9.08.2014

5 Things | 5 Reasons to Move to Pittsburgh (Guest Post by Zillow)



Online real estate database Zillow, has chosen The Pittsburgh Look for their Zillow Partnership Program!  Zillow creates a user-friendly and creative way to go about finding the perfect place to live! So why move to Pittsburgh?  Here are 5 reasons according to Zillow....



Pittsburgh is a thriving, modern city built on a foundation of hard work. Coined “The Steel City” for the industrial boom of the 20th century, Pittsburgh is now on the map as a global comeback city. Since its iconic steel mills shut down 30 years ago, Pittsburgh developed into a cultural mecca. Additionally, Pittsburgh is abundant in natural beauty with a steady local economy and an eclectic mix of neighborhoods. Here are a few reasons to make the move to Pittsburgh.




Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl

1.       Rich in Culture
With 35 percent of the Pittsburgh population between ages 19 and 34, the city is bursting with young, vibrant and innovative energy. The culmination of creativity is found in the Cultural District, the 14-block downtown area that houses multiple historic theaters, modern art galleries and trendy restaurants. Each year, the Cultural District hosts more than 2,000 local, national and international performances including live theatre, music and dancing. Notable museums in the area include the Andy Warhol Museum and ToonSeum and popular festivals including the Three Rivers Arts Festival and VIA Festival.



Photo by: Darrell Sapp (pittsburghpostgazette)

2.       Natural Beauty
Pittsburgh receives much praise for its natural beauty. The city is formed on rolling hills set around three intersecting rivers, the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. Throughout summer, residents enjoy river kayaking and bike riding along the banks. A great way for newcomers to check out the scenery is to take a land and sea Duck Tour of Pittsburgh. Throughout the winter, Pittsburgh offers multiple snow activities including ice skating and sleigh rides in local neighborhoods. Pittsburgh is also conveniently located close to ski resorts in Maryland and New York.




Benedum Center   Photo: Robert Dorsett (flickr)

3.       Abundant Amenities
Quality of life is comfortable in Pittsburgh due to its abundant amenities. Each unique neighborhood has its own shopping, dining and entertaining districts. One attraction is the renowned Pittsburgh PNC Ballpark, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and perched along the Allegheny River in North Shore. For great al fresco dining, head to Market Square which is the hub of downtown activity. Additionally, Pittsburgh boasts three major hospitals within the metro area as well as multiple specialty and children’s hospitals.


4.       Quality Schools and Jobs
Pittsburgh offers an array of schooling options for children and adults. Dotted throughout the city are hundreds of highly-regarded preschools, elementary schools and middle schools. Pittsburgh also offers many specialty high schools concentrating in technology, science and creative arts. Additionally, the city is home to more than 29 colleges and universities and is ranked one of the best cities in the country to complete a higher education. Jobs are abundant as Pittsburgh is a hub for technology research and robotics while healthcare, construction and finance industries are booming.



Bloomfield (pittsburghmagazine)


5.       Affordable Neighborhoods
Pittsburgh’s cost of living is relatively low compared to other cities of equal of greater size in the United States. The median home value in Pittsburgh is $91,200 and monthly rents are $1,052, while the national median home value is $174,800 and rent is $1,318. Popular family-friendly neighborhoods include Highland Park and Shadyside. Highland Park is six miles northeast of downtown with a median home value of $220,900 and monthly rent of $1,677. Shadyside is located five miles northeast of downtown with slightly more expensive rates; the median home value is $304,900 and rents are $2,067.

Google’s offices and Whole Foods make East Liberty a popular neighborhood for single young professionals and entrepreneurs. Home values in East Liberty are $89,200 and monthly rents are $1,113, making it the least expensive location listed. Hipsters who enjoy open-air markets, specialty stores and indie coffee shops should check out the Strip District (home value or rent data are unavailable).



It’s impossible to know everything about a city before arriving. Curb uncertainty and curiosity by exploring Pittsburgh’s attractions using these helpful lifestyle insights.

*this is not a sponsored post but a guest post written by Emily Creswick of Zillow

8.06.2014

How To | Easy Summer Hair Tricks by Jacqueline's Salon



I don't know about you but Summer and my hair have a love-hate relationship, once the humidity hits it, it has a mind of its own.  So I consulted Jacqueline Capatolla from Jacqueline's Salon in the Grant Building Downtown.  She had tons of tricks up her sleeve for working with Summer hair and weather conditions. Not to mention, her tiny salon is adorable; right in the heart of Downtown and in one of the busiest buildings in the area!

