And the winner is...

Congratulations to Shawn C.! You are the winner of the 1776 Giveaway!
Please email me at chelsandthecity[at]gmail[dot]com before Thursday to claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who entered, I was so excited to see more entries roll in everyday.
And hoping you all have a great day and those of you who are really interested in seeing the show, please
still do make time and arrange ways to get tickets because the Public Theater is really doing a fabulous job!

As a side note: this giveaway was run through Rafflecopter and the winner is randomly selected 
through the widget. If you want more information about it, please email me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


She Bangs. She Bangs.

Oh, hey there. So I finally got my hairs cut. I love my hair and am obsessed with it long but it was looong overdue for it to be cut. (pun intended) My ends were horrible and I had been craving some bangs for about a year now, so I finally took the plunge.

Left picture taken at about 1pm & Right picture at 3pm - what!?

I have to say looking at these pictures side by side, I am sad because my face looks so much chubbier now with the short hair, but that might just be because of the weird half fish/half pout face I have going on in the long hair picture. Why did I think that was a good idea? I'm sure this will take time to get used to, but I love it! However, let's take bets on how long I can last with these bangs, shall we? haha

Alright let's talk about something more important than my obsession of over-analyzing my face. The experience I had today. I went to Verve Wellness, right in downtown, on Sixth Street. This was the first time I have ever been there but I have heard nothing but fabulous reviews of them. Their yelp! reviews also scream that it's a great place. And I can only add to those great reviews.

Verve is located at 142 6th Street.
From the moment I walked in, everyone made me feel like I was their only priority that day. Even though they of course, had other customers in the salon. Then I met my stylist, DeAndre, and knew this was going to be an amazing experience. He listened to my very particular wishes and random comments about how I wanted my hair. While he was working with my hair, he made sure to explain to me what he was doing, and how the products or techniques he was using would benefit the overall result. He was perfect. I've had stylists in the past not listen to me and do what they thought was best, that ended up being nothing like what I wanted. It was so refreshing to have someone listen, actually listen, and then apply that to what they were doing. But don't take that the wrong way either, DeAndre is clearly an artist when it comes to doing hair. He knew how to take what I wanted and build off of that to be something I love. And I do love this new hair.

Keep in mind though that Verve is not just for hair! They also do nails, waxing, facials, massage, and Pilate's and yoga. It truly is 360 degrees of wellness. I am thrilled to be able to give you guys this recommendation, because I know you will be in great hands there. And I cannot wait to go back for something else. I am in love with this place. I cannot even comment about how beautiful their space is as well...that's like a whole other blog post!


1776 Review & Giveaway!

As mentioned time and time again, I work at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Currently we are doing previews for the biggest show ever to be put on the Public's thrust stage. 26 cast members and 8 orchestra members come together, under the direction of Ted Pappas, for this outstanding musical. And I know I say this for a lot of things, but 1776 is a must see show. Let's put it this way. If you're going to risk your life driving in the crazy mix of ice and snow we've recently been hit with, it should be for 1776. And, at the end of this post, you have a chance to be able to do just that! Well, hopefully you won't have to risk your life to do so.

1776 runs until February 24th at the Public Theater.
No. I am not over-selling this production. Considering since the Public released it's list of shows last year for it's "Made in America" season for 2012-2013, I could not fathom that a show about the Declaration of Independence could be interesting, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I saw the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday night. As always, the set is beautiful and rich. I love the traditional look of all the wood and crown molding and as he did in Private Lives, James Noone designed a revolving stage that extends the environment of the musical very nicely. The lighting (Kirk Bookman) and costume (Martha Bromelmeier) designs are gorgeous. I love the differences in personalities of each character shown just through their costumes and the lighting is on point, creating just the right mood and picturesque scenes.

Now, like I said, there are 26 people in this show. So although every single on of them does a phenomenal job, I want you to actually read this post, so I'm going to keep this part as short as possible. Let's start with the ladies, since there's only two of them. Abigail Adams (Trista Moldovan) and Martha Jefferson (Libby Servais) both serve vital roles of the wives of John Adams (George Merrick) and Thomas Jefferson (Keith Hines) who either portray the longing of an old but now distant love or the sweetness of a fresh marriage. Martha also has an amazing number, "He Plays the Violin," that is possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. Libby is so tiny (very true to Martha) but she just explodes on stage. Trista plays a strong female character as Abigail, who never actually sees her husband during this time, but does correspond with him frequently through letters, or rather since this is a musical, through beautiful song.

