I love DIY projects and I love checking out new places in Pittsburgh (and surrounding areas), so I was pretty stoked when AR Workshop popped up on my radar!
AR Workshop is a boutique DIY studio that offers hands-on, custom home decor classes. Think art class meets wood shop meets Joanna Gaines. (Which is a pretty great combo!) The cozy little shop in Robinson is perfect for a girls night out, a relaxing solo date with yourself, family outings, parties... really anyone. The classes are designed for all skill levels. And for my readers with kiddos, they even have family-friendly workshops! Oh, and you aren't limited to just wooden signs either. I personally chose to build a tray, but ARW offers all kinds of options: Wood wall hangings, trays, seasonal decor, wedding things, canvas hangings, bags, and even incredible chunky blankets! Browse their Instagram for a quick look.
so how does it work?
Step 1: Register online and pick your project!
Like any class, ARW requires advance registration. Hit up their website, pick a time that works for you, and select the project you want to make. (Note: Make sure you pay attention to the type of class on the schedule. Some workshops are dedicated to specific projects. Like chunky blankets!) Projects range from $40-$70. That may seem like a lot but trust me when I say it's worth it. It's a beautiful space, the instructors are great, it's something you can say you built from scratch, and it's a night out!
Step 2: Gather the provisions.
ARW is snack-friendly and wait for it... BYOB! We came fully-stocked with wine, cheese, and chocolate. If you do decide to bring wine or any kind of drinks, I would recommend bringing a tumbler. Something like this prevents the chance of spilling red wine all over yourself, your project, or your workspace. I stopped into Marshalls before my class and snagged one for 8 bucks!
Step 3: Get to work.
When you arrive for your class, you'll grab an apron and jump right into it. You'll be assigned a seat where all of the materials for your custom design will be prepared and laid out for you. Each class at ARW provides instructors to help guide you through the project and lend a hand if you run into any problems. You'll sand, stain, assemble, and paint until you have a gorgeous wall hanging, tray, or pillow to take home. Make sure you snap a photo of your creation and tag @arworkshoprobinson. Cuz IG has gotta see the magic!
TRY IT OUT
If you can't tell by my raving review (guilty) I really loved my experience at AR Workshop Robinson. I took my best friend, Taylor, along with me and we both couldn't stop talking about how much fun it would be to bring in work friends, our moms, neighbors, second cousins, strangers. You get it lol. Oh, and we'll DEFINITELY be back to get our hands on one of those blankets.
If you're ready to go for it, I've got you covered with a special Burghologie promo code. Use "BURGH10" at checkout to save $10 on any workshop over $50! Note: The promo code is case-sensitive. Be sure to use all caps!
I'd love to hear about your experience. Shoot me a DM on Instagram or hit me up via email at email@example.com. Happy crafting, guys!
I'm always an advocate for shopping small and supporting local businesses when possible. So, this year I decided to put together a shopping guide that highlights some of the amazing businesses, artists, and makers in the Pittsburgh area. There's ONE MILLION shopping guides floating around the internet this time of the year, but this one hits close to home. Literally. Shopping local helps out your co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends. It truly helps the local community thrive.
I can't even begin to scratch the surface of all of the great small makers that deserve a shoutout, but here I highlight a few that have caught my attention this year. No matter who you're shopping for or what your budget is, I encourage you to consider shopping small this season! Let the shopping begin:
When I started putting this guide together there was really no question if PGH Candle would be included. I ooo'd and ahhh'd over their hand-poured, soy candles for well over a year on Instagram before finally giving them a try. Now, I can now say with confidence they're one of my favorite local candle businesses. First of all, the scents are very unique. (Hello Pomegranate Cider and White Sage + Lavender) Secondly, the 16 oz. jars have an 80 hour burn time, so you can keep them around for quite awhile. The gift that keeps on giving!
On top of smelling incredible, there's some other notable perks. These candles are all-natural and made from 100% soy wax. That means they're clean burning. They don't produce any harmful gases or soot and produce a stronger scent when lit.
