Thursday, January 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday | Days of Smog

University of Pittsburgh, 1941 (prettymotherearth)
Once upon a time in the Steel City, there was so much smog in the air that it could block out the afternoon sun.  A British author even said it was "without exclusion may be the blackest location I ever saw."  Since that time there have been many laws and regulations that have caused the air quality to improve significantly.  Though we  aren't  quite at a "Happily Ever After" point in our air quality we can at least be safe knowing that we don't come home covered in soot!
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday | Ways to Stay Warm and Have Fun in Pittsburgh

The months preceding the holidays are anything but exciting; no more fun holiday parties to look forward to, school has begun and work is back to normal, we've completely deprived ourselves of any unhealthy indulgence in effort to "better ourselves," and to top it's freezing! It's easy to get into a rut during this time of year, but that shouldn't stop us from having fun and spending time with friends and loved ones.  Snow is only fun when it's fresh and there's a lot of it, but what's there to do once it's turned into black slush and the temperature is a grizzly 10 degrees?  Here are five very fun (and mostly healthy) things to do in Pittsburgh that you can do to stay warm and get out of your Winter funk.  Enjoy!


1- Hot Yoga

Don't let Winter stress get the best of you.  Relax your mind and rejuvenate your body with bikram (hot) yoga which is designed to move fresh oxygenated blood to every cell, as well as work the spine where the nervous system operates, therefore stimulating your nerves and restoring them to their natural order.  You will feel warm, mellow and above all, better about yourself after just taking one class.  There are several places in Pittsburgh that provide hot yoga (click on any of the links for price listings and schedules): Bikram Yoga in the Strip, Yoga Flow (Shadyside, Aspinwall, Murrysville and South Hills), and Amazing Yoga (Shadyside, South Side, and Wexford).   

(Pittsburgh Magazine)

2- Try A Smoked Cocktail

Imagine being able to enjoy the comforts of a bonfire as a drink - that's what Industry Public House in Lawrenceville is serving up as their signature cocktail called "The Smokestack."  Bourbon, maple syrup, and a dab of bitters is mixed together and then smoked with either apple, cherry or mesquite wood which is torched above the drink to give it an extra special warm and smokey flavor.  Industry Public House has a modern industrial feel that pays a perfect homage to Pittsburgh's working-man heritage with steel bar stools, open brick walls, mining lights, classic rib-stickin' menu options, and huge list of specialty whiskey.   Try Industry the next time you're looking for a new place to hang out.  Click HERE to visit their site.


3- Bust a New Move

Sometimes the club just isn't the best place to go in the winter.  They play the same thing we hear on the radio everyday and honestly, who can pull off a short cocktail dress and stiletto pumps when it's freezing rain outside and you've had one too many drinks? The next time you feel like getting your groove on, try a smaller venue that's following a specific theme for music and dance. You'd be surprised how "into it" people get and how many people attend, so it's a great way to stay warm among the body heat and meet interesting people.  Surprisingly, you can catch a salsa night on almost everyday of the week in various places in Pittsburgh.  Learn some spicy salsa moves to get your heart pumping and your temperature rising- check out Salsa Pittsburgh HERE. Do the Jitterbug with Swing City who has a swing dance party every Saturday night in Squirrel Hill. Or try the Brillobox when they host their monthly PANDEMIC DJ Dance Party which focuses on Balkan, gypsy, Nordic, and Slavic dance music (the next one is Feb 1st).


4 - Climb the Walls

Do the slow, cold Winter days have you wanting to "climb the walls?"  Well then give it a go at The Climbing Wall at The Factory which specializes in bouldering, top-roping, and sport lead climbing.  It has over 14.000 square feet in climbing terrain and a very helpful and professional staff there to maintain a safe yet fun environment.  There's something for all levels of climbers and has path which are color coated to match your skillset.  It's amazing the sense of accomplishment you get when you reach the top! Check out their prices HERE.


5 - Get Blown Away

Create something beautiful and stay nice and toasty while doing it at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.  Their Hot Shop studio is one of the top facilities in the world with fully equipped shop benches, glory holes, pipes and hand tools to create something quite spectacular.  The Pittsburgh Glass Center offers classes for all levels of glass blowing that are flexible enough to meet anyone's schedule.  They also offer open studio time for those who have taken classes in the hot or warm shop.  It's a great way to learn an interesting new trade, make something special and gain a warm Winter hobby.  More info on PGC HERE
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday | WAMO Interviews Dr. King 1966

