For 1 Cocktail
- Juice of 1/2 a blood orange
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 shot of tequila (Or whatever you're feeling, double it if ya want girl!)
- 1 can of club soda
- Orange slices for garnish
1. Fill a glass with ice
2. Pour in one full shot of tequila
3. Squeeze in blood orange juice
4. Add lime juice
5. Top off/fill with club soda
6. Stir! (Who has time for shakers?)
7. Add some fresh orange slices
For an extra fancy drink: Attach fresh flowers or greenery with a clothes pin! (As pictured)
Most of what you see on Burghologie comes from my perspective— AKA I'm always the one behind the camera... for the most part at least. I have to admit I enjoy a good candid or even a selfie from time to time, but most of what you see here comes from me, my amateur photography skills, and my Nikon.
So a couple of weeks ago I stepped out from behind the lens and put the photo taking into a true photographer's hands. I don't tend to like pictures of myself, but I was completely BLOWN AWAY by Ashley's talent. I mean, just look at how beautiful and glowy these shots are! I couldn't be more happy with how these photos turned out and if you haven't noticed, I can't stop posting them on IG. (Sorry... but not sorry!)
Ashley is local Pittsburgh creative and the owner and mastermind behind Ash K Captures, her own photography brand. From engagement sessions and senior portraits to nature photography and branding, this girl knows exactly how to capture personality and details. In my opinion, that's what makes a truly great photo. When I reached out to Ashley about this session, I asked for something with a warm, lighthearted, and fun vibe. I think it's safe to say she nailed it! Not to mention, I had a blast gallivanting around Mt. Washington. How can you not enjoy golden hour on a warm summer evening?
Ashley is such a kind soul and I can't wait to work with her again in the future. Check out her website and give her a follow on Instagram! I promise it won't be long before you're booking your own shoot!
I am pretty much the ultimate pizza-lover. I love all types, sizes, and flavors of the 'za, but this Prosciutto & Arugula pizza is one of my favorites and it's SO easy to make at home. You only need 6 ingredients. That's it. Throw it together, toss it in the oven, and bon appétit!
Even better: I get all of my ingredients for this recipe at Aldi. (Well, almost. I snagged the balsamic glaze from Trader Joes!) As you may have read, Aldi is always my go-to grocery store. Two gourmet, make-at-home pizzas for less than 15 bucks? Heck yes!
Specialty Selected Stone Oven Baked Artisan Flatbread
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Coat flatbread with generous amount of olive oil
3. Top with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella
4. Bake directly on the center rack for ~7 minutes
5. Remove from oven and top with arugula and drizzle with balsamic glaze
Fact: I love photography and I love editing photos. From messing around with my very first (super shitty) digital camera in 8th grade to shooting with my new Nikon, photos just mean a lot to me. I'm that one friend that doesn't let you touch your food until I've documented it... I don't think I'm really sorry about it. *Shrug*
For the past 7 months, I've built my Burghologie (and personal) Instagram feed with a custom preset I created in VSCO. I still love the aesthetic, but as we head into summer I wanted to change up my look with some warmer, brighter vibes. As I started shopping around I came to realize that Lightroom presets AIN'T CHEAP. I love a nice cohesive feed as much as any other blogger, but that pretty feed definitely comes with a pretty hefty price tag. For a girl ballin' on a budget, a $90 preset wasn't an option. This is just my hobby after all!
Luckily, all of my preset problems were solved when I landed on Preset Parlor.
Preset Parlor has a large variety of cute Lightroom Mobile presets. And the most amazing part? ALL presets are under $5. Yep, I'm here for it.
The filters aren't always a one-click deal, but with a little adjusting they make a really pretty, creative, IG-worthy edit. What adjustments you'll need will largely depend on the lighting and the colors in the photo. Before you buy, check out the descriptions for each preset. The captions describe what type of photo conditions work best with each filter. Personally, I'm drawn to photos that are very warm and bright with neutral undertones, so here are my top picks:
Check out the before and after shots below!
Preset Parlor is currently running a Buy 2 Get 1 Free promo! That means you'll get 3 new presets for about 10 bucks. I don't know about you guys but I'm all about the deals. Check it out!
I've lived in Western Pennsylvania for 25 years and I still hate... no LOATHE the winter season. Snowy roads, icy sidewalks, static cling, chapped lips, dry skin- it's all awful. Don't get me wrong, Pittsburgh itself is a great place to be. But DAMN can't a girl just get a few more sunny days?!
I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never escape the cold weather. I have a great job, I found myself a great guy, and all of my family is close by. I have a pretty amazing life here in the 412. I'm not going anywhere, so I've just learned to cope!
