1. Best 2015 Ethnic Festivals & Food in Pittsburgh

    Ethnic Festivals Title Pic

    If America is a nation of immigrants, then Pittsburgh is certainly a city of them. Our corner of Western Pennsylvania has been enriched by cultures from all corners of the globe for over a century. What better way to celebrate our diverse heritage than annual festivals and celebrations? Here’s a rundown of some of the best ethnic festivals in Pittsburgh. Note that these are not ranked, but presented in the order you can catch them throughout the year. (more…)

  2. 7 Things to Expect When Buying An Old House in Pittsburgh

    Old Cabin at PittIt’s been over 250 years since Pittsburgh was founded in 1758. This city is old, and so are its structures! If you’re in the market to buy a house in Pittsburgh, you’ve probably browsed or even visited several old houses for sale in the area. Depending on their upkeep, some are in better shape than others. How do you know what to expect when you’re buying an old house in Pittsburgh? As local homebuilders, we have a few ideas… (more…)

  3. 2015 New Year’s Eve Parties & Events In Pittsburgh

    Don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve yet? Look no further! Blast into 2015 by attending one of the best New Year’s Eve parties in Pittsburgh! We’ve sifted through all of the public holiday parties & events happening around the city and found only the best for you to attend on December 31, 2014. Details such as ticket prices, times, locations and more can all be found right here. (more…)

  4. Decorated Pinehurst Model Home Slated to Open This Weekend


    Kitchen_Morning-RoomWith over 5,800 square feet of living space, the newly decorated Pinehurst model home at Ironwood II in Southpointe, will open its doors to the public Sunday, December 14th from noon – 3pm.

    The home has four bedrooms, four and one-half bathrooms and a three-car side entry garage. The luxury features are displayed throughout the home, including a dazzling morning room, massive walk-in closets, an owner’s suite with sitting area and covered porch, convenient second floor laundry room and a finished basement with a must-see uniquely designed recreation room, wet bar, home office & media room.

    The community has been selling quickly – in less than a year, the community is already 50% sold out. The home sites at Ironwood II are private and spacious, all being at least ½ acre in size – most having magnificent golf course views as well. The community consist of two private cul-de-sac streets set inside the Canon McMillan School District. New homes start in the $510s.Mater-Bath

    The new Pinehurst model home is located at 301 Graystone Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317click here for turn-by-turn directions. The doors will open at noon this Sunday. For more information, please call 724-871-1738 or visit HeartlandLuxuryHomes.com.

  5. Interior Design Tips for Your New Home

    Interior design advice from Heartland Homes in Pittsburgh

    The moving trucks have left, the boxes have been unpacked and the space is finally beginning to feel like yours. It’s now time for some new home interior design advice from some of the city’s most gifted designers. This collection of DIY articles and design advice is for homeowners who need transfer their personality to white walls and new living spaces.

    This is your home. Let’s make the place feel like it.


    Working with Color


    Adding color is usually the first step. Here are several videos with advice from Dee Schlotter, the National Color Brand Manager for PPG Pittsburgh Paints. Not surprisingly, this is some of the most popular content on our website.

    Painting the powder roomPainting the Powder Room (VIDEO)

    This video discusses trending colors and ways to make a little color go a long way. Her best tip, however, is how to take “dangerous” colors like red or black, and use them to add contrast without interfering with the rest of the home.

    Choosing Paint Colors for a Bedroom (VIDEO)

    It is important to remember that bedrooms are for sleeping. Will bright orange or fluorescent green help that? Probably not. Dee’s secret is to put big colors away from the bed so you get the personality without the distraction. Great advice!

    open-spaces-colors-heartlandThe Right Colors for Open Spaces (VIDEO)

    If you have high ceilings or a spacious family room, why not take advantage of them with colors that fill the home. Big canvases tend to inspire neutral, safe colors. But, as Dee explains, there are ways to add bigger shades without going too far!

    Selecting Trim Paint (VIDEO)

    This is another place where people tend to play it conservative. We see shades of white and not much else. This video shares ways to use exciting accent colors that add depth and variety to a home.

    Transition colors in a homeHow to Transition Colors in a Home (VIDEO)

    Have you ever been in a home where each room feels like a different museum exhibit? “To the right, you’ll see the East Asia collection. After that, you’ll enter the Renaissance room.” That’s what this video helps you avoid patchwork by using one color kind of flow through the home.

