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.
Whether you're a newbie in town or you've called Pittsburgh home your whole life, there's just something special about The Strip District. It's an up-and-coming neighborhood with historic charm, what isn't to love? I've been to The Strip more times than I can count, but I still find something new to appreciate with each visit. From diner eats and espresso to flowers and fresh produce, here's a few of my favorite stops.
DeLuca's Diner claims to be home to the "best breakfast in town" and I would have to agree! This Strip District staple is certainly nothing fancy, but it has an old-timey feel and the food is delicious. With pancakes, waffles, french toast, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and even a variety of lunch eats, it's true "good mood food." BEFORE YOU GO: You should know that DeLuca's is strictly cash only!
Four words: Chocolate! Covered! Coffee! Beans! You cannot make a stop in Allegheny Coffee without grabbing a handful of choco coffee beans and taking a moment to take in the amazing smells. This local coffee roaster is a Strip District must. Swing by and grab your favorite roast, a micro-brewed draft coffee, or just a quick wiff!
For all of the flower lovers out there, this one's for you! Roxanne's Dried Flowers is a shop filled with gorgeous and totally unique preserved flowers, wreaths, arrangements, and handmade goods. The vibe is natural and organic and the whole place is one giant photo opp. Tip: Check out the garden in the back!
If you're a fan of Italian food, you may have just discovered your new favorite spot. From fresh meat and cheese to every shape of pasta you can imagine, Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. has been helping Pittsburghers carb load for well over 100 years. If you're thinking of chefin' up an Italian meal, swing by to snag some authentic ingredients... and a little culinary inspiration.
If you haven't been able to tell by now, I'm a bit of a caffeine addict. And there's really nothing better than strolling the Strip on a chilly weekend morning sipping a hot latte from La Prima. This small espresso spot tucked away off of Penn Ave. boasts THE BEST espresso in Pittsburgh... in my opinion. Bonus: You might just catch an adorable group of elderly Italian men sipping their coffee and enjoying a game of cards!
I've rambled on about a few of my favorites, but there's sooooo many incredible bakeries, restaurants, storefronts, shops, and specialty stores that have called the Strip District home for decades. From fresh produce and flowers to homemade pierogies and hot pepperoni rolls, you'll need one big ass tote bag and an empty stomach for your stroll down Penn Avenue.