Pittsburgh’s Newest Climbing Wall

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Welcome back to the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been a while friends. You’re probably wondering where the heck I have been. TBH, there isn’t really any drawn out dramatic answer, I just wanted to do other things. I was out living my life. I’m at an age where I’m trying to just figure it out. Recently, I realized I missed documenting things here that I was able to look back on and remember where I was in different points of my life. Which brings me back to this little corner of the internet today!

Over the last year, I’ve taken on a new hobby; rock climbing! My first time to  The Climbing Wall in the East End left me challenged and sore. And every time after that, I’ve left feeling the same! I’ve always been athletic, but climbing is something different. It requires insane upper body strength and strategy. I’m by no means a pro or probably even what people would consider “good”, but it’s fun! When I was growing up participating in sports and athletics, it was always very competitive. Being the best was the most important. In climbing, it is not like that AT ALL. Climbing is such a supportive community of genuine people that encourage each other. I’ve had complete strangers high-five me when I finish a challenging route. When I work out at a traditional gym, no one talks to anyone. When I go to the climbing gym, EVERYONE talks to EVERYONE. It is so refreshing.

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When I heard a new climbing gym, ASCEND Pittsburgh, was opening in the South Side this past week I knew I had to check it out. When we arrived at the renovated building on Saturday afternoon, we were blown away. There are 4 separate bouldering walls to choose from with many difficult routes. (Bouldering is free climbing without ropes or belay.) There is also a auto-belay wall. It requires certificiation and I haven’t gotten that far yet.  There is also a yoga studio, a fitness area, a kitchen, a chess lounge, child watch room and an indoor bike rack!

First things first, fill out your waiver online on before you go! It speeds up the check-in process. ASCEND has two convenient free parking lots for visitors, a nice perk for its location. They offer a variety of membership options that can be found here; we opt-ed for the day pass. We were pleased to see if it’s your first time visiting, climbing shoe and chalk bag rental were complimentary! We made our way to the locker room to stash our belongings (we wish we brought a lock for the locker, next time!). We then were given a walk through of the gym explaining rules, etc. After our short tour, we were off! We climbed on every wall we could get up and had a blast! We spend a total of two hours climbing. At the end, my arms were so tired and sore I just couldn’t pick myself up the wall anymore!

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It is an AMAZING facility and I had a really great experience. I thought I should note though if you are a brand new climber, like my friend who joined me, there aren’t many routes for you. ASCEND to me is a gym for the more experienced. If you are a beginner, I would recommend visiting The Climbing Wall on the East End first. The walls are not as tall, there are more VB-VO routes and it’s cheaper. (Ladies night special on Wednesday, $6!) My friend that accompanied me said she felt she needed to spend some more time there before level-ing up to ASCEND.

I’m excited to be back to blogging! Look for more to come.

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

 

 

 

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Jordan Year

 

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Today I turn 23, and although I’ve heard no one likes you when you’re 23, I’m looking forward to the year ahead more than ever. Year 22 has tested me, changed me, excited me, intimidated me, and humbled me. This year taught me that while you’re busy making plans, life is re-arranging everything to make even better ones. It’s an exciting thing to know some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet. 22 felt like a year of lasts and the close of a chapter. My last year of school, my last summer vacation, my last college apartment. 23 feels like a year of firsts bursting at the seams. 13754_10153045063867473_4693476689928598013_n

Lessons Learned in Year 22

Social Media Fish Bowl- Living in the 21st century, we look at someones Facebook profile and think we know what is going on in their life without even asking. I used to think it was a great way to stay in touch with friends from college, relatives, etc. but I have come to find it is hurting and isolating my human interactions. I don’t want to read about someone’s new job when they update their status and write “Congratulations!” in the comment section, I want to hear the excitement in their voice when they call me and share the news. I want to hear about a new boy in my friends life over coffee or cry about their break-up over ice cream. I want to experience life with my friends on a Friday night, not watch it through their snapchat story. I want to live and share more on a personal level, outside a social platform.

Self-Love – I have a quote I found early in year 22 hanging on every mirror in my bedroom. “We’re are all so worried about being pretty. Let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, pretty strong.” This quote has brought me so much closer to self-acceptance in world of constant comparison and I hope it can do the same for you. We have so much more to contribute to this world than a perfectly filtered selfie.

Vulnerability– A couple of years ago, I had my first real heartbreak. When it happened, it felt like it was never going to get better. I told myself I was never going to feel that way again, which means I was sacrificing the unbelievable feeling of being in love again. I didn’t let anyone close enough to hurt me for quite some time. This year I opened my heart up again. I found that the possibility of being hurt is outweighed by the magical feeling of being in love. I also learned that heartbreak still stings, but everyone you lose is not a loss.

23, I’m ready for you.

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Uniform

This rain and 70 degree weather is really putting a damper on my fall fashion excitement! I’ve made a commitment to NOT purchase summer clearance items and solely focus on making fall clothing, but I’m not getting to put it to instant use. Today I’m showing you two everyday looks that wear all season!

