Advice

7 Step Easy-to-Make Potato Salad

7 Step Easy-to-Make Potato Salad At Home With The O'Neil's

I gave you the recipe to my Delicious Homemade Broccoli Salad, now I am sharing my 7 Step Easy-to-Make Potato Salad.

It is always a hit whenever I bring it to a cookout.  This could be the fact that Chuck praises it up and down and no one has the heart to tell him otherwise.  Just kidding, I always loved it when my Mom made it, she passed the recipe on to me and now I am sharing with you!   This isn’t just a summer recipe either, it is a great side for any meal.

Note: This is a very basic recipe.  You are welcome to add different ingredients to your liking.  I have an extremely picky husband.  Some suggestions to add would be: onions, raisins, or dried cranberries.  They would all go nicely with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 5 lb. bag of potatoes (Any kind you like, I use Russet potatoes)
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • Celery Salt
  • 1 Capful of Vinegar
  • 2 packages of Sweet ‘N Low (sugar of your choice)
  • 2 – 3 Cups of Mayo or Miracle Whip.

7 Steps 

  1. Peel and dice the 5 lb. bag potatoes into cubes and place in pot of cold water.At Home With the O'Neils 7 Step Easy to Make Potato Salad
  2. Once potatoes have been diced, place on the stove and boil the potatoes.  Let the potatoes cubes boil for about 5 minutes. You can tell when they are ready when you can stick a fork in and remove it easily from the potatoes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, place in serving bowl or Tupperware container, let cool.
  4. Cut up the celery into thinly sliced pieces.
  5. Once the potatoes are cool add celery, celery salt, vinegar, Sweet ‘N Low, Mayo and mix together. At Home With the O'Neils 7 Step Easy to Make Potato Salad
  6. Taste test: I may add a little more of one ingredient or the other to balance it out.
  7. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve chilled.At Home With the O'Neils 7 Step Easy to Make Potato Salad

That is it!

You will WOW your guests or friends at your next family gathering.  It is simple to make, the hardest part is peeling the potatoes.

What is your go to cookout dish to bring to family and friend gatherings?

Homemade Iced Tea

At Home With the O'Neil's Home Made Iced Tea

I love tea.  It is at the root of who I am.  My paternal grandparents used to give me tea all the time growing up.  “Tea time” was everyday at 4:00 PM after school.  To this day, I cannot make a cup of tea without thinking of my grandmother.  There is something so soothing and relaxing about it.  I love to heat up the water in the kettle, letting the tea bags steep, waiting for it to be just the write temperature, cradling the warm cup between your hands and letting the steam hit your face.  So naturally in the summer, I decided to make homemade iced tea.  Store bought iced tea doesn’t do it for me.

This homemade iced tea recipe is very simple to do.  Yes, you can go out and buy the Nestea mixture and scoop powder and add water.  There is just something so delicious and rewarding about this recipe.  I encourage you to try it at least once this summer.  Maybe it is the hard work of making it, or the anticipation for when it cools down, but it is worth the wait.  It took me awhile to perfect this recipe, to have the perfect and have the right blend of tea, sugar and lemon.

At Home With the O'Neil's Home Made Iced TeaIngredients:

  • Water
  • 5 Tea Bags
  • 1 Whole Lemon
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  1. Boil water in a tea kettle.
  2. As the water boils place 5 teabags in pitcher or carafe.
  3. Slice 1 lemon in half.
    1. Place one half of the lemon to the side.
    2. Cut the other half into thin slices.
  4. Once the water has boiled, pour into carafe with tea bags. You may need to boil water twice to fill the pitcher.
    Tip:  While the second round of water boils, I add the lemon and sugar.
  1. Add sugar.
  2. Take the untouched half of the lemon and squeeze the juice into the iced tea.
  3. Stir the iced tea mixture.
  4. Then float the lemon slices.
  5. Top iced tea off with rest of the boiling water.
  6. Let tea bags steep for 10-15 minutes then remove.
  7. Once all tea bags have been removed, stir once again.
  8. Let iced tea cool on counter or place in refrigerator.  Since I use a glass carafe, I let it cool for about an hour and then place in the fridge.
  9. You are ready to serve your delicious Homemade Iced Tea.

At Home With the O'Neil's Home Made Iced Tea

It is a bit of a process, however this tea NEVER lasts long in our home.  And it is SO GOOD!  Let me know what you think after you make a batch!

The carafe I use is 84 Ounces (fl oz) or 2.48418 Liters (L).  This post contains affiliate links.

