A couple of shout-outs

A number of blogs I read include posts about must-haves, recommendations, and favorite things. Unfortunately, there are very few material things that I absolutely love, and on top of that I have almost no brand loyalty, save for Heinz ketchup because I am a Pittsburgher (I refuse to buy another ketchup for fear I would like that more). I am also a big fan of Kohl's, having shopped there regularly since 1999, but I think the quality has gone slightly downhill. Not so far down that I will stop shopping there, mind you; I hate the mall and love that I can buy most of what I need for myself, my family, and gift-giving in general at Kohl's.

But this post is not about those large companies, but rather about two friends who have put their different talents to business. Let me tell you a little about them.

A former coworker started HappyJack Bakery just last month. Lynnette bakes out of her house and sells her goodies at the Whitehall Farmer's Market at Caste Village in the South Hills on Mondays from 3 to 7. I have eaten her baked goods many, many times. In fact, if I had to pick one of the most difficult things about being laid off, it would be no longer being able to partake in all that yummy goodness. She makes the best apple pies and really yummy cookies (she is a great cook too, but that is not what her venture is about). I don't think I have tried a lot of her offerings (check out the website for photos and descriptions), but finally this coming Monday, if all goes well, I plan to make the trek out that way and then suffer thy consequences (tighter clothing, which considering the way I dress is probably not a bad thing anyway). Squish Monsters, here I come! I highly recommend you stop by if you are in the area any Monday through the end of September (I think).

The other person I have to give a shout-out to is Diana Duda, who is to painting what Lynnette is to baking. I worked with Diane's husband at my last job, and I had not realized how talented she was until the last year or so. (I am sure Mike talked about it, but I am a pretty bad listener.) Diane started off painting various things (what I consider "cute" people and animals, though there is probably an artistic term for it) and selling those originals online. She blogs about her work here. At some point, these creations ended up as/on notecards, cards, stamps, mugs, magnets, etc. You can check them out here. Diane recently had her paintings turned into a collection of small canvases, figurines and shadow boxes for DEMDACO. You can find that gift collection in various stores, though not around here (yet). So in the meantime, I ordered the cutest girl and dog figurine for Jordan's birthday here.

So if you are hungry for sweets and live in the Burgh, visit HappyJack at Caste Village on Mondays. And if you are looking for something nice to have around the house or to give as a gift, check out Diane's art at one of the above links.

It is nice to be able to recommend some things (and not just complain about things I don't like). Yeah, talented friends!


Diane Duda said…
Thanks,Faith! I really appreciate the plug. :)
And I didn't know about the Happy Jack website so thanks for sharing that too. It does look soooo tempting.

Well, off to the lake!
Lynnette said…
Yeah, Facie, thanks so much for the shout-out! I really appreciate it. And as a customer of Diane's, I can attest to the adorableness of her artwork! She custom-made me a Mother's Day gift, per specifications from my husband. And I've also purchased two princess pictures for my daughter's bedroom. I just love her style! And kudos to Diane for the Demdaco deal! That's fantastic!

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