Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Partying it Up for 8 Years of Blogging

Eight years ago last week, I started blogging. It’s been a wild journey–one that started as just a hobby and turned into a full-time job which supports myself and my children.

I am perpetually surprised by each bend in the road. Perpetually grateful for it all. And moreso this year than ever, ready to celebrate all the good that’s come along with the journey.

Celebrating at Solstice

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Urban Garden Party at the Mattress Factory. This year’s theme? Solstice.

It was crazy fun. We celebrated with great food, music and floral-themed drinks. We welcomed summer in the sun, in the museum itself and down in the basement where we listened to music in “Hell.”

I met Bowie in his full Labyrinth getup, a centaur and a million wood nymphs. It was a magical night, and one that encourages me to encourage you to attend all the Mattress Factory parties. You can check out more images from the event by following on Insta.

Celebrating the Content

Over the past eight years, Femme Frugality has pumped out more than 1,000 posts. For its blogiversary, I wanted to show you guys my top eight faves. They’re not necessarily the most trafficked (though some are,) but they’re the pieces I’ve felt proud of either because I know from reader feedback that they’ve directly impacted lives, or they have inspired meaningful conversation within the personal finance community.

Children, Medicaid & Autism: State-by-State Guide

This guide was something I created out of frustration. Frustration that it didn’t yet exist.

You see, when you have an Autistic child, their needs likely aren’t covered even if you have private insurance. Medicaid coverage is essential.

But Medicaid coverage for disabled children does not exist in all states. This makes where you live a huge factor impacting your financial life.

So I created a guide. Each year, I get into the nitty gritty with representatives from all 50 states and DC to ensure this guide contains the most up-to-date information for American parents of Autistic children. It has been used by both parents and various organizations in different states across the country.

Hope: The Most Valuable Commodity

There’s a lot that goes into overcoming difficult financial circumstances. But above all else, I believe there is one quality that controls all other aspects of our ability to pursue upward mobility: Hope.

Without hope we can struggle to even believe we can achieve. And while belief is hardly all that’s necessary to reach our goals, it is an essential ingredient without which our efforts are in vain.

Self-Uniting Marriage Can Save Brides Money

This is the post I have the most feedback on. Whether that feedback comes from comments or readers, the communication has confirmed that it’s helped people across the country get married according to their own belief systems, which often do not involve clergy in today’s day and age. This methodology has also saved readers money on their weddings.

While this post applied to everyone, after I wrote it a reader notified me that some states, like California, have even more legal intricacies surrounding the concept of self-uniting marriage. As a result, we’ve been able to help people in the state drill down into the exact legal issues Californians face in this arena and how to overcome them.

Defining Success: Thoughts on God & Money

As you’ll glean from the previous favorite post, I really DGAF about how anyone does or doesn’t believe in God.

But I have been known to opine on the subject from time to time. What are the ethical implications of pursuing monetary wealth? Where should it be on our priority list? We explored this and more as we defined success relative to spirituality.

Is Food Stamp Fraud Ruining Our National Budget?

Lol. No.

But that didn’t stop the lively discussion from popping off after this post.

Virginia Beach on a Dime

I’ve told you guys plenty about all my frugal travel hacks!

But one post does stand out, if only because I’m able to track how many people this particular post has helped. I get a ton of readers booking their VA Beach hotel based on this post, and it makes me so happy. Because the hotel is so cheap yet so, so comfortable, clean and right on the beach.

Plus, hot tubs.


The Golden Rule of Budgeting

This was my first ever Rockstar Finance feature back when J$ was still running things. I wrote it in a couple minutes while I was working out of a Starbucks, and was shocked at the reception it received.

It covers a budgeting rule that will help you no matter if you use pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an app to figure out your money.

This is the Golden Rule of Budgeting. It’s crazy simple, but has helped a ton of people do better with their monthly financial goals.

The Feminist Financial Handbook

One of the great privileges of this journey has been the book offers I have received as a result. Last year, I followed through on one of those offers and wrote a tome about finances as experienced at a variety of different intersections of oppression.

It’s called The Feminist Financial Handbook, and you can learn more about what you’ll find inside by reading this post.

Come Party with Me

Sad you missed out on the Solstice party but enjoying this one?

Then come enjoy more with me at The Best of the Burgh party on July 18, 2019!

For its 50th anniversary, Pittsburgh Magazine is hosting its Golden Anniversary Best of the Burgh Party. This Spring, they asked readers to vote for their favorite businesses in the Pittsburgh region, and this event at the casino will be to honor them.

It will also be a chance to wear all your glittery gold, sample some good eats and otherwise enjoy a good time on a Thursday evening.