Mason Jar Summer Candlelight Lanterns

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/24980972910214024/

Are you ready for it?  A fail-proof Pinterest worthy craft project!  Yes, it does exist!  I admit I haven’t had the best of luck with Pinterest in the past. My projects NEVER look like the image and always edge on the side of failure than success.  However this project is truly fail-proof at a minimal cost.  It actually cost me $0, I had everything lying around the house.

What you need.

  • 1 Mason Jar (or as many as your little heart desires)
  • Pebbles or stones (I had left over pebbles from a Bamboo plant I killed.
  • Votive candle.

JOSB Jar candle and pebbles

Ready?  Put the lime in the coconut…ha ha just kidding.

  1. Take the cover off the Mason Jar.
  2. If you are taking stones from the outdoors, I would clean them.
  3. Put the stones in the jar.
  4. Add the candle for a finishing touch.

Mason Jar Summer Candlelight Lanterns_2

Really!  It is that easy!  How will you use these fun summer lanterns?

At home with the oneils

3 Things On Our 3rd Year Anniversary

At Home With The O'Neils - 3rd Anniversary

June 1, 2012 is a date that melts my heart.  It is the day that we vowed to be Husband and Wife.  I am so honored to be in this life and in a loving partnership with my best friend.  Chuck and I have been dating/married over a decade, and in October it will 13 years since our first date.  I am still amazed by all the good and bad we have experienced and how strong we have become because of it.

So as we celebrate our 3rd Anniversary and look forward to many, many more, I want to share 3 things with you, our friends.

3 Things I Love About Chuck

  • His hugs. They are all-encompassing, keep me safe, squish me against his chest and squeeze out all the bad I have had in the day.
  • Laid back attitude.  I am a constantly stressed, overachieving, Type A personality.  He balances me.  Nothing can really shake him and if it does, he bounces back pretty quickly.  He is my rock.  He keeps me grounded and sane.  He also has the ability to drive me insane but that is another post.
  • How he taught me to love myself.  When we met, I was young.  Just coming out of high school with a ton of insecurities, he quite literally taught me to smile.  Having braces for 7 years, I had grown insecure about my mouth.  We started dating 4 months after the braces came off.  He would always ask me to smile and show him my “pearly whites”.  I was so used to hiding my mouth that I refused to smile.  He banished that and other insecure habits.  He also taught me to love myself, by sharing with me what he saw and loved about me.

3 Things I Love About Being Married to Him

  • His unwavering dedication to those he loves.  When times were financially tough when I decided to start my business, he told me he would eat Mac and Cheese the rest of his life, if that is what it took took for me to reach my dreams and make me happy. .
  • Our language. Over the years we have developed a secret language that only the two of us know.  Born out of stories and moments that we shared and cherish and laughed over.  Funny words, words mashed together.  Secretly our own.
  • Someone in my corner.  No matter what he is right there, by my side, willing to fight life’s battles with me and for me.

3 Songs That Remind Me of Us

Lifehouse – Take Me Away – Our first dance wedding song.  We were dating for a short period of time when he claimed this as “our song” back in 2003.  It is even on the Jeannine’s 19th Birthday CD he made for me just a little over a month of dating.

Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud – I get teared up every time I hear this song and think of us. I cannot wait to grow old with Chuck.  Well I can wait to grow old, but I am happy that it will be with him.  Seeing my Paternal Grandfather take care of my Grandmother with Dementia and my Father in a similar situation, I have witnessed true love.  I have 100% faith that Chuck will be there for me whether I am with it or not.  Even when I gave him an out and told him, if I had a similar fate, I wanted him to live his life.  He told me he wouldn’t leave my side.

Edwin McCain – I Could Not Ask For More –  The words of this song speak to me.  I am so blessed to have found the love of my life at such a young age and to have experienced so much with him while we are still so young.  Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for him.

 

3 Pictures of Us That I Love 

Chuck and Jeannine Salem Willows 2003

Yeah we were babies when we first started dating.  This was taken in August 2003 at the Salem Willows Amusement Park in Salem, MA.

At Home With The O'Neils Wedding Day

I love this moment right after we were announced Husband and Wife.  I love how candid this shot is, pure loving bliss.

IMG_2681

This photo was taken on our honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  I love how symbolic it is, we will look out at our future, holding one another side by side.

3 Pieces of Marriage Advice

I want to share 3 pieces of valuable relationship advice that was given to me through the years.

  • Value your time together –  and apart.  It is quality over quantity of time spent together.  Make sure you have enough time for yourselves as a couple, your alone time and your time with friends.  It is all about finding the perfect balance.
  • Treasure what you have.  Love is like holding sand in the palms of your hands.  If you hold too tight it will slip through.  You need to cradle and cherish it.
  • Never go to bed without saying I love you.  Even if you are angry and have a fight that cannot be resolved in that moment, always make sure you let the other know that you still love them.

