Panda’s Kitchen: Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Hello lovelies

I know we had a terrible time getting blog posts up in 2017 but I hope we can do better in 2018! I hope you still followed our lives on Instagram throughout the year and will continue to do so in 2018 while we figure things out. 2017 we saw a new baby and that’s where the bulk of our time has gone. In that time though we have expanded our cooking skills, become much better at some things and tried many new things. One of my favorites of the new happened over the winter holidays where we tackled Gordon Ramsay’s Herb Crusted rack of lamb recipe.  It was one of the most decadent meats I have ever had!

Now, no one can explain this recipe quite like the man himself. Here is Gordon Ramsay explaining his recipe on the most recent season of Fox’s Master Chef.

And here are our pictures from trying the dish.

IMG_0207 (1)IMG_0199IMG_0200  Have any of you tried a Gordon Ramsay recipe? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook



Panda’s Entertainment: Orange is the New Black: Season 5 Overview

Hello lovelies,

Seems crazy that another season of Orange is the New Black has come and gone already but alas, it is time to dive into 3 days at Litchfield for a prison riot! That’s right Orange Season 5 spans only 3 days of life in the prison and it covers the immediate impact of Poussey’s death at the end of Season 4.

Piper Chapman, who has been our main character through the majority of this show takes a step out of the spotlight this season with Alex trying to keep her out of the riot and letting Taystee step into more of a lead role. Taystee and Poussey were very good friends so it makes sense for her character to be at the forefront this season.

Taystee’s main goal of the riot is justice for Poussey and having CO Bailey fired and jailed for killing her. However, all of the inmates in Litchfield do not have the same goals with others more concerned about things that directly affect them such as better healthcare for inmates, access to free tampons, and for some, hot Cheetos and Takis. Orange is the New Black is good at making the audience see past the basic fact that these women are prisoners. I don’t get free tampons from being a good person who has managed to stay out of prison, why should they get them for free. They should have to work in the prison and get paid to buy tampons just like the rest of us.

Caputo’s ex girlfriend Linda from MCC is also trapped inside the prison during the riot. She starts off befriending Piper and Alex and they help disguise her as an inmate to survive the riot. She eventually gets noticed by Boo who takes her under her wing as her new girlfriend. Sadly, once the riot ends, Boo turns on her while she tries to tell the SWAT guys that she works for MCC prompting all of the inmates to say they too work for MCC ruining her credibility. In my opinion, Caputo should have said something while the men were clearing out the prison. He knew she was in there, he saw her.

At the end of the riot they were 10 inmates short, 8 of them were in the old pool hiding out until it was over, which SWAT took as plotting against them and got the go ahead to apprehend them by any means necessary, killing the second most hated CO Piscatella in the process, good riddance. However, Doggett and Chang both escaped so will Season 6 have a manhunt for them? Moreso, all the prisoners were split up and sent to different prisons saying none will be allowed in Litchfield again, so how will Season 6 be structured or are we getting new inmates again. Sadly, we all get to wait till next June to find out. Orange is the New Black has already been renewed through Season 7 so we still have more to the story. Will we see Piper get out of jail or will the riot extend her sentence, even though she tried really hard to stay out of it. Will she and Alex get their happy ending? Or will they all get lost in the prison system and become repeat offenders? We’ll find out next year.


Panda’s Entertainment: Girlboss

Hello lovelies,

We just finished Netflix’s new original series Girlboss and we LOVE it! As most of you probably already know it is based off Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss and shows how she started Nasty Gal.

The series shows her down and out and figuring out that she wanted to start an eBay site “flipping clothes instead of houses” after she gets fired from a job selling shoes.

We see Sophia start the eBay site, become wildly successful there and then get kicked off of eBay after fellow vintage sellers turn on her thus leading her to launch her own site.

This series flew by having 13 thirty-ish minute episodes and we finished it in roughly 24 hours start to finish, of course caring for kids, dogs and spending time with D factor into that. Over all we give the show a 9/10 mainly because the episodes were too short and there was a couple story lines that I felt were slightly pointless and felt we could have seen way more of Nasty Gal than we did.

We have our fingers crossed tightly for a Season 2!


Panda’s Entertainment: 13 Reasons Why

Hello lovelies,

We hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather of spring! Here in Southern Wisconsin we have been experiencing a lot of rain lately, which has led us into re watching Grey’s Anatomy for the who knows what number of times, my husband to watch Iron Fist, and for me to find and binge the topic of today: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.

