Maple Bacon French Toast Cupcakes

Maple Bacon French Toast Cupcakes

I love baking when i have time off from the 3 part time jobs I’ve acquired. It helps me relax, if its been a rough day i will give the Kitchenaid a break and mix ingredients myself. It helps get the frustration out, ya know.

While taking a baking break and getting the ingredients together for my french toast I did a little pondering, could I turn this into a cupcake?? So it began! I made about 4 different recipes until i nailed it on the 5th. Everybody loves these cupcakes, even the picky eaters.

I made a couple dozen, placed them inside little pink boxes I use to deliver cakes and cupcakes i make for friends and family. So they know what these pink boxes mean. They mean business to me sweet treats for them. Needless to say they loved them!

I heard so many “she put bacon on a cupcake!”, “Is that bacon?”, “these really do taste like French toast!”. I was proud of myself, I started making them for relatives and friends who’d request them. They’ve helped me perfect my baking hobby piece by piece (pun intended 😉).

 

 

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Ingredients
For the Cupcakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 3 .9-ounce box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (5 strips)

For the Glaze:
1 8 -ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Prepare the cupcakes: Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half, mixing after each addition and ending with flour. Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon. The batter will be thick.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon; beat until combined. Spread on the cooled cupcakes; top with chopped bacon, if desired.

www.FlirtyAprons.com

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The Thing Is..

The Thing Is..

I decided i would be more open this time, which is extremely hard for me because i keep to myself in my personal life really. Except for a handful of best friends & my mom.

I’m at an age (ahem) where i feel like i should completely know what i want to be, what i want to do, whom I’d like to marry, etc etc. I must report that i don’t know, any of it. I am working so hard for where i want to be (and i have already come so far from where i was last year at this time) and what i would like to do but there is always that smidge of doubt that if not careful could totally consume you.

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I think i don’t do well in a relationship because i am not a clingy person, i actually love my personal space. I wasn’t always like this but as I’ve grown and gotten to know myself, i find myself needing some free time. I feel like this song from Maren Morris speaks to me in that sense.

I have extremely bad social anxiety so parties, concerts, loud noises and events like that put me on edge. I will check out local bands but there is no guarantee i will stay until the last set is played and the gear is packed.

I love kids but i find myself questioning if i will have one. I dont think i could handle it emotionally or mentally, which makes me feel a little selfish. I’m a couple of months away from an age that scares me to conceive because of complications. Well that, and because the though of being pregnant absolutely terrifies me. So much so i was sweating typing that.

I think i told you all of that to tell you this – it is ok not to know. You don’t have to plan everything and it turn out right. You have permission to be a mess, to express your opinion, own your personal style. In reality the only person who has to understand you, is you. Some people go their entire lives just winging it. We get caught up in the competition with our family members, best friends, or co-workers that we forget it is human like to be you.

Now go out there and make today great!

A Peek Inside My Purse

A Peek Inside My Purse

*This post contains affiliate links, i get a small percentage of commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase from the link, thank you for supporting Leslie Nichole.*

I think it maybe because i am nosey but i love reading “in my bag” posts a lot of bloggers do. I always laugh at myself because what i carry is way different than 95% of those kind of posts I’ve read. Hah, it would be great to be “normal”.

I get amazed at the makeup that beauty bloggers keep. I can’t do makeup, i had a twin brother growing up so i didn’t have anyone to practice on, give me tips, or help me pick from infinite shades of eyeshadow pots.

The fashion bloggers have some of the freshest handbags that make me do my “wanty hands” (it’s like a child shaking their hands when they want something). I only own two Coach bags which i am proud of myself, as they were the first two purchases made with my freelance profit. I don’t use them everyday though.

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Every day is different, not just because it is a new day but also because i have chronic migraine. Which pretty much means i have more days with a migraine than not.

I carry a huge purse on the daily so i can toss in anything i might need for convenience. I get frustrated when i forget something or misplace it all together.

