Michael’s Earring Hooks

all 3 rainbow earrings

I bought earring hooks from Michael’s to use in the earrings that I make to sell on Etsy.  I was worried that because the package didn’t say what type of metal they were and they didn’t say they were hypoallergenic, that perhaps maybe I shouldn’t use them at all because I would hate to go through all that trouble to make earrings that people will have to throw or give away because they irritate their skin.  I decided to still make these earrings because there are people out there who can tolerate any metal earring.

I did buy some hypoallergenic hooks on Amazon, but I didn’t read the reviews until after I paid for them, and I tried to cancel the order right away, but they wouldn’t let me choose a reason for canceling, so I’m stuck with them.   The reviews were basically saying they took too long to ship because they ship from Honk Kong, which I didn’t see when I bought them.  They also said that some of the hooks were bent and that they ended up throwing most of them in the trash and that despite saying they were hypoallergenic, they weren’t.  So when I get those in the mail in August, I will have to say they are not hypoallergenic, but I will test them on myself before I use them.

Of course I will be buying some known hypoallergenic hooks, but they are incredibly expensive.  So unless I actually sell earrings or keychains, I won’t be able to afford to buy the expensive hypoallergenic hooks.

So the earring hooks I bought from Michael’s aren’t doing so bad.  I decided to put in a pair at Midnight on the night of July the 5th 2013 and have had them in my ears for nearly 11 hours and this is how they look in my ears.  The package had 2 different types of hooks, half of each, these aren’t the same type of hooks in the earrings you see in the image at the top.  I have a really bad sensitivity to certain metals and believe me, I will get a reaction after just a few minutes, so if I’ve had these in my ears for 11 hours, then I’m sure they should be okay for anyone else.

earrings 10 hours

As you can see, the hooks haven’t made any impact on my ears.  They are the ones in the 2nd hole in both ears.  Keep in mind that those holes haven’t had an earring in them for years and I had to push them in a bit because they felt like they had closed up in the back.  So if there is some redness, that’s probably why.  They do look a little red in the picture, especially the left ear, but there isn’t any irritation and they aren’t red when I look at them in the mirror.  They seem fine to me.

Of course, 11 hours isn’t hardly enough time to judge whether these earrings from Michael’s are going to cause a bad reaction, so I will keep taking pictures every day for a week and keep updating this post.

Update:  After 16 hours of wearing these Michael’s earrings, I suddenly felt a pressure in my head accompanied by ringing in both ears and slight dizziness.  I Googled my symptoms and found out that a lot of people have asked about earrings causing that and the condition is called Tinnitus.  I took the earrings out and within half an hour my symptoms eased up, but they are still there after another half an hour.  I thought that perhaps it was not caused by the earrings because when I took them out I took a picture and they didn’t look that bad.  There wasn’t any redness, swelling or pain.  I would think that if my ears were having an allergic reaction to the metal they would at least be red.  I didn’t see any redness in the mirror, but I do see it in the pictures.

earrings 16 hours

After having them out for 45 minutes, I decided to put them in Claire’s Ear Wash Antiseptic and put them back in.  The dizziness, tightness and buzzing or ringing is still there, but it’s not as bad as it was, so I don’t know what caused it or why, but I’m going to leave the earrings in and see what happens next.  I really want these earrings to work for me, because if I can wear them, then I will sleep better knowing that I am not selling earrings that people are going to have issues with.  Of course, if you know you have an allergy to certain metals, you know not to buy unless it says it is hypoallergenic, so naturally buyer beware.  I will keep them in for as long as I can.  See how dedicated I am to my customers that I am willing to risk getting an infection lol.

24 hour update:  I have had these earrings in my ears for 24 hours.  Well, minus about 45 minutes from earlier today when I got dizzy and had a constant ringing in my ears.  The dizziness and ringing didn’t come back, so I’m wondering if that was something else.  I have been having dizzy spells, so perhaps that wasn’t related to the earrings.  At any rate, I seem to be doing fine.  Pictures to come tomorrow afternoon.

40 hour update:  I had to take the earrings out of my ears because my right ear was starting to get infected.  That sucks.  I knew these earrings wouldn’t be hypoallergenic, but I was kind of hoping they would still be okay.  Oh well.  Here is the final picture.

earrings 40 hours

I forgot to write right ear and left ear, but you can figure that out lol.  As you can see, the left ear is fine, it didn’t get affected at all, but the right ear is infected.  What’s funny is that neither one of them hurt, even the infected one, so I didn’t even know it was infected until I took the picture.

I will be buying some actual hypoallergenic earring hooks called Niobium as well as plastic earring studs for another type of earring for men.  I actually just bought the plastic earring studs so when they come I can figure out what I will make.  Whatever it is will be made with gimp like the keychains.

Noom Swag

Noom_Swag_1

Noom_swag

I got a very cool package in the mail today filled with Noom swag.  It had 2 black shirts with the Noom logo on the back, a water bottle, a backpack that’s most likely a gym bag that you could wear as a backpack, a note pad, a pair of sunglasses, some lip balm and a cute cauliflower lol.