This is a new series to Netflix that was realeased on March 31st, if you feel that this show can be ruined or spoiled, given the fate of the main character is clearly stated in the Netflix description, I advise you to stop reading and come back after you have finished the series.

At first I went into this expecting it to be a whiny teen drama series, vaguely recalling reading the book by Jay Asher when it came out 10 years ago. but not being completely sure. The story seemed like one I had heard or read before but I have read a lot of books in my time therefore this book is now in the to-read list. This show however, is far from the whiny teen drama I was expecting. It is a very moving and heart wrenching portrayal of how a very pretty girl can be an outsider even when she is in the center of all of the high school action.

Hannah Baker is friends with the jocks and cheerleaders but is painfully aware of the fact that none of them truly care for her and in discovering this, she pushes away the only person that does care, leaving her to feel completely alone and like there is no way out.

Throughout the show we see Hannah slut shamed after having her first kiss, it is rumored she had sex with the boy instead of just a kiss, she was  placed on a hot or not list stating she has the best ass making her feel even more self conscious, and believed to be easy by all of the boys. She almost experiences losing her virginity to a guy that does love her but she fears that he is like all of the other boys in school and stops the interaction while it is in process and yells at him to leave her alone. He abides by her wish and does just that. Not to long after, she is raped by a boy from her school. After the rape, Hannah begins recording tapes, in these tapes she records the thirteen reasons that led her to the decision to kill herself. The thirteen reasons are people, the assortment of fake friends from her high school that either grew apart from her or took away a piece of her dignity in one way or another, to the boy that does not deserve to be listed as a reason but she felt she wronged him, to the boy that raped her, and finally that school guidance counselor that could not give her the answers she needed to hear the morning of the day she died.

After talking to the guidance counselor, Hannah leaves school early, drops off the thirteen tapes off at a friends house telling him to listen to them and to pass them on to the thirteen people mentioned in the tapes, if a person breaks the chain of passing the tapes on to all thirteen people, this person is supposed to go public with the tapes to let the whole world know why Hannah killed herself, leading us to believe that maybe she wanted them public to begin with, why else would reason thirteen be the guidance counselor who is required by law to report the rapist reason twelve to the police.

We begin the pilot after Hannah is dead, and reason eleven, Clay Jensen is listening to the tapes. As Clay is listening we see flashbacks of the events on the tapes as they happened to Hannah as well as present day content where Clay interacts with classmates and the other twelve reasons.

The show is executed perfectly wit just enough back and forth between the past and present and leaves you wondering what the last straw was for Hannah. I was also really excited for Kate Walsh and Keiko Angena, and only wished they had bigger roles. I also wanted to see a trial since it was talked about the whole season and we only saw depositions in the finale. I hope Netflix brings it back for a second season to expand on the story even though the book ended here as well.

Has anyone else become captivated by this series? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


The Decorating Panda: L’s Room

Hello lovelies,

Today we are going to discuss something I should have showcased before L was born, his room. Lets face it, the room has not been in as perfect of condition since we brought him home and started  using the room, no matter how hard I try.

We picked a medium light blue for the walls, I hate the pastel baby blue and honestly wanted closer to a royal blue but D felt that was too dark, so we compromised and I love it! It looks great with our black crib and changing table and also great with the grey rocking chair my mom got me for Christmas. Past picking the color of the walls I let D do the rest of the room and two days later he came home with sports decal stickers and pull chains for his ceiling fan. Before L’s arrival the room was our guest room that we had not touched yet decor wise since moving in and the previous owners had birdhouse pull chains up on the fan and D felt we had to change them. I was proud of him. After the room was done I found this adorable little night light that fit the room perfectly and is very useful for night feedings when I do not want to light up the room too much. 

What are some of your favorite little boy themes for their rooms?


Panda On Weddings: The Engagement 

Hello lovelies,

We have a very special post for you today on the very exciting engagement period! This post comes to you on the 5 year anniversary of D proposing during my final spring break of college. Flipping through dress magazines and searching wedding inspiration on Pinterest is what got me through the final six weeks of that last semester.

Technically the engagement starts after a person says “yes” to a wedding proposal and ends on the wedding day but I feel there is a honeymoon phase to the engagement when the idea of being engaged is fresh and new and it still feels slightly odd to be wearing the ring.

There are some things that do need to be handled shortly after the engagement happens that you should not overlook.

