Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Fall Happenings with the Beez Family and @412FoodRescue @WGMarathon @PittPanthers @WigleWhiskey

Ahhh fall! It is my favorite season of the year! Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in Fall– well it was gorgeous this weekend. Now the skies are gray and threatening rain, so I’ll be cuddling up with a cup of coffee and hoping the crisp sunshine returns soon.

I’ve been reading about the great work that 412 Food Rescue has been doing to reduce food waste and hunger in one fell swoop, by connecting those with surplus food with those without enough, and by using a volunteer network to transport that food from one place to another. I also like the opportunities that 412 Food Rescue provides for those of us who have inconsistent schedules.  I want to contribute to my community, but my schedule does not often lend to commitments planned far in advance or at regular intervals.  412 Food Rescue posts their volunteer requests on their facebook page (and soon, through their new app) and anyone who is available can help out.


Last week we were out and about, when 412 Food Rescue posted they needed someone to do a quick pickup in the South Side and drop-off in Uptown.  We were in the right area at the right time and had a few minutes to spare, so Baby Beez and I volunteered for the task.


We picked up 7 cases of fresh orange slices from the Pittsburgh Public School’s central kitchen and delivered them to Jubilee Kitchen.  Baby Beez helped with the carrying, and as we delivered the oranges to Jubilee Kitchen, she wished the clients a cheerful “Enjoy your oranges!!”  This provided a great opportunity for us to talk about food insecurity and food waste in a way that was meaningful and clear to a 5 year old, and was especially meaningful just a few days after Yom Kippur, in a season when we should be thinking of improving the world.

412 Food Rescue

If you are hungry for an opportunity to contribute in a way where your dollars “hit the ground running” so to speak, 412 Food Rescue’s Taco Tuesday fundraiser is tonight. There will be tacos (AND WHO DOES NOT LIKE TACOS?) and an opportunity to learn about the organization, mix and mingle with the leaders and volunteers and an opportunity to preview their new app.

In other fall happenings, I am very much looking forward to a solo-road trip this weekend. I’m going to be heading up to Corning, New York for the Wineglass Half Marathon on Sunday in the Finger Lakes. I have loaded my phone full of audiobooks and I’m very excited to have a couple days to just relax. I suppose I am an introvert, because a little time by myself really does leave me feeling refreshed. You don’t have any idea how much I am looking forward to laying in bed, reading, maybe painting my nails, getting a spaghetti dinner by myself, and going to bed at like 7pm.


Baby Beez was disappointed that I did not bring her home a medal from this weekend’s Pittsburgh Great Race (they do not give finishers medals, which makes complete sense for a 10k), but I told her about the gorgeous glass medal they give finishers at the Wineglass Half and she became very excited for this weekend’s race.

On October 10, I’ll be taking Baby Beez to her first Pitt Football homecoming game! This kid LOVES Pitt! There aren’t many words she knows how to read yet, but Pitt is definitely one of them. She has even announced that she plans to be a Pitt Cheerleader. While cheerleading is (to put it mildly) not really my thing, at least she has her sights set on Pitt. Can’t wait for the game! H2P!!!

Read her second word today! "P-I-T-T….mommy it's your school!!"

A photo posted by beezuskiddo (@beezuskiddo) on

And fall would not be complete without APPLES!  I could really go for apple crisp this morning, to tell you the truth. But apple whiskey would also do the trick! I’m excited for the Wigle Whiskey Apple Whiskey festival coming up later this month, on October 17 and 18.  The celebration is taking place at both their Strip District Distillery and the Wigle Barrelhouse in Spring Hill. It is family friendly, and will include bobbing for apples, live music and whiskey samples for the 21+ crowd. Yes, PLEASE!

Walkabout Promo

Thanks to everyone who has been reading! My posting has slowed a bit lately (that’s what happens when you go on a manic reading kick, and spend all your time taking words in, instead of writing them out!), and it’s great to have dedicated and enthusiastic readers! If you aren’t already doing so, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter, to carry on about ADVENTURES IN PITTSBURGH!


