fc 1

Million Dollar Party Girl

Linda Gloeckner Cahill may not be a rock star, but with big bonuses, exotic trips, and gobs of expensive jewelry, her company treats her like one. Last July, on stage in front of 2600 applauding… more


Smart Man among Wise Women

It takes a brave soul to be the token male in a room of 160 chatting, shopping women; it is a smart one who recognizes the opportunity.  Author Eric Magliocca is both, as evidenced by… more


The Art of Making it (Look) Easy

Our Strong for the Holidays event wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of many wise women but one stands out for her grace under pressure. The calm in event planning storms, Courtney Kane… more


Bookish and Brilliant: WW’s Literary Table

The buzz around the author’s table during Strong for the Holidays was great… How did you get started writing? What’s your next project? How do you find time to write? Wise Women featured… more


A Wise Woman for Stressed Teens

If you have college bound teens, or know someone who does, you are probably familiar with the near hysteria created by preparing for the infamous SAT and ACT admission tests. Manjri Gupta has … more

nettleship_paula_01 rs

Paula Nettleship, Bead Artist

Eight years ago, stay at home mom Paula Nettleship got tired of waiting for her sister to make promised jewelry from beads Paula had specially purchased. She decided to try it herself, and fell in… more

Portrait Of Woman With Sad And Happy Face

Surviving and Thriving – Thanks to a Little Help

If you didn’t know Maggie,* you would have no idea that she was a survivor of domestic violence. She wears no bruises, no physical scars. In fact, she radiates a self-confidence and warmth that are… more

fc 1

Shock and the Legacy of Love

That week in February 2002 started mundanely enough at the home of Jackie and Rafael Quimpo: a minor spat diffused by his great sense of humor on Saturday; approved for their first mortgage on Monday;… more

fc 1

Minh’s Journey: From Boat to Boss

It’s over 8,300 miles from Vinh Long, Vietnam to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania if you could take a direct flight… for Minh Knight the journey was much longer. When she stepped onto a nineteen meter boat with… more

fc 1

Jennifer Dinovitz, November Artist

When you are a sophomore in high school and your mentally ill mother brings home “a raging schizophrenic” who threatens you bodily harm, it is probably the best of bad choices to move out on… more

long fc 1

Universe Knocking? Upside to a Concussion

It was the dizziness, nausea, blurry vision and complete inability to focus at school that sent us to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with “severe traumatic brain injury.” Sounds much worse more

tmf fc 3jpg

Shopping, Speakers, Gifts and More

Thanks to our many great sponsors, Wise Women’s Strong for the Holidays Event is ready to go! Announcing our Grand Prize Gift Raffle:  A Free Night in a Deluxe Suite at the Double Tree Downtown… more


Two Friends, A Trail and Duct Tape

If you were planning a five day trip to Washington D. C. what would you pack? Maybe those adorable peep-toe pumps and matching handbag, or perhaps the little black dress that everyone says makes you… more


Party Leaders

“I am not a leader; I am a follower,” claims Janice (Jan) Senneway of Upper St Clair. The comment draws chortles from Laura Jones and Joye Karidis, also of USC. Their friend Jan is kind,… more

fc 2

Like Heaven on Earth

Softly lit chandeliers hang from the high ceiling. The walls are dark…rich purple wraps around the room and meets seamlessly with a cozy blue and green. I immediately notice more

fc 3

Fran Marze, Water Colors

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it begins with the creative eye of the artist. This month’s banner artist is Fran Marze. Marze is equally comfortable using bold or subtle color… more

fc 1

The Watchmaker’s Daughter

Editor’s note:  This is the first in a new book review series; we plan to focus on female writers, often with ties to the Pittsburgh area. We chose to start with The Watchmaker’s Daughter because… more

Sanna square fc

Hypnosis Sanna Style…

Hypnotherapist Sanna Carapellotti, MS, CHt, of Mt Lebanon won’t swing a watch in your face and make you quack like a duck. You won’t find her telling a hundred people in a conference room they… more


Angelina is Not Alone

News of Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and a hysterectomy after testing positive for the BRCA 1 gene mutation that can cause breast cancer and ovarian cancer spread like… more

fc 1 bright

17 Trucks and a Blonde

Somewhere around their late 50’s most couples start thinking of retirement. Not so Dottie Coll and her husband Ray – they thought about starting a new venture.  After researching several opportunities, they decided in 2005… more

