March 31, 2017

Style Hack: Pain-free Ink

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For those of you that do not know, I LOVE tattoos.  I have several of them and I do plan on getting more.  People were definitely not lying when they say it is addicting.  For me, I get an adrenaline rush thinking about it.  My heart quickens and I even think my brain starts to send off those 'feel good' signals in my brain every time I am in a tattoo parlor deciding what exactly I want to get.  The feeling just gets more intense as I talk to the tattoo artist and come up with a plan for the tattoo.



Ramblings Thoughts Style Hack: Pain-Free InkEven though I would not back out of getting a tattoo, when I get in that chair and the artist starts to prepare his work space and my skin, I get butterflies and I begin to think that I cannot believe I am about to do this.  Now, I have gone through this process on three different times and I have enjoyed it each time.  However, I would be lying if I told you there are no pain to getting tattoos....because that would be an absolute lie.

Ramblings Thoughts Style Hack: Pain-Free InkMy first tattoo, which was on the side of my calf, actually did not hurt all that bad.  I ended up getting my name in beautiful, bold cursive letters.  There was a slight burning sensation but nothing too unbearable.  My second tattoo is on the side of my foot and it is 2 butterflies with a swirly thing.  This one didn't hurt that bad until the tattoo artist got close to my ankle and definitely when he got to my baby toe.  It was an uncomfortable burning sensation.  But I still was ok.

About two years ago I treated myself to a cover up....I wanted to cover up my name tattoo.  Needless to say, I got tired of people asking why I had my own name tattooed on my body.  At that point in my life I was getting out of 2 relationships (one right after the other) that left me feeling broken and lost.  I needed something to symbolize rebirth, moving on, being strong.....so, I ended up deciding on a purple lotus flower.  Now, let me tell you, that was the most painful tattoo I have had.  Not only did the artist have to cover up that lovely bold 'Holly' tattoo but also, he had to work in the color on top of scar tissue.  But, I am extremely happy with the results.
Ramblings Thoughts, Tip, Trick, Hack, Temporary, Tattoo, Ink, Momentary Ink
Picture Source: Lyddiebug_56


So, why am I rambling on about my tattoos?  Well, not everyone can handle the pain of tattoos...which is perfectly fine.  Or, there are those people that just don't want something permanent on their body but love the looks of a certain tattoo.  What about those instances when you are playing around with an idea of a tattoo but not sure how it would look on your body?  Well, I found the best hack that will help all y'all.


Momentary Ink is a lovely site where you can create a temporary tattoo that will last for 2 solid weeks on your skin.  Just think of those temporary tattoos that we all had as a kid.....now think of the adult version where the graphics and details are a lot better and the tattoos are available in different sizes.  What are y'all waiting for?  Go create your own tattoos. 

-Rambling Holly

March 29, 2017

Walmart Beauty Box Subscription

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Ramblings Thoughts, Review, Beauty, Subscription Box, Walmart Beauty Box, Health and Beauty, Beauty Samples

I am sure y'all have seen all the different subscription boxes out there that offer products being sent to your home ever so often for a fee.  If you haven't, what the heck????  Have you been living under a rock?

Most of the subscriptions boxes are geared towards the female consumers with boxes that offer makeup, fragrances, athletic clothes and misc. woman health and beauty products to try.  The idea behind these boxes is to be able to try products before buying them, so the boxes tend to be filled with sample sizes and coupons.

I am telling y'all....a BUNCH of companies have jumped on this subscription box trend.  Especially the beauty box trend.  I guess there are plenty of beautiful ladies out there, like me, that wants to see all the new products coming out and want to be able to try them before we drop our hard earned money on the full-sized product.  Ladies, let's face it....it can be expensive to look as good as we do.  Hair supplies and equipment, make up, fragrance, clothes, skin care products, shoes and accessories all can break the bank.

I personally was not going to subscribe to any box because I have companies contacting me to review their products but I feel that I at least need to check out one subscription box to see what it is all about and of course, to see if it is worth the money.  So, I finally decided to subscribe to the Walmart Beauty box.  It cost $5 shipping for every box and you get 4 boxes a year (seasonal).

