Category Archives: Home Tips

The First Things Homeowners Buy After Moving

New Home TipsSome Purchases Should Wait

When you have finally made the move to your new house and started to unpack, you might see right away that your sofa or dining room table won’t work in the new space. Furniture is one of the top items new homeowners buy after they move. Here’s a look at some of the more common expenditures, and why it might be better to not buy that sectional couch right away. Continue reading

A New House For Your New Family

Keep Children in Mind When Looking For a New Home

Tuesday Tips from a Pittsburgh Custom Home BuilderA new baby brings overwhelming feelings of joy — and sometimes an immediate yearning for more space. Whether you have already welcomed a new family member or are planning to have kids a few years down the road, there are lots of things to consider if you have decided to buy or build a new house.

Overall house size is usually tops on everyone’s list, and there is no question that it’s a biggie.  An extra bedroom or two will be helpful when grandparents come to visit or if one parent is working from home and needs extra office space.  But you should weigh more than just the number of bedrooms and total square footage in a house. Pay attention to features in the house that could affect your ability to keep an eye on your little one or make it harder for you to keep a fast-moving toddler out of trouble.

When you are searching for or designing a house, new or expectant parents might want to look for or include the following:

 

  • An enclosed room or another area on the first floor that can be used as a playroom when your kids are younger and a den or media room when they are older. Open floor plans are appealing as far as giving toddlers room to move around, but it’s good to have a safe spot for them if you need to step away for a moment.
  • Roomy garage or other storage space that makes it easy to store/hide larger kid toys and bikes.
  • Fenced in outdoor space that is free of safety hazards such as standing water and retaining walls that young children could climb.
  • Lots of flexible indoor storage for kids’ toys and other gear. Large closets are essential, but don’t forget about entryway closets and cubbies, laundry room storage, and window seats and other built-ins for fast clean-up in each room.
  • Placement of inside staircases, railings and loft spaces. Look at interior home design through the eyes of a crawling baby. Architectural features that are impossible to baby proof might not be worth the headache and worry, even though the baby/toddler phase seems to fly by.

Whether you are looking at an existing new home or shopping for a lot to build on, one of the best things to consider as far as suitability for your young family is how many other young families you see in the neighborhood. Seeing kids outside in strollers or on bikes means you and your children will not only enjoy the new house, but could make a lot of new friends.

Surviving Your First Night in Your New Home

Tuesday Tips from a Pittsburgh Custom Home BuilderA Checklist to Keep You Sane on Day One

Moving into your new house isn’t quite the same as going on vacation. But having a checklist can make both of those life events come off without a hitch.

After the movers have left,  you don’t want to have to rummage through boxes for toilet paper or pajamas. In addition to having every family member pack an overnight bag for themselves as if they were headed to a hotel, it helps to prepare a few separate boxes with designated essentials that you will need right way.

Here are some items you don’t want to forget.

Food

Move-in day was made for pizza delivery or take-out. But you will still need:

  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Cups
  • Corkscrew, if you are really “celebrating”
  • Cereal or other simple breakfast food, and coffee supplies
  • Food and treats for the family pet

Entertainment

Chances are the adults will be busy getting settled. If you have kids, don’t forget:

  • Books and some basic drawing/art supplies
  • Movies and a DVD player
  • The kids’ favorite dolls, stuffed animal or blanket
  • A night light or flashlight

Essentials

Remembering these basic items will keep you from digging through moving boxes or running to the store:

  • Basic first aid supplies
  • Cleaning products
  • Bedding
  • Garbage bags
  • Basic tools
  • Toiletries and paper products
  • A pair of scissors

Important Papers

In addition to these personal documents, make sure you have the paperwork from the closing on your home, in case you need them.

  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Health insurance documents
  • Checkbooks and other banking information

Paragon Homes Presents: Tips for Fall Yard Care and Autumn Leaf Removal

fall leaves

It’s that time of year where everything is slowly changing: leaves falling, plants shriveling, grass fading. Although some wildlife advocates suggest NOT raking your leaves, we’re sure that many of your neighbors would appreciate the aesthetics of you continuing to do so, Here are some tips for fall lawn care, for you to consider this autumn and into the winter.

Paragon Homes Presents: Tips for Fall Yard Care:

  • If you are new to the neighborhood, ask a neighbor about leaf-raking and leaf-collection etiquette and procedures.
  • If you are unable to rake, consider paying a neighborhood teen to do so for you. Or, if you really want to splurge, hire a lawn care or leaf-removal company to do the trick.
  • If you live where there is a Homeowners’ Association, be sure to check with them regarding rules of leaf removal or other yard specifics.
  • Check out your township, borough, county, or neighborhood websites to see when leaf pick-up days are. Usually there is a special day dedicated to the  collection of bagged leaves.
  • Consider using a leaf-blower, but be considerate: do not blow your dried leaves into your neighbor’s yard.
  • Don’t neglect the yard and the outside of your home just because gloomier months are upon us. Your outdoor space is still an important part of your home, and the curb appeal of your house and property can really give a specific first impression to new friends and passersby alike.
  • Consider some hardy mums or a nice fall wreath on the front door to add a pop of color to the yard.