"The Rev Dr. Martin Luther King in Pittsburgh" [Interviewing with WAMO] 1966 - The Digs 
This week we celebrated not only the second inauguration of President Barrack Obama, but also the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Both men have made giant steps in history, both fought (and still fight) for equality, and both were and are amazing speakers, drawing thousands to come hear them speak.  According to the 1966 article in the Post Gazette "Speaking in solemn, sometimes poetic tones, Dr. King said that 'if the United States could spend 24 billion dollars a year to fight the war in Vietnam and almost as much to put a man on the moon, then billions could be spent to upgrade the Negro. Some people are more concerned with winning the war in Vietnam than they are about winning the war on poverty right here at home.' Dr. King ended his speech on an optimistic note: ' Despite current problems in the civil rights movement, white backlash and black power, I still have faith in the future.'"  As far as we've come from then until today, we still see hate in so many ways.  2012 had too many displays of hatred and violence.  What do you think Dr. King would think about society today?

You have read this article Dr. Martin Luther King in Pittsburgh / Martin Luther King Day / Pittsburgh 1966 / Pittsburgh in the 60's / The Digs / The Digs Pittsburgh Post Gazette / Throwback Thursday / WAMO 1966 with the title January 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

STYLE | January 2013 Editorial | Speakeasy Style

2012 was the year for experimenting; fun colors that ombred and "rainbowed", interesting patterns, opposing hemlines, teased out bedroom hair and impractical  "ghost" heels.  We have definitely reached a futuristic plateau as far as fashion goes.  However, in the midst of our futuristic fashion voyage, we have somewhat lost a sense of class and elegance.  That is why 2013 must the year that we polish our shoes, comb our hair, bust out the classic jewelry and get dressed up again.  You know, the kind of head turning, jaw dropping, glittering glamour like they had back in the "good ol' days" of the 1920's.

 The 20's were very much a revolutionary period in fashion history, much like the phase we're going through now. Coco Chanel released her line of chic jersey jumpers with eye-popping hemlines and tomboyish waistlines, the girls bobbed their hair, wore lipstick and smoked cigarettes. It was all about breaking rules and having fun in an economically harsh time - and isn't that what we're all about now?  So where did the flappers, gangsters, guys and dolls go for a good time back in the day?  To the Speakeasy of course - and that's exactly where we decided to have our shoot this time.

A secluded space used as storage space for decades, the Speakeasy has been restored into its former historic glory. In true 1920s tradition, Pittsburgh's only Speakeasy is tucked beneath the hotel lobby on the William Penn Level within the depths of the Omni.  “We are very excited to showcase another aspect of this hotel’s history to our guests and patrons” said Eric DeStefano, general manager of the Omni William Penn Hotel.  “The intimacy and classic beauty of the Speakeasy provides another unique venue for our guests to enjoy.”

The elegantly nostalgic and intimate space will feature exclusive elixirs such as Absinthe, along with other classic cocktails of the era. Innovative drinks with classic roots are the stars of the menu—from the Blood and Sand to the Light’s Out martini, and, of course, an Old Fashioned. The full bar includes top-shelf aged scotch and bourbon, smooth enough to delight any gangster.  Fourteen fine wines, ranging from California to Bordeaux, finish off the menu. Guys and dolls accustomed to Omni’s superior service will not be disappointed, as bartenders clad in nostalgic garb from the age of jazz provide service beyond expectations. 

Visually, the Speakeasy references the noir era with plush scarlet seating surrounded by lavish flocked wall covering, topped by a tin roof remains true to Pittsburgh’s classic elegance and prohibition discretion. Dark and sensual, cozy and private —Speakeasy is the ultimate urban getaway.  

Teal Beaded Dress by Parker ($374)

Black Pearl Cocktail Dress by Alice + Olivia ($495)

Black Flapper Dress by Alice + Olivia ($396)

Black Fur Coat by Alice + Olivia ($597), Jazzlyn Dress by Elizabeth and James ($363)

Silver Gown by Teri John ($950)

Grey Flapper Dress by Parker ($308)


Robert Tre Hester III

This is my 4th photo shoot with Robert and he never fails to bring so much charisma and creativity to the shoot.  He is always inspiring me and constantly encouraging me to do my best.  I LOVE working with Robert.  Check out Robert's website HERE

Hair and Makeup
Josh Rudy

Josh works miracles!  He can whip up a hair do and build your face in a matter of minutes!  He is always coming up with wonderful ideas and we have such a great chemistry together.  Josh's schedule keeps getting more full with shoots and fashion shows so be sure to get a hold of him quick if you need his services!

Allyn Lewis
Allyn Lewis is 22 years old.  She is quite the local celebrity in Pittsburgh!  She's been in tons of fashion shows and local photo shoots.  Check out here fan page HERE.  