So, what do I think of the boxes?  Is it worth the $5 for each box?  Is the products worth trying?  What are some of the products that come in the boxes?  Well, y'all know the deal....click the video below to find out what I think about the Walmart Beauty Box!!!



-Rambling Holly


March 27, 2017

Old-fashion Corn Pudding

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For those of you that do not know....my full-time job that pays the bills right now is working as a dietary manager for an assisted living facility for elderly clients.  In other words, I am the head cook for a facility that cares for live-in residents that are in their later years of life.

I have to admit, my clients tend to be the toughest food critics ever....some times.  I think there has only been a few meals that I have served in my 2+ years with them that not one client has had some complaint or wanted something else.  But, when you are older not only do you lose most of your taste buds (you are only able to taste salt and sugar when your older) but you tend to be fussy and stubborn about what you eat.  As frustrating as that is to me...as the cook, I do understand that if I was living somewhere and not able to cook for myself, I would want my food a certain way and I would only eat certain things.

One thing that I can almost guarantee most, if not all, my clients love to eat is old fashion, comfort food.  Food that they grew up on or food that they had in their house as an adult.  Nights that I serve homemade Mac' n Cheese, Meatloaf or even chili are all nights that I have plenty of clients asking for seconds and where I don't have any leftovers to put away.  This is it's self is a sign of success to me.

Unfortunately, after doing this job for over 2 years and being the only one in charge of trying to fix and change up a menu that was given to the company, I get lost for ideas on what to make for them.  I want to keep it interesting for them and I want to be able to provide food that they will enjoy....but I don't know a bunch of old fashion recipes.  With that being said....I am always on the prowl for recipes to try and make my own by adding tweaks here and there.

I was lucky enough to stumble across a recipe for corn pudding from the company that provides out menus and so I had to try it and y'all should know that I tweaked the recipe so that not only is it old-fashion but that it has a newer twist on it so that people of all generations can enjoy this side dish.

Old-Fashion Corn Pudding

Ramblings Thoughts, Recipe, Old Fashion, Comfort Food, Food, Tasty Tuesday, Side Dish, Corn, Corn Pudding

What you need:

2 lb. whole kernel corn, frozen
3 eggs
2 1/2 c. Milk
1/2 c. onions, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Direction:

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Thaw corn.

2.  In a large bowl, combine corn, the 3 egg yolks (set aside the egg whites), milk, onions, salt and black pepper.
Ramblings Thoughts Old-Fashion Corn Pudding Recipe

                       ***This is how I easily separate the yolks for the whites***
Ramblings Thoughts Old-Fashion Corn Pudding Recipe

3.  In a separate bowl, beat egg white stiff, but do not beat them dry.
Ramblings Thoughts Old-Fashion Corn Pudding Recipe

4.  Fold the egg whites into corn mixture.  Spread pudding mixture into greased pan.
Ramblings Thoughts Old-Fashion Corn Pudding Recipe

5.  Bake for one hour or until 'pudding' sets and fork inserted in center comes out dry.  Enjoy!!

-Rambling Holly

March 20, 2017

Blondie Brownies!!!!

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Just because I am trying (emphasis on trying lately) to eat healthier that does not mean everyone in my life is.  The unfortunate thing is that I am a full time cook for an assisted living facility and my residents would start a riot if all I did was serve them fruit as a dessert every day.

Not only that, but even if you are on a diet or just eating healthier, you have to treat yourself once in a while.  If you don't, you are more likely to give up your diet or healthy eating and binge on all the food you have been avoiding.  So, treat yourself here and there...to keep yourself sane!!!

Now, I LOVE me some brownies!!!!  The ooey-gooey-er the better.  But for those that don't want that all the much chocolate melting in your mouth (just plain craziness if that is you....not judge though), you can have Blondies.  And I happen to have a great recipe for you to use.