What other tips can you think of for maintaining your lawn in the fall and winter months?

 

~~

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, published author, and social media professional from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, dogs, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh sports teams!

The Art of a Perfect TV Night: Tips from Paragon Homes

people-watching-tv

The Academy Awards are upon us, and every fan of the Oscars knows that if you aren’t at a swanky red-carpet party, then you’re probably at home — hopefully a Paragon home — in your pajamas, with your favorite snacks, and perhaps a glass of wine. But whether you will watch the awards show or the Walking Dead or Gilmore Girls on Netflix this Sunday night, the general rules for the perfect night of television at home are all the same. So here we go!

Paragon Homes Presents: The Art of a Perfect TV Night

  • Tip #1: Get Comfy. The most perfect TV nights involve cozy jammies or sweats and a warm blankie.
  • Tip #2: Snack Smart. While it’s tempting to binge on chips and dip, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, or peanut butter straight from the jar, we recommend smart snacking. (Think: popcorn, apple slices, fresh veggies, raw fruit, almonds.)
  • Tip #3: The Right Seat. If you’ve ever hosted a Super Bowl Sunday party, you know that, when it comes to TV, the right spot can make all the different. So whether you are sitting on a pouf, lounging on the couch, or relaxing in a recliner, choose a seat that’s right for you and get to veggin’ out.
  • Tip #4: A Good TV. Shows like the Oscars require the GOOD TV. Most of us have one of these in the house: the one everyone clamors for. Use that one. This is your night.
  • Tip #5: Relax. Don’t work or check emails while you watch TV. Focus on taking it easy, and, if you want to spice up your Academy Awards experience, fill out a ballot or take bets on who will win what.

As always, Paragon wants you to have the experience that YOU desire. When it comes to our custom-built homes, we infuse your personality and style, and are all about luxe finishes, small details, your personal taste, and high-quality comfort. We think that even your TV experiences should be the same: comfortable, and unique to you.

 

 

~~

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, dogs, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh sports teams!

– See more at: http://paragonhomescustombuilder.com/paragon-homes-blog#sthash.juyKb90B.dpuf

Paragon Homes Tips for A Healthy Household

4917921336_ba3d5a6cdb_z

Is someone in your home dealing with a chronic or acute illness? Here are steps you can take to make your home more accommodating to caring for someone who is sick or disabled:

  • Minimize clutter. Having clearer walkways, hallways, and less clutter can make trips and falls less likely.
  • Wash those hands! Make sure that soap and antibacterial hand sanitzer are easily accessible in the kitchen and restrooms to prevent the spread of germs. Flu season is upon us, after all!
  • Clean! It sounds pretty obvious, but cleaning is about more than appearance: it helps keep the home sanitized and disinfected. Dusting and vacuuming can also help get rid of dust mites, pollens, and other allergens, in addition to germs.
  • Care for your pets. Practicing personal hygiene is crucial, but it’s also important that your pets and their areas are kept clean in order to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Have emergency numbers on hand: 911, and any doctors or specialists that your family members may need to call.
  • Organize! Organize your medicine cabinets and other areas where pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs are stored. Labels and pill containers can help to make it even easier.
  • Be Prepared! It is important to have a First Aid kit on hand, and it is also wonderful if family members know the Heimlich Maneuver and/or CPR.

If a person is ill in your household, it is also important to give them privacy and space. Make sure that they have comfortable blankets and pillows, as well as access to whatever it is that they need: food, water, and ways to entertain themselves while they are under the weather.

Stocking your beautiful Paragon Homes kitchen with fresh, healthy, organic fruits and veggies is also important to managing your family’s health, as is remembering to incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine.

 

~~

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pugs, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh sports teams!

Paragon Homes Telecommuting Tips: Making the Best of Working from Home

Paragon-Homes-Simple-funishing-home-office-example

Nowadays, companies that offer the option to telecommute are becoming increasingly more common. Telecommuting can be a big money-saver for businesses, and it is also a flexible option that is viewed as beneficial by many employees. That said, working from home isn’t for everyone. At Paragon, we understand the unique challenges that can come from having a home office. But with our spacious home designs, you’ll be able to create an efficient, useful home office space that is uniquely yours.

