It’s not Monday, it’s not Mocha, but please accept this offering anyway

Happy December, yinz ūüôā¬† It has been uncharacteristically warm this week here in the Burgh.¬† A week and a half ago, I went paintballing in 30 degree weather. This week I went to work without a jacket. Make up your mind, PA!

Despite Mother Nature’s mood swings, it’s getting very Christmassy in this apartment. Our Christmas tree has survived scrutiny and several taste testings from our kitten, Rocco (and indifference from our cat, Bob). We’re accumulating a pile of gifts for friends and family under its enthusiastically decorated artificial boughs, and we’re attending two office Christmas parties this week.

I’ve got several projects and recipes in the works that I will be sharing soon, but in the meantime there is one more part of the Christmas season you can indulge in: Hobbit Week with Stephen Colbert!

~Amy

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Monday Mocha Break: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Hey yinz!¬† It’s been a little quiet around the blog lately. I won’t speak for Kat, but my main excuse is that I lost my camera cord. So I’ve had some projects piling up on my camera, waiting to be shared, but annoyingly trapped.

But good news!  I found the cord yesterday. In my camera case. Of all places. I never put it there, but it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’ll get back to regular posting tomorrow, but in the meantime here are some other good ideas – and bad ideas – for your mocha break:

 

Mocha Break n’at

Yesterday my friend Jackie and I attended Vintage Mixer, “a vendor fair of vintage goods” held in the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side.¬† I managed to expand my vintage Corelle/Pyrex Spring Blossom collection a bit, and I bought some beautiful handmade porcelain buttons (which will hopefully be going onto a coat I’ve been making for the past year and a half or so and would really like to have done for this fall/winter).

Then we crossed the river to the Strip District , where your sandwich should be piled high with ‘slaw and fries, but the staff will begrudgingly accommodate you if that’s not quite your thing.

So good!

Pittsburgh’s been getting a lot of hype from all of the movies being made here, but there are so many surprises in the city that you won’t see in just an hour or two of screen time. Pittsburgh used to frustrate the dickens out of me because I’d get so lost trying to get from point A to point B (I have no sense of direction at all), but there’s too much worth seeing and doing to let some windy roads and construction hold me back.

Pittsburgh Magazine recently sent out a ‘City Guide’ issue with some great – but brief – profiles of some of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, and you should check it out on your mocha break! If you’re a visitor in Pittsburgh, this could help you find out what the locals love to see and do. And if you are a local, you might find something new to love – or have a few “I’ve been there!¬† I’ve been there!!” moments like I did: What Our Neighborhoods Do Best.

Double Wide Grill, East Carson Street

Sand in your Mocha Break

 

My family speaks in movie quotes. Between The Princess Bride, Fiddler on the Roof, Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss and Sandlot, we can have an entire conversation without a single original statement.

So, in honor of that, and summer, I’m just gonna leave this here for you:

PS – if you haven’t seen all of those movies, you really, really need to.

 

Undercover Mocha Break

Sorry this mocha break is coming at you a little on the late side.

One of my favorite websites in the whole world (THE WHOLE WORLD) is The AVClub. It’s an offshoot of The Onion, and there’s a wittiness and humor about it that definitely shows its roots, but it’s largely a straightforward pop culture site, offering movie reviews, tv recaps, music features, and general obsessive analysis of all things pop culture. Can’t get enough.

The last few years, they’ve been doing this series called Undercover, where they invite ¬†very cool bands to cover all manner of awesome songs new and old. I am obsessed with this, as they tend to offer really unexpected and interesting interpretations of a lot of songs I’m super into, by bands I listen to a lot.

Check it out!

BANJO!

Monday Mocha Break: Sweets in Savannah

If you’re up for a Mocha Break today, make it an iced mocha. There’s a lovely breeze here in Pittsburgh, but not in this apartment.

Four weeks ago I was strolling through Savannah with my husband on our honeymoon. Friends and family are still asking about the trip, what we saw and what we did, and while I know I had fun sightseeing, soaking in the town’s history and scouring antique shops for treasures, what I remember best is the food. Oooh the food. I’d have gained 50 pounds that week if it hadn’t been for all the walking we did.

We only had  a week there and we had a long list of places we wanted to stop (I think all of my picks were restaurants and all of his were forts and museums), so we made sure to avoid chain restaurants and tried not to go to the same place twice.

One place was completely deserving of a second visit:¬† Leopold’s.

We went for ice cream one night, noted that they also serve lunch and went back for sandwiches and tomato basil soup. Oh, and more ice cream. Besides the absolutely amazing homemade ice cream (so good that I’ve had dreams about it since then), what makes Leopold’s special is its history – originally opened in 1919, still family owned and still featuring the original soda fountain (where you can order a malt, ice cream soda, or specially made soda). And while you may or may not know the name Stratton Leopold, you might be familiar with some of his work outside of the ice cream parlor – producing movies like The Sum of All Fears, The General’s Daughter, Wolfman and Mission Impossible III. At the ice cream parlor you can see posters and autographed pictures of some of the big names he’s worked with.

For your Monday Mocha Break, check out Leopold’s website. And if you’re anywhere near Savannah, stop in to Leopold’s for a couple scoops of mocha chip ice cream.

On an ice-cream-related note, I’m experimenting in the kitchen today. Results will be posted tomorrow, success or failure!

Monday Mocha Break – It’s not midnight yet

It’s still Monday for a few more minutes (for me, at least. Kat has a few more hours of¬† Monday), so I’m bringing you today’s Monday Mocha Break! Maybe make yours a decaf, if you have to get to work in the morning and don’t enjoy late-night TV.

I’m also popping in to acknowledge our waning presence on the blog. Kat’s immersed in the joy that is finishing one’s master’s degree. In the past few weeks she was most often to be found ‘thesising’ at the coffee house.

I’m getting married in 19 days (soon to be 18 days!) and I’m frantically doing all the things I had put off ’til this point because I was sure I had soooo much time.

Whenever I really try to buckle down and get something done, the furry residents of this apartment (Bob and Rocco) get into this sort of mischief:

We’ll be in from time to time, so check back with us. By June I should have my act together, and I’m documenting all of my wedding-related crafts, so there will be posts!

 

I Took Her Back and I Made Her Dessert

Welcome to your Monday Mocha Break! Poor Amy’s computer is not doing well, so you’ll be hearing a lot from me this week.

I am spending MY Monday Mocha Break at Bica Coffeehouse in Oakland, where my awesome friend Bryn is a barista, and there is a frequent gathering of poets. (If you are in the Rockridge area, you should totally check it out. The coffee is to die for). ¬†One of the best things about Bica is that Bryn and the other baristas play the most random, awesome bizarre non-coffee shop typical music. Today, we’re into 90’s pop punk, so this is what we’ve been rocking out to, while reading¬†Kora in Hell by William Carlos Williams. Make yourself some coffee, grab a book of poetry, and enjoy your little taste of poet life!