Must Have Monday

I’m still in the midst of my love affair with blush pink and when I got an email featuring this Lace Trench, I almost passed out!

Lace Trench

I couldn’t find it anywhere local in store and it was selling out within hours of the email delivery, so I was really having an internal debate about whether or not I needed it in my life.  Could you even think of a more perfect Easter coat?  GAH!!!  Find it via the pink link above.

Black Dress

I bought a bunch of stuff online last week and it is finally starting to arrive.  Some were hits, some were misses, but this dress was a definite hit.

It’s super easy to wear, the sleeves give nice coverage and the box pleat front is very flattering.  I would call it medium to light weight material, so perfect for now until probably the end of May, but I personally think it would be too hot for dead summer.

I sized up one size in this, who knows why at the time? but I was glad I did.  I really wanted it to skim my body and it does, so I would recommend sizing up.  It is definitely a keeper! Find it via the pink link above.

IT Cosmetics

I have always been pretty loyal to Lancome foundation.  It was medium coverage, which is what I have always used, plus I have sensitive skin and it does not like change with regard to foundation.  For whatever reason, Lancome has always been my go to and any time I veered from it, I was left with a splotchy, itchy face.  The joys of genetics!

Unfortunately, Lancome quit making my old standby formula.  I bought their new version and I don’t know if I am happy with it yet.  I know that sounds weird, but trust me.  It may end up that I find a new one to love, but we aren’t at that stage of our relationship yet.  I am just not sure if I love the coverage / consistency yet.

While I was dithering about my Lancome situation,  I was watching a makeup tutorial on you tube and she used full coverage.  All of a sudden, I needed a full coverage foundation in my life.  I am sure you can relate!

Anyhoo, I happened upon this IT Cosmetics foundation right after that and had to have it!  I’ve worn it exactly twice since I got it and so far, so good.  No skin reaction, fingers crossed that stays the same!

But, what I love is the full coverage!  I thought I would hate it and feel like I had a ton of makeup on, but I didn’t.  I could tell it was way more coverage than I usually sport, but I didn’t feel like it looked like a mask (as I feared).  It looked pretty natural.  I loved not seeing freckles and really just seeing a smooth canvas.  Those of you who always use full coverage are probably thinking, duh! For me, it was so different, but good different. Time will tell if this becomes my new go to, but here’s my pros and cons to date.


Coverage is very nice. I bought the Light shade and it was a great match to my pale winter skin and actually warmed it up.  It applied very smoothly.


The bottle is tiny!  I had to use several pumps to cover my whole face and I think this little bottle is going to go fast!  I also am not sure how it is going to hold up over a 12 hour day.  I am not one to touch my face up (other than lips) through out the day, and I wasn’t 100% sure how well the hold up was after an entire day.  I will give it a couple more tries before I say it’s not good.


Foundation Brush

My other IT Cosmetics purchase was this foundation brush.  I watched a video of someone using it and was mesmerized.  It honestly is the easiest thing in the world to use plus it is baby soft!  You just pump some foundation on your hand, dip the tip of the brush through it and then sweep the brush across your face.

The way the brush is cut, it will sweep under your eye perfectly.  I found it a bit clunky around the tip of my nose, but I just smoothed that section out with my fingers.  This is a complete yes and definitely something I would recommend!  Find it on Amazon via the pink link or they sell it at Ulta too.




Federal Galley Pittsburgh

I had been waiting for the opening of Federal Galley on the NorthSide of Pittsburgh  for what seemed like forever!  It’s been open a few months and I’ve been able to check it out a couple times since it opened.  I thought those of you who are local to Pittsburgh and haven’t had the chance, might want to see what it’s all about!

Federal Galley is the second concept of this type in Pittsburgh.   The first is Smallman Galley located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood.   Federal Galley is four restaurants in one location.  There are four very different cuisines available and a communal dining room and bar.

I absolutely love this idea!  It is perfect for groups of friends who all have different dietary needs or just can’t agree on where to go!  You can each order from your choice of restaurant and still sit together and enjoy each other’s company! One car, one trip, four choices!

