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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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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October Bucket List

October Bucket List

I absolutely love fall! It’s my favorite season, and October is one of my top 3 favorite months of the year! I always plan way too much for this month, but I’m excited to see how much of my bucket list I can complete this year! I’m hoping that this month is filled with fun, happiness, and great memories!

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Here is what I’d love to do this month!

Wear FlannelsGo to a Pumpkin PatchCarve a PumpkinBake Pumpkin SeedsGo Horseback RidingEat Pumpkin Spice WafflesBurn Fall CandlesWear BootsWrap Up in a Blanket ScarfPlant a Fall Window Bo

I’m anxious to see how much I will be able to cross off my list for October! What are a few things on your list?

National Coffee Day-Friday, September 29, 2017

National Coffee Day-Friday, September 29, 2017

(My old school espresso maker and espresso cups)

Happy National Coffee Day! I can’t start my day without coffee! It’s honestly the very first thing that I do in the morning. I wake up, get out a coffee mug and start my morning brew. Without coffee, I don’t function! I enjoy coffee so much, depending on the day, I may have another glass or two (iced by afternoon)! I try not to overdo it, but sometimes, I just crave the delicious smell and need that extra bit of caffeine.

Here are a few reasons why you should drink coffee!

  • The aroma in the morning is warming and smells delicious (The smell can lead to less stress).

  • It provides you with antioxidants.

  • Coffee can help your brain stay healthier longer and reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s.

  • Coffee is good for your liver and can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

  • If you drink coffee before you work out, it can jolt your performance.

  • There’s a chance it can lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Coffee Deals for National Coffee Day

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Buy a medium or larger cup of hot coffee and get a medium hot coffee free at participating locations nationwide.

  • McDonald’s: For a limited time, get a small specialty coffee for $2 at participating locations. Also, there are coupons for a free medium McCafé with any purchase in the McDonald’s smartphone app. Plus, when you purchase any five McCafé drinks you can get one free when a QR code from the app is scanned at checkout.

  • Keurig:  From Friday through Sunday, get 20% off all pods and bagged coffee purchased at www.keurig.com with coupon code CELEBRATE. Get free shipping with a $39 or higher purchase.

  • Sheetz: Get a free Pumpkin Pie Latte when you order it through the Sheetz smartphone app.

Attention: Coffee Fans in the Pittsburgh Area

Pittsburgh Specialty Coffee Week is starting October 2-7, 2017. Enjoy coffee at various coffee shops throughout the Pittsburgh area! You can find out information about participants, specials, and events at: https://pghcoffeeweek.com/.

Pretty Coffee Products for that “All Things Pretty” Lifestyle of Yours!

If you know me, you know that I love anything copper! Here are a few coffee products that one day I would like to own, plus a few other fun items!

  • Macy’s-Bodum Classic Chambord Copper 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker-$49.99

  • Macy’s-Bodum Classic Chambord Copper Milk Frother-$29.99

  • Macy’s-Bodum Classic Chambord Copper Sugar and Creamer Set-$29.99

  • Jessica N Designs-Must Have Coffee Spoon-$17.00

  • Old Navy-Mascara and Coffee Tee-$14.99

What type of coffee is your favorite? Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, etc.? Comment below with your favorite coffee beverage! I’m always looking forward to trying something new!

 

Mother Earth News Fair Review (Seven Springs, PA 2017)

Mother Earth News Fair Review

(Seven Springs, PA)

2017

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I can’t believe it was already a week ago (last weekend) that I worked in a vendor booth at the Mother Earth News Fair for the 2nd year. This has become one of my favorite events to work! The first year at the event, I met some wonderful people including the women from Pittsburgh’s “Farm to Table of Western, PA.” Last year, I was amazed at how many vendors participate in this fair.

On a side a note, I’ll explain why I loved this event even more this year!  We all know that life isn’t always pleasant and peachy by any means, it also doesn’t always go as imagined or planned. (This has been especially true for me probably for about the past two years.) Sometimes we get to a point, before we hit a breaking point where we finally have to figure out what brings us any type of happiness… I was outside thinking one day when I thought, what is simple that makes me smile that makes me proud of myself?  Gardening…it’s such a small part of my life, but it was something that I knew that I enjoyed and wanted to learn more about. It all started with me planting small things from time to time, year to year. Nothing crazy, just mosty container gardening. Last year, I started to add a few perennials around the yard. This year, I decided early this summer that I wanted to take a basic gardening class. I was interested in creating a good soil. (Money is always tight, and always seems to be an issue and holds me back from many things. I researched and found a reasonably priced class and decided to register for it.) It was probably one of the best decisions and investments that I have made in a long time! I was so excited to attend! (I was the student that got there early and sat in the front row! A little nerdy, I know, but that’s okay in my book, haha!) This class was wonderful and I looked forward to attending it each week! Sure, you can read, watch YouTube videos, and learn online, but it felt really great and did me a world of good to take an hour for myself a week, with no interruptions, and educate myself in a roomful of individuals with the same interest as me. 

