Rebecca Minkoff-One of My Favorite Fashion Designers this Fall!

Rebecca Minkoff-One of My Favorite Fashion Designers this Fall!

Since Black Friday is right around the corner, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite designers this fall! Rebecca designs everything from clothing, handbags, watches, shoes and other accessories. Her designs are hot, hot, hot…this fall! Rebecca’s creations range from girly to edgy. I love the girly, flirty ruffles, sexiness with fringe, and the laid back, yet chic look with the tees, jewelry and crossbody purses! Here is a link to her website: https://www.rebeccaminkoff.com/. You can also find her items at Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Bloomingdales to name a few. Here are some of my favorite pieces!

Avery Crossbody $98.00

Gold Tone Bracelet Watch $225.00

Chevron Quilted Small Love Crossbody $131.00

Darlin’ Muscle Tee $39.00

Fallen Phone Crossbody with Grommets $117.00

Major Gold Tone Leather Watch $150.00

Moto Hobo Sale $163.00

Silver Tone Stitched Leather Guitar Strap 20MM $50.00

Sparkler Seed Bead Choker $98.00

Studded Whipstitch Wristlet $75.00

Thread Wrapped Geometric Stud $48.00

Velvet Chevron Small Love Crossbody $195.00

What other designers are you liking this fall?

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Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork Recipe

Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork Recipe

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Hey, all you pulled pork lovers…I have a new recipe for you to try! This recipe is a fun way to change the flavor of your average pulled pork sandwich. I love it for fall! It’s such a simple recipe and the best part is that its a slow cooker meal. Start it in the morning, hustle and get things accomplished during the day, and enjoy your dinner in the evening! Here is the recipe below.

Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 4-5lbs Pork Shoulder, Bone In

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or 2 tsp of canned garlic

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • 4 tsp brown sugar

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 1 ½ c apple cider

Instructions

  1. Add the yellow onions to the bottom of the slow cooker. (If you want an easy clean up, use the clear slow cooker bags. Place that in the slow cooker before adding the onions.)

  2. Next, place the pork on top of the onions.

  3. Then, add the salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

  4. Top it off by adding the apple cider. Pour it over the pork shoulder.

  5. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.

  6. Slowly remove the pork and shred the pork with a fork. (Remove from the bone.)

  7. If you want to get more flavor, return the pork to the slow cooker to absorb the juices. (Eat pork alone or add to your favorite roll.)

*In addition, add your favorite BBQ sauce, coleslaw, or pickles. Enjoy!!!

Let me know how you enjoy this awesome fall pulled pork recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

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Let me tell you…when you bite into this granola bar, the fall flavors that you taste will leave a smile on your face! It also pairs really well with Stash-Pumpkin Spice Tea! These granola bars were quite simple to make and the best part, it didn’t leave a huge mess to clean up afterwards.

Here is the recipe that you must try!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon cloves

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin (small can)

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup pepitas

  • ½ cup pumpkin spice morsels

  • ½ cup chocolate chip morsels

(You can make a healthier version of these by not using the pumpkin spice and chocolate chip morsels and add dried cranberries, blueberries, and cherries.)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray and spread in an 8×8 baking dish and place it to the side.

  2. You will need two bowls. One large and one medium sized bowl. In the large bowl, add the oats, salt, and your spices. Whisk all the ingredients together.

  3. Next, grab your medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla exact, honey, pepitas, pumpkin spice and chocolate morsels. Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk.

  4. Now, pour this mixture over the dry oat mixture in the large bowl. Stir and mix all ingredients well. If you see a lot of the oats are still dry, add a little bit more pumpkin and honey.

  5. Once all ingredients are mixed well and moist, pour everything into your baking dish and press firmly.

  6. Bake in the over for 40-50 minutes. Keep checking to make sure that it isn’t burning. I let mine bake for 45 minutes, but it depends on your oven. They should look golden and crisp near the end. The inside of mine, stayed moist.

  7. Finally, remove from the oven and set them on a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and removing from your baking dish.

  8. Use a sharp knife to cut and remove to a plate so they can completely cool.

  9. Enjoy your delicious fall granola bars!

Fall Planters and Window Boxes

Fall Planters and Window Boxes

We are now into the fall season and with the gorgeous weather that we have been having, a lot of my flowers from summer are still strong and blooming. I will let them bloom and grow as long as they can!

A few weeks ago, I added some fall touches to some of my existing planters as well as created some new window boxes and one new planter for fall.