The Best Things I’ve Eaten Lately with @OhioCityPasta @OutTheFireCafe @LeonasLLC @BlowfishBBQ @BeatrixChicago

The Best Things I’ve Eaten Lately with @OhioCityPasta @OutTheFireCafe @LeonasLLC @BlowfishBBQ @BeatrixChicago

I’ve had some good eats lately, both in Pittsburgh and while traveling. What is “good” or “best” is completely subjective, but these things have completely knocked my socks off.

Sweet Potato Blue Cheese pierogies from Ohio City Pasta in Pittsburgh Now that Baby Beez is back in ballet on Saturdays, an after-dance stop at the Pittsburgh Public Market is usually on the agenda. Ohio City Pasta has a stall there, vending pasta and pierogies to take home as well as hot cooked dishes. These sweet potato blue cheese pierogies are beyond. They are starchy, buttery and sweet, but that blue cheese gives them a little funk in an excellent way. I have an enthusiastic appetite, but 4 pierogies filled me up nicely.

Honey and Cinnamon Latte from Restaurant Beatrix in Chicago. This is the coffee drink of my dreams. The sweetness is so subtle, and the espresso so smooth. It was a few blocks away from our hotel, and I snuck back over several times to pick up more of these beautiful lattes. I just could not help myself.

Beatrix Cafe

Pasta with fresh vegetables and langoustine at Harvest Moon Cafe in Sonoma, California Setting aside our dinner at the French Laundry, this pasta dish at Harvest Moon Cafe was my absolute favorite meal of our trip to wine country. Saying that I am picky with pasta is not quite the right description, but I usually just do not care for pasta dishes. But every once in awhile, I am treated to a pasta dish that impresses me, and does it ever impress me.  This pasta was all things summer in one delicious meal. The vegetables, including corn, were sweet, crisp and crunchy and the pasta was deliciously hearty.  Although it is nice that Harvest Moon is a local/seasonal kitchen that focuses on the produce that is available and best, it is sad to know I could not just show up at the cafe again and expect this dish to be offered. I suppose it will have to live on in my memory.

2015-07-13 20.39.47

Grilled Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co. in Napa.  After being entirely squicked out by oysters for many years, I gave them a try a couple years back, and quickly acquired that acquired taste.  More recently, I was introduced to grilled oysters and they changed my world. Grilled oysters have a denser texture, alleviating the texture issue for anyone who is afraid of slimy foods. They are also grilled with various sauces, which adds a kick of flavor. Especially if you like oysters (or even if you don’t), try them grilled. It will change your world.

Hog Island

Mushroom Bread Pudding from Out of the Fire Cafe in Donegal, PA. Even if you don’t have a visit to Seven Springs booked, it’s worth the drive to get dinner at Out of the Fire. I had dinner there with my friends during a girls weekend in the spring, and it was one of the most fun and delicious meals I have had in ages. The mushroom bread pudding is so unique and decadent, it is by far the star of the menu.  It is kind of like stuffing, but covered in a rich bechamel sauce. Unlike so many other mushroom dishes where the mushrooms are flavorless bits of sponge, these mushrooms have real flavor. Bonus–if you are like me and your heart breaks to see food thrown out even though you are stuffed, go ahead and bring the rest of this home in a doggie bag. It reheats very well and I bet would make great breakfast alongside some eggs.

Mushroom Bread Pudding from Out of the Fire

Brisket & Mac and Cheese from Blowfish BBQ. Pittsburgh has had quite a few new bbq options lately.  We discovered Blowfish by accident, and it absolutely blew us away. Blowfish is a mobile operation. You can find out their location from their twitter feed, or, if you are like me and can’t handle keeping track of one more thing in your life, just remember: they are at the Brew Gentlemen in Braddock every Friday NIght.  As I write more and more in this post, I’m running out of adjectives. And anyway, you know what BBQ brisket and mac and cheese taste like. So I’ll just say this: Best.