FC 1 br

Not Tracking Years

Did you ever meet someone whose looks and energy level belied their  age? It’s inspiring and maybe a little intimidating. Meet Anastasia (Stacie) Metrose and Dottie Delancey. Stacie is 80 years young. She is Greek… more

fc 1


I’m up late working on this article…and that’s exactly why I was asked to write this article. I’m a freelance writer and small business owner, but I’m also a work-at-home-mom, or WAHM, and that means… more

love in action

With Open Arms …

Baby D is sleeping peacefully in his carrier. I marvel at his angelic face and tiny fingers as I watch his little chest rise and fall. He is very fair, much like my son James… more

fc 5

I Love You, Gub

To receive one of her handmade cards is to be given a small work of art. People often frame them for display.Using striking combinations of color and layers of varying textures, Veronica Schmerling, this month’s… more

fc 1

Her Own Strong Stride

Many a mom would be disturbed if their daughter dropped out of college, fearful for their child’s future. But not all dropout daughters have vision like Lisa Watson, and not all moms are as supportive… more

tiny pine cone

Tiny Perfect

It is an odd thing to stick on a bulletin board, a tiny, baby pine cone.  It came through the laundry one day, and while pulling it out of the dryer I was struck by… more

fc 2

Mother, Friend

I am not angry with God because Mom died. I never felt anger even on that horrible day. But now, two years later, I feel it. I am angry that two @#$%&!! years have passed… more

fc 1

Aim High

“A challenge that women face is often that as a young person they have chosen not to aim high and share responsibility. I believe we need to start younger with women and help them to envision a life where they are totally responsible for their choices, their income, and their decisions.” more

fc 2

Pretty in Pink….or Green

Last year, a young couple I know threw a party to announce the sex of their unborn child. As everyone gathered around the table, they cut a beautifully decorated gender neutral cake to reveal a… more

fc 2

The Next STEM Gen

Public schools in Western Pennsylvania are among the best in the country, and they strive to provide equal opportunity for achievement. I spoke with mothers and their daughters from the South Hills to get their… more


Nothing to Wine About

The world of wine has traditionally been dominated by men.  The organization “Women for WineSense” was founded by some of the female greats of the wine industry to change that persception.  While men are welcome,… more

fc 1

Whose What?! is That?!

Most of us have made a witty quip or observation and thought “that would make a great title for a book!”  Far fewer of us make the book happen, which is why Marylu Zuk of… more


Traycee Bosle, Illustrator

When Marylu Zuk  was looking for an illustrator to bring “Whose A$$ is That” to life, she knew she wanted someone with a special ability to walk the line between beauty and humor. After a… more

fc 2

Starting Over: Career 2.0

Life is a series of choices. Some choices we get to make; others are made for us by circumstance. As women, we must often choose between our careers and our families. It’s a juggling act… more

fc 1

Into the Unknown

A Survivor’s Tale, by   She arose as she hoped she would each day. She walked to the edge, peered over, looked into the abyss and made the decision once again. Arms up, knees bent,… more

fc 2

Vintage Reborn

One push of the door and I am taken to another world, leaving the cold gray February morning behind me. The first thing I notice is the arrangement of furniture into cozy vignettes more reminiscent… more

fc 1.

Being Part of the Change

The concept of renewal and rebirth is not just relevant to individuals; it is also vital for communities and businesses. Anyone traversing Route 51 from Mt Oliver to Baldwin in Pittsburgh’s South Hills would notice… more

fc 1.png

BadAss Rebirth ??

Yes, we’ve got her on video! See it below! When I was in college, I had the great good fortune to be a member of the Notre Dame Folk Choir. We sang a richly mixed… more

VoilaBanner4 rs

Susan Wagner, Voila Interior Style

Define “artist” … It’s not clear cut.  For this issue of Wise Women we are defining it as someone who makes a visual creation that inspires thought and emotion, and makes one look at something,… more


Global Girl: Not Your Average Job

Not many people have two regular dentists, fewer have one in Pittsburgh and one in Thailand. Very clean, internationally pampered teeth is one of the unusual benefits Kelly Sobczak of Bridgeville gets from the self-created… more


Italy Lives On

INCLUDES VIDEO!!! I’m standing in the garage of Rosemary (Rose) Chiodo DiMarco… It’s Sopersatta Sunday, and Rose’s father Pete will be overseeing the making of the traditional Italian sausage… more


Not About the Men

INCLUDES VIDEO!!! “It is usually an uncomfortable giggle,” laughs Betsy Guimond, a nursing school professor/wife/hockey mom/volunteer parish nurse…Pittsburgh is more conservative more

fc 1

Getting Off the Couch

Have you ever met someone who seemed to radiate confidence, vitality, and serenity all at once? You know the old cliché…“comfortable in her own skin.”  Such a person exists. She is Kathy Long the program… more

fc 1

Local Writer, National Story

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different time? Wouldn’t it be fun to experience the romance and excitement of a by-gone era? But, what about the everyday details… more

10 rs

Audra Azoury: Wearable Art

Audra Azoury is a South Hills freelance graphic designer, sculptor, and jewelry maker.  She is fiercely proud of Pittsburgh and loves finding cool ways to represent it artistically.  Her Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet with its many… more