  1. Announcing the engagement. In today’s world with social media this is an easy step however do not forget to call, or text if it is what you do, family members or friends that you wish to find out before it hits social media.Enjoy this part! Enjoy the attention and all of the congratulations! You deserve it and need to get use to the attention being on you!
  2. Begin to sit down and make a entry level guest list. This helps you  get at least a basic idea of what to expect when you start looking at venues. It is very important to involve both sets of parents in this phase!  I have seen people say they want a small wedding of less that 100 and made their list and began telling venues their number and then after they told their parents how many people they planned on inviting their parents informed them how many people they had forgotten and their wedding went from 90 guests to 300.
  3. Begin brainstorming on who you would like to stand by you as maid of honor/best man and bridesmaids/groomsmen. Do this based on your own feelings! Do not keep adding members because you feel obligated. Trust me, it is better to have 3 or 4 girls that you are really happy with than 6 or more that cause you stress. I wish I would have had a smaller wedding. However, if you choose to not pick someone that you feel you maybe should have picked at least have the courtesy to tell them, I have also been there where a friend did not pick me as a bridesmaid when I thought I would for sure be picked and she never gave me an explanation and it was very hurtful. I have a good idea of why she overlooked me but would appreciate hearing it from her.
  4. Enjoy the experience and splurge on clothing or accessories that say “Bride” or “Groom” I was gifted a white zip up fleece jacket that reads “Bride” across the back as an engagement gift and 5 years later it is still one of my favorite jackets.
  5. Enjoy every detail of planning your special day from picking out your dress to the bridesmaid dresses, flowers, food tastings, cake tastings. This is an experience that only happens once and should be treasured.

And do not forget to take time to look at your ring 1, 3 or 5 years later and admire it. Your man picked it for a reason.img_3944.jpg


Panda’s Entertainment: Parenthood Series Overview

Hello lovelies,

Something you all should know about me is I am behind on seeing many television shows. I did not start Gilmore Girls until 2006,  How I Met Your Mother until 2011, Grey’s Anatomy until 2013, Gossip Girl until 2016, and then Parenthood until 2017. While I did miss out on all the initial hype, and talk I did not have to wait months between seasons, thanks to DVDs and Netflix.

I binged Parenthood over the course of several weeks after having attempted the show several times before – I had watched the Pilot three of four times and even continued on to the second or third episode and just never really got into it. This time however, I just powered through it.

So what did I think? Overall, I am glad I finally saw it, if only for the finale. Yes, the finale. To me it was the highlight of the whole show, more specifically the final scene was the best. Zeek Braverman lived for his family and for his request of his ashes to be spread on a baseball field and his family playing one last game on him was poetic and I shed a few tears. Throughout most of the series I felt Zeek stuck his nose into his children’s business way to often and that I would hate it if one of my parents did that, he did always mean well and want the best for his children and family.

I spent most of this show wondering if families like the Braverman’s actually exist.unnamed

It does not seem realistic to me for a family that size to all get along and want to spend time with one another. Who was the black sheep of the four main children? Sarah? Yet she’s Zeek’s favorite. Crosby? He gets his life together quick when Jasmine comes back with Jabbar. Adam and Julia are seemingly perfect in the pilot then go through hardships throughout the series. The characters are too perfect!

Let’s dive into these characters a little more. Zeek spends too much time worrying about the kids and their problems and neglects Camille which is why she leaves him for a period and travels to Italy for a class. If he would have spent more time with her needs none of that would have happened.

Now, moving on to my least favorite character, Kristina. Throughout the majority of the series I felt Kristina was a whiny child. She could not handle not getting her way or Max getting his way. She let every bad behavior or bad decision made by Max slide due to his Asberger’s and even blamed others for his behaviors. While I am fully aware that advocating for a mentally disabled child is difficult, he needed to have some accountability for his actions if Kristina ever planned on letting him go to college or ever have hopes of him living on his own. I honestly was hoping the writers were going to kill her off when she had cancer, Adam as a single father and the family rallying to help support him would have been an awesome story line. However, Kristina survives and has an annoying empowered attitude, more than she normally has, and winds up deciding to run for mayor even though she was completely unqualified. Yes she worked on campaigns but that does not mean that she can successfully do the job. Then deciding to open a charter school out of fear that Max will be held accountable in high school was pathetic. When Max’s history teacher sent him to the library when he disrupted mainstream class, the teacher was completely in the right. Max needed to learn proper etiquette for a classroom or he should have been in a special education classroom to learn those skills. Kristina was against special education because Max did have the grades for mainstream but he needed help in the social aspect, Kristina failed to teach him those skills and got offended when anyone tried.

