Social Butterfly Magazine February 2017

The Heart Issue | february2017


Faith's *You're in-the-know* Info

Faith Bennett
Founder, Publisher, Editor

February is heart month. In January, we vowed resolutions to make choices that would better our health, and February reminds us that they are worth keeping! Social Psychology is an easy, but Self Loving read this month.  Copy these memorable quotes on your heart and in your mind and take them along with you on your daily journey.  Words are powerful, and carry energy. During Heart Month, we are reminded to take good care of our hearts, both emotionally and physically.

For Social Soles, we talked to Dr. Melita Viegas, Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Assistant Professor of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She shares with us how she touches and heals hearts every day.

If it feels like January is far gone - and the stirred up anticipation of the new year and new choices seems long gone, look back with us in our Social Seen as we remember Pittsburgh First Night, The PPG Ice Rink Mascot Skate, Steelers Playoff Pep Rally, Orchid and Bonsai Show, and enjoy Social Animals at The Penguins on Parade at Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium,... and be infused with new energy to keep moving forward.

You’re going to need it – there’s lots on our Social Calendar and ahead in Social Expectations! Search our Calendar of Events on our website! Canines and Cupids, Snarky Valentines, Heart Ball, and then comes March… Speaking of which…

You have probably noticed that some of the December issue stayed around for the January issue, and is still lingering, and some of the January issue has shown up in February’s issue, morphing the three into a quarterly.  Yep… You guessed it! That’s where we’ve been headed, and we wanted to ease you in! Our Monthly print Edition will still be published every month and distributed, and will also be found digitally. We are adding to the family by introducing Social Butterfly Magazine: Seasonably Social (Spring: Mar, Apr, May) in March as our first!  We will also be introducing SBM Yearbook 2016-2017 (Pgh Bicentennial.) You will love them all!  Stay tuned…

Check out our SBM Merch on our website. We add more selections every month, and our Valentine Collection is up now and you are gonna want to get your hands on it all. Check out our Fun, Fashion, and Food for a sampling.  We are so excited about the Pittsburgh Fashion Scene this year, and are already in planning meetings for Social Butterfly Magazine Fashion Week Downtown this September!!!

Stop by to see who we welcomed to our Social Circle this month, and stop by IRL to give them a more personal welcome! Social with us daily on Social Media. This month we are hosting a Social Media Collab with Pittsburgh Social Influencers: Baby Teeth 4 and Baby Teeth More (YouTube Candy and Toy Experts), Bree Fesh (Stark Raving Chic), Elena Laquatra (Miss Pennsylvania USA 2016), and more. Check Social Media Daily for the fun!!!!

To (y)our month being full of heart…


Thanks for being our Valentines!

Baby Teeth More:

YouTube  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

We’ve had lots of fun with these Toy and Candy Influencers!  Check back and watch our Twist Challenge with them and Pirate Parrot, The Mannequin Challenge, Their Social Soles Interview in our December Issue, and most recently our Valentine Exchanges with them, and Pittsburgh Love!



Pittsburgh Dad:

YouTube  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Look for Pittsburgh Dad in our June: Dads and Grads Issue, featured in Social Soles.


Elena LaQuatra: 

Miss Pennsylvania USA 2016
Facebook  |  Instagram

Elena emceed for us at Social Butterfly Magazine Fashion Week Downtown, then was featured in our January 2017 Issue for Social Soles.


Bree Fesh:

Instagram  |

Bree helped us out Social Butterfly Magazine Fashion Week Downtown, and we love her Blog: Stark Raving Chic.  Check her out on her Website and Instagram!



GLOW Blotique

541 Beaver St.
sewickley, PA 15143


For girls like us, who are always on the go and need to look good, cause we ‘ll see someone we know - there is no excuse for a bad hair day!  A Blowout (the act of shampooing, drying and styling the hair) is the specialty at GLOW Blotique.  They refer to themselves as the modern version of the very popular beauty salon trend of the 50’s and 60’s where the ladies visited regularly for a professional shampoo, blow-dry, set and style.  Today’s common longer hairstyles and more complicated shorter cuts, combined with women’s increasingly busy schedules, are among the many factors fueling the modern blowout salon movement.  A professional, quick blowout can save you time and money and have you looking your best with a style that can last for days.  Congrats and Welcome, Teresa Duff & Aimee Vickers – owners of Glow!


