4 Resolutions to Start Your New Year Right in Shadyside

Tomorrow is a new day and a new year! For many that means sticking to a new years resolution while others are just trying to remember to write 2019 instead of 2018 when it comes to the date.

Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish this year, it’s important you know about all the amenities available to you in Shadyside. We’ve drummed up a list of resolutions that will be easy for you to stick to while living in Shadyside, Pittsburgh.

Losing Weight or Getting Fit

If becoming your healthiest self is on your to-do list in 2019, there are many different fitness locations within Shadyside to help you achieve that goal. You’ll have endless choices like pilates and yoga to CrossFit and weight training!

Become Your Healthiest Self: Fitness Options in Shadyside

Plus, Shadyside is known for its tree-lined sidewalks, which makes running much more enjoyable!

Choosing a Healthier Diet

After a long day of work, cooking something for dinner just seems like a daunting task. Next thing you know pizza and fast food seem like an excellent alternative. We’ve all been there. But starting January 1, you made a promise to eat healthily.

We recommend setting a budget aside each month that you’re willing to spend on eating out. Just make sure you choose healthy eateries and lucky for you, Shadyside has a handful of awesome, healthy restaurants like Choolaah, Salud Juicery, or Honey Grow.

For fresh, local and organic produce, you have to check out the East End Food Co-op!

Meet New People

Maybe you aren’t the world’s biggest social butterfly after moving into a new neighborhood. That’s completely understandable. Though it is something you’re looking to change as the new year rings in. Here are a few tips for you:

  • First things first, explore the neighborhood. You’ll be delighted by the friendly people and the bountiful amount of things to do. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to discover what’s new in Shadyside and the East End.
  • Go to the local events. Shadyside proudly hosts many events month in and month out. Go to Think Shadyside for a calendar of events!
  • Take a class at any of the three nearby universities. If you have the time, learn about a topic you were always curious about and make new friends in the process!

Contribute to Charity

Is doing more to help others is on your agenda for the new year? Community service isn’t only a good deed but can make you feel more self-fulfilled, which can better your mental health. Take a look at how you can support these local charities 412 Food Rescue, Achieva, and Best Buddies.

After all, Brad Paisley says it best “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” 

Last Minute Amazon Gifts Under $30 for Renters

Is it really too late to do a little Christmas shopping? It’s true, the holiday is just a few days away, but that’s why Amazon Prime exists!

In case you’re still on the gift hunt for your favorite apartment dweller, we got you covered!

For the Plant Lover

Apartment plants are the biggest trend right now. Whether it’s turning your one bed, one bath into a full-blown jungle or having a simple potted plant on your kitchen window. Regardless of your preference, there are some serious benefits to becoming a happy plant owner.

If you know someone who currently resides in an apartment, we know two kits from Amazon with your name on it.

The first is a Nature’s Blossom Herb Garden Kit. It will certainly come in handy for the person who loves to cook. Having fresh herbs in your home is a cooks dream. The kit includes organic seeds for Thyme, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley and Sage. Amazon has it in stock for $19.99, and it has a 4-star rating.

This second gift is Nature’s Blossom Bonsai Garden Seed Starter Kit! The Bonsai culture can be both a hobby and an art form. Keep in mind, a Bonsai starter kit does need to be regularly cared for, but this beautiful, unique plant is definitely a conversation starter.

The Chef that Needs a Little More Room

In apartments, kitchens tend to be stripped down to what is absolutely necessary. Sometimes space and storage are compromised.

For the chef in your life, one kitchen tool every apartment owner should have is a YAMAZAKI home Tower-Ladle & Lid Stand. Tired of having nowhere to put your steam filled lid while cooking? What about the food covered spoon or spatula? This simple gadget is too useful for its own good! Plus, it received a 5-star rating on Amazon.

For the Techy

Know someone who’s dreaming for the home theater, but doesn’t know how to create the look in an apartment? Introducing a Luminoodle LED Backlight! Seems too simple, right?

Placing an LED strip behind a tv or computer screen can reduce eye strain and improve contrast. For only $9.99 and a 4.5-star rating, you’ll definitely reach best gift giver status.

The Person with a Sensitive Nose

If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, there’s a chance you’ve experienced strange smells every now and again. Maybe your next door neighbor decided to cook bacon and that delicious scent made its way into your living room. If you don’t have bacon stocked in your fridge that could lead to serious problems. Another example is someone smoking outside near your window and the smell of cigarette smoke begins to cloud your apartment.

If any of those scenarios bother you or someone you know, we have a few reliable options for you.