From an arsenal of fuzzy clothing to a fully stocked bar, here's my recommended approach to surviving a Pittsburgh winter:
1. Get Yourself a Heated Blanket
If you're an always-at-all-times-cold human like me, a heated blanket is essential for keeping yourself warm. If you live in what feels like an ice box like me, you're going to need one for every room. Hack: Before you get into your pjs at night or before you get in the shower in the morning, turn on your heated blanket and wrap your clothes in it. They’ll be nice and toasty when you’re ready to get dressed.
2. Don't Leave The House Unarmed
The white death dust, also commonly referred to as snow, can strike at any moment. Make sure you have a hat and gloves on you at all times and ALWAYS keep a snow brush/ice scraper in your vehicle. I don't know about you guys, but I am also chronically late so I do not have time to let my car fully defrost before hitting the road. I just recently purchased this windshield cover from Amazon and it is a lifesaver.
3. Stock up on Fuzzy Everything
In my opinion, every girl living in this region really just needs a full stock of fuzzy everything. Socks, sweaters, blankets, fleeces, hats- you name it. Tip: Dress in layers whenever you can. That super thick wool sweater will look like a great idea in the morning, but it won't seem so great when it's 2pm and you're sweating your ass off at the office. I like to layer a long sleeve shirt under my sweaters and jackets. My arms don't see the light of day until about May.
4. Stick to Hot Foods
There's truly nothing worse than being stuck with a cold bowl of cereal or a salad when it's 15 degrees outside. Stock your pantry with lots of warm comfort foods. My favorite cold weather eats are soup, oatmeal, rice bowls, stir fry, egg and turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches, cauliflower tots, veggie burgers, grilled cheese, and piping hot caffeinated cups of goodness (AKA coffee and lattes) Check out my DIY lattes post for inspo!
5. Deal With Those Pesky Pipes
For those of you that also live in an ancient house or apartment, there's a good chance you'll run into pipe issues when the temps sink to the teens or single digits. The building that my apartment is in is literally over 100 years old. (No exaggeration) So naturally, the frigid temperatures really screw with our plumbing. Tips: Leave cabinet doors underneath your sinks open to let warm(er) air circulate, leave all of your faucets on a slight drip, and don’t call a plumber unless your landlord says they'll handle it. Plumbers charge an arm and a leg and can't do anything for frozen pipes other than gradually warm the area with a space heater. You can do that yourself for FREE.
6. Bottoms up!
I'm just saying a little vodka never hurt nobody. Sometimes the cold is just a bit easier to manage with a buzz.
I love the local coffee scene in Pittsburgh and grabbing a hot caffeinated treat from time to time is also great, but a daily latte can hit your wallet pretty hard. $4-5 doesn't sound like much, but that adds up to $35 a week, $140 a month, and about $1,600 a year. 1,600 DOLLARS A YEAR. Yo, that's a tropical vacation.
With that said, I'm cutting back on buying lattes. Here's my fix:
First off, I would like to thank my brand new milk frother for making this all possible. This baby was only 40 bucks on Amazon and works great. Pour in your milk, press the button, and you've got hot and frothy milk in less than a minute.
My first experiment was a Chai Latte. I'm not fancy enough (or patient enough) to brew real chai tea, so Oregon Chai concentrate from Trader Joes was my go-to. The process was a piece of cake. Step 1: Measure out some chai concentrate. (How much depends on how large of a latte you want. Suggested portions are included on the packaging!) Step 2: Warm/froth your milk of choice. Step 3: Mix together the chai and milk and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Step 4: Call yourself a barista! I used 1% milk, but you can use any milk or milk substitute.
My second experiment was a matcha latte. I snagged some sweetened matcha latte mix from TJs. I give this mix an A! It was subtly sweet but not overbearing. Health nuts be warned: This matcha mix and chia concentrate have got the good stuff... sugar.
The process is the same as above. 1. Measure 2. Warm and froth 3. You know how it goes... Enjoy!
Now that I've got the frothing covered, I need to get my hands on an espresso maker. If you have a recommendation for a good, affordable option send it my way!
I'm semi-new to the lifestyle blogging scene, but in the past 6 months I've found some really helpful tools and apps that have made my life much easier. Here are some of my faves:
PicMonkey is great for drag and drop design. I actually built my logo and some elements of my website on this platform. There's limited functionality in the free version, so I pay $7.99 for a premium subscription. I think it's more than worth it. I don't have any true graphic design skills and this is a great alternative! This app is also a photo editing tool, but I'm personally not a big fan of their filters and editing capabilities. However, it is ideal for building unique collages!
