Epic

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Well Blue Sky Studios has done it again! I loved all of the Ice Age movies, so they have yet to disappoint me. I loved the preview, mostly because of the amazing Snow Patrol song playing,  but I was a little worried it was going to follow the basic plotline of Arthur and the Invisibles. I could definitely draw similarities, but it managed to stand alone as an amazing story!
It begins with Mary Katherine, MK, voiced by Amanda Seyfried, dealing with the loss of her mom and moving in with her dad. Her parents’ marriage had fallen apart because of her father’s obsession with an advanced civilization of tiny people who live in the forest.
MK’s disbelief doesn’t prevent her from being drawn into the battle between the Leafmen and the Rot. The queen, voiced by Beyoncé, is choosing her successor, but the Rot intervenes and MK is forced to do her part to protect the forest.
Other voice talents include Colin Farrell and Josh Hutcherson. There are other great voices, but those were the highlights for me!

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Both kids were enthralled with the movie. They were laughing and yelling oh no. There is a scene where MK and Nod, voiced by Josh Hutcherson, are riding on deer antlers and Chiara just said, “wow, that’s beautiful.” The little world they created for this is just mind boggling. 
As stated before, you can draw similarities to other great ‘save the enviornment’ movies. Ferngully, Arthur and the Invisibles and even Avatar. They’re all movies thay make you want to rush out and plant a tree or flowers.

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The 3D BluRay set even includes seed packets! It’s a little bit of a mystery what they are, it just says they will be beautiful. I can’t wait to find out!
I’m not going to put any spoilers with this movie review, I’m just going to encourage you to buy, borrow or rent it. It’s a great movie, I would say for everyone, but I’ve been informed I enjoy kids movies a little too much. Tony enjoyed it too, and he is a little more discerning than I. So check it out and let me know what you think!
Original pin can be found at http://www.examiner.com/article/august-20-2013-dvd-blu-ray-and-3d-epic-with-amanda-seyfried-colin-farrell

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Who has been to Universal Studios in Florida? It’s an amazing vacation choice no matter what. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is Mecca! The first year we went, I spent half a day, to Tony’s dismay, in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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As you approach, Hogwarts is all you can see. It seems larger than life, even though it’s obviously not a full size castle. The tips site I’m referncing says to make sure you take lots of pictures. You want to make sure you get at least one with the castle. I have probably 200 pictures taken in this one part of the park, and they’re all beautiful. Hogwarts is amazing, no matter the angle! Personal tip: best place for a picture with the castle is on the bridge heading towards Jurassic Park.

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Under the castle is the entrance to the best ride in this world. The Forbidden Journey of Harry Potter. They have two lines, one for single riders and one for groups. The single rider line may move quick, but the sites are much better along the group line! The group line takes you through Dumbledore’s study, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom and Harry, Ron and Hermione tell you they’re going to give you a secret tour though the castle.
Once on the ride, you may believe you’re on a broomstick! You see the whole castle, the forbidden forest, compete in a quidditch match and face a dragon! Wow!!
The other rides include The Dragon Challenge, formerly the Dueling Dragons and The Flight of the Hippogriff.

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Be prepared to spend time browsing the shops too! If you have some time, make sure you visit Ollivander’s wand shop. They select someone from the small crowd and take them through the wand selecting process, just like in the movie. It’s nothing earth shattering, but cute nonetheless.
You can visit the gift shops and buy your own wand or other amazing items.
                          

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The food is a must! Mainly the candy and most definitely the butterbeer! You can even buy it in a souvenir cup so you can make your own at home! Check out my homemade butterbeer, tried, true and delicious, recipe We did try the lunch at the Three Broomsticks and it was pretty good. A little pricey, but you expect that in a theme park.

