This Weekend – Eat Christmas Cookies, Shop Local

cookie tour 005

cookie tour 005 (Photo credit: marshlight)




There is Still Time to Help Save Xmas & Win Some Pgh Stuff Too!

I wanted to post a reminder about supporting Community Human Services Holiday Gift Project.  The response to my post earlier this week has been amazing.  This is a great way to highlight some local business owners that have donated items for the raffle as well.  Here is an update on the event and on the online fundraising campaign & raffle – we’ve added some more great Pittsburgh items to give away.

IheartPGH has been a supporter of the CHS Holiday Gift Project for the past 3 years and we hope you will take a moment to learn more about this organization and check out some of the great local businesses and bloggers that have helped to support this project in 2012.

What is Community Human Services (CHS)? CHS is a Pittsburgh based non-profit that in located in Oakland and serves the entire Pittsburgh area.  CHS is over 30 years old and offers a variety of programs for Pittsburghers struggling with homelessness, mental illness, health issues and more.

What is the CHS Holiday Gift Project? CHS will use the funds raised to provide a small gifts for the individuals and families they serve.  Many of these individuals and families are not included in other holiday gift programs which are geared towards children and the elderly.

Party @ Hough’s Tonight

The Community Human Services Hoilday Gift Project Party today (Thursday, November 29, 2012) @ Hough’s in Greenfield.  We’ll be there 6-10pm.  (Facebook Event Link) There will be christmas cookies and some great raffle prizes…

  • a tote bag full of about $100 worth of goodies from Fleet Feet in Squirrel Hill (one of those goodies is a $25 gift card!),
  • a great (and fun!) “Wizard” basket from Eljay’s used books, (which also includes a gift card), that has some pretty neat stuff,
  • a bath & body basket

Donate Online or Tweet about the CHS

Click Here to Donate Online

We know not everyone can make it to Hough’s this evening but you can still help support the cause!  I’ve been looking for a way to give away some of our favorite Pittsburgh things here on the blog – and this is the perfect excuse for a raffle.  There are lots of ways you can enter – check out the Rafflecopter widget below (if you are reading this post in an email you will need to click on the Rafflecopter link).


$25 Gift Certificate to East End Book Exchange

Pittsburgh’s newest used book shop opened 2 weeks ago on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfied.  In addition to local books the East End Book Exchange has a section of new books by local authors.  Follow East End Books on Facebook for update and events here.

Pittsburgh Love T-shirt Special Edition Printed by Commonwealth Press

This t-shirt has been available from our online shop for years – but we had our friends at Commonwealth Press print up a special order of this design. You can pick from sizes S to XL.

Autographed Copy of the Food Lovers Guide to Pittsburgh

This is THE book on eating local published by the bloggers who write eatPGH.  The authors have kindly agreed to sign a copy of the book for our giveaway.

Bike Pittsburgh Membership

We think Pittsburgh is a better place thanks to the work of Bike Pittsburgh. Even if you aren’t a cyclist – making Pittsburgh safer for people to be outdoors on bike or foot is good for everyone.  Since we are already a card carrying member – we want to give away a year of membership to someone else who loves Pittsburgh and bicycles too.

A Pair of Pierogi

These little dumplings are made by Pittsburgh artist and author Alicia Kachmar and available on Etsy here or can often be found in the Pittsburgh-Craft-o-Tron Machines.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank You

Check out these other bloggers that have been writing about the CHS Holiday Gift Project:

Thunderbirds and Armadillos

For my first post as your new events blogger, I’d like to take the chance to visit one little slice of life. The place was The Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville, the time was Friday, November 16th at about 9:20. I’d never been to Thunderbird before, but I did know that I was there to see a folk band from Butler. Such a show would certainly attract a particular type of fan, right?

I walked in to a somewhat normal-looking, unassuming Butler St bar. Past the front bar, past the pool table, which sat there balls-out and sticks on table while others lined the walls of the room and chatted with each other. As if to allow room for a game of pool, but nobody was interested in playing. I walked up a set of stairs to the music venue. Now this is where the magic happens. I’m now surrounded by people wearing bowties and suspenders. No, they weren’t with the band. I had also happened to wear a bowtie this particular evening, but I didn’t put it on thinking that others would also have them.

The walls behind the stage are illuminated murals painted to look like one were standing right in the middle of Butler St, watching an outdoor show on a summer afternoon. It’s only a few minutes before the opening act takes the stage: Leann Grimes. He’s a one-man act with an electric guitar and a laptop plugged into the speakers, but the sounds that float out for those first 30 minutes are as carefully planned and lovely as any singer/songwriter’s.

the thunderbird

the thunderbird (Photo credit: peterp)

I migrated upstairs after Leann Grimes to get a drink and mingle with my friends. It’s at this point that we realize there are kazoos sitting on the tables. As in — every table has a kazoo, please take one. Don’t mind if I do!

By the time The Armadillos took the stage, I was already having a ridiculously fun time playing my kazoo and chatting with who I assume was the only other die-hard metalhead in the bar, that I had to be reminded of what I was there for in the first place.

As expected, The Armadillos put on a lovely, energetic, magnetizing performance. A little old, a little new, and all over as wonderful a performance as I’ve ever seen. The merch table was well-stocked and the band were ready in the wings to chat with the night’s guests. I’m hoping that everyone else who attended the show felt like I did when they saw the new album on that merch table for only $10. Handed to me with a smile from the band’s frontman, Austin. I love to throw my support behind local acts, but The Armadillos deserve more than just my approval. Their music would be right at home on SiriusXM or cranked out your car window while you drive down Center Ave.