First is my “everyday uniform” or the pieces I find myself wanting to wear everyday of fall. Black skinny jeans with a slight wear-and-tear, booties, loose fit tee, paired with an army green vest and topped with a wide-brim hat! If it’s not a vest, its a flannel or a jean shirt/jacket tied around my waist. I’m a fan of the “rule of third” adding an extra piece that isn’t necessary but enhances your outfit simply.

Second is my on-the-go look or as fashion likes to call it today “leisure chic.” I’ve recently gathered an obsession for joggers. They are publicly appropriate pajamas! I’ve also been living in my leather vans since the moment I bought them and their the perfect transition shoe from sandals to winter boots. To make the look a little more ready to wear, I threw on my leather motorcycle jacket.

I’ve been on the HUNT for a small leather backpack for weeks! They’re the perfect bag for a fall concert or running errands and I can’t get enough of it.

What’s your fall fashion item you can’t go a day without wearing?

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

September Tunes Tuesday

Is anyone else itching for fall weather and fashion?! On this official last day of summer, I’m packing up my summer wardrobe and indulging in all things layers, dark colors and cozy! One of my favorite parts of fall are the tours that come through the city! Falls a great time to enjoy an outdoor concert with out having to sweat your way through an entire set. I can’t wait share some upcoming #OOTD’s on my instagram, be sure to follow along at @seaschelll!

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Thrival Music Festival – September 25-26th – The Alamo

Must sees: Panic at the Disco!, Oh Honey!, Lights, Manchester Orchestra, Beauty Slap

Kaskade – October 15th – 31st Street Studios

Timeflies – October 18th – Mr. Smalls Theater

Mayday Parade – October 24th – Stage AE

The Chainsmokers – November 10th – Stage AE

Currently listening to:

Here – Alessia Cara

What do you Mean? – Justin Bieber

The Hills – The Weeknd

Levels – Nick Jonas

Coming Over – Dillon Francis

Just For Fun – Timeflies

Hula Hoop – OMI

Black Magic – Little Mix

Who will you be going to see this fall?!

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

5 Simple Tips for a Fall Internship

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Back to School is here, yippee! As happy as I am to be a graduate, I’m still a little sad I’m not participating in the back to school festivities. There’s just something about new backpacks, notebooks and tennis shoes that gets us all excited for a fresh start. For junior/seniors in college, back to school usually means the start of a new internship. When I was in school, mine were my favorite part of the semester. It was exciting to use what I was learning in the classroom and apply it to the “real world.” The perfect balance of being an adult, yet still being a kid and getting to go home to college apartment at the end of the day. I’m extremely lucky to have had 3 internship experiences over my 4 years, each one even better than the last. I’ve put together five tips that will help make your experience the best it can be!

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  1. Be On Time – Arriving on time is the first impression you can make! Employers want someone who is reliable and is there when they’re expected to be. In my personal life I tend to be a few minutes behind the rest of the world, but when it comes to career I set myself up to be 15 minutes early!
  2. Try New Things – Being an intern presents an opportunity to try things outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try skills outside of what you know, as it’s still okay to make simple mistakes. An internship isn’t just to practice what you already know, but pick up new skills as well.
  3. Dress Appropriately – Figuring out a companies atmosphere can be a little tricky in the beginning. It all depends on what field you have chosen to pursue. Stick to a stricter dress code for a few weeks and observe your peers in the meantime. Does everyone wear neutral colors and suits? Are jeans on Fridays a thing? Are dresses without tights OK? Always over-dress rather than under!
  4. Nurture Relationships – Networking is important! Building meaningful relationships with your peers and supervisors can help you grow as in individual. Relationships are also the #1 way people extend a helping hand when it comes to referrals for future opportunities.
  5. Relax – Every task is not a task of life or death! Yes, it is important to complete every task to the best of your ability, but becoming overly competitive or nervous can actually make things harder. Have confidence in yourself and remember you were chosen for this internship because your supervisors saw something in you they believed in.

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xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

Go Ape!

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Summer is coming to it’s end (although this heat wave sure doesn’t feel like it!!!) and it’s time for one more adventure before we toss in the towel! Go Ape! ropes course and zip-lines in North Park is the perfect place to try something new and get active outside! I’ll admit I’m a very “city” girl but I also like to play in the dirt every once in a while. This ropes course is just 22 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh!

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 Spots fill up fast, so be sure to book in advance! Once you get situated in your harness and go through a group training, they let you out loose on the course! There are five courses of tarzan swings, monkey ropes, and balancing acts; each ending with a zip-line to transport you to the next. I’ve done ropes courses before during my teen days at summer camp, but I have to admit by the end I was exhausted!

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The course over-all took us about about 2 1/2 hours. It was thrilling, fun, and really a team-bonding experience cheering on and supporting each other while up in the air.

What is your last adventure of summer going to be over Labor Day Weekend?

