Seek and Destroy

Sharing these personal thoughts for a close friend:

Sometimes you look for things because you want to know the truth. But when you search for it, ask yourself what you’re going to do if you find the thing you know is happening, but can’t deal with. Is it better to leave it alone and pretend that everything is fine? Or is it better to know the truth and be hurt forever? Can you live with knowing the worst trait about something or someone you can’t live without? Once you find out the worst is true, what will you do with it? Will you ever be the same? Only time will tell if anything will ever be the same.

Deep down we all know that you will never be the same person you used to be before the hurt and pain. Trust is gone, hurt is there to stay.  You can move on but nothing will ever be the same. I’m not saying you won’t find happiness, but you have been shattered. Glass that has been shattered can never be repaired completely.  It can be glued back together, only to be seen as cracked. They may be well hidden cracks, but none the less, they are there to stay. 

I consider myself like a piece of Fine China that will never be as beautiful as I once was. This Fine China served him well, for many years. Saw him at the worst points of his life, Yet I shined for him unconditionally. I served him well even on the worst days. I am still Fine China, but not as valuable as I believed I was. The truth is I am actually irreplaceable.  I weathered the storm through and through. I did things that nobody else will ever do because we cannot go back in time. I can actually say that I was a blessing thrown upon the lap of someone. Someone that loved me, but took me for granted over and over again.

I was not always the beauty of life or the answer to a prayer, but I was good to him. I have loved him so hard that I could feel everything he did, felt, or wanted. I searched for what I believed was happening, because I felt it inside of my heart. I found it to be true, but now what? I am in my own worldly hell.  Every day is up and down, inside and out. Pain is shooting throughout my heart and soul like lightening. I am forever broken, hurt, torn, and violated.

So I caution you, Follow your instincts, but prepared for an avalanche of emotion. Get ready for the ride of your life that you will wish you had never been on. Ask yourself if the pain is going to be worth it, can you let go? The pain is not an option.  It is inevitable.  If you feel no pain, you don’t love the accused. But if you still love them, want them, or need them, pain will plant itself within you. For eternity you will remember the moment.  It may not hurt forever, but the memory will forever be etched into your mind and it will scar your heart. Be careful what you look for, you may just find it. It may change your life and your spirit forever and ever. Someone once said “seek and destroy”; it suits us well in all aspects of life, especially in love.

image

Tips to Stress Less

  • Go for a leisurely walk. A leisurely walk allows you to get a breath of fresh air and exercises your body. The exercise that you get from a walk can be invigorating, and the energy you get from it helps you relax and relieve anxiety.
  • Keep pets. If you have the time and can afford one, keep a pet, either a dog or a cat. Pets are good companions, and taking care of them allows you to form an emotional bond with them, which lets you express your pent-up feelings. Like, when you need a hug, you can always hug your dog.
  • Take the time to appreciate things. Sometimes, being in a rush not only leaves you stressed out but also makes you forget to look at the simpler but finer things in life.
  • Take a brief pause from work, get some coffee and stare out at the sky from your window. If you have a day off, savor it. Linger in bed and catch up on some sleep, read a book or give yourself a foot spa treatment.
  • Maybe you can go out and watch a movie or have brunch with your friends.
  • Discover new skills. There is nothing like a great achievement to bring a smile on ones face. And what else can bring this sense of victory other than excelling on something, especially on a skill that you have just learned? Get yourself a hobby and learn new things.
  • Perhaps you can take on painting, photography or sketching. Maybe you can try your hand on needlework, knitting or crocheting. Your finished work will definitely make you smile.
  • Pay someone a compliment. If you are feeling low, you can uplift yourself by uplifting others. Smiling is contagious and seeing other people smile can get you smiling too. A compliment does not have to be flowery. Something as simple as You look nice will do, as long as it is done with sincerity.

stress

Cilantro Lime Chicken & Broccoli Casserole Recipes

We all have those evening where we are tired from our long day at work but don’t want to eat take out and rather have a home cooked meal. This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes (pictured) that takes about 30 minutes.

First thing I do is get the Broccoli casserole going; while you have set it to forget it (for a little while anyway) you can cook your chicken and veggies.

