Friday, October 24, 2014

Surrogate Pregnancy #2; Week 9

Wow, the last few weeks have gotten away from me when it comes to updating, so I have to apologize for that. I had my son's 3rd birthday and had family members up here for about a week, so I was constantly on the move. Week 8 was halfway over so I decided to start again with week 9 and then I forgot that yesterday was Thursday. This is the first pregnancy I haven't worked through, so I don't keep track of the days as well as I used to.

This week, baby is about the size of an olive. I'd probably find that more cute if I actually like olives.
Although small, he's starting to look more and more like a baby. He has arms, legs and even fingers and toes. 
Dr. Google says the uterus doesn't start to peek it's way out of the pelvis until week 10, but I'm pretty sure my super small bump is now baby, and not bloat.  Wanna know why? Funny story. I "show" early every pregnancy. By "show early" I mean that around the same time I get a + pregnancy test, I start to bloat up. If you don't know me, you probably just think I ate too much dinner. When I was pregnant with my son, I would go into my husbands work and lean over this counter thing to say hi to him. I first started realizing I had a bump (not a bloat) when I leaned and my stomach didn't squish, but more felt like someone had put a tennis ball between the counter and my belly.

With the second pregnancy, I noticed the same thing happening (and earlier-- because.. twins) and I knew I was on to something. So this time, I wanted to know, but as we've moved... I've no counter to lean against. Improv time, I just tried a wall in the house and wa-la. It works. And I feel the tiniest bit of non-squishy pressure. Yea.. I'm nuts. It's okay though, at least it won't pass on to the baby ;)

Pregnancy wise, nothing TOO exciting has happened in the last few weeks. No appointments, no ultrasounds. It's so weird to compare to the twin pregnancy because by this time I'd had 3 or 4 ultrasounds. I stop meds  in SIX days. Count 'em, six. My backside is exceedingly grateful. You know you've done a FEW shots when your three year old comes upstairs to remind you it's time for "your ouch mom". He even can point to which pills I take. I'm not sure whether to be scared or proud.  (Btw, they are not in his reach, but when I taken them down to TAKE them, he's usually watching. )

I've been *knock on wood* fairly lucky with morning sickness this go round. I've been queasy here and there, but only have been sick a few times. Baby does have an aversion to meat, but I hope that's a short term aversion because I'm missing it. I picked up some "preggie pop drops" at a local store and am happy to report they are just as amazing as they were with the twins. Pretty much guaranteed to stop my stomach from turning if I have one near by.

I picked up some maternity clothes from another surro for a bargain. I can't remember if I mentioned that or not. I ended up with 5 pairs of pants and 14 shirts?  In most surrogacy journeys you get an allowance for maternity clothes. I remember getting the one for the twins and blowing 3/4 of it in one shopping trip. I wasn't getting top of the line maternity either, but maternity clothes are SO expensive. This allowance is less as it's a single pregnancy (usually more money for multiples because you grow out of maternity clothes with them haha) so with the clothes from the surro I shouldn't have to spend as much. I'll probably break up my shopping as most of the clothes I got are more fall/winter and I'll need a few to tide me over the spring months as I'm due in late may.

I also scheduled our first OB appointment. It's on Nov. 10th. I'll be about eleven and a half weeks at that point, which seems so LATE, but whatever. I'm both excited and nervous. Excited to get things rolling, and nervous because I'm not sure how to express my urge to vbac (vaginal birth after Caesarean) . The doctor is supposedly vbac friendly, which is a plus, so everything should go smoothly. I don't think I'll breathe out until I get the yes from him though.

That pretty much catches everyone up to speed.  Next blog I'll be TEN weeks. Double digits.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Surrogate Pregnancy; Week 6

Okay, so first, don't scold me. I know I'm late. My weeks turn over on Thursday and on Thursday I was busy prepping for a trip we were making Friday. I planned to blog Friday and didn't even get into our hotel until almost 10pm, by which point if I'd tried to write this, you guys would never be able to decipher it. Saturday the whole day, minus 3 hours at the end was spent loading and un-loading stuff and making a 5+ hour drive. So, here I am today.

Today we are 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant! Baby has grown from an apple seed to a pea in 1 week! S/he is roughly a 1/4 inch long.

I've been pregnant before... obviously, and 9 months is always a killer wait, whether or not you are the one bringing home the baby. I realized the other day, that in reality, 9 months is so SHORT a time when you consider all the things happening in that time. Around the time of your first positive pregnancy test, baby is smaller than a sesame seed. In those 9 months, the baby turns from a sesame seed into a squirming 7 lb baby. (Or in my case, 5lbs, 5lbs, and 8lbs). That is an INSANE amount of growth and so many super things happening all to form one super baby. (or two... or three?!).

