Glimpses of Friends & Food

24 Sep

After our trip to Baltimore, Katie CAME BACK TO PITTSBURGH WITH US!!!!!! On our first night back, we snuggled in my bed and got to know Victoria better 🙂



Friends are for snuggling, laughing until you cry, actually crying, practicing for the school of hard talks, and holding each other (literally and) to a standard of rigorous honesty.


We had such an amazing time talking and turning downtime into uptime (let’s not slander ‘mi), but I’d like to use this blog post to talk mostly about how FOOD connected us in such a solid way.

Let me formally introduce Victoria, my new favorite foodie.


Here she is with Katie who loves superlatives and is also my FAVORITE.


Victoria is not only an amazing human but she also knows everything you need to know about food (and more) like … how to make it look INCREDIBLE. And how to break a yolk properly..  She works for Table magazine and invited Katie to participate in the winter issue! Oats prepared three different ways, coming at you November 2018! Victoria described Katie as a “high-energy creative who planned an on-brand spread in just a few hours!” They wrote an article and had a photo shoot!  All of my food pictures from here on out should reflect everything we (collective knowledge) learned.


I mean… come on.  Food that looks as good as it tastes!

Our time turned into:



You get invited to participate in ONE food magazine, and suddenly everyone’s a photographer…



Please take note of the three matching white pumpkins, which Victoria got for Helen, Katie, and I because  — BEST FRIENDS, BESTFRIENDS, BEST FRIENDS!


Katie showing me how it’s done with an Onion Fritata! This PILLAR is moving food!


One of Victoria’s most impressive techniques was putting the food on the floor in order to get a stunning photo. OK, Victoria…


Respect the process.


But then, of course, even after any lingering (do you have to!) doubt, the picture ended up looking like this:

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SHE WAS SO RIGHT… #getaflaw


So now that Victoria has become a part of our lives, I’m more obsessed with food pictures than I’ve ever been.  Sorry not sorry, mum.

Victoria invited us to her gorgeous house for a dinner party (thank you!!!) where we had nacho night and enthralling conversations about tattoo deliberations and boyfriend MANifestiations (hehe, get it?).  Thank you to Katie for illustrating both.


Dinner party nacho night — we all took a photo from different angles but I won’t bore you by posting all four.  “Maybe we should put it on the floor?!” – Katie proving she’s the fastest learner of us all. Those skull plants got to come home with us!  


One day, Victoria gave us complimentary tickets to the Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest to eat our weight in píerogis.  Helen and I had made ourselves dairy-free the night before which helped limit our options. Dairy-free month day one. “Does Auntie Anne’s have butter in it?”  “Of course it does!” Helen snapped after first going to check and having her heart broken. #hurtpeoplehurtpeople We met up with Sarah, Randy, Andy, Patrick, Victoria, and a new friend, Madeline. We spent most of the day riding roller coasters (okay one, the Thunderbolt) since the pierogi lines were long and we opted not to get our faces painted like a pierogi.   I may or may not be (definitely am not) into roller coasters and was fretting before I got on the Thunderbolt. Sarah eased my nerves so patiently and Helen got out of having to actually ride the ride (lucky). Helen just got to do the fun part, which is obviously waiting in line #friendship  

Later, a group of us sat down and hung out, chatting, which was honestly the best part. We talked about how none of us had tattoos, which was crazy because we were travelers and since Katie had been planning on getting one that very morning.


Ready for pierogies! There’s a pocket inside Sarah’s jacket that I covet!  




Not too long after the pierogi fest (but like… on a completely different day), KATIE AND HELEN GOT TO PERFORM TOGETHER. I REPEAT: KATIE AND HELEN PERFORMED TOGETHER. I repeated that because it happened not once BUT TWICE!!! And both times were incredible. We gathered up a group and headed out to see this magic unfold:



Katie+ Guitar + Jokes = Perfection


Helen + Microphone + Jokes = Perfection



Wee Emily and Tall Laura (also Bel and Bam – but you avid readers of the blog probably already know that!)


Before Friday’s show Victoria (and Katie) did the absolute cutest thing and made these amazing wristbands for Katie and Helen in support of their performance, which we all wore proudly — like a sign but a bracelet. You get it. Man, do I love matching! Emily and Laura were still wearing them when they went to the Steelers game the next day… even though Katie and Helen weren’t playing. But support from the two of them is endless!


Repping their favorite comedians while footballing.


Speaking of repping, Katie and I decided to rep our ears and hark back to the most wonderful time of the yEAR (hehe), aka the furries.


Eyes eyes, ears ears, tails tails, LEGS LEGS.


And after the Brillobox show night, we gathered an all-star team who came back to the house, and EVERYONE was given a pair of ears.  Aawoooogah!! Victoria ordered us all an UNREAL spread of pizza, and I had the divine pleasure of reading the Letter from the Editor (written by our very own Victoria) in Table magazine’s fall issue OUT LOUD! 


Pack storytime, we’re all ears!


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Such a magnificent night where we had a lot to celebrate… so we celebrated like DOLPHINS! Goodness I love these girls.




Here are some more standouts from Katie’s hangout with us:


Are you sick of food yet? Me neither. Cafe du Jour with Emily, Laura, and Katie – all about that Roasted Pork Crostini (not pictured) and Watermelon Salad.

  • Katie and I had to take a quick walk– I’m talking an hour from the southside to the northside during rush hour.  We stopped to split two slices of pizza twice because the first place only had one…and then we absolutely loved how even that felt so we did it again.
  • We saw A Simple Favor with VIP seating. We admired Blake, the sunset, and ate at Primanti brothers (om nom nom nom).




“Pittsburgh…STOP.” – Madeline…My sentiments EXACTLY



Even her umbrella is fancy!

  • There were two laughter yoga sessions where we “won the lottery,” Katie almost peed her pants, and had some other realizations about bodily functions. “I feel downright mirthful!” 
  • Katie and I recorded a podcast in Helen’s room!



Welcome to our podcast, “Helen’s Room.” JK that’s not what it’s called… it’s called  Showing Up Messy! You should check it out!

  • I took Katie B. and all of her worldly possession on a scooter ride in the rain, but it was our favorite one yet because THE FUN IS IN THE RUSHING.



Pinksburgh is up and back in action!

  • We played a game of giant Uno with my best friends and I got them to dairy-free-fudge the rules. AND I got a lil somethin’ from mom & mom (wink)
  • We sat near each other talking, texting, and also Facebook-ing.  ALL THE FORMS OF COMMUNICATION in the same room!!! #downtimeintouptime
  • Bel, I love Down Time.



Are we in London or Pittsburgh?!


Alas, before we knew it, it was time for Katie Barbaro to go off on her year-long international adventure, Iceland bound. She wrote us a note on our white board in the dream flat, which, even though she set us up for success by writing a matching, handwritten note – because SHE SEES US (sobs) – it will probably still never get erased.  


Katie always leaves us notes on the whiteboard and we refused to erase them because KATIE WROTE THEM AND WE LOVE HER. This time, she did this. WE FELT SO SEEN.


One of the many pieces of wisdom Victoria gave us was that your best friends are glimpses of you. Not only did that make my heart explode into a million glittery pieces, it also makes perfect sense. To quote Victoria quoting Oprah quoting Maya Angelou: “You are a compilation of the five people with whom you spend the most time.” I have THE best glimpses, and I’m so lucky to call these girls my best friends… #stilltriggered.





‘mi, a proud best friend

One Response to “Glimpses of Friends & Food”

  1. deekerson November 23, 2018 at 11:28 pm #

    And you are probably the best best friend of the best friends.

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