Lanyards!

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Well, not only have I finally learned how to make lanyards after all this time, but I also bought enough plastic ID badge straps to be able to sell 100 ID badge lanyards. I also bought enough eGo rings to sell 21 lanyards. Why such an odd number? I actually bought 25 eGo rings, but I have 2 batteries and I sold 2 already, so there you have it.

I have the e-cigarettes, but I don’t actually smoke. I buy the no nicotine e-liquid because I just want the flavors. I don’t care to have any that taste like actual cigarettes, and I don’t have the nicotine addiction. My reason for buying them to begin with was because a Twitter friend and her husband have a website where they sell the e-juice. Well, I am the kind of person that if you tell me you want me to support you, I am there for you. So not only did I tell people about their website, but I actually bought a e-cigarette startup kit and they sent me some samples of their flavors. I loved some of them so much that I bought more from them.

Some people have asked me about the ID badge lanyards, and I figured if I’m going to make lanyards, I better buy the badge straps with the snaps on it. I could have just sold them with a zipper pull hook, but I would rather do it the right way. Of course I had to go all out with this and print up an actual ID badge for my Etsy shop lol. At the top is my shop banner and at the bottom it says CEO and crafter along with the link. I also have a Hello My Name Is… that I will use whenever I know I’ll have to write my name on one of those stickers. I would much rather just bring my own. It’s actually a good idea to do that because people will ask where I got it and I can tell them that I make them and give them a card. Win/win.

So what I was thinking for the price is that since the ID badge straps cost me a lot of money, they weren’t that much so $8 for those, but the eGo rings were more expensive, so $10 for those. I think that’s a fair price, don’t you? Because of this project I also had to buy some silver lobster claw clasps, split jump rings and a tool to open the split jump rings. So I’m hoping to recoup some of that money very soon. I also had to buy a few new colors like the metallic gold, the camouflage, the desert king snake (that’s what I’m calling it lol) and all 4 tie dye colors as well as a few others that I was running low on. I went above and beyond on this project, so I’m really hoping people who asked, will actually buy some lanyards to help me pay for what they requested.

Why should you buy from me? I try my best to give you the best quality products your money can buy. If someone asks me to learn a pattern, I go out of my way to learn it and then I make as many items as I can with that pattern to give more of a selection to choose from. In this case someone asked me to learn to make the lanyards and I bought a lot of things that I couldn’t really afford, just to show that I am 100% committed. Although, if I don’t sell any lanyards, I should be committed because I won’t be able to buy food this month lol.

I always tell people that you can go out to a store in the mall or to Walmart or Target and buy stuff made in China that may or may not last, or you can buy homemade from people who actually put love into everything they make. I put 100% of myself into every product I put in my Etsy shop because I want to make people happy. So, please buy some lanyards from me. I really do need the money lol.

Handmade Plastic eGo e-cigarette Lanyard

Handmade Plastic ID Badge Lanyard

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Weight Loss

I have struggled with my weight since I quit smoking and gained 50lbs. I vowed to never get over 200lbs in the late 90’s, but I just couldn’t control the weight gain. I wasn’t eating anything that bad, so I never could understand what I was doing wrong.

Last year in January 2013 I made a New Years resolution to start losing weight. I was 262lbs and I dropped 70lbs and went down to 192lbs. I was so proud of myself, but then both my partner and I decided that we’re both tired of eating nothing but fruits and vegetables and weight watchers frozen dinners every day for the last 6 months, so we decided we could eat restaurant food and regular store-bought food as long as we stayed within a certain amount of calories and portion sizes. Well, try as I might, I couldn’t drop any more weight and I plateaued at 192 for a whole month. Then the weight starting slowly coming back and recently I went right back up to 235. UGH!

So yesterday I decided screw this eating whatever the hell I want crap, I NEED to drop this weight, like right this minute. I started the Noom app all over again from scratch and when I weighed in for the first time I had already lost some weight, so I was 227lbs. For breakfast and my 10am snack I had a banana. For lunch I had a Weight Watchers frozen dinner. For my 3pm snack I had yet another banana and for dinner I had a Weight Watchers frozen dinner.