This experience gave me the confidence to expand and fill my backyard with new and old favorites of plant, flower, and vegetable varieties.  I felt that it wasn’t a waste of money because I at least had a little bit more confidence and knowledge now that I could take of care of these plants.  It’s the best feeling waking up, looking out your window and admiring the shapes, colors, and beauty these creations of nature provides us.  Also, there is fun in picking and cooking with your own herbs and vegetables!  It’s a hobby that I love and continue to learn more about!

Now, back to the Mother Earth News Fair Review! (Sorry for the long explanation and venting!) So knowing what I did from attending the event last year, I was kinda in (nerd mode) again and researched the fair weeks in advance. I looked at their website, printed out maps, calendars, and schedules for workshops. I also researched some of the speakers and got my highlighter ready for what I was interested in!

Unfortunately, I did not have time to participate in any of the workshops while working, but the research still paid off because as I took a break on Sunday, I was able to make a beeline and gather information from the booths that I knew I wanted to visit. One thing that I appreciated that Mother Earth Fair did was keep vendors in a similar set up from the year before. That way if you do have limited time, you can make sure that you hit up your favorite booths if you remembered where they were set up from the year before.

Seven Springs was a great location! It was gorgeous up there! The weather cooperated and we had chilly mornings and beautiful days! I would take that drive in the morning any day.  Such a burst of refreshing air, with leaves starting to change colors…Beautiful!!!  The venue was packed with people who varied from locals to visitors from various states. The pictures from the workshops were also filled. If you love gardening and sustainable living, this is one event that I highly suggest you go visit!

There are Mother Earth News Fairs held in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, and PA. Some of my favorite booths that I visited this year were: Funky Fresh Family Farms, Farm to Table Western, PA, The Gardener’s Workshop, Sow True Seed, Mockingbird Meadows Farm, Metalledwith, The Bookstore, Fruition Seeds, Mother Earth’s Natural Organic Root Cider, (I’m not sure if it was this or the Fire Cider that I had from the Herb Angel, but I noticed a huge improvement in my sinuses over the next few days without having to take anything for them.) I’m anxious to plant my Marshmallow seeds that I purchased from Herb Angel. Sacred Plant Traditions was another booth that I enjoyed. The lady working the Harris Seeds booth was so friendly and she hooked me up with free purple carrot seeds! I’m also looking forward to learn more about the PA Women’s Agricultural Network and see what they have to offer and how I can educate myself in the future through their workshops.

The 2017 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs was a success for the booth that I worked for, as well as a whole for the entire fair. I could’ve definitely spent 3 days learning new and different things each day, as well as attending workshops or taking it day by day to spend time at vendor booths and have time to talk to them and generate connections and network. Thanks, Mother Earth News for a great fair at Seven Springs! I’m already looking forward to attending next year!

Here are some pictures of me before arriving to the fair and our vendor booth at the fair.

S’MORES Coffee Creamer

S’MORES Coffee Creamer

I’m a huge fan of s’mores! Fall is right around the corner, the first day of fall actually starts this Friday, September 22. Normally, when you hear about fall, everything under the sun is “pumpkin spice.” Like always, I like to be unique and different, so here is an alternate fall flavor!  Although I enjoy a lot of pumpkin spice everything, when I think about fall and cooler weather, I also think of bonfires and s’mores!

(I will say this is the first time that I made this. A few little tips…don’t decide to make it when you are tired. Also, lesson learned, use a bigger pot than a saucepan. The heat, even though not boiling, may make your creamer expand more than anticipated. Let’s just say this little mistake left my kitchen smelling like a toasted marshmallow.  Smelled great… the clean up not so much fun. This recipe makes quite a bit. Next time, I will probably decrease the ingredients by half to only make a minimal amount since it’s only me that usually uses creamer on a daily basis.)

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c coffee cream

  • 1 ½ c milk

  • ½ c granulated sugar

  • 1 (7oz) container of marshmallow creme

  • ½ c chocolate syrup

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place cream and milk in a pot and heat over medium heat, but do not let it get to the boiling point.

  2. Next, add the sugar to the cream mixture.

  3. Then, add the marshmallow crème (small amounts at a time) and stir until blended well.

  4. Stir in the cinnamon and chocolate syrup.

  5. Now, stir everything and remove from the heat.

  6. Finally, place in a container and let it cool before placing it in the refrigerator!

    Enjoy your Fall S’MORES Flavored Coffee!