I know this was a super cheesy post, but if you haven’t figured it out already, I am crazy about this man.  Here is a little video of the past 13 years.  I am looking forward to many, many more.  Happy Anniversary my love!

 

Healthy Living: Lemon-Infused Water

When life hands you lemons, make lemon-infused water.

Leading up to our wedding, I was in full-on “Bride mode”.  I never was a Bridezilla but I must have bought ever bridal magazine I could find and read every online article on The Knot.  Those around me noticed some changes in my behavior.  Some habits were for the better.  Like eating healthier.  I would have yogurt with fruit every morning instead of my morning jaunt to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and a pastry.  I also started drinking lemon water to help give me more energy and clear up my skin.  Some wedding prep habits were not so good.  Like that time I took vitamins to help my hair and nails grow, messed with my hormonal balance and started acting like a crazy pregnant woman. My Maid of Honor intervened with this one.  Although the ‘yogurt-for-breakfast’ fad ended as soon as the dress came off, the lemon-infused water stuck.

At Home With The O'Neils - Healthy Living Lemon Infused WaterWe are supposed to drink 8 ounces of water a day.  However water tastes bland to me.  In the warmer months it is easier for me to consume water to quench my thirst, but I have never been a huge water drinker.  By adding lemon to the water, it was easier to hit my daily intake without it feeling like a chore.  I noticed a change in my skin, I had more energy and rarely became sick.  I stuck with this habit after the wedding.

Just recently, I stumbled across this article “20 Reasons you should Drink Lemon Water in the Morning” from Living Traditionally

From my wedding research, I knew lemon water helped with metabolism, digestion, gave me more energy, and attacked free radicals reducing the chance of getting sick.  However, I didn’t know that it cleanses the liver (5), battles depression and anxiety (9), is good for high blood pressure (11), reduces joint pain (14) and here is the kicker – it prevents cancer (20)!  When I was discussing this article with a friend she shared an interesting fact with me.  I cannot officially be quoted, however she is very knowledgeable on the topic, since her husband fought a life-threatening battle with cancer and lives to tell the story.  She said, “it is known that tumors feed on sugar and that is how they grow.  Lemons have a high concentration of alkaline, the opposite of sugar and this prevents cancer from growing”.

Healthy Living Lemon Infused WaterThis article states to drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning.  However, I like mine refrigerated.

  1. Cut half a lemon into thin slices.
  2. Place in pitcher and pour water into pitcher.  The lemon taste is best after it has had a few hours to sit.
  3. Refill water as needed.  I typically change out the lemons on the third day.

Since I read the article to Chuck and told him the Cancer prevention fact, he has now turned into a lemon water drinking fanatic and loves it.  If you want to give the lemon water an extra kick, add cucumber slices.  That same friend shared this fact with me.  Balance the lemon and cucumber slices together.  It gives a nice refreshing “zing” to the water.

Do you have healthy living tips that you would like to share!  I would love to know!

Article Source: Living Traditionally

Life Lessons from Climbing a Waterfall

At Home With the O'Neils - Lessons from Climbing a Waterfall

I am going to take you back in time with this post.  It is easy to call back to the warm Jamaican sun and amazing time we had on our honeymoon in Ocho Rios.  Prior to our wedding when we shared that we were headed to Ocho Rios, people would state, “You need to go to the Dunn’s River Falls!”  One wise person, told me to purchase water shoes for the Falls.  I didn’t think anything of it.  Flash forward to the honeymoon, as I stood on the beach at the base of the waterfall, I remember thinking,

Wait. We are actually CLIMBING the waterfall?!

Then, I immediately threw fear aside.  I didn’t know the next opportunity I would have to say I climbed a waterfall.  There was also some romantic notion of us saying we climbed a waterfall on our honeymoon.  So we joined hands and we began to climb.

I didn’t realize it at the time, there were many life lessons in this feat, especially those tied to marriage.  At a little over 2 and a half years later, there have been ups and downs, but we have gotten through them together.  I truly believe life was preparing us for those moments as we scaled the waterfall, basked in wedded bliss.

Situation:
Chuck can’t swim. Even though we were never going over our head there were times he was very nervous.
Lesson:
There may be times when one of you has a skill that the other doesn’t possess.  Be sure to put your faith and trust in the other to guide you through the task at hand.

Situation:
As we began to climb the waterfall they told us to take hands with the others in the group for support.
Lesson:
Always walk through life, with that support by your side.  They will either be there to catch you when you falter or you two will crash together.

Situation: 
Sometimes, quite literally you feel like you are over your head.
Lesson: 
Take a deep breath and push through, everything will be alright.

