Toastmaster Bread Box 1155

wheat bread

I took a trip to the thrift store yesterday, well, my intention wasn’t to go to a thrift store, but while I was in the neighborhood, I figured let’s go check to see what they have.  I was actually hoping to find a hot air popcorn popper, but instead I found a bread maker machine.  They had at least 5 of them, but this one had the little paddle inside of it, 2 of the other ones I looked at were missing that.  I didn’t look at the other ones because they were smaller than the one I found.

Okay so I’ve never made bread in my life and I’m 43 years old.  I have always wanted to, but never tried it because I knew it would probably be a lot of work because you have to knead the bread and what not.  I have a habit of burning water, so I was afraid of trying to bake my own bread.  This machine does it all, so there is literally no muss, no fuss.

toastmaster bread box

This is what the Toastmaster Bread Box 1155 looks like.  It was quite disgusting on the inside and outside, but I cleaned it up so it looks practically brand new.  It was only $5.95 plus tax, so how could you not buy it?  I knew I was taking a huge risk because you never know if what you are buying at a thrift store will work, but it works just fine.

The bread maker was cheap, but the ingredients for making wheat bread weren’t.  I went to the store to buy everything I needed for making wheat bread and it came to $30.  Ouch!  But, the good thing is that I will get a lot of bread with those ingredients, so the money I will save will make up for that.

Good wheat bread is expensive and you never really know what is inside your bread, so at least now I know what I am putting into it.  It’s basically water, oil, lemon juice, salt, brown sugar, dry milk, bread flour, whole wheat flour and active dry yeast.  That’s it.  100% whole wheat bread is the same, except I don’t use bread flour and it takes 1 hour longer to make.

White bread is unhealthy, but it’s basically all the same ingredients except there is regular white sugar and you don’t use whole wheat flour.  I don’t plan on making white bread unless it is requested.

My first time making bread was a success, but I thought I screwed it up because I used the whole wheat setting.  Well, I was making whole wheat bread, so naturally I thought I had to use that setting, but it turns out I only need to use that setting if I am making 100% whole wheat bread with all the ingredients minus the bread flour.  Since I made regular wheat bread, I should have used the basic setting which takes 3 1/2 hours.  Now I know.

I’m particularly excited about making other things with this bread maker like spiced pumpkin bread and banana bread.  The machine didn’t come with a manual or a recipe book, but I did manage to find them online all in 1 pdf file.  The recipe book has many good recipes, but I will probably only make wheat for our bread and the pumpkin and banana bread for special occasions like birthdays and holidays.  They also make great gifts.  Someone gave me homemade banana nut bread for my birthday once and it was AWESOME!  So I plan on doing the same.

So I finally have a bread machine that didn’t break the bank.  What an awesome gift from whoever donated it to the thrift store.  I know it’s an old machine, but it’s still a gift to me since I didn’t have one and couldn’t afford to pay $75+ for a brand new one.

Vaping and Dieting

zeus ejuice

Last year I decided after doing a bit of research that vaping sweet flavors would help me lose weight.  Of course, I realize that only diet and exercise will help me lose weight, but my reasoning was that if I had sweet flavors in my mouth, then I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the empty calories, because I just wanted the flavor.  So if I had the flavors, then I wouldn’t be consuming the calories.  Well, that theory was flawed because without a proper diet, I was still consuming empty calories from my regular day-to-day food.

Now that I am on track and eating healthy food and have already lost more than 20lbs (1/5/2013 – 2/19/2013), I started vaping again.  I placed a new order with Zeus eJuice for a 10ml bottle of Banana Nut Bread, and they comped me a 3ml bottle of Grape Jolly Rancher flavored e-liquid.  Of course, the e-liquid I buy doesn’t have any nicotine at all so I don’t have to worry about an addiction.

