The Look | Springtime Sneak Peak: ModCloth "Day at the Parade" Dress

Oh I am SO over this Polar Vortex nonsense.  The best thing to do at this point is to push through it and hope for an early Spring.  I've been daydreaming a lot about what I'll be wearing this Spring and only one thing comes to mind: color.  I'm usually more of a neutral type girl, but this year I plan on adding pops of color and more prints to my wardrobe.

 My friends at ModCloth have given me a colorful sneak peak at one of their newest pieces; a fresh, bright, sunny dress perfect for any early Spring event that you might be attending.  Pair this with a colorful cardigan and some darling accessories and watch your Winter blues melt away.

I made this look for ModCloth's "Uniquely You" Campaign.  Tell me what you think!

Be sure to check out ModCloth for more gorgeous Springtime apparel.
ModCloth Day at the Parade Dress

Cable cardigan

Fancy footwear

Chain purse

Ivory jewelry

Gold pendant necklace


Cat eye sunglasses

Lime Crime lip stain


5 Things | Anti Gyms

How's that New Years resolution working out for you? Did you vow to go to the gym everyday, meet your goal weight and never set foot in a fast food place ever again as long as you live!?  Sorry.  I think weight resolutions are a bit overrated because we punish ourselves by taking the fun out of being fit.  Some people are lucky enough to really enjoy the gym, they have the focus and the determination to go slave away on a treadmill for an hour, but for others, it's incredibly hard to get motivated to workout especially when you don't necessarily enjoy it. Enjoying your workout might actually prove to be more beneficial than working out the way you think you should or the way everyone tells you to.  If you enjoy it, you'll be more excited to go and therefore do it more often, which in turn means you're getting more exercise thus sculpting that bikini body you want! So here are 5 fun ways to get a workout in without ever having to join a gym!

1. Pure Barre
Who doesn't want a dancer's body?  By utilizing ballet barre exercises, yoga influences and isometric movements, Pure Barre can turn you into a lean, mean, fit machine. Don't think for a moment that just because it's dance influenced, that it's easy, this class will kick your butt (but hey, at least it does wonders for it!)

2. Black Yoga

Too cool for the gym? Do green juice sipping yogis annoy the hell out of you? Then check out Black Yoga, it's Vinyasa yoga set to drone, noise, stoner metal, industrial music and other kinds of transient, dark yet relaxing music.  I had the pleasure of taking this class once and it was AWESOME!  Best thing about it was, we did this in the dark, which really helped clear my mind and set a very relaxing mood. This is a traveling yoga class so to find the one nearest you, click here for more info.

3. C.S. Kim Karate

Get in shape and learn how to kick some serious butt! Martial arts is one of the oldest techniques out there, incorporating discipline and spiritual determination.  C.S. Kim Karate has been in Pittsburgh since the 70's and has established themselves as one of the best and largest martial arts schools in PA.  With 13 locations, each school is mastered by black belts and who have received personal training by master Kim and have been certified by the International Tang Soo Do Federation.  Click here for more info.

4. Fitness With a Twist 

Channel your inner sex kitten with pole dancing classes - yep, you heard me - pole dancing is actually a great workout! It requires a lot of arm and leg strength and provides an amazing aerobic workout.  Not only will you feel the benefits on your body, but it could make you feel sexier and boost your confidence (or it'll make you feel silly and you'll just laugh it off anyway because you're having so much fun).  Located in South Side and in Greensburg, Fitness With a Twist, puts a whole new meaning to pole dancing and it's great for fun group workouts - grab your friends and drop it like it's hot. Check out their website for more details.

5. Pittsburgh Dance Center
With a plethora of dance styles to choose from, the Pittsburgh Dance Center is a studio that can take you anywhere from aerial silk trapeze to graceful ballroom dancing, to energetic salsa, to fist pumping hip-hop.  They have classes 7 days a week and are located in Bloomfield. There's something for everyone and anyone interested in dance.  So put on your dancing shoes, you'll be burning calories before you know it!

Cover pic: blisstree.com


PGH Spotlight: Tami Dixon Brings South Side History to Life

Tami Dixon considers herself to be somewhat of an anthropologist of human life, "digging through our human experience in figuring out how it is to survive and live." When she moved to the South Side  slopes, she became so enthralled with the community, that she began researching it and unveiling the history and vivacity of a steel making town and the people in it. She collected interviews and stories, studied and memorized their characters, and weaved them into her 75 minute one-woman-show South Side Stories.

Dixon is a  powerhouse of a creator with a repertoire that includes playwright, actress, CMU acting alumni, director and co-founder of Bricolage Theater. She spent 10 years in New York City "doing the things actors do," as Dixon puts it, before meeting her husband Jeffery Carpenter, founder of Bricolage Theater and coming to Pittsburgh. As a Cleveland native, Dixon said that she resonated with Pittsburgh almost instantaneously. "I'm from a blue collared city [Cleveland], I'm from a city with an industrial past, I'm from a city that has reinvented itself or in terms of Cleveland that has sort of struggled, for a while about identity, about who you are after your industry fails or disappears, and salt of earth people, people who are hard working, people who work hard, drink hard, play hard, people who love their sports.  So Pittsburgh resonated with me immediately, I felt a connection the moment I arrived and the more I started exploring this community the more I was fascinated by my community specifically which is the Southside."