    Pick a Paint to Match the Wood (VIDEO)

    You invested in beautiful cabinetry that would look great with bare walls. But what if you want to add color that accentuates without detracting from the craftsmanship? This video has the answers



  6. How to Go Gluten Free in Pittsburgh

    Giant sandwich with lots of gluten

    Gluten-free diets are difficult in our notoriously glutenous city. Can you imagine chipped ham sandwiches without bread, pierogies without dough or Wholey’s without batter.

    “I’ll have a, well, salad.”

    But times are changing and Pittsburgh has become more culinarily accessible for locals with allergies. Even Eat ‘n’ Park has a menu for Celiac patrons.

    And they’re not the only ones.

    Many national restaurant chains are developing gluten-free menus. Karen Broussard, who created an app to help gluten-free diners, reminds us that this audience makes up a sizable market. She says that some estimate that gluten-freers make up 30% of the US population this year.

    “There are also more restaurants focusing on healthy eating in general, whether it be gluten free, vegan, raw, locally sourced, grain free, paleo, organic or non-GMO,” Karen said. “Gluten free baked goods have become extremely popular, too. You’ll notice more gluten-free bakeries popping up, and even mainstream bakeries and cupcake shops are now offering at least a few gluten free choices.”

    Signs of Gluten-Free Growing in Pittsburgh

    Jeanette Harris, owner of Pittsburgh’s Gluten Free Goat Bakery, is a sign of the evolution. She points out that people were hard pressed to find gluten-free options in Pittsburgh 7 years ago when she was diagnosed with Celiac disease, but supermarkets and restaurants are adapting quickly.

    “Now Giant Eagle has an allergy aisle, there are dedicated gluten-free bakeries and we launched a gluten-free subscription service that brings wheat- and dairy-free options to you,” Jeanette said. “Between all of the new products and a vast improvement in awareness, I expect great things for Pittsburghers with dietary restrictions.”

    Gluten free search volume on Google in Greater Pittsburgh

    It is important to remember, however, that a gluten-free menu is not always enough. A lack of knowledge in some parts of the restaurant industry and potential for cross contamination can both be an issue for people with serious allergies.

    “Gluten-free consumers need to be diligent in the questions they ask and know where gluten can be accidentally introduced via cross- contamination or overlooked in hidden sources,” suggests Amy Macklin, a local nutritionist for people with Celiac disease.

    Cross contamination could be something as simple as rolling gluten-free pizza dough on a surface also used for traditional pizzas or, depending on sensitivity, using the same deep fryer.

    Tips for Eating Out

    Amy Macklin and the other gluten-free veterans offered tips for eating out in Pittsburgh (or anywhere, for that matter).

    1. Understand gluten. Know that gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and (often) commercial oats.

    2. Call ahead. You can learn a lot about a restaurant’s sensitivity to your allergy before ever opening a menu.

    3. Tell the waiter, ask the chef. Waiters can’t help you if they don’t know, but final recommendations should always come from the chef, who is more likely to know each ingredient in a dish.

    4. Don’t feel rushed. Taking time to ask every question on your mind will save you more often than it should.

    5. Focus on the foods you can eat to minimize the feelings of deprivation. Plus, it can be a great opportunity to get back-to-the-basics by building a diet around fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy and whole grains. There is a whole world full of flavors waiting to be discovered.

    6. Make up for missed nutrients. The gluten-free diet can be lacking in certain nutrients and careful consideration needs to be taken for those following this diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Wheat-based products are fortified with B-vitamins and iron.

    Additionally, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has a printable list of tips and questions when dining out. It’s a great cheat sheet for people who are new to the process.


  7. Tour Two Models Under Construction This Saturday

    Ironwood II in Southpointe and Falling Water in Morgantown, WV, will host Muddy Boots Tours Saturday, September 27th from noon – 2pm, of their model homes under construction.

    The highly anticipated Ironwood II recently released new home sites – the community features private spaciouWeb_Ks home sites – all over a 1/2 acre in size, homes include 3-sides brick and concrete driveways. The community is less than 5 minutes from I-79, has spectacular golf course views, easy access to Tanger Outlets, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Iceoplex at Southpointe, Sarris Candies & downtown Pittsburgh. Ironwood II has nine home designs to choose from, starting in the high $450s.