Since I am on my healthy diet, I don’t have a craving for sweet foods anymore.  Although I do have the occasional craving, I will eat fruit instead of cookies or ice cream.  I do have a recipe for a fruit cookie that uses banana, apple, oatmeal, vanilla and a tiny amount of brown sugar.  It’s not the same as eating a cookie, but I psych myself out, so to me it is.  It’s all mental.  The vaping is all mental too.  If I vape sweet flavors then I’m getting the sweet taste that I wanted without the calories, right?  Well, it only works if I say it works, and so far it does because I haven’t even craved the fruit cookies.

For anyone wanting to lose weight and think that vaping will help, let me just dispel that, it doesn’t.  I mean, it will give you the flavors, but you won’t actually lose weight.  This is my advice for losing weight and it is what helped me to lose more than 20lbs.  Eat healthy!  I started using this app on my phone called Noom Weight Loss Coach.  It’s only available for the Android (sorry iPhone users).  It’s free, or you could pay the monthly fee or pay for the full product.  It’s your choice.  Try it out for free and see if you like it.  Noom is just a tool to help me log my food and exercise and it gives me great articles, but the food I am eating is what helped me to lose weight.  I’ve been eating the Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals for lunch and dinner and also eating steamed fresh or frozen vegetables.

The vaping gives me the sweet flavors that I am not eating so I don’t eat empty calories.  Vaping is pretty much a tool the same way the Noom app is a tool, they just do different jobs.  I’d say it’s still worth the time and money, and if you are a smoker you could benefit from vaping because it will help you save money and possibly quit smoking too.

So if you want to start vaping, do this.  Go to Smoktek.com and buy a SmokTek Express eGo CE4 650 E-Cigarette Kit for only $20.  It’s a good idea to also buy a changeable coil clearomizer (round tip) with replacement coils too.  Then go to ZeuseJuice.com and buy a 10ML bottle of whatever flavor you want.

These are the flavors that I like because they taste sweet.  Banana Nut Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Grape Jolly Rancher, Strawberry, Raspberry (and let’s just assume all the fruits), Demeter’s Harvest, Candy Corn and Vanilla Ice Cream.  It’s good to experiment with different flavors, but don’t mix too many with the same wick because the flavor stays with that wick, so if you use candy corn then dump it back into the bottle and put pumpkin pie in there, it’s not going to taste like pumpkin pie anymore, it’s going to taste like pumpkin pie and candy corn and the two don’t mix.  It will probably end up tasting more like vomit lol.  Trust me.  I haven’t done that with those flavors, but I have done it.

You could try another website for your e-liquids, or go to a smoke shop to get it like that same day, but you will end up paying double.  Zeus e-Juice charges $6 for a 10ML bottle which is equivalent to a carton of cigarettes.

So that’s my advice for anyone who wants to lose weight with vaping.  You don’t have to take my advice because what might work for me might not work for you, but you have to ask yourself, do you really want it to work for you?  If you want it to work, then it will work.  Everything is psychological.  Anyway, give it a go and tell me if it worked for you.

I Need New Coils Already

ecigs_red_black

I got my new Clearomizers almost a week ago.  They arrived on a Tuesday and today is Sunday and the coil in the red clearomizer is already starting to go bad.  I can still vape it, I still blow out a lot of vapor, so it’s not that it stopped working, it’s just that I’m not getting as much flavor out of it anymore.  I still get some flavor, but not as much as when it was new.  It’s starting to taste burned.

I thought they were supposed to last a lot longer, like a month.  And the thing is, I barely even use it, so it shouldn’t be going bad so quickly.  I feel sorry for anyone who vapes full-time, like every 5 minutes or whatever.  I can’t imagine having to go through so many coils in one week.

The black clearomizer is still doing good.  I don’t vape it as much as the red one because the black one is Gingerbread which I don’t mind, but I don’t love, and the red one has Banana Nut Bread which is way better.