I have never gained weight this early in my pregnancy. EVER. I usually don't gain weight until I'm around 22-25 weeks. I should probably purchase a scale some time soon to keep track of that... but I move on. Whether it's because this is my third pregnancy, or there are 12 babies in there...  I cannot button my jeans comfortably anymore. I've always shown early, even with my son, but as it's not really possible to be showing yet... I have to reluctantly remove the blame from the baby to fat. Haha.

In reality, I've probably only gained maybe 10 lbs since starting on the meds in August. I only gained a few lbs before, so this time I blame the Lupron. So, I've unpacked my maternity pants and plan on rocking them for the next 8 months. I need to find one of those bands that you can put around your pants so you can keep them unbuttoned and still wear your regular jeans. The jeans fit everywhere else, just not my belly currently. :/

Moving on from my lack of being able to button my pants---

So far.. smooth sailing. I know around 10 girls that transferred within a week or  two of me and a lot of them have had bleeding scares already. So I'll count us lucky on that. I went through that around 10 weeks with the twins, and it's not fun! I'm telling myself the odds are in my favor. I can't believe it would happen twice in a row.

I have days where I very definitely feel pregnant, and days where I almost forget.  I have yet to actually be sick, so I'll be thankful for that. Every other day or so though, I swear this baby taunts me. I'll be sitting in bed and feel sooo queasy that I don't want to move, then I finally do and accept that m/s has struck.... and it goes away.  Little things though are constant. As weirdly hilarious as it sounds, every pregnancy of mine has had one major "symptom" in common. The sight of food that WAS warm and is now cold... makes me gag. Weird right? To give a better example.. if I've cooked something, served it, ate it and have waited a little to clean it up say maybe an hour (?) I CANNOT stand the sight of it. It makes me soo sick. Luckily, my husband is used to it so when I call him in to dump it in the trash he knows what to do before I even tell him.

In THREE days, L & E(or at least I THINK E) will be coming down for the ultrasound! Most importantly, we'll be looking for a heartbeat to confirm the pregnancy continued to grow past those betas we got.  Secondly, we'll be seeing if one or both embryos took.  L will then have an idea of whether she needs to buy a bus, or her current car will work fine ;)

I'm pretty excited about it all. I've been trying so very hard to relax and not do anything to stress out the pregnancy, while also trying to make sure the house is in shape for when my parents come down a few days later for my son's THIRD birthday. Hopefully, with the sight of one or two or twelve nice beating hearts, I'll be able to take a breath and enjoy a nice walk around the zoo for his birthday!

And that, everyone, is where I leave you for this week. I haven't yet decided if I'll do a separate blog for the ultrasound results, or just wait a day and combine it with the 7 week blog..... I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Solid Cordz; 6-foot Extension Cables

Solid Cordz; 6-foot Extension Cables
Rating: ★★★★☆
When I moved into my current town home, I was pretty happy with what seemed like a TON of plugins throughout the house.  As we slowly set up everything (who am I kidding, we're still unpacking and it's been months...), I realized the cords were in really odd places. Either that, or maybe I just make really odd choices about where things should go. I like to believe the former.  We had several surge protectors lying around so we'd been using them here and there when an extra foot or two was needed. When I sae the opportunity to review these cables for free, I jumped on it. 
I thought 6 foot seemed a little long for your average indoor use, but so far, I've been quite happy with them.  They are small enough, and not bulky, to allow a quick roll up and tuck away for various reasons, and long enough to guarantee I always can have things plugged in when I need. 
I'm not sure exactly how much you can say in a blog about extension cords without repeating, so I'll just say that I really like them, and the company has done a well job at making a cord that is small enought to tuck away and tough enough to deal with whatever we've put it through. 
You can buy these, or the ten foot version of them, on Amazon here. They are only  $19.89 for the a two pack. 

Thanks for reading!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

REVIEW: InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask

InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask

Rating: ★
I've never used a hair mask or even a leave in conditioner for my hair, as I don't normally have problems with dry hair anyways, my hair tends to run more on the oily side. I was a little apprehensive, but was still ready to give it a try. I didn't want to use it for the 15 minutes that was recommended because I was afraid of getting my hair too oily. Instead, I used it as a normal hair conditioner, and loved the results. It has a nice smell, a little in tense at first, but the sent fades, and what does linger is pleasant.

After, as I was styling my hair, I think my hair was actually easier to style. There was no heaviness to my hair, and it cooperated with what I wanted it to do. I not dying my hair for a few months, but I look forward to trying this when I next dye my hair. Whenever I go lighter my hair feels a little coarse for a few days and I' betting this will be a great deep conditioner.

Right now, the product is selling on Amazon here, for only 19.95. I do not need much conditioner at all when I use conditioner, and I probably won't make it a daily routine, more like a weekly or bi-weekly routine, so I imagine this will last me quite a while.

