Relationships

20130715-215003.jpg

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

20130714-212745.jpg

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

20130713-211129.jpg

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

20130712-211309.jpg

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

20130711-212813.jpg

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

20130710-212716.jpg

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!

Crockpot Italian Chicken

20130709-203147.jpg

I need to start by saying I’m not a big fan of Alfredo and that I did not make this recipe 100% the way they said to.
It’s really easy and Tony the Italian was a huge fan of this, so this recipe has his recommendation! It’ll go in the basket, that’s for sure.
I’m going to tell you guys the way I made it, and as the original site has been listed as spam, I’ll just promise to do another blog with the actual recipe!
For this one, you start with your crockpot on low setting. In it, your going to place 4 chicken breasts, I cubed mine for the kids’ sake, 2 cans of cream of chicken, 1 8oz package of cream cheese and 1 packet of ranch dressing seasoning. Let that sit for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
When your approaching deadline, cook up some pasta, I used rotini, and drain.
If you find your sauce a little thick, just add some milk until it reaches a texture you like. Pour your sauce over your pasta and enjoy!
It does have a very Alfredo taste to it, which I’m not normally a fan of, but Tony loved it some much, I guess I can eat it every once in awhile.
You guys know I try to reference the original pinner, but the site is blocked as suspected spam, so no luck on this one.

Clean Your Microfiber Sofa

20130708-210659.jpg

Our furniture was second hand from one of our neighbors and I am not actually sure if it’s microfiber, but if not, it’s really similar. It’s really comfortable and great for lounging or napping. The only problem I have with it, is that it shows stains like a white tablecloth! I have kids, dogs, cats and a husband, so the furniture takes a beating.
It maintains comfort levels, but gets dirtier and dirtier. We have the little green machine, but it really only is good for getting the smells and overt things out, like mud or dog vomit. Yuck, right?!
I’ve been eyeballing sofa covers, but they are so ungodly expensive! Then I stumbled across this pin and figured, what the heck, why not?
You take rubbing alcohol and spray it on your sofa, do small patches at a time, then rub it with the rough side of a sponge. I used the usual green side of a Scotch Brite sponge, but the original pinner said to use a white/pink sponge for lighter colors. She also said results may vary for red sofas, but I figured it couldn’t make it any worse!
I do have to give the lady props though, my arm was exhausted after one cushion. The gunk that got stuck on the sponge was absolutely disgusting! Once it dries, use a stiff bristled scrub brush to rub, in a circular motion, to “fluff” your material back up. I am slowly doing section by section, mainly due to the fact that I have to rinse the sponge and let it dry out again.
You use the alcohol instead of water, because as anyone who owns a microfiber will tell you, water shows up and leaves a little stain of its own. Alcohol dries quicker, so it doesn’t stain.
Definitely recommend this one, but be prepared for an arm workout and the ‘ick’ factor!
Original pin can be found at http://chrisandrobinsnest.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-clean-microfiber-furniture.html?m=1

My Fishy Valentine

20130707-211916.jpg

I know I’m out of season, but this is one of the few pins I completed well before I started blogging myself!
Arthur just finished his last year of preschool, he’s off to kindergarten this fall, and I didn’t want to do the traditional store bought valentines. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with them, but I’ve always bought them, so I wanted to be different this year.
Schools these days are really cracking down on what’s healthy and what’s not. I’m not saying my kids sit around popping chocolate drops all day, but I don’t see anything wrong with candy every once in a while!
Enough of that rant! I know goldfish are on the approved snack list, so I knew this would be ok with all the other parents.
I’m a big scrapbooker, so I have a whole lot of paper in my stash. Then it was just a matter of making myself a fishbowl stencil and cutting them all out. There weren’t that many kids in his class, so I decided to include his teachers too.
I couldn’t find any bags that would work, primarily because I waited until zero hour to try and put this all together, but a Longaberger friend saved the day with these. Thanks Theresa! I raided Tony’s supply of teeny tiny zip ties, the ones he never uses, to seal them off.
I was really excited with how they turned out, but looking back at the original pin, I found a few differences. I’m ok with those differences, but they are as follows:
1. Original pinner used white paper and drew a water line to show the fish bowl.
2. Somehow the original pinner shaped her bag around the bottom of the fishbowl.
As I said, I’m completely ok with the differences, but just thought you ought to know. ^.^
Happy Valentine’s Day, even though we’re less than half way there!
Original pin is on the blog site http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/?m=1

Love is a Promise

20130706-211229.jpg

I fell in love with this photo idea the first time I saw it. Of course I saw it AFTER my wedding, so I’m not in a stunning wedding dress and Tony is not dressed in black tie, but oh well!
Tony is pretty indulgent with me as far as photo ops go. He might not be thrilled with the idea, but he generally goes along. Especially with something this easy.
He didn’t have to dress up, or even shave. I did make him wash his hands as he had been working in the garage!
It can be a little tricky to position your hands to see both rings, but with a little maneuvering it can be accomplished. Just remember, the most important thing about this picture is to focus on your hands. It’s not about you yourselves. It’s about a promise you made, or are making.
I also like the childish gesture, tied to such a grown up promise. I’ve known Tony since I was 13, so it added an element.
This is also fun because you can do this on your wedding day, an anniversary, or just any day. Providing I don’t start forgetting everything, I want to do this again when Tony and I are old and wrinkly, more to the point, when our hands show their age!
I would love to reference the original pinner, but it was just an image. Feel free to check it out on my Photography Ideas board. Look me up Stephanie DeSantis on Pinterest!