Maria Evankovich
Maria is 16, she has modeled for Glady's Magazine, Carlisle's Bridal of Pittsburgh Fashion Show, and tons of other shoots and shows in the Pittsburgh area.  

Tori Mistick
When Tori Mistick isn't modeling, she also works for the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, as well as runs her own business called Marketing With Style.  She is an entrepreneur at its finest and loads of fun to work with on set! 

                 All clothing was provided by E.B. Pepper - A VERY Special Thank You!!!
Check out their blog:

A VERY Special Thank You to the Omni William Penn Hotel for allowing us to use Speakeasy for the day!!!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top 5 Tuesday | STYLE | Hair Salons


The process of finding the right salon can be a very time consuming and terrifying thing.  It can take a lot of bad experiences to get to one you actually like.  There are a lot of factors in picking out the perfect salon: price, atmosphere, treatments, services, ect.  Some just like a simple salon that gets you in and out quickly, others like the whole full service salons complete with a makeup counter and spa.  Here are my Top 5 Favorite salons in Pittsburgh - hope these help you find the perfect salon for the New Year!!! 

  • Nadia Salon
This is one of the most unique salons in Pittsburgh!  If you're looking for something with an edge, a truly understanding stylist, and a relaxing experience without the gossipy gaggle in the background, this is your place.  Nadia Salon provides a cool, laid-back atmosphere with a very interesting (and good looking) staff.  Nadia is owned and operated by a very creative and talented group of men who are hip to all the newest and coolest style and color trends. They offer services such as Keratin treatments, facial waxing, Balyage highlighting.   Make your next appointment with Nadia Salon HERE.  


  • MCN
MCN Salon is a beautiful salon located in Shadyside that specializes in curly hair, extensions, and special ceremony styles.  This is a great salon to go to if you have curly hair or are in desperate need of some hair R&R.  They provide conditioning and clarifying treatments, relaxing treatments, and curl enhancing treatments.  Check out MCN HERE


  • Pageboy Salon and Boutique
This a one-stop shop for someone looking for an entirely new and updated look; at Pageboy Salon and Boutique you can get your hair and makeup done and then pick out a cute outfit at their vintage boutique in the front - you can literally come out of there with a complete makeover!  Located in Lawrenceville, Pageboy is a darling little hipster-esque salon and boutique that specializes in  unique haircuts, color glazing, hair extensions, and bridal makeup services.  Find out more info on Pageboy HERE


  • Salon Christine 
Salon Christine is a beautiful Aveda salon located in Lawrenceville.  It specializes in green, theraputic treatments that go beyond just your normal conditioning treatments.  Salon Christine tantilizes all five senses to bring you to your highest spiritual peak.  This is truly a unique experience that goes  beyond the normal salon venture!  Check out Salon Chrisine HERE


  • Sognatore Salon and Spa 
Sognatore Salon and Spa is "Pittsburgh's Premiere Blowdry Bar!"  Located in Downtown, Sognatore offers blowdry and style specials, Kerastase treatment blowdry, and Brazilian blowouts.  They also offer multidimensional hair coloring, special occasion styling, mani/pedi services, and makeup application.  Their Spa services are an impressive menu that includes an Adam and Eve Spa Package (one for male, one for female), hot stone massage, exfoliation treatments, herbal skin treatments, and an Arctic algea treatment.  Perfect place to relax!  Check out Sognatore HERE
You have read this article Best Salons in Pittsburgh / MCN Salon / Nadia Salon / Pageboy Salon / Pittsburgh Hair Salons / Pittsburgh Salons and Spas / Salon Christine / Salons in Pittsburgh / Sognatore Salon with the title January 2013. You can bookmark this page URL Thanks!
Friday, January 4, 2013

Foto Friday | MUSIC | The Yes Way

The Yes Way (Isadora) at Shadow Lounge by Janine Bonilla

Last Summer, I met a great band from NYC called The Yes Way as they were making their way around the country.  I snapped this picture of them at the Shadow Lounge - one of my favorite spots to see live music!! They have since then changed their name to Isadora and have been featured in magazines such as Interview and W.  Oh how I miss live music in the Summer....

Foto Friday is a way to highlight local photographers - If you are interested in featuring YOUR photography on Foto Friday, please submit your photo as well as a small paragraph about yourself along with contact info to:

It must be your own work and has to be conducive to either style, music, art, or culture in Pittsburgh - be creative! 

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday | MUSIC | The Days When Journey Rocked

"Journey Rocks the Civic Arena" - The Digs (10.19.86)

To this day it's still impossible to NOT hear "Don't Stop Believin" while you're out in Pittsburgh.  This photo was taken by Carol Morton in 1986 at the Civic Arena.
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