Sandra Moore

Sandra Moore was one of two collaborating artists we featured for our November issue.  We thought a slice of her amazing photograph “Blue Mountain” would be a great way to start the New Year.  Read… more

fc 1

Right Place, Right Time

Sometimes life puts you exactly where you need to be at precisely the moment you are most needed. For Annie Hahn and Trisha Combs the where and when was San Pedro Sula, Honduras in September 2012. more

fc 2

Young Peace on Earth

“We must become the change …” After learning in a sophomore world history class about Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful teachings that revolutionized independence movements for ever more, I was profoundly impacted … more

fc 2

Finding the Balance

Mera Kutrovac, a smart and highly ambitious young attorney from the South Hills, received a surprising warning when she applied for a position at the regional law firm Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. “If family is… more

fc 1

Peace in Your Closet

Can decluttering your home bring about Peace on Earth? When I teach classes in the community on how to simplify the holiday season, I often find myself wondering if the audience will actually try to… more

fc 1

An Ancient Calm

Many artists get into a right-brain induced peace while practicing their craft. Diane Landis Hoenig of Upper St Clair takes it to a whole new level. Diane “writes” – not paints – Greek icons… more

fc 1

Thanks: You Rock!

Editor’s Note:  Connecting dynamic local women for mutual inspiration and fun has been a goal since Wise Women started in April 2012.  When we decided is was time to plan our first event, I had… more

gena mazza hs

Grievance or Miracle: Your Choice

It was a weekend of personal growth that I will never forget. After enduring an emotionally devastating couple of years with as much poise, grace and sanity as I could muster, a dear friend generously… more

fc 1

A Life of Giving

Kim Epp Frenette and I were at the Bethel Park Public Library to talk about Wise Women. A few minutes before we were scheduled to start, a petite dynamo walked through the door, and added… more

fc 2

Addiction in the Family

I usually give a brief description of the person I am interviewing, but not this time. I am speaking with Nancy, the founder of the local chapter of NARATEEN here in the South Hills. NARATEEN… more


Holding the Line

Tamera Fleat is a vivacious blond with a gift for making people feel at ease. Her smile and easy-going manner help Fleat diffuse difficult situations on a daily basis. She is a social worker for… more

fc 2

Artistic Frame of Mind

In keeping with our November theme, Wise Women wanted to know if a particular “state of mind” applied to artistic endeavors.  We turned to Lugene Bruno, one of our two Banner Artists this month, to… more

Juxtaposition by Lugene Bruno and Sandra Moore

Lugene Bruno and Sandra Moore

Lugene Bruno and Sandra Moore are not only unique artists in their own right but they are women who have realized the power of joint creativity. After meeting in 2009, they collaborated to produce Juxtaposition,… more

spiderman fc 2

Free from Time and Space

Erin Carey may not have “run away” to join the circus, but there is no question about her dedication to its craft.  As an aerial artist Erin’s work is dangerous, dramatic and beautiful, and when… more

valerie fc 2

Creative Union

“I’ve been around many weddings,” Valerie Fulmer Kaufman says with a laugh. “I’ve been in nine weddings. I’m the fifth wedding of my siblings, and as a hair stylist at Geno Levi’s, I’ve done my… more


Following the Muse

“Art is an act of faith.” – Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way There is nothing like the magic of a beautiful painting that comes off your brush, a song that rolls out of your soul… more


DIY and Boobapaloozas

What do you do after a mastectomy, four rounds of chemotherapy, twelve additional weeks of chemo, 35 rounds of radiation, and reconstructive surgery? If you are Heather Hillier of Upper St. Clair, you have a… more

fc 1

P’burgh Wrapped & Tied

Anyone who has ever received a gift basket from Baskets of Pittsburgh will tell you that it’s pretty awesome. Most people would be content with one basket, but Kerri Scripko decided to buy them all.… more

canvas rs

Silvi Labovitz,Sower of Young Artists

Silvi Schuller Labovitz is our Banner Artist for October not just because she is a talented artist in her own right, but because she is in the business of growing young artists.  As the owner… more


Life Saving Intuition; a Mom’s Story

By definition, intuition is a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.  Now, by no means do I consider myself an expert in this field.  However, recently I… more

fc 2

Oh, For the Love of Science!