Blowfish BBQ

Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches.  I have to admit, my obsession with Leona’s is twofold: (1) they are delicious and I like to have them in my belly; (2) finding them in stock or with flavors I have not yet tried is always a crapshoot, so there is a thrill-of-the-chase element in working to get my next ice cream sandwich fix.  A number of their sandwiches feature cinnamon, ginger or speculoos, which is just about perfect in my book. They go perfectly with a hot cup of coffee, which is why Zeke’s coffee shop in East Liberty is one of my favorite places to stop for this treat.  I especially like that the fruit flavors in the ice cream are fairly mild. I had a ginger cookie and plum sandwich recently, and the plum was nice and subtle, not beat-you-over-the-head overwhelming plum, which was lovely. I did reach out and ask Leona’s if there’s any possibility for them to publish info about what flavors are stocked where. They replied “no can do,” so it looks like the hunt will continue.


Breakfast burrito from Kelly-O’s in Pittsburgh As a Southern California girl, I take breakfast burritos very seriously. Very. Seriously. For the record, the breakfast burrito of my dreams is served at Primo Burgers in my hometown. Several places in Pittsburgh now serve breakfast burritos, but none have proven to be “the one.”  Every once in a while, I have a breakfast burrito CRISIS, and I need one immediately.  I had such a crisis last week, and Kelly-O’s breakfast burrito, while not a Primo Burger breakfast burrito, did hit the spot. I recommend ordering it with extra salsa. I snagged one through carry out around 10am that day, and was stuffed all the way through dinner.

And now, a completely gratuitous picture of the now-5-year-old Baby Beez, who is hoping for a win for the Bucs this afternoon. Let’s Go Bucs!

Let's Go Bucs


I had a post, but then I eated it.

I had a post, but then I eated it.

I started writing this post, and about 2 minutes in, I got bored of it. If I’m bored writing it, I can only imagine how bored people would be reading it. So I pitched it. Here are the things I am thinking about instead:

  1. Bring on the pumpkin everything.
You can keep your Sbux #PSL. Little Debbie knows where it's at.

You can keep your Sbux #PSL. Little Debbie knows where it’s at.

2. Summer travel is over, but I’m getting excited for some upcoming short trips. I’ve got Montreal, Nemacolins Resort, Denver and Tampa all on my calendar, and that’s before year end.

3. We took Baby Beez to Sesame Place, Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World and of COURSE Kennywood all during this year. I think I am good on amusement parks for quite a while.

4. And then we watched all 8 Harry Potter movies the other week (not a true marathon, we watched themo ver the span of several days), and that made me kind of want to go back to Harry Potter land at Universal. #butterbeer

5. Baby Beez can read 2 words: dog and Pitt. In honor of her PANTHER PRIDE, I got us tix to the Homecoming football game this year. Very excited.

6. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE NEXT WEEK YOU GUYZ. I was supposed to go with 2 friends, but neither of them can make it now. It would have been fun to go with them, but I’m fine going by myself. DCFC is one of those bands where I really don’t care who I’m with or if I’m with anyone at all, I just want to be at that show.

7. We watched the new Mad Max movie the other night and I really liked it. Now I want to go back and watch the other Mad Max movies again. While eating Mad Mex. Because when I mean to say Mad Max I end up saying Mad Mex and vice versa, so why not give into it?

8. Somewhat inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road, I was checking out the #BurningMan on Instagram. The pics are interesting, but 9798698798676% completely confirmed that I never ever would want to go. #CampingNoWay #ILikeShowers

9. Even though I hate camping, I like the idea of camping. Except not actually camping. And now I really want to spend a weekend at Firelight Camps.

10. It is time for bed.


As Little Peanut turns into Bigger Peanut.