Here she shows us two very easy, and very cute Summer styles that you can wear anywhere - humidity proof!


                                            MESSY SUMMER BEACH WAVES





Step 1: Wrap 1 inch sections of your hair around a 1 1/2 inch curling iron.  Jackie is using a clampless iron which create a more natural, less uniform curl.




Step 2:  Create volume by teasing the hair the the root at the crown of the head.  Paige had extensions in her hair, so Jackie used this teasing technique to hide the extensions as well as create volume. Jackie used a dry shampoo by Matrix to help create bedhead volume.


Step 3: Jackie twisted the hair into 4 large ballerina buns and clipped them.  She let them set for about 10 minutes (you can let them set for longer depending on the kind of curl you want).


Step 4:  After she took Paige's hair out the buns, Jackie added extra texture to the curls by pinching sections of the hair and working her fingers up to create a messy - just-woke-up hair.


SUMMER-TWISTED UPDO




Step 1: Separate the mid-part of your hair (like you're making a mohawk) and create two pony tails, one in front of the other.


Step 2: Braid the ponytails and set with hairspray.



Step 3: Twist the two braids on top of the head in a figure 8 shape and secure with bobby pins.  Add volume and texture to the twists by gently tugging on parts of braids.


Step 4: Twist the hair in the back into buns, keeping them aligned with the buns on top.


Step 5: Secure the buns with bobby pins and finish the look with hairspray.


Some more shots from the shoot.....







Visit Jacqueline's Salon:

Grant Lobby Building
Suite 107
310-330 Grant St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: (412) 281-2209

http://www.jacquelinesnews.com/

7.28.2014

Monday Spotlight | Glitter & Grit : A Place for the Modern Bride - Interview with Owner Erin Szymanski


Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life.  It's also supposed to be beautiful, exciting, romantic and unforgettable.  But in all honesty, does this ever really happen exactly the way it's supposed to be?  The stress of  planning the picture perfect wedding you vision in your mind, can often make the wedding planning process a very dark and agonizing event - and remember this is supposed to be best day of your life! That's a lot of pressure especially when most of us have family, friends, websites and TV shows telling us what we should wear, what we should be doing, what's right, what's wrong, what's tradition,  how much we should be spending, and giving us unrealistic expectations.  The one thing I think we can all agree on though is, the dress is important.  Doesn't matter what kind of dress you want, what you want is to feel beautiful and to feel like the best version of you.

Enter, Erin Szymanski, owner of Glitter & Grit; the adorable new wedding gown boutique in upper Lawrenceville.  She represents the untraditional bride - the woman who isn't afraid to break a couple rules and wants to her wedding to be an original expression of herself and her beloved. Erin's gorgeous boutique is a welcoming and quiet place that reminds me a lot of a vintage tailor's shop.  There is one dressing room and one pedestal - meant for one bride at a time. That's because Erin works with her brides on a private basis, creating a more relaxed and special occasion. The whole Glitter & Grit experience is meant to be special and put you at ease in what could easily be the most stressful part of wedding planning. On top of that, she also holds a monthly "dress up" event, where you can go in - you don't have to be engaged - and try on the dresses!  Her open-minded and realistic outlook on wedding planning is refreshing and just what the wedding market in Pittsburgh needed.





TPL:  What made you want to open Glitter & Grit?

ES: Well it kinda started coming to light when my friends were starting to get married and shopping for wedding dresses. Then it was solidified when I was engaged because I had gone shopping with my friends and I knew I did not want to go shopping at the stores that were in Pittsburgh.  I didn't wanna wear your typical wedding dress, and I didn't want to go to a store where people would be telling me that I "had to wear a veil," or "had a have a white dress," so I bought my dress online, I had a wonderful experience, but I realized that not everyone is willing to take that kind of risk and just decided that there needed to be more options in Pittsburgh for wedding dresses.



TPL: What did your wedding dress look like?

ES: My dress was made by Wai Ching, who makes the really colorful dresses [sold in her store], the front of it was all white and it had her signature embroidery on it and the back had green ties and a yellow train; it was like very spring, coming out colors.  I love when forsythia starts blooming in the Spring, they're like these great yellow flowers and all the green is fresh and new. those were kinda the colors that inspired it.




