July 29, 2016
It’s Friday! Let’s get on to an all-new Week in Tweets before we blink ours eyes and it’s time to go back to work!
5) courtney (@CourtneySanto)
Could someone please tell me why the Thong Song is in my head????
Maybe it’s because you like to dance on the hip-hop spots and cruise to the groove like connect the dots?
4) Untastic Mr. Fitz (@UnFitz)
If I say “I’m pretty,” it’s not narcissism. I just haven’t quite finished a sentence that will eventually end with “tired.”
3 – tie) katrina (@ohhkatrina)
there have got to be more alternate spellings of “Caitlyn” than any other name in the world. I can’t keep up.
Real American Dadass (@R_A_Dadass)
You can tell a lot about a person by the name they choose for their baby.
My wife is expecting a baby girl in November and we’ve narrowed it down to four choices – Rose, Dorothy, Sophia or Blanche…
2) WendyDarling (@wendchymes)
I’m gonna open a gym in my home for millennials and charge them to do fitness challenges like-
Swiffer the stairs or empty the dishwasher.
You should also make them pay you to wax your car and paint your house and call it a karate class!
2) Damien Owens (@OwensDamien)
I hear you, Sanders supporters who plan to vote Trump. One time I asked for Coke but they only had Pepsi, so I set fire to my head.
I think that’s what happened to Michael Jackson back in ’84…
1) Hitmonjake (@jake_likes_naps)
*describes my ideal pizza on my dating profiles About Me section*
I also wrote “large pepperoni” in my Match.com About Section but I wasn’t talking ‘bout pizza!!
Below is a Prisma-filtered pic of Oscar and Rachel snuggling. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!
July 25, 2016
First Name: Anthony
Gender Identity: Male
Occupation: Desk Jockey
Mixtape Name: Reflections Over a Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats
1) Brand New Start by Paul Weller
2) One Day Like This by Elbow
3) Relatively Easy by Jason Isbell
4) Snow In Vegas by David Gray
5) Great Lakes of Love by John Smith
6) You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry by John Moreland
7) Central Time by Pokey LaFarge
8) Howling at Nothing by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
9) Honey and the Moon by Joseph Arthur
10) Wrecking Ball by Ryan Adams
11) Let’s Be Still by The Head and the Heart
12) Reach for the Sky by Social Distortion
Liner Notes: These songs are the background music to my most recent leap forward in life. Some of them hold meaning because of the lyrics; the others hold meaning only because they were playing during the journey. But if you listen close enough to most any song, you can probably find some meaning in the lyrics somewhere.
Life is in a constant state of change. It’s never too late to make a brand new start. Reach for the sky ‘cause tomorrow may never come.
YouTube Playlist Link: Reflections Over a Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats
Apple Music Link: Reflections Over a Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats
July 18, 2016
First Name: Erin
Gender Identity: Female
Mixtape Name: Summer Sangria
Liner Notes: This playlist is my go-to summer jam. I love the different mix of sounds and vibes. It is good for any time of the day!
Spotify Playlist Link: Summer Sangria
Apple Music Link: Summer Sangria
July 11, 2016
First Name: Addi
Occupation: Senior Business Technical Analyst at HM Health Solutions, singer/songwriter with The Telephone Line (@TeleLinePgh)
Mixtape Name: Single It Out
1) What You Don’t Do by Lianne La Havas
2) Fifty Bucks by Meeting of Important People
3) Water by Ra Ra Riot
4) My Baby Don’t Understand Me by Natalie Prass
5) Part One – Hey, No Pressure by Ray LaMontagne
6) Just Sayin/I Tried by The Internet
7) Love Like That by Mayer Hawthorne
8) Limit to Your Love by James Blake
9) Walk of Shame by Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes
10) Jackrabbit by San Fermin
11) One by Esperanza Spalding
12) Karma by Lady
Liner Notes: It’s hard to say what has changed my approach to new music over the years. In my youth I’d discover an artist and devour their albums whole. Nowadays I hear a song on WYEP, in a bar, from the local scene, or even in a commercial (I know, I’M THE WORST) and latch onto a line of lyrics.
