Chocolate filled strawberries

Chocolate filled strawberries

These were super easy and even more super yummy! Didn’t even think about doing these anytime soon, but Chiara saw the strawberries at Walmart and insisted on getting them.
Looking in the pantry later that day proved that we had some chocolate morsels left so I decided to give this a go. The first attempt to melt the morsels lead to a horrible burnt chocolate smell. Ended up doing a shorter melt time and added some water to help them dissolve.
Hulling the strawberries proved to be super easy. I started with a spoon, but a paring knife worked really well. Then you just pour the chocolate in and I set mine in the refrigerator to cool.
The original pin says to use an empty egg carton, but I didn’t have one to spare, so I just balanced them in a bowl.
This was a huge hit with Tony, the kids and myself, so we’ll definitely be doing again. I really need to find more excuses to entertain…….
Original pin at http://www.pincookie.com/inside-out-chocolate-filled-strawberries/

Fairies in a jar

Fairies in a jar

This one was both cool, and kind of a letdown. It did not turn out as spiffy as I would’ve hoped, but you get that sometimes with Pinterest stuff.
The basic directions are to cut open a glow stick, sprinkle in some diamond dust and shake it up! I did this the first time (as seen here) with regular glitter. I used the glow-bracelets because they are thinner and you might actually be able to cut them open. I did try a second time with actual diamond dust, but the results were the same.
The directions were unclear as to whether or not I needed to crack the glow stick before cutting it. I tried both ways and not cracking it, well, you may as well have used water!
I’m not saying this isn’t cool, and my kids were really entertained by this, but this did not turn out near as well as I had hoped. I’d say still try this one, but don’t set your hopes to high. I was expecting floating glittery-ness and I got this. Sad Stevie today, sad Stevie!
Original pin (aka picture only) is at http://media-cache-ak1.pinimg.com/originals/db/51/ce/db51ced380c024f49ab726bf1769e9e9.jpg
The original pin with directions can be found on my board ‘fun ideas’. Look for ads061006

Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread

Little Caesar's Crazy Bread

When I started making this, my husband asked me why I’m gathering so many recipes for breadsticks. My response, I’m trying them all out so I know which ones are the easiest to make and which come end up being the yummiest! He decided that was ok.
This was really easy, probably the easiest one yet. We make our own dough for pizza, so it was a matter of just making a little extra. Apparently I didn’t make enough though, so our pizzas ended up medium sized instead of large. But it’s a live and learn world out there! I know I’ll be making this one again.
I know I’ve told you all about my love of bread, so please don’t think it’s my love of bread talking, but please try this one out. If you don’t make your own dough, there is always the canned stuff the recipe actually calls for to try.
The picture is my sweet boy Arthur enjoying the yummy-ness. Him and I sat and ate about half the tray before I finally put them away till dinner time!
Ingredients:
1 (10 ounce) can pizza dough (I just made extra on pizza night since we make our dough from scratch)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Unroll dough on a clean surface. Cut dough in half lengthwise, and then cut 8 strips vertically (making 16 small bread sticks). Place each strip onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. While bread sticks are baking, melt the butter and stir in garlic salt. Remove bread sticks from the oven and brush on garlic butter mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
Original directions found here

Cute cake!

Cute cake!

This was so easy, and it was a big hit! I bought 9 of the giant Kit Kat bars to make sure I had enough, but I only needed 5. My argument was, better safe than sorry! I did try out a new Pinterest cake recipe, but that is for another night. I cheated a little and bought the pre-made Pillsbury icing. I knew that making a batch of mine would have way too much leftover.
Cake made, cooled, iced and then I went crazy sticking Kit Kat bars to the side. The icing really helps hold it in place, so make sure you stick the bars before the icing sets. When you break the bars up, leave 2 stuck together for the pieces. You could do individually, but why make things more difficult? I used the ribbon you see, mainly because it was what I had on hand, but it was cute, I think? Don’t you agree?
After the bars are stuck and the ribbon is tied, take your M&Ms and pour them over the top, trying to make sure they are layered evenly. The icing will stick to them a little, so be prepared!
I have the cake set up real pretty for the picture on my Longaberger 8-in-1 entertainer, also pretty!
Cutting this cake was a little bit of a doozy. I was thinking I would have to almost completely break it down to cut it, but no! I only removed the ribbon and cut between the broken bars, the M&Ms kind of spread themselves apart for a knife.
All of us ended up eating these slices in stages. The kids ate the Kit Kats and M&Ms first, then moved on to the cake. Tony and I started with the cake and moved on to candy, but to each their own.
Fair warning, this combo is very rich, make sure you have milk on standby!
Happy baking!
Original picture (no real directions) can be found here.

