Hero image for blog post on shows for home design and organization inspiration. Image from Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

Housekeeping Shows for Design and Organization Inspiration

Home is not a static place. People fill their homes with things that speak to them; they decorate and redecorate with the changing seasons, and once in a while things can get a little messy. Everyone has their own tastes, and organizational skills are always welcome. Tune into these shows for some inspiration regarding design and organization in your home.

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo image from Instagram for design and organization blog post.

Image from @mariekondo on Instagram

Marie Kondo has helped millions of people reorganize their homes since her show debuted on Netflix in early 2019. Kondo’s method of decluttering isn’t easy for everyone, but it will certainly promote joy in your household. She begins by rounding up all the clothing, books, paper, “Komono” (Japanese for “small things”, Kondo uses the word in reference to kitchen, bathroom, garage, and miscellaneous belongings), and sentimental items. The next step is to go through each item and determine which ones “spark joy.” If it doesn’t spark joy, then it needs to go. It’s no easy feat, but it brings a feeling of zen to the home.

Amazing Interiors

Amazing Interiors show image fro m Netflix for home design and organization blog post.

Image from Netflix

This show reveals the elaborate interior designs of unsuspecting homes. These homes belong to real people with passions you’ll see reflected within their spaces. Among the more grandiose spectacles, you’ll see some ideas you can try for yourself without needing any renovations.

Holiday Home Makeover

Holiday Home MakeoverNetflix image from Instagram for home design and organization inspiration blog post.

Image from @holidayhomemakeoversnetflixtv on Instagram

Decorating a home isn’t always a “set it and forget it” endeavor. This show focuses specifically on holiday decor. Benjamin Bradley (Mr. Christmas) meets different families and helps transform their interiors to reflect the magic of the holidays. If you love arts and crafts, then you’ll love the DIY projects this show will teach you.

All of these shows are available to stream now on Netflix. Cozy up on your couch with a cup of hot cocoa and get inspired to tidy up and decorate your apartment so it may bring you nothing but joy.

Sweaters on rack demonstrating loungewear. Image from Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash.

Loungewear: Embrace the 2020 Trend at These Local Shops

As the weather outside becomes frightful, the fire sure is delightful. There’s nothing like lounging in the warmth of your home on a cold winter day. Take your comfort to the max by embracing 2020’s loungewear trend at these Shadyside shops.

Apricot Lane Boutique, 5533 Walnut Street

Faux fur slippers sold at Apricot Lane Pittsburgh at Shadyside location. Image from Instagram.

Image from @apricotlanepgh on Instagram

The Shadyside location of this women’s boutique brand opened up in 2018 and is run by a mother and daughter duo. Walk in with a pair of sneakers and leave with a pair of warm slippers you’ll never want to take off. Prefer browsing online? There’s a whole loungewear section on their website!

Apricot Lane is open for in-store shopping Monday – Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

MODA, 5401 Walnut Street

Sweater selection at MODA Pittsburgh. Image from Instagram.

Image from @modapittsburgh on Instagram

Nothing says loungewear quite like sweatshirts and sweatpants. Stock up on these classic garments at this fashionable store. You’ll find styles for men and women, so load up on some of your favorite work-from-home attire. Browse their inventory online or pay a visit to their Shadyside location.

MODA’s hours of operation are Monday – Saturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. In-store and online shopping are both available.

Feathers, 5408 Walnut Street

Woman modeling pajamas at Feathers Shadyside store. Image from Instagram.

Image from @feathers_shadyside on Instagram

Sometimes you just don’t want to shed your pajamas when you get up in the morning. Feathers has a selection of comfy women’s pajamas you can wear all day long. They really are the cat’s pajamas. Be sure to check out their nightshirts and gowns as well.

Feathers is open for in-store shopping from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Saturday.

Fill in your wardrobe with comfortable staples in solidarity with this year’s work from home lifestyle. These shops are all within three blocks of each other in the heart of Shadyside, and they’re only a two-minute walk from some of Franklin West’s Shadyside apartments. Shop at your leisure and hit them all in one go. Remember to wear your mask and check these stores’ websites for updates to hours of operation.

Hero image for Franklin West blog on donating, and volunteering

The Season of Giving: Local Donation & Volunteer Opportunities

The holiday season and giving go hand in hand. While this time of year is a joyous occasion for many, some people struggle for many reasons. Giving our time, energy, or money to just causes helps improve the lives of people all around us and promotes thriving communities. There are several volunteer opportunities right here in Pittsburgh. Determine where you may have the capacity to give back.

Snow Angels 

Image from City of Pittsburgh Snow Angels

Pittsburgh may not get as much snowfall as cities like Erie, PA or Syracuse, NY, but we get enough to transform the Steel City into a winter wonderland, if only for a few days. It’s perfect for a beautiful, brisk stroll to a nice nearby cafe like The Coffee Tree Roasters in Shadyside. However, snow can be a headache for elderly members of our community as well as people living with disabilities. This is why the City of Pittsburgh developed the Snow Angels program to help those in need deal with the aftermath of a snowfall.

To sign up, visit the official website and fill out the contact form so the organization can pair you with a neighbor in need of snow removal. You will only be paired with one neighbor within a 10-minute walk from your home unless you specify on your registration form that you are willing to help multiple neighbors. A snow shovel and salt will be provided by your neighbor in need, so all you have to do is show up and start shoveling.

