Archive by Author

Glory Be! It’s Tea Tree and Vitamin E!!

6 Jun

Ok yall!!  For the last few weeks I have been asking for help via Facebook for a host of random ailments.  I’ll start with my itchy scalp that wreaks havoc when the seasons change.  In addition, I swear I had an allergic reaction to some random hair product I tried!  I had been looking for a natural leave-in treatment that would give me a tingly, feel-good, “I’m healing you now” sensation.  I got a bunch of responses from homemade elixirs to store bought scores.  I ended up buying a tiny bottle of Derma E Tea Tree and E Oil, and massaging tiny drops of it onto all the problem areas of my scalp.

Hallelujah!!!  I felt that feeling!!  I smelled medicinal, but felt magical.  I decided not to wash it out.  I woke up late, took a lightening speed hobo bath, went to work, went straight out after, and no one commented on my head smelling weird!!  I washed it out with a natural rosemary and mint shampoo the next day, and reapplied!!

The shit works.  I had full relief in 3 days.  Please keep in mind that I have super thick, dry, curly hair.  If you’re working with the opposite, the leave-in idea might not be the move.  Otherwise, have at it!!!
derma e
Next up on the list was this cold/allergy bullshit that hit me like a ton of bricks.  Over the course of 4 days, I lost my voice entirely with brief periods of being able to communicate using the voice of a small child or a phone sex operator.  The evenings were the worst.  Each miniature breath I would take was followed by 3 consecutive coughs.  I annoyed myself so much that I started breathing into random objects.  I tried tying a scarf around my face, breathing into a pillow, breathing in the steam from my tea, and nothing worked!!  Da fuuuuuck!?!??  It felt like I was allergic to air.  I tried to pinch my nose and hold my breath, since breathing = coughing.  I had just rubbed that magic oil into my scalp, and now it was on my nostrils!!  That tingly, feel-good, “I’m healing you” sensation was back!  It almost had a calming effect. This time it seemed to make the air breathable again as it entered my airways!

Glory Be!!!  I thought that I could make it through the night if I just put enough AROUND my nose that I could breath in without coughing. It worked!!  I woke up and thought I should hit the store for some Vicks since this concept was working for me.  I checked out the packaging and read that you actually aren’t supposed to get Vicks on your nostrils.  Who knew??!?!  What the hell is the point!?!?  What’s in that stuff?? Don’t they make lil sniffer tubes of that shit specifically for putting up your nose?!?!  I put the package back down and bought another bottle of Derma E Tea Tree and E Oil.  Seems to be doing the trick…

NOTE: I am NOT putting it UP my nose, snorting drips, or any of the like. Just rubbing little dabs around my nostrils…capisce?!?

Who knows what else this little bottle of magic will fix!!!


Rat Race Rant

17 Dec

I need to go from 3 jobs to 1 before I lose my damn mind!!!! That being said, special shout outs to everyone out here running 3 different POS systems, for 3 different businesses, while selling 3 entirely different types of product, and retaining enough product knowledge about each position to effectively make $$$. Nice hustle making enough time to change in your car between jobs, and still arriving within 5 minutes of your start time (even though the digital system will red flag you for punching in outside of the “2 minute grace period”). Nice work making it through your 8 hour shift without a break again!!! You really know how to prioritize. “HEY YOU! Yeah, YOU! Great job delivering the correct salutation when answering phones today. You didn’t forget what job you were working at once!!!” … because I bet no one ever acknowledged that supreme skill. If you are able to retain enough information to conduct a conference call, talk numbers, and do the banking at any said job, you are another step ahead…in the race to insanity!!!!!!!!!

So, in lieu of the extra pay you will never see, because it was your idea to spread yourself so thin, I give you thanks. Happy Holiday Hours.

A Thank You Card

25 Jun

This post is to serve as a thank you card to all of the individuals that make places more than just spaces.

This is for the regulars, the bartenders, the musicians, the door men and women, the DJs, the bathroom attendants, the performers, the cooks, the photographers, the servers, the artists, the bar backs, the janitors, and the dance floor party starters. Thank you.

Thank you for your consistency. Thank you for your dependability. Thank you for your personalities, whatever they may be. A place would hold no memories if it weren’t for you. Take pride in knowing that people have made their selection on where to spend their time based on YOUR presence. Your energy has set the tone for unforgettable evenings. And when more of you are gathered in the same place at the same time, there is no telling what might happen.

This is a thank you card. For late nights and early mornings, for welcoming hugs and well wishes, for shoulders to cry on and jokes to lift spirits, for being there, thank you.

Loca Buena On Etsy!!!

18 Dec

If you missed the Mixed Threads event, you can still pick up the pieces on Etsy!!! More photos and items will be posted soon!!!