Super Easy Bacon

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Feeling a little lazy so this felt like the perfect thing to blog about. The easiest way to make bacon ever is as follows. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. The directions call for parchment paper, but I lined my cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Put the pan in the oven when you first set the preheat. Bake until crisp and browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer strips to a paper towel to drain.
For me, this meant I had to use the timer on my microwave. I love my oven, but if I set up the timer before it’s up to temp, the timer will kick off when it’s up to temp. So, Bacon-ators, beware!
I found the pin here.
Follow my Pinterest activity at ads061006

Jewelry Cleaning

Jewelry Cleaning

Wow, I feel like all of my cleaning attempts from Pinterest lately have been a bust. My jewelry wasn’t really dirty, but sometimes I take it in for no reason to the jewelers for a cleaning and then I notice a HUGE difference after the cleaning. My wedding ring just sparkles like starlight after a cleaning.
The directions are fairly simple for this.
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon dish detergent
1 cup water
1 piece aluminum foil
Directions:
Heat water in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl (like a cereal bowl). Pour hot water into bowl. Place salt, soda, and dishwashing liquid into bowl. Place jewelry on top of foil and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse jewelry in cool water and dry jewelry completely with soft cloth. Discard solution after use and make a new batch next time. According to wire-sculpture.com, “this works well for gold-filled, brass, german (nickel) silver, and sterling silver. I cleaned my cameo ring and there was no damage.
I just didn’t notice any difference. Other than it stripping off the ‘grunge’ finish from a kind of crappy ring. No amazing sparkle, no gleam in the light, I definitely will not be doing this again.
I did notice the chemical reaction kicking in, and had high hopes, but I was doomed to disappointment!
Try at the risk of your own time.
Original pin found here

Perfect Sweet Tea

Perfect Sweet Tea

Ingredients –
5 – 8 Family size Tea Bags. (or 12 regular Tea Bags)
I used my traditional Lipton bag. we usually use 6 tea bags to make 2 gallons of tea and it works so this felt like a lot of bags for 1 gallon!
1 Quart (4 Cups) – Boiling Water
3 Quarts (12 cups) – Cool Water
1 1/2 – 2 (one & a half) – Cups Sugar
We usually use one cup of sugar per gallon so I knew this would be my tea. Tony will drink sweet tea from McDonald’s but he whines when it’s really sweet at home!
1/4 teaspoon – Baking Soda (this IS the SECRET Ingredient!!)
It seems a little like a gimme since this is a secret ingredient for a lot of things.
Directions – Sprinkle baking soda into a pitcher, add tea bags to the pitcher/baking soda, pour boiling water over tea bags, cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
Remove and toss out tea bags, add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. add cool water. Refrigerate until cold and ready to drink.
Serve over ice, take a nice long sip. *swoon* Repeat.
This seemed like a lot of effort, and Tony got a little weird over how many tea bags and how much sugar I was using, but you have to live and learn. I really enjoyed the taste of it, and I would definitely call this a success. It is a lot of work to put into tea every time, but I think as maybe a, once-in-a-while, summertime treat, it’s a definite winner!
If you like sweet tea, try it!
Original pin located here.
Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest by looking up Stephanie DeSantis, maybe pick something off my wall for me to try next…..