If you're curious, here's what the company has to say about their product:

You Are Just 15 Minutes Away From Soft, Shiny, Brilliant Hair...
Growing up, our hair is soft and shiny and oh so effortless. However, years of blow drying, styling, and dyeing different colors can wreak havoc on your poor hair and scalp. Treat yourself and your hair to InstaNatural's Argan Oil Hair Mask and feel the difference!
The Product
Open the jar to reveal a creamy aromatic blend specially designed to transform dry, damaged hair into luscious locks. Massage the deep conditioner onto your clean, damp strands of hair and let it soak in for just 5 to 15 minutes. During this time, our treatment is working hard to penetrate your follicles to deliver ultimate hydration, as well as key nutrients such as Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter that rejuvenate your hair.
The Results
After applying the Argan Oil Hair Mask, you will be left with healthier hair - guaranteed. The blend of moisturizing ingredients found in our formula helps to repair damaged hair and creates softer, shinier, more voluminous hair that is easier to manage. Not only does this treatment repair existing damage, but also it strengthens hair to protect it against future damage from heat and styling.
Manufacturer Guarantee
InstaNatural backs their products with a Lifetime Money Back Guarantee, no matter where you buy our product. If you're not satisfied, simply contact us and get a full refund.

Thanks for taking a moment and checking out this product with me!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Hyaluronic Acid by Foxbrim

Hyaluronic Acid by Foxbrim

Rating: ★

I've stopped volunteering to try these types of products, because the more and more I use them, the more disenchanted I get.   I'm not sure if it's because it just doesn't work on my skin, or if it just doesn't work.. period. Each time, I get excited because the company claims to be better than all the other companies out there. I guess I can't fault them for that, because most companies do. However, I can fault them for not delivering on their promise. 

Per the product's amazon page:  

Product Description

Once Radiant Skin Is Yours Again! Foxbrim's Hyaluronic Acid Serum provides you the most effective moisturizing agent on the market today. PERIOD!
• Find Out What All the Buzz is About!
• It's Your Time. Show Them Your Radiant Skin!
• Safe For ALL Skin Types. Unique and Proven Formulation Ensures Even Sensitive Skin Can Glow Again!
See What A Few DROPS Can Do.
This Serum Includes Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, MSM, Jojoba Oil AND Green Tea. The ONLY Hyaluronic Acid Serum worthy of Foxbrim's 100% Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee. This Proven Formula Guarantees (LITERALLY!) Your Results!
• You've found the BEST Anti Aging, Anti Wrinkle and Anti Dull Skin Solution.
• Dramatic Results Can Be Yours With Immediate Use. In Days Not Weeks!
• Get Your Confident Glow by Making Dark Spots, Fine Lines and Wrinkles a Thing of the Past!
We proudly offer our product to you RISK FREE... Try Foxbrim's Hyaluronic Acid Serum. If you're unsatisfied in ANY WAY we'll provide you a total refund (for every penny!). No Questions Asked! It's that simple. What do you have to lose?
It never made my skin glow. It didn't reduce the appearance of fine lines (I was targeting around my eyes). Over time, my skin felt better and softer, but I saw no immediate results like it claims either. 
 I do have to say that the company seems to care about their customer's opinion, and as you can see above, they at least offer a money-back option if you're not satisfied. The price point I think is pretty high-- 20.00 for a very small bottle. If you are planning to use it daily as a toner, you'll be going through it fairly quickly. 

Overall, not impressed. 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: InstaNatural- Deep Healing Facial Oil (and Rosehip Oil)

InstaNatural- Deep Healing Facial Oil (and Rosehip Oil)

Rating: ★

I applied for the promotion this company was doing, and was super happy to be able to try out their facial oil. They also sent me a free bottle of their Rosehip Oil as well!

I'm probably just realy naive in terms of facial care, but the idea of applying oil to my face  seemed a bit strange. For me, I try to keep my face NOT oily. Still, I was excited to try the product, and did so as soon as possible.

The Facial Oil was pretty self explanatory. It cleansed. It says on the front of the bottle that it can be used as a makeup remover. The first night I tried it, I didn't have makeup on. I'd used another cleanser earlier that morning, and has basically sat inside all day, so I didn't think my face was in need of too much cleaning. I grabbed a dry facecloth, applied the oil and began to gently wipe my face. I was mildly horrified, and weirdly impressed when my white facecloth turned brown. I couldn't believe the grime it had picked off on my face after just a quick sweep of the area. Since then, it has become my go to cleaner, makeup or not.

At first, their was a definite oil feel and I was worried for the impending breakout. It didn't happen. My skin absorbed it and my face was super soft. No residue and no acne. 

When it came to my Rosehip Oil, while the bottle gave possible uses, I was wanting to see what other people used it as. I turned to two of my groups on Facebook. They are both for varying levels of "crunchy" moms. I asked them if Rosehip was in any of their daily routines. A lot of them used it for a facial cleanse and moisturizer every night. (I tried this later on and found that it was interchangeable with the facial oil and provided similar results).