TPL: What do you think differentiates your boutique from all other wedding dress shops in Pittsburgh? 

ES: Well there's a couple different things, when you have an appointment at Glitter&Grit, the store is closed to the public, so you have a private appointment, the store is just for you and your guests, and so I feel like that really helps kinda ease people into it; a lot of girls come in sorta feeling anxious about the entire process if they haven't started yet, or they've had bad experiences at other stores, like the big boxed stores, where they were kinda just shoved around or squished into a bunch of other people they didn't know.  So, the private appointments, and then just what I have to offer; the very unique designs, a good number of my designers make their stuff completely by hand, they're made in the US, great fabrics, really the quality of work is there, and lots of natural fibers.  I have a few designers that are earth friendly, so they use all sustainable sourced materials; organic cottons, cruelty-free silks, and it's really nice when you're making that kind of investment to feel good about it.



TPL: What are some of the trends you see the brides gravitating towards lately?

ES: Definitely lace is very popular, and straps!  I would say any kind of a strap or sleeve, something so that it's not just the same sweetheart, strapless dress that we've all seen at weddings in our lifetime.  But lace is not going to go anywhere anytime soon, people are definitely looking for it.


TPL: Who are some of your favorite wedding gown designers?

ES: Oh gosh! I love them all, it's really hard to have a favorite.  Rebecca Shonveld, I have been following her on social media for a long time, I really love what she does. and her dresses are all handmade in her studio in Brooklyn, I mean they're just stunning and very unique.  As far as who I have, Lindee Daniel, one of my earth-friendly designers, over there on that rack [points to a rack of gorgeous cream colored dresses] her use of texture is just - I love texture so I'm kind of obsessed with everything that she does.  And again, completely handmade, by her, in California and I mean when you see the detail in some of those dresses it's hard to believe it was all pieced together by hand.  I'm just glad I got married before I opened the store, because there is no way - I mean would wear....pants! [Laughs] Or, I dunno, I couldn't possibly choose a dress now.



TPL: That would be really cool to wear a pant suit!  It's pretty up and coming, I've seen a couple weddings online where someone is wearing a beautifully tailored white or ivory suit. 

ES:  Yeah!  That's actually in my plan, that's the next direction I wanna go, is get into suiting, and I actually talked to a designer that I had in for a trunk show, she had just kinda mentioned that they had talked about doing that, and I was like "As soon as you do let me know because I would love, LOVE to have that option here."




TPL:  I see a couple dresses that could easily be a bridesmaids dress, do you think you would ever start going into other parts of the wedding party like the flower girl ect?

ES: Definitely not as far as flower girl, and I was really adamant at first about not getting into bridesmaids dresses, just because my space is so limited and I really want to stay focused on bridal.  But then I met the designers of this great concept line of super modern bridesmaids dresses, that have kinda changed my mind, I'll actually have them here next Thursday during my dress up party.  They're 100% silk, made in New York City, they have really sleek, sophisticated, super versatile, customizable dresses that are specifically made to be worn again.  They're long styles are made to be shortened afterwards, you can send the dress back to them and they'll re-dye it, so they have a couple different options, but their most popular is their "Black Out Service" where they will dye it black.  So you can wear whatever for the wedding and then have a little black dress that you actually will wear again.  And I'm just so excited by the concept of what they're doing that I will probably be adding them and that kind of goes into the special occasion as well because they're not blatantly bridesmaids dresses and then they are also available in ivory, white so they could be a really good option for the budget bride.  That was not expected and I mean that's kind of how I'm looking at everything, just how everything's happened organically and however the business grows, I'm fine with, but I'm definitely not seeking out getting into the full bridal party.



TPL: What do you think is the hardest part about being a bride today? 

ES: Just having.....[pauses]..uh well...Pinterest. [Laughs]  Pinterest is wonderful, it can be really helpful, but it's also a little bit unrealistic, it'll make you fall in love with a dress that is $8000 and you'll not be able to get it out your mind and you have a $1000 budget and you really can't replace anything like that.  And not even just dresses, I mean every detail of the wedding and we feel like our wedding has to look good enough to be on the internet places, so that you know, to be that impressive and I feel like it's a lot of pressure. I mean the industry places it on brides, brides place it upon themselves, it's exciting to start pinning and it's really helpful if someone comes across some examples that they like, but it can be hard if they're really fixated on something.