PGH Candle is a great option for friends, family, a significant other, a grab bag, secret santa... literally anyone. The boys on your list might even be into scents like "Fresh Coffee Beans" or "Whiskey".
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
PGH Candle products are available for purchase on their website, but their also available at tons of local retailers around Pittsburgh. Check out the list here.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
The 16 oz. Rosemary + Fig candle
Gold School JEWELRY
When it comes to jewelry, gold is my love language. So naturally, Gold School immediately caught my eye when it made it's debut last January. I own a beautiful pair of their tortoise shell earrings and they have easily become my favorite set in my jewelry box. Their earrings are handmade here in Pittsburgh and the brand strives to reinvent looks from the past. They've got some very groovy vibes going on and I am 100% here for it.
Mom, grandma, girlfriend, BFF, sister... all the ladies in your life! Gold School has some simple/minimalistic designs and bolder statement pieces as well.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop Gold School's Etsy page or be on the lookout for fun pop-ups around town! Tip: Sign up for their email list to get 10% off your order.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
These tortoise shell drop earrings have my heart.
OLD SOUL NEW AGE MACRAME
I've been on a major macrame kick for about four years now. I can't get enough of it. (Honest moment: I've recently had to start packing away some of my macrame hangings because there's just not enough wall space in our house. A "kick" is an understatement.) So, when I stumbled upon Leah's Instagram page a few months ago, my eyes lit up. Outside of just wall hangings, the Old Soul New Age shop offers tons of out-of-the-box makings like earrings, keychains, purses, headbands, and more.
Old Soul New Age is part small business, but also part lifestyle blog where Leah let's her creativity flow. Check out her blog for macrame styling tips and local adventures!
Your sister, BFF, girlfriend, or anyone that would appreciate something trendy and handmade.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop Leah's Etsy page here.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I recently bought these pumpkin covers, but heading into the holiday season I'm eyeing up these keychains (stocking stuffers!) and these cute little ornaments for the tree.
If you've been following along for awhile now or you know me personally, you know my love for popcorn is real and true. So, it shouldn't come as a shock that Pittsburgh Popcorn Co. made the list.
Between visiting friends and family and holiday parties, there's always a need for good host/hostess gifts. And who doesn't love some good popcorn?! Pittsburgh Popcorn is a great option because it's easy and highly snack-able. No mess, no clean-up, and it's not over-the-top. Plus, it's fresh and kinda of unique. I think it's safe to say the holiday party will have enough sugar cookies...
The party/dinner host or the office crew.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
They have 8 locations around Pittsburgh or you can place an order online.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
All. of. it. I'm a popcorn fanatic and I honestly can say I love all of PPC's flavors. To keep it festive, I recommend going for the Chunky Chocolate Caramel.
from the field pgh
If you're looking for a more personal gift this year, From the Field PGH is the move. You'll find lots of cute Pittsburgh-centric, holiday, or special occasion wooden signs. Each sign is unique and most can be customized with coordinates, names, zipcodes, etc. The shop's mission is to create things that "celebrate memories in your life", so these handmade items would make a great gift for the people in your life celebrating a milestone.
The diehard Pittsburgher, the newlyweds, the teacher, or the new mom.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop the Etsy page here or keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming pop-ups, workshops, and events!
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I'm still in the process of adding decor to my house (does that actually ever end?) and I have my eye on this mason jar vase.
It's no secret that Pittsburgh winters a real bummer sometimes. It's safe to say you can't go wrong with gifting some winter weather gear. SLPmade has a great collection of beautiful, handmade beanies, as well as tassel earrings, scarves, and keychains. There's a large variety of colors and designs. (Like hearts, plaid, stripes, etc.) Plus, you can even choose what kind of pom you'd like on top. The poms are removable and interchangeable!
There's no doubt these these hats are some of the coziest around. They're thick, high-quality, and bonus points: how cute are they?!
Sister, BFF, sister-in-law, or cousin.
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop the Etsy page here.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
I have an obsession with mustard tones this year, so this hat is top of my Christmas list!