Easy Crock-Pot Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli (be sure to have it thawed out)
1/3 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Chicken & Herb Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 jar (8 ounces) pasteurized process cheese sauce (like Cheez Whiz)
2 cups minute white rice
1 cup of warm water
Large Crock-Pot

Directions:

Heat the butter in your crock-pot high on heat.
Stir the broccoli, milk, soups, and rice.
Bake at high heat for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Then add cheese. After its ready, set your crock pot on warm. Then serve.

limeCilantro Lime Chicken:

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breasts (skinned)
1 lime (I like it tangy!)
1 bottle of Paul Newman’s lime dressing
1 small bundle of cilantro (chopped fine or minced)
dash1 tablespoon of Ms. Dash Salt-free seasoning
Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Directions:

The night before I take plain skinned chicken breasts and place them in a big Ziploc freezer bag.  I cut and squeeze the entire lime in the bag over the chicken and spoon out the pulp. After that, pour the dressing making sure all the breasts are covered. I add my seasoning and minced cilantro, then shake up the bag to oilmix everything up and put it in the refrigerator so it can marinate overnight. When you are ready to cook the chicken, spray down your stick free pan with Pam olive oil cooking spray and it takes about 5-10 minutes to cook (depending on how thick the breasts are) at a medium heat.

 

 

Veggies: (pictured brussel sprouts & baby carrots)

 I halved my Brussels as you can see in the picture. In a stick free pan, I spray it down with a bit of Pam olive oil cooking spray; at a medium heat add in my veggies. I sprinkle a little bit of Ms. Dash seasoning also. The veggies cook in about 10 minutes and it’s easy to do so as you’re cooking your chicken. Hope you enjoy!

foodie

 

April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a beauty writer, lifestyle blogger, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, bullshit, & randomness. Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Simple…Yet Romantic

For those of you into the zodiac, I am an Aries…if you’re familiar with the characteristics of that sign, then you know getting bored easily is one of them. I have to be on the go constantly to not get bored. Luckily I married someone that is very go with the flow and up for anything. If your like me in YOUR relationship, then you are the one always planning everything. Sometimes its nice to be able to sit back and relax while someone plans something for you…even though its fun being the spontaneous one, sometimes its nice to take a break. When your in a relationship for a long time, routine may start to fade the romance away a bit. It’s up to both partners to keep that fun, passion, and all those little things that made you fall in love…ALIVE. Creating magical moments in your relationship is something everyone thinks about, but few people do. Perhaps it’s because they actually can’t think of exactly what to do. Here are some “acts of love” that you can do with and for your partner to bring a little more romance into your relationship. Plus with Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not try some of these ideas now.

  • Make your morning time special by bringing your partner a cup of coffee or some OJ while he or she is still in bed. If you’re willing and able you can also serve them breakfast in bed. It will make your partner feel cherished and the kindness will be returned.
  • Make the time at the end of the work-day when you first see one another extra special by giving each other a 10 second hug and kiss. You will both feel more deeply connected throughout the evening. Also remember to touch your partner affectionately throughout the day, not just when you want to be romantic.
  • Make time to make-time. Plan a romantic rendezvous during the week. You can get a room at a local hotel or plan to have the house all to yourselves. Just the anticipation of being together in this way will add spark to your romantic life.
  • Whenever you can, take the time to give your partner 100% of your attention when they want to talk to you. Put down the remote control, whatever you’re reading or your phone, face your partner and say “What would you like to talk about?” It will make your partner feel loved and important to you. And they may have some news they would like to share with you anyway.
  • Take the time to tell your partner that they look wonderful, beautiful, sexy or great. We all have doubts about our looks and hearing that we are attractive to our partners is a very important part of creating a romantic relationship.
  • Before you leave in the morning tell your partner that you are looking forward to seeing them when you return. Never leave the house without acknowledging your partner or saying, “I love you.”
  • Next time you are shopping alone, get a couple of little “surprise gifts” for your partner. The next time he or she is feeling down, give them one of the gifts. This is a wonderful and uplifting act of love and it will be remembered for a very long time.
  • If your partner is having a rough day offer to take them out or make dinner for them. If they are the one usually doing the cooking this will be a welcome change and a sign of your appreciation. If they are experiencing stress at work, it will be a great way for them to unwind from a tough day.
  • Be spontaneous and kidnap your partner for a drive up the coast for lunch or dinner. This is a wonderfully romantic and very simple thing to do. If you want to be a little more extravagant, you can choose to spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast and drive home the next day.
  • This one is terribly romantic, so don’t try it unless you’re ready for a passionate evening. Get your partner two or more roses. Take one of them and pull off the petals. Drop the petals on the floor leading to the bedroom and place several petals on the bed. Put the other roses in a vase on the nightstand. Your partner will never forget your thoughtfulness.

