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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

**REVIEW** KOSE SOFTYMO Speedy Cleansing Oil

When I learned about (and fell in love with) the Kikumasamune Sake Skin Lotion High Moisture, I also heard of the Speedy Cleansing Oil. The oil is featured on the product page for the lotion and both are often featured together on other sites. As with the lotion, I can't read much of the label.

I can read about 6 words here :-)

I am happy to say that the oil works just as well - or even better - than described. I have already been using oils to clean (and moisturize) my face for years. I've used whichever of my fave oils I have around - olive, vitamin e, jojoba, pumpkin or watermelon seed, coconut, castor, etc. Depending on which oil I've used, I've had to add another oil or mix with water to thin it out. The Speedy Oil is a one-step deal.

The ingredients in the Speedy Oil as shown on the Amazon product page are simple. When I was looking for other reviews, I found a wonderful resource (which I will be checking out on a regular basis now that I've found it) called My Dad the Chemist. The blogger, Emily, provided such a detailed overview of the ingredients that I'm poaching:

  • mineral oil: an oil that has been found to help improve softness of skin and lend benefits to the skin moisture barrier function, according to this scientific review
  • peg-8 glyceryl isostearate: an emulsifier that helps mix the water and oils in this formula together
  • cethyl ethylhexancate: an emollient
  • cyclomethicone: another emollient
  • jojoba seed oil: has been shown to help provide anti-inflammatory benefits for skin, according to this study
  • isostearic acid: a surfactant, which helps the oils in this formula wash off when you apply warm water
  • glycerin: moisturizer/humectant
  • phenoxyethanol: serves as a preservative in many personal care products
 (source: My Dad the Chemist)

(Oh man! I am so getting in touch with Miss Emily!)

I've talked before about how I "listen" to my skin. Within minutes of using most products, I can tell whether or not my skin likes it. If something dries me out, oilies me up, or irritates me in the slightest, I'm done. There are only a few brand items that I can use on a regular basis that don't cause one of those problems. This is why I usually stick to whipping together my own concoctions. Well, I'm glad that I found this Speedy Oil.

The price on this is super affordable - more so than mixing up my own blends - and the 230ml bottle is generous. That's almost 8 ounces and it only takes a very little bit to cover my entire face and neck. When I need to, I can purchase a refill pack.

Another benefit I discovered with this is that I find myself massaging my face more when applying. The texture is so smooth and soothing that I can't help but spend at least a couple of minutes doing a vigorous massage.

When I use my own oil blends, I have to be careful to remove most of it so as not to cause a breakout. The Speedy Oil wipes off well with a tissue or baby wipe and doesn't leave behind any clogging residue.

One thing I do want to point out is: do NOT use the oil near your eyes. I got some on my waterline and had some irritation for a couple of days. Now I just keep about a quarter inch away from my eyes when I am massaging this in.

I'm pretty thrilled with the product. Having discovered this and the Kikumasamune really makes me want to look at more Asian skincare products. Too bad the makeups are never in my shade range!


I was chatting with a friend about this product and she mentioned that she too loves Asian products of all kinds. She lives in a major U.S. city that has one of those huge sub-city "Little Asia" market areas. I remember going there when I visited her some years ago. I wish I had focused more on shopping than eating! She is going to see about scouting out some products for me. Also, for those of you are interested, Reddit has a category for Asian Beauty. I will be checking that out for sure.

Monday, November 12, 2018

**REVIEW** Kikumasamune Sake Skin Lotion High Moisture

This is a copy/paste of the review from my Amazon Reviews blog.

Full Product Name & Link: 8 Kikumasamune Sake Skin Lotion High Moisture


PRO: Arrived quickly. Large size for the price.
CON: My first bottle came in one of those plasticized mailing envelopes. The bottle had gotten crushed or something so that the plastic over the pump was torn. The bottle leaked quite a bit as you can see from the pic on the right. Amazon did give me a refund so I was able to reorder.
NOTE: The bad packaging could be a fluke. I will see when the second bottle arrives.


Why I ordered: My hair is finicky and starts to dry out as soon as the weather begins to cool. Age probably has something to do with this too. I heard about this product via a Reddit forum for black hair - even though the product is made for the face.

 I will just cut right to the chase and let you know that I LOVE this stuff.