Web app + mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices. | Free download
Canva is very similar to PicMonkey, but there's some notable differences. I really love Canva's template options and they have some unique text and photo elements. Inside scoop: Canva has great Instagram story templates that are easy to throw together on their mobile app. Their platform is also a bit more user-friendly than PicMonkey, but I still use both for different projects. The free version of Canva is all I've ever needed. However, there is a "Canva for Work" subscription with enhanced features that may be worth exploring.
Web app + mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices | Free download
I use VSCO for almost every single photo I edit... ever. Their filters are great and I've even developed my own preset. (My little secret: it's "A4" with a bunch of tweaks.) It's important to note that VSCO has recently changed their platform. You used to be able to purchase filter "packs" for a couple bucks each, but they've migrated to a full subscription-based concept. Their tools are available for $19.99 a year. Still not a bad deal!
Mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices. | $19.99
4. RNI Films
I just recently discovered RNI Films and immediately fell in love. RNI aims to give digital photos an old-school film vibe. The app itself has a lot of different editing functions, but I use it solely for its "grain" and "dust" filters. I add my preset in VSCO, save to my camera roll, upload the edited photo to the RNI editor for the final touches, and then re-save the final version back to my camera roll. I give this app a 10/10! It adds such a cool touch to my feed.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices | Free download
I'm obviously really digging the vintage-y, old-school film trend that has made its way to Instagram, so that's why the 8mm Vintage Camera is also on my list. This app allows you to record videos with 8 different lenses and 13 aged film looks. My favorite feature of this app is that you can apply effects to existing videos in your photo library, so those "oh shit that would have been cool" after-thoughts can still come to life.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices. | $1.99
Unfold is an app entirely dedicated to Instagram story templates. There's a basic package available for free plus several different design packs you can purchase for a small fee (around 2 bucks). "FF1" is my favorite because it ties in more of that vintage film look! (If you haven't guessed yet, my whole photo strategy can be summed up as "vintage.")
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices. | Free download
For my fellow detail-oriented, borderline OCD people out there, Preview is both a blessing and a curse. Preview features a drag and drop grid that allows you to "preview" the look of your feed before actually posting your content live to Instagram. You can even draft captions and search ideas for hashtags. One piece of advice: Don't spend too much time rearranging photos on this app, it is a battle against perfection and you will never win. I speak from experience...
Mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices | Free download
8. Camera Stuff
When it comes to shooting photos for my blog, I've got the basics. I have a Nikon D3400... that I barely know how to use. Thank god for autofocus! And I have my handy dandy iPhone Xs. Plot twist: Portrait mode is actually kind of just weird? In addition to the electronics, I have a tripod for my camera, a tripod for my phone, a wireless camera remote, and an amazing invention called SnapBridge for Nikon. AKA when I shoot photos on my camera, they're set to automatically download to my camera roll. MAGIC.
What are some of your can't-live-without tools for blogging or social media? Drop me a comment, shoot me a DM, or email me at email@example.com!
Sure, you can buy lovely little macrame pieces from Etsy and just about any home goods store, but the great thing about this DIY is the fact that you can customize your design to match any room, any fabric, or any color scheme. Here's what you'll need to get started:
1. A variety of yarn
2. A small treated tree branch
4. A flat workspace
It's best to pick out different colors, sizes, and types of yarn. This adds some variety to the pattern and adds depth to your design.
Pictured here: A mixture of warm oranges, browns, and ivory colors
Not to be repetitive, but I (of course) got all of my yarn from the Pittsburgh Center For Creative Reuse... because that's just what I do! It's cheap and I'm all about reuse, so all of my DIY materials are more than likely to come from PCCR.
When it comes to supplies, the other important thing to note is the tree branch. I don't recommend using a fresh tree branch from your backyard. I mean, you can use a branch from your backyard but you're going to need some time to properly prep it. Check out this blog for the full how-to! And if that all sounds like a huge pain in the ass, there's always the option to just buy one.
Once that's out of the way, the fun part begins:
Pick out a variety of yarn that matches your desired color scheme.
Cut one piece of yarn at your desired length then use that as a template to cut the remaining pieces. Plan out how you would like your hanging to look by laying out clusters of colors on a table.
Step 3 + 4:
Group your threads together and fold each bundle of yarn in half; creating a loop at the top. Wrap the bundle around the branch and pull the ends through the loop; tightening the yarn like a knot (as pictured above).
Continue tying yarn clusters onto your branch; working from the center out. To add a little something extra, I braided the middle three clusters and used a short piece of yarn to tie secure the braid at the bottom.
When finished tying, select a piece of yarn to use as the "hanger" and tie each end to the branch. Hang your creation from a hook (or anything that is available around your home) and grab some scissors. Trim the bottom of the hanging to be even.