I have a love hate relationship with stocking stuffers... I love the idea, but I really can't handle anymore nail polish and chocolate bars. (Sorry mom!) On that note, may I introduce She Papery.
This local business offers a small collection of hand-lettered goods like stickers, sweatshirts, mugs, ornaments, and pins; all with the mission to "love and spread love". The stickers and pins are exactly what I would want to find in my stocking!
Any lady in your life!
WHERE TO FIND THEM:
You can shop one of two ways: You can browse products on the website here, or you can request a custom order with names or dates.
WHAT I'M LOVING:
*Adds 10 of the Rainbow Sun Stickers to cart*
MORE LOCAL businesses TO CONSIDER:
1. If you're on the hunt for clothes, check out some of these Pittsburgh boutiques!
2. If you're shopping for a beauty guru, check out Una Biologicals.
3. If greenery is on the list, snag a plant from City Grows or Synthesis.
4. Need some cute (or funny) holiday cards? Kards Unlimited or WildCard is the move.
5. Not sure what you're looking for? The Farmer's Daughter and love, Pittsburgh are great little gift shops that offer a wide variety of gifts.
6. Got a coffee addict on your hands? The Coffee Passport is a really great gift option.
7. Trying to figure out something for a DIYer? A gift card to Board & Brush or The Candle Lab is a great idea.
8. Everyone has a boozy friend. A bottle of cider from Threadbare or a bottle of wine from Narcisi Winery checks that box.
OUT OF THE BOX
Aside from just material gifts, I'm also a huge advocate for gifting "experiences". Here's a few quick ideas:
IT GETS BETTER
Head to the Burghologie Instagram on Monday, December 2nd to enter to win goodies from PGH Candle, Gold School, Old Soul New Age Macrame, Pittsburgh Popcorn, From The Field PGH, SLPmade, and She Papery! In total, the giveaway package is worth over $190! Keep it all for yourself or share the wealth as gifts for friends and family. The choice is yours. I'll see you over on the 'gram on Monday!
If you've been following along for awhile now, you know that my seasonal bucket list is sure to pop up just in time for the festivities. It may still be in the '80s here in the Burgh, but my mindset has 100% shifted to all things fall. Without further ado, I present my 2019 Fall Bucket List!
I have to admit that it's about 1/3 the size of my summer bucket list. Fall is short, we can't get too ambitious.
celebrate oktoberfest at penn brewery
I've never celebrated Oktoberfest and I've never been to Penn Brewery. Let's kill two birds with one stone! Check out the details here.
sip some cider at threadbare
I've been eyeing up Threadbare for awhile now, but I still haven't had the chance to check out their cider house. Fall seems like the perfect time to make it happen! Girls, who's in for a brunch date?! Word on the street is they have some amazing brunch pizzas. AND I just happened to notice they're launching a "Fall Spice" cider.
pay a visit to pigeon bagels' new shop
Ugh, bagels. Gotta love them... especially Pigeon Bagels! They just recently opened a storefront in Squirrel Hill this summer and I've been anxiously waiting to get that carb fix. Nothing says cozy like a fresh bagel and a hot coffee!
make a stop at simmons farm
My usual pumpkin patch go-to for the past three years has been Soergel's, but this year I'm going to mix it up and try something new. Simmons Farm has all of the fun fall activities like apple picking, flower picking, pumpkin patches, and more!
snag one of The Loveliest's epic lattes
Just check their IG. You'll fully understand the reasoning behind this one.
celebrate One year of burghologie!
This October is officially the one year anniversary of Burghologie! I don't know exactly how I plan to celebrate, but there will certainly be a celebration. Stay tuned!
make a trip to mediterra for brunch
hand paint a pumpkin
It's been a couple of years since I've done this, but it's always so much fun and super relaxing. So, I'll definitely be making some time for it this season. Step 1: Pick a few pumpkins. Step 2) Snag some paint. Step 3) Pour a glass of wine (or cider!). Step 4: Let the creativity flow!
Follow me on Instagram to see the action!
Into DIY projects? Love the feeling of making something from scratch? Looking for a chill GNO? May I introduce to you to... The Candle Lab!