Most people say not to eat anything after 6 or 7pm. Well here’s my problem, that’s when my appetite really comes to life. It seems as though I’m starving at that time lol. I mean, I can eat a banana for breakfast and snack and then a little meal for lunch and then another banana for my 3pm snack, but around or after dinner time, it’s like I’m famished, like I haven’t eaten in 10 years. That’s when I’m expected to not eat any more food? Yeah, um… good luck with that lol.

Last night around 8pm I started going into the kitchen and I grabbed a slice of bologna and then a slice of salami. I really wanted to make a sandwich, but when I go on my diet, I don’t eat bread. I could have eaten way more food than I did, but I chose to be good. I took a sleeping pill around 10pm and went to bed around 11pm or so.

This morning when I woke up I weighed myself and it said I was 224lbs, so at least I know the lunch meat didn’t affect my weight and the food I ate yesterday was the right amount. The Noom app said I could eat 2000 calories, but I logged around 1300 or so. I did log the lunch meat. The bologna was yellow and the salami was red.

If I can just stick with it, I will lose weight. I have complete faith in my ability to lose weight since it worked last year, I just need to be 100% committed and use the word “NO” when asked if I want to go to KFC or Golden Corral.

I bought some veggies at the store, like I bought 2 things of cauliflower and some broccoli and brussel sprouts and some other things. I didn’t buy any salad stuff because I don’t like salad without either thousand island or ranch, and those are definitely not on the menu for me. Although I did lose 40lbs back in 2003 or 2004 when all I ate were salads and I used ranch dressing, but for some reason it doesn’t work for me anymore. I have to find what works best and do that.

I haven’t been riding my bicycle to lose weight because of the heat. The best time to ride my bike in the summer time is at 5am, but I can’t seem to get to bed until 3am, so that’s out. Last night I wanted to go to bed early because I’m so sick of sleeping in until noon. Now that summer is coming to an end, when the heat starts going away I can start riding around 10am or so. I just can’t stand the heat, not even to go for a 30 minute walk. I feel like a vampire out in the sun about to burst into flames.

I’ve tried to go back on my diet this year, then my partner would buy junk and naturally I would eat that junk and then give up. I’m not going to pass up a bag of potato chips or cookies on the counter. I have an addiction. Potato chips and cookies are like crack cocaine to me. I just need some willpower… like a ton of willpower lol. If willpower came in a can, I would drink it. Unfortunately it does not. So I’m working on myself so that I can be healthy, it just takes time and patience. I know I can do this because it worked before.

I love positive feedback, but everyone is different, so what works for you may not work for me and vice versa. I’m sure people are going to say “Well what you gotta do is eat this and that and then do this exercise and blah blah blah” and that’s awesome advice, but I have to do what my body can handle and what I’m comfortable doing. I really do appreciate the advice, and thank you for thinking of me and caring enough about me to try to help.

I am using Noom which gives lots of wonderful advice and articles and I am in a Noom group so I get to talk to a group of about 10 wonderful people who are all in the same boat. It’s more of a lifeboat, but a boat all the same. This is just something that I have to do for myself.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

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Have you ever had Spiced Pumpkin Bread? No, I’m not talking about that cake stuff that you buy, or that grandma bakes for dessert, I’m talking about actual bread that you can make sandwiches or toast with. Yeah, actual bread. No? Well, you are in for a real treat my friend because this is the best bread that I have ever had and it is too awesome not to share.

Okay so disclaimer it is high in calories. I’m not going to lie. You know that diet that you’ve been struggling to stay on? Well, you can go off your diet just this once. I swear off bread when I am dieting, but from October to December I throw caution to the wind because screw it, your weight can wait until January 1st when you make your New Years resolution to lose weight.

Now back to the bread. This bread is so fantastic. You can literally make a ham or turkey, or ham and turkey, go wild. My favorite is Peanut butter and Jam. It really brings out the taste of the pumpkin more for some reason. You can also make toast or garlic bread. Whatever you want, just freakin’ do it!