I Google it and check Spotify with my eyes closed and fingers crossed. The ones that survive this rigorous process <EYEROLL> land on a playlist with the other singles. And voilà: an ongoing (and hopefully eclectic) playlist. Occasionally a single will hit me so hard that I can’t resist the full album (Lady’s “Karma” introduced me to one of my favorite albums of all time) but most of them remain orphans.
Maybe technology is to blame for my lazy one-off listening, but I’m convinced that’s just how it goes when you’re working full time and keeping a bunch of bands afloat on the side. These 12 tunes are mostly just from the last few years, but the playlists I’m slowly accumulating reflect a broader range of pop/rock from various decades. Here are the links for anyone who may want to check them out:
July 8, 2016
T.G.I. Friday!!! I’m rolling into the weekend fresh off a recent trip to Chicago for a family vacation. We had a good time, but as it is whenever you go on a trip with a toddler, it really wasn’t that relaxing of an experience.
As it turns out, going on a vacation with a kid in tow is kind of like getting a salad for dinner. Even if it has the freshest iceberg lettuce, creamiest blue cheese crumbles and most balsamic-est vinaigrette, it still isn’t a Crisp Braised Pork Shank, a Wing-O-Rito or Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos.
Regardless of the fact that my vacation days were less “wasting away in Margaritaville” and more “waking up at 7am to watch Paw Patrol”, we still had a lot of fun. I even found enough downtime to finish Daredevil Season 2, which I started watching wayyy back in March (#SpoilerAlert – Doctor Manhattan is behind everything!).
All right, enough complaining about my #FirstWorldProblems. Let’s get to an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!
7) Abe Yospe (@Cheeseboy22)
If sitcoms in the 90’s taught me anything, it’s that a fat guy can marry a hot wife.
Or he can team-up with Jake to solve crimes!
6 – tie) Andy H. (@AndyAsAdjective)
Which is worse: that I had to wear a Frozen bandaid cuz all the regular ones were taken or that I spent 5 min. deciding between Anna & Elsa?
Lurk @ Home Mom (@LurkAtHomeMom)
If there’s profession that involves pulling tampons out of a box and scattering them in a hallway, my toddler is going to make us rich.
I’m starting to think that my son is secretly bankrolled by Big Pharma. Whenever he needs a band-aid, he always rips open and discards at least thirty of them onto the bathroom floor before he finds one worthy enough to be applied to his boo-boo.
5) Ian Valentine (@IanValentine11)
I hope all of my teacher friends are having, and will continue to have, a terrible summer vacation.
I was talking to my sister (who’s a middle school principal) last week and she was going on and on about how the rainy weather has really been cutting into her pool days. I responded by telling her that I didn’t even know what the weather was like outside because I spend the majority of my daylight hours IN A WINDOWLESS CUBE FARM. The only things that I’ll be swimming in this summer are pivot tables so she’s definitely not getting any sympathy from me.
4) goose (@bryisms)
Think it’s a nap-in-the-shower kind of day
With what’s been going on in the world lately, it’s becoming a nap-in-the-shower year…
3) ♥ (@SMASEY)
Being fat has saved me from ever experiencing mono, STDs, or teen pregnancy.
The historically low levels of teenage pregnancy is the silver lining of America’s childhood obesity epidemic… #ThanksObama
2) beth loves cake, so (@bourgeoisalien)
the saddest part about self driving cars will be all the times people die mid trip and then ur dinner guests or pizza guy will arrive dead
I would be extremely sad if I ordered a pizza and it showed up along with a dead pizza guy. But not so sad that I wouldn’t eat the pizza of course. I mean, I wouldn’t want his death to stand for nothing now would I?
1) gokitty (@goKitty)
Ate some sketchy burrata from the back of my refrigerator. Details to follow.