All of the men of the Congress. Photos by Larry Roberts, Post-Gazette.
As for the gentlemen, the main standouts for me are, Adams, Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin (Steve Vinovich), Edward Rutledge (Hayden Tee), and the courier (Eric Meyers). George plays a lively persistent Adams practically begging for independence, while Keith portrays a young, shy and poetic Jefferson. (Was that too many adjectives for you?) Steve portrays Ben Franklin as a the kind of grandfather everyone wants to have, with little sly remarks and a humorously unmatched wit. I caught myself looking at him even when he wasn't talking just because his mannerisms were so good.

A passionate George Merrick as John Adams.
Hayden Tee, portraying the delegate, Edward Rutledge, from South Carolina, I could listen to all day. Everyone has a well produced accent but, damn, I kept wanting him to have a bigger part so he'd say more things. Typical girl. He really took his part to the next level with his song "Molasses to Rum." However, I was stopped cold after hearing Eric Meyers sing "Momma, Look Sharp." Here he is throughout the beginning of Act 1 only as the silent courier bringing messages back and forth from the battle field to the Congress. This part seems like an added element of humor until he has a break and begins to discuss with the custodian how his friends are dying in the war through this song. Trust me, he is breathtaking. And you will be thankful that intermission comes right after this song because to have to process anything after that moment would be too much. Meyers is hauntingly beautiful, you'll need 15 minutes to get out of your chair, grab a drink and remember that not every young man you know is being killed in battle.

Overall, you just need to see this show. Though not all of it is historically accurate, for the most part it is a well done representation of how our country began to gain independence, you know, with a few song and dance numbers thrown in. You never know, John Adams might have danced to get some votes back then. This show is just so impeccable. I appreciated that some awful times in American history, like slavery, were not left out of the show and that it is not just for history buffs but really anyone looking for an entertaining night of theater.

So, here's your chance to have a night out in the city, for free! If you win, not only will you receive two tickets to the opening night performance to 1776, on February 1st, but you and your guest will also be on the list for the after-show party. The after-show parties at the Public are fabulous, always well catered, with an open bar and of course the cast always makes their way in to greet guests, you're sure to have a great evening - the giveaway is below and open until Wednesday - goooood luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fashion Forward Fridays Submission: Meet Mae!

You're in for a treat fashion-lovers. For Fashion Forward Fridays today, not only is a great outfit being shown on a beautiful reader who submitted her photos to me, but this reader also happens to be a friend of mine, and a ModCloth employee. Say what, karaoke? All of you are already hooked, I know it. Mae is so obviously a ModCloth girl too. She always has a great look and is so on trend with a vintage feel. She's that girl who is setting the bar with her style and puts pieces together that you probably never would have thought of otherwise and makes you want to dress better yourself. An inspirational fashionista if you will...

Mae, who is my friend and who works at ModCloth is today's reader submitted fashionista!


Red Pants for Inaugurating

Have I mentioned how much I love my life? Because I do, a lot. On Monday, like I said, I went to Washington D.C. to watch the 2013 Inauguration. Point Park University offered a free bus trip to the city for about 60 students and since D.C. is my second favorite city, my friend Erin easily talked me into heading a few hours south for the Inauguration. And she easily talked me into it because I am all about once in a lifetime experience for free and the chance to see my girl, Beyonce.

Erin was also about to snag us some Gold Viewing Area tickets (what!) so not only did we have free transportation to D.C., we had free tickets to a prime viewing area of the event and Point Park hooked us up with free unlimited metro passes for the day. Honestly. My life is fabulous. I am so thankful. And the weather in D.C. was nothing like the freezing temperatures of Pittsburgh so we were dressed perfectly to be standing around outside for hours. After the ceremony, Erin and I planned to catch the metro back out of the city to avoid the crowds for the rest of the day, but as expected, a few of the metro trains broke down, probably from overuse and too many people on them, so we walked all the way through downtown D.C. since most of the roads and sidewalks were closed for the parade.

Eventually, we made it out of the city and to Bethesda for dinner at the greatest place ever! American Tap Room was the perfect place for our late lunch/dinner to refuel and not to mention, they had the best cozy, leather chairs. Sigh. I could live there forever. And then, of course, before getting back on the metro to head out of the city completely to catch our bus back to Pittsburgh, we walked over to D.C. Cupcakes, yes of TLC, to treat ourselves to some to-die-for cupcakes. My favorite: the Inauguration Red Velvet. Yum! Now onto the pictures, enjoy...