 

• Wallet (essentials inside, credit cards, $17 in cash, drivers license)
• Planner (it contains my life)
• Hand sanitizer
• Migraine meds x3
• Chapstick x2
• Phone charger
• Sunglasses
• Small wheat bag
• Emergency contacts
• Crystals (Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Green Aventurine, Rhondinite, Agate, Lepidolite, Chalcopyrite)
• Aveeno travel size lotion

You are probably thinking “what is wrong with this girl?”. I have a condition called chronic migraine, which basically means i have more headache days a month than not.

Some migraines only last a few hours, I’ve had a few that have lasted days. I was nauseous, i couldn’t open my eyes because of the light (it is really odd sleeping in sunglasses too), i could hear neighbors 8 houses down cutting grass like it was in my backyard at my window.

This condition makes workdays (with 2 part time jobs out of home and a freelance business in home, everyday is a workday – 7 days a week now) almost impossible, uncomfortable, and down right unbearable. Imagine how hard it is to concentrate with a throbbing on one side of your head along with the symptoms above. Bills must be paid so i have to power through.

On the sever days i take so many prescription and over the counter meds (Excedrin Migraine) my head feels hazy and i wade through the fog all day. It feels like when you wake up but your not ready to but ya have to adult that day, yeah it’s like that.

Some migraines only last a few hours while others last days. I have a list of triggers i keep in my head of what may cause tgem so i can try to stay away from, these triggers range from foods, smells, even to situations.

5 Things To Know About Anxiety

5 Things To Know About Anxiety

I have had anxiety since i can remember i just never knew what it was and i couldn’t explain it without someone telling me it was all in my head or just for someone to tell me to get over it (as if it’s as easy as that). I’ve talked to my doctor who has prescribed medications to help me deal with my daily life. I take that medication but i also help manage my anxiety naturally as well with Valerian Root, St. John’s Wart, & Cherry Plum drops.

There usually isn’t just one thing that can place you in the throws of a panic attack, it can happen at any time really.

When you feel the storm rolling in you’ll notice your heart rate speeds drasticly, which causes you to feel dizzy or faint sometimes even weak, sweating, my muscles tense up, chest pains, numbing of the fingers, difficulty breathing or taking in breaths, also the lose of control is persistent.

When an attack occurs i want to be left alone to deal with the mess that is going on in my head. Sometimes i don’t know how i will make it through one that seems like it is going on forever when in reality is only a couple of minutes. Once it’s usually over i have tears streaming down my face while i gasp for air.

 

What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interrupt with one’s daily life.

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5 Things People Living With Anxiety Want You To Know:
1. Anxiety disorders are not just worrying, it can be debilitating and disabling condition.
2. Anxiety suffers don’t like to worry, but that is how this illness keeps us as prisoners in our own bodies.
3. People with anxiety disorders are not antisocial. Given the way our body reacts to anxiety we try not to put ourselves in a situation that can bring on an attack.
4. We are still a work in progress, which may feel to us like a never ending process.
5. Our anxiety disorder isn’t who we are, it isn’t our personality. We shouldn’t be defined by the borders we’ve set for ourselves to help keep our anxiety at bay.

5 Delightful Joys Of Being A Twin

5 Delightful Joys Of Being A Twin

I know science or whatever claim that the twin gene skips every other generation, that might be true but there is usually always one exception to the rule, throw in my family!

We have 6 sets of twins running through my family, like wildfire! You can imagine how the family reunions go, with 75 me’s running around ranging on a scale from “slightly crazy” to “I’m pretty sure you need a long sleeve jacket with buckles”. Actually, we aren’t that bad. 90% of us are really nice, only about 3 people share that 10% of rude behavior.

I can’t speak for the other 5 sets but i am happy with my choice of twin. His name is Kevin, I’m glad hes a boy. I don’t think i could have a twin sister! Kevin has taught me to stick up for myself, to be tough, while not taking any crap.