Thank you in advance for the healthy dose of patience ; )

Karissa K

14 Nov

Name: Karissa

Location: Pittsburgh

Featured Skill(s): inspired knitting

Astrological Sign: Leo

Vice: ice cream

Virtue: honesty

Favorite Quote: Courage is grace under pressure. – Ernest Hemingway


How long have you been knitting?

I started knitting in 2005, so that puts me at seven years now.

How did you get into knitting?

I was playing a pickup game of basketball at college when I jumped up to block a shot. I blocked the shot and came down on my left ankle the wrong way. Hard. I broke my left foot. I’ll spare the boring details of the ER and such, but I missed the first few days of my junior year so that I could get situated with a cast and crutches.

While I was lounging at home with my busted foot propped up, I was really bored. A friend came over and decided that she was going to teach me how to knit to pass the time. She handed me a set of needles and a ball of blue yarn. I made my first scarf—it was full of holes, dropped stitches, knots, and other hideous malformations, but I made it. (I still have it.)

After that, I worked at it and got progressively better. I studied instructions for purling (opposite stitch of a knit stitch) and that was all she wrote. I was unstoppable. That Christmas I gave my two best friends handmade scarves. They were blown away. The next spring, I made a hat for my boyfriend. I studied patterns for different things—spheres, gloves, hats, cords—and while I’m still not very good at following actual patterns (I get lost or lose count of stitches because I’m in a trance) I can knit anything I put my mind to.

For the same boyfriend that I gave my first knitted hat, I made him an alligator creature (inside joke, even though he’s now my ex). Everyone I showed was floored. It was three-dimensional, like a stuffed animal.

I kept making scarves, I tried different types of yarn, I finally made a hat for myself (knitters tend to give away everything they make), and I made a flamingo for a friend. I used a clothespin as the one leg so that it can “stand” by being clipped to something. The wings look “feathered” because I used a cable stitch. And my sphere studies came in handy for that project too.

I also used spheres for the penguin I knitted for my current boyfriend. The penguin was a challenge because I needed to make it stand without weights. I put cardboard into the feet to make them stiff and adjusted the spheres of the body to ensure that the penguin would stand upright. It was a challenge, but it worked. The beak is a cone and, again, the wings are cable knit.

I’m convinced that if I put my mind to it, I can knit anything.

What is one thing YOU can’t do knitting without?

My little bag of tools. Knitting is mostly needles and yarn, but you need a few extra little things to do fancier stuff. I always have a small pair of scissors, a yarn needle, a cable needle, four small double-pointed needles, a few scraps of cardboard, post-it notes, and a pen.

What has been your most memorable experience from/while knitting?

Hmm. Knitters don’t tend to have a wild time. I mean, usually grandmothers are associated with knitting. I think my most memorable experience would have to be knitting the penguin for my boyfriend. I decided to do it merely days before Christmas and knitted furiously after I got home from work. My evenings were filled with the tension of wanting a perfect product to impress my new beau and my own perfectionistic tendencies keeping me from making much progress. At a certain point, I had to decide to let some mistakes be part of the final product. Naturally, I used the yarn needle to go around and close the holes to give it a more finished look, but I still knew the flaws were there. He never noticed them when, days later as my fingers still ached from being prodded with needles for hours on end, I presented him with his first Christmas gift. We’re still together, now four years later, and he still talks about that penguin. I don’t think about the mistakes anymore, so I think that was a moment of personal growth for me.

Do you have any female role models that you look up to in, or out of, the knitting industry/scene?

There are some pretty incredible knitters out there. Etsy is full of them, but yarn bombers absolutely kill me. I might like to get in on that someday. I think the public art and silent statement combination is excellent.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to females interested in knitting?

If you want to knit, you can. It doesn’t take much except a little perseverance past those first dropped stitches. I find knitting to be very cathartic, so for any ladies looking to de-stress and be productive at the same time, knitting might be for you. (I’m bad at being unproductive, so this really works for me.)


First thing you do when you wake up?

Pet my adorable dog and bid her good morning.

What’s on your feet?

Pointy flats

What’s on your face?

Urban Decay

What is your favorite accessory?

SCARVES! I have dozens—silk, cotton, synthetic; short, long, square, infinity… you name it, I’ve got it. And I love wearing them in different ways.

What are you listening to right now?

Florence + the Machine

What won’t you leave the house without?

Chapstick. Because nothing is worse than dry, chapped lips. Actually, I can easily think of a host of things that are a lot worse than chapped lips—genocide, hurricanes, tumors, male pattern baldness, slow Wi-Fi, really bad hangnails—but still… chapped lips are pretty annoying so I try to keep them at bay by staying armed against them at all times.

Where might we find you?

On a treadmill, pounding pavement, or traversing a trail. Running is my drug. I never did drugs, but I’m assuming that this is what it’s like to have an addiction.

Last thing you do before bed?