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Something that wasn’t on this particular tip list was the shows! There are two shows they perform throughout the day. One is the Hogwarts choir. It features 4 students and their director, singing with giant frogs, just like in Prisoner of Azkaban!
The second show features the visiting students in Goblet of Fire. You get to see the Durmstrang guys jump around, like in the photo. You also see the beautiful Beauxbaton ladies twirl around. Neither show should be missed!
If you’ve never been, put this on your list because it is so much fun! It doesn’t matter if you’re 9 or 99, while you might not be able to ride the rides, you will love the atmosphere!
If you’ve already been, share your own experiences!
Original pin can be found at http://usa.amateurtraveler.com/tips-for-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter/

Work Intrudes

I was so proud of myself when I started my blog. I did over 100 posts, one a day for almost 4 months. Go me, right? Here recently, we’ve been prepping for inventory at work. Walmart inventory, especially at the Steelyard, is a study in frustration.
I have still been enjoying my Pinterest, but sticking to repeats for now. I’m building my repertoire back up, so don’t think I’ve bailed on it.
Consider this a mental health break! I’ll be back Monday night with a whole host of new completed or experienced pins.
A few weeks ago I had my very good friend Jenna as a guest blogger. I still think I’m going to do footprint bugs with my own kids too! Has anyone else completed any pins and want to share their experience?
Shoot me an email at stephanie_desantis@live.com if you are interested in maybe being a guest blogger.

Edible Margarita

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I figured this for a Fourth of July treat, but for some reason we never bought a watermelon. Complete laziness? Absolutley! When I mom brought the kids back after their week long excursion, she gave us a watermelon. It’s been sitting in the fridge for a bit, but I felt today was the day!
We’re leading up to inventory at work, so needless to say, I’ve been a little stressed out. After having a delicious dinner, prepared by Tony, I asked, ever so sweetly, for him to go get me some tequila and coarse salt. He’s a little soft on me, so he did. It was also an opportunity for him to resupply on Bud Light.
I sliced the watermelon a little goofy, but I always do. The kids who were so anxious for some, didn’t even want their’s. Silly kids.
Word to the wise. Cautiously add tequila! I over soaked mine and boy do I feel it! Then you dip your watermelon in coarse salt and bite! Yummy!!
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Watermelon margaritas have always been some of my favorite kinds. The taste is great, but again, don’t over-soak your watermelon!
Sadly the original pin doesn’t link to anything anymore, so I can’t share credit. Feel free to check the original pin on my ‘yummy’ board. Follow my Pinterest interests! Stephanie DeSantis

Homemade Sugar Scrub

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This one was a little weird. It does feel pretty good rubbing it on your skin, but there is a weird residue on your skin afterward.
This is a simple mixture. You take 1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp olive oil and an optional tsp of ginger powder. The original pinner said that it gives a nice little tingle.
I’m a little torn over it. I am planning on using the rest of the jar, but I don’t think I’ll make anymore. It does leave a smooth feeling when used on hands and feet. Really any other body part except your face.
I really think my biggest problem with this is the fact the the elements seem to separate while it sits. I have to shake my jar prior to every use.
So my search for a homemade face scrub will continue……
Check out the original pin at http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/McKayMachina/view/what-to-do-with-all-that-sugar-in-the-pantry-121343

A funny moment

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This wasn’t anything super difficult, although I did have to figure out my new picstitch app…… What a pain that was!
Tony took these pictures months ago, but as soon as I saw a particular picture on Pinterest, I knew I had to do this to my Daphne pictures.
A little background on my Daphne-cat. She’s been with us for about 7 1/2 years. She was around one year old when I found her outside the loading bay at my Walmart. She was just sitting in the drizzling rain, meowing, just being so pitiful. I was on third shift at the time, so I called Tony to come to my store and pick up my new baby. She is the most affectionate cat. She’s also great with the kids. Even with provocation, she has never clawed them. The puppy is pushing her patience level to new heights, but she’s just the best!
Enjoy this for what it is: a cute animal moment!
For my inspiration, check out my board ‘freaking hilarious’. Follow me on Pinterest, Stephanie DeSantis

