Monday, August 22, 2016

Outfit of the Day!

top: Forever 21 // skit: h&m // shoes: Shoe Department // Necklaces: Forever 21 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This Weekend I:

Watched: the Office for the first in a while and it was even funnier than I remember! 
Listened: to my mom and best friend talk about Pokemon Go
Learned: how to play Pokemon Go
Ate: homemade cake with chocolate mint icing
Read: this month's book club book, Fates and Furies
Drank: a Tokyo Drift from Hidden Harbor 
Thought: how great it was that my best friend visited me from DC 
Wished: that the weekend was one day longer
Realized: August is flying by! 
Bought: tacos from Qdoba :p 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Caffeine Kick: Commonplace Coffee

Good morning! I hope everyone's morning has been great and your mug is full of coffee!

I recently had the chance to try out Commonplace Coffee in Squirrel Hill. The cute shop is located right on Forbes with plenty of street parking around it. In my experience, seating at local coffee shops is scarce, so my friend and I were a bit nervous about finding seats the weekend that we checked the place out. Thankfully, there were quite a few outdoor tables so we got one right away! 

After putting our stuff down on our table, we headed up to the bar to order our drinks. The menu was much larger than I expected with flavors and different coffee beans to choose from. My friend got an iced chai (pictured below) and I got a hand poured coffee called Kenya, Gucienda. My coffee was described as having a juicy, full bodied flavor with hints of lemon and stewed tomatoes. I found that description to be oddly delicious sounding so I couldn't pass it up. In addition to my coffee, I also got a cinnamon coffee cake. The flavor of my two item went perfectly together! It was just enough sugar and just enough caffeine to keep me shopping at the Avalon Exchange all afternoon. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hope's Pick: Kylie Jenner Lipkit

I am unashamed to say that I am big fan of Kylie Jenner. Even so, whether you like Kylie Jenner or not, if you like lipstick, you should give Kylie Cosmetics a try! The prices are a little steep but pretty much on par with Kat Von D and other luxury brands. 

When they first came out, I knew I had to give it a try! I decided to go with 22 and Dolce so that I could see how she did her nudes and how she did her bright colors. Despite reading online that the shipping would take longer than a month, I received my lipkits (lip liner + liquid matte lipstick) within a week of ordering them. They were packaged in a cute box and made me feel like it was money well spent before I even tried them on.

Thankfully, after trying them on, I felt even more confident in my purchase! They are the only lipsticks that last the whole work day without having to be touched up. The colors are a bit different than I had thought because of my skin tone but they still are amazing. 22 is actually more red on me than what I saw on the Kylie Cosmetics Instagram so I like it even more than I expected! I wear it at least 2 times a week...I feel like they put my other lipsticks to shame. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Good Eating: The Vandal

As everyone knows, Lawrenceville is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. One of the main reasons I love it is because there is always something new to try out: a new flavored latte, a new pastry, a new vintage shop, or even a new restaurant! 

While I was living in Chicago, The Vandal opened up right on Butler. When I first saw it, I thought it should be in LA and knew I had to stop by asap! 

As soon as you spot it, it just has that California cool feel to it. The feeling starts when you see there are palms are on each side of the door. No only that but, it has huge windows that allow tons of sun to come into the small seating area. 

My friends and I decided to go for Saturday for brunch so we knew it would be busy. Thankfully, we only waited 15 minutes for a table. While we waited we got cold brews from the bar and checked out the pop up shop they had out back. It was great! 

After some confusion from the waiter explaining the dishes, we had to decide what we wanted to try out. It was quite difficult to pick just one thing to try for brunch but I ended up getting the Soft Scramble with a latte. Everything tasted amazing and so fresh! 

I was a bit turned off because of the odd/awkward way the waiter answered our questions about the menu but think it deserves another try! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

High Five for Friday!

