April 13, 2018

Mumma Journey: Boy or Girl?!

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Wow....I still cannot believe I am actually writing a Mumma Journey blog series.  I have said it before, I honestly thought motherhood was not in the cards for me.  But it is clear now that I have made it thus far...I am going to be a mother.

When we found out a baby was on the way, of course everyone had their guess of what the gender would be.  I personally have always wanted a girl, first.  So, I just always thought I was having a little girl.  My handsome hunny, automatically said that the baby was a girl because he just "had this feeling".  He would go on to explain that where he got the morning sickness and his sleeping pattern was thrown off, like when he was expecting his daughter from a previous relationship.  My mother was certain that I was having a little girl.

Time to find out if baby Rambling is a boy or girlThen there was my brother and sister that both said the baby is a boy.  My hunny's family all was saying boy as well.  His niece who he happens to be very close with explained that the baby is a boy because I didn't have morning sickness and I wasn't queasy.  Needless to say, we were all excited to find out whether we will be adding a little boy or a little girl to our family.

Finally, the day came for us to go in and find out the gender!!!  I was so excited and nervous at the same time.  All this time we have been talking about a baby, but because I didn't have any of the "normal" pregnancy symptoms and I hadn't felt the baby move, it still didn't seem real to me.  Don't get me wrong, I would tear up every time I had to go for an ultrasound and I would get to see this little life inside me...but other than the ultrasounds, I felt no different.

So, my Hunny and I finally got called into the ultrasound room and the ultrasound began.  The tech told us that the baby's growth is on point and the baby's heart rate is great.  She spend about 45 minutes taking random pictures, all while the baby is kicking and punching up a storm.  Then she lets us know that she is now going to figure out the gender.

Time to find out if baby Rambling is a boy or girlI swear as soon as she said that, our little bundle of energy all of a sudden was done with the ultrasound and would not cooperate.  The tech even would jiggle the wand a bit up against my belly to get the baby to move.  After about the fifth time of her doing this, our little attitude baby decided to turn back to and just stopped moving all together.  UGH!!!  We left with a follow-up appointment 2 weeks later.  I was soooooo mad.  Mind you I made it a point to not do any shopping for the baby until I knew what I was having.

Luckily for me, 2 weeks flew by.  I went in praying that my baby would not be stubborn this time.  I got a different tech this time and of course she spent the majority of the time taking random pictures of the baby's growth.  Then she said, "it says here that we need to find the gender...and it looks like a GIRL."  But she said it so caviler and if you weren't paying attention to what she was really saying, you would have missed it.

Even though the way I found out what we are having was delivered so nonchalantly, I got to pass the news on to my hunny and my family in a better way.  My hunny actually jumped up and down yelling, "IT'S A GIRL, IT'S A GIRL".  At the end of the day, we are all happy that our baby is healthy and my hunny, mom and I are thrilled that we were right the whole time.

So, share with me your gender reveal stories.  I want to hear them all.


-Rambling Holly

April 11, 2018

Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Plus OxiClean Laundry Detergent

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For most people, they don't really have to worry too much about what soap, lotion and makeup products they use.  Most people can just buy whatever smells good to them and be done with it.  Unfortunately for me, I don't have that option.  I have to be very careful with the soaps, detergents and any skincare products I use....I am cursed with sensitive skin.  What is even worse is the fact that I could be using a given product and have no issue with it and then all of a sudden, my skin decides to react to it in a very unattractive, red bumpy, itchy way.



It is bad enough that I have sensitive skin but I am also with a man that also has sensitive skin and we are welcoming a baby.  I hope that by some sure luck of the gene gods, our baby does not have sensitive skin like we do, but let's face it, she probably will.

On a better note, I have not had to buy sensitive soaps for the most part.  For body wash, we use Dove and Jergen's lotion and it seems to get us by.  For laundry soap, I typically use Tide, Gain or Purex.  The problem for me is that even though I do have sensitive skin, I want to use soaps and detergents that smell good.  Unfortunately, not only does sensitive laundry soap tend to be more expensive, but it also most of the time it doesn't offer the smell good that I seek for.

