Stylish Sundays at Swank

This winter has been annoying on a lot of levels, but one thing that’s been really challenging lately is keeping my hair vibrant and healthy. So when Swank Hair Studio and Pretty Living PR invited me to Stylish Sundays for a Blogger Blowout, I jumped at the chance. From what I had heard, a blowout at a hair salon typically involves using the right products and techniques to make your hair look shiny and smooth. With my thick, coarse hair, I have always wanted to try a salon blowout. 
Surprisingly, owner and stylist Melissa, was able to get my hair looking this good without even picking up a flat iron. That’s something I could never do on my own! My hair looked natural and healthy and the blowout lasted for a few days. I loved the results, and would highly recommend giving it a try if you want a salon-quality blowout.

Swank Hair Studio is located in that cute little stretch of Lawrenceville on Butler street. Besides the usual menu of services, the studio has a makeup artist on hand and spray tanning available from Bronze Beauty, the mobile spray tan boutique.

I loved the light and airy look of the salon as well as the glamorous and homey atmosphere. I felt like I was talking with girlfriends as the stylists and I chatted about anything from our favorite restaurants to cute guys.

Bella Christiez Sweet Treats provided the cupcakes. Because what Blogger Blowout is complete without a peanut butter and jelly cupcake? I had one. They are insane!

Beautiful pieces from Swarovski. I was eying up all of the rose gold.

Set up outside was the boutique on wheels Broke Little Rich Girl, Inc. When I ventured inside, I had to stop and look at every piece of jewelry and clothing. It all was so unique — nothing I had seen anywhere else. Luckily, she is set up in the Strip District on Saturday mornings.

Overall it was a stylish and pampered Sunday indeed! Thanks to Swank Hair Studio who provided the complimentary blowout and to Pretty Living PR.

Rubber Duck Project

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman designed this four-story-high rubber duck to “relieve mondial tensions as well as define them.” According to the Rubber Duck Project page, it does not discriminate and has no political connotation. The larger than life duck has been on display in Amsterdam, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong. It made its U.S. debut here in Pittsburgh on Friday. The boy and I attended its arrival in true Pittsburgh fashion: by cramming ourselves through crowds of people on the closed Roberto Clemente bridge. Apparently it stopped traffic as it made its way down the river on Friday. Pablo Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Just looking at the crowds of people on Friday night I believe the Rubber Duck Project accomplished that.

Snowed in

Old Navy sweater and shoes  / A&E jeans /  BP Nordstrom scarf / Nars Heatwave lipstick /  H&M earrings / Silver mine watch and bracelet
We were hit with our biggest, iciest storm yet this winter here in Pittsburgh this weekend. It meant no skating lessons Saturday morning, so  I decided to use my new membership to the Carnegie Museum of Art to see the Teenie Harris exhibit. It was nice to just sit and absorb the photo slide show in the exhibit hall. We also went to see one of my favorite movies of the year and my front runner for best picture, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It was a touching and beautiful story of a son trying to keep the spirit of his father alive amongst the tragedy of 9-11. It had a positive message in the end. What did you do to beat the cold and dreary weather this weekend?

Crocs and Pavement Day 5

Today is the last day of looks from my photoshoot with Crocs and Pavement. Check back through my other posts to see the rest of the photos.

I thought I’d end the week with my favorite outfits, these dresses and boots. Like I said in my last post, these sleek Crocs ankle booties look marvelous with a dressier outfit. This black smock dress has a wonderfully playful look about it with its gathering at the top and bell sleeves. The pattern has such a nice vintage flair to it. Even though this dress is more modest the boots kick it up a notch.

Crocs Avalita in Black
Pavement dress and belt 
Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton
Last Photo by Chaz Balasakis

I love the silhouette these black boots create with black leggings. They look so chic with this gorgeous purple dress. The ruffle spilling over the belt is extremely flattering. The whole ensemble is girly with an edge.

Crocs Exitosa Boots in Black
Pavement dress, belt and hat

Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton

Special thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to help with this photoshoot, especially Justinea Vidic of Crocs who made this all possible. Thanks for everything!