My red clearomizer only has 1ML left inside of it and the bottle is empty so I’m going to try to finish it before the new coils come on Tuesday.  I wouldn’t want to waste it.  I have 1ML left of the Pumpkin Pie flavor, but I don’t want to use that with a brand new coil, I’d rather start a new flavor.  I loved the Pumpkin Pie, but I don’t think it’s any good anymore anyway, so I’m just going to chuck it.  I have a box with 15 5ML bottles so I have plenty of flavors to choose from.

I have to say that I have been very careful whenever I had to unscrew the tip to add more e-liquid to the clearomizer.  My blue clearomizer got messed up because I tightened the tip too much and it made the rubber seal come out and I had to pull it all the way out which ruined the whole thing.  I’ve had these new ones for less than a week and haven’t ruined either of them… yet lol.  I think I’m doing pretty good.

So Tuesday I will get the new coils so I can start vaping a new flavor.  I don’t have any idea which one I will pick, but whatever it is, it’s going to be what I’m going to be vaping for the next week until the 5ML bottle is empty.  I usually tweet what I’m vaping every day and I have what I’m vaping in the Vaping page, not that anyone really cares lol.

My Blue 1.6ml Changeable Coil Clearomizer Came

I am a very happy camper today because my blue 1.6ml Long Wick Changeable Coil Clearomizer came in the mail.  I was actually surprised at how fast it came, but thrilled that I can finally taste the e-liquids.

When I first bought my PV starter kit, all I had was 2 batteries, 2 atomizers and a few cartridges.  I had some 50/50 flavors from Zeus E-Juice which I could barely taste.  I was happy with the flavor that I was able to taste, and I tasted all of them, but just barely.  I wasn’t happy at all that I couldn’t taste them very well and at first I blamed it on the fact that I got 50/50 strength.  The PG is supposed to give you more flavor than the VG, so I just convinced myself that that was the problem, but now I’m starting to wonder if strength had anything to do with it.

I got the Clearomizer and immediately poured some of the 70/30 Banana Nut Bread flavor and let it soak into the wick for a few minutes before I vaped any of it.  When I did vape it, I tasted it immediately and every time I take a puff I taste it and I get vapor every time.  When I was using the atomizer, I was having to take many long slow drags to get any flavor, but with this clearomizer, I just took 1 short slow drag and I got immediate flavor.  Oh and the throat hit isn’t too strong with the 70/30.  I was told that 100% PG would be too strong and would actually burn which is why I ordered 70/30, but my next order is all 80/20’s.  I am very satisfied with the 70/30 and can’t wait for the 80/20.  I don’t want throat burn lol.

So here is my recommendation.  If you are going to buy an e-cigarette as a replacement to smoking, to quit smoking or to buy with no nicotine for flavor to help you quit snacking, go ahead and buy any eGo battery with the charger.  Don’t waste your time with the atomizer and cartridges, just buy an any color 1.6ml long wick changeable coil clearomizer.  You can buy the regular clearomizer for $5, or you could buy the changeable coil clearomizer for the same price.  You can buy the replacement coils for $2.49 each.  I prefer to change the coil for half the price.  And I read that these last a month, so if you buy 6 new coils, you have enough to last you for half a year.

Now I am going to enjoy my Banana Nut Bread flavor for the rest of the day.

Banana Nut Bread E-Liquid from Zeus E-Juice

I am on a taste crusade to see if I can finally replace eating junk foods that I crave with vaping them instead. I have found the exact thing that has finally gotten me to stop snacking. It’s called Vaping, and this is one of my new favorite flavors to vape with.

Never in my life did I ever think that I would get the taste of banana nut bread, without actually eating banana nut bread, but here we are.  I bought this fabulous flavor from the Zeus E-Juice website in the Delicious Desserts category in a 5ML bottle for a mere $2.49, which is probably about the same amount of money that you would pay for the box at the grocery store to make actual banana nut bread.  The thing is, I have been vaping this flavor the whole day and I don’t feel the least bit guilty because it has absolutely no calories, sugar or guilt.

