Category Archives: Local

Thoroughly Modern Vintage

Modern vintage? Talk about an oxymoron.

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I may be late to the game, but wearing vintage dresses is my new thing. For some reason in the past I assumed that if one was to wear vintage anything, one would have to match everything else to the vintage piece. Oh, you found a fifties housewife dress and you want to wear it? You have to wear your hair in a 50s style too, dumb dumb. And don’t even think about stepping out in anything other than shoes of the era. You may end up leaving the house looking exactly like June Cleaver.

Not that all of that is necessarily a bad thing. We’ve all seen 1940s pin-up styled gals on the more hipster side of town or in tattoo shops and they are pulling off the look, complete with victory rolls, effortlessly. God knows that people keep trying to bring back 90s fashion, so there’s that too. But something about wearing a head to toe look from a different time feels a little too costumey.

I had what I refer to as a “dumb blonde epiphany” a few months back when shopping at a local vintage fair: What if I bought this 1960s maxi dress and wore it just how I wear everything else? Then, when people inevitably ask where I got such a lovely garment, I can answer elusively with my nose up in the air: “oh, it’s vintage“. Sounds like an all around win to me.

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I don’t have the contact info of the vendor who sold me this blue maxi, but I did get three colorful, loud dresses from this shop that I looooove. This weekend a giant vintage event will take place here in Pittsburgh, and I can’t wait to see what I can score.

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¡Viva Fiesta!

Fiesta originated 125 years ago when citizens of San Antonio wanted to celebrate the heroes of the Alamo with what they named The Battle of Flowers. It became a tradition and is now ingrained in San Antonio’s culture. And get this, it is the only parade in the country to be planned and directed completely by women! GO GIRLS! When I was a kid, I was in synchronized swimming and our team, The Cygnets (baby swans), got to participate in the parade and had our own float. Being super clumsy, I was never allowed to go on the float so I had to walk. We were told to just throw candy at kids whenever we walked by them, which could be a little dangerous. When you think about it, the parade is a ton of giant piñatas spewing candy all over the place. No baseball bats or blindfolds involved so all the hard work is done.

source: walkerreport.blogspot.com
Photo: TOM REEL, Staff / San Antonio Express-Newsimg_1936

Being born and raised in San Antonio, I have a deep respect and appreciation for my city. When Fiesta comes around each year, I am again reminded of the history and culture of this beautiful city. N.I.O.S.A which stands for Night In Old San Antonio is where the party is at. Every year Sarah’s Dad, my uncle, volunteers and usually always asks for help. He works at the “Ranch Steak” tent. Ranch Steaks are a thin slice of chuck on a tortilla. Can’t get much simpler than that!

If a Ranch Steak doesn’t peak your interest, you could also try the infamous Chicken on a stick, or Steer on a stick, Elote (corn on the cob), or anything fried you can think of. Being a volunteer, you get all the sweet perks. Early entry, private bathrooms, air conditioned lobby, and free food. Whenever I had the chance to help out with my cousins, we would always be the ones taking tickets and banging the cow bell saying “RANCH STEAKS! GET YOUR RANCH STEAKS!” Then when 10pm came around (closing time) all the hungry drunks rush to your booth to get their greasy fill. Things can get a little crazy but overall, it’s a grand time.

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The whole month of April has Fiesta-related events going on, but the main events are from April 20th – April 30th. If you plan on making a trip, I would suggest coming for N.I.O.S.A., you will experience everything “Fiesta” in a span of 4-5 hours from good food, drinks, music, and partying. If you plan on bringing kids, I would recommend the Fiesta Carnival or one of the many parades. All information about the events and details can be found here.
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If you’re ever planning to visit San Antonio, come in mid-April and party like a local!

xoxo,
Christina

Coffee Shop Soundtrack

It’s been so difficult to keep this a secret, but….