5819 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


For professionals, enthusiasts, self-starters, game changers, personalities and producers - for all those who want to create great media. StudioME is the hub for all your video, photo and audio production featuring the first, self-guided media studio designed for users of any experience level. They provide the tools, resources and support you need to create your own high quality content. It's MEDIA MADE EASY!

They offer four separate studios, each with a specialized function for video, photo and audio. Plus on-site post-production workstations and equipment rental. StudioME increases productivity in an environment that inspires creativity. Everything you'll need within an arm's reach!

Primanti Bros.

5491 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Primanti Bros has been a part of Pittsburgh since Joe Primanti opened up his storefront in the Strip District in the 30s, feeding truckers and shift workers for a fair price while times were tough. A fateful potato delivery ended with the fried potatoes ending up between the bread and the “Almost Famous” sandwich was born.

The Pittsburgh institution has grown over the years with locations opening in Oakland, the South Side, Market Square, PNC Park, Heinz Field, PPG Paints Arena, and more – 17 locations are scattered around Pittsburgh, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Primanti Bros. opened their newest location on Penn Avenue – the first Pittsburgh location since 1996 – on January 18, but we got a first look the night before at the VIP Grand Opening. We got to taste our old favorites and find some new ones, too.  Just wait!  You’ll get your turn, and when you do – you are gonna LOVE it!

Southern Tier
Brewing Company

316 N Shore Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

For 15 years, Southern Tier Brewing Company has been crafting brews in Lakewood, New York, but they’ve just opened their first satellite location on North Shore Drive.

They are known for brewing world-class hoppy ales and decadent dessert beers alike, but what many folks know them for is the experience they have when visiting the brewery. At STBC PGH, you can expect the full Southern Tier Experience.  Their claim: “We take our food as seriously as we do our beer. Our full kitchen aims to pair each house made dish, from sweet to savory, with our handcrafted brews.”

Southern Tier is now open so drop in and check them out and learn about the brews too. What you ll see inside the walls is a German-designed Krones Micro Cube. The new location will brew local-only beers for the pub (some that’ll stay local, some that’ll go into full production in Lakewood), local collaborations, and beers that are just plain fun.

The New Year brings Hellos and Goodbyes.
This Quick Reference will help you know which is coming and which is going!


Hello, 17!

DO: Stripes! A classic… stripes have been on trend for a few seasons now, but still feel fresh. They will continue to be present in seventeen.

DO: Sneakers! Versatile… fashionistas and fashionisters collect them! No Plain Janes though, for the fresh year. Go for the print, texture, color,… to dress up or down any outfit.

DO: Art Inspired Pieces! Creative… paint splatter, print, patterns, art graphic and seen on the runways - Roksanda and Céline, J.W.Anderson, Proenza Schouler, Marni, Valentino, and others... be seen in yours!

DO: Athletic Inspired “Dress”! Easy but Elegant… ready-to-wear and influenced by comfort pieces - dress up those joggers with heels and a blouse, or buy a pair already jazzed with a flashy stripe, how about a hoodie dress?… Be comfortably beautiful!

DO: The Mule! Beautiful Ease… Just slip them on! Velvet, canvas, satin, sparkle, sequin,… Flat, heeled, athletic, It’s ALL good! They were here in 16, and they aren’t leaving for 17!

GoodBye, 16!

(These are so OUT – We will NOT display photos!)

DON’T: Corsets! Waiting to Exhale… Now women can breathe again! Everyone likes the IDEA of corsets, but let’s get real – Uhm…

DON’T: Skinny Jeans! Don’t Fret – yet… Everyone knows: Denim is classic, it’s not going anywhere. BUT, the silhouettes shift. In 17, we will see more mix and match denim in retro styles.

DON’T: Romantic Trends! Go back to (the) Bed (room)… in the new year the “lingerie look” morphs into a stronger translation. Hemlines are sharper and bodices are stronger, and more ready to wear.

DON’T: Super High Heels! As lower heels step up, something’s gotta go… Women are looking for comfortable style, and heels that are four inches and higher don’t fit that description. Low block heels, mules, and sneakers vamped up, yes please!