Others used it on their babies, for dry patches of skin, and even cradle cap! They used it in their hair, and as the bottle suggested on their scars, even their stretchmarks! I've tried it, not routinely, on a few of their suggestions, and each time I was pleased.

If you want to try it out, you can try the Rosehip Oil, here. For the Facial Moisturizer, you can go here. They are both around 20.00, which seems a bit extensive, but they come in a large glass, 4oz bottle. I've been using it for over a month and I've not used half of either bottle! It's definitely a good buy! I only use 2-3 drops per cleansing or use and it spreads a lot!.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

REVIEW: Ebook - Abigail and the Jungle Adventure Review by Tali Carmi

Abigail and the Jungle Adventure Review 
by Tali Carmi
Rating: ★
Another great book my Tali Carmi. I was super excited to read another of her books and it did not let me down. I gave it 4/5 stars simply because my son didn't seem to be as into it as he has been her other books. That, might be do to age though, as he'll only be three in a few weeks. 
Regardless, it's a good book! Glad to have it in our collection and we still read it!

In short, (SPOILER ALERT) Abigail finds an old bicycle in her grandpa's attic. It's a magical bike, of course, and can take you where-ever you'd like to go. Abigail wants to visit the jungle, and BAM she'd there. She sees jungle animals and then even meets another little tribal Native American boy. She's welcome to stay, but decided she needs to go back home in the end. Upon arriving home, she shares a secret look with grandpa that lets the leader believe he knows what the bike can do. 

If you want, you can check out the book on Amazon here. It's only ONE DOLLAR!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Surrogate Pregnancy; Week 5

These updates will get a little more wordy as the weeks tick by, for now, there is not much to report.  Today, baby is the size of an apple seed.

Which means I should definitely still be able to button up my pants, but.. I can't. At least not at night. Whether it's because I'm constantly starving, or I'm getting that early pregnancy "bloat" it's pretty much impossible to be comfortable in the evening if I have my pants buttoned.

The last few days I have had random bouts of nausea. I kept attributing it to something else, but as it happens at random times, in random places.... I blame the baby.

We had our second beta done 2 days ago, and our first-- two days before that. The first one confirmed all those pee-sticks were not screwy. We're definitely pregnant. The results came back at 1006. Anything over 100 is considered good. 2 days later we were hoping those numbers had doubled. They did. With a doubling time of around 34 hours, the next number came back at 2623.

At this point, I'm almost positive it's twins, with the possibility in my mind that one may have split. I told L (IM) the other day that if it was only one, I'd eat my shirt. It wouldn't be too hard... like I said... I'm starving all the time.

This week we also scheduled the viability ultrasound. We'll make sure we have a heart beat... or twelve. It's going to be a killer wait (14 more days I think), but at least we'll for sure see a little gummy-bear.  Right now we'd see... well.. this:
I didn't weigh my self pre-pregnancy, and I haven't started weighing myself or measuring my belly yet. I'll save those embarrassing details until when I have a bump to show.

For now, that's that. I'm jabbing myself in the upper butt/lower back for another month, swallowing 800 vitamins and just prayng everything sticks and works out like it's supposed to. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

11-14 Days Past transfer

On Day 11, the day before my first schedule beta (a blood test to get the quant of hcg in your blood), I decided to take another test. A Digital. I was hoping to see a 2-3 on it, but wanted to know what range of numbers to suspect. If it said 1-2, the number would be ABOUT 25-200, 2-3 would be 200-2000, and finally, 3+ would be 2000+.

It came back 2-3
Some of my friends put their guesses in.  I guessed 400. Others guessed near me and some guessed in the high 1000s.

The next day, day 12, I drove two hours with my son, husband, and a friend, to go have blood work done, then spend the day in the city.

The results took a few hours, but soon my phone was ringing and the number was in.


I had to ask the nurse a second time what the number was because I couldn't quite believe it. On the same day, the twins' were 813.  At the moment, I became fairly sure there was more than one baby in there.

Day 13 I obsessed over other people's betas. Before you say anything, I know the number doesn't MEAN anything for certain. Some have multiples with low numbers, some have singles with high numbers. BUT I've seen that more often than not, the higher numbers are multiples.

Day 14 is today. I had my blood drawn not quite two hours ago, and I'm waiting for my phone to ring again. At last this time I was able to do it locally, and no drive almost 2 hours. For it to be a good, healthy pregnancy, the clinic wants the number to double in 48 hours, or at least nearly double. So we're oping for a number 2012 or more.

I'll edit this later, when I know what it is.

2nd Results came in a few hours later! 2623!!! Doubling time of 34 hours!