Well, about a few months ago, my local grocery store had an amazing sale on laundry soap where I was able to STOCKPILE on Tide Pods, Gain Pods, Gain liquid and Arm & Hammer Sensitive detergent.  As I have said before, I usually use Tide and Gain so that is what enticed me and getting the Arm & Hammer detergent was just part of the sale and I was trying to stockpile, so I grabbed some.

This detergent not only promotes the extra bonus of OxiClean but is also dermatologist tested for sensitive skin.  It is free of perfumes and dyes...perfect for those of us that have sensitivities to soaps.  But is it worth buying?  I mean when it is not on sale?  Click the photo below to check out my video review.
A video review on Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Plus OxiClean Laundry Detergent
Click here if the picture doesn't take you to video


-Rambling Holly

April 9, 2018

Copycat Panda Express Lo Mein

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I don't know about y'all but even though I do enjoy cooking (most of the time), I do still very much enjoy going out to eat with my loved ones...being able to eat someone else's cooking without having to worry about the clean up.

I must say, one of my biggest weaknesses when I go to my local mall is that I always want to stop by Panda Express just to get their Lo Mein.  I really don't even understand why I love it so much because it is a very simple filler for when you buy the combo meal.  Regardless of that, I absolutely LOVE IT!



However, unfortunately my hunny and I are not made of money and we do not own acres and acres of money trees (though we are in the market for them).  I don't really like spending money on things that I can either make or do myself.  I am especially tightening the purse strings now that we are going to be welcoming a baby in June.

Now, I have done copycat recipes before and was surprised at how great they turned out.  So, I took to really doing some research on Panda Express's Lo Mein, which just so happened to mean that I needed to purchase more Lo Mein to make sure I got all the ingredients.  I think I did a pretty good job getting as close to their recipe as possible and the best part about it is that not only am I saving money but I also know all the ingredients that I am eating.


Copycat Panda Express Lo Mein


A step-by-step recipe on how to make Panda Express Lo Mein

What you need:

2 pk. Yakisoba Noodles
3 tbsp. oil
1/2 onion
1 c. cabbage
1/4 c. celery
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce

Directions:

1.  Cook noodles as directed, WITHOUT the spice and vegetables.  Set aside.

2.  Thinly slice onion, cabbage and celery.  (I used a mandolin) 

3.  In a large pan, heat oil over high heat until hot, then add vegetables cooking for about 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and caramelized.  Make sure to stir occasionally.
A step-by-step recipe on how to make Panda Express Lo Mein

4.  Add the noodles and sauces, combine thoroughly.  ENJOY!
A step-by-step recipe on how to make Panda Express Lo MeinA step-by-step recipe on how to make Panda Express Lo Mein



-Rambling Holly

April 6, 2018

Money Saving Tip: Facebook Marketplace and Groups

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Everyone likes to save money (or at least I hope so)!  But what happens when you need household items, furniture, a vehicle, or even a certain service?  I know I still don't really want to spend a bunch of money.  I work hard for the money I do have and even though I want to enjoy the better items in life, I don't want to go broke paying for them.
How to save money with Facebook Marketplace and Groups

The only solution to this is to do some digging around trying to find the best deals at the stores....or is it?  Facebook finally came out with a marketplace where people like you and I can post our unwanted items for a given price in order to sell it to other "facebookers".  Most of the time, the person selling the item will price it but will also put 'obo'.

If you would like to narrow your search efforts, you can also search Facebook groups for any "online yard sales" in your town/city.  I am a member of several groups for not only the town I live in but any other town or city that I would be willing to travel to for a given item.  And let me just tell you, I have saved so much money thanks to these groups and the marketplace.  I have even received advice and pointers from just asking questions.  For example, I just recently asked one group where I could go to have a baby shower that was not going to break my boyfriend and I.  You would not believe the response I got and I actually ended up going with one of the places a person suggested.