DON’T: White Sneakers! Bor-ing… If women are going to wear sneakers with dressier outfits, they CAN NOT be plain white!

socialsoles_headingInterviewed by Kiley Fischer
with Introduction by Faith Bennett


The Social Soles interview series is based on the saying, “You don’t really know someone until you have walked in her shoes.” We thought it would be interesting to begin each interview asking our guest to bring a pair of shoes that are significant to her. They can be the ones she was wearing when she first stepped into her mother’s pediatric practice; The ones she wore the day she decided she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps; The pair she was wearing when she graduated from medical school; The pair she wore the first time she stepped into Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; A pair we would have never guessed...What shoes will she bring?

We associate shoes with memories: good and bad. The question steers the path of the conversation. This route will show us a side usually not seen in the one we are talking with. A more personal side. We are excited to see in which direction we are lead – by the choice in footwear and the memories stirred. Come. Let’s take a confident and life-saving walk…

You’ve seen the stories of window washers dressed as super heroes and Pittsburgh’s sports heroes visiting Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to raise the spirits of the children who are staying there – some for a checkup and others for extended and hopefully life-saving stays. The real heroes walk its halls on a daily basis and, in February, a month that revolves around hearts, we wanted to sit down with one of them. Dr. Melita Viegas is a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon and assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and knows more than just a little bit about compassion, care, and heart.

Social Butterfly Magazine: Tell me about the shoes you’re sharing with us today.

Dr. Viegas: The shoes I have are probably like every other surgeon’s, but they are Danskos and they’re from when I first started my adult cardiac fellowship. To be where I am takes a lot of training. I started in medical school and then went onto general surgery residency, which is five years. After that, it’s another three years of adult cardiac fellowship and then a year of just pediatric cardiac fellowship, so nine years after medical school.

I did my cardiac training at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, so when I started, I bought those shoes. I’ve kept them with me all this time and they’re kind of my backup shoes now. They reside in my locker at Children’s in case I get called in and there’s an emergency and I happen to be out and about.

They’ve stayed with me for quite a long time now.

SBM: They have to have seen so much with you then.

Dr. Viegas: Nope, They have. They’ve seen a lot of long days, a lot of long nights, early mornings, greater than 30-hour work days, probably longer than 80-hour work weeks from time to time.

SBM: And a whole lot of care.

Dr. Viegas: Yes. (nods) Yes. I don’t even know how many patients they’ve probably seen with me. They’ve seen a lot of blood, but they’ve seen a lot of patients get better, too, and a lot of rewarding experiences.

SBM: On that thought, if they could talk, what kind of stories would they tell?

Dr. Viegas: I think they would probably mostly talk about the long nights. My adult cardiac fellowship was quite busy, but it’s exactly what you want for a training program. In order to do what we do, you need a lot of good mentors and a lot of good training and you want that experience. It’s a blessing that they’ve seen so much stuff because each experience made me a better physician and a better surgeon.

They’d also probably remind me how much dedication it takes to do what all physicians do. Perseverance, as well. We see some patients that fly through their surgeries, but there’s those patients that struggle as well, and it’s those patients that you tend to form an even tighter bond with. It becomes a lot of your life goal just to make them get through their experience in the most positive way possible.

SBM: You’re talking about that and it just hit me just how much they’ve seen, especially with how long they’ve been with you. That’s a lot.

Dr. Viegas: Yeah. These aren’t the only shoes I’ve had through training, but they were definitely the first ones. I remember buying them. When I did my general surgery, I was in Illinois and I bought them right before I went to California. I wanted red ones because I’m a cardiac surgeon. I’ve had quite a few. I’ve actually gifted a few of my Danskos to my mom.

My mom is a pediatrician and she is also on her feet all the time. She never really knew about Danskos until I got into the surgery world and now she wears them too.

SBM: So it really runs in the family. Is that what prompted you to go into medicine?

Dr. Viegas: It is. There are a lot of doctors in my family. My mom is a pediatrician and my sister is a family practice physician. I have two other sisters, one is a lawyer in health law and my other sister works in a hospital in Indiana. I think we were all prompted by our parents. I wouldn’t say my parents were pushing me to go to medical school by any means, but my mom was like the pediatrician in town.

I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana in a town called Greenwood, Indiana, and I think every single one of my friends went to my mom as their pediatrician. She was always very dedicated, very hard working but was somehow still able to find a balance where she took care of us, took care of all of those kids, and took care of my dad. She cooked dinner every day, cleaned the house, she was pretty amazing.

