Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [ˈsiŋko̞ ðe̞ ˈma̠ʝo̞] in Mexico, Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is an annual celebration held on May 5.

More popularly celebrated in the United States than in Mexico, the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s thanks especially to advertising campaigns by beer and wine companies. Today, Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.  In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments. The city of Puebla marks the event with an arts festival, a festival of local cuisine, and re-enactments of the battle.

Events tied to Cinco de Mayo also occur outside Mexico and the United States. As in the United States, celebrations elsewhere also emphasize Mexican cuisine, culture and music. For example, some Canadian pubs play Mexican music and serve Mexican food and drink, and a sky-diving club near Vancouver holds a Cinco de Mayo skydiving event. In the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean, there is an annual Cinco de Mayo air guitar competition,  and at Montego Bay, Jamaica, there is a Cinco de Mayo celebration.  The city of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, holds an annual Mexican Festival  to honor the day, and celebrations are held in London and New Zealand. Other celebrations of the day can also be found in Cape Town, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria,  and in Paris.  Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Japan in Osaka and in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park Event Space as a celebration of Latin American culture.

Its a great way to celebrate your day, and /or evening at the great restaurants and bars next to your home at the http://www.StarLoftsPgh.com

Happy Cinco de Mayo !

Spaghettini With Shrimp and Chili Pepper

  • 2.5 # of shrimp
  • 1# of spaghettini
  • 1 of celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 of carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • bay leaf
  • tomato paste
  • 1 BUNCH of parsley, chopped
  • fresh chili pepper, chopped
  • dry white wine
  • Bertolli olive oil
  • Ground sea salt

Shell and clean the shrimp; remove and clean the heads well and set aside with shells for the broth. 

Heat 2-3 Tbsp. oil in a saucepan over high heat, sauté the heads and shells for around 5 minutes on high heat, mixing and crushing them with a spoon. Add celery, carrot, and onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add 1 Tbsp. tomato paste and stir. Add 1 cup wine. Let evaporate, then add 2 quarts water and 1 bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 50 minutes.

When broth is ready, remove from the heat and drain, extracting the broth.

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium heat and toast the uncooked spaghetti, stirring well, for a couple of minutes. Add three ladles shrimp broth to the pan and continue to cook the spaghetti like risotto for around 10-12 minutes, adding broth in 1/4 cup increments. Add salt to taste. Continue until the pasta is al dente and the broth has evaporated, so as not to need to drain the pasta.

In the meantime, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet and cook shrimp for 3 minutes. Set aside. Heat a thin layer of oil in another pan. When the spaghetti is cooked to al dente, transfer to the pan and cook for 1 minute until crispy; add the just warmed shrimp and a handful of chopped parsley. Serve with more parsley and fresh chili pepper. 

Butterfly Magnet

This beautiful plant has a rounded, compact habit with flower spikes that can be as long as 12″. Just spectacular! Lavender Cupcake Buddleia is a great addition to any garden because it attracts butterflies like crazy, it’s an amazing pollinator, and hummingbirds love it as well.

This plant grows to a size of about 3′ 6″ high and wide and it responds well to pruning and should be cut back in the fall so it grows nice and full the following growing season.

Butterfly Bush, Buddleia ,Lavender Cupcake

Ahhhh, May!

If you’re into spring as much as I am, then you’re sure to appreciate National Wildflower Week (May 3rd-9th), when I’ll be spreading wildflower seeds along the front edge of my yard, so later this month passersby can appreciate the flowers as much as the honey bees and butterflies will.

And, speaking of flowers, Mother’s Day (May 9th) is always a big holiday and shouldn’t be missed.

This year, when planning your Mother’s Day celebration, think about everything that the day stands for… not just expressing our gratitude to our own mothers but appreciating mothers of all kinds — from birth mothers to foster mothers, from godmothers to grandmothers, and even mothers whose only children are covered in fur and walk on paws (or fly, or swim…).

Think about what M-O-T-H-E-R means to you and how to convey that to your subscribers, followers, fans, and customers.

And, until next time… May the fourth be with you!