“Sketchy Burrata” has replaced Nacho Libre as my favorite name for a Mexican wrestler.
Below is a picture of Oscar and Rachel snuggling. Have a wonderful weekend everybody and please be safe out there!
July 3, 2016
The following double-disc compilation highlights my favorite tracks from the past twenty-four “My Mixtape Monday” playlists. Along with sharing some really great music, each contributor did a thoughtful job ruminating over their selections in the associated Liner Notes. These retrospective essays are always a great read, and I highly recommend that you click on all of the names below to check them out!
1) Telstar by The Tornados (Matt)
2) Couleur Cafe by Serge Gainsbourg (Kate)
3) Let’s Go by Matt & Kim (Bree)
4) Steal Smoked Fish by The Mountain Goats (Kate)
5) Einstein On The Beast produced by DJ BC w/ Philip Glass and Beastie Boys (Goob)
6) New York by Ja Rule ft. Fat Joe and Jadakiss (Natalie)
7) Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac (Niki)
8) Winter by Lail Arad (Nick)
9) 4 Simple Words by Frank Turner (Kards Unlimited)
10) Saturday by Fall Out Boy (Amber)
11) Portions for Foxes by Rilo Kiley (Meg)
12) Gooey by Glass Animals (Leah)
Liner Notes: Disregarding the collective crew of Kards Unlimited and the amorphous Goob (personal data unknown), the individual ages of this group ranged from 22 to 38. Of these, eight were female and two were male. Their occupations included fashion photographer, greeting card creator, marketing coordinator and band instrument repair technician.
The twelve playlists were comprised of 148 songs in total, with only one duplicate – I Don’t Want Love by The Antlers. Six artists showed up twice, with Death Cab for Cutie being the only band to place three song selections (insert GIF of Seth Cohen nodding).
1) Desperately Wanting by Better than Ezra (Shannon)
2) The House That Heaven Built by Japandroids (Scott aka Kirby)
3) Where My Girls At by 702 (Sarah)
4) Brave by Sara Bareilles (Kerry)
5) Modern Jesus by Portugal, The Man (Kate)
6) Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix) by Flight Facilities (Laura)
7) Santa Fe by Beirut (Kasey)
8) In The End by Linkin Park (Zain)
9) Love Yourself by Justin Bieber (Marisa)
10) Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths (Patrick)
11) Get Up by Sleater-Kinney (Toby)
12) Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails (Samantha)
Liner Notes: The ages of this group of contributors went from 23 to 50 (really?), with four males and eight females. Their occupations included stay at home mom, orthotist, comedian, moonbounce cleaner and @stitchfix stylist.
The twelve playlists totaled 150 songs and the artists ranged from Adele to Kendrick Lamar to Zac Brown Band. No artist placed three songs across the collective, but five did garner two selections each – alt-J, Future, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Rob Zombie. Now that sounds like a concert that I’d love to see!
June 27, 2016
First Name: Kate Mickere
Occupation: Writer // Assistant at Comedy Central
Mixtape Name: Obsessions
7) Long John Blues by Dinah Washington
8) Let’s Spend the Night Together by David Bowie
9) Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
10) Teeth by Lady Gaga
11) Another Day by Paul McCartney
12) Me & Liza by Rufus Wainwright
Bonus Track (since it’s not on Spotify): I Can’t Wait for Christmas to Come by The Loose Tapestries
Liner Notes: “Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed.” – John Waters
Confession: I’ve basically only been listening to podcasts and Paul McCartney’s Ram for the last year or so. Instead of hiding this (possibly) worrying behavior, I’m going to embrace it… with a playlist full of my musical obsessions.
Side A is a sampling of my current favorites. These are the songs that I just can’t get out of my head. Note: “Hey Ya” is just as delightful now as it was in 2003, when I was trying to avoid my homecoming date and only came out of hiding to dance to this song. (Sorry, Steven.)