WE’RE OPENING A COFFEE SHOP! For locals and anyone interested in visiting the ‘Burg in the near future, Cup Of JoeL Is now open in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville! Do you love specialty lattes with pictures of flowers in the cream, European-style espresso, and organic ingredients? If so, this is not the place for you. Are you craving a crappy cup of coffee that you could probably just make yourself at home? Well, crave no longer, Cup Of JoeL totally has that! Here, it’s okay if you want call it “expresso”, because that’s not on our menu anyway!

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Seriously, this April Fools joke has been sitting in my list of drafts for months now. NO, we are not actually opening a coffee shop, but whatever… Joel’s getting really good at photoshop!

P Is For Pizza

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Pizza and Friday go together like, well, pizza and freaking Friday. I double-dog-dare you to name a better combination! Pizza is universally good (so is Friday).

Anyway, we The Blumers have been working very hard and doing a lot of exhausting and extensive research in order to bring this post to the ole blog. We’ve rounded up our top 5 favorite pizza places in Pittsburgh (UM YOU’RE WELCOME!), but first let’s just talk about pizza, K? Our love for this stuff goes deep.

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I didn’t realize until I moved up north that the pizza in Texas kind of…. I HATE TO SAY IT… sucks. Okay, maybe that’s being harsh (Big Lou’s, Ray’s, and Dough are all excellent pizza places in San Antonio), but the pizza I grew up eating can’t hold a candle to the pizza I eat now (that being said, I’m still very much #TexasForever and it’s a fact the north will NEVER, EVER be able to figure out Tex-Mex, in my totally biased un-humble opinion). If you’re reading from my home state with a slice in hand, please carry on. It’s called blissful ignorance.

We spent 4 days in Italy on our honeymoon and we literally ate pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus the occasional midnight snack. You know what they say, “when in Rome… eat pizza as the Romans do…”*

It’s been an unspoken tradition to have pizza in some way, shape, or form on Friday nights here at the Blumer Haus. It’s been especially nice lately because I’m trying to not eat carbs during the week (ya know, gettin’ back to my fighting weight), but on Fridays I go ham on some pepperoni. It’s what I most look forward to during the week!

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Alright, alright, alright. I’ll quit my jibber jabbering and get down to business. Without further ado, our favorite pizza in Pittsburgh:

  1. Mama Lucia’s NUMBER FREAKING ONE FOR A REASON. THIS PIZZA IS SO GOOD I HAVE TO WRITE THIS IN ALL CAPS TO GET MY POINT ACROSS. WE DON’T CARE THAT IT’S A PAIN IN THE ASS TO DRIVE TO EITHER. THEIR PEPPERONI WINS AT LIFE.
  2. Luciano’s  I can’t believe there was a time in my life when I hadn’t experienced Buffalo Chicken Pizza! Luciano’s makes the best! And they’ll make you a heart shaped pizza if you ask nicely enough!
  3. Pizza Grande the pepperonis are all like little pools filled with grease that I just want to dive into. Sound gross? It’s not, YOU’RE GROSS.
  4. Italian Village Pizza best, most convenient pizza by the slice.
  5. Two-way pizza tie between LaNova Pizza because they provided the pizza for our wedding after reception after party (we had leftovers for days too!) and Pizza Perfecta because their pizza is, um, perfecta?

If you’re a local and you’re reading this and you’re thinking “hey this b-word left out S___ Bro__” well, I did it on purpose. Broaden your horizons. Also, their service sucks. K BYEEE.

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Pizza Tank/TATY, Pizza Float/Ban.do (sold out, similar)

*funny, we actually did not go to Rome.

Night At The (Warhol) Museum

I love going to art museums. I especially love going to art museums when they have free admission (bonus points if they serve wine). Every Friday night, throughout the month of January, the Andy Warhol museum (here in Pittsburgh, Andy’s hometown) offers just that!

Unlike the shit show you might meet when visiting most museums on a free night, the layout of the seven story museum does a pretty good job preventing big hoards of people from congregating in front of one piece of art. We’ve been paying tribute to the King of Pop Art for three years in a row now, and we never get tired of seeing his work. As of recently, you are now allowed to take photos inside of the museum, so grab your camera man and have him capture you looking at art. If anyone ever doubts how cultured you are, just whip out those pics!