Personally, I think Blondies are more like a cookie.  They are just thick like a brownie and cut into squares.  But this would be great for all my chocolate chip cookie lovers too.  So, whether you don't like all the chocolate a brownie has to offer or if you just love you some chocolate chips cookies, then you definitely want to add this recipe to your recipe books.

Blondie Brownies
Ramblings Thoughts, Tasty Tuesday, Baking, Dessert, Brownies, Blondies, Recipe

What you need:

1 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. butter, melted
1 2/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
A pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  (if you don't have a sift, just fork blend really well).  Set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and butter.
Ramblings Thoughts Blondie Brownies Recipe

4.  Add eggs and vanilla to butter sugar mixture, mix well.
Ramblings Thoughts Blondie Brownies Recipe

5.  Add mixture to dry ingredients, work in well.  This makes your batter.  Add batter to sprayed pan.
Ramblings Thoughts Blondie Brownies RecipeRamblings Thoughts Blondie Brownies Recipe

6.  Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top of batter.
Ramblings Thoughts Blondie Brownies Recipe

7.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!
-Rambling Holly

March 17, 2017

Tip of the Week: Vicks Warmer Trick

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I don't know about y'all but this year has reeked havoc on my body....I honestly think there was about 2 months where I was sick with one cold or another, got better, just to get sick again.  But it is that time of year.  Ugh....the dreaded cold and flu session.

If there is one thing that I absolutely hate about being sick with the cold is not being able to breathe at night.  Heck, I have talked about this before in my review on Advil Sinus & Congestion (click here to check it out).  When I can't breathe through my nose, I become that dreaded mouth breather and wake up with Sahara Desert mouth.  Not to mention, I get jealous of all those that walk around able to breathe through their nose.

Now, there are plenty of products that propose to help you get through or over your cold...and let's face it some of them work, some don't....but they all came be pretty pricey.  Vicks, however, has always been one of those go-tos to help with your breathing.  Now, you don't have to buy Vicks, but any off brand to save you some money that works just like Vicks vapor rub.

Personally, I hate the smell.  I think I always have, but it could be because it is associated with being sick and trying to get better.  Not only that, I cannot leave the stuff on for too long because it causes a very painful rash and then dries out my skin.  So, not only am I walking around sounding like a zombie because of my mouth breathing but then I have red patches of scaly rash nastiness.  UGH!!!!

Well, I found the cure to my problems and because it work so well, I wanted to pass on the great tip/trick.  Get yourself a candle wax warmer....and add the vapor rub to the tray.  Place the warmer close to you and you will be able to breathe in the mentholated medicine and get a good night's rest!!!   

-Rambling Holly

March 15, 2017

Top Paw Butterfly Plush Dog Toy

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So, if y'all follow me on Instagram or even Facebook, you would know that not too long ago, I got a new member added to my household.  He was an 8 week old teacup Pomeranian, that I named Kioki (Key-O-Key).  This little bundle, and I do mean little (he was just under 2 lbs when I got him) fit right into my family immediately.  He plays with his brother and sister (On/off and Silky, my two cats) and he makes it a point to make every person in my life feel special with puppy kisses that are more like puppy facials.  I am even lucky enough to be able to take him to work where not only does the staff spoil him but my residents get a huge kick out of having him around.

To be completely honest....having him at work has brought the stress level with the staff members down so much.  I mean, come on, who could be upset when that tiny fluff ball starts dancing at your feet for you to pick him up so he can give you some love.  He has been great therapy....even if it is just loving at his silliness like face diving into the snow and then making 'Kioki Angels' in the snow.

With him bring so much joy into my life and my loved ones, I do tend to spoil him (just like I do with my kitty babies).  I buy him the better dog food and better treats.  I have even become one of those dog owners that dress their dog.  Ugh...what has happened to me?!