I’m so obsessed with the songs on Side B that I’ve actually put them into plays I’ve written. From singing “Long John Blues” in my one-woman show Sprinkles & Shame at the Playground Festival at Carnegie Mellon to the current play I’m dreaming up about Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger being disco friends, these songs have inspired me in countless ways.
Bonus: Is it weird to listen to a Christmas song in June? This one is too delightful to be confined to a calendar. Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno and Mighty Boosh comedian (and my imaginary boyfriend) Noel Fielding teamed up to create a surrealist Christmas song that features a rap from Idris Elba. I’m swooning.
Spotify Playlist Link: Obsessions
Apple Music Link: Obsessions
June 24, 2016
Welcome to the final chapter of summer sixteen’s “Best of…” series. This post highlights some seasonal style suggestions for the family. Here to handle the mother/daughter segment is the always-slaying Terra, whose return to blogging earlier this year was the most electrifying un-retirement to happen in the ‘Burgh since Lemieux in ’00. Everything that she does should be branded with the caption “Goals AF” and I highly suggest that you check ahht her site when you’re done enjoying our posts below. First up is my father/son part so let’s get on to it!
After my son was born, I struggled with maintaining the level of swag that I’ve grown accustomed to. Why spend time putting together a fly outfit if it would just end up adorned with spit-up in an hour? I immediately began to feel the pull of the Dark Side of Dad Fashion, and its promise of comfort through cargo shorts and crocs. But unlike Anakin Skywalker, I refuse to give in to the temptation. Though I rarely end the day without my son wiping some indiscernible schmutz on my outfit, the self-confidence that comes along with dressing well makes it all worth it.
Dressing my 3yo son presents a similar conundrum. He’s potty trained now so thankfully I do not have to worry much about the three p’s. However, much like his idol Hulk, it doesn’t take much time for him to wear-out even the toughest Toughskins. Thankfully kids clothier Carters manufactures plenty of stylish outfits that are reasonably priced so I don’t get too mad when he rips the buttons off his shirt to show me his muscles.
My go-to #OOTD for summer showcases a couple simple classics – a V-neck t-shirt and garment-dyed cotton shorts. This ensemble is available in a wide assortment of bright colors, but I’m embracing my inner Goth here. Not only does the monochrome look standout amongst a sea of pastel polos and boat shoes on the soccer field sidelines, they also serve as a sharp contrast to my boys’ colorful ensemble. There’s no chance I can complete with him as far as cuteness goes, so why even try?!?!
Item Sources: 9” Stanton Short & Slim Broken-in V-neck T-Shirt (both J. Crew), Jack Purcell Signature Sneakers (Converse), Leather Suffield Belt by Polo Ralph Lauren, Sunglasses by Rayban, Animal Squirters by Floatzone, Toddler Boys’ 2-Piece Striped Shirt & Shorts Set by Carter’s, Paw Patrol Canvas Sneakers by Walmart, Spiderman Sunglasses by Target, Southampton Bucket Hat by Grandparents
And now to Terra!!!
So far, June 2016 >> June 2015. Do you remember how much rain Pittsburgh had last year? Wow! The difference is amazing. And I for one will take these steamy sunny days anytime.
Each season, I tend to find a few pieces that I want to live in. This summer is no different. For me, it’s all about the perfect denim cutoffs and off-the-shoulder anything. The only thing sexier than a clavicle (besides any other word) is an open back. Either are a great way to show off your bronze skin.
Speaking of… wear sunscreen. PLEASE. It’s so important. There’s nothing more stylish than when a person takes good care of their skin. I adore Neutrogena’s spray-on sunscreen. It’s light, smells great and doesn’t feel like a gross film on your skin. But how do you show off that aforementioned bronze then? Self tanner, all the way. There are a couple that I really like but Jergen’s makes a fantastic gradual self-tanner that smells nice.