Her dedication to the kids is really what drew me to even want to go to medical school. When I started medical school, I didn’t really know that I wanted to be a surgeon at all. I thought I would just be a pediatrician, take over my mom’s practice, and go from there. But when I was in medical school, I realized shortly, when I was doing my surgical clerkship, that surgery felt like home to me. In particular, my first surgical rotation was actually pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, which is where I ended up.


SBM: So it really stuck.

Dr. Viegas: It did. It made quite the impression.

SBM: That can’t be easy, though, being in pediatrics and seeing kids in that kind of state.

Dr. Viegas: It’s not. It can be very challenging, but it’s extremely rewarding. Even in adult cardiac, patients are in extremus and you help them and there are a lot of positive results, but especially with the kids, they’re born with these defects and there’s great satisfaction in being able to fix some of these kids. There’s some kids that fare a lot better than others, but still, we’re able to make an impact and just help correct some of their defects and extend their life.

SBM: When we were looking for someone to focus on in February, in trying to find cardiac surgeons in Pittsburgh, you really jumped at me because everyone else, it seems is, male. (Dr. Viegas laughs.) That in and of itself is so cool, but what was that like when you decided that’s what you wanted to do.

Dr. Viegas: To be quite honest, I’m very lucky. There aren’t a lot of women that are cardiothoracic surgeons, but there are several who have already paved the way for me. When I went through my training, I never really felt like my gender made a difference in my training. I had amazing mentors all throughout my training – all throughout general surgery, all throughout cardiac surgery – so I never felt like gender was an issue. I actually trained with a lot of other female surgeons. When I was in general surgery, my co-resident was a female. When I was in cardiothoracic surgery, there was a year where all of the residents were all female in Los Angeles. It was something to be very, very proud of for our program itself. In that regard, I think I’m very lucky.

It is strange to me. Someone has said that to me before that I’m the only female cardiac surgeon. To me it’s almost mind-blowing a little bit because of everyone else I’ve worked with in my life.

SBM: It’s cool to see such a boost of women in science. That has to be neat even for your patients to see, something to aspire to.

Dr. Viegas: Right. And I think it speaks volumes to the women that came before me and all of us out in training, how it has made the training process easier. That’s not to say there weren’t some challenges, that there don’t continue to be some challenges. I can meet some patients and they don’t necessarily look at me and think, “Oh, she’s a cardiac surgeon.” If I meet people out and about and say I’m a cardiac surgeon, people are taken aback a little bit. But once they get used to it, it’s not a big deal at all. I think we’ve made a huge step as far as having women in cardiac surgery and women in medicine in general.

SBM: And you teach, too.

Dr. Viegas: It comes with the territory of an academic position. You teach residents and fellows who come through, and medical students who are interested in the field. Having medical students interested in the field is even more important now because our training programs have changed to a shorter, integrated program where they decide, “Oh, I want to go into cardiac surgery” right after medical school as opposed to going through general surgery residency and then deciding. It’s definitely a paradigm shift and having them exposed as much as possible will only have them know if this is a career choice they want to make.

SBM: What have been the most rewarding things for you? I mean, obviously –

Dr. Viegas: Right! (laughs) Just making such an impact on a patient’s life and their family’s life. Like I said, some of these kids come to us in dire straits and being able to change their life in such a dramatic way is extremely rewarding. Some kids are born with a structurally normal heart, but their actual heart function is not normal. I remember a patient who not too long ago came in and was very sick to the point that his heart was no longer working. That transition from a very unfortunate experience to him surviving, having a heart transplant, and now being home with his family, that really makes all these years of training worth every second.

SBM: (awed) Wow.

Dr. Viegas: It’s not just training, to be honest with you. There’s a lot of mentorship involved. I was lucky to train with so many great people all over the country. The people I look up to the most are people that were integral to my training which includes Vaughn Starnes, Winfield Wells, Craig Baker, Victor Morell, Jose Pedro DeSilva. Having such strong role models has truly helped me be the surgeon that I want to be.

SBM: I know that your shoes can tell a million stories, but if you could walk in someone else’s shoes, whose would you want to walk in?

Dr. Viegas: Honestly, I’d probably want to walk in my parents’ shoes. They grew up in India and did medical school in India and they came over to the United States for their residency training. At that point they were in their early 20s in the 1970s. They always tell me, and this may be an exaggeration, that they came over with $20 and a trunk, but it’s probably close to the truth. Within a year, my mom was pregnant with my oldest sister, doing residency, and then the following year was pregnant with my second sister. She somehow was able to do all of her pediatric training, take care of two kids, and be here all by themselves because they were the only ones here. They didn’t come over with any family, they just came over to do their residency.