TPL: So if I were a "budget bride" and I wanted to have an eclectic wedding - I want to keep things original but I have a tight budget - what are some of your tips, even beyond the dress, that you can recommend?

ES: I think the important thing is to determine what is kind of non-negotiable for what you have in your mind, whether it's amazing food, or you want really amazing photographs or you want this dress that no one will ever forget, you have to pick and choose where you're going to spend your money.  I mean there are a lot of things you can do to kind of cut corners, like if something isn't important to you, don't spend your money on it.  If you don't care about flowers, then don't have crazy centerpieces.  If you don't care about the photographs, then you know, you definitely wanna have pictures but if you're not crazy about the standard, then don't spend crazy money on a photographer.  Budget wise, there are a ton of venue options, and I feel like that is somewhere where you can definitely find some wiggle room, Looking outside the box, in general with any vendor or even dresses, if you are really on a budget, then don't look at wedding dresses, look at bridesmaids dresses, again often they're available in ivory or white for a lot less money.  You get what you pay for but, sometimes it's worth cutting the corners in those kinds of places, so don't look for a wedding caterer or wedding venue, look for an event venue or that sort of thing.


TPL: What is The Gathering, seen on your website? 

ES: Again, when I was planning my wedding, I was not someone who sat and dreamed about my wedding day, I actually wanted to elope and not make a big deal out if it.  My husband and I are both pretty introverted, so the idea of standing in front of people was not something that either of us was really excited about, so yeah, I wasn't someone who had it all figured out beforehand.  So when I was planning my wedding, I didn't want to talk to my best friends about it constantly, I felt obnoxious because it was the only thing that I could talk about for while because I was in the middle of planning it and not that they gave me any impression that I couldn't talk to them about it, I just felt annoying.  And, so it kind of got to a point where I felt a little isolated in this "wedding planning world" that I didn't want to annoy anyone with.  So I was thinking about that one day - actually I had the same reaction planning my business; I didn't want to talk about it constantly.  So that it what made me start The Gathering, because I was having that feeling again, of feeling isolated and I just thought, if you have bunch of brides that are all going through the same thing, maybe they can help each other out, and just have a sounding board for advice or just complain about your future mother-in-law who is driving you crazy, and it's just a safe place to do all that stuff with people that are in the same point in the process.  So you can elect to join the group for a very small fee and it's just on Facebook, if you are a bride of Glitter&Grit, if you purchased your wedding dress here, you are automatically invited to the group.  It seems really helpful for people who are out of town, like girls who don't live in Pittsburgh right now but are getting married here, I think they've had a lot of help from the group, figuring out vendors, and just general recommendations for stuff, no ones really complained too much at this point.

NEXT "DRESS UP" PARTY
August 14th 6pm-9pm
5300 Butler St. Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Website: http://www.glitterandgritpgh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlitterAndGRit








7.24.2014

STYLE | Summer Spectacles: Warby Parker Releases the Beacon Line


How's your Summer going so far? Has it been filled with cookouts, outdoor concerts and weekend getaways, or maybe it's been busy and productive, or perhaps it's been peaceful and lackadaisical- a good time for reflection?  I love how spontaneous Summer is, you really don't have to make any plans, the days seem to unravel into impromptu adventures and unforgettable moments.  Time seems to slow down, lazy afternoons turn into mischievous evenings that extend into gorgeous sun rises - Summer is magical no matter what kind of effort you put into it.

It is that very essence that set the theme of socially conscious eye wear designer Warby Parker's Summer 2014 Beacon Collection.  Hiding behind your shades after a rough night is now chic as the Beacon Collection lends itself to impromptu, can't-duplicate-them-all-nighters, when having no plans brings endless possibilities.  The collection mixes upbeat retro styles with classic clean lines and colors. Perfect for maintaining your "cool" on those transitional Summer nights that turn into early Summer mornings.

Take a look at their beautiful Beacon Collection Editorial.  Here are some of my favorites.....


"McKee" Moonstone Frames

"Garett" Oak Barrel Frames



"Nancy" Sunglasses in Tourmaline



"Ingram" TopDown Sunglasses in Tiger Tortoise



"Garret" Topdown Sunglasses in Blue Slate Fade



"Nancy" Sunglasses in Lemon

"McKee" Frames in Whiskey Tortoise
"Ingram" Sunglasses in Revolver Black


Check out Warby Parker's Site HERE 

Click HERE for Eyeglasses

Click HERE for Sunglasses

Photo Source: Warby Parker
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