My boyfriend happened to have a very bare apartment when I met him.  The poor guy had his 60 inch tv sitting on a kitchenette table with the box the tv came in on top of the table to make it wide enough to hold the tv.  On top of that, he only had a few cheap folding chairs available as seating for his living room.  Now, let me say this, he is not a person that didn't care about his home, he just didn't have the time to furnish his place.
How to save money with Facebook Marketplace and Groups
Clearly it is time for me to do a bit of dusting.

Then here I come.  My first step was to find him a proper stand for his tv.  When I started looking for something, he then informed me that he would like for it to have extra storage space.  Well, it only took maybe about a week, but I ended up finding the perfect piece.  It only cost him $40 but not only does it hold his tv safely but it also adds more storage in his bedroom.  There is a bit of wear and tear on the surface of the stand, however, if it was really a big issue (which it is not), I can fix it with some sanding and a fresh coat of stain (or cover it up with a cloth).

How to save money with Facebook Marketplace and Groups



Then, I had finally had enough of not really being able to enjoy his living room (plus the fact that we are welcoming a child in the world soon) because the chairs are hard and not all the sturdy, I talked him into letting me look for living room furniture.  As soon as he gave me the ok, I went full force on searching for a loveseat and chair.  It just so happened to be that time of year when most furniture stores were having there sales but even then he would have paid $200 for a chair and about $300 or more for a loveseat.  So, trolling Facebook marketplace and my online yard sale groups I went.  This search took a little bit longer because I didn't want something that was torn and he said that we could not get something from a home that had smokers or pets (due to his allergies).  However, after about a month, I ended up finding the perfect loveseat and chair for only a total of $175 and it came with an ottoman for the chair.  So, now not only is his apartment looking a lot better these days, my pregnant self can finally lay down in the living room with my boyfriend next to me in the chair and watch a movie without having to do it in the bedroom.  He loves having a 'man of the house' chair.

***A tip to remember when buy second-hand, always see what you are buying before you buy it but also, check that item for rips or tears or (and let's face the ugly truth) bed bugs.***



-Rambling Holly

April 4, 2018

L'Oreal Paris EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask

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I have said it before....a woman's hair is one of their best accessories.  Most of us spend a bunch of time and money to make sure that our hair is on point and expresses ourselves.  We get haircuts that help bring out our facial features or to just have fun or stand out.

However, no matter what haircut I get, what color my hair happens to be at any given moment or what way I chose to style my hair, I still want one thing.....silky smooth hair that leaves me wanting to run my hands through it.



With my hair being wavy/curly and thick, I swear I am always fighting the hair gods to have just soft hair but even then my hair is still all frizzy and sticking out all over the place.  So, my win/lose ratio with the hair gods tends to be more loss than win.
With this constant battle with my hair, you would think that I would just give up for good but I am stubborn.  I still keep trying new products to hopefully get that much sought after silky smooth hair.  Recently, Influenster contacted to me try a new hair product and of course, I jumped at the chance.
A review on L'Oreal Paris EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask
Will be reviewing the shampoo soon.
Influenster gave me a L'Oreal Paris EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask to try and review.  Upon looking on L'Oreal's website, this hair sheet mask is said to be priced at $4.49.  With a 4.2 out of 5 star rating, it is said to leave hair shiny looking without the weigh-down.

So, how does this work on my hair?  Did this just add another loss to my ratio?  Is it worth the $4.49 (or lower on Amazon)?  Click on the picture below to check out my review video.
A video review on L'Oreal Paris EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask
Click here just in case the picture doesn't bring you to the video




-Rambling Holly

April 2, 2018

Easy Shepard's Pie

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I know I am not the only one that loves me some comfort food.  I especially love comfort food during those colder days so that not only does it heat up the house while I'm cooking it but that it will heat me up from the inside.  Fortunately for me right now, once my belly is full and I am all warm and cozy, it is nap time for me and my little one inside me.


