30 November 2010

Handmade Goodies

Ok so, whether it was lack of preparedness or interest, I did not participate in Cyber Monday. I have little desire to step foot inside a mall to complete holiday shopping. Last year, I had more luck at boutiques and stores on Walnut Street, South Side Works (Sur la Table, to be specific-- the best for stocking stuffers, too)  and the Handmade Arcade, which unfortunately, has been postponed until April '11.

Fortunately for those looking for unique handmade crafts, there are 3 viable options on the horizon.

Sweetwater Holiday mART
now through Sunday, December 5
Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley

I Made it! Market
Friday, December 3 - Saturday, December 4
South Side Works next to REI

Space Collective Holiday Show
Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 18
4823 Penn Avenue

And this Thursday begins the Joy of Cookies tour in Lawrenceville. Marked with a gingerbread man at participating retailers, enter the boutique to sample a tasty cookie, get the recipe, and shop.

10 November 2010

Barrel of Fun

Absolutely discussion worthy: there is now a Crate & Barrel store within a 10 mile radius of the city of Pittsburgh! I'd like to say I have something to do with it. We created our wedding registry at C&B in our original home store location of Providence a few years back. It was less than ideal managing it only online. And our friends here drove to Cleveland to complete their registry.  So I wrote a letter making my case. There is much demand. And here we are, with a shiny new store.

Whatever the strategy was, I am overjoyed. C&B has the best selection of kitchen, entertaining and decor items you never realized you couldn't live without. Top 5 things on my list (although I could easily go on):

The chunky glass votive candleholder from Finnish-based Iittala. I love the quatrefoil shape.
These placemats are gorgeous and so elegant. Looks like mother of pearl, but according to reviews the shell material is an easy clean too. 

I really wish I had a need for some barstools. I love the industrial ruggedness of these.

Of course, Crate & Barrel is the place to go for adorable holiday knickknacks. I refuse to look at anything red and green until after Thanksgiving. I would love a pumpkin spice cookie shaped like a pumpkin from this pretty glazed mold.

All of the acacia wood pieces are gorgeous. And just $20 for this smooth little chip and dip bowl.

06 November 2010

Lights, Camera, Action

The lineup of films for the Three Rivers Film Festival looks amazing! Wonderful foreign films, indies, and many others with a connection to Pittsburgh. The festival runs at various theatres around the city from November 5-20.

Although gruesome, After Life with Christina Ricci and Liam Neeson (and Drew Barrymore-boyfriend Justin Long) looks to be a good one. A special reception with the director will follow the screening on November 18.

04 November 2010

So Sweet

The best cupcakes in Pittsburgh can be enjoyed at Vanilla Pastry Studio in East Liberty. Period. Seriously, there must be drugs mixed in the recipes because I am addicted. My favorite this Fall season was the carrot zucchini with cream cheese icing. The pumpkin spice was a close second. 

Don't be deterred with the construction for the new Target store. They are still very much open, and willing to deliver advance orders to your car! Although it's worth the stop inside. Light and airy with cases of  beautiful baked goods, the glass paned french doors allow you to peek back at the pastry chefs hard at work. Go on a Saturday and you're sure to see a tiered wedding cake being constructed to perfection. Although this Saturday, Vanilla Pastry will host an evening event for artist Keith Schmiedlin from 6-9pm. 
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