    New homes at Ironwood II will include a number of luxury features. Brick Front & Sides, Side-Entry Garage, Concrete Driveways, 9’ Ceilings* (1st & 2nd Floors) *10’ Ceilings on 1st floor on select homes, Crown Moulding, Gourmet Kitchen Island, plus many more.

    The Pinehurst model home at Ironwood II features 5,847 square feet of living space, 3-car side entry garage, 4 bedrooms, 4 ½ bathrooms, morning room, second floor laundry and a finished basement with wet bar, home office and media room.

    Stretching along the banks of beautiful Cheat Lake, the Falling Water community provides a quiet, serene lake side setting.  The community has many features:

    • Located on the banks of Cheat Lake (Lake Views)
    • Near Cheat Lake Trail System
    • Wooded & Cul-De-Sac Home Sites
    • Schools: Cheat Lake Elementary, Mountaineer Middle & University High School

    LNew homes at Falling Water will include a number of luxury features. Maple Kitchen Cabinets, Fireplace in Family Room, Hardie Plank Siding, Beautiful Home Sites, 9’ Ceilings, Crown Moulding, Granite Kitchen Countertops, Built-In Stainless Steel Appliances, Gourmet Kitchen Island, Hardwood & Ceramic Flooring, plus many more.

    The Remington Place II model home at Falling Water features 5,532 square feet of living space, 2-car front entry garage, 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ bathrooms, morning room and finished basement with recreation room, wet bar, home office and media room.

    At each model, meet the Heartland Homes team & learn more details on the models that are underway. Get the first sneak peek in person

    Directions to Ironwood II Model Home

    Directions to Falling Water Model Home

  8. Top 10 Reasons to Purchase a Heartland Home

    Since 1984, discerning homebuyers have trusted us to build exceptional homes. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should purchase a Heartland Home.

    Heartland Homes Locations1. We choose only the most desirable neighborhoods in the most sought-after locations.

    Heartland Homes’ communities are located in the best locations in Pittsburgh. Convenient, great views, the right lot for any lifestyle, and the perfect place to call home, no matter which community you choose.

    2. Our award-winning designs and floor plans cater to today’s lifestyles.

    A Heartland home is designed with the owner in mind, which is why we include you in each step of the process—from initial draft to interior design. In our eyes, Dream It. Build It. Love It. is more than a motto. It’s a goal for every home.

    3. We’ve had more than 30 years to perfect our building practices and buying power, which keeps our prices competitive, even compared to resales.

    For over 30 years, we’ve been passionately committed to building luxury homes of the highest quality and providing exceptional customer care.  Our goal is to exceed your expectations throughout every step of the homebuilding experience.

    What’s more, we treat each and every customer with honesty and respect. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us. Quite simply, we at Heartland Homes are passionate about what we do. In turn, we hope to share that passion with you throughout the creation and building of your dream home.


  9. Have You Seen Venango Trails?

    It is easy to see why Venango Trails is popular this fall — the community has so much to offer. Here are the three things that we love most about it.


    It Feels Far from the City

    Venango Trails has tree-lined streets and sidewalks that meander through the community, providing plenty of space for family walks or bike rides. There are even, as the name implies, some wonderful trails for jogging in the cool mornings and evenings — as soon as those arrive!

    We certainly can’t forget Venango Lake, which can be seen in the video. For those of us who chased tadpoles as children, it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to provide the same thing for our kids.


    While Being Easily Accessible

    For how far Venango Trails feels from the busy city, the community is incredibly accessible. It is located next to Cranberry Township near the intersection of  I-79 and I-79. Getting there and away is wonderfully simple, especially if your morning commute takes you toward the city. It is only a quick 20 minutes!

    We also have to mention the schools. Venango Trails has access to North Allegheny School District, a top district in the state of Pennsylvania!


    And It Includes A Lot of Luxury

    All that Venango Trails has to offer comes with the standard luxuries of a Heartland home. We are talking about gourmet kitchens, granite bathrooms, beautiful floors and spacious ceilings. Learn more about all of the luxury included in each home.

  10. What Are the Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh?

    Map of Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

    Everybody has a favorite neighborhood regardless of where we call home in Greater Pittsburgh. Some might be partial to black-and-gold crowds on the North Shore while others prefer black-tie events Downtown. And don’t forget the views from Mount Washington, art festivals in Shadyside or sandwiches with fries and coleslaw in the Strip District.

    We asked Pittsburghers to pick their favorite neighborhoods and this infographic shows us where they love around town.


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