Overall, I feel she was the main reason I did not like the show, especially in the later seasons too many story lines had her as a the focal point.

We want to hear from you! If you are a fan of Parenthood tell us why. Give us a new perspective to view the show from, especially if you are a fan that hates Kristina and did not let her ruin the show for you. Sound off in the comments below!



The Everyday Panda: Adjusting To Being a Family of Four 

Hello lovelies,

L is three and a half weeks old and D is in his second week back at work which means I’m in my second week of having both kids by myself through the day and it has certainly been an adjustment. As I anticipated when I was pregnant, the hardest part is being up with L throughout the night and then M getting up normally the next day. I am typically able to power through the sleep deprivation aside from one middle of the night feeding where it seems like I can never keep my eyes open.

L is going 2-3 hours between feedings and I cannot wait for the gap to get bigger. The longer he can sleep at once the easier things will get. But how can you be upset with this little man?


In other news, D got a new job at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his last day at his current job is Friday. While this is an exciting opportunity it is also nerve wrecking to be taking on this much with a newborn. Where D use to have a 30 minute commute across the border into Illinois, he will now have an hour commute to Madison which means less time at home with the family. While I am not looking forward to less time with him I am looking forward to eventually moving our family to the Madison area.

While major changes have happened and continue to happen, I believe all of these changes are what is right for our family and I cannot wait to see how it all plays out.

I guess it is time to start getting M to say “Go Badgers!”


The Everyday Panda: Little Man’s Arrivial

Hello lovelies,

On Sunday February 12, 2017 P became a mommy again to a little man we will call L. L was born via cesarean at 9:13 am weighing 5 lbs 9 oz and 18.25 in.16683870_10155054349654264_1433277711435052668_n

P and D got to take L to their Wisconsin home on Valentine’s Day and introduce him to his big sister M, who was not allowed to meet him in the hospital due to visitor restrictions placed on area hospitals after an outbreak of the flu.

Mom and baby are both healthy and doing great thus far.

D is home with P, M, and L through February 27 to help through recovery and the adjustment phase.

Want more baby pictures? Follow pandascornerblog on Instagram where we all cannot help but share pictures of the newest member of Panda’s Corner.

Until next time,


The Everyday Panda: The Hospital Bag

Hello lovelies,

What a week it has been and it is only Wednesday morning!

Monday D and I went to an OB check in the morning and learned our would be this Sunday, February 12 instead of in two weeks and then yesterday I had another ultrasound requested by my doctor to back him up on his decision. So our little man will be making his grand arrival this weekend! As exciting as that is, it has also altered all of my plans for the next two weeks.

One thing that I do not have to worry about this week is my hospital bag for the little man and myself. D urged me to get it done this past weekend and for that I am relieved.

When we had M, I just used her diaper bag and I found it was not big enough for all of the things you bring home from the hospital, excess diapers, gifts, and so on. This time I am using a weekend bag that I got last year to take to my sister’s bridal shower weekend. unnamed-1I hope the size of this works better, but only time will tell.

Now onto what is inside!

Little Man of course does not need much, as the hospital provides most of the needed items for baby, but knowing he will be born at 37 weeks as M was, I know that the clothing provided at the hospital did not fit her well so I am bringing some preemie sleepers with us

in total we have:

  • Three preemie sleepers
  • One Valentine’s Day shirt (we will still be in the hospital for Valentine’s Day)
  • Take home outfit (I just have to cross my fingers that he sort of fits it)
  • Burp cloths (my hospital gave us thin wash cloths as burp cloths with M and it was not working for me)

For me:

  • Comfortable sweatpants
  • A few T Shirts
  • Sweatshirt
  • Hair brush
  • Dry shampoo (I hate the hospital shower)
  • Shoes to walk around the room
  • Make-up bag (in case anyone besides grandparents ask to visit)
  • Phone charger
  • Camera (we bring our DSLR for a few shots in the delivery room and when we get him in the mom and baby room, then my husband will take it home and I use my phone)
  • Book (just incase I actually get bored its nice to have, especially since D is not staying overnight this time)
  • Chapstick

And that’s that! Hopefully enough to help be and the little man survive in the hospital for 4 days!