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Dancing at the Warhol 2014
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Twinning with Andy 2015

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Some of my favorite Warhol quotes:

“Art is what you can get away with”

“One’s company, two’s a crowd, three’s a party”

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The floating silver balloons are my second favorite installation. It’s a lot of fun to play with those things, but be gentle or you’ll get yelled at.

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Some of the rooms have parachute lined seating areas where you can sit and pose and pretend to look at art.

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The skull/Mao room is my number one favorite! When I first visited Pittsburgh in 2011, Joel took me here and we sat in this room for a long time talking about art and making out and stuff.

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The museum has a stuffed lion as well as a stuffed Great Dane. Taxidermy FTW. I wish I would have thought to stuff my Great Dane, Samson.

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It’s advised to start at the 7th floor and work your way down, which we did last Friday even though I was wearing new shoes and the elevators were out of order. The photo booth in the basement of the museum is the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. AND they have a play area for kids complete with a copy of Where’s Andy, a spinoff of Where’s Waldo that’s fun for people of all ages to play. Also, don’t even get me started on how they have the best gift shop of any museum ever (you can buy your own copy of Where’s Andy)!

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Tomorrow night is the last night to visit the Warhol Museum fo free, but if you can’t make it this place is worth the price of admission!

 

A Blu(mer) Christmas

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And just like that, Christmas is in two days… This time of year is known for its ability to fly by, but it seemed to go by even faster this time around. Maybe it’s because we never drank hot toddies and listened to holiday music or decorated the house while the Netflix Fireplace burned in the background. We kept the decor to a minimum this year because a) we somehow misplaced the bin containing most of the ornaments, stockings, etc. and b) our cats decided they like to mess everything up anyway. This is our first Christmas as a married couple! It may be a milestone, but the only thing that’ll really be different is we’ll get to sleep in the same bed at Joel’s parent’s house on Christmas Eve… IT’S A BIG DEAL FOR US.

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One pretty cool thing that we (98% Joel) made this year was a gingerbread house version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. His family used to enter (and win!) gingerbread house making contests all the time and they’ve got some pretty mad skills (shameless family brag)! As I watched him build the model first out of cardboard and duct tape (the graham cracker was adhered to the cardboard because we don’t play by any of society’s rules in this house, damn it) I kept telling him that maybe he should have been an architect, he coulda been a contender. His talents know no bounds. He’s kind of the best.

A great, new tradition of ours is to go to the cute, tiny theatre down the street that plays Christmas movies and watch our favorite one, Die Hard. They serve beer there so everyone gets good and rowdy. We went on Saturday night and I wore the big faux fur coat I’m wearing in the pictures above and when Joel came downstairs, he asked me why I was dressed like Martha Wayne aka Batman’s dead mom.

We’re kicking Christmas weekend off by heading to Emo Karaoke tonight! It really is the most wonderful time of the year and I hope you all have the happiest of holidays! BYEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

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A tree destroyed by kittens

 

Leather + Lace

I won’t lie to you, the title of this post sounds like it could be the name of an adult video store, but I was actually thinking of the Stevie Nicks song when I named it:

“Give to me your leather; Take from me my lace” (I wonder what the song is about. Wink wink, nudge nudge….)

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There’s something so endearing about the combination of these two textiles. Leather and lace make me think of both a good gal gone bad and a rebellious girl with a heart of gold. The juxtaposition of something sweet (lace) and something savory (ha,  because leather, get it?) almost always amounts to a big fat fashion w-i-n. Hey, if you didn’t notice, I KNOW BIG WORDS!

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For the most part, I spend my weekdays wearing yoga pants and minimal makeup, which is why I always feel the need to over primp and over dress on weekends. Joel and I get a lot out of our photo shoots together: I get a self esteem boost, and he gets to practice his portrait photography on the prettiest (only) girl in the whole damn forest.

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Lace Maxi/ Annie Gogglyn (sold out), Faux Leather Jacket/ Similar, Shoes/Kate Spade