When her 8th Grade teacher laughed aloud at Carolyn Berdanier’s ambition to be a scientist, it didn’t faze her. A lot of people in Carolyn Berdanier’s life told her she couldn’t, or shouldn’t, do what… more


To Live or Die by the Comma

We’re all nerds at something, but we can’t be nerds at everything. So, we need each other. And, I believe that we should help each other. I have been a nerd about grammar for, well,… more


Smart Girls Just Know

Career paths are sometimes just paths. They meander here and there often changing course before finding their final destination. This is true for Lynn Belliotti who serves as the secretary/treasurer, office manager, and marketing manager… more


Paying Success Forward

By any definition Dr. Judy Bulazo is a “smart chick”.  Graduating 5th in her class from what is now Oakland Catholic, she briefly studied engineering before realizing teaching was her true calling.  When a degree… more

can complete rs

Lizzy Nolin, Design Student

It took my contact at the Bethel Park School District less than a second to come up with the name of Lizzy Nolin when I inquired if she knew any smart, talented, local young artists.… more


Empowering Girls with Granny’s Technology

Self-consciousness, excitement or apprehension, if you are female, you probably remember your feelings at the milestone of first menses. One thing you probably didn’t worry about was missing a week of school each month because… more


Compassion by Design

The satchel itself was carefully stitched and adorned with a beautiful trim… handmade by someone who cared. I would use some item from that bag everyday for the next year. I still keep… more


Road Trip!

Nothing says ‘independence’ and ‘summer’ like a road trip. Some let wind whip through their hair while channeling Thelma and Louise in a classic convertible. Others riff on Easy Rider…. more


Independent Mindset

We are a country that celebrates freedom and independence, yet many of us give up the power and ability to choose what we want from life every day.  As a life-balance and business coach, I… more


An Accessible World

We all know someone with a disability. It may be the result of aging, disease, or injury. In my case, I have a son with a progressive muscle disease and a mother celebrating her 80th… more

Gail on ice

Gail Witenske

Gail Witenske is not an “artist” in the usual sense of the word.  She has not devoted her life to the pursuit of expression in any one media like painting or photography. You could say,… more

Gwyn Cready fc

Passion Between the Pages

Gwyn Cready never expected to be an award-winning* romance novelist and creator of dashing historical heroes wooing clever modern heroines.  In fact, she had never even read a romance novel until late 1996 when a… more


Making Lemonade, Not Excuses

In September of 1982 Carolyn Sigel (nee Belany) was an active 22 year old from Port Vue with a husband of 14 months, a pre-med degree under her belt, and an open future in front… more

Terry's Bathing Suit fc

Exposed! (OMG it’s bathing suit season…)

Like most women, my life has a rhythm to it that lets me accomplish a myriad of things without much thought. Each day has its own routine, and each month, each season, its own list… more

fc 2

A Scentsational Lady

“If it smells, I make it! I’m a ‘smelly’ person!” That’s the motto of Debbie Romano the owner of Divine Scentsations in Castle Shannon. Romano, a tall woman in her early 60’s, greets me with… more

Tap at UDC

Never be Bored Again

When my editor, Kim Epp Frenette, called to discuss the June edition of Wise Women, she wasn’t quite sure what our theme should be. As we talked, she uttered the words “banish boredom.” Instantly, we… more


Jayne Poling, Acrylic Portraits

Jayne Poling always knew she would be an artist.  She began drawing and painting at a very young age and went on to get a degree in Visual Arts and Communication. She has worked in… more

Fit and focused...

Girl Just Wants to Have Fun

Nancy Griffin is an exercise instructor who hates to exercise, which makes her, in fact, an excellent exercise instructor. Griffin has a singular outlook on fitness – it should be fun. That is great for… more

rollerblading feature crop

When the Face Hits the Road: Life Lessons

What happens when a talented young woman plants her face into asphalt? More life lessons and just one more way to stand out from the crowd in a competitive world…. more

legs on trail

The Trail Back to a Better Life

I met Gwyneth Welling 12 years ago when my daughter was in preschool. We lost touch when school ended but there was something about Gwyneth I never forgot more

rex by barn feature crop

Best Eggs Ever…Laid in Suburbia

Hanging out with Nancy Rex is like being in a parallel universe/time warp episode of Star Trek. Everything seems normal – almost – but something is just a little bit off… more

Kathleen Hartman

Kathleen Hartman

Kathleen Hartman of Peters Township studied fashion and interior design in college but her true love is painting.  Working in pastel, watercolor and oil, Hartman has exhibited extensively on the local scene.  She has also… more

50s feature crop

The Value of Unpaid Labor

It’s tax time. Everyone is busy sorting through receipts, itemizing deductions and preparing to pay income taxes. It’s a time when we seem to place a monetary value on everything we’ve done throughout the year.… more

sam & tiff 2011 triathlon feature crop

Three Reasons to Give

A Mom Will Do Anything It would be hard to find a more compelling reason to fund-raise than that of Peter’s Township resident Tiffany Underwood. “I had a choice to either sit by and watch… more

Chrissy2 freature crop

PTA Mom Reaches Out

Chrissy Sileo laughs when she explains how she became president of the PTA at her local school.  “I am a ‘yes’ person and everyone knows it. I get suckered in very easily.” Despite her joking… more

Aging hands

A Daughter’s Take on Aging Parents

Growing old is not for cowards. It starts slowly, with the occasional grey hair and a cute pair of bifocals. As the years fly by, the changes accelerate – hairs start sprouting in the strangest… more

Gail3 fc2

Meet a Civic Powerhouse.