Now, it is only natural that I would buy him toys for him to play with....whether it is for playing with him or something he can play with to keep himself occupied.  So, about a month ago I was at PetSmart picking up dog food for him when I spotted this cute butterfly toy.  Now, I know he is a boy but it was on clearance, squeaked (which he loves) and I just love butterflies, so I got it.  I ended up paying just a little over $2 for mine but Petsmart.com now has them for $1.18!!!

So, was it worth the $2?  Did it just fall apart or tear after a few good chewing/playing sessions?  Is it safe for tiny Kioki and other small/teacup dogs?  Well, click the video below to find out and see Kioki's first video appearance.


-Rambling Holly

March 13, 2017

Cold Day Minestrone Soup

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Even though it may be the middle of March and Spring is supposedly right around the corner, I know at least Mainers are experiencing some chilly weather.  Heck, just this past Saturday, we had a temperature of 11 degrees that also had the wind blowing so hard that you felt like you just got white washed with snow on your face.

Don't get me wrong, I think winter is a beautiful time of the year and I love that the kitchen doesn't get so hot that it makes you feel like you are living in hell, but at the same token, I don't like having to clean off my jeep, double up on blankets or stay inside to be safe from the excruciating cold weather.  Now that I am older, it just goes right through my bones and hurts the parts of my body that have been injured.   (I hate sounding like an old person by admitting that, so let's keep that between us.)

There is typically two things that will cure my chilly bones....and that is a long hot shower (which I can't always have when you share one bathroom with 6 people) or a big bowl of something steamy hot that will stick to my bones.  And we all know that stews, soups, chowders or chili tends to be the perfect go to for those nights that you need something to chase the chills from your body.

Not to long ago, I made a hearty minestrone soup for my residents and they absolutely loved it.  I had plenty of them ask for seconds, even the ones that normally don't even finish one plate.  As a cook, that right there is the biggest compliment you could receive, so if my residents loved it, I want to share it with y'all.

Cold Day Minestrone Soup

Ramblings Thoughts, Soup, Cold Day, Cold Chills, Recipe, Tasty Tuesday, Minestrone, Cooking


What you need:

1 1/2 c. shell pasta
4 c. fresh spinach
3 c. hot water
3 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano 
1/4 c. cooking sherry
14 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
30 oz pinto beans, drained
30 oz. northern beans, drained
4 c. chicken broth
2 stalks celery, diced
14 oz. asparagus, cooked
2 c. yellow squash, diced
1 med. onion, diced
3 tbsp. oil

Directions:

1.  In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Then add onion, squash and celery.  Cook until onion is see through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Ramblings Thoughts Cold Day Minestrone Soup

2.  Add remaining ingredients except the pasta and spinach, stir to mix it all in.
Ramblings Thoughts Cold Day Minestrone Soup

3.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

4.  Add spinach and pasta and cook for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!!!!

-Rambling Holly

March 8, 2017

Yummy Oven Zucchini

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If y'all have been following me, you would know that I have been trying to eat healthier.  Even though I share a bunch of yummy desserts and comfort food, I try to throw in a couple healthy recipes once a week.  Well, at least the ones that I created and they passed the test to make them again.

When it comes to eating healthy, many people believes that it involves eating a bunch of salads and vegetables that are just plain gross....well, that is soooo wrong.  Salads are good if  you make them right without the 100 croutons, 1 cup of bacon bits and 1/2 a bottle of dressing.  And as far as eating other vegetables go, it is all about experimenting with flavors and cooking techniques.  For example, sauteed vegetables will have a different texture and flavor than those that were boiled.  You also need to experiment with spices and sauces (but be careful because you are not trying to make a healthy dish or side an unhealthy one with a sugary or salty sauce).

Now, trust me when I tell you not all experimenting will result in amazing dishes that you go back for more.  Sometimes, that hour of experimenting left some kind of food matter that even the dog yelps and hides when you try to give it him.  This is why only some of my healthy recipes make it on here....I will not share a recipe that I did not like myself.

But, fortunately for me, I love zucchini.  I like it sauteed, microwaved or oven roasted.  To me zucchini takes in the flavors you cook it in.....whether it is butter or spices.  Now my oven roasted zucchini is very popular with my residents at work and coworkers, so I just had to share it with y'all.