Situation: 
Sometimes you feel like you are climbing a mountain (or waterfall).
Lesson:
Carefully place tiny steps, one in front of the other.  You will get to the destination – eventually.

Situation:
Even though the climate was hot, the water was cold.  It was nice to be in water than a pool and it felt very refreshing.
Lesson:
Life can be as refreshing as the cool water, but it can also be cold and have quite a sting.  Embrace it all.  It is life and for the most part beautiful.

Situation:
With waterfalls comes rocky terrain.
Lesson:
There will be times the water is choppy, or the rocks are slippery, or you feel you may get swept away.  In these instance, hold on tight to the other person.  Their support will guide you through.

Situation:
With waterfalls comes rapid waters.
Lesson 2:
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, rather than fight it, but make sure you are smiling doing so.

Situation:
You are literally in a rain forest and surround by Nature’s beauty.
Lesson:
Don’t forget to stop and just take in the beauty that surrounds you.  To often we rush to meet the end goal and miss beautiful moments along the way.

Situation:
At the base of the waterfall it didn’t look as intimidating, however as you climbed you saw that it was much larger.  At one point I looked back and saw immense beauty and was surprised at how far we climbed.
Lesson:
It is okay to look back and reflect, but don’t do this too long.  There are fun adventures lying ahead.
Lesson 2:
When you reach that peak or destination, reflect on the experience and be revel in the experience together.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Think about the times in your life were you went out of your comfort zone.  What lessons did you learn along the way?

Seize The Day Or The Comforter

Seize the Comforter - At Home With The O'Neils

Way back in 2011, I had a different vision of where our lives would be post wedding.  These future visions fluttered through my mind when I was compiling our wedding registry.  Chuck and I would entertain guests so we needed proper dinnerware.  We would even host out-of-town guests, so we would live in a multiple bedroom, living space, preferably a house.

Naturally, I registered for a gorgeous navy blue Nicole Miller bedroom set for our Master Suite.  Our current, fairly new, chocolate-brown, pin-tuck, Target comforter would have a new place in our guest bedroom.

Days after we returned from our honeymoon, a huge package was delivered to our doorstep.  It was the Nicole Miller bedroom set, I had scanned with dreams of grandeur. The present was given to us by my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin. I rearranged our bedroom closet and put it in the back.  This most definitely would be broken out in our new home.

Fast forward to last week. We haven’t moved, the multiple bedrooms don’t exist, unless you count the living room, when we both fall asleep together watching TV on the couch.  I decided to break out that comforter – for no other reason than I wanted to.  I figured ‘Seize the Day’.  I thought why wait for that larger place, with mortgage payments and more space to clean?

There truly is no day like today.  

You know what, we probably slept the best night sleep we have ever had.  It was a luxurious experience, like a massive hotel room bed, was delivered to our apartment.

New blog and we are talking about #carpediem or seize the comforter. Check out the link in the bio. #marriage #love #advice

A post shared by At Home With The O'Neils (@athomewiththeoneils) on

So my message to you is Carpe Diem or Seize the Day (or the comforter).  Live life to its fullest, you will never know what you are missing.  As the saying goes, life is a journey not a destination.  I can tell you right now, I have been thinking about my new luxury all day.

If there is something you have been thinking about doing lately for yourself, a spa treatment, going to a sports game or even a trip away. Do it!  Don’t wait for some future moment.  Live for today.

Start Sleeping Better Now

**This post contains affiliate links

 

6 Ways to Prepare For Next Holiday Season

Over the years I have learned a thing or two about holiday shopping.  I hinted to it in my last post The O’Neil Home – Holiday Tour.  Did you pick up on it?  The lesson is:

The best time to get holidays deals is after the holidays.

You are probably saying, “How am I going to pull gift-giving off, if the holiday has already passed?

Retailers are known to slash their prices after the holidays, to clear inventory for year-end.  This means there are ways you can take advantage of these sales, to better position yourself for next year’s holiday.

Here are 6 things you can be buying now, to save yourself the trouble (and money) for next year.

6 Ways to Prepare For Next Holiday Season

The next tip is:

Pack these purchased items away with your holiday decorations.  

This way you will find them when you began decorating after Thanksgiving.  The best part is, most of the time you forget about these purchases, until you are reintroduced when you began decorating.  I have purchased wrapping paper in bulk, saving over 60% off.  That same wrapping paper has gotten me through numerous holidays.  Not to mention stocking up on Crate and Barrel ornaments for our future tree, the year before we moved in together.  Our tree is almost 75% of the initial price it would have cost us, to decorate with those ornaments purchased a few months before the holiday.

Enjoy the holiday, and then hop on those sales on Dec. 26th!  There are some savings to be had!

See you on the other side in 2015!  Happy New Year!