PITTSBURGH // HOWL AT THE MOON – OUR GIRLS NIGHT OUT

Sunday

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Sundays are a great days to start planning how you will fill up your week/end dance card! And I have a new fun place in Pittsburgh for you to add to a fun night of festivities! HOWL AT THE MOON | PITTSBURGH. (click on the name to access the site!)

Howl at the Moon is located at 125 7th Avenue  right next door to one of my favorite places to stop for pizza and beer  before a show – Proper. As you all know the sister had a beautiful baby girl back in February and that little nugget has been bringing us so much happiness and fun times, but sometimes a momma needs a little night out on the town. So when Howl at the Moon offered us a sneak peak at the new venue and an opportunity to have a ladies night out we were all over it like cheese on a sandwich! So we put on some makeup, threw on some clothes, prepped dad with all the baby goods and headed out for an evening of fun!

After a quick drive downtown we found a parking garage right across the street and headed on over. The staff was incredibly friendly, the beer selection was great (bells two hearted, new holland dragons milk and founders porter make an appearance on the menu) and if you are a fruity drink lover there are plenty of specialty cocktails to choose from. The cocktails are served in various sizes of containers to include the large, das boot like vessel you see the sister with above and also a bucket with straws to share! We settled in along the front windows which allowed for some great people watching, both inside and outside of the venue, and listened to the band perform familiar and sing along worthy tunes. We had a fabulous time! I’ve already promised a few friends a visit again soon.

So go on,  dust off your night out clothes from this winters hibernation and head on down to Howl at the Moon! Also check out their website – It looks like you can win a party which would be a great time! Just remember to invite me!

If you end up paying them a visit post a pic on instagram and use #howlatthemoonpgh so I know you made it!

 

 

 

ALL WHO WANDER

Wednesday

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“Not all those who wander are lost.” J. R. R. Tolkien
As the last of winter melts and my bones begin to thaw I can feel the change in the air. I took March to turn in, tune out and do a bit of searching (more on that in another post). And now I’m ready for adventure. Lot’s of adventure.

So what’s this wandering all about? Glad you asked. The sister and I have been brainstorming – a lot. And this just happens to be the outcome of one of those many sessions. As the first signs of spring started to pop up around us and come to life we yearned to follow suit. We have been making a list of staycations, day trips, adventures, many firsts for little miss and fun times for all. We wanted a way to document it and to share our ideas with others and so the hashtag was born.

Tomorrow we set off on our first adventure. We were asked to attend the opening of a new and exciting pittsburgh hang out and we couldn’t be more ready. Tomorrow we HOWL! (hint. hint.) You’ll have to stop back for details on our girls night out – the first for the sister since having the babe.

You can follow along with us on instagram HERE AND HERE or search #allwhowanderpgh

See you around!

OLIVE RAE // BIRTH STORY

Thursday

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Words will never describe the how deeply touched and honored I was to be a part of such a special and joyous day! Thank you to my sister and her husband for letting me be there on the day their family became three!Sweet baby Olive was born on 2/7/2015 at 3:04pm at West Penn Hospital in Pennsylvania. She weighed in at 6 pounds 9 ounces and 19.5 inches long!
I’m officially Auntie Rae

CLEAN YOUR MICROWAVE // THE EASY WAY

Monday

microwave
My guess is I’m pretty late to the ball game on sharing this, but in the event that you haven’t heard this little trick you’ll be happy I did. Maybe you can relate here. I always have great intentions to cover my food before it goes into the microwave, but sometimes (most times) it’s just an extra step I don’t want to take. I am, after all, microwaving something so I’m looking for a quick, convenient route and that paper towel just feels like so much work. And let’s face it…even when I do remember to cover my dish the paper towel often rotates it’s way right to the back of the microwave rendering itself useless. So I’m left with an awesome explosion of bubbly goodness all over the inside. And more often than not, the bubbly splatter is chili which manages to harden into cement that no amount of elbow grease and scrubbing seems to remove. That is until it meets the ol’ vinegar, lemon, steam trick. It’s as easy as 1,2….5.

what you need:

• vinegar
• water
• slice of lemon, lemon juice or essential oil
• microwaveable mug or container
• rag or sponge

what to do:

• fill your container with about 1 cup of water
• add about a 1/4 of a cup of vinegar
• squeeze in the juice of a lemon wedge or add a squeeze of lemon juice or add in a few drops of essential oil (you can use lemon, but I’ve also used grapefruit or peppermint)
• place the container in the microwave and turn it on for 5 min.