  1. This week Jack and I were being extra goofy :) Surprisingly he loved his hair like this and kept it in for a while!
  2. The goofiness may have come from the weird weather we had this day it was freezing and the next it was 70. It was so strange but I loved the sunny days! 
  3. What could make any week better? A strawberry milkshake! #yum
  4. Seeing the flowers bloom around the city is the best. All the colors change the feel of each neighborhood and street. 
  5. Today I wore a casual outfit and brought out my new Queen t-shirt! I honestly felt like a killer queen all day at work because of it. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Exploring: Lawrenceville

Hi, hello! 

I have been home nearly two months...isn't that crazy? My transition back has been amazing. These past few weeks I have mostly just been enjoying relaxing at home and being with my friends and family.  But with the change of weather, however, I am ready to get back to exploring! Pittsburgh was rated amongst the top foodie cities in 2015  and now we are on the list of cities about to be famous...again. So...rather than just reading about it, I figured I should head out to one of the hippest parts of town, Lawrenceville! 

Recently my friend Deanna and I headed to Lawrenceville to explore for the whole day. It was just awesome to walk around with no real destination in mind. We ended up going into three places that we had never been to before:

1) The Butterwood Bake Consortium- This bakery is a dream inside. I wanted to take a photo of every corner (and I did so there will be a whole post about this place coming up, hehe). They have a full coffee bar and tons of sweets to choose from! 

2) Von Walter & Funk- The first thing I have to say about this place is that Zoe Deschanel would love it! It is filled with quirky, slightly whimsical items for every room of your house. I ended up just buying a card but cannot wait to go back and explore a little more. 

3) Who New Retro Mod Decor- Last but not least, this antique vintage shop was so cool. They had tons of midcentury modern pieces that I want to buy for my future apartment. Not only that but they also had some vintage hats and purses that were very tempting and well-priced. 

After all of our window shopping, I had to take some pictures of Deanna. Lawrenceville is filled with cute back streets and colored walls. This pink one matched Deanna's sunnies perfectly so I made her my model for at least 15 minutes. 

This day was just perfect. With no expectations or plan, we ended up finding some spots that I had never knew were there...aren't those days always the best?

Next time I head over to Lawrenceville, I have been dying to check out The Vandal or Morcilla so keep checking back! 

Friday, March 18, 2016

High Five for Friday!

  1. My view from the office is brilliant and for some reason it always looks a little nicer on Fridays than it does on Mondays :) 
  2. I am cilantro obsessed! I love it so so so much. I can't wait to try this cilantro pesto recipe soon. 
  3. That's me with my favorite necklace on. I bought it from Forever 21 on a whim a couple of weeks ago and can't bring myself to wear any other necklace since. 
  4. Spending time with Jack is the highlight of my day! Watching him grow and change day to day makes me so happy and reminds me I made the right decision to leave Chicago. 
  5. I can't wait to go to this #SteelCityMeet! I always enjoy going and to make me even more excited the theme is portraits (my favorite thing to shoot)! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Flashback Friday: My London apartment

Blimey! It seems like ages and ages ago that I was in London. I was sorting through my drafted posts the other day and found this gem. I can't believe I never shared a post about my London flat. 

First off, here are the basics: 

  • It was located in Farringdon which is central London
  • There were 7 girls living here (including me) 
  • Three bedrooms
  • Two bathrooms

So as you can see this place was very modern. I loved the design and the open feel that the windows gave it. The kitchen was very functional. It even had a hidden washer/dryer combo behind one of the lower cabinets. 

I honestly didn't spend too much time in the living room because it was very crowded with all of us in there. However, I did get to enjoy a few episodes of Made in Chelsea in there :) 

The best part of the apartment, hands down, was the location. We had a great view of the city including the Shard and St. Paul's Cathedral (if you squint you can see them in the picture below). Not only that but it was very easy to get to every part of London. We were on the circle line and the central line and one stop away from King's Cross.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all great. It was a very packed apartment with too small of bathrooms. To make things worse, we got mice halfway through the semester so in total it was 7 girls and 2 mice in what felt like a very cramped apartment. 