The amazing part of that is that I only used a few drops for the whole day.  I didn’t use the whole bottle, so there is plenty more where that came from.  In fact, you can’t even tell that I used any from looking at the bottle.  I can have more whenever I want to and I don’t have to keep baking and cleaning pans and plates and forks, and I don’t have to worry about spoilage.  I think that is the most awesome part about vaping to replace food cravings.

This whole experiment has been successful so far.  I haven’t been snacking at all lately.  I may look into the fridge every once in a while and I may take a swig from the milk, but then I come back to the room and take a few hits off of the PV with this wonderful flavor, and my cravings are gone.  I don’t even have the hunger pangs anymore.  I think that this might actually be making my stomach shrink because I haven’t been eating as much food.  I still haven’t lost any weight, but as I’ve said many times before, I can’t expect to lose any weight without proper diet and exercise.  This is not a diet tool, this is just an experiment to see if I can cheat the sweet tooth cravings so I don’t snack.  It seems to be working so far, but it has still only been a week and a half, so I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch just yet.

Tomorrow I will be vaping Demeter’s Harvest and I will blog about it later.

Oh, I feel I should put in a disclaimer.  I am not getting paid to blog for anyone, I am just very excited about this whole adventure that I am on and I want to share my experiences and my opinions on the matter of vaping for weight loss.  The e-liquids that I buy have absolutely no nicotine in them, so I have no risk of addiction and I advise anyone who is reading this to not buy any e-liquid or e-cigarettes with the intentions of getting addicted.  You must be 18 years or older to buy any products with nicotine in them.

Pumpkin Pie E-Liquid from Zeus E-Juice

My newest batch of e-liquid came today from Zeus E-Juice.  I have Pumpkin Pie, Banana Nut Bread, Strawberry and Demeter’s Harvest.

I’ve been puffing on the Pumpkin Pie all day because that was the flavor that I’ve been craving most of all.  Of all the flavors that I have tried so far, this is my most favorite.  I love Pumpkin Pie a lot, no really, a LOT lol.

The other e-liquids I bought were 50% PG and 50% VG because I wasn’t sure which combination I should choose as a beginner, but that was a bad combination for me because I could barely taste the flavors at all.  I mean, I tasted it, but just not enough for me to tell what they were.  I ordered these new flavors in 70/30 so that I could actually taste the flavor because I read on the Zeus E-Juice website that the PG gives you more flavor than the VG, and I am finding that to be true.  The other flavors came in 70/30 as well, except for the Strawberry which I ordered in 100%PG so that I could mix it with the strawberry I already have in the 50/50 strength.  When I use up the ones that I can taste, then I will buy the ones I already have in 100% PG to mix so I can get the combination I want.  Although, when I do buy new flavors I think I will buy them in 80/20 so that I get even more flavor.

I’m not sure if I will ever get to the other flavors because I think I might get too addicted to the Pumpkin Pie lol.  Although I only have 5ML, so when that runs out I’m going to have to buy a 30ML bottle so that it lasts until the end of the holidays.  Speaking of the holidays, they also have Egg Nog, so when I do make my order for the 30ML bottle of Pumpkin Pie, I’m also going to order a 30ML bottle of Egg Nog, both in the 80/20 combination.  I’m going to go nuts with those 2 flavors lol.

My atomizers aren’t doing so great though because one of them stopped working.  I don’t know what the deal is, but I only had it for 8 days and it stopped working.  Those are supposed to last for 3 months.  It was sucking all of the e-liquid up and not giving me any of the benefit.  I’m going to buy some clearomizers which are totally different from an atomizer.  I won’t have to use cartridges, instead I will be able to see through the atomizer to see how much e-liquid I have and it has a long wick, so that should help.  I believe when the atomizer in it stops working, you can simply remove it and replace it.

So anyway, I am loving the Pumpkin Pie and I am so glad I found the right strength combination.  I can’t wait for the Clearomizer and the Egg Nog.  I’m going to buy 2 Clearomizers so that I can fill 1 with Egg Nog and 1 with Pumpkin Pie so I can switch between the 2 since I have 2 eGo-T batteries lol.  I will use the cartridges and the remaining atomizer I have for the other flavors lol.