And when you’re lounging by the pool or sliding your toes into sand, you need a phenomenal bathing suit and a great book. This monokini is polyawesome. It cuts in all the right places to not only show off your beautiful curves (even if you’re like me and don’t actually have natural curves) but to also sit still if you want to be active. I prefer to tap my inner sloth when I’m sunbathing so I defer to my books and magazines. “Primates of Park Avenue” is a really easy and entertaining read. Perfect for the pool or beach.
Now, to the little one. Stella plays hard and sweats like a mother. I don’t really sweat so that sentence is inherently erroneous but let’s not dwell on that. She insists on wearing dresses all of the time. If that’s what she’s going to wear when it’s 85 degrees, then the dress better be lightweight, able to withstand crude karate moves and sidewalk chalk art. This dress has been in heavy rotation along with these comfy sandals. The sandals are fantastic because she can run around in them all day without earning blisters or the stinkiest of feet.
I’d also like to take a moment to call your attention to GoldieBlox. Stella is obsessed. They’re fantastic kits that teach girls (or whoever wants to play with them) engineering, math and building skills. There are stories and dolls and all of the typical “girly” equipment, but they’re not just fluffy cupcake toys. They actually teach important skills but they’re wrapped in a package that is attractive to little girls. If you know a little girl and she doesn’t have GoldieBlox, help a sister out and get her started with one.
I hope you enjoy your summer as much as I plan to! Just remember to protect your skin, nourish your brain a little and wear something sexortable. That’s sexy and comfortable ALL AT THE SAME TIME. What could be better?
June 23, 2016
When I was a kid, the onset of summer meant one thing and one thing only – NO SCHOOL! And since the responsibilities associated with school (waking up early, doing homework, wearing shoes) represented the bulk of my adolescent life’s burdens, summer brought with it three solid months of unbridled freedom that as a grownup I’ll never know again. #FirstWorldAdultProblems
Thankfully, every now and then I’m #blessed with a handful of weekend moments that aren’t prescheduled with activities or encumbered by parental responsibilities (Daddy, come wipe my butt!). I prefer to make use of these respites by indulging in the same unproductive pastimes that I did as a youth – reading comic books and watching professional wrestling.
My friend Elizabeth is a super-busy mommy/lawyer/blogger who cherishes her infrequent free time just as much as me. She was kind enough to carve some time out of her packed schedule to suggest some relaxing ways for all of us to spend those precious obligation-free moments. Surprisingly, none of them involve musclebound men beating the crap out of each other.
I remember those many long years ago, before I had a 5 year old who poked me in the face and demanded I pour her a bowl of rice krispies at 6am, I used to have these long, leisurely weekend mornings where I could do whatever I wanted, for as long as I wanted, and still find time in the day to go for a run, go grocery shopping, and whatever else I felt like doing.
Those days are gone. Now most weekend mornings are consumed by ballet lessons, kid-related social plans, and this, that and the other thing. I recently was surprised by a morning that was completely obligation-free, and I realized how precious that unplanned free time is. For my contribution to this “Best of….” series, I would like to share with you my favorite activities when I have a few unexpected moments to myself!
When I was in law school and a baby lawyer, somehow I had all this extra time that I didn’t even know I had. I got really into baking bread, and baked loaf after loaf trying to perfect my challah recipe. Bread baking is really easy to do at a somewhat competent level, but extremely hard to perfect. I love mixing the dough and then putting it out in the sunshine to rise, and I love enjoying its smell as it bakes in the oven, especially when I have mixed in rosemary, basil or sun dried tomatoes.
Coffee and Magazines
The magic combination. I have several magazine subscriptions but can never manage to read them as they come in. They buildup in a massive pile in my dining room. When I finally get to reading them, I experience the twofold joy of reading the magazine, and also clearing things out of the “to read” pile. Also, coffee. Yum.
Stroll through the Park
I haven’t been able to get back to running as regularly as I would like. I would like to run 5 times a week, but lately I have only been running about one. My favorite places to run are Frick Park, Schenley Park and the Homewood Cemetery. They are all wooded, beautiful and tranquil.