At Franklin West, our priority is making sure our residents live at their best. Any way we can accomplish this, we will do it. We hope this gift list will help any last minute shoppers! Maybe you’ll even treat yourself to one or two of these items too.


Happy Gifting!

bulb on christmas tree branch

Here’s How to Take Part in the Holiday Cheer this December

As temperatures begin to fall into the 20s and snow makes its arrival here in Pittsburgh, we know it’s officially time for the holidays. With joy and merriment in the air, we gathered a list of our favorite holiday events near Shadyside.

Here are some events you’ll want to mark down on your calendar for this month.

Shadyside Nursery Trees and Charity Wreaths

If you’re still in the market for a holiday tree, head over to the Shadyside Nursery! With a wide range of different types and sizes, you’ll definitely be able to find a tree you like. This year, the Shadyside Nursery is also selling locally made ornaments and holiday lawn decor too.

When you purchase a handmade Charity Wreath you’ll be supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. Over one hundred have been sold so far!

photo from Shadyside Nursery website

Phipps Conservatory’s “Let it Glow!” Show

When you ask any Pittsburgh local what the best thing to do during the holidays, we would bet Phipps Conservatory is one of their suggestions. Phipps winter garden show is both breathtaking and mesmerizing!

The theme is “Let It Glow,” and they certainly pulled out all the stops. With a ton of new features, you’ll experience dazzling holiday tree displays, winter ice towers, color-changing architectural lights, and an array of gorgeous flowers. On select nights, Phipps will host a variety of musical entertainment. Check out the schedule here.

photo from Phipps Conservatory Instagram 

This weekend is the Gifts and Greens Market too! It’s a free event hosted by Phipps and welcomes guest vendors. Shop for fresh greens, garland, poinsettias, holiday decorations, and so much more.

If you haven’t yet been out to Phipps during the holidays, you definitely need to put it on your calendar this year.

East End Brewing: Holiday Crafts & Drafts

On Saturday, December 15, East End Brewing will host Crafts and Drafts! Local artists and vendors will be present with arts, crafts, and gifts to help with your last minute shopping. Great food will also be available from La Palapa Mexican Kitchen and Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Clayton Holiday Tour at The Frick Pittsburgh

Holiday tours at the Clayton Mansion are a must-see Pittsburgh tradition. The beautifully decorated Frick Family home will allow you to reimagine the events of 1908. This Saturday, December 8th, the Frick is also hosting a free event of holiday art-making and interactive tours. Check out their site for more events and ticket information.

Holiday’s at The Carnegie Museum of Art

There’s nothing more festive than towering evergreen trees dressed in lights and decorative ornaments! As you make your way to the Hall of Architecture, you’ll experience the Carnegie Trees and Neapolitan Presepio.  

This year, CMOA collaborated with Carnegie International artist, Karen Kilimnik, to bring the five trees to life. Each one decorated with handcrafted ornaments. Displayed next to the trees is a lifelike and colorfully detailed 18th-century Neapolitan Presepio Nativity Scene. CMOA notes the scene was crafted by hand between 1700 and 1830.

CMOA’s holiday display will be up until January 7th. This one is a Pittsburgh tradition you’ll want to see for yourself.

photo from the Carnegie Museum of Art Instagram

Holiday Events at Ace Hotel

If you want to do something unique during the holidays, you can always count on the Ace Hotel. They’re hosting several events this month. The first is Yappy Holidays: A No-Flea Market for Humane Animal Rescue and it’s this Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. It’s a holiday pet market with plenty of pet-related vendors and bloody marys for you. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Humane Animal Rescue.

On Sunday, December 16th, the Ace Hotel is hosting the Anemoia Vintage’s Made + Found Holiday Market. It will feature over 50 of the regions vintage and handmade vendors! Admission is free and light drinks and brunch will be available for purchase.

Wanting more of a holiday dinner experience? Get yourself a ticket to Sharing Knives – Apteka’s Eastern European Christmas Dinner with Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski. This vegan style dinner is based around traditional Eastern European holiday meals. Buy your ticket and make your reservation soon because this event is taking place on Wednesday, December 19th.

Here are a few more holiday events hosted by Ace Hotel:

New Years Eve Fiesta at Steel Cactus

If you’re looking for New Years Eve plans, check out the Fiesta at Steel Cactus. Make dinner reservations before 8 pm and get your new year celebration on with a DJ and dancing starting at 9 pm.

That’s a wrap on our list of holiday events, and yes, we checked it twice! Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more updates on events in Shadyside and so much more during December.