December Bucket List

December Bucket List

Where has this year gone? It’s the last month of the year and I’ve come up with a few ideas of what I want to do this month. It’s such a crazy month, I probably have forgotten to write down everything.

What do you have planned for your bucket list this December?

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Shop Small, Shop Local-Small Business Saturday

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Shop Small, Shop Local-Small Business Saturday

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There’s nothing more important than supporting your local businesses! Local business owners are the ones who sacrifice time and energy to provide you with items and services that they are passionate about! When you buy local, you are supporting someone’s dream!

I decided to re-post my blog article from last year below. Our communities are strengthened when we support our local shops. You are making a big impact when you shop small!

The four businesses that hold a special place in my heart are:  Romeo’s World Importing Market, Ultimate Structures (not listed below), which has expanded with lots located in:  Uniontown, Belle Vernon, and Washington, PA, MikeRo Marketing, and KingView Mead.  I support them on a daily basis. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, I’m sure that you’ve seen posts from each of these businesses. It’s important to share what’s going on. Great ideas that have thought and uniqueness to make them stand out from the rest! I challenge you to step away from the norm, and visit a local business in your area. I can almost guarantee you will return back to that business in the future.

More and more people are trying to get away from the traditional corporate America style jobs. They are tired of the politics, the feeling of being taken advantage of, and stressed with no appreciation. In most occupations today, it’s not about who does the best job or who is most dedicated or qualified. It’s about connections and who you know. I applaud all small business owners for taking the risk and following their dreams!

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My blog post from last year: https://allthingsprettycom.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/small-business-saturday-shop-local/

Small Business Saturday: Shop Local

My entire life I’ve experienced the lifestyle of growing up in a family owned, small business. A successful business takes passion, dedication, commitment, and a lot of personal sacrifices. It is by no means a piece of cake to run or manage a local small business. There are long and stressful days where putting in extra effort is a must to become unique and well known. You must make your mark to stay open and still be profitable.

I am encouraging each of you reading this to understand how important it is to support your local businesses. I’m asking you not to only shop local on November 26, but shop local as often as you can. When you walk into their store, take a look around and realize the amount of time put into the business (which goes way beyond a 9-5 job), recognize the thought and passion that the owner has put forth to bring you the products that they have to offer and all that they do for the community. You would be surprised how many small business owners are the ones that volunteer and make an effort to go above and beyond to help make your community a better place to live in. Appreciate them, support them, celebrate them, and thank them!

Here are a few local, small businesses that are close to my heart! World Importing, MikeRo Marketing, and KingView Mead. If you have any small businesses that are meaningful to you, I would love to hear about them as well.

Romeo’s World Importing Market & Groceria

Established: 1935

Location: Uniontown, PA

Owner: Ron Romeo

Welcome to a world of Italian food products (such as a variety of pasta and sauces), baked goods, gourmet meats & cheeses, baked goods, daily soup & lunch specials, and more! This business began in 1935, it started from the ground up by my great grandfather, which was then passed on to my grandpap, and is now in the hands of my dad, Ron Romeo. My father is currently the owner of this exquisite, “Old World” deli and market. Although he has large shoes to fill after my grandpap, he continues to dedicate his time and passion with the food industry to provide you with the most affordable and fine foods that our little town has to offer!

When you walk into the store, you may smell fresh bread baking or fresh homemade pepperoni rolls hot out of the oven. Make sure to stop in for your morning cup of coffee, then return back in for one of the best daily lunch specials around! (You can find the weekly lunch menu on Facebook) If you are looking for lunch meat to take home or supplies for dinner, you are in the right spot.

The holidays are right around the corner, so order your meat & cheese trays, holiday cookie trays, and catering dishes soon! World Importing is ready to help you get ready to celebrate the holidays and make them special! Gourmet meats and cheeses are a great addition to your holiday parties and wine tastings. A few of my favorite items are: imported prosciutto, soppressata, smoked gouda, feta, beemster cheese, and I cannot forget Calabrian and kalamata olives! Some days I feel these food items are the only necessities that I need in life! Yum!!!! I’m making myself hungry just thinking about them!

When you are in search of great food, proceed to World Importing and you will not be disappointed! World Importing has so much history and endless memories dating from 1935, so shop local and keep the traditions and memories alive! Make sure to follow Romeo’s World Importing on Facebook!

MikeRo Marketing

Established: 2013

Location: Uniontown, PA

Owner: Mike Romeo

Website: www.mikeromarketing.com

MikeRo Marketing is your premiere source for imprinted items! My brother Mike is always up for a challenge and is ready to offer you the newest items and provide you with ideas to make your business stand out and be remembered! He will puts his heart into each inquiry and will treat your business as if it was his own.

Mike decided to start his own business to give you the best customer service and offer you affordable and unique marketing items. He will help get you what you want and try to get it for you at the price you want! Some of the most popular items that he has worked on are:  pens, business cards, calendars, t-shirts, hats, ribbons/medals, mugs, business signs, etc. There are endless possibilities when it comes to marketing your business! If you can put a logo on it, it can be done!

Check out MikeRo Marketing at: www.mikeromarketing.com. Also, follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

KingView Mead

Established: 2016

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Owner: Scott Neeley

Website:  www.kingviewmead.com

What is mead? It is actually the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man. It may have faded away and disappeared for awhile, but it is now the new and upcoming beverage! Mead is wine made from fermented honey.

Scott, owner and mead maker started making mead as a hobby about 6 years ago. He entered competitions locally and around the world. His meads have won in several competitions and have medaled internationally. Scott pursued his passion and his business was recently established in 2016.

If you are wondering where you can find and taste KingView Mead, you may find the products in about 50 local bars and restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, as well as looking up the events KingView participates in, such as festivals across the state. You may purchase mead at: www.kingviewmead.com and it will be shipped directly to your home.

Scott not only wanted to provide you with wonderful, award winning mead, he also wanted to give back and help to save the declining bee population. He created the first and only, “Mead for Bees” program. This program was built into the business model. It is a free program for beekeepers. They are encouraged to sign up on the website and join the other 200+ beekeepers. 10% of KingView sales goes back to the beekeeping community. When this amount is reached, a name from the program is pulled and the individual is awarded with a hive or beekeeping supplies.

If you are looking for unique holiday gift ideas, one idea would be to sign up for the KingView Quarterly Club. (Similar to a wine club) The cost is around $40. Three meads chosen by Scott will be sent out to you four times a year. The shipping cost is taken care of by Scott. Gift crates, wedding favors, and other original items are available for sale online. Another added bonus, use the coupon code: Holidays for a 10% discount! Learn more about this awesome company at:  www.kingviewmead.com

. Get all of the latest updates and upcoming events by following KingView Mead on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

 

Remember to Shop Local not just this holiday season, but everyday! 

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?

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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