How many children can say their father rewrote the dictionary for them? Gail Neustadt from Collier Township can; she credits it with shaping her life. Neustadt was born in the Cleveland area. Her mother was… more

revamp fc

Lucy McClure, Jewelry

Lucy McClure, a speech therapist from Scott Township, had time on her hands the summer of 2010.  She took a jewelry making class at Jo-Ann Fabrics and discovered a knack for reworking vintage items found… more

photo2 feature crop

Hanging with Darieth Chisolm

Inspiration to do something can come from anywhere. For Darieth Chisolm it came from spiral scroll work on a wrought iron banister in her Jefferson Hills home. After contemplating for months if and how she should start an aerial yoga business in Pittsburgh… more


Health in the Family …From Farm to Table

Erin Hart is passionate about many issues… family, health, education, and local business. Hart has spent most of her adult life educating people about health, wellness, and preventative care. The knowledge she has attained proved… more


Securing the Freedom of Celia Baker

“I hope to see it one day as just one more experience that makes me who I am, with no power over me,” says Celia Baker*. Celia is on her way but not quite yet there. Her past reality is pretty extreme so we have altered identifying details… more


Life, Through the Eyes of Cynthia Stanchak

She is many things to many people…a wife, mother, friend, and confidante. She is also an award winning artist who helped create the mixed media movement which uses photography and painting to create a new… more


Not Just a Man’s World; The Art of Being Strong

First looks can be deceiving. Barb Moore of Mt. Lebanon is slender, doe-eyed, and soft-spoken, but she is a local powerhouse known for supporting women. Moore’s transformation into this powerhouse has been a gradual process… more


Dance Moms: The Local Scoop

Leslie Ackerman is a woman being watched, and she knows some people may not like what they see. Leslie, a resident of  Upper St Clair, is participating in one of the most “love to hate… more


A Recipe for Success

Who hasn’t toyed with the idea of opening their own business? Being your own boss, setting your own hours, and doing something you are passionate…. it is tempting.  Usually, reality sets in when we hit… more


Zumba Shake Up

Upper St. Clair’s Debbie Colditz has always been a woman on the move. After studying dance for 17 years, Colditz taught dance classes for a time, and even taught Jazzercise. Interested in fitness, she claims… more


Let’s Talk About Sex…Kind Of

In honor of the Month of Love (okay maybe not, but it does include Valentine’s Day) we thought we would talk to a woman who spends her time dealing with the details of love –… more


Reading, Eating and Wanderlust

I have always suffered from a severe case of Wanderlust. I think I inherited it from my Uncle Valentine. I remember many excursions as a child to see him off on ships and planes to… more


Patricia Schreiber, Quilt Artist

Patricia Schreiber of Upper St Clair has long had a love of quilting.  It is a big time passion for her, one for which she has won many awards.  Lucky is the person who can… more

leanne fc

Shaking Things Up . . . Quietly!

Social media has not been a close friend of mine. In fact, I tend to avoid her, allowing interns or even my own kids at times to update my status! Well, my rejection of this… more

wonder women feature crop

Wonder Woman Needs Super Foods

She could fly, transform, jump to the top of a building, reflect bullets with her bracelets, and send her tiara flying to stop evil-doers in their tracks – she was truly a Wonder Woman. In… more

Wise Women in Review: 2011

For January we thought it would be fun to check back with women from our 2011 stories.  Here are some updates and a chance to revisit – or discover – some inspiring wise women. Growth… more

2011 Banner Artists

One of the features we are most proud of at Wise Women is our monthly banner artist.  So many talented local women are expressing themselves through art: we are happy to be a part of… more


Meditation and Motorcycles

Many pay lip service to living in the moment; Dorit Brauer actually does it. When you are with Dorit, she is with you; not thinking of her next appointment, not revisiting the day before, not… more


Raising Hope… in Jail, in Hearts

Life is a journey filled with unforeseen twists and turns, tremendous joys, unspeakable sorrows, and daily choices. Not everyone makes the best choices for their life. Thirty thousand men and women will make choices this… more


Happiness is a Colored String of Beads

Editor’s Note: Since this article was written Trish has closed the retail shop for Zelda’s to focus on the online aspect of bead kits.  But Zelda’s is still going strong. Like them on Facebook to… more


The Twelve Walks of Christmas

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Everywhere you go…” Let’s face it, I could have written that line in October. Each year we all lament at how early holiday decorations appear – sometimes… more


High Tech Treasure Hunts

Looking for a new hobby that will get you out and about? Then read about the hobby that changed my life! In June of 2005, my husband told me to check out a website: www.geocaching.com. I decided to appease him and typed in the address, never knowing what I was getting into. For two weeks I visited this site daily, becoming more and more excited. more

