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Readers share stories about their worst Valentine’s Day gifts

Written by Nicole Martin on .

Valentine’s Day can be stressful, filled with big expectations and sometimes unexpected, therefore, bigger disappointments.

 

We asked our readers about the worst gifts they have ever received on Feb. 14.

 

Here are their stories:

 

“My ex-boyfriend got me two things for our first (and only) Valentine's Day together. In one gift bag he put a piece of lingerie and a box of sockets. Yes, sockets. Like the kind you would use for working on a car or something. He said that he bought them because I didn't have any.” – Patti, 32

 

“Don’t get your girlfriend a kitchen appliance, apparently.” – Mike, 35

 spatula

“My girlfriend once got me a gift card to her favorite store so that I could pick her something out. Now I’m sure you’re thinking something-sexy right? Her favorite store is Pier 1.” – Andrew, 23

 

“I thought I was being sweet and bought my girlfriend a pair of diamond earrings that she really wanted. Unfortunately I didn’t think about the fact that they came in a small, blue velvet box that I would be giving to her on the most romantic day of the year. The waiter just shook his head at me.” – Alex, 28

 

“I made a comment to my husband that my office chair at work got stuck when I tried to move and that I requested a new one from the company, but got no response. So he bought me an office chair for Valentine’s Day.” – Katelyn, 25

 

“My college girlfriend got me a scented candle and boxers that said, ‘taken’ on them. My roommates wouldn’t let me live it down for months.” –Mike, 24

 

“My fiancé once gave me a card that wasn’t signed, and still in the drug store plastic bag. ” – Shannon, 31

 

“My boyfriend and I are huge Pirates fans. He once got me a ticket to a Pirates game. Not tickets, just one. He had to work that day and thought I would be all right just going alone.” –Amanda, 24

What’s the worst Valentine’s Day gift you’ve ever received?

 

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Snow and sleet ruining your shoes? Here's what you can do to save them

Written by Nicole Martin on .

Road salt.

There might not be enough of it to cover the roads, but there sure is enough to ruin your shoes. Keeping warm is a must, of course, but looking good is a plus.

So here are a few tips to keep your winter attire looking top-notch.

How-to-fix-salt-stains-on-leather-3 Free People Blog

Removing salt stains from leather

The dreaded salt ring around the shoe is like a plague to Pittsburghers. Instead of buying over-priced shoe cleaner, simply make a half water, half vinegar mix, add a squirt of lemon juice, and a splash of either baby oil or conditioner in a spray bottle to restore moisture. Take a wash cloth and rub off the stain in a circular motion. I keep a bottle of this magic cleaner and a cloth in my work bag for on the go. When you get home, rub a lemon on the shoe and wipe it down for protection.

Misshaped or dirty suede

Suede is great, but it can be a bit more stubborn and takes more effort to remove road-salt stains. You will need a cloth, soft tooth brush, dish detergent and cold water. Use a dab of dish detergent and wet the cloth thoroughly. Dab the stained area with the cloth and while wet, use a toothbrush to scrub the area in a circular motion. After you finish, stuff the shoe with newspaper to keep the shape and let it dry naturally.

Cleaning Fleece Jackets

Everyone who has tried to wash a fleece jacket will notice that with each wash the fleece loses its softness and begins to form little clumps of fur on the jacket. You can prevent this from happening by turning the jacket inside out and washing it solo. After the wash finishes, run it through once more on the rinse cycle and then let it dry naturally on a hanger while still inside out.

Removing stains from wool

During the cold winter months, at least once a week I can ensure one coffee or make-up stain on my jacket or scarf. Try to treat the stain immediately. With a clean cloth, blot the stain — never rub it — until you get most of the stain removed. When you get home, spray with stain remover and wash in cold water. Do not wash in warm or hot water because the heat can set the stain.

Caring for Cashmere

Cashmere is gorgeous and can be a great investment for any wardrobe. Always hand-wash cashmere in cold water. You can use Woolite, though I prefer baby shampoo because it’s gentle and makes the material extra smooth. Always keep cashmere in a lump when it is wet, because picking it up and hanging it will stretch it out. Lay flat to dry.

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Ultimate cure for winter sickness at Pittsburgh Yoga Expo 2014

Written by Mila Sanina on .

Sunday, a dreary February day. Cold. Bad roads. It's been snowing in Pittsburgh all day… a perfect day to spend at home, isn't it?

