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The E-cigarette: What do you think?

I’m a smoker. A smoker of Marlboro Menthol Lights to be exact. I started on my Mom’s Merit Ultra Lights when I was 13, stealing a few from her pack when I was going to a local show or hanging out in our shopping plaza. I went to Kool Menthols, Newports, and have been seen smoking Salems when I want to feel fancy. I finally settled at home with Marlboro Menthols when I hit 16 and realized that they are the best menthol in my opinion.

As a smoker, I get the obvious questions from interesting people:

“Don’t you know that it’s dangerous?” – says the girl who gets piss drunk every weekend and brags about her memory loss.

“They give you cancer.” – from the overweight man who continues to munch his fries in front of me.

“They make you smell.” – from the hippie who refuses to use deodorant.

Am I used to hearing these questions and statements? Of course I am. Am I used to getting glares from 20 feet away because I’m smoking a cigarette? You betcha! But from everything I’ve experienced as a smoker, I’ve never heard of the E-cigarette until recently.

This new scientific revolution is an electronic cigarette, and it was on the front page of my USA Today. It comes complete with an indicator light, battery, atomizer, liquids cartiridge, and inhaler tip. These e-cigarettes emit a water vapor substance that contains nicotine, water, and chemicals. What are these chemicals? The article doesn’t say. What it DOES say is that the FDA has tested them and they still do contain carcinogens. The dangers are unknown so far, but further testing is being done on this new cigarette which people hope will help them quit.

As a smoker, I’m not sure about this. I have quit before using Nicotine gum, and the lozenges. Needless to say, I’m an addict! I like smoking, and when I want to quit I will do it, but I’m skeptical about these new “cigarettes.” So, I ask you, smoker or nonsmoker, what do you think about this new “cigarette?” Do you think it’s safer? Do you think it will put tobacco companies out of business? Or do you think it’s a crock? How about smoking something battery powered?

With its smokeless vapor I guess it’d be cool to “light up” in class. Ha!

A bit of shameless self promotion

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you might remember back in the dark ages of blissandblessings.com/curlsdotnu that my boyfriend, Keith and I had a radio show at my school’s station. After some consideration, we decided to bring back the show, but this time we have a niche. So, without further ado I present to you: ZOMBIE HOUR.

Every Friday you guys can listen to Keith and I discuss all things horror, from movies to books. We review two movies each show and we give you tips on how to survive a battle with the undead. As you know, I love horror movies and zombies, so this is great. It’s truly good radio if you ask me. I’m not biased or anything.

That’s us on the air!

We broadcast on the radio itself, but for those of you who aren’t in the area you can listen online, and on the website there is a chatroom so we can talk to you guys. You can call us and everything. We also made a Facebook page “Zombie Hour” so you can become a fan of us too. Facebook seems to be the place to whore yourself out as of late.

So, EVERY FRIDAY from 8pm-9pm Eastern Time, log on to WSIN Radio, and give us a listen. This week we’re doing a Halloween/Friday The 13th face-off. You get good tunes, good movie talk, and most importantly you can hear my sexy voice. Ha!

Your best meal options at MY job!

As you probably know by now, I’m a breadslave, that meaning I work at Panera Bread. Panera has been voted the #1 for healthiest eating on the go in my area, but that’s only if you’re INFORMED of what our healthiest choices are. With Panera Bread taking the world by storm (everyone is obsessed for some reason), get informed and make healthy choices. With this information from an Associate Trainer insider, you’ll be on the road to eating healthy on the go at one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the nation.

While you want to get energy and a good start to your day, you don’t want to spend a ton of calories to get that boost.

  • Choose: Whole grain bagel (370 calories) & reduced fat plain cream cheese (130 calories). Get your coffee/juice and you have a breakfast meal for less than 500 calories and 15g of fat. Plus the whole grain bagel packs 8g of dietary fiber.
  • Ignore: Grilled Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich (550 calories and 30g of fat!!). The ciabatta bread doesn’t have much fiber and sausage is the fattiest breakfast meat. If you MUST have a breakfast sandwich choose the Breakfast power sandwich with a much more modest 330 calories and 14g of fat. The whole grain bread will keep you full.

    Lunch and dinner are a little trickier. If you’re going to have a heavy meal choose it for lunch so you’re not going to sleep after wards. Eating heavy meals after 8pm can cause weight gain. For dinner go a little lighter with a salad or soup.

  • Choose: Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (200 calories and 2g of fat.) This is my go to meal when I’m working. It keeps you sustained and tastes great. Get a side of whole grain baguette (150 calories and 1.5g of fat) and you’ll have a fiber packed meal.
  • Choose: Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich without Mayo (460 calories, 6g of fat). Getting rid of just the mayo saves you over 100 calories. The veggies will help to keep you full and the mustard gives some flavor.
  • Choose:Classic Cafe Salad (170 calories and 11g of fat). The fat grams come from the balsamic dressing. Add chicken on the salad for 110 calories (pepper mustard chicken).
  • Ignore: Baked Potato Soup (350 calories and 21g fat!!), Frontega Chicken Panini (860 calories and 39g of fat), Italian Combo Sandwich (1040 calories and 45g of fat), and Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad (490 calories and 35g of fat).

    So, you can see that there are healthy choices and not so healthy choices. We might have gotten voted as #1 for healthiest on the go eating, but remember than nothing is healthier than brown bagging it, and it saves your money as well.

    Pick the healthy choice options when you visit my job and you’ll get to keep your figure. Remember, anything titled “panini, creamy, cheesy, or breaded” tastes great, but is not the best option for you.

    How I Stay Organized (and how you can too!)