Family Room Makeover

Follow Sylvie’s makeover of the writer’s family room… While interviewing Sylvie Del Duca about her on-line design service  for an article in our November Issue, it became very clear that I am exactly the type… more


Sleep in Heavenly Peace

They cost about $5.88 at Wal-Mart.  Ours sit in a basket that overflows into a pile of comfort.  And my guess is you probably have a few fleece blankets lying around your house, too.  They… more

head shot

Jenny Gallo, Fabric Artist

Jenny Gallo has always loved art and has been creating fabric masterpieces from a young age.  She earned her BA in Art Education from Penn State and worked as an elementary art teacher in Texas… more


Mind Your Spirals

As Women we work so hard to be perfect. The perfect worker, perfect mother, perfect host, the perfect spouse.  The perfect everything!  You do it.   I do it.  We all do it! We feel… more

Thanks to Elle's Where-The-Hell-Are-All-The-Women artilce for this graphic

Where are the Women?

We love  rankings.  We casually mention to out-of-towners that Pittsburgh was named #1 “Most Livable City.”   Upper St. Clair residents gloat over being one of the area’s “Best Places to Work.”  Our state ranks 42nd… more

Annie Dorn Pugar, guest artist Kenny Blake, and Kim Epp Frenette, WiseWomen Editor

Keep a Promise, Rock a World

When Annie Dorn Pugar’s husband, well known drummer Sonny Pugar, died in 2004 the outpouring of support from the Pittsburgh music community was, she says, like an “enormous hug”.  She made a promise to herself… more

Sylvie cropped

On Shoes and Spaces (and a makeover…)

“You need a surrounding you are happy in…It’s like a nice pair of shoes.” Sylvie Del Duca said the “S” word, so she has my attention.  When I realize she is linking shoes and interior… more


Luxury at the Frick & the Modern Woman

I love luxury. In fact, I live for it. Fabergé, Tiffany, Rolls-Royce – what more can I say? Oh, I am not talking about my own personal collection. Don’t get me wrong, I lead a… more

bookcrop feature

Finding My Voice and Finding Myself

The first time I tried to find my voice I was about four years old. I wanted to wear my favorite dress. I hid in my closet refusing to put on the dress my mother… more


Magic Moments

What would life be without a few little secrets? I readily admit that my guilty pleasure happens to be the show, Top Chef: Just Desserts, the only TV program I watch religiously. There’s just something… more

NOburger feature

I don’t crave burgers

“Don’t you crave a burger?” As soon as people find out I’m a vegetarian, I usually get asked this specific question.  And my own children love to play a game with me about my diet… more


Ann Glasgow, Jewlery Artist

“You can get so much stress out with a hammer it is amazing!” Not exactly the comment you would expect from someone whose passion is jewelry making, but Ann Glasgow is not your usual amateur… more


Strong Women and ‘Mad Men’

You may have seen her on CNN or NBC regarding a “girlcott” of Abercrombie and Fitch….Mt Lebanon resident Heather Arnet, well spoken, smart and passionate, is everywhere – more


How to Get Your Kid to the NHL – maybe

When we see Marc Andre Fleury pretzel twist to make a save, or the recovering Sydney Crosby give an interview for anxious fans, most of us aren’t thinking of their mothers.  But to those of… more

Debra by the Mayberry tree planted by the Hugs for Healing Hearts group

Joy After the Worst…A Club for Healing

The joy surrounding the group is evident but the group’s focus is grief, and arguably the worst kind: the loss of an infant through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. “Women say it’s a club you never want to belong to, but they’re glad they have it. more


You Can’t Get There from Here

Pittsburghers and directions: Can we talk?
I have had to navigate cities in which the street signs bore squiggles not related to the alphabet as I know it and no one spoke English. It was easier than finding my way in Pittsburgh. And the directions that Pittsburghers give – they might as well be speaking Chinese! more


New Tricks for Wise Chicks

Wise Women asked five dynamic South Hills Women who have recently taken on new sportive adventures about the challenges, the surprises and the payback.  Warning: you might get energized. We spoke to Gail Witenske, figure… more


Lady Gaga Needs New Shoes

They wobble, they weave and sometimes they even fall down.  Women were not meant to wear six inch heels.  Last week at a function attended by high school seniors, I saw lovely young ladies trying… more

dee head shot

Cashing in on Confusion: a Case Study

Lisa came to me with a heavy burden. She was 35, a high achiever with a significant job. She was not sure that she liked her job, her career choice, or anything else about her life… more

Mary Lou (right) connects...