I think that now, I went through whatever training I went through, but that doesn’t compare. I only had to take care of myself, she raised a family and was very successful to the point that she had her own practice, she had two other daughters. It was probably a very tough time for her, but she was able to make it through. Sometimes I think about what life was for her then and it makes everything that I went through seem par for the course.

SBM: Wow. That’s amazing. Even sometimes just being in a new city, let along somewhere completely different –

Dr. Viegas: A completely different country without family or a safety net and two brand new kids and a husband who’s also training in his anesthesiology residency.

SBM: Your mom sounds incredible. What advice would you pass along to anyone, but maybe especially those thinking about what they want to do?

Dr. Viegas: I think – in whatever career you choose – you have to do something where you feel like it’s rewarding and you feel satisfied as well. I know a few people who feel like they haven’t lived up to their potential, and you always feel the most satisfaction when you find your potential, find that thing that you’re good at and excel at it.

SBM was honored that Dr. Melita Viegas took time out of her busy schedule handling and healing pediatric hearts at
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to share her story with us. Today she touched ours.

Check out the Social Kids Calendar Here!



Valentine's Day


SBM Valentine Collection 2017 +


Valentine Treats

Fashion: 1. Taupe Suede Peep Toe Bootie (Old Navy) 2. Pucker Up Tank (SB Merch Valentine Collection) 3. Valentine Sweet Heart Purse (Claire’s Boutique) 4. Big Girl Tu Tu Skirt (Charlotte Russe) 5. Men’s Dress Shirt and Be Mine Tie (Geoffrey Beene) 6. SBM Pseudo Celeb Geometric Fashion Tshirt Dress 7. Valentine Fashionister Jr. Baseball Boys Tee 8. Be My Social Butterfly SBM Pseudo Celebrity Dress 9. SBM Pseudo Celebrity Geometric Fashion Baby Tutu Baby Bodysuit 10. Happy Valentine's Day Yinz Hoodies – Rainbow 11. Happy Valentine's Day Yinz Hoodie Dress 12. SBM Love Leggings 13. Puppy Love & #Love Plush Toys 14. Social Animal Valentine Pet Tank Top 15,16. Heart Fleece Pet Hoodies (PetSmart)
For more details on all apparel and accessories listed above Click Here!

Food: 1. Blue Love You Stew Valentine's Day Feast 2. Emoji Themed Candy and Toys 3. Assorted Sparkling Juices 4. Chololate Caramel Candies 5. Tiny Valentine Themed Bags 6. Valentine Brownies 7. Cotton Candy Valentines 8. Valentine Chocolates


2. Emoji Themed Candy

3. Sparkling Juices

4. Chocolate Caramel Candies

5. Tiny Valentine Themed Bags

6. Valentine Brownies

7. Cotton Candy Valentines

8. Valentine Chocolates


21+ Glow Night


Did you make our Social Seen?

Check out our Social Seen Photo Vault for more photos:

First Night Pittsburgh 2017

Food Truck
A Palooza

PPG Ice Rink Mascot Skate

Penguins On Parade

Welcome Steelers Nation's Newest Members

Steelers Playoffs Pep Rally

City of Pittsburgh 30th Annual Mascot Skate

Orchid & Tropical Bonsai Show

21+ Glow Night

Bodiography's 15th Anniversary Red Carpet Roll Out

Ice Fest

Animal Rescue League Moving Day Event

OCA Pittsburgh Lunar New Year Celebration

Naturalization Ceremony

NFL Play 60 Training Camp

By Faith Bennett, Licensed Psychotherapist

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
 – Buddha

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
– Oscar Wilde

“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.”
– André Gide

“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”
– Diane Von Furstenberg

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”
– Parker Palmer

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ”
– M. Scott Peck

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
– Mark Twain

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
– Fred Rogers

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?”
– Brigham Young

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”
– Malcolm S. Forbes

“If you have been criticizing yourself…, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
– Carl Gustav Jung

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.”
– Yogi Bhajan

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
– W.C. Fields

“There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.”
– Hindu Proverb

“The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself.”
– Rita Mae Brown

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”
– Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anaïs Nin

“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”
– Sally Field

“Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world making the most of one’s best.”
– Harry Emerson Fosdick

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot

Check out the Social Psychology Calendar here!