Even with its flaws, I would go back in a second! I sometimes still walk my commute to my internship on google maps or in my head when I am really missing it. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Outfit of the day!!

(Dress: Primark Coat: Forever 21 Tights: Marshalls Shoes: Aldo Sunnies: Forever 21) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Good Eating: Smallman Galley

Good morning! 

How is everyone's week going so far?

The other day my sister took me out for my birthday lunch and it was fabulous! She picked me up from work in town and headed straight to the Strip. I knew she was taking me to the Smallman Galley but I didn't know how cool this place was. 

As one Yelp review described it, the concept is a chef incubator. There were four different places to choose from with their own unique menus:
  1. Carota Cafe
  2. Josephine's Toast
  3. Aubergine Bistro 
  4. Provision PGH  

Annie and I decided to try the sloppy joe's from Aubergine Bistro. They were delicious and the plate of two sandwiches was enough for us to split. Plus, they came with a pear salad on the side that was AMAZING! Being pears you would think that it would be a sweet salad but it was savory and simply delicious. We also got the avocado toast and nutella s'mores toast from Josephine's Toast. Minus the fact that we ordered pretty much all gluten, the meal was awesome! 

To be honest, my favorite part of the restaurant was the actual building. The Smallman Galley is a massive space in the Strip. The walls have exposed brick, there is plenty of seating and the lighting is just great. 

Overall, I can't wait to come back and try out the other restaurants and grab a drink at the bar! I love that places like this are in Pittsburgh and can't wait to see more coming. 

Smallman Galley
54 21st Street 
Pittsburgh, Pa 15222

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Outfit of the day!!

Top: h&m
Sweater: Target
Pants: Forever 21
Sneakers: Plato's Closet 
Socks: Primark
Phone Case: Made by Wallflower

Monday, February 22, 2016

Caffeine Kick: Black Forge

Hello there! Happy Monday! 

Since Black Forge opened last year, I have been dying to go! It seemed like as soon as they opened, their Yelp and Instagram pages were full of amazing photos. Recently, I have had the chance to make the short trek over to Allentown and try it out with my brother-in-law. 

Just like Arnold's Tea, I was shocked at how many seats there were to choose from. However, it was different from the other Pittsburgh coffee shops that I have been to, in the sense that it was a lot edgier. The dark colors, art covered walls, and music gave this place a grungier vibe that felt very refreshing. 

I went a little rogue when ordering and got a coconut was very sweet but overall delicious! My brother-in-law had their cold brew (his usual) and LOVED IT! The only thing I didn't like was the had a weird texture but I think that is just me, haha. 

Overall, I can't wait to go back! I love that they have monthly event calendars. I will definitely be checking out their open mic night and a brunch hard event! 

Black Forge 
1206 Arlington Ave
Pittsburgh, Pa 15210

What I ordered: a large coconut mocha
What I am going to get next time: cold brew

Friday, February 19, 2016

Chicago Round Up!

Well, hello there. Despite the fact that I left Chicago to move back to Pittsburgh, there were still some elements and experiences of the city that I enjoyed! With that in mind, here are my top favorite moments from my time in Chicago:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Good Eating: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

Hi, hello!!

I recently got the chance to try out the super-popular Gaucho Parrilla Argentina in the Strip District and it was amazing! I was so happy to see that I had tried out at least one restaurant on Yelp's list of 100 Places to Eat in the US. Gaucho was number 7 and it definitely deserves the spot!!

After waiting in line for about 15 minutes (we went right at noon), Annie and I decided to order a couple of small plates so we were able to try out more than just one dish! It was very hard to choose only three things to order but we decided on: provoletta (toast with provolone and arugula), rosemary braised beef con pan, and lastly we got 2 turkey empanadas. My favorite was definitely the provoletta. There was just such a good combination of flavors and textures! 

I can't wait to go back and get some more photos of the awesome decor they have! Be sure to go to the bathroom while you are there...the floor is gorgeous! 

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina
1601 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, Pa 15222