Remember, the bottle had leaked into the mailer so when I opened it, I got the liquid all over my fingers. I knew that the leaking was caused by the bottle getting banged around in the mail so, being me, I wiped the liquid right onto my face. Waste not, my loves.

Let me tell you wot. Yes, "wot". This stuff is truly a game changer.

Once I applied this, I didn't need to use any other lotion, cream, moisturizer - nothing. My skin was magically and instantly hydrated.

The texture of this - we will just call it "lotion" from here on out - is almost that of most thin serums. Like water with just a touch of something. The appearance is just like cloudy water.

I couldn't identify the smell at first until I remembered the full name of the product and, yep, the smell is very much like Sake - which I have had - but I cannot describe that smell to you. It's not pleasant or unpleasant, in my opinion. The scent is mild in this product and fades as soon as it starts drying.

This is good stuff. If I could, I would give it ten stars. I am awaiting the delivery of some "Speedy Oil" that was mentioned by someone, but I have no plans to get any of the other Kikumasamune type items other than this lotion. And I do plan to stay stocked up on this!

I had to update this because I forgot to list the ingredients as shown on the Amazon product page:

Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, rice ferment filtrate (sake), glutamate, arginine, leucine, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, placenta extract, arbutin, Glycyrrhizic acid, soy protein, maltitol, methyl gluceth-10, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, hydroxyethyl cellulose, alkyl styrene/acrylic acid copolymer, citric acid, sodium citrate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, fragrance


NOTE: Since I got my first bottle, I noticed that the price went up almost a dollar. Maybe the popularity will affect the price???

Saturday, November 10, 2018

**REVIEW** SMOK Infinix

WARNING: This post has to do with vaping. If you are under age, please know that I do NOT encourage smoking or vaping for minors and this post is not intended for you.  I don't encourage nicotine use of any kind for anyone. This post has to do with my personal experience as I attempt to stop using nicotine.

I am SOOO mad right now...

I just got this to try and if I had known about it before, I don't think I would have wanted a JUUL.

Since I have already reviewed the JUUL, I will just go ahead here and tell you by first impressions how the Infinix wins out.

  • At $21.95, it's cheaper.
  • The starter kit is better. It's got a nicer boxing and presentation in case you are gifting it to someone. The instructions are good for newbies.
  • It is made to be refillable. That's always a big Plus.
  • Two pods come in the kit - along with a liquid injection bottle with a needle-nose.
  • The draw is so very smooth and even.
  • There are no crackling sounds like with a JUUL
  • It's sleek and nice-looking. I had a choice of 3 colors: Blue, Gunmetal, Red.
  • The sort of beveled shape is nice and more secure in the hand.
  • The slightly larger size makes it easier to keep track of.
  • I haven't gotten any leaking or spit back like I sometimes do with the JUUL.
  • And, once again, it's cheaper.
sleek with brushed aluminum

By the way, I have other pods that I refill and that injector is going to come in handy...

It's a serious needle-nosed tip
I've seen other reviews that give the Infinix credit but still give the edge to the JUUL and I don't know why that is. Maybe after using it for a while, the performance will slip???

This is the $21.95 starter kit
(from the fantastic Electronic Tobacconist)

Like I said, if I had known about this, I don't think I would ever have gotten a JUUL. For first time vapers, I think this is by far the best choice for price, ease of use and, definitely affordability.

I am using Aqua Salts "Pure" in it and I get a much better experience with the pod than I do with a (refilled) JUUL pod. Being able to refill is key and JUUL pods don't take as well when refilled because they aren't made for that. 

I am looking at Christmas gifts for the smokers in my life who could benefit from making the switch to vaping. Before now, I thought the very affordable Boulder Rock was a good choice for that, but this Infinix is much nicer for gifts. 

This is a very impressive pod kit and I would certainly recommend it to anyone.


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

**REVIEW** ZiiP Pods (vs JUUL)

I love my JUUL but the prices for the pods are stupidly ridiculous. I looked around for pods that I could use as an alternative. As I was looking, I stumbled across a sale. This is what I found:

 Those are the ZiiP pods that were on 5-for sale over at Electric Tobacconist. I was kind of excited that I found something made to work with the JUUL and that happened to be on sale. Where the JUUL pods are anywhere from $15 to $20 a packet of 4, these ZiiPs were $11.