Hard Rock Café in Cleveland

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We’ve eaten here several times. Usually when my parents are in town, because mom is a Hard Rock All Access member. She collects the pins and loves the assorted merchandise they sell. She is, in a way, the ultimate consumer. We love her for it though because it leads to good times and great food!
It occurred to me recently that, although I have a collection of Hard Rock glasses, from hurricane to high ball, I don’t have one from the Cleveland restaurant, and I only live a half an hoir away! When mom suggested dinner there after our zoo trip, I was completely on board with the idea.
For those of you who have never been to a Hard Rock, it is a rock n’ roll memorabilia place that serves what I consider real American food! Giant hamburgers, tasty salads and really excellent alcoholic beverages. The great part about the alcohol is that if you order one in a souvenir glass, yes it is a little more expensive, but you get a clean glass to take home. That’s how I have built my collection. Now I have a really fantastic, limited edition high ball glass from Cleveland. Awesome!
This was also my cousin Ben’s first trip to a Hard Rock, so this was a little more fun this time around. The kids always love the experience too. The staff is always friendly, the food is delicious, so we give them two thumbs way, way up!
Only question mark when visiting Cleveland anything, including the Hard Rock, is parking. You can pay $10 for valet or hit a parking garage. No free parking in Cleveland! Still worth it, at least to try it!
Happy eating!
Hard Rock in Cleveland is located at 230 West Huron Road, Cleveland, Ohio – 230 W Huron Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113
Original pin can be found at http://rickzimmerman.hubpages.com/hub/Hard-Rock-Cafe-Cleveland-Ohio

Twilight at the Zoo

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This was the 20th year of Twilight qt the Zoo. It is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s annual night of drinking, bands and good times. This was the first year Tony and I went. It was also the first time in all 20 years that they were rained on. It started out great! Twisted Tea, Samuel Adams, and Jacob’s Creek Wine were all complementary throughout the night and also some yummy snacks.
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Not all of the bands were my speed, but the best part of this is variety. They had reggae, rock cover bands and a whole lot in between. A couple of the bands were even giving out free t-shirts. I’m all about freebies!
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A couple of vendors were there too giving out little prize packs too, so I ended up with a leather padfolio, a few pens and other usually useless items, but I liks free stuff!
The rain was a bumner because the bands had to shut down unless they were one of the lucky ones under a gazebo. We were clever enough to bring an umbrella, but my flats were a dead loss in the rain. So I spent most of the night going barefoot.
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We still managed to have a good time, so we are definitely planning to return next year!
Original pin with all the details can be found at http://clevelandzoosociety.org/events/2013/08/twilight-at-the-zoo

Dress-up Dresser

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I’ve been in love with this idea since I’ve seen it. Chiara is a complete girl! She loves dressing up, putting on her heels, and admiring herself in the mirror. At 16, this may worry me, but at 3, it is adorable!
I’ve been using a Longaberger basket to keep all of her dress-up clothes and accessories together, but Nana just loves adding to her collection. The basket was filling up fast! The kids are with my parents until tomorrow, so I pushed Tony into taking care of this for me. He is much more handy than I will ever be, when it comes to stuff like this.

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This is what we started with. It came off Craigslist for free and I originally planned to use it for a different pin, but it was a little to tall for what I had planned. So Tony ripped out the top 4 drawers and added a shelf above the bottom drawer. It ended up looking like this until we painted it with leftover bedroom paint. Our bedroom is a lovely lilac color, perfect for a little girl’s dress-up dresser!

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Tony was super impressed with himself on how this came out. I adore it and was so excited to hang all of her dresses and put all of her shoes and tiaras in the drawer. I think we may end up adding hooks and such for her necklaces. The beauty of this, we can do these little add ons as we see how she uses it and adjust as needed!
I really hope I can get a picture of her reaction shot. I know she’ll love it!
Best part of Pinterest so far: giving new life to what would otherwise be trash!
Original pin can be found at http://www.ramblingrenovators.ca/2011/12/chloes-diy-costume-closet.html?m=1