4-9 Days past transfer

I started testing way early (2dpt) and I will never ever do that again. It messes with your mind so much seeing negatives. Even though I KNEW it was too early, it still made me feel like everything failed.

I consider 4 days past transfer "my day".  In both the twins' pregnancy, and the blighted ocum before that, I got a positive at 4dpt. So, I was hopeful for day 4 this time. I woke up, peed, and recorded the wait. Three minutes seems like forever.

If you don't want to watch, you can just check out the end result:
The line is super faint, but it's there. Holy crap. I'm pregnant!

I took a digital that day too, and it came back "Not pregnant" I knew it was too soon, but I was hoping anyways, I wanted to send the parents a clearer positive result.
On Day 5, I poas (peed on a stick) again, and got this:
It was definitely darker than it was the day before, so I tried another digital.
That was pretty clear. Although I sent the test from the day before to IM, the IF couldn't see the line, so this time, I emailed the digi, specifically for IF. Then he believed it.

I contnued testing until Day 9. While some people thought I was crazy, IM and I both loved making sure the line was getting darker every day. It did.

By day 9, the test line was slightly darker than the control line and I was finally comfortable that it wasn't going to be another blighted ovum or a chemical.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Surrogacy Transfer Day (9/9/2014)

Transfer day has came and went, and I finally have a moment to sit and tell you about it. As scheduled, on September 9th, the one year birthday of my surro-twins' birth, I drove into the city with my husband and child.

My IM, who for privacy purposes I'm calling Lara, was already at the clinic, waiting. I noticed her right away as we walked in and fave a little wave. She got up and walked over to us. We smiled and hugged. My son, who's three, decided he needed to hug her too. When his first attempt failed due to his hands being full, he gave the items to dad and went back and gave her a bigger squeeze.

We sat down in the waiting room for a few minutes and quietly chatted. She remarked that it felt like she knew us already. They called us back moments later and her and I walked into the room where the transfer would be. The clinic assumed she'd be watching and when she realized this, she told me if I was comfortable it was okay with her, but she'd also be fine waiting.

I'd never met her before, at least not in person although we'd talked and text over the phone. You'd think I would have said it was awkward and kindly asked her to wait outside. I didn't. There was no apprehension, it seemed normal for her to be there. She stepped behind a curtain while I changed and when I was done and covered, she stepped back in with me. I sat on the bed and she sat in a chair positioned right by me. We continued to chat and the time passed quickly. Soon, a lady came in to give us the embryo report. Out of the five they had frozen, only two of them had survived the thaw. My heart sunk a little bit Before, the pressure hadn't been quite as bad as we had a guaranteed one or maybe two more transfers available to us if it didn't work. Now, this was our chance.  To add to the worry, the embryos were not the BEST quality, they weren't bad either, but they weren't as good as the twins' were.

We signed papers. We signed some more papers. Then, they loaded me up on Valium (to relax me I guess) and the transfer was set to begin. We chatted through most of it, seemingly oblivious that my legs were spread open and in the air, only covered by a thin sheet. We quieted only as we watched the transfer take place and we were shown where the embryos were now resting in my uterus. They brought me a blanket, and told me to remain laying for a few minutes.

I never so much as glanced at my phone, I was too busy chatting with Lara. I don't know what time the transfer took place exactly, or even how long we waited. I'll even go so far as to say it was almost disappointing when the lady came back in and said I could dress and leave. I wanted to talk more. Like a proper invalid, I was wheeled outside and to my car where my husband and child were already waiting for me. Lara and I hugged again and I stepped inside, closing the door behind me.

The whole ride home I spoke inwardly to the embryos, asking that at least one of them stick around so I could give this amazing person (and her husband Eric) a child.

I slept on the car ride home, and rested on the couch for the rest of the evening minus standing every once in awhile and wandering around the house as to not go insane. My heart was heavy, I felt like this was already off to a worse start than the twins. My one comfort, is that in the time following transfer, my IM did say she would be willing to do another few rounds. That would mean she'd have to go through another egg retrieval, another fertilization process, and although it meant are journey wouldn't end, I didn't want that for her, either.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: Pure Garcinia Cambogia by Pure Body Naturals

Pure Garcinia Cambogia by Pure Body Naturals
Rating: ★
I've now reviewed three Garcinia Cambogia products, and they've all worked about the same. The first time I was exercising as well, and did lose weight on it, but as I WAS exercising I couldn't contribute the weight loss to either it or the supplement. The second and third time I wasn't exercising, and saw no weight loss. I did however notice it definitely helped decrease my appetitite, which could help in losing weight. 

The price of this particular one, falls somewhere in the middle of it's competitors that claim the same things. It sells for $25.95 on Amazon, here.  So, while it's not the most expensive, their other less expensive options if you're looking into Garcinia Cambogia. 