I have a few tattoos but by far my favorite is the one i share with him. We loved the movie Toy Story and i bet we watched the scenes right off the VHS, twice. The tattoo symbolizes the infinite love and respect we have for each other. The tattoo is on our left ribcage (closest to our hearts) with the infinity symbol. His says “To Infinity” inside 2 of the opposite directions of the infinity circle & my tattoo says “And Beyond” going in the same direction. If they were to be pulled apart & lined up the complete infinity circle would say “To Infinity And Beyond”. I came up with the idea and never thought he’d agree. It is on our left ribcages, closest to our hearts.

We thought because there was two of us we could ban together and be unstoppable, that lasted an entire 2 minutes before our plan of hurling ourselves onto the floor of the cereal isle failed, miserably. My mom jerked us both up and beat us within inches of our lives (not really, she just popped us on the wrist. At the time it felt we’d been beat), at that moment him & i both knew what defeat tastes like (and it wasn’t cookie crisp).

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One // I will always have a sibling and a best friend, no matter what. We have an unconditional love for one another. I think it came from 7 months in a cramped space, we’ve always been accustomed to sharing.

Two // Our moods do effect each other from time to time, which everyone else thinks is funny. Like when i am 2 days into PMS and people send me messages telling me he is on his man period and very unpleasant to be around.

Three // Him & i can usually just look at one another and know what’s passing through the others mind. Sometimes we say the exact same thing at the same time when asked to give thoughts on something.

Four // When my mother found out she was having twins she was surprised and said “but i only wanted one”. That stuck with the ladies that went with her (dad had previous engagements), so him & i pick on each other by teasing which one of us she really wanted.

Five // Him & I are as different as night and day could get. He is a morning person whereas i am a night owl. He loves the heavier rock music as i like jazz, alternative, & some newer country music. He doesn’t eat condiments but i love ketchup and honey mustard, but we both share an outlandish love for crazy socks!

Bedtime Yoga Routine

Bedtime Yoga Routine

It’s no secret that I love yoga! It does great things for your mind and muscles. I tend to do a daily yoga bedtime routine.

I experimented with different poses until I found my optimum destressers (is that a word? I don’t think it’s a word). To each is their own but I’ve told a few friends about my nightly bedtime routine and they’ve tried it and said they sleep like babies (some of them very loud bear like babies).

The stretching of worked muscles and ease of a tired mind come together like a harmony of well, great things. If you find some of these poses are a little too much then cut back the stretch or cut it out all together.

The idea is to relax enough to fall asleep and rest your mind enough to stay asleep. You’ll wake up refreshed too (that’s your body’s way of thanking you)!

Down Dog

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The preparatory position is with the hands and knees on the floor, hands under the shoulders, fingers spread wide, knees under the hips and typically about seven inches (17 cm) apart, with the spine straightened and relaxed.

On a deep exhale, the hips are pushed toward the ceiling, the body forming an inverted V-shape. The back is straight with the front ribs tucked in. The legs are straight with the heels reaching to the floor.

The hands are open like starfish, keeping the forefinger and thumb pressing down on the floor/mat. The arms are straight, with the inner elbows turning towards the ceiling.

If one has the tendency to hyper extend elbows, keeping a microbend to the elbows prevents taking the weight in the joints. Turning the elbows up towards the ceiling will engage the triceps and build strength. The shoulders are wide and relaxed.

Line up the ears with the inner arms which keeps the neck lengthened.

The hands are shoulder width apart and feet remain hip-width apart. If the hamstrings are very strong or tight, the knees are bent to allow the spine to lengthen fully. The navel is drawn in towards the spine, keeping the core engaged.

The hips move up and back. Focus is on the breath while holding the asana, with deep, steady inhalation and exhalation creating a flow of energy through the body. On an exhale, the practitioner releases onto the hands and knees and rests.

Childs Pose

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In this asana, the body faces the floor in a fetal position. The knees and hips are bent with the shins on the floor.
The chest can rest either on the knees or the knees can be spread to about the width of a yoga mat, allowing the chest to go between the knees.

The head is stretched forward towards the ground – the forehead may touch the ground.

The arms may be stretched forward in front of the head or backwards towards the feet.

Cat Cow Pose

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Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders.

Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big deep inhale.

On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you’re pulling your belly button up towards your spine, really engaging your abs.

Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release. This is your cat-like shape.

On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky — without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck.

This is the Cow portion of the pose. Do this for several breaths.

Seated Spinal Twist Pose

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Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.

Bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can.

Then bend your left knee and cross your left foot over your right knee. Plant it on the floor so your left ankle is next to your right knee.

Reach your left arm behind you and place your palm on the floor. Then bend your right elbow and cross it over the outer side of your left knee.

Keep your elbow bent, or if you can, hold onto your left toes. Keep your left hand on the floor for stability, or bring your left arm around your lower back. Reach for your shirt, or if you can, hook your fingers on the top of your right thigh.

Gaze behind you and over your left shoulder.

Continue pressing your right arm into your left knee, and use each inhale to lengthen the spine and each exhale to rotate further to the left.

Do this for at least 6 breathes.

Corpse Pose


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Lie flat on your back, preferably without any props or cushions. Use small pillow below your neck if absolutely required.

Close your eyes.

Keep your legs comfortable apart and let your feet and knees relax completely, toes facing to the sides.

Place your arms alongside, yet a little spread apart from your body. Leave your palms open, facing upward.

Taking your attention to different body parts one by one, slowly relax your entire body.

Begin with bringing your awareness to the right foot, move on to the right knee (as you complete one leg, move your attention on to the other leg), and so on, and slowly move upwards to your head, relaxing each part of the body.
Keep breathing slowly, gently, deeply and allow your breath to relax you more and more. The incoming breath energizes the body while the outgoing breath brings relaxation.

Drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else. Just be with the body and the breath. Surrender the whole body to the floor and let go.

After some time, about 10-20 minutes you should feel fully relaxed.

Hello There!

Hello There!

You may have seen me around here before, I’ve had 2 previous blogs (The Crafty Side Of Sarcasm & Namaste And Eat Cupcakes) over the last few years.

I didn’t know anything about blogging, really. I was just sort of winging it with a post here and maybe one there with one falling towards the end of the month too.

I had no real focus with these two previous. I have learned so much in the 4 years i have been blogging, I decided on the niche I’d like to take part in, along with a few side subjects.

I want to research and write post like i do in my freelance business. I was throwing up posts that spewed out whatever was on my mind at the time. Which if you know me, ya know it was very random.

Let me introduce Myself

I’m Leslie Nichole, i live in the south with my FURbaby Quinn who is 14 months old. I pretty much run on caffeine (usually in the form of mocha’s), (carbs – pasta, gnocchi, & muffins. I love them but i am trying out a healthier lifestyle) and sarcasm (please don’t take offence to the sarcastic posts that may show up). I have horrible anxiety which makes ut hard to come out of my shell, but I’m working on it.

I enjoy yoga, baking (there will ve recipes, which will not be healthy), light cooking (these recipes will be healthier), watching Disney movies (Belle is my favorite), i am a runner (only in the fall/winter though. The summers here in NC are brutally hot) oh and i collect sugar skulls. I absolutely love them, i love color which they are full of.

I have one sibling whom i share most of my sarcastic moments with, my twin brother – Kevin. Throughout life he has always been my best friend, financial advisor (i make horrible decisions), role model (for him to be an idiot he makes smart choices), and partner in crime (when i have no one else to hang out with me at food truck rodeo’s or craving a cheeseburger pizza and beer).

I juggle a schedule of part times such as assistant to my aunt at the insurance agency she owns and freelance writing. I enjoy working with my aunt, she is my favorite. She loves me as much as my own mom, she even wanted me when i was a baby. I decided to quit my cushy full time job in January to peruse freelance writing, i love intertwining words that make up incredible stories or that share amazing facts. On Monday, i picked up another part time job at Yankee Candle! I am one of those people who feel lazy if they aren’t doing something, so why not fill more time slots. I think forcing myself to talk with strangers will help me get a hold on my anxiety or at least help me identify triggers.

I believe that is enough about me, i want to hear from you! What is one thing that makes you, you? What do you love, hate, despise? I want to come out of the shadows to build new friendships this time around, i can’t wait to meet you!