The bottoms of ZiiPs look a lot like the JUUL pods while to tops (mouthpiece) is more narrow and sort of sloped. That's actually nice because it feels nicer to drag on. That's one positive.

Next up in the Pro column is that the flavors are varied. The first JUUL flavor I loved was the Mango. For the ZiiP, I chose a Mango and a Watermelon. The other choices were Strawberry Milk, Cappucino, Mint, and Tobacco. We all know by now that I abhor Tobacco flavors and, other than the Mint, none of the other flavors sounded that appealing. Anyway...

One annoying thing about JUUL pods is that they make a crackling sound when you draw on them. I don't know it that was designed on purpose - you know, to imitate the way a cigarette and draws - or not. I don't like it much and I've noticed that quite a few users feel about it the way I do. That's a kind of a minor and picky thing though. The ZiiPs don't have this "flaw" and the flavor is smoother than with the JUUL pods.

Moving a little into the less-than-positive column, I found that the ZiiP has a much more "airy" kind of draw than JUUL pods. I like that the JUUL pods have a "tight" feel to the draw. It's a lot like the difference between smoking a Regular vs a Light traditional cigarette. I hated light smokes and I would actually put tape around the filter. That's only because I didn't like that loose and airy feel of the draw. The ZiiP isn't as airy as an Ultra Light cigarette but the draw is definitely not as satisfying to me. However, just like with traditional cigarettes, there is a method to adjust the feel of the draw - you just place a finger over one of the side holes of the pod.

There are two bigger negatives to consider as far as the ZiiPs go - they empty a lot faster. A LOT faster. Also, the caps are much harder to remove if you want to refill the pod. I damn near broke a tooth trying to pry the cap off of one. I ended up using a nail file. I can pop the cap (haha!) off a JUUL with my fingers.

Despite these Cons, I would choose ZiiPs any day over the more expensive JUUL pods. Despite the refill hassle, the tanks are bigger capacity on the ZiiPs (1.0ml) vs the JUUL (0.7) and then there is the cheaper price. Oh - a big, big reason to choose ZiiPs over JUUL (even if you can afford not to) is that ZiiPs has more choices in nicotine strength.

ZiiPs are, in my opinion, a great alternative to the JUUL pods. You do have to realize they are different and need to be adjusted to, but... cheaper overall. The biggest test I think will be how many times I can get away with refilling the ZiiPs. I've done up to 6-7 refills with a JUUL pod before things got nasty.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

**Seen & Sharing** My Homemade Small Load Washing Machine

Necessity might well be the mother of invention, but poverty is the daddy. And I know poverty.

I am single - which equals never enough clothes for a wash load until there are too many for just a couple of loads. Also, it costs a buck per load to wash (another buck to dry) in the building. Also, I wash and rinse by hand my kitchen towels often - like every three or four days - and have been looking for an easier way.

So, I've mentioned that we have a type of community table in the lobby in this apartment building. When we residents are getting rid of something useful, we put it on the table so that someone else can take it for no charge. A while back, I got a basket full of artificial flowers and put them into a vase as decor for my bathroom.

I've given (and taken) cans of food, beverages, planter pots, clothing, and wall art. Recently, I went to the table to put out some tea bags and an old juicer (that came from a thrift store this summer). This is what I found:

I still have to figure out how to use the grill, but...

 ... that Bubba mug. Wow, what a find.

It was really dirty from use and unwashed buildup, so I cleaned and bleached it out, but I have no intention of drinking out of it. The reason I got it is because it's one of the biggest thermal containers I have seen. (By the way, I do believe that at 52 ounces it actually is the biggest.) I was just curious about it. When I looked it up on Amazon, I started getting an idea for how to use it.

First, though, I have to back up and tell you about a product I had on my Amazon Wish List (before they dumped my reviews and I dumped all my lists). It was a portable washing machine similar to this one. The price isn't bad on that thing, but I don't have the money nonetheless. So, this is what I came up with using all free parts: The mug, a kitchen scrubber with a long handle, my soap and bleach, and some calorie-burning elbow grease.

Of course, the Bubba I have 52 ounces so, of course, this washing idea is only for small loads. I was able to do four of my sink towels.