The Amazon page says this in regards to their product:
Important Information
Safety Information
Caution: Do not exceed the recommended dose. Pregnant or Nursing Mothers, Children under the age of 18 and individuals with a known medical condition should consult a physician before using this or any dietary supplement.

Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement take two tablets twice a day. For best results take 20-30 min before a meal with an 8oz glass of water or as directed by your physician.

Legal Disclaimer
The product statements on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
 Regarding what the company promises:
  • TAKES AWAY THOSE HUNGER PAINS - you don't need to starve yourself to the bones. EAT Well and feel full. Our Brand new Formula Garcinia Cambogia 80% HCA is specifically designed to curb hunger pains without restricting calories or changing your normal routine. Avoid those powerful cravings that drive you and START LOSING WEIGHT today. (I will say that It did help my appetite control)
  • LOOK AMAZING AGAIN - This formula will help you achieve the best you can in sheding those unwanted pounds. You will wonder how you ever managed without it. You will finally fit into those clothes you wanted to. (I didn't shed any weight.)
  • ZERO SIDE EFFECTS - Most of our users report NO side effects. No nausea. No jitters. No headaches and we have had many reports of better mood levels with happier & healthier customers. This could be due to the normalization of blood sugar levels. Relationships have improved with weight loss and has resulted in gained confidence for our customers. (I didn't have any side effects-- good or bad)
  • Our 80% HCA GARCINIA CAMBOGIA is the most EFFECTIVE & MOST POTENT formula. It is FULLY LAB TESTED and Offers the HIGHEST DOSE FORMULA AVAILABLE - 180 Tablets with a Full 45 Day Supply at a MAXIMUM DOSE TO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT. Gives you the ACCELERATION & BOOST YOU NEED and makes this the very Best Value Garcinia Cambogia EVER Offered! EVERY Other Garcinia Out There Has A LOWER HCA % and is less effective, This Brand New Formula Was Developed to MAXIMIZE the Effects of the Proven Garcinia Cambogia Weight Loss Supplement and is truly AMAZING. (All three brands I've tried have boasted this same thing. )
  • 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - FOR 1 YEAR. If at any time you feel this has not worked for you we will refund you in full. No questions asked. We are offering a REAL way to lose weight today and offer this amazing money back offer. Our Garcinia Cambogia 80% HCA comes with a FULL 45 days of tablets giving you the ability to start losing weight today. We are with you every step of the way and offer World Class Customer Service as well as OUR Exclusive Lose Weight Or 100% Money Back Guarantee! (That's a plus at least, if I would have paid for this I could get my money back if it wasn't working).
All in all, I don't know if I'd recommend it. It was neither bad, nor extraordinary. Simply average. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, September 12, 2014

REVIEW: Natural Facial Moisturizer by Adovia

Natural Facial Moisturizer by Adovia
Rating: ★
Info on the product's amazon site:
Important Information

Demineralised Water & Dead Sea Water, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Bergamot (Citrus Aurantium Bergamia) Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Oil, Caprilyc/Capric Triglyceride, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol & Chamomile (Anthemis Noblis) Extract & Algae Extract & Papaya (Carica Papaya) Extract & Aloe Vera Barbadensis Gel, Urea, Lactic Acid, Dimethicone, Benzoic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzalkoinium Chloride, Retinyl Palmitate, Dead Sea Salt, Benzophenone-3.

Spread in circular motions a thin layer of Adovia Moisturizing Cream twice a day for perfect protection of the skin. Also ideal as a make-up base.

Product Description
Adovia Day Moisturizing Cream moisturizes and protects skin with Adovia's quick absorbing and non-greasy daytime formula. The moisturizer is infused with Dead Sea minerals and aloe vera. The Hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested and approved cream works to moisturize deep, hydrating skin and bringing out the natural radiance. A single application provides all-day moisture without clogging pores. Adovia moisturizing cream contains an active complex of Dead Sea minerals for natural moisture balance that is easier for skin to retain. The cream also makes an ideal makeup base. 
The product sells for $25.95 and I'll start my review with saying that is the reason it received a 4 star rather than a 5 star rating. Despite the fact that I like this product, I would NEVER spend that much money on the small amount you get. I was given this product for free to review, so at least I didn't have to spend the money :)

I used the product sporadically, as I'm not used to moisturizing in my daily routine.   Every time I used it, there was a noticeable difference. If I felt particularly dry one day, I'd put it on and I was still feeling good the next morning. It does spread fairly well, but if I were using this every day, the product would have lasted me less than a month.

It has a very faint, but nice smell, which I appreciated and doesn't leave your skin feeling like there is oil or a residue on it. Another plus. If the product was less expensive or larger, I would be recommending this ou the wazoo to people I know, but for that reason I'm not.