This is what you do. If you have a bread machine then wonderful, if you have a mixer that works too. If you have neither and you are low on funds, just head on over to the thrift stores. I bought my bread machine at a thrift store for $6. I shit you not. If you can’t find one then well, get your hands ready to start kneading dough. Trust me, it is so worth it.

spiced pumpkin breadThe ingredients are very simple. You start with the top and work your way down to the bottom. This is the recipe that comes in the recipe book for my bread machine, but I have a couple alterations for you because this recipe doesn’t make the best loaf of bread.

The recipe I use is in the middle for the 1 1/2 pound loaf. I don’t actually let it bake in the bread machine, I just use the machine to knead the dough for me. So just use the normal dough setting.

Start with 1 egg. Crack it directly into your cup. It says 1 egg with enough water to equal 1/4 cup. Well, I make it 1/2 cup. 3 tablespoons of oil. It doesn’t really matter what type of oil you use, so use whatever you want. I used canola for this recipe. 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. You can use a real lemon, or just buy one of those little plastic lemons with lemon juice. Just go down the list and add everything else verbatim.

Once you’ve added all of your ingredients, turn on the machine (or if you are actually doing this by hand, and if you are I applaud the hell out of you) and let it start kneading the dough. Don’t walk away from it, stand there and watch it. Does it just spin dry as if it were a baseball stuck to the bottom? If so, it is way too dry so add some more water, I would say about 1 tablespoon at a time. I would also suggest adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of more pumpkin. More pumpkin doesn’t hurt. What you want to see is your dough flapping against the side of the pan or bowl. Don’t make it too wet, but if you do, just simply add another tablespoon of the flour. Just keep watching it to make sure that it’s not too dry and it’s not too wet.

The bread machine should go for about half an hour or so. Once it finishes its kneading cycle, it will rise in the machine, just allow it to rise until it beeps and turns off. When it does that, what you want to do is turn the machine on again so it starts spinning the dough again. Let it work long enough until it’s back to a ball of dough. When that happens, take out your bread loaf pan and grease the sides to keep it from sticking, then dump the dough inside the pan.

I use a toaster oven since my oven doesn’t work, but that is the perfect place for me because I don’t have to wait for it to preheat, and I will tell you why. You want to put it in the toaster oven on warm, not bake, 45 minutes on 150F to rise. When 45 minutes is up, you should notice that it has risen again, and if it has, you want to turn the temperature up to 375F and switch it from warm to bake and let it bake for 45 minutes. When the 45 minutes is up, turn the temperature back down to 150F and switch it over to the warm setting again and let it warm for 20 minutes.

Oh and if you are using a toaster oven, you don’t need the rack because the bread will rise so high that it will touch those 2 coils at the top. You do not want that to happen. Just take the rack out and put it on the counter to use later. If you have 2 coils at the bottom, if they are wide enough that your bread pan sits in between them then you are golden, if not then you may have to sit it on top of them. I hate to give the advice to do that because it could break them, and we don’t want that. So if that is the case then it’s probably a better idea to use your oven.

Most people would say to take the bread out of the bread pan and put it on a rack to cool, but I found that it falls when you do that, so just leave it in the pan on the counter for a 10 minutes. When it is sort of cool to the touch, flip it over into your hand and lift the pan off. If the bottom is kind of wet, just take 2 paper towels and place it over the pan and drop the bread back in. I know this sounds odd, but it is wet because it is no longer in the oven, so it gets wet. Give it about 10 minutes and take it out and put it on the rack. It should be nice and cool by then, and the paper towel will soak up the moisture from the bottom of the bread. Let the bread sit on the rack until it cools down and the bottom will dry out.

I bought a bread slicer, it’s more of a guide that allows you to cut even slices and trust me, it really helps. You want to give it a couple of hours to really cool down before you start slicing it. Some say to wait a full 24 hours, but screw that, you want some bread now! Just let it cool down and then cut the bread to your hearts content. I use a plastic grocery bag to store it in.

Your bread should be light and fluffy and really soft. If it is too dense, you didn’t add enough water when mixing the dough. If it is too fluffy, you either sliced it too soon, or you added too much water. If you did it right, it will be so delicious that you will never want to buy regular bread ever again.