The event starts at 7p, and admission normally costs $50/person. But in a joint celebration of Femme Frugality’s and Pittsburgh Magazine’s anniversaries, we’re teaming up together to offer you two (2) free tickets!

You can use the widget below to to enter through July 11, 2019 at 11:59p Eastern. Best of luck, and I hope to see you there!

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Kick off Summer at the Urban Garden Party

This post is in partnership with the Mattress Factory.

Two things you should know:

  • This post is awesome for those of you who will be in Pittsburgh on June 21, 2019.
  • The first is admittedly not a frugal event, but it’s one that’s well-worth the expense if it fits comfortably within your budget.

    Here’s how to write a responsible budget.

    The second event, though is FREE!

Kick off Summer at the Mattress Factory

Pittsburgh has so many amazing museums that I don’t have one specific favorite. I have a favorite one to take my kids to when it’s super hot outside and I just want them to have something to do where they’re engaged, in an environment with central AC and I don’t shouldn’t have to chase after them.

I have another favorite for when they need to blow off steam but it’s pouring outside, another for when they need a bit of age-appropriate education over the summer as we attempt to dodge that nasty summer slide and yet another we visit when we’re feeling super yinzery and nostalgic.

Then there’s the Mattress Factory. I love the kids’ programs there. But my favorite way to visit is with other adults. Because seriously—there are events like this one:

Urban Garden Party: Solstice

When: June 21, 2018
Time: 7:30p-11:00p
Get tickets here.

Here are the deets:

“It’s the longest day of the year, and we’re celebrating the sun with an evening of ritualistic partying, featuring food and drink from dozens of the city’s best restaurants and bars. Enter a mystical world courtesy of Event Architect Thommy Conroy, and commune with other-worldly beings on the dance floor, as Beauty Slap brings the funk with their signature brass-infused sound. DJ Samuel Andres will keep the party going as we dance the night away with fairies, druids and centaurs! And if you dare to leave the revelry of the main floor behind, don’t forget our lower level, where Bad Custer will rock out in our magical underground.”

Community Garden Party

Like I said, I love the children’s programming at the Mattress Factory. If you’re looking for something free to do with the kiddos over the solstice weekend, you can check out the Community Garden Party from 1p-5p on June 23, 2019:

“Come celebrate the Solstice at our family-friendly Community Garden Party. Soak in the sun and take part in summer activities for all ages, including bubbles and cyanotypes by the Mattress Factory Education department, flower crowns by Workshop PGH and more! Face Painting by Rikki will be on hand to get you party-ready, DJ Dave Zak will have you out on the dance floor and Roadrunner Hot Dawgs & Catering will have delicious bites available for purchase. This is one sun-sational event you won’t want to miss! Special thanks to our education and community programs supporter, EQT Foundation. “

How are you welcoming in the summer season? Would love to hear about it in the comments!

Murikamification Ticket #Giveaway #Pittsburgh

This post is in partnership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Man in maroon shirt, blue jeans and sneakers positioned upside down between the edges of a fence, balancing on his shoulder. Beneath it reads, "Murikamification A dream-like performance inspired by the work of Haruki Murakami. Pittsburgh May 16-19.

It is with bittersweet excitement that I announce the final Pittsburgh Cultural Trust giveaway for the season! This show is way unique, is part of the Children’s Festival and is something you’re totally not going to want to miss.


This show is named after the famed Japanese author Huraki Murakami (hence Murikamification.) As his novels are completely unique experiences, so is this show.

Step into the daydream that unfolds before your eyes. Using the magical, surrealistic stories of Haruki Murakami as a source of inspiration, Kaiel creates an intensely physical and absurd performance trail. In each new city, the work is adapted to the local context. In each version of ‘Murikamification’, a diverse and curious audience is overwhelmed by surprising scenery in the streets of their own city. Follow the action on this moving theater piece throughout Pittsburgh’s own Cultural District.

Content Information: Best for ages 7+. This show is non-traditional and takes place throughout the Cultural Distict. Audiences will be provided with a meeting point prior to the show day and time. Artists will lead the audience on a theatrical adventure filled with comedy, acting, improv, acrobatics, dance, physical theater and music. Performances occur rain or shine. No late seating.

The show will be up and running during the Children’s Festival at the following dates/times:

  • Thursday, May 16th 10:30a
  • Friday, May 17th 11:30a
  • Friday, May 17th 3:45p
  • Saturday, May 18th 11:15a
  • Saturday, May 18th 1:15p
  • Sunday, May 19th 10:30p
  • Sunday, May 19th 2:30p

Ticket Giveaway!