If you DO have the money though, it's a great product and works!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

REVIEW: Pure Shea Butter by Cleopatra's Choice

 Pure Shea Butter by Cleopatra's Choice
Rating: ★
I've tried some products from this company before, and I have to say that I was mostly impressed with them, as well.  The below is from the product's amazon page.

Raw Shea Butter is legendary for every-day use as a rich moisturizer and can greatly help in the reduction of stretch marks, eczema, wrinkles, dry and flaky skin, sun damage skin, etc. Shea Butter is non-comedogenic (unlike other oils high on the comedogenic scale like Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter) and can be used by people affected with acne to help keep skin nourished. Great for use as a belly butter for pregnant women to keep tummy skin soft and supple. (These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease)

100% Pure Ivory Shea Butter

Important: Shea butter has a very low melting point, which means that while it can be hard at room temperature it softens up very quickly from your touch. It's important to store in a cool dry place to prevent melting especially during summer months. Warm up with your hands and apply to the area you wish to moisturize. Rub the Shea Butter in till absorbed. Enjoy a long lasting hydration that comes only from Pure and Natural Shea Butter!

I received this product, like all the others on this page, at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  When I received my package from Amazon, I couldn't figure out what it was from the outside. It was heavy! (well, heavier than I expected this to be). So I was so surprised to open up the box and see the shea butter tub. A whole POUND of it. This reaction probably would have been lost if I'd taken a second to read the packaging specifics on the site, but I didn't. I've found that one of the biggest things I DON'T like, is that it seems that all of these 'natural' products I review come in very small quantities for a high price. 

This was not the case here! Instead, I wondered how long it was going to take me to get through it all! The answer? Apprently a long time as I've barely made a dent in it. 

Again since I didn't read the Directions prior, I was a little off put at first that it seemed SUPER HARD. I'm supposed to rub that into my skin?! I figured I'd give it  a try, already prepared to have to rub crunchy pieces of "butter" into my skin. 

It took (and still does) a BIT of effort to extract some, but I got a little bit on my fingers, mushed it around a little bit and applied to my stomach. I'd chosen to try it here first as one of the perks the packaging says is "Helps treat dark spots, skin discolorations, stretchmarks and blemishes."

After having twins a year ago... I have plenty of stretchmarks.  A good test area. So I started to rub it into my belly and it felt awesome! It sort of became a habit every night, that's how much I liked it. I gave the product 4 stars, because I didn't notice a VISIBLE difference in my stretchmarks (yet), but I felt one for sure. Regardless, although I am soon-to-be pregnant again, I am going to keep this in my daily regime throughout this next pregnancy and see if I can keep the growing/addition of stretchmarks down to a minimal level. 

My one last mention is the price is SPECTACULAR. I've seen smaller, not pure, shea butter products at local stores for around the same amount. This POUND of product is only $11.95!! When I eventually run out of it, I can get my head around spending that amount of money!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Freezer Meals; Round Two (16 meals for 155.71)

The first set of freezer meals I did were a big hit at the house. For me especially, as it allowed me to do other things than cook every night. Every aftenoon I'd plop the food into the crockpot and at dinner time serve it up. Job done!

I really REALLY cannot say how much I love the freezer meal idea and I wish I would have found it sooner!

I didn't take pictures this time! OOPs! I did video the bags and the freezer afterwards in a  quick  video. You can watch it here after 5pm mountain time tomorrow (9/6).

Here's the break down. I spent 155.71 (pre-tax) on all the ingredients for these meals, plus the sides I would serve on some of them. I made SIXTEEN (16) meals from those ingredients. That equals about $9.73 per dinner meal. The price could have been lower, but I used one more expensive recipe, twice. (French dip recipe you'll see later). Each of these took a 3lb roast which were 18.00 and 15.00. If I omitted those and doubled some of the other recipe, I would have probably gotten down to 5-6 dollars a meal!

along with some of the ones from last time, I tried some more recipes from this blog.

The new ones I did were...
Southwestern 2 Bean Chicken
·      4 chicken breasts
·      1 15 oz. can pinto beans
·      1 15 oz. can black beans
·      1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
·      1 lb. frozen corn
·      1 12 oz. jar of salsa
Cook on low for 5-7 hours.
Split ingredients into two bags (yay for 2 meals!)
I also "oopsed" and forgot the black beans, so I'll have to add them in later.