Once you've shaped it as you like, you're officially done! I'd love to see your creations. Tag me on Facebook or Instagram or shoot me a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org!
I'm certainly not a health and wellness blogger and I'm also not big into product reviews, but I do have a whole lot of love for Brandless. So just this once I'm breaking my own rules. Here's the scoop on why Brandless rocks.
Well to start, everything is $3. From olive oil and nut butters to vitamins and face wash, EVERYTHING is just 3 bucks. As a young editorial coordinator with student debt up to my eyeballs, I have to admit that was a huge selling point. Still not sure how anyone can afford Whole Foods??? (x100 more question marks) Secondly, Brandless is all about simple, high-quality products. Bottom line: Their stuff is free of harmful chemicals, environmentally-friendly, and well-researched.
My first experience with Brandless was in November of 2017 and since then, it feels like they've nearly doubled their product offerings. The secret must be out. The product lineup includes over 350 items that's made up a variety of snacks and cooking ingredients, household items, beauty and personal care products, and stationery.
And from all of this wonderfulness comes even more "good". Brandless has a direct partnership with Feeding America. With every Brandless purchase a meal is donated to someone in need. To recap: affordable, convenient, high-quality, AND charitable. Not to mention I'm all about a good aesthetically pleasing minimalist vibe. And100% guilty of judging a product by it's cover.
More on that affordable part: they often run promotions for free shipping or discounts. My last order (of 17 products) came to $51, but free shipping, a SAVE10 promo, and $1.80 in tax brought it to a grand total of $42.80.
If you're interested in trying it out, here's my referral link: https://refer.brandless.com/s/lc2wg. You'll get $6 off your first order of $39 or more. That's basically 2 free products. If you happen to fall in love, Brandless's B.More Membership is only $36 for the year and gets you free shipping on every single order. That could save you some serious dough depending on how frequently you shop.
Here's some more deets on specific categories and my favorite products:
All of Brandless's food products are non-GMO and free of artificial preservatives. Even better, over half are certified organic. You can stock up on snacks like popcorn and cookies or snag everything you need for your next pasta night. Tip: You have to try the Coffee Bars. There's 70mg of caffeine in a single bar. That's the equivalent of a full cup of coffee. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins are also a personal favorite. What can I say, some days it's carrot sticks some days it's cookies. I'm all about balance.
As weird as it sounds, the Household & Kitchen category is probably my favorite. It's made up of cleaning products, household "essentials" (AKA soap and tissues), cooking tools, kitchen linens, and even tableware. All of these products are non-toxic and follow safer chemical standards than most brands. I'm a big fan of their kitchen gadgets and... the hand soap. One day you're in college ripping tequila shots and the next you're just really excited about hand soap. #Adulting I also just purchased a really cute Market Tote. When this miserable winter weather breaks, I am farmers market ready!
Bonus: I lumped Stationery in here. This category has all of your basic office needs and gift wrapping covered.
I can't claim to know a whole lot about health and beauty stuff because well, I don't. My skincare routine is pretty basic. Oil-free makeup remover + basic face wash, basic toner, basic moisturizer, repeat. But I do know that the Brandless personal care line is totally free of harmful ingredients like parabens, polypropylene, phthalates, and sulfates. Chemical free = thumbs up. That's all I've got.
What You’ll Need:
The deal queen strikes again: I got my holiday twine from Michael’s for less than $3.50 (what’s up 70% off?!) and I snagged the little holiday trinkets from PCCR for literally next to nothing.
I can’t explain when and why I developed a hatred for tacky Christmas wrapping paper, but for the past three years I have wrapped all of my Christmas gifts in a simple, plain Kraft paper and styled it up with some ribbon and trinkets. I guess I’m just really drawn to the “brown paper packages tied up with string” vibe. Where my Sound of Music fans at?!
This year, I of course stuck with my Kraft paper tradition but got a little more creative with some personalization. I ditched the name tags and added a little sentimental touch with polaroid prints. You can get polaroid style prints from a hundred different sites, but these guys came from Inkifi. I was super happy with the quality, price, and experience. They were delivered in less than a week! For a truly sentimental approach, you could also use real polaroids or old photos. Dig out those photos albums!
This look turned out super cute for all of my boxed gifts and was pretty simple. Here's the rundown:
1. Wrap your gift/gift box in Kraft paper
2. Tie up the box with twine or ribbon
3. Clip a clothes pin onto the twin/ribbon
4. Clip in the polaroid photo
5. Add any extra trinkets
I’m also gifting a couple bottles of wine. For those, I threw on a ribbon and one of my homemade cork Christmas tree ornaments. What are your gift wrapping tricks, trips, and ideas? Drop them in a comment below!