The Candle Lab is a cozy little DIY candle workshop in Lawrenceville where you have the chance to experiment with over 120 different scents and watch as a custom, natural, soy candle comes to life. Candles are the main game at TCL, but they also offer options like fragrance oils, sprays, body lotions, salt scrubs, and more.
TCL has been gracing Butler Street with its sweet aromas for a couple of years now and I am so bummed I waited until now to check it out. I have seriously been missing out! Here's a rundown of the full experience:
Last summer on a trip to Nashville, I stumbled upon a pretty little fresh flower truck (Amelia’s Flower Truck for anyone that might be familiar) and fell completely in LOVE with the concept. If you know me, you probably know it was plastered all over my personal Instagram. And if you were with me on that trip, you can probably recall my ridiculous, over-the-top reaction when I spotted the pale green VW bus parked down the street. To say I was excited is an understatement. Who doesn't love some fresh flowers, some retro vibes, and a great photo opp?!
After my encounter with Amelia’s, I vividly remember thinking “ugh, I wish something like this existed back at home.”
Fast forward about a year and that wish came true. I could not be more excited to introduce you to Victoria's Mobile Flower Shop, the very first mobile flower shop to hit the streets of Pittsburgh!
The adorable little blue-ish green truck made its official debut at GRLPWR’S Self Love Sunday Fest and I am stoked to say I was the first official customer! Here's a closer look:
Local resident Victoria Miess came up with the idea to create a mobile flower shop this past February and with some help from family and friends brought that idea to life in just four short months. Talk about hustle! Now in their first month of business, they're hitting all of the go-to spots bringing a little flower power to the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.
Before you venture out to hunt down some flowers, there's a few things to note. First, Victoria’s stock is priced per bloom. That means it's a fully build-your-own concept. Type, colors, greenery, bouquet size; the choice is all yours! Your options range from simple (baby's breath and eucalyptus) to a little more exotic (peonies and protea). Once you pick your variety, Victoria will cut, wrap, and tie up a pretty little package for you. (Cash and cards are accepted!) And trust me when I say you're going to want to snap a few shots for the 'gram. I can't imagine a more perfect aesthetic! Plus, your photo just might make it on to the shop's page. Tag @victoriasmobileflowershop and use the hashtag "#IMustHaveVictorias" to let them know you stopped by!
Pro Tip from Victoria herself: When you get home only place your blooms in about an inch of water. Every three days, cut off the submerged portion of the stems at an angle. This method will help keep your flowers fresh longer!
On top of being a super cute, fun, small business itself, Victoria's also plays a larger part in supporting local farms. Most of the blooms you'll find on the truck are sourced from the greater Pittsburgh area. If you're on the hunt for those straight-from-the-farm blooms, be sure to keep an eye out for a "local" label on the truck's flower buckets. Hat tip to Piscarcik Flowers, Cherry Valley Organics, and more for helping Victoria bring some color to the Burgh!
Now and through the summer, you’ll be able to catch Victoria at some of your favorite Pittsburgh stops. Check out their upcoming schedule and snag yourself some pretty posies! Oh, and of course throw them a follow on Instagram and Facebook. You're going to want in on the flower inspo.
Okay my crafty, DIY-lovin' readers, this one is for you and I think you're going to be pretty stoked about it.
Recently, I had the chance to stop in and check out Board & Brush and I pretty much fell in love. B&B is a DIY wood sign workshop that opened its doors this past year just north of Pittsburgh.
I had a truly awesome experience and I can't wait to share it with you! Here's what you need to know:
How it works
B&B workshops are three hours long and during that time, a team of instructors guides you through step-by-step how to build a beautiful rustic wooden sign. From sanding to staining to assembling to painting, the project is totally your own. You get to do it all!
*PAUSE* Before I continue, I should preface this post by saying that Board & Brush is for everyone. It doesn't require you to be a master woodworker or the next Picasso. It's very manageable for all ages and skill levels. Not to mention the staff is amazing. The B&B team is super friendly and more than happy to help out if you run into any problems.