They wrote me a very cool letter and everyone signed it.  That was the first thing that I saw when I opened the box and I was very touched that everyone signed it, someone even drew out my full weight chart lol.  I thought that was cute.

It’s inspiring things like this that really keep me going.  I really love the shirts, I had a white one and now I have 2 black ones, so that’s pretty awesome.  Plus I really love the sunglasses.  I had a pair of sunglasses for the bike, but they broke because of the way I took them off, it was a pair of sports sunglasses that had a strange attachment that was glued on the arm and it snapped off.

The water bottle is awesome.  I’ve always wanted to buy one of those because they have them everywhere, but they are so expensive, so now I have one with the Noom logo on it.

Oh and by the way, today was weigh in day and I am down to 206lbs.  I am 90.48% finished with my goal to lose 63lbs.  I began my weight loss journey with Noom on January 5th and it is now May 11th and I can’t believe that I have lost 57lbs already.  This is just the most amazing journey I have ever been on.  I still look at my before picture and think “how did I ever get that fat, and how can I be so different now?”  It truly is amazing, and all I did was eat better and eat less food.  According to the estimated end date, I have until June 1st to get down to 200.  That is the day before my birthday so that will definitely be a birthday I will never forget.

So thank you Noom for giving me such a wonderful present and for being so inspiring to me throughout this journey.  I really appreciate all of your support.  And a special thank you to Stacy and Marit who have both talked to me through my own website.  Marit sent me the first shirt and Stacy sent me the swag bag.  Thank you both.  And thank you to the entire staff of Noom for signing the letter.  OMG you guys are so awesome.  You are making me cry.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You guys rock!

If you are considering losing weight, please download the Noom app from the Google Play App Store.  You will not regret it!  I owe all my weight loss success to Noom.

IZEA Valentine’s Day Swag Bag

izea swag bagI got a very cool surprise in the mail today.  @IZEA the company that pays me to tweet and blog sent me this very cool swag bag.  The Unicorn is very cool, I will probably keep it as is on display.  The swag bag had all this candy that I shouldn’t be eating anyway, but I enjoyed a few pieces anyway.  Pixie sticks, Wonka’s Fun Dip and Sweet Tarts Hearts, Hershey’s Kisses, chocolate hearts, Tootsie Rolls and I don’t even know what else.  There was also a neat heart-shaped eraser with a smiley face and a heart-shaped stress ball with the @IZEA logo on it.

This swag bag was such a cool surprise.  Thank you IZEA for sending it out to me.  That is so awesome!

izea ball and eraser

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.

My First Week of Vaping

I bought my eGo-T e-cigarette, or as I like to call it, my personal vaping device (PVD), last month and got it about 8 days ago.

When I bought the flavors from Zeus Juice, I wasn’t sure what strength I would be happy with since I had never vaped before, so I chose to buy 50PG/50VG.  They smelled so wonderful, but once I finally got to taste them with my PVD, they didn’t taste nearly as good as they smelled because I could barely taste them at all.  Most people prefer the vegetable glycerin because they want more vapor, but I would rather have flavor over vapor, so I bought more e-liquid with less VG and more PG.  I actually bought 2 strengths, 100%PG and 70/30.  I will find out which is better when they finally arrive (hopefully on Monday) before I buy any more.

I am actually not quite sure if the fault is in the strength, or if the fault is in the PVD that I bought.  I saw a video on YouTube of a guy who said that the eGo-T was the worst.  Naturally it was the only one I could afford.  I can taste the flavor a little bit, but it does take a lot of puffing to get any flavor at all.  I am not going to judge the PVD or the flavor until I get the new e-juices in the mail.

Here are my findings so far in the 8 days that I have had my PVD and have been vaping.  Although, my study is really inconclusive until I get more flavor, but I do have to say that I haven’t been feeling as hungry as I normally do.  I am getting a little tiny bit of flavor, not as much as I had hoped, but it is something.  I am not sure if it is the ingredients in the e-liquid since there isn’t any nicotine (which is an appetite suppressant), or if it’s the flavor or the actual hand to mouth habit that is causing this lack of appetite.  I have gone from eating out of boredom, to only eating when I am hungry.

I haven’t actually lost any weight yet, but I can’t expect to lose anything without proper diet and exercise.  My eating habits have not really changed, besides less snacking, but only time will tell if it actually does help.  I will keep at it a bit longer to see if this is really even worth continuing.  For now I actually enjoy vaping.

The flavor that I mentioned earlier that is coming in 100% PG is the same flavor that I already have, Strawberry.  I chose to get that so that if the 70/30 mixture is strong enough, then I will mix the 50/50 strawberry with the 100% strawberry so I have a 75/25 mixture.  I have high hopes that I will find the right percentages so I can enjoy the flavors.  After all, I am only doing this to help suppress my sweet tooth so I don’t eat sweet foods.

