Posts Tagged ‘Around Town’


Happy Friday, everyone!  I was recently invited as a guest by Table Magazine to attend a release signing cookbook event by wellness coach and author, Lindsey Smith (stay tuned – I’ll be sharing a post on that next week!).  As part of my ‘Friday’s Favorite Finds’ blog post series, I wanted to first share with you a few of my favorite finds from the beautifully curated shop the event was hosted at… House 15143, located in Sewickley, PA.  After living in PA for nearly 10+ years, I have never visited this borough…shameful, isn’t it!  Upon arriving to Sewickley village, I was impressed by the large beautiful homes (that’s the HGTV part of me) and the quaint downtown area filled with restaurants and boutique stores (I felt like I stepped into a Hallmark movie set!)  I can’t wait to return to Sewickley because we went during the evening hours, so it was quite dark outside.

The lovely ladies, Danielle and Kristin are the owners of this stylish, chic and modern shop. I just love, love, love boutique stores that carry home decor, entertaining essentials and unique gifting and House 15143 was just that and more! If you’re looking for graphic art prints – look no further, they have a wide selection of prints to choose from that suit your personality. If you’re in need of something custom, no problem, they have an in-house graphic designer who can design and create it for you. In addition to the unique products they sell, they also offer decorating services and host cooking classes in their in-house kitchen, featuring local chefs and restaurants! If you live in the Pittsburgh or surrounding areas, you can view their upcoming events, here.

Check out below for my favorite finds that I purchased and a glimpse inside House 15143 via a video snippet I created, at the end of this post.


I was pretty obsessed with all the eye candy that surrounded me as I stepped foot into House 15143. The first thing I noticed was the large floor-to-ceiling display of luxury candles.  You guys know how obsessed I am with scented soy candles, so it was no surprise that one of them was going home with me! As you’ve noticed from the pictures above, I snagged a few other items:

  • Candle-Match Bottles.  An apothecary jar with a built-in, strike-on-bottle design that also features a printed message on the bottle. I also  a tall glass bottle with cork top that includes oversized candle matches. Pairing these candle match bottles with your scented candles is a convenient and beautiful way to display on your coffee table.
  • A Luxury Scented Candle.  There was a wide selection of fragrant candles to choose from and ultimately, I went with a Sydney Hale Co. candle. The scent reminds me of summers at the beach which was probably purposeful, since the name of the scent is ‘Sweet Water’! I’m looking forward to lighting this candle after the winter months have passed.
  • Prosecco Cocktails Recipe Book. Since I love to entertain this cocktail recipe book is perfect for when hosting a brunch – after all Prosecco cocktails and brunch go hand-in-hand! I’ll be sure to share recipes with you on the blog so that you can try them at home too!
  • Brass-plated Wine Bar Sign. I haven’t shared this with you yet but I have recently turned our bar cart into wine cart. When I saw this Wine Bar sign, I knew it would be a perfect addition to the bar cart. I’m going to have to think of a creative way of displaying it since it is meant to be screwed into a wall or cabinetry. Stay tuned for this!
  • Tea Towel. With Valentine’s day just around the corner, I was smitten with the tea towel that an illustration of a tree with a red heart hanging from one of the branches.  The message on the tea towel reads: ‘ love grows here’.  I have another tea towel that was gifted with a purchase of Lyndsey’s cookbook. It read
  • Wooden Serving Board.  Ok, you guys, I’ve been searching high and low for a large wooden serving board and I was ecstatic when I saw this one! At-home entertaining just got more fun – look out for an epic charcuterie and cheese board…a future ‘how-to’ blog post! I can’t wait to use this massive woodend display board.
  • Beverage Napkins.  I collect a variety of bev napkins to have readily available for any occasion and I couldn’t resist the black and white stripe ‘Cheers’ ones that I picked up.

Whenever I can, I like to support local shops and I’m happy I found another store I foresee visiting frequently!

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

-Photos + video by Rose Angel Lopez

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Dining at Co Co. Sala Restaurant & Chocolate Boutique

The one of many compatible things my partner and I share, is the love and appreciation we have for good food. We love to try out new places to dine in and most recently, we visited Co Co. Sala Restaurant & Chocolate Boutique (oh, you had me at chocolate boutique!)