Check them out yourself at:

For more on the Thunderbird Cafe in Lawrenceville:

Map & Compass Orienteering in Frick Park – Dec. 1

Some of the most popular posts here on this blog have been about scavenger hunts – so we wanted to share this event from the Western PA Orienteering Club.

This Saturday, December 1, 2012 the Western PA Orienterring Club is headed to Frick Park for their last event of 2012.

Here are the details for the event from the Meet-up page:

For the first time, Frick Park has been mapped into a standardized Orienteering (the sport) format, using map symbols and conventions that are specific to that activity. The Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club will host a meet on Saturday December 1, registration and starts can be anytime between 10 AM and 1 PM, and everybody must be finished by 2:30 PM (time when the courses officially close).

Orienteering is a outdoor recreational activity in which participants find checkpoints in the woods using solely a topographic map and a compass (no GPS, like in geocaching…). It can be either competitive (runners) or non-competitive (walkers). It is rain or shine. It is all ages (7 year olds and 90 year olds all welcome). It is all skills (beginners, intermediate, advanced). It is inexpensive ($5 for the map – group or family doing event together with just one map only pay $5 for the entire group. If a group has five people and sharing one map, it comes to $1/person).

The meet HQ will be setup in the small shelter at the bottom of the Ravine Trail, also known as “Lower Frick”. There is a parking lot for vehicles, reachable from Hutchinson Avenue when coming from S. Braddock Ave.

There is no mass-start. The starts are staggered two minutes apart so that participants don’t follow each other. Orienteering is a land navigational challenge, in which one selects the best and optimal route to from point A to point B, considering obstacles, climb, terrain, visual references.

This question comes pretty often, so here is the answer: “can I bring my dog?”… “yes you can, as long as it complies with city ordinances, such as being on a leash”

Beginner instruction is available on site by volunteers.

There will be four courses available:

  • The beginner course (White) will have a bird’s eye distance of about 2.5 km. All checkpoints are located along a trail or very accessible terrain.
  • The advanced beginner course (Yellow) will have a bird’s eye distance of 3.5 km. Checkpoints are visible from trail and there may be off-trail short travel to reach them.
  • The intermediate course (Orange)will have a bird’s eye distance of about 5 km, and will involve some bushwacking and off-trail navigation.
  • The advanced course (Red) will have a bird’s eye distance of about 7.5 km, and have checkpoints located in hard-to-find locations, and given the hills of Frick park, involve also considerable climb and require some athleticism.

Orienteering is a sport that is currently practiced in Scandinavian and Eastern European countries. In the US, it has a small but passionate following. Here in Western Pennsylvania, it has a small group of volunteers of all backgrounds, from normal outdoor lovers, hikers, adventure racers, scouts, geocachers. The club is a 501(c)3 organization (non-profit).


Help A Pittsburgh Non-profit Save Xmas!

Let me start this post by giving credit to the Pittsburgh bloggers AND blog readers.  Remember back in September – I wrote a post about how the Light of Life men’s shelter was in desperate need of underwear – Pittsburghers stepped up to the plate and not only donated tons of new underwear, but we also raised $1385 for Light of Life to purchase even more clean underwear.

With the holiday season upon us – I’m hoping you will read this and consider lending your support to another Pittsburgh organization that is working very hard to bring some holiday cheer.

Community Human Services (CHS) is a non-profit, located in Oakland – that offers several different programs that serves some of our fellow Pittsburghers who need some extra help.  Many of their programs work with Pittsburghers who are homeless or struggle with mental illness.  You can learn more about CHS and their programs on their website –

For the past few years – CHS has organized a holiday gift card drive – gift cards and donations are collected for CHS to be able to offer some holiday gifts, trips to restaurants and some fun to the Pittsburghers they serve.  We have been happy to help support this gift card drive in the past and this year we really need your help.  I was talking with the folks at CHS and they are behind in meeting their $5000 goal.

There are a number of you can help CHS reach their goal… keep scrolling down for how you can win some prizes too!

1. Attend the CHS Holiday Gift Project Event on Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6-10pm at Hough’s in Greenfield

This is going to be a fun event.  Last year we gathered on Mt. Washington for an evening of cookie eating and gift card gathering for CHS.  The host committee is working extra hard to make sure this year is even better – I hope you will join me and the rest of the host committee (and this is an all star crew of folks that work on great cool projects for Pittsburgh) to eat cookies and support CHS.

Event Details:

CHS Holiday Gift Project Party
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Hough’s, 563 Greenfield Ave, Greenfield
Admission: Bring a gift card to donate or make a donation in any amount (you can donate online before the event here), cash bar.
RSVP: Click here to RSVP Not required but helpful – let us know you’ll attend by filling out this quick form here (it will save you some handwriting at the door)
Facebook Event Link – please invite your friends –

2. Donate to the CHS Holiday Gift Project 

Did you say you have plans on Thursday and you can’t make the event?  Not a problem!  You can still help support the CHS Holiday Gift Project and help us reach our goal – we’ve set up a one of those nifty crowdrise pages for the cause –

3. Help Spread the Word – Donate, Tweet & Share to Win

While I hope you will come to Hough’s on Thursday and make a donation on the Crowdrise page – I also hope you will help us spread the word about the CHS Holiday gift programs AND your favorite Pittsburgh holiday charities.  I know there are tons of great organizations that Pittsburghers support – please share a link to your favorite project in the comments below or on Twitter with the #pghsavesxmas

I have pulled together some raffle prizes to giveaway for helping to spread the word and set up a Rafflecopter page for keeping track of this – lots of ways to enter!

Raffle Prizes include: Pgh Love t-shirt, $25 Gift Certificate to East End Book Exchange

a Rafflecopter giveaway