Thursday, September 29, 2011

PUMP-it up!

Pics to follow this post- but I am excited to go to my first PUMP event tonight- PUMPtoberfest.

PUMP is an acronym for Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, and is basically an organization for young professionals to network and a is a platform to be heard in the community.  PUMP also organizes all of the adult Pittsburgh sport leagues. 

The event tonight is "the annual membership drive and the celebration marking the beginning of the fall season."  The Oktoberfest-themed shindig will be held at Penn Brewery and will feature beer, food and live entertainment.  Needless to say, I'm excited!! PUMP's blog is pretty cool too.

Ready for my schnitzel! Will add pics later...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pittsburgh Public Market

Although I worked both days this weekend at our Healthy Women's Expo, after the event today I found some time to go to the Pittsburgh Public Market.  I love this place, and Van had never been-so this Sunday afternoon was perfect.  It's kind-of like an indoor and more permanent Farmers Market- with a variety of local vendors: produce, specialty dessert items, clothing, crafts, ready to eat foods, live music and more. The market is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays- so you have to take advantage of it when you can.  Parking is easy, you can either pay $5 to park on the side of the street as the market, or feed the meter to park on the opposite side of the street.  We chose to feed the meter- $1...score.
The entrance to the market:
 Since I love so many of the vendors in here, I'll just share a few.  Let's start with the UH-MAZING Baklava- because I <3 dessert first :)

A few photos of the Baklava-photo credit and descriptions: Jesse Mills. Thanks again for these awesome photos Jesse!
Here's the shot of the sweet cheese baklava - ricotta and Mascarpone layered with pistachio and sweetened with a rosewater simple syrup. The cup is made from FILO dough and clarified European butter
This next shot is focused on a shredded wheat with walnut and pistachio.
Next, we picked up some Pastis for dinner at the "Blighty-Like British Food but better" booth.  I know it sounds weird- but Van was craving British food.  I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised. 
Mmmmm...delicious Pastis. 
 The owner, Christopher Jones.

 Moi at the Pittsburgh Public Market booth :)

We had to pick up some veggies and meats from Clarion River Organics- love these guys!

And finally, it wouldn't have been right to leave the market without our fair share of smoked meats: Coppa, pork belly confit and eggs.  Thank you Crested Duck Charcuterie!

Nom nom nom, so much deliciousness.  So yeah, if you haven't been down to the Strip District lately- check out the PPM- it is awesome, and supporting local vendors and fresh food.  Plus, it's fun and entertaining- make it an outing. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Healthy Women's Expo

I'm not sure if I have ever talked about my work in my blog- but if you know me, then you know that I am a firm believer in health and wellness practices- particularly for women.  I am proud to announce that a program of the company where I work, Pathways to SmartCare is putting on our first, Healthy Women's Expo.  The Expo takes place this weekend, Sept. 24-25 from 10am-4pm at the David Lawrence Convention Center. The event will feature speakers, demonstrations and exhibitors for women of all ages, with activities for kids.  All of the details on the event can be found here.

Also, YES, men are welcome too, we don't discriminate- as I'm sure that there will be lots to learn in terms of healthful living techniques!  Tickets are $12 at the door- definitely worth it.  I'll be there. :)

Oh yeah- and I don't want to forget about the Healthy Women's local food tasting that we are having to kick-off the expo on Friday, Sept. 23rd from 5pm-8pm, also at the David Lawrence Convention Center.  I'm so excited about this tasting- should be fun and delicious, with lots of healthful local fare. Also, did I mention: beer, wine and cocktail tastings...Really.  Tickets for this events are $20 at the door. Amazing.

So Women- do some good for yourself and your community.  Also, bring your Man along!  Why not?! I mean, who doesn't like healthy women?

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Britney Bitch...

Last month two girlfriends and I decided to take advantage of a Groupon, and ended up with awesome floor seats to see Britney Spears at the Consol Energy Center. Epic venue.  I had been there previously to see a Penguins game.

Pauly D (yes- that Pauly D) and Nicki Minaj were supposed to open for her.  I was the most excited to see Nicki out of all three of them- but unfortunately she didn't show up to the Pittsburgh show.  WHY NICKI WHY? So we were left with fist-pumping and Britney...could have been worse...(maybe?)

For some reason, I just really wanted to see Britney live- once in my life.  I have to admit that this wasn't the toned, gorgeous, amazing dancer, Britney of the early 2000's-but the show was still a fun spectacle with lots of choreography and costume-changes.  I also have to say that the audience costumes did not disappoint.

This angel-Britney was from the finale- definitely the most spectacular!
Me and friends <3

All and all- I'm glad that I splurged a bit and was able to see Britney.  Definitely worth it.

If you don't know by now, I'm talking 'bout Sea-town.

Thank you Kanye for letting me bite that title.  Please don't sue me. :)  So, Van and I got home, (last week) from back-to-back West Coast trips to: Sacramento and Seattle.  A little rough on the old internal clock- but I am so happy that we could go.  The first trip to Sacramento was to celebrate Van's sister's engagement, and the trip to Seattle was for my cousin's wedding.  It was also Van's first Catholic ceremony- may I add.

So, of course- we saw family and friends in Seattle and ate a lot of seafood.  I HAD to take Van to some of my favorite restaurants and Pikes Place Market of course, since this was his first "real trip" to Seattle.  We had breakfast 2 out of the 4 days we were in Seattle at Portage Bay Cafe.  My foodie cousin, Melissa, had taken me to this spot one time- and I knew Van would appreciate the fresh, local, delicious fare.  He ordered the Crab Benedict-yuuuuum. Seattle seafood is phenomenal.  Obviously.

Pikes Place Market was a must...
The fish market (look how cheap that fish is?!) and me with pig. :)

Van with mustards and me with flowers.

We also, had to stop at my favorite bar in the market, The Athenian- hello day drinking.  I blame the time difference.  Feel free to reference, Sleepless in Seattle.
We were also fortunate to go out on my Dad's cousin's boat- on Lake Union.  It was even warm enough to go swimming.  The weather was absolutely perfect when we were there- but don't let that fool you- normally it rains...a lot. And I can say this because I lived in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years.  However, in the Summer- it really is one of the most beautiful places on earth. <3
Patriotic Van.
 Beautiful Seattle.
 Of course we had to make a stop here! We actually docked right at the restaurant-pretty cool.
 Beautiful sunset.
Our 4 days in Seattle flew by, but as always- I LOVE visiting and seeing family and friends.  Also, THANK YOU SEATTLE for not raining...once, in the four days that we were there.  I owe you.  And thank you to our awesome friends for letting us crash at your houses: Breanne/Pat and Libby/Will. Come visit us in the 'Burgh!