10 Things that made this winter awesome — despite the cold!

Let's face it, the weather this winter was brutal. 

Luckily, fun was still had.

Here's a little list full of love for those people, places, and businesses that made this winter wonderful ... despite the sub zero temperatures.

Cheers to spring! 

photo via EatPGH

1. Breakfast at Marty's Market. 

It's official ... Marty's Market is hands down my favorite breakfast spot in the city.

The pancakes are so fluffy and delicious and they're topped with real maple syrup and cinnamon sugar butter.

They've also have great egg dish options (I'm particularly fond of the eggs benny) and there are tons of fresh juices to choose from. If you haven't been to Marty's Market yet for breakfast you must go as soon as possible!

Elks Club Pittsburgh

2. Banjo Night at The Elks Lodge

Every time I make it out for a Banjo Night at the Elks Lodge, I wonder why I don't go every week.

I most recently went for a friend's birthday party (It's an awesome place to have a party, fyi) and my friend Mary Ann taught me how to polka!

Turns out, Polka-ing is one of the best things you can do on a cold evening.  Thank you, Banjo night!

3. Running partners Kristi, Nik, and Milla (not pictured). 

There were so many days that I never would have gotten out of bed to run in the freezing cold if it wasn't for this crew.

If you ever want to really do something, get yourself some accountability buddies. Double points if they're willing to wake up at 5:30 a.m. with you.

Surprisingly, there were many times when it was actually quite peaceful to be running in a winter wonderland. Don't knock it 'til you try it!

4. Tula Organic Salon & Spa

Some lady friends and I embarked on a blow dry bar extravaganza at Tula Organic Salon & Spa.

Scalp massage? Shampoo? Blow out?

Yes please.

It's the perfect thing to do before you start the weekend and the warm air is quite welcome when it's so cold outside.

Gather together some gal pals and check it out!

5. Bowling at Arsenal Lanes.

Joining a bowling league is something that I'd never thought I'd do. I was hesitant when the opportunity came along in January, but I decided to go for it.

Turns out, I freaking love bowling and I'm now officially addicted. 

Hat tip to Pittsburgh Sports League for organizing. Arsenal Lanes is now one of my favorite places on the planet.

6. Moscow Mules 

Sometime in December, I discovered that I love Moscow Mules.

If you've never had one before, it's a delicious mixed drink consisting of ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice.

What makes this beverage extra delicious is that it's served in a copper mug to keep it icy cold. I've ordered these zingy drinks at several restaurants in town, but nothing has topped the ginger-iffic version served at Harris Grill. In second place is Park Brugge's spin (pictured above). 

7. Lyft and Uber

Holy hot wheels, Batman! We can actually catch a ride in this town!

Lyft and Uber are now officially rockin' and rollin' in Pittsburgh, and they're making it a lot easier to get around. Now you don't have to wait out in the cold to catch the car because you can see it coming right on your smart phone. Brilliant!

Plus, the Lyft launch party (pictured above) was a ton of fun and I couldn't get enough of all the hot pink. 

8. Muv Integrated Physical Culture.

You may or may not have seen interview #75 featuring Jhon Yonoan of Muv Integrated Physical Culture, but I can't stop talking about this place!

Muv has been a warm haven in the winter months, and I've been enjoying working out and making friends there.

Bonus: Muv's mascot, Tiger the dog, gives me extra incentive to get to class!  

photo via 

9. Family Style Tacos at Verde.

The glowing bar at Verde makes things feel warm even when temp is 10 below.

I'm also currently obsessed with their family style taco service. The chicken is tasty, and the mushroom tacos taste like steak! I also think Verde's guacamole cannot be topped. Get thee to Verde! 

10. My cat, Sgt. Pepper.

There's no better season than winter to be a cat mom.

This is Sarge hugging my feet on a super cold night. I highly recommend adopting a furry friend of your own! :) 


So that about does it.

It was officially the coldest seasons I've experienced in Pittsburgh, but it was also one of the best. 

So tell me ... what were some highlights from your winter?