As Little Peanut turns into Bigger Peanut.

Today is Baby Beez’s 5th Birthday. We had a good day, which involved breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and a trip to the playground.

I kind of feel like a CHAMP because we all made it to age 5 intact.  Raising a kid is a bumpy road, but I think we’ve done OK. Even though she can be kind of a MANIAC sometimes, she’s all-around a good, intelligent, sweet and witty kid.  Here are some of her “greatest hits.”





We are so incredibly blessed with this little peanut. She’s smart, she’s healthy, she’s an all around good kid. I can never claim to be a perfect parent, but Mr. Beez and I do the best we can.

I’m not one of those parents that gets weepy as my kid gets older. Every new day and new milestone brings me joy.  I love how she gets bigger, and we can do new fun things together.  To celebrate her 5th birthday, she and I made Rice Krispie Treats together to bring to her class. I’m not really the kid-activities type, and I love it as she gets bigger and we can do more things together that I like to do.  Next up on the horizon– roller skating, pottery painting, glassblowing, paintballing, WHO KNOWS?

Happy birthday, peanut. Here’s to many more! xoxoxo


9 Miles in Pgh: A photo essay

9 Miles in Pgh: A photo essay

I like to use my long runs to see the city, especially when it is as beautiful out as it was this weekend. I live in an extremely hilly neighborhood, so I reserve my near-home running for shorter mileage days. Luckily, flatter routes are close by. I don’t like to do the same route for every long run, but I do like to run paths that are familiar enough that I have a good idea how far apart the landmarks feel (and can mentally push myself in the late miles when I’m getting tired, because I know when the next landmark is coming up). This Saturday I took one of my favorite flat & shady paths.

But first– COFFAY.


Fully caffeinated. Time to run.

Mile 0: Kicked things off at Southside Riverfront Park

Southside Riverfront Park

Mile 1: Taking the riverfront trail toward downtown, the path goes alongside the train tracks and has an industrial feel

Riverfront Trail

Mile 2: After swinging a right on the Smithfield Street Bridge, it’s a left onto Blvd of the Allies, and heading toward Point State Park

Boulevard of the Allies

Mile 3: Pixburgh Photo Essay isn’t complete without one of these

Point Park Fountain

Mile 4: Ran up and across the Fort Duquesne Bridge and then went up the riverfront trail along the Allegheny, lots of foliage and shade, and the folks on this trail tend to have good trail etiquette so I’m not spending all my energy M-F’ing inconsiderate people biking three-across under my breath.


Mile 5: Still going up the Allegheny, lots of leaves and spotting lots of boats. There is a wrecked boat along the way which is fun to see, but I couldn’t get a good snap of it.

Allegheny Trail

Mile 6: I took the trail up to Herr’s Island/Washington’s landing, which puts you on a lovely little trail going around the island, and then I made my way up to the 31st Street Bridge.  Even though I had my fuel belt, it was warmer and more humid than I expected, and I was thirsty. On the bridge, I realized that I would very soon be in the Strip District, where I could refill my bottles. That was a moment of joy.

31st Street Bridge

Mile 7: SWEET, SWEET WATER FOUNTAINS THANK YOU PGH PUBLIC MARKET FOR MY WATER BOTTLE REFILLS (they also have toilets, if you are out on a run and have a need).


Mile 8: Ok I didn’t take a picture of Mile 8. I ran up Liberty Avenue toward downtown and by this point I was starting to run out of steam because LAST MILE TO GO, and boy was I getting tired. So there’s no picture for this one. But Liberty Avenue on this stretch isn’t much to look at anyway.

Mile 9: YES I AM DONE. Mayor Caliguiri says “That’ll do.”

Mayor Caliguiri


And afterward I recuperated by eating snacks while soaking in the tub, because if you have not eaten snacks IN the bathtub, you do not know what you are missing. It’s my favorite thing all week. Don’t knock it til you try it.