It might sound silly, but this is why it works for me:

  • The insulated mug keeps the water at a pretty steady temp. If I need to, I can close the lid and let items soak.
  • I can add bleaches and other cleaning things and not get as much splashing as when I use the sink. 
  • Uses no electricity (except or boiling water in the tea kettle).
  • A load of wash costs us a dollar and the water never gets as hot as I like.
  • I often have only socks or a few towels in between my bi-weekly loads of wash.
  • This is better than what I've been doing which is using the sink or waiting until wash day.
  • The mug is easy to clean and store.
The first time I used this, I was thinking how great it would be to have the same thing - insulated container with a lid - on a bigger scale, but we all know I don't have the mind power or energy to do anywhere with that idea.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful to someone or sparks a creative idea in their mind. Knowing me, this seems like a great idea now, but I'll be wondering tomorrow what the hell was I thinking!


Monday, October 29, 2018

**REVIEW** Boulder Rock Vape Pen

Vaping, like smoking, is for adults only. If you are NOT of legal age, this post has nothing for you! If you are a non-smoker, please don't start vaping. 

Of all the vape devices I have seen or heard of so far, this is the best value:

This pen costs only $8.99. That's it. That is less than the price of a pack of smokes back in Alaska. I got mine from the Electric Tobacconist because they are the fairest priced, efficient, and the most honest online shop I've found so far.

This Boulder Rock pen has a pretty sleek design and surprisingly sturdy for such an inexpesive item.

You not only get the vape pen, but also some juice. Okay, the juice is gross to me but that's because I do NOT like tobacco-flavored ejuice. And any freebie juice with a device is always tobacco flavored.

The best thing (other than for my health) about quitting cigarettes is not having to deal with the taste of tobacco. I find that I prefer the fruit flavored juices. Mango was a fave until I discovered this Strawberry-Apple-Watermelon blend. I just "lub" it.

Anyway, about the Boulder Rock Vape Pen...

My first impression was more "meh" than "yay". It took a few uses before I learned that I needed to draw longer on it to appreciate the juice. After getting spoiled to the tight mouthpiece on the JUUL and the Suorin Air that my SIL gave me, the Rock was very airy feeling. Now that I know how to draw on it (taking longer draws), I am starting to like it a lot.

I love the way it charges - and the way the charger end is protected with a cap. The cap stays firmly on so I'm not worried about losing it. When I am charging the pen, it sticks straight out from the port and doesn't stop me using other things plugged in next to it.

It's such a great size for tucking into the purse, pocket, or backpack pen compartment. It's larger than the JUUL (but cheaper) and you can see how it stacks up size-wise to the JUUL ($40) and the BLU ($20):

As you see, it's the biggest "pen" of the three, but then you have to come back to that price. In spite of the fact it's larger, it's still not huge or unwieldy. When I compare it to other things that I carry in my tiniest bag, it's a very modest size.

 And I haven't even mentioned the biggest advantage this has over those other more expensive pens.

The pod on the Rock is made to be refilled. You don't have to hack it like with the JUUL and BLU (which is totally doable - even with or without an accent).

That top part is the pod that holds the ejuice.

That soft, white plug is removable so that you can easily refill the pod. Bonus point: the hole is large enough for most eliquid bottle nozzles or droppers. To me, the fact that the Rock is made to be refilled makes it triple worth its value.

 Because most vapers don't go through a lot of juice when using pen pods, if this pen lasts only for a few 30ml sized bottles, I will have still gotten more than my money's worth. For the record, a 30ml bottle of juice lasts me about 2 months and I have not paid more than 10 or 11 dollars for a bottle of juice. Let's now compare the pods for the JUUL and the BLU.

  • JUUL pods hold  0.7ml and the pods come 4 to a packet that cost around 15 to 20 dollars per packet. 
  • A BLU pod holds 1.5ml each and a pair of pods runs around 10 to 12 dollars.
  • The Boulder Rock has refillable pods that can hold 1.5ml  and you can buy more pods for around 7 dollars a pair. 
So... for the price of a BLU pod, you can get the Rock pen and some juice. (We don't even need to discuss the JUUL situation.) Also, JUUL doesn't have a nicotine-free pod option. BLU has nic-free pods and, of course, you can easily fill the Boulder Rock with whatever strength juice you want.

All that is a win, win, win for Boulder Rock, in my opinion.