You pick from one of the four, either El Lugar, Michigan & Trumbull, Supper or my fave, Provision Pgh.  Order and pay at the restaurant of your choice, go grab a cocktail at the bar (or order non-alcohol at the restaurants), pick a table with your companions and your food is brought to you!

All the restaurants have their own staff and kitchens.  There are chalkboard menus showing what’s featured at each above their registers.  All the staff has been super friendly during my visits and always willing to answer any questions I have about the food.

I’ve only been to Federal Galley during the work day, so I haven’t partaken of the bar yet, but those who have tell me it’s excellent.  Water is provided on each table, along with glasses and silverware can be found either at the restaurant window or at a nearby communal area with napkins and trash cans.

I’ve also only been here in the Winter, but can’t wait to visit once the outdoor patio area is open.  It looks amazing so far!  And even in the Winter, the large garage style windows let in tons of light which all of us native to Pittsburgh know is necessary!

There are a few small tables, but most are family style large tables with lots of seats so you can share your experience with others.  There is also a bar top along the ordering windows with stools.  You can see it a few photos above.

Now what’s really important, the food! I haven’t tried all four yet, but I can say so far, my very favorite has been Provision Pgh.  They have a lot of choices, but my obsession is their Provision Fries!  They are magical!  They actually told me their secret on Instagram.  Shhh! They are triple cooked!  Seriously, try them, no one I have turned on to them has been disappointed!!  Plus, the Provision Pgh staff is so accommodating to my super picky self!  They are so great about any tweaks I want to make to my order and so friendly!  I actually am going to try their Impossible Burger (vegan) next!

Even though Provision Pgh is my fave, I’ve never had a bad meal at any of the ones I’ve tried.  Friends brought along on my visits all ate at different places and all said the food was amazing.  Granted, I’ve only been here during the day, but we’ve never had a problem waiting in line or finding a place to sit.  You might need to share a table with other people, but you aren’t right on top of them (in my experience).

Now on to the second most important thing to Pittsburghers, where’s it at and where can I park?  It’s located in Nova Place, which used to be called Allegheny Center, it is in the plaza (outside courtyard) area between PNC’s end of Allegheny Center and the Children’s Museum.  On street parking recently opened up along West Commons (Allegheny Circle), so you can park on the street or park in the garage.

Federal Galley has various activities throughout the month and you can check out what’s planned on their website here along with directions. 

How to Choose Flooring for Your Home

We have tons of things on our wish list to swap out in our house to make it more us, but we agreed the first thing we needed to do was change out the flooring.  Hopefully, my experience will help you choose flooring for your home.

I went a bit crazy with the pinning and researching of flooring options, check out my Home Decor board to see what I mean!  We considered both  hardwood and laminate options.  I knew I wanted wide plank and a lighter color.  I was leaning toward gray washes and some barn wood options.

We needed something that could withstand some moisture and I wanted something relatively hardy and low care.  With a dog, we needed it to be able to withstand any errant nail scratches and random accidents.

We went to our local big box home improvement centers and brought home all the samples in our color range.  We were able to take our samples and try them next to the kitchen cabinets and in various rooms to see how they looked in different lighting.

This of course weeded out some colors.  I truly felt like Goldilocks.  Nothing was feeling exactly right and I was bummed.  My beloved gray washes were okay, but they just weren’t screaming yes to me.

We had pretty much ruled out hardwoods at this point, so I did some more research on laminates.  We found a Pergo product called Pergo Max Premier and it met all of our needs.

I turned back to my friend the Internet and found a color in Pergo Max Premier that I thought might work.  We went to several stores that said they had it in stock to see what it looked like in person, but unfortunately, all of their web sites were incorrect.  This was just the beginning of my annoyance with big box home improvement stores in this odyssey!

The color I thought was the answer to my flooring needs was Blonde Onyx Oak.  It was a blend of black, brown and a barnwood beige.  We decided to order a box of the shade to see it in person since no one had it in stock. Miraculously, we both loved it.  It looked great in different lighting and we were sold.

