blog.
I created a "Visit Pittsburgh" page with lots of suggestions for where to go in Pittsburgh!
Many are my favorites, and some are places you just have to go.
If you are new to the area or planning a visit, 
feel free to email me for additional suggestions!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stylish White Female

This is Terra. 
Terra writes an AH-MAZ-ING blog, Stylish White Female 
and guess what
she's from Pittsburgh!
I know, who would have thought that someone from Pittsburgh would have 
such a successful fashion blog, right?

I have gotten so much inspiration from Terra and her blog posts. 
She is so creative and can pull off stylish looks at her job in the city. 
And the outfits can fight the snow--something us Pittsburghs know a lot about.

If you're from Pittsburgh, you'll recognize a lot from the backgrounds of her photos.
Here are some of my favorite outfits:
How cute are those ruffles on the jacket?
Perfect winter sweater.
Love the skirt.
All photos from Stylish White Female.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

I know, I know this is a few weeks late. But as I was looking through my pictures I had to post these. They were just too dang pretty.
And ths little stinker decided she needed to help.
This year I did a little something different when wrapping my gifts. In the past I’ve used the standard Holiday wrapping paper, with the occasional ribbon and bow. This year I decided to go a bit more rustic. Plain brown wrapping paper with minimal decorative pieces. I printed out some vintage looking gift tags, added some bows, pom-poms and pieces from my tree. I must say I’m pretty happy with it & plan to experiment some more next year!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"To Be True to Ourselves and to those Within and Without Our Circle..."

I am a proud Zeta Tau Alpha.
Being that I spent the past year of my life traveling the country visiting ZTA chapters and assisting the young women with rectuitment, leadership growth, officer training among many other things--I think it proves my first statement correct.

Looking back, that year of experiences make up some of the best of my 23 years.
I knew I would love the "job," but it hasn't been until recent months that I truly realized the impact it had on my life. Sure there were times when I thought about giving up, when I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I wanted to break down and cry. But there were more times when I smiled, laughed, learned, made an impact. I can tell you there are few things less fulfilling than having members from chapters I visited to this day still tell me thank-you. 
Thank-you for being their friend, listening, giving honest advice, encouragement and that extra push you sometimes need. There are few jobs where you can find that, and man, do I miss it.

It gets me to thinking, am I really being "true to myself," am I happy and content with what I'm doing with my life right now. When I look back and the memories and think about how I grew as a person during my time as a TLC, I immediately think no.

So what does this mean for me. I'm not sure. Do I want to go to grad school--student affairs possibly? I could work in Greek Life--something I know I have a passion for. Decisions like these take courage and hope. Support from friends and family wouldn't be too bad either. 

All I know is that I want to be true to myself from here on out. I want to be true to the people around me--be honest and help them as much as I can. I've realized and accepted that thank-you's, appreciation and making an impact are much better than money and material things.  After all that, I believe I have some serious thinking to do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Foam is an awesome magazine. I don't subscribe, but I check out their website almost daily. I came across this article a little over a month ago and meant to post it earlier. I love the photographs and the story they tell. Here's Gypsies, Tramps and Theives:
All photos by Harper Smith.