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#SettingtheSEEN: Braddock Beautiful!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

This week on Setting the SEEN, Sara and I checked out all things Braddock! Braddock is undergoing a revitalization, with new businesses (like Barebones Black Box Productions theatre company) just opening, along with the The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company "hopping" along. UnSmoke Gallery has been a staple in the community, bringing people to see the creative side of Braddock, while Free Store and Braddock Farms are committed to brightening this community. With Kevin Sousa's new Superior Motors restaurant and educational facility opening soon, Braddock is blossoming more everyday!

Follow @NBSeen on Twitter and @NatalieBenci on Instagram to keep up with #wheresNataliePG

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Free gardening/cooking demo with Doug Sunday and huge garden giveaway

Written by Doug Oster on .

Blog Jess and DougThe Organic Gardeners are together again at three Giant Eagle Market District stores for a free cooking and gardening demonstration.

I'll be at three Giant Eagle Market District stores on Sunday May 31, 2015 with my radio partner Jessica Walliser. Together we are The Organic Gardeners.

We'll be doing a free cooking and gardening demonstration and then holding our biggest give a way ever.

The theme is Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes.

We'll talk about how to grow them, deal with pests and keep them disease free. We also have a trick to make them last until Thanksgiving.

Then it's time to cook German-Italian Risotto with Basil, Tomatoes, and Corn from my book Tomatoes Garlic Basil. But that's not all, GEMD will hold an exclusive tomato tasting for everyone who attends.

Now for all the stuff we're giving away. We have sprinklers and hose end sprayers from Dramm, Bobbex Deer Repellent, Bonnie Plants Plant Food, lots of seeds and even some rare, heirloom tomato plants.

We'll be at the Bethel Park Giant Eagle Market District at 9:30 a.m.

The Waterworks store in Fox Chapel at 12 noon.

The Pine Store at 2:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there.

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#SEENonTV: June Events are Blooming!

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

It felt so great to be back on Pittsburgh Today Live this morning to chat with the always lovely, Kristine Sorensen, about all of the fabulous events coming up in June! Mark you calendars, it's going to be a busy month!

 

Keep up with #wheresNataliePG on Twitter @NBSeen and on Instagram @NatalieBenci

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Worth the wait? The mountain laurel that wouldn't bloom

Written by Doug Oster on .

 blog insta Red mountain laurel'Nipmunk' mountain laurel prepares to bloom. The buds are amazing. Photo by Doug Oster

How long would you wait to see a plant bloom?

Four years ago I planted three mountain laurel 'Nipmunck' shrubs I got cheap at the end of the season. One bit the dust, but the other two have looked healthy in the garden.

Deer are not supposed to eat mountain laurel as it's toxic to them. I think there were some young deer browsing which ended up with a stomach ache because for the last two years they nibbled all the buds off in late fall.

The last two winters have been tough on the plants too. Even though it's  native and the Pennsylvania state flower, the Polar Vortex and subsequent winter were brutal.

I know from experience they take a while to catch on and resent transplanting.

But the wait is over and the plant has finally started to bloom.

The deep red buds are stunning and will give way to a light pink to creamy white flower.

As soon as it's done blooming, I'll fertilize with Hollytone to make the plants happy.

The key to getting more flowers will be to surround the plant with deer netting at the end of the season.

I've grown many plants that have made me wait, and I really don't mind.

Patience is one virtue that's always required for gardening.

 

 

 

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Pittsburgh-based designer Kiya Tomlin to be featured on Aspire TV show 'Exhale'

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Pittsburgh-based designer Kiya Tomlin's journey in fashion will be featured tonight on the Aspire TV network's show "Exhale."

On the program, viewers will learn about Ms. Tomlin's career path and what it's like to be an entrepreneur in the fashion industry. In advance of the show, the network released the following about Ms. Tomlin's background:

Kiya Tomlin discovered her love of fashion at a young age when she began making dresses for her dolls from homemade paper towels. At eleven Kiya was given a sewing machine. She has been designing ever since and has turned her talent into a decade-long career in fashion with her ready-to-wear apparel brand Uptown Sweats by Kiya Tomlin and a flagship boutique.

Throughout her childhood fashion was always a creative outlet and passion but not something Tomlin considered a career goal. She attended The College of William and Mary on a competitive gymnastics scholarship and had plans to become a doctor. Her life changed course when she met fellow student Mike Tomlin, currently the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The pair married right after graduation and Mike’s trajectory in the world of football began to take off.

While Mike coached at a college level and the Tomlins became parents, Kiya utilized fashion design and sewing as a creative outlet. She studied formally for several years at the universities where her husband was coaching and took classes in fit and garment construction honing her skills and developing her own creative voice as a designer. Kiya would frequently get stopped on the street by women asking about her outfit. Her natural entrepreneurial instinct kicked in and Kiya realize she might be on to something. So when Coach Tomlin joined the NFL in 2001, Kiya launched her business, first with a focus on custom design and in 2013 with a ready to wear collection, Uptown Sweats by Kiya Tomlin.

The program begins at 9 p.m. Information: exhale.aspire.tv/about (Photo: Kiya Tomlin, right, with her assistant Brittany Meyer in the flagship boutique Ms. Tomlin shares with Sandra Cadavid handbags and jewelry in East Liberty. Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

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