(Note: the liquid will boil. Always use a microwave safe container. If you are afraid your container will break you can add a wooden stirrer or wooden toothpick to the container. I’ve never had a container bust on me, but better safe!)

• After the 5 min. is up I wait 1 minute before opening the microwave. Be careful removing your container (don’t toss that liquid just yet – see side note below)
• Remove the turntable and give it a clean in the sink and then wipe down the inside of the microwave. If you have a particularly stubborn spot you can dip your rag or sponge in the heated vinegar solution to assist in getting off the grunge, but typically a quick wipe is all it takes!

Side Note – Don’t just toss that warm vinegar either!! I try to do a little double duty here. If you have a garbage disposal toss a little baking soda down that puppy before pouring the vinegar down the drain. It creates a volcano of cleaning goodness. (I’ve read places that baking soda, in this application, doesn’t really do anything, but I swear by it. I think it keeps my disposal in a non stinking, clean condition!) Then just run a little warm water and turn on the disposal. AND DONE!

In retrospect I should have taken a before picture too. It reminded me of the old school turntable splatter art.
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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

Saturday

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! What are your plans for tonight? We are having a quiet little night at home complete with a fire, dinner and a bottle of fancy wine we bought on our honeymoon! Valentine’s Day sure is a great excuse for a date night!

Speaking of date nights… what is your idea of the perfect date night with your love?

WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS

Thursday

dreamers
I have this habit of taking pictures from planes. My phone is filled with them! I love viewing the world from 10,000 feet and above. Traveling is also the time where I find myself dreaming of my future. Throughout the years I’ve had many dreams, but a few have stuck with me penetrating deep within my soul. I’m hoping 2015 is the year where I really start to make some of them a reality.

Have you revisited your dreams lately? What are you doing to make them a reality?

UNDER THE COVERS // DARKHORSE CANTINA

Wednesday

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I’m still chugging my way through photos when I can after work. I recently heard the Jim Gaffigan skit on photos and it cracked me up because I’m pretty sure my computers inability to function is due to the unbelievable amount of photos I have accumulated and not shared!! But I keep organizing and posting little by little. Don’t fret friends and family your memories are not lost!

I thought it would be fun to share a few from another show I attended for Under the Covers at the Deadhorse Cantina back in December. I have a lot to learn about low light photography. It’s a totally different beast! I tell you what…I don’t know how they do it. I give photographers a double high five for all the work they do! They are real rock stars.

When we were looking for a wedding photographer I had the best time looking through images from all of the talented pittsburgh photographers on the web. As I’ve mentioned before, we got lucky to be the last wedding for Sarah Chillson before she transitioned into the amazing boudoir photographer she has become. I posted some of our engagement photos HERE. I’ll have to share some images from our wedding! I just realized I never did that.

SWEET POTATO RAVIOLI // AND THE FUTURE OF FOOD FOR FRIDAY

Friday

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What do we think about instituting a little food for friday here on the blog?

Chris and I have been toying around again, A LOT, with the idea of starting a food blog and decided the other night that it might be fun to test it out on here. Currently Christopher shares photos of his food on instagram (if you haven’t seen it you should pop on over and check it out HERE it’s a food feed for sure).

I remember us talking about it years ago. We actually went as far as to come up with the name “What would Thomas Kellar do?” We were looking for a way to chronicle what we ate. Trying to avoid those conversations of, “what did we eat on Tuesday?” and “What did we put in it?” and “How the heck did you make that?”But then it kind of, well, fizzled out. But those conversations continue to surface. Now at least we can try to figure it out based on his photo and ingredients list, but we still don’t have steps and plans and I really like plans. Plus maybe we should be sharing those recipes. We like to eat and cook and cook and eat. We cook at home a lot. Like most nights of the week. And it’s usually a fun game of what do we have and what can we make with it. I pretty much list off the ingredients I want to eat for the night and then Chris gives me some choices and then we cobble together a few of the ideas and he executes them. It’s pretty fun. (I like to remind him all the time what an inspiration I am to his cooking. HAHAHA. He always chuckles, but we may never know if he actually finds that funny.) 

Most times the items cranking out of our kitchen are not this labor intensive. It’s not always a 30 min. meal kind of deal, but Chris prides himself on the fact that he can make a homemade pizza and have it on the table in under an hour which is quicker than our local pizza shop on a friday night.

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So what do you think? Should we give it a go?