"The view I have [from her home] is pretty incredible, and I think that 50-60 years ago, it wasn't that view,  it was a lot of pollution and a lot of black smoke and the mill took up 150 acres down on the flats and everyday 15,000 men and women came out of those mills from making the steel that built the rest of our country," said Dixon. She wondered about the components that made up the South Side we know today; how a community can go from a flourishing industrial revolution to a place that is now obsolete.

"I'm just really curious about human beings.  I always have been, I'm interested in their story. I feel like we're sort of wounded people and I wanted to know more about these people."  She utilizes her artistic talents as both a playwright and actress to transform herself into the interesting people of South Side, translating their stories and bringing them to life.

This is the last week to see South Side Stories, showing Wednesday through Sunday.  To find out more information on the show click HERE.

cover pic: pop city media


THE LOOK | How to Achieve the Perfect Blowout: From the Ladies at Swank Hair Studio

You would think that a tousled, messy, bed head looking do is a simple thing to achieve because it looks and moves so effortlessly. But seldom do I put my blow dryer down, look at my hair and think "Wow" and absolutely love it.  In fact I usually finish drying my hair and think "Ugh, what a mess."  My hair is naturally thick and wavy - before you start to envy, know that it takes me almost 30 minutes to dry it and an additional 15 -20 to flat iron it!  This past Sunday, I was invited to a blogging event held at Swank Hair Studio on Butler St. for their Stylish Sunday, where I was given the best blowout ever and scored some tips on how to achieve that sexy, voluminous, effortless look.

Swank is a cool, boutique style hair studio in Lawrenceville.  From the moment I walked in I felt right at home; they had cool music playing (love me some 90's R&B), great snacks to munch on and a very friendly staff who treated me more like a girlfriend coming over rather than a "client." I wasn't afraid of what was about to happen to my head but more excited and intrigued.

Melissa (Master Stylist), let me in on her secrets to getting the ultimate blowout.  She first prepped my hair with Velvet Amplifier from Wella for smoothness.


Then spitzed it with some Volupt Spray by Sebastian for volume.

And then added a healthy dollop of Mousse Forte by Sebastian for hold.

After making my part - which lately I've been wearing a little more on the left side - Melissa took her 400 round brush and told me that the trick is to grab about 1 inch segments at a time and pull the hair up and blow dry from room to tip, drying the hair around the barrel of the brush. Once the segment is dry, she twisted the hair at the end so (so it almost looked like a dread lock) and then left it alone to cool.  This gave the hair that pretty S curl that creates bounce and movement.  She did this to my entire head.

And Voila!

My hair was smooth, bouncy and touchable all day!

I highly recommend going to see these ladies for a relaxing, great experience!  And for you bloggers out there, check them out on a #stylishsunday for their #bloggerblowouts!


Layering 101: 8 Tricks to Bundling Up and Looking Cute

Brrrr!!!!! It is fuh-reezing! In weather like this, the last thing you're probably thinking about is looking cute.  Hate to break it you, but this is Pittsburgh, the temperature may rise a little, but Winter is here to stay for at least another 2 months.  So the whole "It's too cold to care" attitude may get a little old after a while.  But there is a science to looking fabulous and having a completely sensible, warm and weather proof outfit that I think Pittsburgh has adopted over the years.  Without further ado, here are 8 tricks to dressing fabulously for a Pittsburgh Winter.

1 - Wear tights under your pants

Tights by Monki (ASOS
The thicker the better.  It doesn't matter if its in a crazy print or color (it adds a little fun if anything), no one will see them and your legs will thank you. 

2 - Knee High Socks

Now you have your tights (layer 1), your pants (layer 2), your regular socks (layer 3) and now a pair of cute knee highs (layer 4).  Allow them to peep over your boots for a sexy, multi-layered look. 

3 - Wear colorful scarves


Sometimes a little color is what you need to brighten up the dark grey, navy, and blacks of the typical winter wardrobe.  Find a big and soft scarf to wrap around your neck in colors that flatter your eyes, skin and hair. Extra trick:  I usually cover my chest with a layer of the scarf and then wrap the rest around my neck to keep my chest warm.

4 - Get these

YakTrax are ice traction devices that you can take on and off of your boots and shoes.  Just slip them on before you leave and then take them off as soon as you get inside.  These will prevent you from slipping on snow and ice. 

5 - Wear your hat under your hoods

Whipping winds and cell phone calls are a hoods worst enemy.  Put your favorite beanie on under your hood so that when you must remove your hood your head is still warm - essential for fending off a cold. 

6 - Camis under all your tops


Camis act as barrier between you and the itchy wool of your sweater and adds just another layer to help keep you warm. Keep an arsenal of neutral colored ones to wear under anything. 

7 - Wear lined gloves  

It pays to spend just a little more money on thicker, warmer gloves that are lined with warmer materials like cashmere, fleece or fur.  There's nothing worse than frozen hands. 

8 - Know how to use your coat


Your coat doesn't have all those buttons, drawstrings and pockets for nothing.  Everything serves a purpose.  Most winter coats have a drawstring in the hood to pull it tighter so it won't slip off and there's usually one at the bottom of the coat too for a tighter, warmer fit.  There might be buttons on the collar for extra bundling.  Explore your coat and all the little gadgets it has on it, betcha you'll feel warmer the next time you wear it.

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