Crocs and Pavement Day 4

For the rest of the week I will be posting looks from my photoshoot with Crocs and Pavement with Pittsburgh as our backdrop. Check back throughout the week for more updates.

In areas like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, a winter coat is a wardrobe staple from end of October to Early April. Considering how often we don our coats, I believe they are just as important as any other piece of clothing when it comes to establishing individual style. That is perhaps why Pavement has such a great selection. The plaid pattern of this coat has a vintage feel to it. It reminds me of a Christmas Story because it looks like the kind of warm and practical coat that would be worn in the 1940s but with great stylistic details. I love the double brass buttons and the large collar that you can pull up over your ears when the winter winds start to pick up.

Pavement coat and hat
Crocs Cobbler High Boot in Chestnut

If you have a good utilitarian coat you also need a dress coat. Like I said, we take our coats seriously. The ruffle on Sarrah’s coat is adorable. A white coat is so bright and crisp even on the dreariest of winter days. The best part is that this coat can be worn for special occasions or just running around town. This pair of Crocs ankle booties also can be worn with jeans or for work especially if your job requires business casual dress but you still do a lot of walking. These booties will keep your feet warm, dry and most importantly they are comfortable.

Pavement coat and hats
Crocs Avalita in Chocolate
Crocs Umbrella in Berry
Crocs Umbrella in Navy  

Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton

Crocs and Pavement Day 3

For the rest of the week I will be posting looks from my photoshoot with Crocs and Pavement with Pittsburgh as our backdrop. Check back throughout the week for more updates. 

I never thought I would be very interested in a mini skirt until I saw these updated versions at Pavement. It was practically love at first site. I knew these cute boots with their fold over cuff would go well with this long sleeve cowl neck shirt and stripe skirt as soon as I saw them styled on Pavement’s Facebook page, which has amazing outfit inspiration by the way. The shirt is a really soft cotton material and the cowl neck and cut are extremely flattering. The skirt is perfect if you are not the type of person who can just wear leggings and a top. It adds that extra pop of color. This is one of those outfits that looks and feels amazing.

Crocs Cobbler Ankle Boot in Chestnut
Pavement shirt, skirt and necklace

I love the colors of this outfit. The tribal print skirt is a perfect compliment to these suede boots. Also the purples in the skirt and sweater really go well with the boot’s chestnut color. The edges of the sweater are wide like a poncho but with sleeves. It lays so nicely over the fitted skirt and leggings. I feel like this outfit could be worn out to the bar or dinner and still provide that cute look, while staying warm. I wish I knew layering could be fashionable in college.

Crocs Cobbler High Boot in Chestnut
Pavement sweater and skirt
Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton

Crocs and Pavement Day 2

For the rest of the week I will be posting looks from my photoshoot with Crocs and Pavement with Pittsburgh as our backdrop. Check back throughout the week for more updates. 

The Smithfield bridge near Station Square was our next location. I love how the girly fashions contrast with the bridge’s steel structure. The flowy bow-tie blouse I am wearing also plays well against the rugged features of these chestnut suede boots and jeans. The combination of tan and turquoise reminds of the American west. I am glad the girls at Pavement talked me out of my comfort zone with this blouse because I was very pleased with the results. Something that will work many different ways is always a great addition to one’s closet.

Pavement blouse and scarf
Crocs Cobbler High Boot in Chestnut

Speaking of American West how amazing are these faux-fur boots? You could definitely do some hiking through a forest in these and not worry about your feet being cold. I love the mixing of brown and black hues and textures. These boots call for an outfit on the more subtle side, but still require a small dose of fashion-forward. This loose knit sweater with its sheer quality and interesting cut provide that. Don’t be fooled by the sheerness of it. This sweater is extremely warm and soft.

Pavement sweater, necklace and belt
Crocs Cozycrocs Fuzz Bootie 
Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton
Last Photo by Chaz Balasakis

Crocs and Pavement Day 1

I could not be more excited to share with you my most recent collaboration with Crocs. Their boots for the fall and winter seasons have impressed me once again because of their ability to stay true to their comfortable roots while still offering fashion-forward styles. The boots come in gorgeous, rich fall colors and luxe materials. I think I could fall asleep wearing their suede boots they are so comfortable. 