In my existing planters of pink and green caladium along with my pink geraniums, I added a small hamelan dwarf fountain grass plant. Next on my list was to create a pretty, small fall planter. I used burgundy, white, pink, and burnt orange mums and finally purchased myself a purple fountain grass plant and added them into a burgundy pot. I have wanted one of these purple fountain grass plants for the past few years.  To add a little bit more of a fall touch, I also added a gourd inside the planter.

I filled my window boxes with burgundy, pink, and burnt orange mums, along with millet, sunflowers, pumpkins, and gourds.

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Existing summer container: pink caladium and pink geraniums. I added the hamelan dwarf fountain grass.

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Fall Planter: burgundy, white, pink, and burnt orange mums with purple fountain grass. (Hidden: you can’t see the gourd in this photo.)

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Fall Window box close up: burgundy, pink, and burnt orange mums with millet and sunflowers. Pumpkins and gourds were additional touches. (Waiting for the pink mums to bloom!)

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View of both window boxes. (This was before I added the pumpkins and gourds.)

What did you put in your fall planters and window boxes this year?

Bittersweet Cafe

Bittersweet Cafe

I love driving up to the mountains on beautiful, sunny days! What is better than the gorgeous sites and adventures? In my opinion, eating delicious fresh food outside at a lovely landscaped restaurant makes a perfect addition to any day! I’ve only stopped at Bittersweet Cafe twice, but I’ve enjoyed the food and my time there each visit.

Bittersweet Cafe is located in Farmington, PA. They use locally grown food and fresh produce in their unique dishes. Their pulled pork is tasty! A few weeks ago when I was there, I wanted to try something different and ordered their Harvest Apple Salad. It was amazing! Their homemade dressing was so good! I also always enjoy their Sweet Lemon Mint Tea.

I am in love with how they are always seasonally landscaped! I knew fall was right around the corner at the time I was planning on going there and on my drive up, I was hoping they would be decorated for fall. It was such a beautiful, warm sunny day, and I was so excited to see fall flowers and décor as I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. It was so peaceful sitting outside, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and enjoying a delicious meal surrounded by beautiful fall flowers, pumpkins, and sunshine!

If you are ever traveling to Ohiopyle, Nemacolin Woodlands, Fallingwater, or Kentuck Knob (those are a few of my favorite places in the mountains!) make sure to stop and eat or grab a drink at Bittersweet Cafe! You will not be disappointed!

Here are a few pictures from my day at Bittersweet Cafe!

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All in a Name

All in a Name

Melissa

Have you ever thought about your name and wondered about what the meaning is behind it? Since October is my birthday month, I decided to do a little bit of research and see what I could find out about my name. Honestly, a lot of it is very true if you know me. A few things not true, said I love the color pink and I am confident. I’m not a huge pink person, but you will see me sporting it from time to time.  The confidence part, that depends on the topic and the given day…  I researched on both Google and Pinterest.

Description

A majority of the sites said the same things. My name “Melissa” means, honey bee. Like the bee, the name says that I’m a tireless worker, who gathers information from many sources, until I know that I have all the information that I need. One fact that I can agree with, is that I will not be satisfied and will not give up until I know what I need to figure out what I’m looking to know. It says that I store everything in my heart, not just in my head. (So true!) I also read that those who need a “Melissa” in their life, know what I mean to them.  That I have a special place and meaning in their heart, but many times it is impossible for them to admit it or say it out loud.

History and Origin

In ancient times mythology, “Melissa” was known as the “Queen Bee Goddess.” That being said, she looked over all of the other women. The name originated as a Greek name.

Qualities

  • Very beautiful person inside and out

  • Makes you laugh and gives hugs

  • Can be blunt

  • Is truthful

  • Sweet

  • Easy to talk to

  • Loves her family more than anything else

  • Loves the color pink

  • Strong, confident

  • Great leadership skills

  • Creates the strongest bonds with a select few worth her time

  • Believes time is precious

  • Stunning beauty

  • True friend

  • Passionate lover

  • Loyal to the end

  • Once you date a “Melissa,” all other women seem dull and lifeless

  • Ambitious

  • Romantic

  • Nurturing

  • Also refers to the plant known as, lemon balm

  • Innocent

  • Speaks from the heart

  • Shy girl until she is comfortable

  • She will feel lucky to know you, but you are the lucky one

Popularity and Pop Culture

The name started to become popular in the 1950’s. It was one of the top ten names from 1967-1984. (I was born in 1980.)  On the pop culture end, The Allman Brothers Band came out with the song, “Melissa.”