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

PGH Restaurant Week

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Hope my readers are hungry because this post is going to be tasty! Pittsburgh Restaurant Week kicks off today with over 80 restaurants across the city and beyond participating. Meat & Potatoes, Ruth Chris’s Steak House, Grit & Grace, Bigham Tavern, Matteo’s and tako; just to name a few! If you’ve never dined during restaurant week, you are missing out on delicious food for an even more delicious price. Participating restaurants (full list here) offer specialty items or a 3-course menu ranging from $20.15-30.15, Monday-Sunday.

I was lucky enough to attend the annual kickoff party on Thursday at the Nation Aviary thanks to Director Brian McCollum. Sixteen restaurants passed preview dishes to get guests mouths watering for the week to come. The winner, Pan Asian Kitchen in Lawrenceville, served up a Lobster Monkey Roll and a Kuro Buta Belly. After “dinner”, we made our way out to the rose garden for a performance by Nameless in August.

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What restaurant are you eager to try this week?

Happy dining!

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

Bright Lights, Big City

Hello Friends! I’m back in the ‘Burgh after an unforgettable trip to the Big Apple! I learned so much about blogging, social media and more!  I really took this past week to reflect and take in all that I experienced. NYC is a fast-paced city filled with driven, motivated individuals and I feel so lucky to be a part of such a strong, brilliant group of women!

Here are a few photos from my adventures!

Lady Liberty!

One World Trade Center, we went all the way to the top!

Manhattan!

Giant bubbles in Central Park

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Hometown love in Times Square

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Until next time NYC!

P.S. You will notice some changes to my site over the next couple of weeks, I’m making some major changes! Thanks for bearing with me!

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

#StylishPittsburgh

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I’m so excited to share an awesome project I’ve gotten involved in! Stylish Pittsburgh was created by Personal Stylist Niki Whittle of Style, Studs and Lace to promote how truly fashionable the people of our city are and the local shopping hot spots. Pittsburgh is being dubbed “up and coming” in so many aspects, and we think fashion should be included!

I first connected with Niki when she interviewed me on her blog (which was a complete honor!!) and was eager to be included in this movement when she extended the invitation to join the #StylishPittsburgh team. Last week July 28th was proclaimed Stylish Pittsburgh Day in Pittsburgh! Each year on Stylish Pittsburgh Day the city will:

  • Celebrate Pittsburgh’s unique and diverse style with a social media campaign
  • Celebrate local designers/makers and their contribution to Pittsburgh’s style, individuality, and ever growing entrepreneurial spirit that supports the growth of the local economy
  • Mark the beginning of Shadyside and Lawrenceville Annual Sidewalk Sales that make style affordable, with the potential scope to reach out across the city and build a city-wide movement
  • Share and promote the contribution that Pittsburgh’s diverse communities have on the vibrancy and confidence of our city through the individual cultures, traditions and style of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods

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Photo credit: Meryl Franzos Bloggers Pictured:Wear. Wag. Repeat, Mrs. Franzos, Yes, Wear That, Style, Studs and Lace

I’m honored to be included in this group of fabulous fashionistas and bloggers to help promote the city I love! Give us a like on our Facebook page or tag your OOTD’s on instagram with #stylishpittsburgh!

Dress: H&M, Shoes: Burlington, Necklace: Forever21

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh

What’s in my Carry-on?

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The week is finally here! This Thursday bright and early (8:20 a.m. to be exact) I’ll be on a flight to New York City. I’ve never been to the city before, and to say I’m thrilled is an understatement! Thursday and Friday I’ll be explorin’ the typical tourist areas, while Saturday and Sunday I’ll be attending Her Conference! This blog is a member of the ‘Her Campus Blogger Network’ and I’m looking forward to meeting other members and hearing from the featured panelist. I’m still working on what I’m going to wear on the streets and in the classroom (do it for the #instagram), but I’ve got together my essentials for the road there:

Travel Wallet – Only bring the necessities! Travel light and minimize the risk of things being lost or stolen in large crowds.

Charger – When I get off the plane, I want to jump in a cab and explore! My phone has maps & tips how to get around. A full battery can help make coordinating the day easier.

Ipad/Headphones – With wi-fi now available on planes (hashtag blessed) I’m bringing my iPad to keep me connected while in the clouds! It’s a quick flight and I’ll probably talk my moms ear off, but I’ll still spend a little time listening to my favorite tunes! (cue “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift.)

Snacks & Water – Snacks are the best part of everyday. I know as soon as I get on the plane, I’m going to be hungry. Eating Gluten Free makes things a little more inconvenient so I always come prepared!

Camera – A new place with new memories to capture!

Sunglasses – In PGH and NYC it’s currently sunny and hot! No sense in digging through my luggage when I can have them readily available in my bag right off the plane.

Hair-ties & Clips – I want to be comfortable during traveling, which means hair out of my face!

Wet Wipes & Chapstick & Tylenol – Moist cloths to clean up any messes or sanitize public areas. Hydrated lips & pain relief from headaches!

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Stay tuned into my trip by following along on Instagram or searching the hashtag #BelleTakesNYC. Catch you in the Big Apple!

xoxo, Belle of the Burgh