Appetite Control with Vaping?

I am still very new to the world of vaping, but I am enjoying the benefits from it.  The e-liquid that I order doesn’t have any nicotine, which has been known to be an appetite suppressant which is why I was so skinny until I quit smoking in 1996.  Or is that all a bunch of hooey?  Yes I said hooey.

I have been vaping every day since I got my PV (Personal Vaporizer, that’s what I’m calling it, deal with it) and I have noticed a drop in my appetite.  Normally when I get a craving for something sweet, I will go to the kitchen and eat something, just for the taste.  But since I’ve been vaping sweet flavors, I haven’t been doing that.  Instead of eating because I wanted a sweet taste in my mouth, I only eat when my stomach says it wants food.  You know the old saying, “Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat.”  Well, it’s true.

When I bought my e-liquid, I bought all of the flavors in 50/50 which is 50% Propylene Glycol and 50% Vegetable Glycerin.  Zeus eJuice says that is the best of both worlds, but I’m not sure if it’s the best thing for me given the fact that I barely taste any flavor in the e-liquid.

I bought 2 new flavors, Pumpkin Pie and Banana Nut Bread in 70/30 so I will get more flavor than I do now.  I want to experiment with strengths.  If the 70/30 is still not enough flavor, then next time I will buy 80/20.  I also bought one of the flavors I have in my e-liquid box, Strawberry, but I ordered it with 100% PG so I could see if the 100% is better for me or not.  If it’s too strong then I will mix it with the 50/50 Strawberry that I currently have so I can still use it.  It will end up being 75/25.

I will get those new flavors on Friday (according to the USPS tracking) so I will blog my findings then.  Until I get the new flavors, I have been vaping the Zeus Juice flavor because I want to use up most of the flavors that I have so I don’t have to buy them again and mix them with new strengths.  I don’t want to have to keep buying the flavors I already have because I want to keep trying new flavors.  They have more than 150 flavors available, so I don’t want to be bogged down by 8 flavors that I have to keep mixing.

The Zeus Juice flavor is really good.  Even though the bottle is a 50/50 mixture, I have discovered a technique to vaping that allows me to get the most of the flavor of the e-liquid.  When I first began vaping, I was taking short fast puffs, which gave me absolutely no flavor.  But I was just doing it the way I smoked when I was a smoker.  My friend whose husband owns Zeus E-Juice told me to take slower drags which actually worked.  But, the problem there was that when you take slower drags, you are keeping the PV on for too long which can burn the e-liquid.  So what I like to do is take slow drags, but let go of the button after 3 seconds, then take another slow drag for 3 seconds while the vapor from the first drag comes out of my nose.  I keep doing that about 5 or 6 times and I get a lot of flavor. Now I realize when I get the new flavors with the new strengths, that technique might not work and I will have to decide on another technique, but we will see how it goes.  This works for me now.  The only problem is, the atomizer gets really hot, so I have to stop using it for a minute or two until it cools down.

I bought a little box from Michael’s to store all of my vaping supplies in so they don’t get dusty, but every time I grabbed the box to open it, some of the bottles would fall down.  I thought of a way to keep them all standing up and have the cartridges all organized at the same time.  I used plastic canvas for this idea.  It was kinda fun to make.

I think I did a great job.  At first I thought about using cardboard, but then I remembered that I had plastic canvas, so I used that.  It was easier because with cardboard I would need a ruler, you never need a ruler with plastic canvas.  This project actually took me half an hour, but it was worth every minute spent.

I will blog again on Friday when I get more e-liquid and have tried out the new strength’s and flavors.

Image Credits: I made the image with the cloud and eGo-T e-cigarette in Gimp with clouds from Obsidian Dawn.  The cloud was to represent the vapor in the e-cigarette.

Update: Please read my post called “Vaping and Weight Loss” for my latest discovery.  Hint, it doesn’t work…