If I have to nitpick and think of one negative of this pen it's that I don't get as much of the flavor from the juice as I do with the JUUL and the Suorin Air. If pitted against the BLU, I'd say that the flavor intake is the same but the BLU has a much tighter air draw. Also, I did hear one reviewer mention that he's lost the cap that covers the USB port. I don't have that problem because mine happens to fit fairly snugly.

If someone I know decides to give up smoking for vaping, I would definitely tell them to bypass the JUUL and start with a Boulder Rock. Vaping takes getting used to and, while it's much cheaper (and as far as I know, healthier) than cigarette smoking, you can spend a lot of initial money just finding your groove with it. If I had started with this instead of the JUUL, I would still be vaping and out a lot less money.

To sum up the positives of this device:

  1. Costs less than a pack of cigarettes (in most places) and is almost as cheap as some disposables
  2. Good quality in spite of the cheap cost
  3. Lightweight but sturdy
  4. Convenient size
  5. Easy to charge (and has a cover over the USB)
  6. Made to refill & easy to refill
  7. Pods hold 1.5ml of liquid
  8. Extra (empty) pods are also inexpensive
  9. Has a good airflow
  10. Produces a good amount of vapor
  11. Button operated so you don't waste power accidentally when stored
  12. Charges fast and the charge lasts a long time (haven't timed it, but I have gone at least 6 hours between charges)
  13. And, once again: the price, the price, the price

I have to tell you guys how much I love not being a cigarette smoker. I'm excited that the next time I travel to visit family I won't have to worry about the stink, mess, and inconvenience to others, and the potential fire hazards that come with smoking. With my health issues, smoking cigarettes scared me in more ways than one.

This Boulder Rock vape pen is on my gift-giving list for the holidays. I know more than a couple of people who have been trying to ditch cigarettes. These pens are going to make the best gifts ever.


NOTE: Because I don't want to encourage kids (or non-smokers) to vape, I am not including product links in this post.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

**REVIEW** Orimerc Feet Self watering Wick Cord for Vacation Self-watering Planter Pot

This is a copy of the post from my other blog (Banned by Amazon). Until that blog starts getting more traffic, I will be mirroring the posts here.

PRODUCT LINK: Feet Self watering Wick Cord for Vacation Self-watering Planter Pot
SELLER & LINK:  Orimerc

SELLER REVIEW (4 stars for customer service)

(I have to update this Seller Review. I contacted the seller to tell them that the wick cord still had not arrived as of this past Sunday - 10/21. I received a very sincere apology and was immediately refunded the entire price and told to keep the wick when it arrives. The seller told me that they contacted the Postal Service and was told that the shipment was late due to high volume and low staffing. Whatever the case, I appreciate the seller making an effort to remedy my inconvenience. I have to give this seller a 4-star rating for their customer service. What you see about the seller in the next paragraphs is what I wrote prior to their contacting me.)

When I ordered this, I didn't realize it would be shipped from China. I don't mind getting items shipped from China, but I like to know it beforehand. For one thing, you will have a much longer shipping time. For another, tracking is a pain in the tail.

Anyway, I ordered this on October 3rd and I just saw on the Amazon page today that this will be "arriving tomorrow". So, yeah.

While I can no longer submit reviews on Amazon, I am still able to give Seller feedback. If the product is as expected, the only thing I have to say about the seller is that shipments from China should be very visibly flagged as such.

NOTE: The product arrived on the morning of the 22nd.


Why I wanted this: I wanted this because I'm trying to plan for when I need to be away from my plants for any significant length of time. I already have the timers and some of those inserts that are meant to slowly water plants.  I will be reviewing - or re-reviewing older orders like these in separate posts. The wick cords are supposed to be a better method. So... let's review.

In addition to the 200 feet of cord that I ordered, the shipment included 2 gift packs of cord made for smaller sized plants. That was a very unexpected and pleasant addition!

The smaller cording doesn't look much different from the thick cording but it feels different and does seem like it was easier to use in my smaller potted plants.

This is a shot of how the water levels went down from 11:43 to 12:00 - using time stamps on camera - with the wick watering my Peace Lily (which is a very thirsty plant).

Bottle almost full at 11:43
I forgot to pre-water the plant.

She drank a LOT of water in 15 minutes!