Photo from Pergo’s website of Blonde Onyx Oak

We went back to the store and ordered it and it was a nightmare from then on, but it’s over now and we love it!  I truly cannot recommend the store we bought it from, nor the installers, but we do love the product so far and we love the color.

I did have a minute of buyer’s remorse the first day I came home from work and saw it partially installed.  It seemed to have a lot going on and it took my eye a minute to get used to it in our house.  I chalk it up to being half of a room and the pattern not being completely throughout the room.  Now though, I think it looks great. The brown and barnwood beige colors tend to be predominate and the black is more of an accent to me.  I wanted something that worked with wood tones, black and gray and yet had a warmth and I think this flooring does that well.

It has also stood up to some pretty severe spills.  On Christmas, the Christmas ham platter spilled on to the floor and grease went everywhere.  It cleaned up, no problem!  I am anxious to see how it holds up in the coming years, but everyone we’ve spoken to said it is the highest quality Pergo product and should last a long time.

My 10 tips for choosing flooring for your home:

  1. Do research on laminate versus hardwood and choose what fits you and your family best.  There are pluses and minuses for both.
  2.  Grab every sample you think you might like and bring it home.  Some stores charge for samples and some don’t, but it’s a pretty nominal amount.
  3. Put the samples down next to your built ins and furniture and take a photo.
  4. Try them in every room and every time of day to see how the light affects them.  You can see in my photos how different my floor looks in my kitchen versus my hallway.
  5. Look at your photos and see what grabs you!  I was able to narrow down my choices via photos much easier than in person.  Weird, but it worked!
  6. Go back to the drawing board if you have to!
  7. Check the manufacturer’s website for colors not carried by the stores.
  8. Order samples of anything not in stock!
  9. Make sure you LOVE what you choose, flooring is not cheap and you are going to have it for a long time, be sure it’s a firm yes!
  10. Make sure your installers mix up the pattern with laminate.  Since the pattern repeats, you don’t want multiple pieces with the same pattern next to each other.




Plus Size Resort Wear

The weather where I live has been abysmal so far this year!  Even though it is supposed to warm up this coming week, my mind has been on the beach since January.  I’ve seen lots of blog posts about resort wear for straight sizes, but not many for plus size.  I decided to put one together for us!

Winter getaways are usually short, so I like to pack things that can be worn for several different occasions.  I like to get a big bang for my item so to speak!

Let’s start with what to wear to the airport.  I usually wear jeans, tshirt and a lightweight jacket that can be worn with dresses and shorts if it turns out to be chilly at my destination.

Jean jackets are pretty much a universal packed item, but for something different this bomber jacket would work great.  It looks great with a tshirt, dress or shorts.  It serves essentially the same purpose of your jean jacket, but it’s a little trendier.

Bomber Jacket

If you are feeling a little daring, I found this super cute tunic sweatshirt and I’m thinking this would be amazing to wear on the airplane coming from a colder climate with leggings.  It could double as something to throw on when the ac is too strong in the hotel or even something to wear to sleep in a pinch.  It comes in several other colors but I do love this pink.

Hooded Tunic


After figuring out my airport outfit, the very first thing I pack is my bathing suit and cover up.  I tend to pack too many of each, but if I could only pack one, it would be this bathing suit and this cover up.   The bathing suit paired with a pair of shorts could definitely pass for a top and the cover up is great for breakfast or lunch on your way to the beach.  I love pieces I can wear both to the beach and around the hotel without feeling like I’m in my bathing suit in the lobby!

Off the Shoulder Swimsuit


Beach Cover Up

I also think this maxi dress is a must.  It can be a coverup, wear it sightseeing or for a casual dinner.  It’s one of those dresses you are going to wear a million times.  Cute with the bomber or a jean jacket when the nights get chilly.

V Neck Maxi

For a little color in my suitcase, I have to add this fun maxi.  I can definitely see this being worn to lunch or date night depending on shoes and accessories.  I love the halter neckline!  Again, looks great with either jacket choice.

Print Maxi

You need an interesting shirt to pair with shorts or your jeans you wear on the plane and this one fits the bill.  I can see it looking great on a ton of different body types.  It’s basic, but with a twist,  Something a little different than your ordinary gingham shirt.