Yummy Oven Zucchini
Ramblings Thoughts, Sides, Healthy, Vegetables, Tasty Tuesday, Recipes, Cooking,

What you need:

2 lb. zucchini, fresh
1/2 c. oil
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400.

2.  Wash and slice zucchini.
Ramblings Thoughts Yummy Oven Zucchini Recipe

3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, thoroughly coating all zucchini slices.

4.  Line baking sheets with foil and nonstick spray, and spread zucchini evenly in a single layer.
Ramblings Thoughts Yummy Oven Zucchini Recipe

5.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!!

*This would make a perfect side for any meal but especially Broiled Haddock or even Steak Kabobs!!

-Rambling Holly

Garnier Fructis Curling Cream

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Hair....sometimes it is a girl's best friend and other days it is her worse nightmare.  I have always had a love/hate relationship with my hair.  It is extremely thick, which can be good in that even when I have short hair, it looks like I have a lot of hair.  But when I grow my hair out, it is so heavy and causes me to get migraines.

Then it is the whole styling job.  No matter what my hair length is, I have to do something with it where I work in the kitchen.  There is nothing worse that getting a beautiful plate of food to realize halfway through taking a bite, a piece of hair dangling off your fork....GROSS.

I have realized however, that when my hair is short, it is curly....very much unlike the frizzy half curl, half straight hair I have when I go out my hair.  And then to my surprise, I was getting my hair cut by a good friend that is now a hairstylist and she was telling me that I should be using curling cream to make my curls more define and just bounce with joy.

So, once I received that golden piece of advice, I started my journey to find the best curling cream that would be best fitted for me.  Now, I have tried a couple (and you can click here to check out my Cantu Coconut Curling Cream review and my Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme Moisturizing Hair Styler review) but I was just not satisfied.

Then, I was at Walmart one day, just tooling around with no real purpose (which is NEVER a good idea) and I happened to go down the hair products aisle.  A little secret about me is that in order for me to buy any product like shampoo, deodorant, styling products or body wash, I have to smell them all and then decide based on the smell, price and qualities.  So, after spending at least a half hour on a fruity, musky scent journey, I stumbled across Garnier Fructis and they happened to have curling cream!  Of course I smelled it and it passed, it was a leave in curling cream and the price was....ok, so I bought it.

So, what did I think about it once I tried it?  Was it worth the $4 at Walmart for a little jar?  Click the video below to check out what I have to say about Garnier Fructis Curling Cream.



-Rambling Holly

March 4, 2017

Shopping Tip: What to Buy in March

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Ramblings Thoughts, Tip, Trick, Saving, Money Saving, Shopping, Cheapest, March


Shopping....I don't know about y'all but I love shopping.  I don't necessarily love spending my money though.  What is even worse is when I have to buy something that I was not planning on buying and then I find out that if I would have just waiting a little longer I would have saved a bunch of money.

Now, there are a bunch of apps out there to help you out when this happens like Walmart Saving Catcher but I forget all the time to use it....and then I kick myself later for it.  With that being said, there has to be a time of year when certain items and products are being sold at the lowest, right?

RIGHT!!!!  I have the inside scoop on when to buy certain items and products.  Now, I am not talking about products that we all typically buy on a regular basis.  Its like gardening tools, certain clothing items, beds or bed sets or air conditioners...items like that are the items that you can save big if you know when to buy them.  This is the second installment of 12 posts that will help you know when to buy those needed items and save a good amount of money.

So, what should we buy in the month of March?  Check out this list:

Small appliances

Cleaning supplies

Trash bags

Paper Towels

Chocolate

Perfume

Frozen Food

Luggage

**Also, just in case you would like to know what fruit and vegetables are in season right now (from march to june): Asparagus, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Cucumbers, Curly Kale, Purple Broccoli, Savoy Cabbarge, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onion, Watercress, Gooseberries, and Rhubarb****

-Rambling Holly