Archive for the 'review' Category

Disclaimer:

Before you read on, shop dear one or two readers, sickness this post may be about something you have little to no interest in, viagra because it’s about one of my particular vices.
However, it is about something pretty and delicious.

So about a year ago I was all excited about having discovered new electronic deVices that changed my life.
One of them was my e-reader. It didn’t change my life as I thought it would… I thought I’d be emptying bookshelves and book stacks by a significant percentage, but I faced the sad truth one day when there was a power outage and I thought I’d pick up on the novel I was currently reading.
I could not – because the battery was dead.
I realized then I could not just pick it up and READ whenever I wanted to – if there was no power.
So it’s just been rolling around my room for months.

The second was a Blu e-cig kit (which is now in the hands of a friend).
Though I initially liked the experience, I found the batteries to last too little for my heavy habits.
So I bought another, one huge battery kit that lasts forever (and I won’t mention the brand because I don’t want to segue into trying to make you click my referral code, which I will if I tell you)
and have been happily (and maybe a little obsessively) vaping ever since.
Actually, neurotically vaping ever since.
My e-cig is within reach if not ON my person most of the time.

I’ve been sampling several e-juice brands, some of which have been okay, some really good, but Alice in Vapeland is simply STELLAR in every possible way.

I first found them browsing Etsy, probably for Alice in Wonderland related items (see my awesome bracelet, still up for grabs), and so I followed the White Rabbit down into their website.

The main reason why I’m writing this review (my first ever, of sorts) is their customer service.
Their juice itself is a reason to buy from them – I’ll get to that later – but every order is literally a GIFT.

The first time I ordered, all I bought was A Delectable Sampler. To, well… sample. I had read some comments about their beautiful packaging and was looking forward to it, as well as these five dreamily described juices.

When I got my box, the first thing I noticed was that was hand stamped – a White Rabbit on the outside. I thought “aw.”
On the inside, there was a tree, I believe, with hand drawn HEARTS. Colorful pastel paper strips, a personalized thank-you letter, and business cards with their adorable Alice on it. Of course I squee’ed.

My second order was around last October, and this was my favorite, because the paper was purple, orange and black! Again, the inside was customized and colored by hand, and this time, I got extra teensy samples.

The box I got yesterday had red and black paper, a gorgeous playing card from a deck I am DYING to get (just because – well, no. The Alice books. If you don’t know all about that, you don’t have to know.), another special note, bonus samples, and love. I felt the love.

“Vapemail” really is as big a deal as all the hype promotes it to be.

Forgive that the photos are low quality, I’m going through a migraine, so the lights are dim.

Also… they put pretty CHARMS on their bottles, which are beautiful as well, compared to your standard plastic squeeze bottles most e-juice you will buy comes in, regardless of the size.

I went ahead and bought a 30mg bottle, because I’m confident I’ll vape it all, and would not want to get caught having to wait for more.

Just look at these gorgeous bottles:

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And finally, their hand made glass driptips… their selection varies depending on which they have available, and they tend to sell out quickly.

This little thing is one of my treasures:

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The truth is I’ve only used it once because I am dreadfully afraid I’ll drop it and see it break into pieces (and I do drop my cig ALL the time – as my thesis director used to say “you have dropsy, Alejandra.” I do, I drop everything!)

There’s also the fact that I try to be inconspicuous. Sometimes when I vape in public people react as if it were fucking diabolical alchemy.

That drip tip is so beautiful on its own, and when you put your lips to it, it makes you look adorable. It looks like you’re kissing a flower.

And now, the juices. I cannot possibly review the flavors one by one and I don’t think it’s necessary because each flavor has a page with an intriguing enough description, as well as customer reviews.
Vape flavor preference, as with any flavor or aroma, is subjected to individual taste.