Interviewed by Kiley Fischer

On January 22, SBM took in the 26th Annual Ligonier Ice Fest featuring warm drinks, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice masterpieces, live music, and carving demonstrations by the professionals from DiMartino Ice in Jeanette, Pa. The family business, led by Ernie DiMartino, has been in business since 1968 and Ernie has spent nearly the last 30 years carving sculptures from ice.

See more Photos from the Ligonier Ice Fest in our Photo Vault!

Social Butterfly Magazine: How did carving start for you? I know that DiMartino Ice is a family business.

Ernie: It didn’t start that way. When I was 14 years old, my dad backed the pickup truck into the driveway with all of this equipment. I said, “What’re we doing, Dad?” He said, “We’re going into the ice business, son.” For the first 20 years we did packaged ice, ice cubes. We’d sit on a stool and scoop it into bags, staple them, and deliver them in our 1960 Cadillac. We used to fit 90 bags of ice in the back of the Cadillac.

My dad worked full-time for General Motors, I worked full-time for Volkswagen – I was a United Auto Works union official – and my brother worked full-time for PennDOT plowing roads. Well then Volkswagen moved to Mexico and I needed a job. I could have gone to York and worked in the Harley Davidson factory, but I didn’t want to leave the area. My family was here.

See more Photos from the Ligonier Ice Fest in our Photo Vault!

A neighbor of mine, John Lakatosh, introduced me to ice carving. He’s who I learned from. It wasn’t long after that – I think it was ’92 – we visited Ligonier and talked to the Chamber of Commerce with this idea I had about an ice festival. They liked the idea and they were the first to buy into the idea. Without any advertising at all, we’re doing 14 shows like this across the state this year. Per capita, Ligonier has the highest number of sponsors. There’s no other community that comes together like this.

See more Photos from the Ligonier Ice Fest in our Photo Vault!

SBM: Wow! Looking at your work, it’s not hard to see why. My stick figures are cowering in a corner somewhere right now – how difficult is it to learn this?

Ernie: Every individual is different. My first introduction to art was when I was in high school. My homeroom was the art room. I was in college prep, so by my senior year, I thought, “I’d really like to take an art course.” I did, I took an interest in it, and – well my drawings were pretty crude. I tried to join the high school Rembrandt Club and the teacher said I didn’t have any artistic talent and she wouldn’t let me join. My growth was stunted there for a while.

When I was with Volkswagen and the United Workers, I was appointed to the Union Editor and I used to do all the newspaper layout and design and started to win awards. That’s when I first started to recognize there was something there.

It wasn’t long after that I started to carve ice with instruction. The hardest for me was drawing. I could see 3D, but the drawing I just couldn’t grasp. I took a drawing course at the community college and the professor put a stool, a bunch of items on the desk and wanted us to draw it. I sat in the back of the room and I drew everything – the backs of heads, the desks – my head saw it in 3D.

See more Photos from the Ligonier Ice Fest in our Photo Vault!

The course taught me how to convert my thinking to the right side of my brain. When you wake up in the morning, that’s the brain you’re thinking with. As soon as you start doing analytical things, it transfers over to the left side of your brain. When it comes time to make art, you have to transfer it back. That’s how I learned to draw.

The ability is there in everyone. Everyone has it inside them, it’s just a matter of drawing it out. Now when I work with my team of apprentices – and some of them are now professional carvers because they went through out in-house apprenticeship program – each one is different and has a different learning curve, but eventually they’ll develop the skill.

SBM: That’s so interesting! It’s obviously working. What’s your favorite part about carving?

Ernie: The way that it calms my brain. I never experience hunger pains while I’m carving, I lost complete track of time. It’s actually changed the way I think and it’s changed the way I see life. I notice more; I notice the bark on trees, I notice feathers on birds, the way brickwork is. A lot of things I used to look past, now I look further into the detail. It’s changed my life.




Happy New Year


SBM New Year's
Collection 2017


Lucky New Year’s Eats Feasting to your Future!