Not all volunteers will be matched with a neighbor in need. Pairing will depend on whether or not a neighbor has requested help. Additionally, you may not be assigned a neighbor right away, but neighbors can request help throughout the season. The program will keep in touch via text or email to let you know if and when you receive an assignment. If you wish to volunteer, please make time to clear snow within 24-hours of the end of a snowfall. You’ll make a big difference in the day-to-day lives of your neighbors, postal workers, and firefighters. Snow Angels, we appreciate your service!

This volunteer opportunity is open all winter long.

Phone Bank to Support Isolated Seniors

Image from The Neighbor Network to promote a December 2020 phone banking event

Image from The Neighbor Network

The holidays typically offer an occasion to spend quality time with the people in our lives who mean the most to us. The reality of the 2020 holiday season is that not everyone will have this chance to connect with family and friends. Seniors in our communities are among those most affected by the isolation brought about by COVID-19. Simply talking with them over the phone can help immensely in easing the effects of loneliness. 

This month, Repair the World Pittsburgh is hosting a phone bank to connect isolated seniors with volunteers. This event from Repair the World is part of a larger effort by the Neighbor Network to facilitate weekly phone conversations between seniors and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers for this event will participate in 45 minutes of discussion and training before making calls. These calls are simple, introductory conversations to pre-screen seniors so they may be matched up with volunteers for weekly phone calls.

This volunteer event will take place on December 15 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Online registration is open here.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Image from Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

For almost 40 years, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has worked to limit food insecurity within our community and provide widespread access to nutritious meals. The efforts of this organization are only made possible by the many volunteers and donors over the years. There are many ways you can get involved and support this organization’s mission.

Depending on your availability and time commitment, you can volunteer on a one-off basis or a recurring basis with hands-on work. Volunteering is open to whole families, so kids (ages 6-12) can participate in giving back to their communities. Some of the more common volunteer events entail rescuing produce from local farms, sorting and packaging food at the Duquesne Warehouse, and giving food directly to people in need. Everyone is unique and has their own skill sets. The Food Bank actively seeks help for a variety of tasks, so indicate your unique skill sets when signing up.

The type of volunteer work varies seasonally and the Food Bank is taking health and safety precautions to protect volunteers and the people they serve. If you are unable to volunteer this season, then consider donating to help feed families during the holidays.

You can schedule a volunteer opportunity here or make a donation here.

Celebrate this season of giving by helping those in need. Nothing better encapsulates the spirit of the holidays and warms the hearts of others.

Hero image of cards representing card and stationery shops in Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh

Send Season’s Greetings & Thanks With These Shadyside Stationery Shops

Sending holiday greeting cards is a timeless tradition, and during the 2020 holiday season finding creative ways to stay connected is more important than ever. Elevate your correspondence this year by sending handwritten cards or unique gifts your friends and family will surely cherish. Everything you need to get started is available from local stationery retailers right within Shadyside. 

Kards Unlimited, 5522 Walnut Street

Whether you’re looking for the perfect witty card for the comedian in your family or a new journal to jot down your goals for the new year, Kards Unlimited on Walnut Street has you covered. This store has been a family-owned Shadyside staple for more than 50 years; it’s a one-stop-shop for all your holiday gift needs. You’ll find an assortment of cards, books, games, mugs, puzzles, and more.

Cards from Cards Unlimited on Instagram

Image from Kards Unlimited on Instagram

Kards Unlimited is open for in-store shopping and curbside pickup from 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM Monday – Saturday, and 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM on Sunday. Double-check hours on their website for any updates before visiting.

Scribe Fine Papers, 731 ½  Filbert Street

For the artists and calligraphy lovers, Scribe Fine Papers on Filbert Street carries letterpress goods, stationery, and printing products from various designers and local artists. This stationery shop fulfills custom orders and also sells beautiful calendars, journals, ribbons, and calligraphy pens. In addition to finding quality cards for your friends and family, this is the perfect spot to pick up any supplies you’ll need for your next rainy day weekend project.

Scribe Fine Papers Instagram post featuring Christmas card and pen

Image from Scribe Fine Papers on Instagram

Scribe Fine Papers is open from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM on Wednesday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Thursday – Saturday, and 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Sunday. Look to their website for any updates to these hours of operation.

Pennhollows, 244 S. Highland Avenue

This local shop has been a Shadyside favorite since it opened in 2007. Come for the selection of beautiful cards suiting various occasions, and stay for the assortment of rare books and unique home decor. Your card recipients will love a warm message enclosed in one of Pennhollows’ delightful illustrations.

Pennhollows gift shop in Shadyside from Instagram

Image from Pennhollows on Instagram

Pennhollows is open from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Tuesday – Saturday, and 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Sunday & Monday. Refer to their website for updates to hours of operation.

Kawaii Gifts, 738 Copeland Street

Kawaii means “cute” in Japanese, and cute is exactly what you’ll find at Kawaii Gifts on Copeland Street. This shop sells Japanese letter sets, notebooks, pens, and other items adorned with animals and charming illustrations. The items here provide a lighthearted tranquility people can appreciate in this challenging year. A gift from Kawaii is sure to spread cheer.

Kawaii Gifts Shadyside shop with cards and toys from Instagram

Image from Kawaii Gifts on Instagram

Kawaii Gifts is open every day from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Visit their website for any updates or to schedule a private shopping appointment.

Bring some cheer and a personal touch into this holiday season. No need to stray far; all these Shadyside shops are easily walkable. Whether you send a simple, handwritten thank you note or your annual batch of Christmas cards, your loved ones will appreciate you thinking of them.