Off the Shoulder shirt


I love this jumpsuit and think there’s tons of places to wear it on vacation.  It’s definitely something that depends on the shoes and accessories to determine how dressy it is.  You could pair it with flip flops and a hat for the day and high heeled sandals and tassel earrings for night time.


Speaking of hats, I always pack a couple in my bag when heading to somewhere sunny.  I make it a point to always protect my face from the sun.  The rest of me I try to protect, but my face always!  Wrinkles are not funny!

I usually have some kind of baseball hat or fedora that I wear on the plane and then I pack a big sun hat.  If you don’t have a packable one, put clothes in the middle of the hat and then lay it hole down in your suitcase (with the clothes in the hole part) and then pack around it to keep it’s shape.  This hat is reasonably priced and has full coverage.

Floppy Hat


You also need versatile bags to take with you.  I love this bag for your casual day looks.  It’s perfect for the plane and around town and could double as a beach bag in a pinch.

Resort Bag

I also dig this straw bag and think it could get a ton of wear.  Really cute with all the outfits above.

Black Straw Bag


Now we are up to my hardest part of packing, which is which shoes to take?  I think you can’t go wrong with these two.


And along with your flip flops, throw in these amazing sneakers! Though I would probably wear them on the flight. Totally in love with them.

Animal Print Sneakers


To finish it off I would throw in some pajamas, shorts and a tshirt or two plus my beauty essentials.  Click on any of the pink links below the photos to locate the items shown.

What would you pack in your bag?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Valentine’s Day Pittsburgh Style

Valentine’s day is one of those holidays that always sneaks up on me.  You know it is coming, but you sort of forget about it and next thing you know it’s here.

I decided to start looking for some things to do to celebrate Valentine’s day earlier this year and came up with a couple really interesting choices for Pittsburgh locals.  These aren’t your usual dinner and a movie ideas!  Now to just talk my husband into one of these!!  Note that since Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday this year, some of these are the weekend before and the weekend after the actual holiday.

Cupids and Canines

When:  Saturday February 17, 2018 from 6-11 pm

A Monte Carlo night to benefit Humane Animal Rescue and Bow Wow Buddies Foundation.  There’s a band, auctions, and a dog wedding.

More information here.


Wigle Whiskey’s Spicy Soiree

When: February 10 and 11, 2018 (check website for times)

Celebrate Wigle Whiskey’s release of this year’s Afterglow Roasted Ginger Whiskey.  Live music and tasty bites including ginger donuts!

More information here.


Animal Instincts Valentine’s Dinner at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium

When: February 16, 2018

This one is a bit out there, but for the right couple it would be perfect!  It’s different, that’s for sure!  It’s dinner, cocktails and an adults only presentation on exotic animal mating!  There’s also some small animal visits, let’s hope they aren’t mating!

More information here.


My Snarky Valentine at the Children’s Museum

When: February 8, 2018

An evening of food, drink and making.  There’s adult crafting, karaoke, and pierogies!  Can’t get more Pittsburgh than that, right? There will also be some adoptable animals from Humane Animal Rescue.

More information here.


Galentine’s Day Yoga

When: February 13, 2018

A sixty minute yoga sesh at the History Center followed by prosecco and warm chocolate chip cookies plus after hours access to the American Spirit exhibition.

More information here.


Valentine’s Day at Heinz Chapel

When: February 14, 2018

I went to Pitt and have never heard this legend before, but it’s on the internet so you know it must be true (ha!)  Legend has it that if you kiss on the steps of Heinz Chapel, one day you will be married there. The first fifty couples get a rose and if you stop by the Schenley Bridge and add a love lock and you have an Instagram perfect day!

More information here.


I’d love to hear what you are doing for Valentine’s Day in the comments below!




Must Have Monday

Happy Monday!

I’ve been down and out with a cold/flu type illness for the last 4 weeks, ugh!  It has been horrible, but so many other people have it too.  Every time I hear someone else on a conference call sounding horrid, I’m like, welcome to the club! I don’t ever remember an illness taking over everywhere at the same time, like this one has, so weird to have colleagues across the country with the exact same cough I have!