Dock my iPhone on my alarm clock and make sure I have an alarm set… because I’ve forgotten an alarm before and let’s just say that it hasn’t ended well.

List one question you wish we would have asked, then answer it : )

Can we give you an ungodly sum of money?

Yes. I accept.

But, seriously… What else do you do for fun?

Running, blogging, gardening, and taking care of my crazy dog take up most of my time. I love making food with friends and sharing a good bottle of wine, though, too.

One thing you think is “crazy good”:

Birthday cake flavored ice cream, but it has to taste like funfetti cake. (Come on. I have standards…)


Check out some of Karissa’s amazing creations here:

Ashley Clarke

31 Oct

Name: Ashley Clarke

Location: Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh, Pa)

Featured Skill(s): Jewelry Design

Astrological Sign: Leo

Vice: dying my hair too much

Virtue: excellence at bargain/sale hunting

Favorite Quote:

“Let me be, was all I wanted.  Be what I am, no matter how I am.”- Henry Miller


How long have you been making jewelry?

Since 2008.  I started Changes Jewelry, a crystal & bullet pendant necklace line.  I currently sell, and take custom orders at

This winter, I’ve got new crystal & leather pouch necklaces (very gypsy meets pocahontas).

How did you get into making jewelry?

I spent a couple years of my childhood living with a friend of the family.  She was a nature loving-hippie-wiccan-feminist and ran a jewelry & gemstone store.  I was in love with all of the little turquoise & quartz stones and dreamcatchers adorning the store.  It took me a decade before I decided to take all these things I loved & learned from her and make a craft (career) out of it.

What is one thing YOU can’t design jewelry without?

Music!  Stevie Nicks brings out my creative side.  Her style was so 70’s witchy and dreamy.

What has been your most memorable experience from/while designing jewelry?

Designing all of the bridesmaid necklaces for my best friend’s wedding.  I was so honored.

Do you have any female role models that you look up to in, or out of, the jewelry industry/scene?

Erin Wasson.  She is a model turned jewelry designer.  Her brand Low Luv has the most amazing rings and braclets that are inexpensive and well-crafted.  Think tribal meets Egyptian goddess.  She is effortlessly cool and totally down to Earth.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to females interested in jewelry design?

Don’t make what everyone else is making unless you can do it bigger & better.  Wierd is a good thing now-a-days.  Be bold and create for yourself!  There are people out there looking for adventurous designs, and your creations might just be what they are dreaming of.


First thing you do when you wake up?

Drink coffee, answer e-mails, and cuddle with my cats in bed.

What’s on your feet?

Always leather/suede boots.

What’s on your face?

Eyebrow pencil & mascara.

What is your favorite accessory?

Erin Wasson “Low Luv” rings

What are you listening to right now?

Wierd Owl from Brooklyn, NY

What won’t you leave the house without?

Prescription sunglasses.  I’m blind without them.

Where might we find you?

At Howlers seeing a friend’s band, or at Brillobox ordering a beer.

Last thing you do before bed?

Catch up on reality TV, and cuddle with my cats.

List one question you wish we would have asked, then answer it : )


One thing you think is “crazy good”:

The herb goat cheese french toast at Coca Cafe.  I have no idea why this came to mind, but seriously go try it ; )



Teena Marie Custer

6 Sep

Name: Teena Marie Custer

Location: Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh, Pa)

Featured Skill(s): Dancer (b-girl)

Astrological Sign: Gemini

Vice: Nail Biting

Virtue: Loyalty

Favorite Quote:

“To Your Ownself Be True.”- William Shakespeare


How long have you been dancing?

Since I was 12. Breaking since I was 2.

How did you get into breaking?

Love hip hop music and was inspired my MC Lyte’s dancers Leg 1 and Leg 2 when I was 13. Found the bboy scene in Columbus, OH while in Grad School.

What is one thing YOU can’t dance without?

My female supporters in the scene, and support from my crew Get Down Gang.

What has been your most memorable experience from/while breaking?

Battling other amazing dancers around the world and meeting my husband.

Do you have any female role models that you look up to in, or out of, the breaking/hip hop industry/scene?

Rokafella…a legendary bgirl from NYC. My all female crew Venus Fly Trap. All my hustlin ladies in the Pgh scene (you know who you are).

What is one piece of advice that you would give to females interested in breaking or b-girling?

Don’t let anyone tell you how to dance. Express your soul the way you want to.


First thing you do when you wake up?

Feel how sore I am from the night before…I mean from dancing. Haha!

What’s on your feet?

Sneaks of course. Adidas or pro-keds.

What’s on your face?

lil’ bit a make up. not too much to sweat off. Enough to make me not look like a ghost. haha

What is your favorite accessory?

Earrings. The bigger the better.

What are you listening to right now?

DeRobert and the Half-Truths “Just Don’t Care”…..ridiculously soulful!

What won’t you leave the house without?

