Phipps Conservatory Visit with Meaghan Cutrell Photography

Exhibit “SUPER. NATURAL. Glass Art by Jason Gamrath”

I recently had an opportunity to spend an afternoon exploring Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory during the Super Natural glass exhibit. Phipps offers a beautiful, tranquil place to escape to for a relaxing time.  You can stroll for as long as you’d like to, refreshing yourself by soaking in the greenhouse air. These gorgeous professional photos are by my creative BBF Meaghan Cutrell Photography of Westmoreland County. See the full gallery here.

Check out more information about the artist and see more pictures and video from the display on the Phipps website here.

Girls born in October are the best kind of girls 👭

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Pittsburgh’s Urban Winery, R Wine Cellar

R Wine Cellar Urban Winery

R Wine Cellar is a family-owned urban winery with a quaint shop located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. They focus on creating wines with grapes grown in Pennsylvania, California, and South America. I recently enjoyed a fun afternoon exploring their wines when I stopped into the strip store for a complementary tasting.


R Wine Cellar produces a wide variety of wines including three fun specialty wines a peach chardonnay, red spiced wine, and an apple spiced white wine.

Fiona Peach Chardonnay

My favorite R Cellar wine that I tasted was a fresh and fruity wine with hints of peach and apricot. The fruit creates the sweet, and the Chardonnay adds a and crisp finish.

Next time you visit the Strip District, I would encourage you to stop into R Wine Cellar’s charming store. I enjoyed chatting with the owner and tasting their wines. Cheers!

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Christmas Home Decor Markets

Christmas Home Decor Market

The holidays are my favorite time of year simply for the decorations. I’m more excited to decorate my home than a kid is on Christmas morning. To me there’s no such thing as too many lights or too much sparkle. To prepare for this upcoming holiday season, I returned to my favorite home decor shopping areas of Frederick & Buckeystown Maryland and Leesburg Virginia. About a three hours drive from Pittsburgh, these towns are overflowing with home decor shops filled with treasures.

Chartreuse & Co.

We started the day of treasure hunting in Buckeystown, Maryland at Chartreuse & co. This is a co op space of a few charming farm buildings filled with antiques and upcycled treasures. One day I will own a kitchen hutch from here. This visit was filled with beautiful holiday finds.

Sweet Clover Barn

To continue the tour, we visited Sweet Clover Barn, a vintage home decor and handmade marketplace housed in a dairy barn on a horse farm in Frederick, Maryland.

I bought myself a charming vintage Santa mug and festive plaid place mats.

Old Lucketts Store

We then ventured on to the Old Lucketts Store, which was filled to the brim inside and outside with treasures of all kinds. They were having a special holiday design show house this weekend and the line to get inside was an hour’s wait! Again, I really couldn’t believe how much stuff was there. Every time I turned a corner there was another festive room and another decorated stairwell to explore.


I found a Christmas tree shaped sled and a bottle brush tree cloche ornament to take home as my own.


It’s an amazing magical Christmas decor land right!? I can’t wait to work in my new holiday pieces into my Christmas decorations this year. My bank account is lucky we don’t live any closer to this epicenter for home decor, or I’d be there shopping every week. Now onto working towards buying a house I can fill with all my current and future finds.

There are a few more special market weekends at these stores through December, make sure to check their websites to see when they are open!

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Smallman Galley for Sunday Brunch

Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley is a co-op space for chefs looking to launch their own restaurant, a “launch pad for the best new restaurant concepts in Pittsburgh.” It’s a unique space housing 4 restaurant concepts, a full bar, and coffee bar. The creators of Smallman Galley aim to “cultivate and accelerate undiscovered Chefs by providing a forum to showcase their capabilities, hone their craft, develop business acumen, and build a cult following behind their concepts.” The space has four fully outfitted kitchens and open seats for guests, providing the infrastructure for chefs to test their concepts with low-risk and low-cost. To Pittsburghers it offers an amazing place to find interesting meals!

Currently the restaurant concepts in residence are Iron Born, Colonia, Banhmilicious, and brunoise. As with my first visit to Smallman Galley, I had a hard time deciding what to order with 4 unique chefs and plenty of creative menu offerings.

After weeks of seeing the pizza all over Instagram, I decide to try Iron Born. It offers a truly unique style of pizza for Pittsburgh! Iron Born Pizza may have a Yinzer name, but it’s a Detroit-style pizza. It is set on a fluffy, thick crust baked in a cast iron square pan which creates a truly delicious crispy caramelized crust and bottom. The cheese running over the edges creates crusty caramelized cheese! I split the White Pie of : Garlic Cream – Caramelized Onions – Marinated Cherry Tomatoes – Arugula – Ricotta – and I added sausage. The combination was great! The garlic sauce isn’t overpowering and the caramelized onions were delicious and sweet!  I would love to return to try another pie – the Carbonara Pie sounds delicious.


My boyfriend ordered Bacon & Egg Fried Rice, from Banhmilicious. It was very interesting and delicious, like nothing I’ve had before. The rice was a smaller than usual grain type and served with a fried egg on top and a side of soup. The soup appears to be a clear or an onion soup you would have at a everyday Asian spot, but once you taste it you realize its SO much more. Its almost like a spiced latte or strong chai tea – but meets the starter soup you’d have at a hibachi place. I asked and the soup features cinnamon, ginger, five spice and cumin (if I can remember correctly). We also had the mango bubble tea, which was filled with fresh mango. It was nice and refreshingly sweet.

I highly recommend a visit to Smallman Galley in the Strip District and can’t wait to return for another meal myself!




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La Bicyclette – Carmel by the Sea

la bicyclette

I recently got to fulfill a few dreams, taking an amazing trip to California with my BF! We traveled in late September adventuring through San Francisco, San Jose, Moterey, Carmel by the Sea and even Yosemite. A highlight of the trip for me was experiencing the food scene in the Montery, Carmel area. This area features many french inspired spots! The area served as my foodie side’s play area.

La Bicyclette – Carmel by the Sea

I had this spot at the top of my list ever since researching the Carmel foodie scene weeks before our trip. La Bicyclette restaurant is small, charming and quaint with rustic french country kitchen touches. It’s located right in the main shopping, touristy district of Carmel-by-the-Sea.


We stopped in for a late lunch on a weekday. I had read a lot about the pizzas, but we couldn’t resist the server’s description of the special mussels with fries, “Moules-Frites”. I usually don’t choose mussels, my BF loves them, and I was surprised to find that these were delicious! They were sautéed with shallots, garlic, fennel, and leeks and came in the classic “Pernod broth,” a white wine herb broth. It was outstanding, full of flavor and seasoning! The fries were truly tasty fried and crispy. It also came with a rich, decadent aioli dipping sauce. I couldn’t decide what was better with the salty fries, the broth or the aioli – I used both 😉

We also enjoyed the fromage board that was served with local honey comb and poached pears. The bread was filled with fruits as a nice, unexpected touch.

cheese board la bicyclette carmel california

I would recommend Carmel’s La Bicyclette restaurant for couples traveling to the area looking for a charming and interesting lunch spot. It was a memorable dinner, I hope I will continue to remember this meal when I look back to our trip! Next time I visit I’d like to enjoy a pizza and tap into the wine list 🙂 I can’t wait to share more from my trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea!





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