During the booking process and prior to arriving at the studio, you're required to choose your project online. Selecting your project in advance gives the team time to create your stencil. And thank goodness for that! I'm definitely not skilled in the freehand painting department.
There are TONS of project designs to choose from. We're talking bathroom, kitchen, quotes, family, wedding, baby, holiday... the list goes on. There's truly something for everyone.
FYI: Even though the designs listed online only show one stain and one paint color, the possibilities are pretty much endless. You can customize your board with a variety of different stains and paint colors. You also have the choice to decide just how "rustic" you want your board to look. (AKA how much you want to beat it up.) My advice: Really go for it. It's fun and makes for a really neat final product.
Here's a quick look at the workshop phases:
1. Distress (AKA- beat up your boards)
2. Sand (Because no one needs splinters)
3. Stain (To make it look pretty)
4. Assemble (Obvious)
5. Place stencil/paint/peel (Customize it!)
6. Sand and wax (Finishing touches)
7. Attach hardware (For hanging)
8. VOILA! (Admire it)
Even though my three hours in the studio flew by fast, I found it to be SO therapeutic. It was a really awesome afternoon and I left feeling accomplished and relaxed.
what to know
The studio is BYOB. That means you and your crew can roll up with a stash of snacks and drinks to enjoy during your class. I will definitely be armed with a bottle of wine and some cheese for my next visit. 'Cuz let's be honest... vino and cheese just makes anything THAT much better.
Board & Brush is located in Gibsonia, so from the city you're looking at a 30-ish minute drive. That's more than worth it in my opinion. I'd drive farther for this.
The booking process is pretty easy online. "Pick Your Project" classes cost around $65. I know it sounds like a lot, but I promise it's worth it. These type of customized, handmade signs run anywhere from $30-100+ on Etsy and with B&B you also get the experience of creating it yourself and enjoying a night/afternoon out with friends.
My first class I took solo, but next time I would love to take a group of family or friends. A B&B class would make for a great girls night, birthday outing, or gift for your crafty friends.
GET AFTER IT
If I've talked you into it (and I hope I have), head to the B&B calendar to book your class! While you're at it, give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram. They do a ton of giveaways. You just might get the chance to check it out for free!
I could not be more ecstatic to utter the words “summer is almost here." I actually just spoke that aloud to verify it’s real and it felt GREAT.
We all know winter in Pittsburgh is long and brutal and we’re anxious as hell to get outside, breathe some fresh (warm) air and admire the greenery that’s slowly coming back to life.
With that said, I’m shaking off my winter blues and I am more than ready to make the most of the next 5-ish months. From hiking and exploring new neighborhoods to restaurants and farmers markets, here’s my summer to-do list.
Let’s! do! this!
There's something about a local boutique that just makes shopping so much more fun. Whether it's the neighborhood, the decor, the one-of-a-kind finds, or the warm welcomes, it's a special experience. With that said, I'm excited to say that I've teamed up with my friend, Meredith Kearns of The Look by Meredith, to co-create a guide to Pittsburgh's best boutique shopping spots!
Meredith is one of the most fashionable people I know, so you know these shops are the real deal! From eccentric boho chic finds to unique business casual pieces, here are our top ten picks:
BONUS: All ten of these local shops are owned and operated by badass ladies. #GirlPower
1. Lynn & Barrett | @lynnandbarrett
Lynn & Barrett is a small clothing boutique owned by a mother/daughter dream team. The Pittsburgh-based location is tucked away in the quaint little neighborhood of Crafton; with the original location based in Wintersville, Ohio. L&B is a go-to for casual looks and unique accessories at an affordable price. The shop is small, but we promise you'll feel right at home! The family-owned vibes really carry through the business.
2. No. 14 | @no14boutique
Ahhh, one of our very favorites! When it comes to Pittsburgh boutiques, No. 14 is a true gem. Nestled on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, this bright and airy little shop is stocked with everything you need to keep your look fresh all year round. Inside you'll find a super-friendly and fun staff, a seasonal clothing collection, unique jewelry, and even some custom-made hair accessories. Whether you splurge on some new looks or just happen to sneak a selfie with the infamous pink knight, there's a 100% chance you'll leave this boutique looking good and feeling good. CAUTION: A trip to No. 14 may result in croissants. The shop just happens to be neighbors with La Gourmandine Bakery!