This cording does work and it works well. I have to admit that I am a little surprised at how well this works. You can see from some of the photos and times how fast the water levels dropped. That's probably because I didn't water the plants as well as I should have done before inserting the wicks. No worries. Once the plants did get enough water, they stopped pulling in more.

The one thing you have to figure out is how to level your water containers (higher or lower than the plants) so that your thirstier plants get more water while the less needy plants get a little less. I'm starting to test different levels so that I am set for when I leave. For now, I have the plants in their usual spots in the living room; when I leave for more than a few days, I will put them all in the bathroom on the shower floor. That will make using a wicking system simpler because I can leave larger pots of water and have them raised to the various levels needed for the different plants. That also simplifies using the plant lights and timers since everything will be enclosed in one room.

What I like most about the wicking cords is how easy they are to set up. I am even considering doing a little experiment using the cords along with the "watering devices" I didn't realize are called hydro spikes! LOL. As you can tell from my review, I wasn't in love with relying only on those.

I have no major negatives to relate about this wicking cord. As a matter of fact, I will feel very comfortable using them (alone or with the spikes) whenever I have to be away from my plants.

Another huge positive about this cord is that it's priced really well for the amount and quality of the cord. This soaked the water right up and was working from the start.

Okay, there are no major negatives, but...

CON: The printed instructions were pretty detailed but a little off-putting because I have cognitive issues. Can't blame the seller for that, but since I do better with visuals I watched this YouTube video (water wicking method starts at 01:35 mark)

Bottom Line: Though this item shipped from China and I was frustrated with the late arrival, the seller followed up with a lot of concern and courtesy. I have gotten other things from China that didn't arrive lightning fast, but not so slowly. This makes me believe that, like the seller explained, there were some uncommon postal/shipping problems. At any rate, because of the price and quality (and customer service), I will order from Orimerc again.

If you are interested in plants, please check out photos and info about my green collection over at The Planted Earth.


Friday, October 26, 2018

About Vaping - Nicotine vs Tobacco

WARNING: This post has to do with vaping. If you are under age, please know that I do NOT encourage smoking or vaping for minors and this post is not intended for you.  I don't encourage nicotine use of any kind for anyone. This post has to do with my personal experience as I attempt to stop using nicotine.

I've been vaping for 3 months (or almost 3 months, I can't remember) and I'm hearing a lot about those who are against it.

Before I started vaping - while I was still unsuccessfully trying to quit tobacco for the umpteenth time - I tried to check out a lot of information about it. I'd had friends, both online and in real life, tell me that switching to vaping is the only thing that got them off tobacco. I first thing I wanted to look up was the difference between nicotine and tobacco. Basically, it's as summed up here:
Nicotine is the active ingredient in tobacco-derived products. Tobacco is the plant that contains thousands of potent chemicals, one of the main chemicals being nicotine. (source)

I knew that a lot of the harm of smoking came from all the things (other than nicotine) that's in cigarettes. I figured out that vaping provided the nicotine smokers like (or crave) without the intake of all the harmful stuff in cigarettes.

Okay, so I know that it's not good to be addicted to anything, but I also know that there are a lot of other addictions that aren't demonized. There are people who are addicted to alcohol or sugar or caffeine or salt or fat.

Some anti-vape folk claim that their concern is that kids might be tempted to vape. Kids have always been tempted to do everything they aren't supposed to. Going back to the sugar, caffeine, salt, and fat -  the first two being readily available and potentially harmful - I don't see the FDA or any other entity banning (yet) any of those things from kids.

Another thing mentioned when it comes to kids and vaping is that "vaping might be a gateway to smoking". That is so silly that I laughed when I first heard it. I can understand if people were to claim that vaping would lead to nicotine use, but I don't think that anyone would choose smoking cigarettes over vaping to get nicotine. I worry about kids vaping too - if nicotine is harmful. I don't want kids to pick up a bad habit but, how do you stop anyone from that.

Anti-vape folk are talking a lot about how the flavors used in vaping juices are what attract kids. So, is that like the fruity flavors in sugary, carb-laden foods attract kids? Is that what they mean? Or like alcohols flavored to taste like cotton candy or caramel apples? Like that?

Personally, I think that one of the worst products out there are those energy drinks that so many people love. There are some serious dangers associated with those things and yet they are openly sold - no I.D. required - in every grocery and convenience store in the USA.