To offer some complete fall looks, we teamed up with Pavement a local boutique in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I am in love with every outfit we shot. 

Joining me this time is Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa who did an amazing job with not only our hair and makeup but modeling too. I have never felt more glamorous and confident.

Here is the first round of outfits. Join me every day this week to see the different outfits. Enjoy!

We knew we wanted to do part of the shoot on Mt. Washington. It has the best view of Pittsburgh. The city turned out to be a great backdrop for these all American looks. Sometimes jeans and a t-shirt is all you need. Add this patchwork shawl made out of recycled materials and these brown suede boots and you get the right amount of texture and subtle hues for a more laid-back but put-together look.

Crocs Cobbler High Boot in Espresso
Pavement patchwork shawl and t-shirt
Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton
Last Photo by Chaz Balasakis

It doesn’t get more American than fringe and a motor cycle jacket. For an updated twist, try this classic jacket in a softer material. The braided fringe scarf adds another element and a subtle pop to this all black ensemble. A nice pair of tall suede black boots do all the talkin’.

Crocs Cobbler High Boot in Black
Pavement jacket, scarf and purse
Makeup and Hair by Sarrah Beyer of Esbi International Salon & Spa
Photography by Chris Hooton

I moved!

I know posting has been sparse lately, but I promise I have had a good reason. For the majority of the summer I have been able to prevent myself from letting the cat of out the bag, but I think now is the right time to let you know. I wanted to break it to you gently. The same way you would tell your spouse that you maxed out all of your credit cards on shoes. I moved. I moved to Pittsburgh earlier this summer for a new job. I wanted to tell you so many times, but things got so hectic finding a new place, moving into said new place, adjusting to my surroundings, getting lost, my new internet service not working…and somehow fitting a vacation in there…it’s all very chaotic. But now I am finally starting to feel settled.

What is to become of the Cosmpolitan Clevelander, you ask? Nothing. I am still a Clevelander at heart. You can take the girl out of Cleveland but you can’t get that weird fish smell out of the girl’s clothes. (Lake Erie joke?)

Anyways, things are going to be the same around here, although the local posts may be different. And I will of course be visiting Cleveland from time to time, so you still may see that city on the shores of Lake Erie.

And please no football jokes.

Narcisi Winery

When it comes to wine, I would say my knowledge falls somewhere between Miles and Jack from the movie Sideways. I don’t know about the different types of grapes used to make different wines or the importance of the soil from which the grapes grow or even how to properly examine a wine based on its look, color and taste. However, I do know that I enjoy dry reds, dry whites, and occasionally a sweet white, such as a Riesling. And my typical response to any wine I like is very Jack-esque: Tastes pretty good to me. So I will keep my review of the Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia, PA very basic.

The winery is located about 30 minutes from Pittsburgh and 2 hours from Cleveland on 10 acres of land in the Deer Creek Valley. Although we were not able to take advantage of it due to rainy weather, the property features a charming patio and live entertainment through the summer months.

Upon entering the rustic Italian building, you are greeted by a warm staff and the tasting room, which features a 30-foot copper top bar made of crotch wood cherry. Beginners are definitely welcome as a complimentary wine tasting allows you to taste up to 5 different wines. Out of the dry reds I tried the: Syrah 2008, Stella 2008, Cabernet Franc 2009, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Out of the dry whites, my favorite was the Traminnette 2008. For dinner, I chose my favorite from the tasting, the Cabernet Sauvignon.

For dinner, I had the pecan crusted shrimp and grits. It seemed like a good pairing. Out of our group, other dishes included Veal Marsala, Lobster Mac n Cheese, and Tuscan flat bread—from what I could remember. Overall I thought both the food and wines were very good, and I can’t wait to experience the added ambiance of sitting outside during a balmy summer night. Tours of the winery are also available.

Narcisi Winery 
4578 Gibsonia Road 
Gibsonia, PA 15044