Here are a few of the sites that I went to:

http://www.grandmahelenshouse.com/m/Melissa.html (Pinterest)

https://www.buzzfeed.com/musiclover6495/the-meaning-of-your-name-as-told-by-urban-dictiona-na3d?sub=3348612_3190047&utm_term=.xtaW00W24n#.qwV4OO4wyk(Pinterest)

https://www.buzzfeed.com/musiclover6495/the-meaning-of-your-name-as-told-by-urban-dictiona-na3d?sub=3348612_3190047&utm_term=.xtaW00W24n#.qwV4OO4wyk(Pinterest)

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ac/c3/8e/acc38ecaffb5c9177e440d8c8848e68a.jpg (Pinterest)

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/64/f1/d6/64f1d6bbea202ec8563ee12f7b338c9f.jpg (Pinterest)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa (Google)

https://themeaningofthename.com/melissa/ (Google)

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Melissa (Google)

*I will say that Urban Dictionary has descriptions of what people post about the name. I read 8 of them. There are plenty more and they were fun to read. Some even made me laugh.

If you know me personally, do you think my name fits me? What does your name say about you? Do you agree or disagree with the information? I’d love to hear your comments!

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Tailgating Checklist

Tailgating Checklist

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go back to Happy Valley and rehash the old memories and relive the good times from when I was a student up there. I couldn’t pass up the chance to tailgate, visit with my awesome cousins, and go to a PSU Football Game! (A huge thank you goes out to my aunt and uncle for the invite!!!)

Rise and Shine! Brew my pumpkin spice coffee, shower, get dressed, fill the cooler with ice and fall beverages! Load up the car and off the five of us went! The brisk morning woke us up as we traveled to Penn State. The day remained cloudy and chilly as we layered and bundled up throughout the day, before we went into the game. We enjoyed ribs, buffalo chicken dip, wings, pulled pork, pasta salad, and pineapple! It was so much fun to play corn hole and watch everyone play giant jenga. As we started walking toward the stadium, the sun finally came out! The first quarter was awesome as we scored four touchdowns! It was nice to leave at the end of the game with a win! We Are…PENN STATE!!!

It’s hard to explain the feeling when we arrived…there was a warmness in my heart, excitement and anticipation for the game, and delicious food to be shared with great people. As you drive up to your spot to set up, there’s a rush that goes through you! People from all over, set up for a day of fun! Blue and White everywhere!!! RV’s, PSU pop up tents, games, food, drinks, laughter…There’s a vibe of warmth and welcoming, like everyone around is one big family!

In today’s world, we continuously hear about the bad, and are forced to be focused on all the negativity around us…The news for example, is always so sad anymore. All we are told about is the violence, the deaths, terrorism, natural disasters, hatred towards each other…How often do you hear about positivity in the world?

Something as simple as going to a tailgate party and a football game, was like a breath of fresh air! The environment around us was positive! We shared smiles, laughter, fun, and unity with strangers all around us! It was such a nice change from the normal daily or weekend routine.

On my journey as a college student, I started out as a shy, small town girl. I feared many things such as being scared of being away from home, not being able to achieve my goals, how would I make friends, how would I find my way around that huge campus?…Overall, I achieved and excelled! I made the Dean’s List numerous semesters. I conquered my fears and I grew into a confident, fun-loving, smart woman during my days of living and learning in this beautiful city, State College. It was my home away from home. A place where I had achieved more than I ever thought I could or would. A place where I met wonderful friends, created memories that will last a lifetime, and it always was a place where I felt safe. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful campuses that I have ever been to! I graduated with pride! Pride in myself and for my future! I am so lucky and grateful to have not let my fears of leaving and worrying hold me back, and I’m so happy that I challenged myself with bigger and better things! It is always a pleasure returning to Happy Valley! It’s a reminder of a time when I was unstoppable and I believed in myself!

Check out my list for a fun tailgating experience!  I’ve also posted some pictures of us tailgating and enjoying the game!

Tailgating Checklist

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Still making memories…Here are some pictures from this weekend!

Off We Go…

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Bundled Up

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                                PSU Beauties                      Courtney and I

                      Corn hole        Buffalo Chicken Dip         Jenga

Beaver Stadium

                We Are…PENN STATE!!! Alumni (My brother Mike, and I)

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