Don’t try to do everything on this list in the same weekend, one a month is plenty. These ideas are just a little help to get you started. Once you get going, more ideas will come to you on their own. Taking the time to create romance in your relationship is paramount to creating a fulfilling love life. Even if you think your ideas are silly, your partner will be thrilled that you took the time to do something loving for them. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. And it will spice up your sex life, no doubt!

love

Keep Busy During Deployments

Being a Military spouse is a tough job; no one knows how hard it is to keep your mind off thinking the worst. During a deployment there will be days, weeks, and sometimes months before you get to hear from your spouse. In the meantime, you are always on edge, waiting by your home phone, have your cellphone near you at all times, checking the mail and your email always…it’s crazy how your life changes at this time. Other military wives ask me how I survived during my husband’s (6) deployments… here are some of the things I did to keep busy.

deploy

List of Things to Do During a Deployment:

STOP CRYING!

Mediate

Hang out with old friends

Make new friends

Strengthen family bonds

Get better at your job

Take classes

Tend to the hobbies & passions you normally don’t have time for

Road trips

Visit museums, art galleries, or historical sites

Plan a girls picnic

Take fitness classes

Go Wine tasting

Go for walks at a near by track or park

Pamper yourself at home with a bubble bath

Catch up on the latest books

Try new foods

Start writing to let your emotions out

Keep a journal of your daily thoughts

Book a spa day

Go on vacation

Never turn down an invitation to do something fun

Go to local events

Volunteer in your community

Start a business

Buy a house, renovate and/or rearrange your home

Save money

Get to know yourself

The trick is to KEEP BUSY!!! Get out of bed, throw the box of tissues away, pick yourself up, get dolled up, and do things. Before you know it, time flies by and you’re love is home and back from deployment. These are just the things I can remember off the top of my head. Don’t spend to much time on driving yourself crazy…it’s stressful, wears you out, and not healthy.

About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Chocolate Covered Bacon Recipe

Ingredients

6-8 slices thick cut, best-quality bacon
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces white chocolate, melted, optional for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven, until bacon is cooked to your liking. 15 minutes for soft bacon, 20 minutes for crispy bacon.
  3. Let bacon cool on the parchment paper for 5 minutes then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Meanwhile set up a double boiler. Heat a large saucepan filled with water over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Set a heat-proof bowl over the simmering water. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a fork until smooth and completely melted.
  6. Cover another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Using tongs, carefully dip the bacon into the melted chocolate turning to coat all sides in chocolate. Transfer to the clean sheet of waiting parchment paper. Repeat with remaining slices of bacon.
  8. Drizzle with the white chocolate, if desired.
  9. Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.
  10. Once cool, enjoy!

chocolatebacon

 

About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Veteran’s Day: A Military Wife’s Memory

This Veterans Day brought back a memory of something I had never gone through before. I decided to share it…I’m sure other military spouses will know exactly what I went through and how it felt. Here it goes…

MarineI was the most non-military person you’d ever meet before I married my husband. Being raised in a blue-collar, musician filled family, the last thing I’d ever thought of doing was marrying a (USMC) military man. I had to learn so much about being a military wife; luckily my husband was very patient with me. His 6th and last deployment was coming to an end finally. We went through a year of being apart; though this wasn’t the first time, it was the first time being husband and wife. I thought I would be able to handle it just fine. I have to admit, I had a few bad days, but I kept as busy as I could. The good that came out of that year of being away from him was I started my own business, renovated our home, lost over 100 lbs, strengthened relationships with my close friends, and spent lots of time with family. The bad was the constant knots in your stomach, the stress, the fear, the not knowing where he’s at, always waiting by the phone, checking your email, going days without hearing from him, barely getting any sleep because you want to stay up to take his 5 minute phone call, not being able to call him after a bad day, him missing out on family outings and holidays, and most of all not knowing if he’s going to come home in one piece or alive.

But the day was finally here! He was coming home and for good! The 12 years my husband was in the Marine Corps he was never300685_2373408335086_4078829_n greeted by anyone but personnel from his unit when he returned home. By this time I have a full-time corporate job, my business is getting started, and two blogs…a full plate. But…with my husband never having family there to greet him home after a deployment in his 12 years of active duty service, there was no way I was not going to be there when he got off that bus. You can only imagine all the planning I had to do to make this happen.