Victorian Photography Studio

Victorian Photography Studio

I know it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been, but I’m still having so much fun with the memories (and pictures and evidence)!
I finally found a frame that I like for this photo (I have a habit of stock-piling frames) and I got it hung up in the house. This was my personal favorite thing we did while in Gettysburg.
I spent a lot of time on tripadvisor.com while planning this trip and this photography studio popped up. I spent a lot of time on the website. The pictures looked amazing, but I kept waffling over the price. Finally, I decided, that we were saving so much money with the inexpensive things we were doing, that we could afford this.
So I started sending e-mails to the owners. I wanted to be sure about the pricing since I was having a little trouble being sure of how the pricing works. I heard back from the owners almost immediately explaining how much it would be for what I wanted.
Second question came from my husband. He was wondering, since we were bringing the dogs, could we have them in the picture. Again, I heard back from the owner almost immediately, absolutely we could bring the dogs, that’s no problem.
Third and final question was if I could still book an appointment since their website wasn’t taking my credit card. Again, that’s not a problem, of course they will make our appointment.
So I was already thrilled with their service before we even left home! Once we arrived for our appointment, we had a few minutes to wait, then were shown to where the photo would be taken. They started with getting my daughter and I dressed first and that was fun. The lady did come in with us, but some of the clothing is a little difficult, so it’s understandable. I’m not shy, so this was no big deal. Chiara loved the clothes too! I was a little concerned about the hair, and was wondering how I could style it to work with the photo. No problems there because she styled my hair quickly and efficiently. Chiara and I got to twirl around while the guys got dressed up.
This is such a family friendly place! We went with the digital because the wet plate style requires perfect stillness for 24 seconds. Not recommended for pets and small children! The photographers were amazing, getting the kids to cooperate and they were just so patient. They were even relaxed about getting the dogs to cooperate, which as you can tell, they did!
It took 30 minutes (if I remember correctly) for them to develop the pictures. I walked in and picked them up, no fuss, no muss.
The photos were amazing, the experience was amazing! If you are in Gettysburg, make your appointment early because they fill up quick! It does feel expensive, mainly because I tend to be thrifty (read cheap), but I was completely satisfied with it!
This pin gets 2 thumbs way, way up!
Check out their website here

Gettysburg Ghost Tours

Gettysburg Ghost Tours

I will be honest and tell you that I did not go on this tour myself, but these experiences are from Tony, my husband.
We, Tony especially, are very interested in the paranormal. When I picked out Gettysburg for Arthur’s Spring Break, this was one of the draws that helped me convince Tony to agree. He loves those shows on tv where they hunt the ghosts, so he was excited about using the tools of the trade.
I will not lie, if you go to Gettysburg, walking down the main drag you will be overwhelmed by the number of “ghost hunting” opportunities. There are some that allow you to bring your pets, there are some that are family friendly and believe me, I researched before we left. Gettysburg Ghost Tours, at 47 Steinwehr Ave, was one of the few I found where they use the same tools you see on the shows. There were several options of tours. There was a regular “ghost walk” that struck me as more of a history lesson while walking around town. This seemed like more of a family thing, and not quite what Tony was looking for. They had an overnight tour that sounded like fun, but we knew that Tony would’ve been up all day the day before the tour so that would’ve been really exhausting.
He ended up choosing their Xtreme Ghost Hunt. It seemed a little pricey, at $55, but as you can see from the picture there were some definite perks. I deliberately waited until we got the ‘evidence’ to blog about this. Tony enjoyed it a lot, his only complaint was that their stop at a haunted school-house was a little over-crowded. He said it was a tiny building and with 20 of them, they were practically tripping over each other.
The perks of this tour, that ran from 11pm-2am, was a certificate stating that he had participated in their ghost hunt, a group shot and a DVD of the videos he took on their equipment, different thermal images and other assorted evidence. He was really excited when he got it in the mail and I enjoyed watching his tour evidence.
If ghost hunting is something you would like to try and you end up in the Gettysburg area, make sure you stop by here and at least check them out!
Check out their homepage

Supposed Miracle Mop Solution

Supposed Miracle Mop Solution

I would call this experiment partially successful. They made this out to be a miracle mopping solution, which I am all about something simple that I can’t run out of. Cheaper and, while it has several ingredients, it’s at least stuff that I have on hand at all times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone to mop once or twice and I don’t have my Mr. Clean. Yes, dish soap works, but not as well.
So you take the following ingredients and mix them all up, easy peasy!
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
1/4 cup washing soda
2 gallons tap water, very warm
Then proceed to mop your floor.
I did all of this and discovered 2 things. First, this is the soapiest solution you will ever use on your floors. I actually had to go over again with clean water to get all the suds up. Second, this will leave streaks on your floor.
The only good thing I found from this solution is that it powers through spots on the floor. No scrubbing required, I just pushed the mop across the scummy stuff and it went away.
Of course afterwards I had to re-mop with clean water, then run a steam mop to get rid of the streaks. The original pin said it smelled good, and it did, however Mr. Clean smells good too and I only have to mop once!
We’ll label this try at your own discretion, and if you have time to do the job 3 times!
Original pin found here
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