One of the flavors that I mentioned that is coming in the 70/30 mixture is Pumpkin Pie.  That is one of the flavors that I am really looking forward to vaping because I just love pumpkin pie.  I bought the small 5ML bottle so that I can test out the strength, so when I discover what strength I do prefer, I will buy a 30ML bottle to last me for a very long time.  I will be enjoying this flavor from now (tomorrow hopefully) until the end of Christmas.

I am especially looking forward to the Egg Nog flavor.  Again, when I discover the strength that I am happy with, I will be buying a 30ML bottle of the Egg Nog to last me until the end of the holidays.  I might even have to buy more after that just in case they stop making it so I will have enough to last me at least until June LOL.  What can I say, I am very addicted to the flavor.

I will keep posting updates on the flavors when I get them.

My Zeus E-Juice Has Arrived!

My Zeus E-Juice has finally arrived in the mail today.  I got 8 flavors total, all in 5ML bottles with NO nicotine and 50/50 VG/PG.  I don’t know if this is true or not, but I read on a website that 1ML is basically 1 pack of cigarettes, so basically I have 4 cartons of cigarettes on my desk all in the form of e-liquid, but they taste better and they won’t kill me.

I am still waiting for my Joye eGo-T eGo Tank 1100mAh e-cigarette Starter Kit to arrive all the way from Singapore.  I bought it from DH Gate through eBay because it was only $32.75 with free shipping.  I can’t afford to spend $50-$100 on an e-cigarette when I don’t even smoke.  I only bought it to help me lose weight and I don’t even know if it’s going to work or not, so I couldn’t justify spending too much money on something that may not even work for me.  Unfortunately they haven’t given me, nor are they going to give me a tracking number as it is untrackable for some odd reason.  When I check on the progress, it says it will take 20-50 days to arrive.  YIKES!  But I was reading the reviews where someone said that they got their product in 10 days, but I don’t know where that person lives so that doesn’t give me any information.

I don’t understand why the starter kits are so expensive.  I personally think they should sell them for $20 for 1 e-cigarette plus the charger and the 5 cartridges instead of making you buy 2 e-cigarettes.  That way it would be easier on someone who is trying to transition from smoking cigarettes to vaping to help them quit smoking.

The flavors of e-liquid that I got are Chocolate, Toasted Marshmallow, Caramel Cappuccino, Vanilla Ice Cream, Raspberry, Caramel Apple, Strawberry and Zeus Juice.  I can’t taste them, but I opened all of the bottles and smelled them and they smelled really good.

I am very impressed that all of the bottles have a child proof cap on them, not that I need to worry about that.  They also have printed right on the label an expiration date and how much nicotine is in them, although mine doesn’t have any nicotine in them so I don’t have to worry about addiction.  The bottles are plastic, which is something that I was kind of worried about since they were mailed to me.

Edit: I said glass is better based on the fact that people are always complaining about plastic taking a long time to decompose, but I just realized that you can’t squeeze glass to get the e-liquid out of the container and into the cartridge.  Plus, these can be sent back to be refilled again.

I saw a friend and his wife at the grocery store last night and was quite surprised to see that she was on oxygen and was using the Albertson’s motorized wheelchair to shop.  She told me that she hasn’t smoked a cigarette in 96 days, she had to quit cold turkey because of her health issues from smoking cigarettes all her life.  I went to tell them about e-cigarettes, but she already has one.  It’s not the same one that I will have, but it’s a good thing for her that she has switched over.

So I look forward to getting my Joye eGo-T e-cigarette in the mail one of these days so I can try these wonderful flavors lol.

My Book Is Finally Finished, but…

My book is finally finished being edited and is ready to be published.  It took me 2 months to write it, but then it took me another 4 months to edit it.  I have been working for at least 8 hours a day to get it right so there are no mistakes.  It is ready, but not ready because I may have made a mistake with the copyright.

I copyrighted it on November 28th 2011 and I uploaded my unfinished book and the cover, but haven’t taken any other action, besides uploading the current revision of course.  I’m not sure if I was supposed to mail it to them or not.  It still says pending so I’m not sure when it will be completed.  I don’t want to take any chances with it so I won’t publish it until the copyright has gone through.

I said I was going to publish it tomorrow, January 1st 2012, but now I have to wait until January 2nd when I can call the copyright office and talk to someone.  This really sucks but my hands are tied.

That will give me another opportunity to read the book one last time to make absolutely sure there are zero mistakes.  It sucks because I have read my book about 20 or 30 times.  I have never read a book this many times before, and since it’s my life story, I have to relive it again every time I read it.  I just want to be done with it and move on.

Anyway, I will update this on Monday when I have spoken to someone at the copyright office.  If my claim has expired because I didn’t mail a printed copy, then I will have to copyright it again and mail it to them and wait for god only knows how much longer before I can publish it.  I’m sure it won’t take that long though, I’m hoping I can upload it on Monday when I get off the phone with them.  I can’t make any promises though.

Now that I am finally finished editing, I can finally enjoy playing Lord of the Rings Online again.  WOOHOO!