Fashion: 1. Happy New Year Yinz Men's Hoodie 2. 2017 NYE Party Sunglasses 3. SBM 2017 Embroidered Men's Hat 4. SBM 2017 Embroidered Women's Hat 5. Happy New Year Yinz Women's Hoodie Dress 6. SBM 2017 Leggings 7. 2017 NYE Kids Party Sunglasses 8. Fashionister Jr. 2017 Toddler Hoodie 9. Fashionista Mini 2017 Toddler Hoodie 10. Fashionista Mini 2017 Baby Beanie 11. Fashionista Mini 2017 Tutu Baby Bodysuit 12. Fashionister Jr. 2017 Onsie Baby Bodysuit 13. Fashionister Jr. 2017 Baby Beanie 14. Social Animal 2017 Pet Tank Top
For more details on all apparel and accessories listed above Click Here!



In Spain and Portugal, and many parts of Central and South America, the New Year is rung in by eating 12 grapes at midnight. Each grape represents a number on the clock or a month of the year. Sometimes the grapes are thought to be fortune telling. For example, If the fifth grape that is eaten is sour, May could be a troubling month. The last grape should be consumed before the last stroke of midnight. Some cultures eat a 13th grape for extra luck.

Many cultures around the world cook leafy greens like cabbage, collards, kale, and chard for the New Year because the green leaves resemble money. Eating them is supposed to bring economic fortune. The more greens that are eaten, the better your chance at wealth in the new year. In the north eastern United States, Cabbage is eaten as Sauerkraut, and in the south eastern states, collard greens are a favorite.

Not all legumes are beans, but legumes including beans, peas, and lentils symbolize coin money. They are also believed to influence fortune, because when they are cooked, they swell and become larger, just as is the hope of the bank accounts for the coming year. In the southern United States, black eyed peas are a tradition, dating back to Civil War times, when the protein provided energy. In Italy, it’s tradition to eat sausage and green lentils, just after midnight, for a double dose of fortune, because pork is a lucky food too! In Germany, it’s split pea or lentil soup with pork. In Brazil: lentil soup, and in Japan, a group of dishes is eaten over the course of the first three days of the new year, including sweet black beans.

Pigs symbolize progress, in that the animal walks, pushing forward, rooting itself in the ground before it proceeds. The fat of the meat signifies wealth, prosperity, and excess. In Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria, entire pigs are roasted. Pig's feet are the choice in Sweden, while Germans feast on pork roasts and sausages. For those who do not eat meat, peppermint candy pigs are also eaten for symbolism.

Fish is believed to be a popular choice for New Year’s feasting for several reasons. Cod, for instance could be preserved before modern refrigeration and shipping, allowing it to reach farther than other foods. Another reason could be religious policies against consumption of red meat. The Danish prefer boiled cod, while in Italy, dried salt cod is the choice. Herring is the tradition in Poland and Germany, where a tradition of placing fish scales in wallets for good luck is also practiced. In Sweden, the New Year meal offers a variety of fish dishes. In Japan, different types of seafood hold different meaning. Herring for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for good harvest.

Round or ring-shaped items are popular traditions for New Year Sweets. In Italy, they serve honey-dripping, fried, pasta dough balls powdered with sugar called chiacchiere. In Poland, Hungary, and the Netherlands they eat donuts. In Holland the pastries are filled with raisins, apples, and currants and are called ollie bollen. In some cultures, it's customary to hide a special coin inside the cake—the lucky one to receive a piece with the coin, will be lucky in the new year: in Mexico (called rosca de reyes) and Greece (called vasilopita). In Sweden and Norway they hide a whole almond in rice pudding—whoever gets it is guaranteed good fortune in the new year. In Scotland, "first footing," takes place. A tradition where the first person to enter a home in the new year determines the type of year the residents will have. The "first footer" often brings coal to keep the house warm or baked goods such as shortbread, oat cakes, and a fruit caked called black bun, to make sure the household always has food.




Sunday, October 9, 2016 | Hotel Monaco | Downtown Pittsburgh, PA

Interviewed by Kiley Fischer

See more Photos from Fearless Warrior Yoga Conference in our Photo Vault!

In your profile for the conference, you say the idea for the conference manifested “after spending countless hours cheering on her yoga students as they bypassed their fears to go upside down.” What have you seen through at the conference itself that has given you that same sense of exhilaration?

The conference itself has taken it to this level I didn’t even know existed. I was at a workshop and I had gone through several years of figuring out what my career should be. My students were terrified of inversions and I loved being upside down. They were so scared and there was so much fear. I thought I’d do a workshop on inversions. A lightbulb went off – there’s fears surrounding so many things we do in life. I have friends who do things every day that would scare the sh*t out of everyone else, and for good reason. I thought, “These people deal with fear and how can they bypass those fears?”

