Revisiting Pinterest

This particular blog isnt about any specific pin, but more about the repeatable-ness of some of these pins. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to come up with something to blog about, even though I’m constantly using Pinterest in daily life.
For example, I made beignets again this morning. They are such a yummy breakfast treat! The big trick is remembering to make the dough the night before. Or the crockpot french toast, even though I didn’t care for it in the crockpot, the batter was amazing on regular french toast, that was yesterday’s breakfast.
So while I may not always have something new and exciting to post, I’m still using Pinterest, almost on a daily basis. I guess this is me asking you not to get bored when I don’t have something amazing to post. I do have some interesting blogs coming up, including my first guest blogger. So stay tuned for some excellent pins!

In Death Saga

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Murder mysteries sell. You’ve got Patterson, King and top of my list JD Robb. This book series review feels like it’s coming very close on the heels of my last one on the Lords of the Underworld, but I’ve set myself a goal to reread the entire series over the summer, so I thought I’d share it with you guys!
The series opens in the year 2058, so there is some awesome technology. Leutenant Eve Dallas works homicide attached to the NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) at Cop Central. During the first crime of the series, Eve meets the rich and handsome Roarke.
One of the things I love about this series is that it is as much about the love between Eve and Roarke as it is catching the bad guy. At first, I was hesitant to read these books because I am such a big fan of Nora Roberts. JD Robb is a pen name and I was worried that her crime dramas wouldnt be on the same level as her romance books. Boy was I wrong! The whole series is amazing.
You are drawn into the life of Eve Dallas and her quest for justice.  You learn more and more about her traumatic past and how it has pushed her into standing for the dead. She always stands for the victim even when they didn’t deserve it in life.
I’m about halfway to my summer goal. I’m currently on Purity in Death. A group of cyber terrorists is using a computer virus to murder the people who have been skating through the justice system without paying for the crimes commited against children in New York. Many people in the city consider them to be the guardians they are pretending to be. Eve sees them for what they are.  Overzealous terrorists who see themselves as judge, jury and executioner. Now Eve and her team of cops must try to track them down before this group has a chance to spread their “vision” with more people they’ve found guilty.
Occasionally the bad guy is easy to pinpoint, but sometimes it seems completely out of left field. The stories are well written, rich in detail and have characters that you will fall a little in love with yourself! Start from the beginning or pick it up in the middle, just enjoy! I did have a pin for this one but the link was no good. You can check out jdrobb.com or noraroberts.com for a complete list of her works.

Samsung Galaxy S4

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Happy, happy day in the life of SuperStevieD! I got my new phone upgrade today. Needless to say every spare moment today has been spent playing on my new toy….
I’ve been debating phones with myself for months. Tony took the early uograde this year because he was beyond upset with his old phone and I was still content with my iPhone 4. He went with the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Yes it’s the giant phone with the S-pen. After about a week he was adjusted to the size and completely in love with his phone.
I had a huge dilemma now! I have been thinking of the iPhone 5 for months, since it’s release, then I was enjoying Tony’s Note II, then I started reading about the S4!
After much internal debate, I settled on the S4. The deciding factor was the camera. I am a picture crazy person and the megapixel count on this phone is higher than my camera! There are a ton of different settings. Night settings, motion settings that allow you to combine a motion shot like surfing or skateboarding, a best face option, and a best photo option.
The core processor is amazing. It is so much faster than my iPhone 4 was. Adjusting to the speed has been interesting.
Some more interesting options include the hand motion feature. You can wave your hand in front of the screen to scroll through the amazing photos you’ve taken or even answer your phone. I’ve had Tony call me twice just to test it!
I can’t begin to explain the specs and all that fun stuff, but I will refer you to http://www.urdesign.it/index.php/2013/03/15/samsung-galaxy-s-4/ for the specific details. I’d love to hear what all of you think of these phones if you have one. If not, be sure to pop in to your local Verizon store where most of them have a live demo now!