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SPREAD THE LOVE

Wednesday

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I have a love hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Part of me feels a twinge of guilt over the idea that we need a day to remind us to tell those that we love that we do indeed love them. I mean shouldn’t we be doing that everyday? But let’s face it, some of us do need that reminder and who doesn’t love to be told that they are loved even if it is because there is a holiday dictating the practice.

If I’m being brutally honest here, sometimes I think I approach this holiday with a grinch like attitude because it’s easier than the alternative in which I get excited for the prospect of a most romantic evening of candles, dinner at home and champagne and wind up pinning my hair up, putting on pjs and eating peanut butter from the jar. (This may or may not be a recount of last years events). What I should be doing is approaching the day as a bit of a gut check. A little reminder to love myself, to love those around me and to let them all know it. So this year that’s what I plan to do. So to all of you that read this blog… thank you. I hope you know that you are loved and I hope you pass along the love and reminder to your loved ones.

So back to the reason for the round up of valentine’s. A small token of appreciation can do wonders for the mood. Nothing makes me happier than receiving a card in the mail. Sometimes I want to hold it to me like a big puffy sweater. Wrap myself in the envelope and savor the warm and fuzzy feeling…

So as we approach this Valentine’s Day maybe you can think of someone who may need a little reminder of your love and send along one of the beautiful cards above.

where to find them //  1. Rifle Paper Co., 2. Ferme A Papier, 3. Mr. Boddington, 4. Minted, 5. Rifle Paper Co.

DIY // MR & MRS CHAIR SIGN TUTORIAL

Monday

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It’s finally here…the mr. and mrs. chair sign tutorial. Remember this post ! This has become my most requested tutorial! I hope you enjoy. If you make your own be sure to let me know! I’d love to hear the outcome.

what you need:

• spray adhesive (I used Elmer’s, but there are others that would work just as well)
• gold acrylic paint (I used Martha Stewart’s 32103 Gold Multi-Surface Metallic acrylic craft paint)
• gold glitter (I used Marth Stewart glitter in smoky quartz)
• foam Sheets (I found these in the craft section near the felt. They are called Darice FOAMIES)
• scissors
• paint brush
• standard size hole punch (not pictured)
• template for chair sign (Click on link to the left and print on 11×17 paper – to have a cleaner finished product I suggest printing 2 copies)

optional:
• paper plate (this isn’t necessary, but makes clean up a cinch you could also use a piece of paper)
• gold eyelets – 10
• hammer
• clear coat

 

chair-sign-tutorial

what to do:

• print the template and cut out each letter (I suggest printing two copies, 1 for the MR and 1 for the MRS)
• arrange your letters onto of the foam and cut out the letters (if you find it easier you can trace the letters first and then cut them out. The pen lines would be covered with paint and glitter in the end)
• Now we paint – this step probably isn’t necessary, but i felt like it made a cleaner, nicer end result. Paint each letter on both sides and the edges with the gold acrylic paint. I used two coats of paint allowing each coat to dry completely in between.
• Once the letters are dry I hole punched each one (use the image above to help with the placement of the holes)
• Here comes the fun part! I suggest doing this outside as it can get sticky! Lay down some newspaper and get out the spray adhesive. (Have your glitter ready and a paper plate to assist in clean up.)
• Start with the backs of each letter working individually and spray the letter down with the adhesive.  (my directions said to wait 3 minutes before binding, but I felt like that was too long for glitter. I waited approximately 30 seconds after spraying to apply glitter)
• Place the letter on the plate (or clean sheet of paper) and cover in glitter… be generous… use the pour spout on the glitter. Shake the letter allowing any excess glitter to accumulate on the plate. Fold the plate (or paper) into a v shape and transfer the unused glitter back to the glitter container.
• REPEAT with each letter back
• Follow the same steps above and REPEAT with each letter front – note that spray adhesive dries very quickly
• If you aren’t happy with the glitter coverage you can do another round of spray adhesive and glitter. (I was happy with one coat)
• At this point you can string them onto your gold ribbon or rope, but if you’re up for it I suggest a little additional work. It’s worth it!
hammer

 

what to do:

• You will already have the holes punched for the eyelet placement at this point
• start the video below at about 1:40 on how to set the eyelets

 

And now you’re just about done! At this point you can spray each letter with a clear coat spray, which I did and do think they have held up nice. I used Krylon Clear Coat which you can find HERE on Amazon.

The final step is to string the letters with ribbon or gold rope and hang them up.

These would be great not only for the back of the MR. & MRS. chairs, but how about stringing them together and then hanging on the wall above a dessert table or on the front door of the couples house before they return from their honeymoon!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments!

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