My iphone and lipstick (caffeine for the face).

Where might we find you?

Shadow Lounge and AVA gettin down.

Last thing you do before bed?

Ummmm that’s private wink wink…

List one question you wish we would have asked, then answer it : )

Where do I see myself when I’m 60?

Still breaking and gettin down in the cypher. I’ll never stop! If I end up in a wheelchair…I’ll just get really good at popping.

One thing you think is “crazy good”:

My lifestyle, passion, and drive…this blog, all the amazing females in my life.



Natasha Marie Phillips-Grantz

27 Aug

Name:  Natasha Marie Phillips-Grantz 

Location: Pittsburgh, Pa

Featured Skill(s): Cake Decorating/Interior Designing

Astrological Sign: Leo 



Favorite Quote:

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change”.


How long have you been doing cakes and small design/art projects? 

Around 5-6 years.

How did you get into cakes?

I worked at Dairy as a cashier a few years ago and the other employees were always impressed with how well I wrote on the cakes etc since I wasn’t a decorator.  My sons grandmother mentioned that I might have a natural gift in decorating.  So I played around with it and what do ya know? It did turn out to be a God-given talent.

What is one thing YOU can’t do cakes without? 

Good inspiration!

What has been your most memorable experience from/while decorating and designing? 

Making my sons 7th birthday cake. It was an Avatar theme and I enjoyed making it so much. He was so exited about how much effort I put into it and how the tree on the cake lit up when we turned the light off.

Do you have any female role models that you look up to in, or out of, the industry/scene? 

Not sure at the moment, I’ll have to think about this one.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to females interested in decorating ? 

As for cakes, I say play around in the kitchen just like I did.  Don’t make it harder than what it really is. Watch videos, read books, take classes etc.  And as for designing, if interior design is something they’d like to pursue, go to college for it and then move to the south where you can really build a successful career in it. 


 First thing you do when you wake up?


What’s on your feet?

I LOVE heels … any brand.

What’s on your face?

Hmmm make up? Freckles.

What is your favorite accessory?

Earrings, earrings, earrings!!!

What are you listening to right now?

The TV.

What won’t you leave the house without?

My phone!

Where might we find you?

Facebook Natasha Marie Grantz or “Tips from Tash”. Google “Designs by Natasha cakes”.

Last thing you do before bed?

Pray with my husband and son and talk about our days. 

List one question you wish we would have asked, then answer it : )

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Hopefully doing something other than cakes.  I really want to start a business selling custom shoes. I am also interested in hand-painting sneakers so we’ll see where that goes! Who knows?

One thing you think is “crazy good”:

Chocolate ; )


Designs by Natasha Custom-designed cakes and cupcakes

Visit us on facebook!!/pages/Designs-By-Natasha/115585625136422?ref=sgm

Drippin Wax

12 Aug

Candle addict?  Wax burner?  Flame thrower?  Whatever the case, it only makes sense that we share our personal favs with you on this one.

Whether you are using them to set the mood, freshen up your air space, or add a little color to your decor, candles are a MUST HAVE in our book.  The place and space that you are lighting with your wax essentials can play a HUGE part in your scent selection.

If it is your kitchen that you are working with, focus on scents that are reminiscent of fruit, baked sweets, or citrus notes.  That is unless you are looking to illuminate a dining table during a meal.  Then you want to choose an unscented candle to allow the aroma of your amazing meal to hit the nostrils without any competition.

A living space is a free realm and up for the picking when it comes to choosing a signature scent.  Choose a fragrance that embodies your signature style here since it will be the first thing your house guests associate with your living space.  No one wants to open the front door and get blasted in the face with stank via shoes, pets, yesterdays dinner…you catch our drift.

The bathroom selection should be clean and crisp.  Think of a fresh mountain breeze, cotton, and clean linen.  That’s what were going in there for, right?  To clean up our act…

The bedroom is the perfect place for soft and sensual notes.  Vanillas, musks, and lavender are all great selections.  Think relaxation, cozy times, annnnd go time, of course : )

As always, practice safety with your placement, and be sure to blow ’em out.

How’s it hangin?

26 Mar

Hey there springtime, spring cleaning, spring organization…

What the hell is an embellished chick to do with all of her amazing accessories?!??

We want your suggestions!!  Let’s help eachother out 😉

Here is our tip o’ the day:

If you are a necklace and earring junkie, you NEED to adopt the corkboard method… if you haven’t already.  Pick one up at a craft or office supply store on the low low.  You can spend extra change on fun tacks or push pins if you are looking to add a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ to this practical piece.  If you’re feeling crafty, grab some paint and do it up so you can leave it in a visible space.  Otherwise, nail that bitch to the inside of your closet door for a quick and easy grab n go.  Just remember not to slam your door in a moment of emotional stress…

Here’s a pic of what we are working with:

How's it hangin?