Plastic Envelope

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This one was kind of an odd duck pin. I don’t know if I’ll make any more, but I will definitely be fiddling with it to see if I can pretty it up.
You start with an empty gallon milk jug, which everyone can get no problem! I’m going to describe the steps on how to cut, but I strongly recommend checking out the original pin to see how it’s done. Even if you mess it up, just drink milk and start again! There is one flat side on a milk carton, with no handle, or divot. That is the side that is going to form your top flap.
The lines you see are actually my market lines, which I hope to eliminate on future attempts. It is helpful to have the lines your first try.
The flat side is going to be a nice big arc that encompasses as much space as possible, draw it to the top, where it just starts to curl over.
The other sides will be short rounded hills. Where your sides meet, draw them together into a kind of car smile. Silly directions I know, but remember how you would draw a line from the nose to curve out into the two sides of a smile? That’s what we’re going for. Then you cut out your lines and fold the ‘bottom’ flap up, the two sides in and the ‘top’ flap over it.
I have yet to figure out how they attached the button to hold it closed, but will definitely update when I figure it out.
Best part of this pin, cheap thrills! Enjoy!
Original pin, which is not in English, but has helpful pictures is at http://elmundodelreciclaje.blogspot.com/2011/05/recicla-un-bidon.html?m=1

Relationships

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Today was a rough day. Not personally, or professionally, well, trouble at work was as usual! Towards the end of my day, I was listening to coworkers conversations, the way you do when they happen to be in the same area as you, and listening to them, I got a sick feeling in my gut. Nothing can be more disheartening than listening to people so casually discussing cheating. It breaks my heart a little every time I hear someone throw something, potentially so great, right out the window.
I get so angry whenever someone forsakes their wedding vows. Yes, it’s not my marriage or relationship, but it deeply offends me.
I’m not saying people don’t make mistakes, they do, we are after all, only human. What upsets me about it is the fact that they don’t care.
If you make promises to someone, you should try your best. If you promise to love someone forever, you shouldn’t be willing to turn so quickly to someone else. I think, most importantly, you have to be honest! If you cheat on someone, tell them! If you don’t really love someone, don’t lie to them about it!
I take my marriage very seriously. It sounds a little cheesy, but I really believe he’s the love of my life. I’m not a huge believer in soul mates, for all that it is a romantic notion. I do strongly believe that there are people we are more suited to, and though it may seem contradictory, I do believe we all have one great love of our lives. I don’t think Tony was destined to be in my life, but choices we’ve made, have made him become a part of me.
I don’t expect anyone to have my same ideals, I would never ask that of someone. The only thing I do ask of people: if you are not willing to commit to your relationships, be they friendly or romantic, don’t cheapen all relationships by lying.
That’s part of why it offends me. I don’t think that allowing same sex couples to marry will destroy the institution of marriage. I know many who disagree with that statement, but this is my blog, so it’s my opinion. What cheapens all marriages, is when people see them as something disposable. It’s not the new dating, or a way to pass some time while you’re waiting for something better.
This may seem like a rant, but it’s really a desperate plea! Take your relationships seriously. I’m not saying don’t have casual ones, but please don’t pretend they are something they’re not.
Love is precious. Take care with it!
Picture has been borrowed from http://www.mediawebapps.com/picturelike.php?id=660

Tornado in a Jar

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This was a quick and momentarily entertaining pin. The kids were really fascinated, to the point that I was worried they would break the jar.
This is an easy pin because I guarantee you have everything necessary already in your home. You take an empty jar, just raid your recyclables for one. Fill your jar until you have about an inch or two of space left. Then, I was eyeballing it, but pour in dish soap, I put in about 2 tbsp. You want a good amount of spuds, so don’t be afraid to add more. Now comes the fun part: SPIN IT AND SHAKE IT!
The original pinner said you can shake it a ton of different ways, but I found the best way was to spin it in a circle.
Chiara wasn’t super impressed, but Arthur was practically shouting, “It’s a whirlpool!” He was really sad when I dumped it out. As easy as it is, I’m sure we’ll do this one again.
We’ll chalk this up as a quick and easy thrill, so give it a try!
Spin on all, spin on!
Original pin can be found at http://elliemoon.typepad.com/blog/2012/02/tornado-in-a-jar-diy.html