To celebrate this last show of the season, Femme Frugality has partnered with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to bring you four (4) free tickets to a showing of your choice! Use the widget below to enter.

Best of luck, and don’t forget that we have a giveaway going on for Emily Brown and the Thing, too! Enter before both close at 11:59p on May 6th, 2019!


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Emily Brown & The Thing: #Pittsburgh Ticket #Giveaway

This post is in partnership with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Cartoon of a little girl looking out the window at the stars. Title printed on the book "Emilay Brown and the Thing" Text beneath reads "Live! Emily Brown & the Thing Pittsburgh May 16-19, 2019 Pittsburgh Cultural Trust"

Can  you believe it?

We’re drawing near to the close of this season’s children’s theater series put on by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. I know our family has had an amazing time exploring the upside-down world of Leo, the messages of acceptance and friendship in Your Alien, and the mad talent that was on display at The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

But do not worry–the season isn’t over yet! We’ve still got one more show for the age 3+ crowd in the Citizens Bank Children’s Theater Series and then another in for families with kids ages 7+ in the EQT Bridge Theater Series.

Today’s ticket giveaway is for the 3+ crowd.

Emily Brown and the Thing

Emily Brown and the Thing
Emily Brown and the Thing is a beloved children’s book. If you really want to get the kiddos excited for the show, you can get a copy of the book to introduce to your home library prior to attending.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know about the show, including a preview from Tall Stories, the company who will be performing in Pittsburgh on May 16-19, 2019 at the August Wilson Center. View available seating here.

Something monstrous is keeping Emily Brown awake…

One evening, Emily Brown and her old grey rabbit Stanley hear a Thing crying outside their window. He just can’t get to sleep. Emily Brown and Stanley set off on incredible adventures to the Dark and Scary Wood, the Whirling Wastes and beyond, to find the Thing’s cuddly, his bedtime milk and his medicine… But nothing seems to help him settle. What’s really troubling the Thing–and will anyone ever get to sleep? Find out in this magical, musical show based on the much-loved book by Cressida Cowell (writer of ‘How to Train your Dragon’) and Neal Layton.

Content Information: Best for ages 3+ This show features acting, puppetry, music, and movement. The theater will be darkened for the performance with light and movement occurring on stage.

Ticket Giveaway!

I’m making this one a little longer for you guys as it’s the last one for this age group (though be sure to check back next week for the 7+ age bracket!) This one will be running through May 6, 2019, so be sure to use the extra time to rack up extra entries!

The prize, by the way, is four (4) tickets to any one of the available showings of Emily Brown and the Thing with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust between May 16 and May 19, 2019. You’ll get to pick which one.

Best of luck! Tell your friends!

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#Win Tickets to Rosie Revere, Engineer in #Pittsburgh

Classroom with students and a teacher sitting for instruction on a stage. Below that is a green spaceship. Below the spaceship it reads "March 31-April 7 Pittsburgh Cultural Trust"

What’s this?

Another ticket giveaway from Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s family-friendly theater series?

Why, yes. Yes, it is. There’s so much good theater coming up right around the corner that we actually have not one, but TWO live giveaways for some amazing shows. The first is Leo–a mind-bending performance that plays with gravity and illusion. Read more about the show or enter to win tickets to Leo here.

The second is Rosie Revere, Engineer.

Swoon, my feminist heart.

Rosie Revere, Engineer.

Here’s what you need to know about the show, which is coming to various locations for a total of nine performances throughout the Pittsburgh region between March 31 and April 7, 2019:

Ms. Greer’s classroom includes three inquisitive out-of-the-box thinkers. Rosie Revere has big dreams, Iggy Peck has a relentless passion for architecture, and Ada Twist’s curiosity can drive her teacher crazy. A fun new musical based on the books Rosie Revere, Engineer, Iggy Peck, Architect and Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty which spotlights the STEM curriculum (focusing on science, technology, engineering and math).

Content Information: This event is designated for younger audiences and is recommended for children and adults ages 4+. This show features acting, movement, music, singing, and comedy. The theater is darkened during the performance with light and movement occurring on stage.

Win tickets here!

If you know  you want to see the show and don’t want to leave your attendance to chance, you can purchase tickets here. They start at just $12.

However, Femme Frugality is hosting a ticket giveaway for this show in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust! You can use the widget below to enter for you chance to win a package of four (4) tickets to see Rosie Revere, Engineer when it comes to Allegheny county.

The giveaway will be open through March 25th, 2019. Best of luck to all!

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Stage performance of a classroom full of children paying apt attention to a teacher outside of the shot.