Once you have established a designated room to be used as your home office, you’ll want to brush up on the best tips for telecommuting. Paragon Homes has compiled the following list of work-from-home tips to help you get started on this next step in your career.

Paragon Homes Presents: Top Tips for your Home Office

  • Designate a space: Don’t double-dip. If you use your bedroom or kitchen as your workspace, you’ll have trouble winding down, and will find yourself always “on-the-clock.” Designate a space that you can go to each day, much like you would with commuting to a regular outside-the-home office.
  • Stay organized: Another great tip for your home office is to stay organized. If you work from home, you’ll find that with flexibility comes added pressure to stay accountable and on-task. Some people may be easily distracted or may have trouble staying as organized as they would at an office. Make your home office a sacred space dedicated to your work only. Make sure that there is a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. Labels, folders, and files are not for the office only; they can be for your home office, too
  • Stay connected: Communication is vital if you work from home. Stay connected with your on-location officemates, as well as with your coworkers who are fellow telecommuters. Being openly available and staying connected and in-the-loop can help increase communication and will set others’ minds at ease about your level of dedication to the job, even if you are offsite.
  • Get a sitter: If you have kids, you wouldn’t usually take them to work with you if you worked outside the home. Working at home should be no different. While children are wonderful blessings, and while it is very nice to have the flexibility that comes with a telecommuting position, your kids can also serve as a distraction during working hours. Having a sitter or nanny to keep an eye on them during key working hours may be important for your productivity level on the job.
  • Get creative: Stay creative and think outside the box. Sometimes, working from home can present problems that are unique and unlike those that may arise if you work in an office environment. So always stay flexible and get creative. Your problem-solving skills will come in handy as a telecommuter.
  • Make it your own: Make your home office your own space. Since it is your house, after all, you have the freedom to decorate your office to suit your own personality. So go big and do it right! Choose a style that is all your own. Make it a space in which you will enjoy working. Give it a personality all of its own. This is, however, one of many fun advantages to working from home!
  • Keep track of expenses: When tax season comes along, you’ll be ahead of the game if you keep track of your expenses. You may be able to write off some of the expenses that come along with having a home office.
  • Have the right equipment: Think about what you will really need in order to establish a good working environment. What will your company provide? If you are self-employed, what all will you need to make your home office really flourish? Make sure you have a good internet connection, lots of storage space on your computer, video chatting capabilities, a landline, a cell phone, a fax machine, printer, scanner, headset, etc. Make sure you have whatever is necessary, be it software, hardware, or other electronics or computer accessories, as well as office supplies from paper to paper clips, and beyond. You’ll want to be prepared.

Working from home can be a great experience, and with these expert telecommuting tips, it’s sure to be a successful one, too.

~~

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pugs, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh sports teams!

A DIYers Checklist: How to DIY The Right Way

With apps like Pinterest and a plethora of new television shows on HGTV, America is  becoming a nation of DIY’ers and Pittsburgh homeowners are on the cutting edge. If you love to tackle projects on your own and “do-it-yourself,” you, too, may be joining in the DIY mindset of modern times.

From crafting to cooking, scrapbooking to wallpapering, carpentry to gardening, and beyond, doing it yourself can save money and can also turn into incredibly fulfilling hobbies, or even a profitable side business.But, what does it take to become a DIY’er? Paragon Homes has some tips for you when it comes to tackling projects, no matter how big, small, difficult, or easy.

A DIY Checklist from Paragon Homes:

  •  Use Pinterest. Download the Pinterest app and/or visit the website before beginning your DIY project. It is a great way to save inspirations and ideas before you get to planning.
  • Visit the library. Yes, “old-fashioned” libraries still exist. Visit the library for even more research and inspiration.
  • Plan ahead. Every DIY project involves some amount of planning. Use a checklist on the computer or in a notebook to map out steps you need to achieve, items you need to purchase, and any other notes you want to make.
  • Shop smart. Your DIY project may involve some supplies. For some projects, this may involve a trip to Lowe’s, Sears, or Home Depot, with others, a visit to Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, or Michael’s may be in order. Be vigilant about sales and be diligent in finding the best deals for your DIY project.
  • Enlist help. If you think you’ll need assistance with your project, you don’t have to do it ALL yourself. Ask a friend or family member, and reward them for their time or expertise with a pizza lunch, thoughtful gift card, or case of beer.
  • Think outside the box. Sometimes, things will go wrong. And sometimes – believe it or not – neither the Internet nor your most-trusted mentor will have the answers that you seek. DIY projects can be unpredictable. You may need to fly by the seat of your pants in some cases, and “wing it” if you have to. Thinking outside the box, getting crafty or creative, and being flexible is key.
  • Have the right “stuff.” Some DIY projects involve tools: hammers, nails, power drills, torches, drywall, and so on. Other DIY projects involve different items: scalloped scissors, Modge Podge, acrylic paint, stencils, glitter, and so forth. Make sure that you research what you will need for your project, and get your hands on all of the essentials before you start.
  • Clean up as you go. DIY projects can get messy. There’s no worse than having to clean up hours, days, weeks, or months at work at the very end, when all is said and done. Cleaning up as you go could save you a lot of hassle once your project is finalized.
  • Most importantly stay safe!  If you are not sure about something seek a professional who can help you stay safe while you work.  Lead paint is present in many homes built before 1980 as is asbestos.  Make sure to follow all safety instructions as well, those tools can hurt if not used properly.