Feeling mighty American while standing here.

Gold Viewing Area Ticket
Glad I picked the reds for 30x30x30

Queen B singing the National Anthem.


30x30x30 Challenge Update Uno

As I mentioned before, I am participating in a 30x30x30 wardrobe challenge. Where I am remixing 30 pieces of clothing for 30 days. So far so good. Here's a look at the first six days in the challenge. You can keep up with my outfits daily by following me on Pinterest.

days 1 through 6 of the challenge

What I've learned so far as I have taken at least one picture of myself every day...
1 - The true concept of a belt has been lost on me.
2 - I need more jewelry.
3 - Fashion blogging would be fun but I'd only do it if 
I had a great camera & tripod or someone to take my pictures.
4 - I think I've picked some good pieces!
5 - I hope I'm saying #4 through the end of this challenge!

Today, I am heading to D.C. to participate in some Inauguration activities and am so excited! I love D.C. almost as much as Pittsburgh, politics are fun for me and I'm just overall thrilled that I am able to go and go FOR FREE to this once in a lifetime event. Good thing my red jeans were picked to be in this challenge because I think I'll be breaking them out for a little patriotic flare! Have a great day off, America - happy Martin Luther King Jr. day!


A lovely, sunny Saturday

Good morning, Pittttsburgh! <----That should be read like "Good morning, Baltimore" from Hairspray 
so if you didn't read it that way, please go back and do so. I'll wait. 

Alright. Glad that didn't take you too long.

So. For a reason unknown to me, I have been awake since before the sun woke up today.
This is the rarest of occasions.
And I made coffee. 
And I turned on my The Avett Brothers Pandora station.
And then I opened the blinds in my bedroom to see this...

Good morning, Pittsburgh.
Good morning, birdies.

And then I watched those little birdies get their morning workout on by flying around
in a large circle for about ten minutes. I would have been worried if I was standing on the street.
Then my tummy made a lion rawr. Yeah, I spelled it rawr. Get over it.
So I made these....

Hard to be healthy when you live with a waffle maker.

And disappointingly only finished half. Fail.

I don't know if you noticed. But I'm in a freakin good mood today.
Soon I will be heading to the grand little town of Ellwood City to celebrate that one of my favorite
friend's from high school is knocked up. (eeek, babies!) I'm excited to see some lovely 
old friends who I haven't laid eyes on for quite some time now.

I'm also excited to get hugs from my parents today.
And then later, I'm excited to squeeze in some MJ time.
We haven't exchanged Christmas presents yet, so we figured we should do that before Valentine's Day.
Couple of the year right here.

Tomorrow I will update you on the 30x30x30 challenge so far, 
for those of you who aren't following my every pin on Pinterest

ALSO - I was featured on The Curvysta Haven yesterday so you can check out my interview

I hope you all have the most fabulous of Saturdays!

Love, Chels


Fashion Forward Fridays: Meet Christy!

Last semester, when I met Christy for the first time, I was so jealous of how effortlessly she was able to pull different pieces together to create such classic looks. We had a design class together and she was fabulous at creating projects and fabulous looking, even if she showed up in sweats. I hate girls like that, but it's hard not to like Christy because she's so personable and expressive. So when I walked into night class on Thursday for the first time this semester for another design class, I was so excited to see a familiar face and that face be hers. I also was so relieved to see that she was, of course, dressed in a simple yet classy outfit so I could feature her for Fashion Forward Fridays.

Christy in the lobby of Academic Hall at Point Park University.


Boutique 208: Pop-Up of Fabulous

Do you know what's awesome about downtown Pittsburgh? Well. There are quite a few things that could be considered but, in my opinion, it is that downtown is the hub for Pop-Up Projects. I blogged before about Dream Cream Ice Cream, another Pop-Up Project, located on Liberty Ave, and now I have to talk about Boutique 208, which is right around the corner on Sixth Street.

Looking in the window at Boutique 208. (Both photos shamelessly borrowed from the Boutique 208 Facebook page.)

Boutique 208 caught my eye the minute it was finished and ready for business. It is across the street from Heinz Hall and connected to the Robot Repair Pop-Up Project, which draws a bit of attention, since no one really understands that Robot Repair is really just an art installation, not an actual store. So all this time, when you might have been roaming around downtown over the holidays or standing outside waiting for a show to start at Heinz, you were probably over-looking the most fabulous of all the Pop-Up Projects.