3. Pavement | @shop_pavement_pgh
Pavement, another Butler Street staple, is a boho chic DREAM. Whether it's the unique accessories and fun apparel or the enormous plants and wallpaper patterns, you'll instantly feel a little "cooler", a little "calmer", and little more "collected" when you step in the door. The shop's collection is hand-picked and most of the clothing is even made here in the US. Some of Pavement's go-to brands are Stateside, Chaser, and Three Dots. With a cozy boutique like this, you might just want to kick back and stay awhile!
4. Whiskey Moon Boutique | @whiskeymoonboutique
Heading to a different corner of the city, Whiskey Moon Boutique in Southside is another great place to shop... or should we say treat yo' self! This East Carson store is owned by another mother/daughter duo and offers a wide range of apparel, accessories, home goods, and even a variety of beauty products. The shop's collection covers everything from hoodies to night out essentials. Just recently, they've also thrown an activewear line into the mix!
5. Apricot Lane | @aprictlanepittsburgh
Apricot Lane is a newcomer to Pittsburgh's boutique shopping scene. Although AL is technically a national franchise, each location is locally-owned and managed... that's local enough for us! You can find this cute, extra-girly shop on Walnut Street in Shadyside. Their vibe is very feminine and flirty and their collection offers a mixture of casual and formal looks along with accessories and gifts! Make a day of your trip to Walnut Street and grab a coffee at Jitter's or stop in for brunch at Cafe Moulin.
6. Lex & Lynne | @lexandlynne
Located in Sewickley, Lex & Lynne is a staple for dreamy, chic, and resort wear pieces. This high-end boutique is known for its refined womenswear, lifestyle pieces, and their recently added custom sweater line— full of cozy knits handcrafted in Mexico. If accessories are more your thing, they also carry their own line of handmade jewelry. Before you hit the beach or jet set off to your summer escape, make a stop at Lex & Lynne to stock up on those insta-worthy styles.
7. Peter Lawrence | @peterlawrencepgh
Peter Lawrence is a hot new downtown boutique that offers an array of professional and casual clothing. This women’s-focused boutique is the sister store of Heinz Healey’s, a longstanding local men’s clothing store. Peter Lawrence provides customers with a mix of contemporary and traditional pieces from lines such as Jon Josef, Joseph Ribkoff, and Alberto Makali. On the upper mezzanine, the boutique rocks an array of shoes, scarves, and purses, including a few of the popular Rebecca Minkoff bags. Business ladies: hit up this new shop to freshen up your 9-5 look.
8. Boutique La Passerelle | @bout_blp
Another well-known downtown women’s store, Boutique La Passerelle offers designs hand-picked from Portugal and France. Twice a year, the owner and manager travel abroad to scope out the latest trends and bring those finds back to Pittsburgh. Fun fact: Boutique La Passerelle only stocks one of each size (for each piece). Knowing it's truly rare, you can rock that buy with confidence! This downtown pick is the place to go for fun, fresh fashion that you won’t find in a normal department store.
9. Make & Matter | @shopmakeandmatter
Where my crafty girls at?! This Lawrenceville newcomer is for you. True to its name, Make & Matter specializes in ethically-made clothing, accessories, jewelry, and gift items. Their Butler Street shop hosts a rotating group of designers every two months. Some of those makers have even found a more long-term home and are now permanent staples in the shop. Rebekah, one of the boutique's founders, really upholds the essence of Make + Matter with her zero waste clothing line, Flux Bene. Each item is made of up-cycled garments and second market materials. (This just means the clothes won’t be worn again in their normal condition.) How cool is that?! Whether you're shopping for yourself or treating someone else, we guarantee any item you buy from Make & Matter will be sure to impress.