Glitter Candle Jars

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This one was super easy and kid friendly. Two of my favorite features in a pin! ^.^
Over the last several months I’ve been stockpiling assorted jars and wine bottles for different projects. Sometimes it pays off!
I’ve recently adapted one of my thirty-one large utility totes into a craft bag, in an attempt to keep my supplies together. Keeping that bag with my scrap poking supplies keeps my bases covered!
I drew from my magic tote, my mod-podge and diamond dust. I used one of my sponge brushes, got some mod-podge on the side of it and brushed it all around the inside of my empty and clean jars.
Now it’s time to let the kids play. I dumped a bit of diamond dust into the jar, while the mod-podge was still wet, and let them spin it around and around. I dumped the excess dust onto my newspaper table protector.
Then you just let everything dry and insert a tea light candle into your jar and let it sparkle!
The original pinner said she used a glue wash (Elmer’s glue + water) instead of mod-podge, but I had the mod-podge handy. Then she said you can use whatever glitter you would like.
The only place I disagree with the original pinner is over when is the appropriate time for glitter is. She says Christmas is the only acceptable time. My argument: don’t let anyone dull your sparkle! I think glitter is appropriate anytime, as long as it doesn’t cover everything you own. Tony did agree that these would be a beautiful centerpiece for Christmas, especially if I put them on a cheerful plate.
Happy crafting and keep on sparkling!
Original pin can be found at http://cakerypapery.com/2012/11/27/festive-holiday-diy-glitter-mason-jar-candles/

Horizon of Hope

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By now, some of you are aware of my love of Longaberger. For those of you that are unaware, Longaberger is an American based company that started out with handmade baskets.
40 years later, it’s still mostly about the baskets, handmade right here in Ohio, but today they feature pottery, home decor and as of last September, their new line of ceramic cookware, Flameware.
The pottery was made for many years overseas, but they recently opened a factory in Buffalo, NY where the pottery will now be made.
But I digress! This is all about their Horizon of Hope line. For the last 16 years, Longaberger has featured items depicting hope for those with breast cancer. Since they joined hands with the American Cancer Society, they have raised over 15 million dollars. Every year they release a basket set, available in the traditional basket colors and whitewashed/pink. They’ve recently added items such as reusable market bags, potpourri, travel mugs and more.
My favorite part about these products is that they are beautiful, functional and they give you an opening to discuss what is a very important issue. Breast cancer affects a great number of women and the search for a cure is important! This month is the only month the basket is available during the year and through the 16th of this month they have specials going on do several items. Head on over and check them out. It’ll give you a chance to be a part of something amazing and you get something, besides that feel good feeling, out of it!
Original pin and check out the specials here

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken

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I’ve made this several times since pinning. I’m still fiddling with the seasonings each time. It has a great taste that we love, but it’s missing a little something.
To make this delicious yumminess, you brown 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts in a pan. As per my norm, I cubed my chicken. Then you put the following into a blender: 4-5 garlic cloves, 1 cup fresh basil, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I’ve been slowly adding more of this each time, the taste is only getting better) and 1/4 cup water. Pulse it until its puréed.
Put your chicken into your casserole dish, I like my round Longaberger one because 9×13 just wasn’t as visually appealing. I know it’s silly, but oh well! Pour your puréed mixture over your chicken. Layer 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 a red onion sliced and a package of cherry tomatoes cut in half over the top. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake at 375* for 40 minutes.
Like I said earlier, it’s very yummy, just be ready to experiment a little to get just the right flavor.
Enjoy the yummies!
Original pin can be found at http://shellyheim.com/2012/08/31/balsamic-vinegar-chicken/

Crockpot French Toast

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This one was easy so I didn’t wait to long after pinning to try. I’m a big French toast fan, so I figured that if this one turned out good, my life would greatly improve. Throw this together the night before my day off and them have a leisurely breakfast the next day. That’s what I loved most about this one. No standing over the stove first thing in the morning, just whisk together the ingredients and let the crockpot do the work!
You take 1/2 a loaf of bread and tear the pieces in half. Whisk together 6 eggs, 2 cups milk, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Dunk your bread in your mixture, then later it in your crockpot. When your done, pour the remaining mixture over the bread and let it cook on your lowest setting for 6 hours, or overnight.
The taste was amazing, all of us cleared out plates and Chiara and I had seconds.
I’m not really sure that I’ll make this one again though. The texture was a little off putting. The original pinner did say it was soufflé like, but having never had soufflé before, I don’t know what that is like. I like my bread to not be quite so soggy. I did love the taste though, so I will definitely keep the mixture recipe!
Check out the original pin at http://thecakeeccentric.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/brunch-crock-pot-french-toast/
Look Stephanie DeSantis up on Pinterest and follow me, maybe offer tips on which pin to try next!