Tag Archives: sole for the soul

Game On, 2015.

29 Dec

Well, folks.  I warned you to follow me on Instagram – and you still should, duh! (@MichelleSFTS)

I guess when the universe decides you need to take a break, then you do what the universe wants.  I’m feeling kinda like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire when he got shipped from West P to Cali to be honest.  Good decision on both of our parts, the Fresh Prince and I.  I’m not going to get into too many details because….well….it’s none of yo’ business really but my life is VERY different than it was back in October.  More details may follow if I feel the need to share them, but the most relevant changes to this space include:  I’ve moved to another part of the city and I’m back to working in an office.

For me, these changes have posed many new obstacles.  I mean, who can make time for anything really – it’s not like Trivia Crack is going to play itself.  But, I digress…First, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to stay on track with clean eating while working in my new office!  Between all the wonderful treats they bring in for us at work and the holidays, I’m ashamed to admit that I think I’ve gained 10 15 lbs.  If I don’t meal prep responsibly, I find myself eating Chipotle, Panera, or Chic-fil-a for lunch.  NOT good.  Second, I’m struggling to settle into a fitness routine.  This one is sad because there really isn’t any reason why.  I mean, yes I have a slight commute now but my hours allow for plenty of time for fitness.  Laziness and the holiday chaos are really the only things I can attribute to my suddenly sedentary lifestyle.

But, you all know I love a challenge and I’m goal-oriented, so….

  • I joined a gym near my house.
  • I’m not only registered for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May, but I took it upon myself to register for ANOTHER half in September.
  • I’m made a base-building plan for the month of January.
  • I’m in the process of buying new running shoes (mine aren’t quite maxed out on the mileage and I’m still not sure which ones I want – open to suggestions though!)
  • I have a few new gym buddies.
  • I realistically meal plan and prep, usually creating around 3-4 healthy options for the week.  By eating leftovers for lunch, I don’t leave myself room for temptation.

Honestly, the only true solution is motivation, hard work, and self control.  We all know it.  But having a good plan makes it a hell of a lot easier, amiright??

So, what can you expect from SOLE For The Soul in 2015?

You can absolutely expect more healthy recipes being shared, along with tons of complaining about running!  Jk.  About the complaining, kind of.  Not really – I definitely will be complaining because half marathon training is probably way more difficult than I can even imagine right now!  Eeek!  I can’t wait!!  You can also expect tons of my usual antics.

Game on, 2015.

Hey You April Fools: Guest Blogger Takeover!!

1 Apr

Thanks for stopping by!  Today is sadly not the day that people say – “April Fool’s!!  You’re not really 30!!!”  Because I am.  As of yesterday.  Womp womp.  Anyway, instead of hearing me complain about how old I am you’re in luck!  SFTS has linked up with a ton of other local Pittsburgh Bloggers for an April Fool’s Day Switcherooski (just go with it).   Today’s post comes from DeAnna and Tony of D&T in the burgh, two local foodies who love to write about restaurants in the area. If you’d like to a mini-tour of a local green building, head over to Red Penn Mama and check it out.  🙂  Happy April Fool’s Day!!


Before we get into this blog post, we must issue an apology. A write-up of Piccolo Forno is way overdue!




Before the Lawrenceville dining scene was the “power house” it is now, Picollo Forno was holding down Butler St with pride. Long before Cure, Tender, Tamari, Industry and Franktuary, Domenic Branduzzi was making amazing wood-fired pizzas, homemade pasta, and paninis for the masses. Piccolo Forno got its start back in 1989 in the Strip District next to La Prima Espresso, Dom’s Parents were the original proprietors (Antonio & Carla), however Dom opened the Lawrenceville location in 2005. He still operates under the original creed of his Father “Fare Tutto con Amore” or “Make everything with love”. Dine here once and you will understand that.


I love the feel of the dining room, exposed brick walls, marble tabletops, black and white photos of Italy, open kitchen, and the absolutely gorgeous wood-fired oven. It’s open without being loud; it is intimate without feeling stuffy. Our server tonight was Maria and she was wonderful, she was there when we needed her but not hovering around. She’s good Dom, def a keeper. Along with Cenacolo, this is our favorite BYOB in the city, so don’t forget to bring your favorite bottle or in our case bottles.


After we cracked open our first bottle, we decided how we wanted to conquer the menu. For our apps we went with the Crostini di Fegato- chicken liver mousse on toast and the Polpete Toscane- baked pork/beef meatballs with fresh green herb sauce. Both apps were knockouts, D preferred the Crostini and I preferred the Polpete, but we devoured both. The mousse was creamy, served on a perfect crostini with capers and sweet onion jam. The Polpete were dense but not heavy with a crisp exterior and that fresh herb sauce would be delicious on anything!

If you are going to Piccolo Forno for a nice couples night out we suggest sharing a pizza and a pasta for your entrees. Tonight we went with the Cavoletti e Taleggio pizza, brussel sprouts and pancetta with Burrata and Taleggio cheeses. D and I have had the pleasure of eating pizza in Rome and Tuscany, Dom’s pizza is just as amazing. In fact just tonight alone we heard 3 different tables say “This is just like what we had in Italy”. The crust is crisp without being crunchy and has just the right amount of chew to it. You can never go wrong with brussel sprouts and pancetta, so putting them on a pizza just seems like a natural fit.

We were trying to decide which pasta to share but then Maria told us the special, Cocoa rotini, with a beef heart Bolognese. Once we heard that, the choice was made. It was fantastic, the cocoa was not overly sweet, it has a more earthy flavor and the Bolognese was great, the beef heart was not intense but there was that faint ‘minerally’ taste you get from eating organ meats. Let me say that I love (even more than usual) that my wife was all about ordering the chicken liver mousse and beef heart Bolognese.




We had to make sure to leave room for dessert so we didn’t polish off our entrees (but they will make some amazing leftovers). Now, I usually hear Tiramisu and just automatically order it, however another dessert caught my eye. I ordered the Chocolate Tartufo (google it) and D ordered the Dream Bomba (similar to Tartufo). My dessert was chocolate gelato with zabaglione cream center covered in cocoa powder and chopped hazelnuts, it was like a pimped out nutella! D’s Bomba had peanut butter gelato with a caramel center covered in a milk chocolate shell and then drizzled with chocolate and peanut butter sauce. Both desserts were stellar, but I say mine was the winner (sorry D). HA! Along with our desserts, Maria made us great cappuccinos.

If you want some real deal Italian food but do not want to endure the 10hr flight, make the drive to Larry-ville. It is as close as you can get to authentic cuisine in this area. So remember- bring some wine, order pasta and pizza, and order dessert and coffee, and above all else relax and enjoy.

Piccolo Forno

Also on Facebook


3801 Butler St
Pgh, PA 15201

Reservations only for parties of 5+

Mon-Sun: Closed
Tues-Thurs: 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm


If you’d like to read some of the other posts from the Blogger Event, click on any of the participants below:

Sean’s Ramblings

Small Town Dad

Sole for the Soul


The Firecracker Blog

The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog

The Steel Trap

West of Mars

Ya Jagoff

Yinz R Readin


Yum Yum PGH

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