Pittsburgh Holiday Shopping, And Beyond – A World of Options

I’m an aficionado of markets, for holiday or otherwise, at home or in foreign countries. Please go visit Peru or another country in South America, soon! Their way of celebrating Christmas and their “shopping” culture may help you identify with the roots of meaningful holidays. The Inca people today, families tracing their roots back to the most powerful cultures of the Americas 100s of years ago, will inspire you.

There are two kinds of holiday shoppers.  Some people like to select gifts from stores, and enjoy the holiday experience.  Others consider holiday shopping a chore, and hate to go out and about during the holidays.  With more and more people using internet options for shopping, the holiday shopping “event” sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.

Well, there’s something for everyone these days.  Ecommerce lets you browse, consider gifts, and have them delivered to your door.  Once you order wrapping and a gift card… mission accomplished.   If you enjoy spending the day shopping to get in the “holiday mood”, there’s no better place to do that than at a Holiday Market.  Many cities have these pop up holiday markets, fashioned after the German “Christkindlmarkts” that offer shopping, and holiday fun that make looking for gifts an experience.


There is a holiday market in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. It’s an annual event, that takes place from the middle of November until the 23rd of December.  When you’re not skating on the ice rink, listening to live holiday music, or visiting with Santa, you can find some unusual gifts.  They have Matryoshka dolls from Russia.  These are available online, of course, or you can hold them in your hand, admire the workmanship, and pick out just the right one to give as a gift.


Are you looking for Celtic gifts?  If you are, you can find an Irish sweater at the market, or buy it online.  You’ll find a better selection of Irish sweaters online, of course, and from a variety of vendors.  But, if you want to feel the weight of the yarn, and see the color more clearly, this is the type of specialty item you’ll find at the holiday market.


If you’re shopping for toys, or presents for kids, there’s no doubt you can find the latest in-demand toy at one of the big ecommerce sites online.  That’s probably your best bet, if that’s what you’re after.  If you’re looking for something unique, hand-crafted, or with an international flair, you may find just what you’re looking for in downtown Pittsburgh.


When you’re shopping on online, there is no limit to the variety of items you’ll find for your holiday gift giving.  It convenient, it’s easy, and there are great deals. But, if you’re looking for European folk art, blown glass, or local, handmade treasures, nothing beats the experience of shopping at a Holiday Market.

Husband Put Terpenes in Christmas Stocking!  What are They?

Well. It could be a great gift, or a really stinky present!  Terpenes are organic compounds that are found in certain plants.  They usually exhibit a strong odor, and can serve several purposes in nature, including driving away parasites and predators from plants that produce them.

What Types of Plants Emit Terpenes?

Most plants that give off a strong fragrance do so through the science of terpenes.  Terpenes are found in lavender, lilac, pine trees, citrus fruits, and hops, to name a few. Look for them in the kitchen in your spice rack.  They’re in rosemary, basil, dill, lemongrass, thyme, and parsley.  That strong smell you take in from black pepper and cloves?  You guessed it, it’s terpenes.  It’s interesting to note that over 120 different terpenes have been identified in Cannabis plants, which can give each variety a different smell or taste when being burned.

How Do Humans Use Terpenes?

Terpenes are found as a component ingredient in many different industries.  They are used in our food, in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and are a major part of biotechnology.  They are used in essential oils.  You find them in certain varieties of wine (think about taking in the bouquet).  Alternative medicine and natural supplements use terpenes as well.  And, of course, the obvious uses of hops and cannabis take full advantage of terpenes for recreation.

Terpenes in Cannabis

In the cannabis industry, there is a lot of study being done on terpenes.  The smell that certain terpenes can cause in some strains of cannabis is varied.  Different growing conditions can result in different potencies of cannabis, and the development and density of differing terpenes.  Factors that affect terpene development include the growing climate, the soil type used, fertilizers that are applied, and age of the plants.


The Study of Terpenes in Cannabis

Because terpenes can influence the effects of cannabis on the brain, it makes sense that different strains are being analyzed in labs to determine the characteristics of certain terpenes, and how they may interact with the THC component to change the feelings that a person experiences when using cannabis as medicine, or for recreational purposes.

How Do Terpenes Influence the THC Effect?

To understand how these interactions work let’s look at a few common terpenes.

Pinene, for example, emits a pine smell.  It can affect your memory and make you more alert.  It may counteract some of the THC effects that you expect to experience.

Myrcene, which has a strong earthy, musky, herbal smell, can make you feel relaxed and sedated.  This may enhance the effect the THC has on you.

Limonene is identified by its citrus smell.  It’s been known to relieve stress and improve mood.  There are many medicinal properties in this terpene, which include the treatment of depression, anti-bacterial properties, and heartburn relief.

Aren’t You Glad You Got Terpenes for Christmas?

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of terpenes, and the role they can play in everyday life, as well as natural healing.





Planning Present Shopping, Finding Deals Is The Easy Part

dealsYou spend a little bit more money on those presents for your family of course. I’d like to, whatever is left over in the budget, split it up evenly between the rest of who else I want a gift for, those people that I want a gift for but they’re not a part of my immediate circle of family. Give them gifts where I put together little things that speak to their personality and our relationship. The next thing that I like to do is make a list of all the people that I want to gift and then, I group them. I group them into like my immediate family and the rest is like my leftover. Sounds so bad. But it’s not like I’m going to buy the a bunch of custom vapes for all my acquaintances in the office.

Then, make a separate list for the people you know what you’re getting for them. It’s whatever. It’s out of your head. You wrote it down. You know that that’s what you’re going to get them. We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about these people who you don’t know what to get but you do want to gift. Let’s say I have two friends that I want to buy for. Take a piece of paper and write the person’s name at the top that you’re thinking about getting a gift for. I like to sit and I like to write just one word so that you’re not like writing all their deepest, darkest secrets out on the page, their likes, their interests, experiences, future goals, anything that you know about them, things to prompt you in your memory.

Once you’re done and you feel like you have enough of a description, look over your list and find similar words, topics, phrases, however you wrote your page down. Look and see if there’s similar things like similar interests, kind of like grouped together and zero in on. Take the top five key phrases for those people. Say, there’s already a list here and then I just like to add like my other friends to the bottom with the five key phrase. I’ll add them or you can make a list in your phone or I like to do it the old school way. Makes me feel more important.Christmas Spending by the Numbers

Going out to do my initial shopping, I can keep an eye out for inexpensive things. I could do a little bit of research if my friends are interested in something that I don’t know too much about like for example, someone is really into home beer brewing and I don’t know that much about it. I don’t personally do it but that’s where I would do my research and see if there was anything that was kind of in my price range that I could pick up and put a part of their little gift package. It’ll just make that part of the gift just that much more special. Okay. We’re ready to start your hunt for things that you can put in their gift bag. I hope that these tips and tricks were helpful to you. Got to be prepared, so you don’t forget.

From Visually.