Dining at Co Co. Sala Restaurant & Chocolate Boutique


For an appetizer (not shown here), we ordered ‘Sweet & Sour Cauliflower’ served over a bed of crispy spinach. We bit down to the taste of a crunchy coating that was glazed in a sweet and sour tangy sauce and immediately tasted the tangy ginger and garlic…we were off to a good start! We were undecided on a few entrees we wanted to try so we ordered three and shared. We ordered their ‘Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese’ that was garnished with chocolate enrobed bacon! The second entree was ‘Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sliders’ – since I’m not a fan of blue cheese, I didn’t taste it but I did get the thumbs up. The entree I ordered was the ‘Gambas de Ajillo Con Queso’ which translates to garlic & spanish paprika shrimp topped with manchego cheese toast. Damn…this entree was incredibly good and we both agreed, it was our top favorite choice out of the three entrees we tried!!

Next up….but of course, the dessert!


I asked the waiter for his recommendation and he replied that the top favorites amongst their customers are the ‘Chocolate Onyx’ and ‘A Sticky Situation’ and so that’s what we ordered. For a chocolate lovers dream, it was obvious that a trio of rich decadent chocolate would satisfy. As for the dessert platter called ‘A Sticky Situation’, it included a warm sticky toffee pudding cake garnished with chocolate shavings & brown butter toffee sauce, and ginger caramel ice cream. I love caramel but I love chocolate more, so you can guess which one was my favorite!

So if you are ever in the Washington DC area and are looking for a place to dine that specializes in cuisine with savory global flavors or would like to indulge in fine artisanal chocolates and exquisite desserts, Co Co. Sala may just be a place to add to your list to visit.


-Photos by Rose Angel Lopez, taken on iPhone

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Get ready friends to have your mouth-water with today’s post! If you read my last post from my ‘Around Town’ series, I ventured out to Lawerenceville, PA over the weekend and another place we went to visit was La Gourmadine French Bakery. My better half knew before hand about this bakery and pastry shop – this is the place that my mini pastries and Tartelette Aux Fruits were purchased from on the night I was proposed to (if you missed it, you can read all about that in this post).

As we pulled up to the La Gourmadine, we found ourselves standing on a long line with other patrons who must frequent there often and knew how delicious the baked goods are. As we walked inside the french bakery, we were enticed by the distinct smell of fresh baked bread, flakey butter croissants, scents of almond, vanilla and butter cream. I felt like my four-legged Cockapoo pup, ‘Bailey’, just standing there, licking my lips and staring at which treats I will get to eat! Not only did everything look so fresh and tempting, some of the pastries were so artfully-designed too! We regretted to have arrived to the bakery late afternoon, only to find that most of the trays were scarce but luckily there was enough goodies for us to pick out and take home with us and to share with our moms! So be sure to arrive early…like my sister always says, “Early bird catches the worm.”

As much as I wouldn’t mind admitting to eating each of the baked goods we purchased, I didn’t – as I needed the will power not to go off my “healthy eating” goal. So cutting out a few sample pieces from three out of the six baked goods, was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth craving and not feel so guilty!



Macarons filled with raspberries and custard

La Gourmandine French Bakery

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you will love this dessert treat. One bite of this macaron had me bobbing my head, tapping my feet and humming a tune – it was so darn good!



Puffed pastry covered with sliced apples

Around Town: La Gourmandine French Bakery

Oh, how I could have sunk my teeth into this one but we gave this to my future mother-in-law who loved it and wants us to take her to the La Gourmandine.



Choux dough filled with cocoa chocolate pastry cream and topped with chocolate fondant

La Gourmandine French Bakery in Pittsburgh, PA

Mmm! We gave my mom these chocolate filled eclairs and you know she enjoyed it if you receive a text… “Delicious eclair. Thanks.” 



Choux dough split in half and filled with whipped cream

Around Town: La Gourmandine French Bakery

While I did enjoy sampling this, I have to admit, it was a bit rich and very filling but good in taste.



A Croissant filled with almond cream and sprinkled almonds

Around Town: La Gourmandine French Bakery in Pittsburgh

I’ve had my share of tasting different almond filled croissants and this by far is my absolute favorite!



Bacon and caramelized onions

Around Town: La Gourmandine French Bakery in Pittsburgh

This quiche was saved for the next morning and my better half told me it was “so damn good – the egg was light and had a custard texture!”

If you are ever in Pittsburgh and visit the neighborhood of Lawerenceville or Mt. Lebanon, I highly recommend making a stop at La Gourmandine French Bakery.

Bon Appétit!

-Photos by Rose Angel

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