But in general:
Vapor production at standard PG/VG ratio is generous. With one slow Catterpillar drag you’ll be puffing out white clouds.
Throat hit at standard ratio is just right. It’s perfect! You feel the warm hit on the back of your throat, but it doesn’t burn like some other brands I’ve tried (which can also be enjoyable – I have at times) which makes it a vape you can enjoy for long periods of time. It’s also strong enough to pacify a craving. One hit does it. Except you may not want just one because:
The flavor is exceptional. There is nothing simple about Vapeland vapes… in comparison with other juices, which have maybe one or two dimensions to them.
Every single flavor I’ve tried so far (I’ve only a few that I have left to try – some of which I have in my possession right now) is a pleasant experience (in every sense of the word).

I still remember the first I ever tried – Frost Blossom. It tasted like frozen tangerines. No menthol, just a soft chill, like a breeze.
I was so impressed, I had to go comment soon as I tasted it, and got a sweet reply from… well, I don’t know who, actually…

If you don’t know, I am also an obsessive tea drinker. I assumed that drinking tea almost constantly, I would not really want to vape tea.
Nope, nope. Sweet Teas and Afternoon Tea are among my favorites. The inhale is aromatic as tea leaves, the exhale is as sweet as only a hint of sugar. They’re subtle (just how I like my tea), not like taking a hit of vaporized candy.

Their fruity vapes (like A Quiet Morning, Orange Makes Me Creamsicle and Mystic Mandalime are demure as smelling fruit you just picked off the tree (or vine, in the case of passionfruit). The fruit flavor comes through as the actual fruit – not artificial at all. The Creamsicle vape tastes like fresh squeezed orange juice with a hint of cream – better than any creamsicle I’ve ever had.

Their dessert-like flavors are my least favorite, possibly because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (Cupcake City, Lemon Loves Cake, ‘Twas Brillig, White Rabbit), but are interesting nonetheless. I would not discourage anyone from trying them.

The rest, you know what, whatever, if you’re interested, you’ll read their descriptions and want to try them all.

But what drove me to dedicate a post on this (I insist) NON-blog is, again, the tangible care with which they pack these little boxes of joy.
Never, ever, ever in my life have I received a product that is as personalized and, at the same time, so aesthetically pleasing. I can only compare these boxes to presents I’ve gotten from friends, who bother putting charms on things, coloring stamped designs in and printing out art with my name on it. Not to mention, their generous gesture of including little extras.
I should also add, their communication with customers is just as special. I once had a problem with a payment not going through, and one of the girls wrote a very polite note with contact information. I may as well have woken her up from a nap, as far as I knew! So I never called… but the point is, they bother and they care.
It makes me want to send THEM presents.

So there. It’s out of my system now.

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Supersonic.

So I’m excited about a few things that I’ve bought for myself lately… REALLY excited, hemorrhoids excited enough to actually post about it (like that one time I bought a ton of handmade soaps from GothAuctions).

I’ve found that, and I hate to admit it, that with the less time I have on my hands, the more I want to reward myself by buying little things that make me happy. I am currently addicted to “Made in China” costume jewelry  for about a dollar apiece from ebay from stores like this one. Yes, receiving tiny little packets in the mail that contain something I ordered so long ago that I can’t quite remember what it is makes me momentarily happy. Even though I am well aware that I’ve fallen prey to consumerist culture and habits…

I rather be producing instead, but all I produce is funneled into my work, as is my creative energy. I never studied to be a teacher, and my experience is minimal compared to others, so I’m putting most of my efforts into learning and producing custom lessons every cycle that fits the character of my groups of students. I’m not sure whether my students enjoy it or not (which is almost irrelevant), I just know I can’t go about it any other way.

On the subject of production, Stars Like Fish was set back a little, due to the aforementioned situation, but it will be announced ALL OVER once it’s over and done with (and it is very nearly there). Thank you, THANK YOU, dear friends and followers, for acknowledging it as awesome. I pretend no one reads me here (because up to a certain point, I actually believed no one did), but I know better (at least now I do…).

Now, back to electronics and consumerism.

I bought a Kindle.