I normally don’t eat bread because I get so addicted to it that I can’t stop lol. Most people are addicted to chocolate, I get addicted to bread. I mean, not just regular bread, if it’s really good bread, then yes, but like regular bread, not so much. Give me a bag of bagels and get the rest while you can. Forget about English Muffins, those are ALL MINE! LOL. You see, I didn’t get fat because I couldn’t stop eating junk food, it’s from all that damn bread.

Facebook is too graphic for me

What is the reason anyone uses Facebook or any social websites? Well, in my opinion it is to keep in contact with friends and family. Some people use it for dating or to get laid while others use it to spy on people they hate lol. I’m guessing.

In 1997 when I got my first Windows based computer, I was using America Online. I had some friends and family in my buddy list and we would chat in the instant messages and we would email each other. I would go into the AOL chatrooms and meet new people and I am still friends with 2 of the people I met way back then.

I joined MySpace when that first came out, then people switched to Facebook and Twitter and I joined both websites. I follow so many people on Twitter that it’s very difficult to keep up with all the millions of tweets per second. I usually follow certain people in lists, but even that can be difficult to keep up with so I just browse when I have a chance. I read the Facebook feed every day, in fact it’s an addiction for me. There are some good points for Facebook and then there are some bad points.

Good points for Facebook are that I get to see what my friends and family are doing. They post pictures of their children and they post about what they are up to. I never actually get to see anyone, so it’s nice to know what is going on in their lives. Before the internet, you didn’t know anything unless you called them.

Bad points for Facebook is the over sharing. Like, I see some nice posts that other people are posting with funny memes or some inspirational messages and I click the share button. I like to make people smile and laugh and I like to make people feel inspired. Unfortunately, some people like to post negative stuff, like GMO and Monsanto and pictures of dead dogs and cats, or pictures of people abusing dogs and cats. Today someone posted a very graphic picture of a woman who had been baked in an oven with the caption “What’s for dinner? This bitch you been texting.” or something to that effect. Another person shared an image that Ted Nugent shared of a man sitting with 5 decapitated heads in front of him while he is holding an assault rifle. No one wants to see this! I particularly do not want to see this.

Facebook is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be a place for friends and family to keep in touch and to share what’s going on with them, not to push people away. I am being pushed away. I’m not the type of person to give up, but I’m seriously thinking that I don’t want to be on Facebook anymore out of disgust.

Look, I’m not going to tell anyone what they can and cannot post, because when my partners sister-in-law signed up for Facebook, she immediately told me that I’m not supposed to use a picture of my dog as my profile picture, that I’m supposed to use a picture of my face. I was insulted because I don’t want to be told what I can and cannot use as my profile picture. Then she asked me to unfriend her because she didn’t like the things I was clicking LIKE on and she didn’t like the things I was sharing because it was all pro-gay stuff. Don’t tell me what I can and cannot post and like.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t post what they want to post, but if it is all negative, I don’t want to see it. It may seem hypocritical of me, but I think pro-gay things and dead people and animals are totally different. I can deal with all the Monsanto and GMO stuff, in fact, I would look at that all day long if I had to if it meant that I never had to look at another decapitated head, or another stock pot filled with decapitated pit bull heads and bodies, or male chicks being thrown into a grinder.

I have 3 pages that I have to maintain on Facebook and I usually post stuff that I share from friends and family if they are all positive. I think the only way I’m going to be able to continue doing that is to just sign into Facebook under those pages and scroll through other pages posts to find positive stuff to share. I’m going to have to stop using my regular profile to see what people are saying and doing if it means I don’t have to see corpses anymore.

Is this too much for a person to ask? I mean seriously, is it too much to ask people not to post corpses? Am I being unreasonable here? I’m feeling like an alien in my own world. Maybe I’m not a human being, maybe I am an alien from another world and this is normal for people to do on planet Earth and I’m the crazy one here. If that is the case then I would love it if my alien family would come get me so I can log on to the Alien Facebook to see what they are posting instead. Perhaps I just need a long vacation away from the internet altogether and just read books. I think that is probably what I need to do.

Please feel free to comment and tell me what you think.