Before vaping, there was cigarette smoking. A lot of underage people smoked. Parents were educated and advertising laws were passed and the rates of underage smoking declined. Also, I'm not convinced that teens are rampantly turning to vaping for the nicotine. I do know some teens are vaping marijuana. As a matter of fact, the very first time I saw someone vape, it was a 30-something year old with weed. Blew my mind.

There are some things I just don't understand when it comes to the conversation on nicotine use:

  • If nicotine is the problem, why aren't smoking cessation patches/gums/etc demonized?
  • Is nicotine a problem? More of a problem than caffeine or sugar?
  • We all now know about the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but is nicotine by itself a problem?
  • Why aren't more studies being done on the effects of vaping?
My take on the whole vaping versus smoking issue is that vaping obviously works to get people away from cigarettes. Isn't that a good thing?

Since I have quit smoking, I feel a bit better and I definitely breathe better. Vaping - whether using a nicotine or nicotine-free juice - helps with my anxiety and depression. Smoking cigarettes helped with the anxiety but I hated the way it affected me physically. I also hated stinking of the smoke. I wanted to quit so badly, but both the cravings and my mental state would pull me back. Vaping has changed my life.

There are a lot of articles online about the so-called hazards of vaping, but I found one that at least looks at the pros and cons of info from some studies. Just like with other news I've read about vaping, the "negatives" are always somewhat conditional or underdefined. Like I said, I think there need to be more studies done before everyone bashes people who switch from cigarette smoking to vaping.

Another thing to consider is that tobacco companies are not happy about people switching to vaping. Not just tobacco companies are worried, but "big pharma" could be shaking in their boots. I have to think about something the comedian Chris Rock once said about there being no money in a cure because the money is in the disease. Tobacco companies can at least get in on the game - and they have -sometimes, in a ridiculous way, in my opinion. I'm still shaking my head over that...

One other positive thing about vaping over smoking: I can vape inside and not inflict my vapor on anyone else. Smoking had to be done outside and was almost always offensive to someone.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Deleted Amazon Reviews

Just a reminder that, although Amazon deleted all my reviews when their robots went on a wild cleaning spree, I am just reposting (and adding to) them on my Banned by Amazon blog.

I am still doing reviews here on Being Free, but I needed a home for all the 300+ deleted Amazon reviews. It's going to take a while (okay, maybe even years) to get everything posted but these are the reviews that are up so far - or are scheduled to go up this week.

For your electronics

For your health

For your plants or crafts

And there are even more coming soon.

See you over on Banned by Amazon!


Saturday, October 20, 2018

**REVIEW** Target "October Eye" Beauty Box

The last Target Box I reviewed was the Summer Beauty Box that came out back in July. This is the October Eye box that was on their site a couple of weeks back. Actually, this was one of 2 boxes. I chose this over the one featuring hair and face care items. You have to check regularly to catch the new boxes as they come out or you will miss them.

I realize this is the "Eye" box, but I still get a little creeped out by all the strangeness:

This box (and the other choice) was $5 instead of the usual $7 that I have paid in the past. Maybe Target is trying to stay in line with Walmart and their five-dollar beauty box subscription? I hope so. 

This box features 5 items (the other October box had 6)

The theme is, "Hello Bright Eyes":

Lumify Eye Drops
I really like these eye drops. I wear contacts and this stuff not only helped the dryness but actually whitened/brightened my 57-year old blinkers. I will be looking for this in the store.

COVERGIRL Get In Line Liquid Eyeliner
I like having different eyeliners around. This one is not the thinnest I have, but it got the best brush - firm and thin. Love it.

This is a good brow tool featuring both a bristle head and a filling brush. My niece really loved the brush part. I use the bristle more. Nice touch to have covers for both ends.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Just when I thought there was no way I needed another mascara... This one has the best ever brush head. It lives up to the claim of fanning and separating. I think it's due to the brush have short, firm bristles. I now pick this as my favorite ever mascara.

Last of all is the one item I have not yet tried. I don't want to open it until I have the time and energy to do a full beauty treatment - aka: Me Day.

 What makes me want to try these is that I recognize almost every single thing in the ingredients list:

And notice one more time, how clean this product seems to be...

 So, yep, I'm happy with this box. I love that Target seems to have come down from the $7 price. And, remember, the box price is all you will pay - no additional shipping and handling fees.