Mary Lou D’Altorio, Photographer

The portraits Mary Lou D’Altorio takes of people she encounters on her travels have a very personal and intimate feel.  She captures a certain grace and serenity in her subjects, an ability enabled by fascination… more

betty makoni3 feature crop

CNN Hero Betty Makoni @ South Hills

The official story: On Thursday, September 22, 2011, the Hollywood Theater in Dormont will host  CNN 2009 Hero Betty Makoni at a screening of the documentary, Tapestries of Hope.  This award-winning film by Michealene Cristini… more

DevGeo fc3

College 101, Take 2

Whitehall native Devon George sums up her focus during round one of higher education this way:  “I had a lot of fun.” George earned a degree in Psychology from Denison University in 1985, dropped out… more

truck feature cropRS

Fashion on (big) Wheels

“Who wouldn’t want to use your mind, work with your sister – in beautiful clothes – and work it around your own schedule?” Marsha Handy of Peters Township is explaining why she feels she has… more

Stewart feature crop

The Care of Dusty Souls

CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Pablo Picasso Every September, I feel a little dusty.  Perhaps it is from the accumulation of things my fourteen year… more

meri2rsfearture crop

New Tracks: Fresh Starts

When I moved to the South Hills from Minnesota, I struggled with everything: finding vacuum bags at the Giant Eagle (in the cat food aisle), registering the car (a process that took three trips to… more

"Coffee To Go"  (c) Diane White

Diane White, Artist

We chose Diane White of Upper St Clair as September’s banner artist because, frankly,  her piece “Coffee to Go” captured exactly for the us the caffeinated chaos we feel as life ramps up at the… more

Sweat Angel 2 crop

Sweat Angels: What I do for Me

Some people make angels in the snow, others make angels in the sand. I make angels out of sweat. I started going to Integrated Fitness, a Crossfit gym in Bethel Park, three months ago. It… more

hess beach collage

Explore the Shore

Sunscreen. Bathing suits. Towels. More sunscreen. Ah—another week at the shore with the Hess family. Twelve of us travel to Long Beach Island in New Jersey every year for a week of sharing bathrooms, tracking… more


Drawn to the Flame

“Mom, can we have a bonfire tonight?” I hear the words, and in them the echo of me and my sisters asking the same question of our parents. Growing up in the South Hills in… more

family reunion square crop

Joy of a Really Big Family

My favorite summer tradition — and an event that makes my summer special — is the annual family reunion.  My mom is the youngest of 15 children, and once a year, usually the last weekend… more

"What" by Sandy Conley

Sandy Conley, Artist

We chose Sandy Conley of McMurray, Co-President of McMurray Art League, as our artist for August because we thought she set exactly the right tone for our summer reader contribution issue.  Conley’s work is fun… more

The Simmons Family

Starved to Life: a mom’s hard choices

At four years old, Will Simmons was seemingly healthy, but his parents began to notice small things. He would trip when there was nothing in his way, or drop his head and seem to lose… more


Local Blues Chick Rocks

Her strong, raspy blues voice rips, her guitar catches the groove; Shari Richards is the music, and when you see her and hear her you can’t help but be too. You would never know that… more

facebook pic

Measure Twice,Cut Once

Jennifer Kehm’s doctor once told her she was “the most high maintenance patient I have.”  Granted it was 5 am and, armed with a yellow legal pad, Jennifer was peppering her surgeon with final questions… more


A Picnic with a View

Pack up the coolers, kids and candelabra – we’re going on a picnic! Memorial Day – the traditional start of summer always sees me cleaning out my garage – looking for equipment for outdoor activities,… more

My mom and her sister

Sisters make you Smart

If you have a sister, or are a sister, you are probably mentally healthier than someone who doesn’t.  This is not made up. It is straight from a scientific study out of the University of… more


Three Best Decisions You Ever Made

My business partner has nominated as the most apt description for my epitaph: “She inadvertently stepped into it.” Certainly, he is referring to my innate, with-out-fail capacity to proverbially put my foot in it. However,… more

Kathy G square

Listen to your Inner Wood Chips

Several times a week, my alarm goes off and my mind immediately weighs the options.  Push snooze, or participate in my favorite activity of the day.  It should be an easy decision, but it is… more


Ruth Mahoney, The Glass Place

Ruth Mahoney has been an artist in glass for over 20 years.  She has turned her passion into a thriving business in Lawrence PA, The Glass Place, offering glass making supplies, finished works, and very… more

Karen with little girls for feature super crop

A Thousand Little Girls..