    In my Special Education class we took a quick test to see which side of our brains we use more, in order to see what are the best ways that we learn. We did this so we can administer this test to our future students so we’ll be able to adapt the lesson plans to our students when we have a classroom. Though I’m not sure how valid the test really is since it’s a quick quiz, my results seemed very true. I scored a “2″ which is extremely left brain and my traits were as follows: “Analytical, Logical, Sequential. We appear to be more organized, and like to do things in a specific order. We tend to do well in reading, writing, speech, and math.” While I can’t say I’m good at math at ALL, all of the rest of the traits seemed to ring true. Most of all? ORGANIZATION! I love to be organized, I love making lists (online lists did NOT work for me, but paper? Love it!), I have a sick attachment to my planner, and I have folders for each class…all of them separate, labeled, and a different color. A while back, my friend asked me how I stay so organized. Well aside from freaking out when something is amiss and smoking too many cigarettes when the going gets tough, it’s not too hard once you know what is going to keep YOU organized, and how WELL it’s going to work for you. That being said, here are some ways that I stay organized, and some tips for the struggling right brainer (I kid!), to get your stuff straight.

  • Have a planner! You’re not going to get things done if you don’t know what you have to do. I personally love the yearlong planners so I can flip through and mark due dates and deadlines. I love my Staples brand yearly planner which is priced reasonably, or you can go fancy and go for the Moleskine above. That might be my Christmas present to myself this year.
  • Separate what needs to be separated. By this I mean for school, or even work. If you have nowhere to put your things, you’re going to misplace them. No one likes to find out that they lost their dissertation, or their resume, right? Have folders (color code them if you’d like), or invest in a notebook WITH folders.
  • Make a list! If you have a lot of things to do, make a list. For my degree applications and Student Teaching paper work, I have to hand in many different parts to two different people. It sounded very overwhelming at first, but I made one big list just for that project. For this I love the super sticky post-it notes that are larger. Stick it on your folder (see how everything is fitting together?!), and you’ll have one big list at hand.

    Those are the three main things I like to do, and it truly helps. Call me old fashioned, but there’s nothing better to me then WRITING things down, and getting to cross things off of your planner or list (preferably until it’s no longer visible, haha). But, if you’re more of the technology type, and you know that this works for you, I’ve made a list (see! lists rock!), if some of the more well known programs and websites that can help keep you on target.

  • Listography.com – you can publish your own lists, share them, and favorite other user’s lists. I used this for a while, but have since deleted it. Like I said before the online list is not for me. (But do check out their BOOKS!)
  • Marsadie twittered about a service called Gubb which also publishes lists, and you can access it from your phone and e-mail. Sharing is available, and you’ll always know where your list is.
  • Google…need I say more? With Google Calendars, E-mail, Reminders and Readers do you really need to go anywhere else on the web? Their calendar offers event scheduling and the ability to share with others.
  • Post-it Digital Notes is a product by 3M, the makers of my beloved post-it notes which litter my deskspace, haha. I recently downloaded this program and have been sampling it. It allows you to create digital post it notes on your desktop. You can add photos, date and time, and alarms for those of us who need a LOUD reminder when something needs to get done. So far, I’m loving it. Maybe I’m not old fashioned after all?

    So, go out and get organized! If you already have an organizational strategy share it with me. How do you keep everything organized? How do you manage your projects and work? Maybe you can give me, the queen of anal retentiveness some pointers!

    Things I Love: Thursday!

    As of 7:30 this evening, my first week of classes for the Fall Semester of 2009 has been completed. I’m taking 4 classes and really only need 3 to graduate, but took an extra one to remain full time. I’m taking The Teaching of Writing, Special Education, Reading & Literacy, and Ceramics! I can’t wait to be able to snap some photos of the projects I’ll be making. I’m not the most artistic person, but ceramics was something I always loved in high school. Maybe it’ll help to relax me throughout my last semester before I Student Teach? So, with the new school year up and running, I’ve found some new things to love, and some things that will be keeping me happy for this important and bittersweet semester.

    I’m at school at really crazy times, so I sometimes need a snack to tide me over during that awkward after lunchtime but before dinner time period. I saw an ad for Ritz Crackerfuls in my US Weekly, and they were referred to as “The Grown Up” version of cheese and crackers. They pack 5 grams of whole grains per serving and are made with real cheese. I’ve tried the cheddar and picked up some of the four cheese flavor today. They really do satisfy you when you need a crunch, and anything with cheese in my opinion automatically gets points for me.

    It’s only been two days but so far I’m loving my Ceramics class. I’ve rolled out all four of my slabs for my tile series project and look forward to smoothing them out and starting my carving on Tuesday. The only thing about working in clay for 4 or more hours a week? Dry hands! I constantly wash my hands as it is, and have raved about this lotion before, but if there are any other ceramics students out there, I definitely recommend this! Eucerin is the best product ever! Wash your hands and apply when your hands are still a bit moist. Works like a charm and absorbs quickly.

    Since we’re all trying to cut back on expensive purchases I switched from my beloved MAC Green Gel Cleanser to try a cheaper alternative by Neutrogena. My friend Kathleen recommended it to me and I’ve been using it for over a month now. It smells delicious, has fun little beads that refresh and exfoliate, and it truly does wake me up when I’m washing my face in the morning. I still miss my MAC, but during these times, it pays to be frugal where you can.

    And last but not least…I love Keith. He’s been keeping me calm throughout the first week, and trust me that is a full time job. Not only does he take me out for dinner, he lets me poke his nose, and is just plain awesome. I never include him in a TIL post, but it should be mentioned that I definitely do love him. <3

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