Have a great day! Janet

Why Choose to Live in Downtown Pittsburgh?

There’s much to be stated concerning city living. The shops, the markets, the movie theaters, the nightlife– and also being able to stroll almost everywhere. Living in the city is so excellent there have been roughly 295 tv shows filmed in New York City alone.

While you might find more space in the suburbs, life in the ‘burbs could be a bit too laid back for those used to (or searching) the energy often found in the city. The suburbs also tend to be car-dependent, which could lead to additional car-related expenses like loan payments, maintenance, insurance, and gas.

Perhaps you moved to the suburbs, and are now thinking about returning to the city. Or maybe you’ve never lived in the city but want to give try it out. If you aren’t sure, here are some of the reasons you might want to consider renting a downtown apartment:

You want to live car-free

If you want to walk or bike to work, a downtown apartment might be ideal. For those rainy days, cities often provide mass transit options. Even if you work from home, there’s something to be said for being able to walk to the theater, Pittsburgh Symphony, strip district market, or coffee shop.

Entertainment options are everywhere

No matter what you enjoy — the theater, the opera, museums, local restaurants — you’ll find it in the city. Most large cities like Pittsburgh, have professional sports teams as well, so you can cheer on the hometown heroes. Unlike suburbs, where things are often buttoned up by 11:00 p.m., cities have much more nightlife and things to do after hours.

World-class shopping and dining

If having a wide variety of restaurants to choose from is important to you, cities often provide many more options than suburbs and small towns. Locally owned, independent cafes, bakeries, delis, and coffee shops are also more plentiful. Downtown boutiques and specialty shops provide the one-of-a-kind treasures shoppers crave, and mostly the convenience.

Why Choose Downtown Pittsburgh’s Theater District?

City neighborhoods are often very distinct, with each having its own personality and attractions. There’s often little definition between neighborhoods, with one leading seamlessly into the next. When choosing a downtown neighborhood, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors such as cost, your noise tolerance level to your apartment, proximity to work or public transit stops, and the type of housing you prefer.

Some cities are famous for their architecture, like the Victorians of San Francisco or the turn of the Century buildings of Pittsburgh. From high-rise buildings to historic lofts, cities provide a variety of housing options and this often varies by neighborhood. When moving to a city, you’ll want to research the neighborhoods and visit (if you are able) to get a sense of the area. Check out our video of your new home area at the http://www.StarLoftsPgh.com, we are sure you will be excited as we are about your new place! https://youtu.be/aPjjmcZ3zsI

Call to make an appointment for your personal tour of the http://www.StarLoftsPgh.com

Have a Great Day! Janet

When’s the last time you skipped?

I was walking the other day and these 2 delightful kids came skipping by with huge smiles and pure joy. My thought? I want to do that! So I did. I joined their skipping party until their parents called out”That’s too far…” And so we stopped and waited for them.
It was a carefree moment of pure joy inspired by 2 elementary kids.
I remember walking to elementary school and trying to learn how to skip. Skipping was not easy for me to learn. The rhythm and coordination it takes to skip doesn’t run in our family’s genes.
But you should know that this lack of rhythm and coordination does have an upside. There is NO RISK whatsoever of this happening to me!


But since I walked to school every day, I had LOTS of time to practice. It was maddening. One day I would think I got it only to forget it the next day. Or think I got it, but it didn’t FEEL right.
And then, one day, I got it. It was magical.And just last week I got to relive that magical moment – somethingthat I haven’t done in decades.
Fortunately, the lack of these genes seemed to have disappeared with the next generation of our family.

Www.starloftspgh.com

Have you ever just come home and opened the fridge andjust stared into it?

Or maybe opened the fridge and wondered what to eat?
Or maybe you see plenty of food, but there’s nothing to eat.
I used to think these were just kid habits.I’m not so sure anymore. Because I find myself doing itmore and more. If it’s a kid thing, I haven’t outgrown it yet.
If you did any of these recently, or even TODAY. I’ve got a solutionfor you. We call it “Only in the Alley.”
It a big brown bag full of perfectly prepared, delicious foodthat you can stare into and wonder
“What should I eat FIRST???”