In Business School they tell you to have a detailed 1, 5 and 10 year plan.  Karen Krieger didn’t have a plan at all. In fact, she has never taken a business course.  Karen followed… more

L-R  Jennifer Smokelin, Ellen Waite,  BettyJo Hirschfield Louik

Dames of the Denis Theatre

It is invigorating to meet strong women who know themselves and know what they want to accomplish.  Sitting down with four Mt Lebanon women from the Denis Theatre Foundation Executive Board was just such an… more

royal family

Pippa’s Dress and (very old) Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells are ringing! As I write this column, I am watching the recap of the Royal Nuptials for the umpteenth time, and still not tiring of it.  I am sure I am not the… more

Participants in Mt Lebanon Mellon Middle School 2011 MAGIC event

Magic at Mellon Middle School

  The early teen years are often characterized by awkwardness and uncertainty. Girls today face many of the same psychological stressors faced by their mothers, but these are magnified by the bombardment of social media,… more

cactus heart

Tiger Mom or Mother’s Child?

I was on my way to participate in a Theology at Work conversation to play, I assumed, the role of the token secular working-woman. I was hovering in an anxious limbo. Feeling somewhat prepared while… more

head crop

Jeannie McGuire, Water Color

Jeannie McGuire has always done art and has always known that is what she wants to do. She majored in graphic design and photography at college and worked commercially for a dozen or so years,… more

Kate McGrady crop.

Finance Exec to Art Mogul

As a former Corporate Treasurer for a $700 million company, Kate McGrady knows a thing or two about cash flow.  What she didn’t know when she opened Kool Kat Designs, a jewelry and art gallery… more

feature crop 2.JPG

The Power of Committee

Efficiency-minded achievers often roll their eyes when they hear the words ‘volunteer committee’; they wouldn’t if they saw the Town Hall South ladies in action. THS Chairperson Susan Miller and 12 others from various South… more

feature try

Faith in Losing…less really is more

There came a day over 200 lbs when Hilary Livingston had had enough. Something ‘clicked’ and she began an extraordinary journey to loose 70 lbs; along the way she discovered an inextricable link between spirit… more

photo credit: Alexander Denmarsh

Through the Tunnel… Schenley and Phipps

“April showers bring May flowers” according to the old adage.  If the deluge of rain we had this past month is an indicator, the May blooms are destined to be spectacular.  And for paupers and… more

steph reads

Kindles and Nooks versus ‘Regular’ Books

Spring is a time for comebacks. As the trees flower, and the green grass begs for its first mowing of the season,  there is a comfort in knowing the balance of nature holds steady.  The… more


Sugar Everywhere…but not so very sweet

She was a sweet-looking little girl, probably about eight years old, that delicate age just before little girls get mouthy and tween-ish.  She was with her mother on the sidelines of a boys’ baseball game… more

Sky lantern crop 2.jpg

With What Will You Fill Your Lantern?

Over the past holiday weekend, my mother introduced a new family ritual. Lanterns were released in memory of those family members who had passed away. Each lantern was lit and when it filled with hot… more

Obsessed Idea Girl

“Couldn’t be Happier…”

This month has been…well….interesting. After the euphoria of the first issue of  WiseWomen, the reality of repeating it immediately again for May,  and then June,  and then July…hit home. It reminds me of lines from… more

head crop for feature

Nancy Deckant, Water Colorist

                    It is hard to know how to describe Nancy Deckant.  If you wanted to put her in a box, you would have to have a… more

Susan Wagner is happy...

Susan Wagner Jumps

Gloriously eclectic, infinitely comfortable, sunny and bright; old and new side by side become art and joy in Susan Wagner’s interior design shop, Voila, on Route 19 in McMurray, PA. Following Susan room to room… more

cropped AE

Partners for Good

Amy Katz and Elaine Wertheim are not ‘partners’ in the modern use of the word, but they do act very much like an old married couple. They complete each other’s sentences, they compliment each others… more


Alison in Fantasy Land

Alison Hess lives in a fantasy world but this together, self-aware thirty-nine year old is nowhere close to la-la land. Hess has been plotting to be a block-buster author since she was eight years old… more

steph hockey narrow crop

Hockey Grows Great Women

“Is that a dress or a jersey?” asks a group of young hockey players from Maryland as we walk to our seats at a recent RMU game – the question directed to my ten year… more


Through the Tunnel and Over the Bridge…

“Through the tunnel and over the bridge” – words that strike terror in the hearts of many a South Hills resident. Moving from Chicago (a ‘gridded’ city), and before that Philadelphia (another very ‘gridded’ city),… more

Kathy Gillen

Time to Grow

Every year, about the third week of February, I feel an intense need for something new.  The dregs of winter have been with us and spring seems so far off.  I wait for a thaw… more

copywrite: Wayward by Nancy Koch

Nancy Koch, Photographer

Every month the home page banner of WiseWomen features a different South Hills female artist.  Nancy Koch of Upper St Clair, April’s banner artist, has been pursuing her love of photography on a semi professional… more

Obsessed Idea Girl

The Peeled Grape

The whole point of the Wise Women concept, that we learn from each others stories and experiences, came to roost personally on Saturday as I was taking the vacuum to my extremely dusty house. In… more

Next Page »