Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my favorite plants and scents would have to be lavender. Last year, my lavender bush tripled in size and I harvested a ton of lavender from it. I really enjoying cooking with lavender. It’s not a super common herb used in cooking, but I love the unique flavor that it can add to any recipe.

If you love the taste of lavender like myself, these cupcakes need to be put on your “To Do List” to make! They were delicious! Here is the recipe for Lemon Lavender Cupcakes. (It’s actually quite simple and easy to make!)

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes approximately: 24 Cupcakes                                                        Time: 30-40 Minutes

  • 1 box of Pillsbury “Lemon” Cake Mix

  • 3 Eggs

  • 1 Cup of Water

  • ½ Cup of Vegetable Oil

  • Dried Lavender (1-2 tablespoons, depending on how strong you want the lavender flavor to be.)

  • Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Muffin Tin

  • Cupcake Liners

  • (Pre-made Cream Cheese Frosting) or substitute with your favorite frosting

  1. Set your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.

  2. In a large bowl, add your lemon cake mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil. Beat and mix well.

  3. Add your lavender and gently stir into the mixture.

  4. Pour batter into your cupcake liners until about half full in your muffin tin.

  5. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 19-23 minutes.

  6. You will want to allow your cupcakes to cool for about 10-15 minutes so the icing will not melt on them.

  7. Finally, ice your cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or a frosting of your liking.

  8. Enjoy your Lemon Lavender Cupcakes!

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s day is approaching us in less than a week… Whether you love or hate this holiday, I’ve shared some of my favorite items that will make anyone’s Valentine’s Day a little bit better!

Here are the items, prices, and websites listed below.

(All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any additional outside sources.)

Bring Me Wine Socks-$8.00-www.charmingcharlie.com

Cup of Love Happy Mug-$17.00-www.naturallife.com

Frankie Ruffle Heel-$29.00-www.charmingcharlie.com

Let’s Fall in Love Heart Fleece Blanket-$79.00-www.kirklands.com

Let’s Fall in Love Heart Pillow-$29.99-www.kirklands.com

Morning Sexy Hand Stamped Vintage Spoon-$17.00-https://shopjessicandesigns.com/

Nothing but Love Pullover-$25.00-www.charmingcharlie.com

Pretty Velvet Bow Peep Toe-$29.99-www.charmingcharlie.com

So Loved Canvas Pouch-$15.00-www.naturallife.com

Sparkling Rose Gummies-$6.00-www.davidstea.com

Stud Muffin and Hot Stuff Mug, Set of 2-$14.99-www.kirklands.com

Sweet Tart Valentine’s Day Tea Tin-$19.00-www.davidstea.com

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?

dec bucket list

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

apple cider and pulled pork (2)

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!