At Home Spa
It’s $8 for a pack of 4 bottles but HEAR ME OUT, Dry Water is like a tiny spa. They have flavors like cucumber, ginger and lavender, the flavor is heavily infused, not sweet, and tastes just like the water you are served at a spa. This is not an everyday type beverage. Rather, this is the kind of thing you sip leisurely, with a refreshing sheet mask on your face. It is so incredibly relaxing. When I bust out with the Dry Water and the sheet mask, my husband knows to keep my kid out of the way, because I am getting in the relaxation zone.
June 22, 2016
“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
Whereas the cold winters of Pittsburgh are prefect for staying indoors and binge-watching Netflix, summer is all about getting ahht of the house to explore the great attractions that our lovely region has to offer. And who better to give us some suggestions on how to get the most out of these summer days than a school teacher?
After spending the past nine months steadfastly preparing the young minds of Woodland Hills to lead us into the future, my buddy Heidi is now here with some daytrip ideas that are full of adventure and fun. I look forward to fitting them all into my schedule…between my mandatory hammock-naps of course!
Hey y’all! One of the best parts about living in Pittsburgh is the wide array of destinations and restaurants that are well within driving distance. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a little “daycation” from time to time? With brief travel time and minimal packing, daycations are an activity that Pittsburghers should embrace wholeheartedly. Thus, for this post, I would like to share with you some of my favorite spots in the Laurel Highlands that everyone in the area should visit this summer.* Now let’s go day tripping!
The Stone House Restaurant & Inn (3023 National Pike | Farmington, PA | 15437) is a classic spot along Route 40, our National Road. With charm, character(s) and a fantastic menu, The Stone House has something for everyone. Special events are common, especially live music and bike nights. My advice? Try the wings ($5/5, $10/10, $14/15), the salads and anything that incorporates their house sauces and dressings; grab a bottle of Pittsburgh Winery wine while you are there too!
Out of the Fire Café (3784 State Route 31 |Donegal, Pennsylvania | 15628) is a casual BYOB restaurant. With an open kitchen, Out of the Fire offers an American menu that patrons can enjoy from inside of on their deck. The view is beautiful and the location is in close proximity to many mountain attractions. My advice? Try the Sea Scallops ($32, coconut and cilantro risotto, roasted red pepper, mango & arugula salad, Fuji apple vinaigrette) and/or the Charred Pineapple Salad ($13, field greens, kiwi, red grapes, cherry tomatoes, toasted cashews, blueberry balsamic vinaigrette).
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (1491 Mill Run Road | Mill Run, PA | 15464) and Kentuck Knob (723 Kentuck Road | Chalk Hill, PA | 15421) are architectural masterpieces tucked away in the Fayette County mountains. With a little planning, you can either visit one on its own, or arrange to see both in the same day. I happen to be an architecture fanatic, and I’ve seen both of these houses in many seasons both on their own and in the same day. The local history associated with the homes is fascinating, the grounds are picturesque, and the gift shops are quite marvelous. My advice? Don’t miss the opportunity to see something that thousands of people travel from all over the world to see every year. And get your tickets way in advance!
Fort Necessity National Battlefield (1 Washington Parkway | Farmington, PA | 15437) is a worthy stop along Route 40. With the popularity of Hamilton: An American Musical on a steady rise, this is a great place for fans and history buffs who are interested in George Washington lore. See where Washington opened the action of the French and Indian War in 1754, ultimately setting the American Revolution in motion. Jumonville Glen and General Braddock’s Grave are also nearby, for a bonus round! My advice? Ask them if they remember the girl who won an art contest there in 1990; she created an epic rendition of Washington’s life called “The Cherry Tree of Life.” Ha! Kidding. No one needs to bring up my short-lived career in the visual arts.
*I left off Laurel Highlands juggernauts like Ohiopyle and Nemacolin Woodlands because of the likelihood that yinz have already been there. Not that I wouldn’t work stops at either of these into a daycation from Pittsburgh, but I wanted to bring to light some lesser known attractions.
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