Get the casserole dish I have here


When ever I think about comfort food, I think about all the yummy foods that my mom and grandmother used to make.  Most of the time they were those dishes that were so yummy that it would go straight to your stomach and thighs if you ate them all the time.  Dishes like Baked Mac 'n Cheese, but then there are other dishes that aren't that unhealthy to eat that can still be considered comfort food, such as, homemade beef stew.  (YUM!)  But I better stop sharing examples of comfort food because as we speak it is making me a little hungry.

Shepard's Pie has always been a staple comfort food in my household growing up.  My mom always made it.  When I was a kid I didn't really care for it because I just didn't care for the hamburger.  To me the hamburger just always seemed bland....no matter who made it (so mom you can't get mad at me).  But then I had some shepard's pie made by one of my best friend's mother and I fell in love.  She seasoned the meat with gravy powder.  BOOM!!!!  GAME CHANGER!!!

Since then, I have loved and made shephard's pie with her trick and adding a little bit of me to make the best shephard's pie EVER!!

Easy Shepard's Pie

Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.


What you need:

2-3 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 pk. au jus gravy
1/4 c. water
2 cans corn, one whole kernel and one cream style (I only had 2 cans of whole kernel though)
2 pk. loaded instant potatoes

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a large skillet, sautee onion and garlic over medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.

2.  Add ground beef, water and au jus gravy package to the onion and garlic mixture and cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until beef is almost completely cooked (some pink is ok).
Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.

3.  Prepare potatoes as directed on package.  (Personally, I think you must use instant potatoes because it does not taste the same with real potatoes.)

4.  In a large casserole dish, assemble the 'pie'.  Bottom layer is the hamburger with a few tablespoons of the au jus juice from the pan.  Then an even layer of corn and then top it off with the potatoes.

Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.Learn how to make the traditional comfort food shephard's pie with a twist to make the meat tasty.
5.  Bake in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes have golden spots.  Enjoy!
-Rambling Holly

February 8, 2018

Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Nourishing Body Lotion

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For those of you that have been with me for awhile will know that I have skin issues.  The winter brings the worst out in my skin.  I have extremely dry scalp that I current treat with a number of different shampoos, conditioners and leave-ins.  Then I have severe dry patches of skin that drive me insane and make me feel very self-conscious.

Sometimes I swear my skin hates me.  My elbows get so dry that they get scaly like an alligator and they even catch on my clothes and it hurts.  Then me shins get dry and itchy.  Apparently they get so itchy that during the night, in the middle of my sleep, I scratch and dig them.  This leaves my poor legs looking like hamburger meat.  This is definitely not cute and it leaves me wanting to keep my body covered up, even when I am home with my hunny.
Video review on this premium body lotion, is it really worth the money?

This winter has been worse for my skin.  I personally think it is due to the little stubborn bundle of joy that I am currently carrying (you will find out why I call the baby stubborn in a future post). However, I thought when you are pregnant, your complexion is flawless and you face glows.....that is clearly not the case for me.  Since finding out that I was expecting, I have been battling with extremely severe dry patches on my face on and off again.  One patch ends up forming right under my nose and the other patch forms right under my bottom lip....so they are very noticeable and make me feel very self-conscious when I go out in public or when I want to kiss on my hunny.

So, when the patches first appeared, I quickly started using a variety of different lotions because none of the lotions that I used, worked.  Not even the two different lotions that my mother makes that always takes care of my dry patches.  I was desperate because not only did the patches look bad (or at least I feel that way) but they also hurt.  They were extremely dry, which made my skin crack and sores to form.

Then I stumbled across a sample tube of Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Nourishing Body Lotion!   Upon reading the tube, it promises all the right things that I need....clinical skin care that is "mega-effective" to "instantly soothes and nourishes dehydrated skin".  Ulta has a 8 oz tube for $18, however, my mother found that Amazon has the same size for cheaper!!!! 

That is a steep cost for lotion, especial for someone like me that is just trying to make sure all my bills are paid!  Does it even work on my severe skin problems?  Does it actually work as it says to?  What are my thoughts on this expensive lotion?  Watch the video below to find out!






-Rambling Holly