That contraption which I’ve been ignoring and rejecting (my ex boyfriend tried getting me one on several occasions, and probably hesitated because of my demeaning comments and indirect – other times very direct – e-reader bashing) for a few years. I think my snobbishness diminished when I realized, after the move, carrying them in small batches and rescuing them from my old house still, accidentally having been hurt by hard and heavy books, on the floor and falling from above,  after noticing that I’m very close to being accidentally killed by falling books, that I may need to move out someday and where, WHERE, WHERE would I put all these books, and how would I transport them? By the looks of them, I have enough to fill about a refrigerator box and a half, and that is a very modest estimate.

So in a momentary freak out, after painful consideration, I went for it. And now I’m one of those people with an e-reader, and feeling rather smug about having 60 (I’ve only had it for a few days) books IN MY HANDBAG.

I spent the first night wishlisting every amazon recommendation (wink, wink) I got, and requesting Kindle versions of those books not yet available. I loaded all those PDFs I couldn’t read before because the computer screen made my eyes tired, and I am excited and disappointed I don’t have enough time in a day to read. I’m slowly backing up all my classics with Project Gutenberg for free. And you may soon see all my paper classics being sold at my (notice this segue) auctions site, which I made quietly and quickly on a sleepless night (hey – gotta sell crap to make room for all those soaps and dollar China jewelry).

The other electronic thing I am very, very much enjoying as I type is my brand new Blu electronic cigarette. I don’t like admitting to it either, because it’s an unhealthy habit, but I enjoy smoke. Really, really. As much as I enjoy perfumes and soaps. I smoked cloves until I could no longer afford it, but I will never go back to – as vapers call them – analog cigarettes, possibly ever. I may only upgrade from this point on.

The way this works is you screw a battery into a cartridge which contains flavored “juice” that vaporizes when you inhale it. Inhaling activates a mechanism that warms the liquid. Hence, you inhale vapor, not actual smoke, and in spite of internet info being pretty ambiguous about it, it is obviously healthier. You even have the option of buying non-nicotine flavored cartridges if you just want to puff aromatic vapor looking cool as fuck, not actually smoke.

This is what I bought and what it looks like:

You charge the batteries with a USB drive. The “pack” is also chargeable – which, if you’re away from a power outlet, you can use to charge your cigarettes. The whole set is sleek and pretty, and includes a variety pack of flavor cartridges, all of which I’m enjoying so far. My favorite (for now) is this one:

It reminds me of Djarum Gold (formerly Djarum Vanilla). If Blu ever makes clove flavored cartridges, I will burst into squeals and giggles and buy me a year’s supply.

You can purchase an e-cig from a wide variety of brands, some of which even allow you to mix your own flavors. I didn’t do enough research when I bought the Blu cig, but I don’t regret it.

Advantages:

  • it’s pretty: black and shiny with a blue LED that matches my hair right now.
  • it’s not smoke: it doesn’t smell, doesn’t tar up your lungs or stain your teeth. You can puff indoors without bothering anyone or worrying about leaving any odors.
  • non-nicotine options: technically, you’re not smoking in any sense of the word. I like flavors and smells. I got my Vanilla cartridge with the lowest nicotine concentration, and will probably buy non-nicotine next time because I really enjoy the aroma and mostly, the act of puffing more than the actual nicotine effect (believe it or not).
  • long-lasting: each cartridge amounts to about 2 packs, if I remember correctly. I’ve been rotating flavors, and I’ve had it for about a week and none has run out yet. In other words, though it costs more in the beginning, it will probably end up costing less than buying “analog.”
  • you can pick it up and leave it whenever you feel like it.

Disadvantages:

  • short battery life: you have to recharge every hour or so of use.
  • with Blu specifically, you can only select from the flavors they offer, which are only seven. Using another cartridge from another brand or custom cartridges may damage the battery.
  • you don’t know when to stop…

And I just went on about this for about half a page. Why? To offer you this 10$ off referral coupon. CLICK IT!  I get 2$ off my next purchase if you buy a starter kit, and I really want some more of those Vanillas! You can check them out just by going to their website, though. I was just trying to trick you.

Also: I’m on lookbook now. I don’t think I’m cool enough to be there, I just wanted to show off my dorky professor outfits, but I’m too rushed in the morning or too tired in the afternoon to actually take photos, so it may be a futile attempt, but an attempt nonetheless.

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