Paragon Homes allows you to custom-build the home of your dreams. So if a craft room or a storage space for your power tools is necessary, be sure to let us know as we plan the perfect Paragon home together for you and your family.

~~

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

– See more at: http://paragonhomescustombuilder.com/paragon-homes-blog#sthash.2WJJMQgs.dpuf

Get Revved Up! Garage Organization Tips from Paragon Homes

organized garage

At Paragon Homes, we realize that the garage is an extension of the home. For some people, the garage can become a very important part of the house. (“Man cave,” anyone?)  Since the garage is more than just a place to park a car, it should be organized like the functional workspace that it is.

We have the garage organization tips for you to keep your garage revved up and in working order. (And, if we do say ourselves, our custom-built Paragon homes offer pretty impressive garage space, which helps.)

Simple Tips for Organizing Your Garage:

  • Use as much space, as efficiently as possible. This includes utilizing as much vertical and ceiling space as you can. Hooks, wires, and shelving will become your best friends.
  • Remove as much “junk” as possible. Don’t keep what you don’t need. If you must hang on to it, but you don’t use it, put it into storage elsewhere. Keep your garage floor and workbenches as de-cluttered as you can.
  • Group like items together so they are easy to find. (An area for tools, a space for car washing supplies, a section of paint cans, etc.)
  • Give each space of the garage a distinct purpose.
  • Use labels as much as possible.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of a nice tool chest or tool box … especially one on wheels or that can be stowed away.
  • Make sure your car fits! Keeping a vehicle in a garage is a great way to make sure you’re taking good care of it. After all, that’s what a garage is truly for. Organization experts estimate that only about one-third of us actually park our vehicles in the garage. The reason? There’s often too much junk for the car or truck to fit. Even with spacious Paragon garages, if there’s too much “stuff” scattered about, it just won’t work.

So follow these simple tips and give your vehicle a home without sacrificing storage space!

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.paragonhomescustombuilder.com

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Goodbye, Dust Bunnies … Hello, Easter Bunny! Spring Cleaning Tips from Paragon Homes

Dust_Bunny

Easter is upon us, and with Easter comes fun family traditions like Easter brunch, egg-dyeing, Easter egg hunts, picnics, Easter baskets, and more.

Whether you will spend your Easter season planting daffodils, serving up mimosas, painting eggs, or enjoying yummy Easter candy, Paragon Homes wants to wish you and your family a “hoppy” Easter and a happy Spring!

Speaking of, have you gotten to your spring cleaning yet? If not, there’s no time like the present to begin spring cleaning before the Easter Bunny (and perhaps your friends and family) arrive.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of dust bunnies as you prepare to welcome in the Easter bunny:

 Paragon Homes Presents:

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips:

  • Prioritize by room to make it easier and less intimidating.
  • Don’t neglect your appliances: clean out the fridge, oven, dishwasher, etc.
  • Disinfect your garbage disposal.
  • Try lemon oil on doorknobs.
  • Dust, dust, dust!
  • Get rid of clogs – use Drain-O or Liquid Plumber  in your drains.
  • Use the proper brooms for sweeping: indoors, choose one with finer bristles; outdoors, go for stronger, stiffer bristles!
  • Clean out your closets and drawers. Donate some, sell some, trash some.
  • Declutter your home office by getting in organization mode.
  • Multitask: catch up on phone calls while you clean, or dance around as you vacuum, making it a workout.
  • Time your chores. You’ll realize that most household chores take less time than you imagine, making them seem more tolerable once broken down realistically.

Another easy tip is just this simple: hire a professional! Even if you don’t have a regular housekeeper, some maid or cleaning services have ‘spring cleaning’ specials and deals.

And who knows … if you drop enough hints, maybe “somebunny” special will gift you with a day of cleaning this Easter or Mother’s Day. You never know!

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations. You can reach Paragon Homes at 412-787-8807, or visit us online at http://www.visitparagonhomes.com


Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, one of Pittsburgh’s Most Influential Twitter Users by the Pittsburgh Business Times, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, doberman, frogs, and cats!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!