(During the first Fearless Warrior Conference) I kind of sat back and watched and what I saw was people becoming a community and finding that the space was a completely safe area. There’s no judgement. People came in leggings with no makeup and their hair in buns. Guys came in workout clothes. People were completely supportive and talking and digging deep.

The point is to begin that exploration and look within ourselves and see what those fears are. For a lot of us, we don’t even know what we’re afraid of. Let’s see how we can move forward.

See more Photos from Fearless Warrior Yoga Conference in our Photo Vault!

Can you talk a little more about how fear is instrumental to success?

One of the mantras I saw years ago when I started teaching is “the magic happens outside of our comfort zone.” Our family, our job, the same sport we’ve been playing since we were young. Outside of that, where fear makes us super uncomfortable, is where amazing things start happening. We have to acknowledge that fear. That’s where we can really move the mountains we’re intended to in our lives. People stay with that 9 to 5 job, that relationship that they’re in, whatever has made them comfortable. Moving the fear out of the way and jumping on that train or that plane or out of that relationship, you taking that risk is really what will change our lives and inspire others around us.

What do you hope conference-goers get from their experience?

The people who are coming back, they’re going to see that the program has ramped up big time. It’s a totally different conference. Other than that, the mission is the same: safely exploring the energies that feed the fear in our lives using yoga, meditation and storytelling. People new to the conference will feel the effects of the conference for weeks on end. It won’t just disappear. Even if they walk away that day and think “I don’t really know what just happened” I’m sure they will find there’s something that will spark within them, even if it’s just connecting with other people. Connection and sharing is what I find to be one of the most pivotal things in life, especially the things that are hard to talk about. The candid, the raw, the gross. That’s what it’s about. Just being really raw.

See more Photos from Fearless Warrior Yoga Conference in our Photo Vault!

Why is it so important to remember that “you can always change your mind?”

We have our own mantras or meditations or mottos. We forget about it for a while and then it comes back. In this moment for me, that is the idea that we can do this perspective shift. That will show up for people in a variety of different ways. The biggest one is my baby, but I just moved again and had a little community where I was before. I thought, “Why aren’t people contacting me?”  It took me a couple of months, and something connected for me – she’s got stuff going on. So I changed my perspective and said, “I should reach out to her.” The question of how is a whole different ball game and I can’t even do it for myself all the time. You can be thinking one way but there’s a way to alter that.

Any plans for a 2017 Fearless Warrior Conference here in Pittsburgh or an expansion?

We’re really excited. We will be talking to the (Hotel Monaco) about having the 2017 conference in the same spot. We’re also working on expanding to different cities in the northeast. Our goal is to expand to the point that we are at multiple spots throughout the US and hold the conference the same weekend. That way our presenters are all local. The attendees are local. We are really supportive of the community. We don’t want to be competing with ourselves or other conferences. There’s so much talent and expert and knowledge in one city. We have amazing people in every city, there are people who have something to add. I want to be local. If you want to take a class with a presenter, you can say “I don’t need to travel,” because they’re available. 


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Holiday Dinner:

Hanukkah  |  Christmas  |  Kwanzaa | Orthodox Christmas


Holiday Cheer


Home Cooked, Family Style Holiday Dinner

Fashion: 1. Two Tone Shag Coat (6th and Lane) 2. Black Pleated Dress (6th and Lane) 3. Purple Men's Dress Shirt (Geoffrey Beene) 4. Stripes Tie (Geoffrey Beene) 5,6. Jewelry (Charming Charlie) 7. S) 8. Tall Faux Snake Skin Wedge Boots (6th and Lane)

Food: 1. Flaky Biscuits 2. Salad (Arugula, Heart of Palm, Avocados, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Toasted Pine Nuts, Lemon and Orange Dressing) 3. Holiday Table Setting 4. Whole Foods Prepared Selection: Roasted Chicken (Everyone in this Holiday House - except one - is vegetarian, so the meat was prepared outside of the home and brought in) 5. Poinsettia and Evergreen Centerpiece 6. Mama’s Sweet Potato Souffle’ (Recipe) 7. Augrauten Potatoes 8. French Cut Green Beans




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