10. Kristi Boutique | @kristiboutique15215
And the final act: Kristi Boutique! This Aspinwall shop live by the tagline "Authentic Style for Authentic Women." (We'll cheers to that!) The owner carefully curates a collection that includes everything from jeans and sweaters to handbags and accessories. The coolest thing about this boutique is their loyalty program. For every dollar you spend, you gain two Kristi points. After reaching 2,000 points, you receive a $20 gift card. That's a pretty awesome perk! If you're on the hunt for some professional styling advice or just looking to refresh your wardrobe, Kristi is your girl and Kristi Boutique is your spot.
As you can see, Pittsburgh is actually much more stylish than you might think. It's not all Steelers jerseys and baseball caps. It's certainly not an NYC, but we've got a little something going on and it's only up from here! Over the past couple of weeks, we stopped into a few Lawrenceville boutiques to spark some inspiration for this guide. Be sure to check out some pics in the gallery below!
Side note: If you have an event coming up and could use some styling help, hit up my girl Meredith. She's truly talented! Shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Or even just a lover of all things Christmas? If the answer to either question is yes, you're going to want to keep reading. Pitt's Cathedral of Learning is pretty much Pittsburgh's very own Hogwarts. And to make it even better it's an absolute GEM during the holiday season. It's high ceilings and castle-like vibes are dreamy any time of the year, but the Christmas trees and enormous wreaths really make it a must-see every December. I might be a proud Pitt Business grad, but you've gotta trust me when I say this isn't just my Pitt pride talking.
Aside from the the fact that the architecture of the building is gorgeous, The Cathedral is also home to over 30 Nationality Rooms that celebrate cultures from all over the world. We're talking everything from Chinese to Polish. And each holiday season these rooms are decorated based on each country's traditions. It's really cool to see how celebrations differ from country to country and even continent to continent. It's a Christmas photo opp and history class in one. Win!
The Nationality Rooms will be decorated through January 12th so you have plenty of time to plan your visit. However, it would be a smart move to check out the hours before you head to Oakland. The university is closed from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day (12/24-12/1). In terms of tours, you have two options: a guided tour or a tape tour. The guided tour is led by a tour guide and the tape tour is self-guided— AKA you get a key to access the rooms on your own. Just listen to the audio recordings in each room to hear the facts.
The best part about this whole thing? It's only 4 BUCKS per adult. That might be the cheapest thing you'll do all year. And in my opinion, the best 4 bucks you spend all year.
While you're in Oakland, you might also want to check out the holiday display at Phipp's Conservatory, the light display in Schenley Plaza, or even grab a bite at The Porch. Their pizzas are delicious. Grab a few friends and plan a festive holiday adventure!
Imagine yourself strolling down Butler Street, shopping bags in hand, munching on Christmas cookies, enjoying a weekend afternoon with your best buds. Sounds pretty dope right? Well, good news. You have the opportunity to do just that this weekend at The Joy of Cookies Tour in Lawrenceville!
The cookie tour is a free event that goes down every December. (Keyword: free!) It encourages Pittsburghers and guests to shop local and explore the Lawrenceville neighborhood. So how does it work? Well, over 45 participating businesses along Butler Street and Penn Avenue open their doors for this special shopping event to dish out free cookies, feature their goods, and spread some holiday cheer. Pick up a map at one of the stops or scope out your route online in advance here. If you're feeling spontaneous and you're just going to wing it, look for a gingerbread man in the windows of all the cookie tour stops.
Speaking of cookies, if you come across a cookie that is just to-die-for, there’s good news. You can collect cookie recipe cards at all of the participating stops. I’m on the hunt for some unique recipes to mix up my baking this year, so feel free to send some ideas my way!
Tips: While the cookie tour has it’s own hours, businesses may still stick to their normal schedule. If there’s a shop you’re dying to check out, I would check out their regular hours before you plan your day. Also, that pesky parking problem... Lawrenceville isn’t exactly known to be a parking paradise. If you’re close by, grabbing an Uber or Lyft may not be a bad idea.
There’s sooooo many awesome small businesses in Lawrenceville. This is your chance to explore and snag some unique gifts for the holidays. Let the shopping (and snacking) begin!