The Plane Ride

300192_2373404654994_109124_nDuring the time I was back and forth between San Antonio, Texas and Jacksonville, North Carolina where he was stationed, I was very fortunate that my family and friends were always available to take me to the airport, whether it was from home or work…both being a bit far. I made to the airport on time (San Antonio) to make my way to North Carolina to finally see my husband after a year. When I landed in Atlanta to hop on my connecting flight, not only did my plane arrive late, the connecting flight departed a few minutes early. There aren’t very many flights that go to Jacksonville, NC…after my flight, there was only one more. I was beyond devastated…so upset…I went into the nearest restroom and puked my guts out. What was I going to do now?  First person I called was my mom, I started balling! Crying and trying to tell her what had happened, I could barely breathe. After our conversation I went to the nearest customer service desk, I explained to them what had happened, that I needed to get to Jacksonville and that same night! All the representative could say was that she was sorry and they would try their best to get me on the next flight. When I turned around to look behind me, there were so many people, angry, crying, going through the same thing I was and going to the same place. I called the Delta airline customer service line, what did I have to lose, I was stuck in Atlanta anyway! They told me the same thing the front desk people said…that they would try to get me on that last flight there or the flight first thing in the morning. If I would have agreed to take the flight first thing in the morning I would  miss my husband walking off that bus…I would not be the first face he saw coming home from deployment. I even looked into renting a car and driving there, but with the distance, there was no way I would make it there on time.

Now What?

297561_2373412095180_5446855_nI paced that airport back and forth…I had not slept due to excitement and hadn’t eaten since I lost my appetite. What the hell was I going to do now? I needed to get there! Not sure how this popped into my head but …I remember meeting a client when I was working at the Marriott that was an airline attendant…I don’t quite remember the story but I remember her saying airlines usually held emergency seats. I walked over to the nearest help desk, cut in front of everyone like a crazy women, and demanded they get me on that next flight. I was extremely loud, yelling, crying, telling them to have a heart and that I could not miss seeing my husband get off that bus, and I know they hold emergency seats! At this point I had nothing to lose! The representative was so sweet; she was a military wife herself. She told me to calm down, had someone get me a bottle of water, and gave me some tissues. She asked what my name was and said so calmly, “Mrs. Monterrosa, we WILL get you on that next flight, don’t you worry”.  My flight from Atlanta to Jacksonville left within that hour and I was to land at midnight. My husband’s bus was arriving at 4am…I still had time to freshen up and get dressed. I had been in jeans and a t-shirt for hours by this time and I looked like a raccoon from all the crying. 297845_2373399654869_8042675_n

I Made It!

Arriving in Jacksonville, North Carolina, my husband had set up for a good friend of his who was also a Marine to pick me up from the airport. He was already there when I landed. There was just one problem…my luggage was lost! I had nothing to change into, no toiletries to bathe and freshen up with. Thankfully I had my makeup bag in my purse which I normally do not. My husband’s friend was a total gentleman; he picked me up at midnight, drove me to Wal-Mart so I could buy a few things to freshen up with; I even looked for something to change into but had no luck, plus I didn’t want to be late. We get to the house I shower, freshen up my hair and make-up, and then we make our way to the base (Camp Legeune). We get there and we are one of two cars in the parking lot; after sitting for an hour, we find out the bus is running late. I felt so bad for my husband’s friend, it’s now 1:45am and he has to be at work by 6am. He never complained once. We both even napped in his car. I remember barely opening my eyes and I see the bus pull up. My husband’s friend says,” well there’s his bus, he’s here!” I immediately jump out of the car, at this point I could care less how sleep deprived I look. I made it! After missing flights, vomiting, crying, screaming like a mad women at the airport, losing my luggage, not eating, not sleeping, none of that even mattered…I was there when he was going to walk off that bus!

The Bus

297596_2373415055254_3365688_nI was so excited, my heart was racing…I was thinking do I wait for him to walk up to me, do I run up to him at the doorway of the bus…what do I do now! He walked off that bus with the biggest smile, it was the same smile he had on our wedding day. We both just walked really fast to each other. The first thing he did was hug me tight, he couldn’t even let go and seeing him tear up, I knew all I went through to get there didn’t matter; I was literally at a loss for words. That is a feeling that I will never forget. Not only was he home safely, seeing his wife after a year, someone who he loved was actually there the minute he walked off that bus like he always wanted. I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even cry. I wasn’t even tired, hungry, and could have cared less if my luggage was found or not. My Marine was home, safe, and I was the first person he got to see. (A big thank you to Teekie for picking me up from the airport, getting me on base, & taking pictures of this moment for me.)

Military Wife Duty

Yes, our military goes through training, they’re suppose to be tough, go through war, protect us, and serve our country. But they are still human. Support your loved ones that are in the military, we can only imagine what they go through, what they see, what they feel. They need patience, understanding, and most of all love. After all, it’s because of them that we are free. Happy Veteran’s Day to all of our precious military.