Tag Archives: Pittsburgh

The other night I had the pleasure of dining at in the South Side. The idea sparked long ago but conceptualized a few days before the dinner. I found myself tiring of the routine restaurants I’ve been frequenting on the weekends and wanting something that would stick with my palette. Sometimes, I become a creature of habit (especially when I’m penny pinching). Sometimes, that creature needs to let go, and so I did.

Cafe de Jour reminds me of the Italian restaurant I worked at during college. It was set up more like a bar than a restaurant with an exposed kitchen and a few small tables. When we entered, there were about four other couples. By 8:15 p.m., those couples were gone and we were the only ones in the restaurant.

Cat’s coworker raved that their spinach artichoke dip was the best she’s ever tasted. After sampling for ourselves, we wholeheartedly agreed. The waiter giving us extra bread was a nice touch, too. We enjoyed our appetizer with a little bubbly picked up by Cat, sipping to a long week’s worth of work. I like that Cafe de Jour is BYOB with only a corking fee of $2 per person. I prefer to bring my own wine to most places if I can.

I don’t eat meat at my home, and I rarely eat out during the week so ordering a meat entree is always a treat on the weekend. I decided to go with the pork chop that was donned with a piece of bacon, wilted greens and baked polenta. Honestly, the polenta was a big selling point for getting this dish, and it did not disappoint.

Cat ordered the steak which was, of course, to die for.

Nick went with the chicken, and I especially loved the presentation of this dish.

Nothing quite like an evening out with two good friends. It’s been forever since the three of us went out fine dining. We decided that we’re going to implement a restaurant club and maybe try a new place in a new neighborhood every month or every other. I’m sure there’s a way to sample delectable food without breaking the bank, especially after the holidays. Me & my bestie:

… and my other bestie. I loved the background and the way the walls were covered. Set a really nice ambience and mood, and reminded me of why I truly love living in Pittsburgh.

Here’s to more dinners out in the ‘burgh!

Phipps Conservatory Winter Flower Show

On Friday night, Cat, Nick and I decided to venture to to see their Winter Flower Show. Honestly, and not to sound cliche, but such beauty requires few words, so please view the slideshow below for beautiful flowers and fun moments with friends.

I’m getting into the Christmas spirit – one step at a time!

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Did you ever get a god-awful present for Christmas? It’s that present that your cousin or sister or aunt just thought you’d love. And you can see the intention there. You can see the thought behind their gift, and you hug them for that. But inside, you’re thinking: what will I ever do with this? or how can I regift this? or should I just get rid of it immediately? That’s how I felt about getting this gem last year.

I’ve seen these photo boards before, and I don’t understand their mechanics. The purpose is obvious but the execution just doesn’t make sense to me. You can’t see very much of the photo, and the Christmas colors? That sent me over the top.

However, for whatever reason, I kept this gem. I really love and respect the person who gave it to me. It just wasn’t my style. She meant well, I knew that and so I kept it. Finally, last night, I was inspired to do something with it.

I have a ridiculous amount of jewelry that I don’t wear mainly because it all sits in a box inside my dresser. Since my necklaces aren’t displayed, I forget about them. So I’m turning this ugly Christmas-colored bulletin board into an open jewelry box. As I watched TV, I took my time cutting and removing all of the green ribbon. Tonight, I plan on stopping by the craft store and buying newer, prettier ribbon along with some push pins or something heavy I can wrap my necklaces around.

To be continued. I hope. More pictures in the future.

I’m not one for the fanfare of Halloween. I apologize if you are, and this makes me a grump. I’ve just never really liked dressing up. When I was a kid, half of the costumes wouldn’t fit me (chubby kid syndrome), and as I got older, my costumes never felt funny or witty enough. There was one year that Cat and I dressed up as each other (she as a Rose; me as a Cat). That was the year I loved. That was the year we won a Jenga game. Another year I dressed up as windblown woman (an idea stolen from a friend). Other than that, nothing much to report.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for escapism, I do enjoy creative projects tied into Halloween. So last night, Cat hosted our friends Cortney and Kelly over for a night of pumpking carving and catching up.

I enjoyed the way we all figured out what we wanted to make. Cat and Kelly both had ideas in mind already, while Cortney and I doodled on newspaper and sat quietly. Truthfully, nothing spoke to me this year. I googled pumpkins and found an abstract design that seemed pleasant.

Then, we all got to work. Which involved a lot of concentration:

and a good amount of conversation:

At one point, Kelly came into the room and said I looked incredibly sad. I wasn’t, but while I do find the activity of carving pumpkins to be therapeutic, I also find it tiring. My arms are the weakest part of my body. I guess it’s good I finally gave them a workout.

In the end, it was totally worth it. My pumpkin might not hold very much meaning. Nor does it represent my life in any way. But it’s something I’ve never done before, and I’m proud of it for that reason. For once, I’m not going to overanalyze what these shapes or pattern mean. It is what it is, and I’m fine with that. Self judgement is too exhausting; I’ve given that up this fall. I just love that golden glow on the porch. Feels like home today.

Do you like to carve pumpkins? What have you made this year or in the past of which you’re proud?

I almost forgot to write about something VERY important that happened last weekend. I finally got to meet Heather of Heather Bakes!


I’ve become a “bad blogger” in the sense that I don’t carry my camera around constantly anymore. But Heather gladly said I could repost her photo from her ┬áSo there we are – at Pamela’s in the Strip District. I was able to meet not only Heather but her parents and a family friend who resides in the ‘burgh.

Meeting Heather was a super big deal for me. On my old blog, I mentioned this numerous times – but Heather was the reason I started blogging way back in 2008. I was poking around on the Weight Watchers forums (I was a member for years), when I stumbled across an entry she had written. I noticed she had a URL in her profile that linked to a blog.

At that point, I had heard about blogging before but really only livejournals or xanga’s. We used them in college to write about our lives and tell our friends things we couldn’t say in person (and fill out revealing surveys.) So when I saw pictures of food on Heather’s blog – I was intrigued. It was the first time I had ever seen someone track their daily food intake by taking pictures and writing about it. I kinda thought it was strange, but I enjoyed Heather’s writing voice. Her blog led to another and to another and before long I was setting up OALP, hitting publish and beginning my very own “healthy living journey.”

Needless to say, Heather was exactly how I thought she’d be. She’s sweet, friendly, funny – and she seems to have a great family. We all talked as if we had known each other for years. Plus we had a delicious breakfast to boot. The only thing that would have made the meet-up even better is if her hubby Brian and son Jack could have attended. Next time.

Since I’ve moved into a more anonymous style of blogging, I haven’t really done blogger meet-ups in Pittsburgh. But I’m so glad that I did. This is one I will certainly remember, and I hope I get to see Heather again someday!


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