Teriyaki Chicken
·      6-8 boneless chicken breasts
·      1 cup teriyaki sauce
·      1 cup water
·      2/3 cup brown sugar
·      3 cloves of garlic
Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Split ingredients into three bags (yay for 3 meals!)
Sweet BBQ Chicken
·      4-6 chicken breasts
·      12 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce
·      ½ cup brown sugar
·      ¼ cup vinegar
·      1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
·      1 tsp. garlic powder
Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Split ingredients into three bags (yay for 3 meals!)
Lasagna Soup
·      1 lb. ground turkey
·      1 onion
·      1 bell pepper
·      3 cloves garlic
·      32 oz. chicken broth
·      2 tbs. seasoning combination (basil, oregano, crushed red peppers)
·      1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Thirty minutes before done add dry pasta (2 cups) and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Only got one meal out of this one, but there will probably be a bowl or two for left overs the next day. 
Super Food Rotini
·      1 ½ lbs. lean ground turkey
·      1 tbs. olive oil
·      2 medium zucchini
·      2 medium carrots
·      1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
·      1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
·      ½ lb. whole wheat rotini
·      1 tbs. onion powder
·      1 tbs. garlic powder
·      1 tbs. cumin
·      2 cups raw spinach
Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Thirty minutes before done add ½ lb of rotini noodles and top with Parmesan cheese.
Split ingredients into two bags (yay for 2 meals!) I used extra ground turkey ad did a pound a bag and it was a little too much meat for us. I think we might try this meat-less next time.

I saw another recipe on another site (oops don't remember which one).
This used the two roasts I mentioned above (did this recipe 2x for a total of 2 meals). So remember to double all these items on you shopping list if you want to as well!

French Dip Sandwiches
3 lb roast
2 cans of beef consomme
1 onion
Cook in slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low, 4-6 hours on high (until roast is able to be pull apart)
Serve on Hoagie Buns!

Enjoy! If you have freezer meal recipes you love, share them in the comments!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Little Update on the Surrogacy-- 14 Days

If you follow my YouTube channel, I've posted a little more there, but I post in small segments. Little updates don't seem worth a blog post, so I've tried to save a bit up.

I started Lupron on August 10th--
I (pretty much) successfully did my first shot. I pulled the needle out a little crooked unitentionall and bled a bit, but not much. Since then, I've mastered the areas and the stick to where I don't feel the poke or bleed at all after. That's progress right?

I stopped Birth Control Pills on  August 16th-- A few days prior the clinic called me and told me to message them as soon as my period started, and to let them know if it hadn't started by the following Wednesday (the 20th). Wednesday came and no period. I was panicked. Would this throw off the cycle? Would we just transfer a day or two later? What? What? Tell me!

I spoke with a few other surrogates. Some of them had been told they'd be put on a Provera, which would start a period. They also had been told it would be a more "intense" one. Well that sounded just fabulous. Not.

So, I called the clinic, and to make a long story shorter, I found out that it was okay if I DIDN'T have a period. I'd been on active birth control for so long and had expericned several bouts of random spotting in those ten months, they figured there wasn't much of a lining to shed. PHEW. They told me to wait one more day and start the estrogen and decrease Lupron.

On August 21st-- I decreased the amount of Lupron by half, and started estrogen. One tablet a day. 1/2 in the morning, and 1/2 at night. I also started (self-prescribed) some additional vitamins.
  • Prenatal + Folic Acid
  • DHA
  • Potassium (just in case it's twins again, because H&H sapped me of my potassium last time)
  • Vitamin B Complex 
  • L'Arginine
  • Vitamin E
The last three I started because I am wanting to make sure my lining is as thick and cushy as possible. Estrogen helps to thicken the uterine lining, and I'm on half the estrogen I was last time.  I also have about 2 weeks to get the lining as thick as possible before starting progesterone. When we transferred the twins I was at a 14mm lining, which is nice and fluffy, the clinic I transferred with only required a 7. This time around I'm hoping for at LEAST a 10, more would be better.
If you want, you can check out my "Let's Chat Lupron" video on Youtube. I chat about the "side effect" I did/didn't get. 

That day, I also started my period. I stressed about it not coming, and was told it was okay if it didn't come. Then it came. Ironic, really.  It came, (TMI ALERT) but was really light and has just been on an off the past few days. I do wish it would hurry and finish though so my lining can grow! We're on limited time!

That brings us up to date.. to today, August 26th-- I am set to go for my lining check in SEVEN DAYS! I am sooooooo stressed that my lining will not be what it needs to be. If I have been informed correctly, once I start the progesterone injections (scheduled in 8 days), my lining will not grow any more. So I have seven days to create something awesome!

The ultrasound is set for 10am, which means my son and I are heading out around 8ish in the morning to make the drive. I think it'll be pretty basic, a quick vaginal ultrasound to check the lining, and they MAY do a blood check to check the levels of estrogen in my system.

And.... that's that. That's where we are. I've already went a bit nutty and looked up to see when the "due date" would be. May 28th. My first summer delivery. I've always had fall deliveries. I as 3 months and 4 months (ish) in May last time. And I've never been pregnant in November/December.

Funny fact before I go... At time of transfer you are 2 weeks and however old the embryos are. So I will be 2 weeks and 5 days pregnant on the 9th of September. That means that I'm about 5 days....pregnant? lol... right now.

Let the countdown begin.

14 Days.