I met Franco Harris

Hey there. How was every one's weekend?
Remember when I posted a review about The Chief?
Well. I was working the event on Friday and then this happened...

 This is me, and my new friend, Franco Harris.
I look far far far too excited for this picture.
Don't know who my friend Franco is?
Watch this...


Fashion Forward Fridays: 30x30x30

One of my "unspoken goals" of 2013 was to participate in the 30 day wardrobe challenge. I have always been obsessed with clothes and I have a major problem with buying too many things and then never wearing them, or wearing them only a few times. So since one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah of Coming Unstitched, is embarking on this challenge, I'm going to hop on board with her link-up. So 30 pieces, 30 days, 30 ways. Challenge accepted.

I'm also going to refrain from buying anything new during this time so I really get the idea of reusing and appreciating what I have. So, those lovely gift cards I got for Christmas are on hold. Damn. I am already sad about this, but excited at the same time to see what I can come up with and how to mix and match. It all starts on Monday, and I will not be including what I have to wear to work so I can be selfish and have as many options as possible. I already want more options of shoes, they are my weakness! Also, since I do not want Chels & the City to be just a fashion blog, I will just be giving weekly updates on here but every outfit will be on my Pinterest account, so be sure to follow along there! Here's what I'll be wearing...


Support Local Music: Josie McQueen

I'm not one to tell you what kind of music you should be listening to and if you know anything about me, you know I have a schizophrenic taste in music to begin with, but I do want to tell you two things. 1) You should be supporting local music, wherever you are and, 2) Josie McQueen would be a great band for you to start getting in to, especially if you are in the Pittsburgh area.

Photo compliments of Josie McQueen. From left to right, Matt, Aaron, Jesse and Jon.

At the end of December I joined a couple friends to check out Josie McQueen for the first time at Altar Bar. Which oddly enough, I had never been to, but is a really great space especially as a music venue. I'm a big fan of the Pittsburgh trend of turning old churches into bars, it gives them all a fantastic vibe and we might as well be using these great spaces for something! Anyway, I had only heard of Josie McQueen through a friend and was practically begged to go so the band could have a good turnout for their first headlining show. And since I'm never one to turn down a reason to go out on a Friday night or to not show some support for local music, it was pretty much a guarantee that I'd make my way there. I'm really glad I did.


The Chief: Bridging Theater & Sports in Pittsburgh

You know what is the worst way to start the new year? Being sick. Yuck. (I'm so over having the flu.) You know what is a pretty good way to start 2013? Seeing The Chief at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Until Saturday only, the Public welcomes back Tom Atkins as Art Rooney Sr. in this one man show sensation for it's tenth season.

The Chief runs from January 3-12 at PPT.
The Chief, which was written by Rob Zellers and Gene Collier and directed by Ted Pappas, is set in Art Rooney Sr's office in the old Three Rivers Stadium in 1976. As always, the set design is flawless and inviting, which creates sort of an unspoken second character, since with this one man show you are bound to be looking around the set at all the pictures on the wall, not just the actor. While Atkins does a tremendous job talking at length about Rooney's experiences in Pittsburgh, the people he knew and eventually the creation of the Steelers and their first winning season, you need to go into this show knowing a guy is going to just stand on stage and talk at the audience. You also need to know that if you're not a fan of the Steelers or Pittsburgh in general, you probably will not like anything about this show.

Me hanging out with Mr. Rooney after a game in 2011.
However, if you are a Steelers fan or just like this town in general, than The Chief will more than likely entertain you in some way. Atkins does a great job of using the entire stage, by looking at different members of the audience and facing in new directions really uses the space of the Public's thrust stage properly and keeps this show interesting. This performance is what I would imagine listening to your grandpa tell  stories of his friends "back in the day" would be like. The script gives little insights, mostly unknown to me, of Rooney and his memories of the old steel town of Pittsburgh. Though some of the places he mentions actually still are the same, for those of you who are in the younger segment of the crowd, you won't be totally lost.

Overall, after a not so exciting season, seeing The Chief might help Steelers fans remember what our team has fought through before to become the great franchise they are now. Thanks to this "Rooney-approved" show, the great delivery from Atkins, this story line of the former football greats (like Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris) will certainly lift some leftover woes from this past season and give some hope for the next, naturally giving Steelers fans another reason to believe in this team, as Art Rooney Sr. would have always wanted us to.


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