 

Not for Pittsburgh yoga fans. In the heart of Pittsburgh, inside the Pittsburgh Opera building, positive energy was flowing all day.

 

Stretch. Take a breathe. Relax. Do a camel pose…

 

Welcome to the Pittsburgh Yoga Expo 2014, a place where people you meet will defy  real-time all your preconceptions about what a human body can do.

 

20140209jrYogaLocal8-7                                                               Photo: Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette

 

Pittsburgh Yoga Expo is an annual event, this year marked its third-year anniversary. It was founded here by Rebecca Rankin, a certified Bikram Yoga teacher and co-owner of Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill. Rebecca came to Pittsburgh four years ago, before that she lived in San Francisco and travelled throughout Europe sharing her passion for yoga. 

 

She says that interest in yoga in Pittsburgh is definitely growing, this year there have been more than 300 people pre-registered to be part of Yoga Expo. Tickets cost you $15 in advance or you could pay $25 at the door and get in. 

 

It does not matter whether you are a pro or just a beginner. Everyone was welcome. There were instructors willing to answer questions and sign you up for yoga classes in Pittsburgh and Dormont, healing specialists ready to give advice and nine consecutive workshops, where yoga enthusiasts could practice Chakra Yoga, Forrest Yoga, and Bikram Yoga, learn arm balancing and a grasshopper pose.

 

20140209jrYogaLocal6-5Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette

 

If you were sick of Pittsburgh's long winter and wanted to warm up your body and challenge it with complicated stretching exercises along with dozens of Pittsburgh yogis, it would be a place for you. For an event where physical challenge matches the promise for spiritual growth, Pittsburgh Yoga Expo was a success, just take a look at the stream of tweets from the participants. And be on the lookout for an article in the Post-Gazette by Lauren Lindstrom.

 

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Girl Scout Cookies: Which is best?

Written by Kim Lyons on .

When they kick off Girl Scout Cookie Weekend tomorrow in Market Square, Pittsburgh-area Girl Scouts will not only be sating the annual cravings of Pittsburgh cookie lovers, they will also be reigniting a debate as old as the cookies themselves: Which is the ultimate Girl Scout Cookie?

I admit to a strong Thin Mints bias. Others in my household are partial to Tagalongs and Trefoils. I hear many people are fans of Samoas, but those don't typically make our order form.

So we need your vote: Which Girl Scout cookie is your favorite, and why?

gscookies

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There's a Rocco-inspired petition on WhiteHouse.gov

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

Rocco Pittsbugh police dog Bill Wade Post-Gazette

 

Pittsburgh police K-9 officer Rocco is taken out under Pittsburgh police officers' salute at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Ohio Township on Jan. 30. (Bill Wade/Post-Gazette)

Updated, Feb. 5 at 4:13 p.m.: After we published a Pittsblogh post Tuesday (see below) about the Rocco-inspired petition on WhiteHouse.gov, the petition's author stepped forward.
 
His name is Adam Studebaker, and he's a 26-year-old paramedic, a dog lover, living in Summer Hill.
 
"I've had a chance to work along side these dogs just through my daily course of work and I know them to be gentle and loving animals," he wrote in an email. "What happened to Rocco is a shame and that is directly what fueled me starting that petition."
 
He acknowledged the petition's "vague nature," but said the White House's 900-character limit is what kept him from detailing more of his goals for any future legislation. Studebaker did say he has reached out to Sen. Matt Smith, who has co-sponsored legislation called "Rocco's law," and offered to help in any way he can.
 
He knows the 100,000 signatures threshold is a lofty goal, "but it is what I'm striving for," he wrote. "Rocco was a great loss for not only his handler but also for the entire City of Pittsburgh and its residents."
 
Original story, Feb. 4 at 12:39 p.m.: It didn't take long after Pittsburgh police dog Rocco died Thursday night for a petition to appear on the "We the people" section of WhiteHouse.gov, where citizens can post petitions ranging from law-making initiatives to civic engagement projects.
 
Pittsburgh resident "A.S." started and was the first signatory behind an online push to make the penalties for killing a K-9 officer more in line with the punishment for killing a human officer.
 
Precisely what those penalties should be is not clear.
 
The petition is ambitious in its scope: "change all federal and state laws" and had just over 2,500 signatures through Tuesday morning — well short of the 100,000 required to achieve an official response from someone at the White House.
 
As Pennsylvania law now stands, John Rush, who is accused in Rocco's stabbing and death, faces a maximum of 7 years in prison.

 

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