If you too have been suffering, this over the counter medicine is the only thing that even remotely helped.  I would not say it cured me, but it got me through having to work through this illness.

My husband described my symptoms to a pharmacist at our local grocery store and she recommend it.  Good job random pharmacist!  Again, if you are as sick as I was, please go to a Dr (I did twice and it still took 4+ weeks to even sort of get over it).

Prior to the illness (we just call it the illness now-ha),  I had tried to limit my Target trips, so I would stop buying “all the things” at Target.  They have so much cute and it just gets out of control, you know? So of course, once I was feeling better, I wanted to go to Target.  And of course, there was a ton of cute!

The first thing that caught my eye was the Sugarfix by Baublebar earring display.  It looked so springy and bright, just what this miserable cold weather needs!

I love regular Baublebar and the Sugarfix for Baublebar version at Target is so identical to it and for so much less money and instant gratification, what’s not to like?

Here’s a closer look at the Spring stuff.  Gah!  So cute!  I ended up buying a pair from the third row down.  I had been eyeing a similar pair at Baublebar and for $12.99, I was much more comfortable taking a chance.  I like that they are really lightweight.  I hate wearing super heavy earrings.

I also found a display of sale earrings.  These were marked down to $10 which is a great price for two sets!  They look so very similar to the regular Baublebar!  I’ve eyed up those triple ball earrings a couple times but never pulled the trigger because I wasn’t sure they were me.  I did end up buying the gray and gold set on the lower left.  I couldn’t pass it up at that price.  They are actually pretty cute on and again, super lightweight.  I would have jumped at the tassel earrings at $10 but I already have the original Baublebar version.

My next find probably wasn’t as exciting to most of you as it was to me.  I have been looking for new canisters for my kitchen for the last couple months and nothing was really jazzing me.  I wanted something pretty classic and either clear or white with a lid that formed a seal.  I was either striking out or they were just too much money for me to feel comfortable with.  I had looked at Target before, but hadn’t seen anything I liked.  This weekend, though, I wandered down the aisle again and found exactly what I wanted!

Heritage Hill Glass Jar

These Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill Glass Jars were perfect!  They ranged in size from ginormous to a regular flour/sugar size and then a smaller one to use for coffee/tea.  If you are a crazy shopper like me, you may realize that Crate and Barrel has the same line.  Take a look here.

Llama Salt and Pepper Shakers

So llama’s are everywhere right now and I am here for them.  I saw these llama salt and pepper shakers (the pepper one is gray) and had to have them.  For $2.99 a piece they were a pretty cheap indulgence.

What have you seen lately at Target?  Tell me about it in the comments!


Christmas Bucket List

I know, I know, I am a bit late with this idea, but I’ve had so much craziness going on, I haven’t had time to type it up and you don’t want to have to try and read my handwritten list of these ideas!

I absolutely hate to waste a vacation day and since I tend to hoard my days until the end of the year, I have a couple to take this month.  I wanted to come up with some ideas of activities I could do with my husband, family or friends on those days.  Most of these I’ve done at various times of my life, but listing them all out in one place makes it easy to pick one when the mood strikes and helps me remember to celebrate the season! Plus, I figure listing them all out, will make it way more likely my husband will pick one he wants to do!

If unlike my husband, you like to do things on the spur of the moment, you could write them each on a slip of paper and pull one out of a jar for a spontaneous outing!  Since I got such a late start, I am only listing ten, but if you have more ideas, let me know in the comments!

Christmas Bucket List

  1.  Make an ornament
  2. Take a drive to look at Christmas lights and be sure to pick up hot chocolate on the way!
  3. Hold a Christmas movie marathon in your pajamas (Here’s a list of my fave grown up ones)
  4. Make fudge or rock candy
  5. Donate toys to a local toy drive or buy for a family in need
  6. Host a cookie party where everyone goes home with a dozen of each guests special favorites
  7. Cut paper snowflakes out
  8. Go see the Nutcracker
  9. Make cinnamon rolls for breakfast and fight over the one with the most icing
  10. Figure out your New Year’s plans ahead of time