Welcoming Spring

Spring has officially arrived! So did a nor’easter here in Pittsburgh. But hey, I think there’s a saying that goes something like if you don’t like the weather in Pittsburgh, wait 15 minutes. So true.

I was able to walk Lola and Mavis in gorgeously sunny 50 degree weather earlier in the week, and today I will be pulling out my snow boots for my pet sitting jobs.

Cocker spaniel and black lab walking on grassy trail in sunshine

Walks with Lola and Mavis are so lovely due to the fact that we have a leash coupler, so I only have to use one leash! Walks with Lola and Mavis aren’t so lovely when Lola walks backwards and slips out of her harness to run away.

Our pets certainly know how to keep Jimmy and I on our toes with their antics. We spoil them anyways. We just bought Lola the harness in the above picture and Mavis chewed the handle (while Lola was wearing it!) until it was hanging on by a thread. So what did I do the other day? Bought them a chew toy.

Cocker spaniel with Petstages deerhorn chew

Mr. Malcolm over here isn’t much more well behaved than his sisters. He’s actually the instigator in our household and has quite the penchant for trying to slip out our back door (is life with us that bad that our pets want to run away?!). But we spoil him, too.

His new obsession, as I mentioned in my most recent vlog, are Friskies Pull ‘n Play treats. He goes crazy for these and runs all around the house with the treats in his mouth. I think he tries to tease Mavis and Lola!

Friskies Pull 'n Play cat treats chicken and cheese flavors

Speaking of cat treats, I have a great resource to share for any cat parents out there! Reviews.com has an awesome cat food guide that has a list of the best cat foods for 2018. The researchers that created the guide analyzed over 2,000 cat food formulas and picked their top 18 high-quality brands.

Okay, back to talking about spring. To celebrate its arrival yesterday, I decided to bake one of my favorite spring-like recipes: lemon poppy seed muffins! When I typed out poppy seed, I accidentally typed “puppy seed.” I guess I have dogs on the brain?!

Lemon poppy seed muffins

I think I’ll go enjoy one now as I watch the snow pile up outside 😉

What food reminds you most of spring?


Cupcake Baking and Cake Tasting

Jimmy and I had my father-in-law and his fiancé over on Thursday night for a little wedding cake tasting! As I mentioned before, we are nailing down the flavors they want in their wedding cake.

I spent most of Thursday baking four different cupcake flavors with fillings and frostings so they could have some small bites to taste and decide for their cake.

Here are the flavor combinations I baked up:

Vanilla cake + raspberry preserves filling + marshmallow buttercream

Vanilla cupcake with buttercream for wedding

Chocolate cake + caramel mousse filling + chocolate frosting

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and caramel filling for wedding

Strawberry cake + vanilla mousse filling + marshmallow buttercream

Strawberry cupcake with vanilla filling and buttercream for wedding

Lemon cake + lemon creme filling + lemon buttercream

Lemon cupcake with lemon filling and lemon buttercream for wedding

Spending the day baking was seriously fun, and the cake taste testing went so well! My father-in-law and his fiancé were able to ask me questions about flavor combos, get an idea of how the cake would be constructed, and of course got plenty of cupcakes in their bellies! They even made a final decision on which flavors they wanted for each tier.

The top tier is going to be strawberry, the middle will be chocolate, and the bottom will be lemon. They’re also going to have some cupcakes around the cake, which will be chocolate.

I’m really excited to start practicing the cake exactly how they want it now that we have the details all set.

Cupcake taste testingchocolate, strawberry, lemon, and vanilla cupcakes on cake stand

If anyone is interested in the recipes, I’ll be happy to share them! Also, I filmed a vlog that day as I was baking. Jimmy even makes an appearance and pipes a perfect rosette on a cupcake. The man never stops impressing me 🙂

What is your favorite cake flavor?