Evolution of a Vaper

Guys.

So glad that some of you feel the struggle of quitting smoking and are seeking alternatives. Thought I’d give a bit more insight into the wonderful world of vaping.

There is no wrong setup when it comes to vaping (except, of course, for an unsafe set up), but below is a very basic run-through of the most typical range of products used by vapers, from beginner, to intermediate, to expert.

VapeI

1. Disposables, most commonly referred to as cig-a-likes

These are almost always the first vaping setup that a smoker turns to as an alternative to cigarettes. I did, and it worked. The most popular brand is Blu, but I really liked the Fin brand, myself. These consist of a long, cigarette shaped battery with an LED in place of a lit cherry. The ‘filter’ is a small cartridge pre-filled with e-liquid in varying nicotine levels. While many of these are in fact rechargeable batteries, they only last so long and must be replaced often. Hence, disposable. I actually used these for nearly a year before upgrading.

2. Cartomizer // Twist or Pen Battery

These are also very common for smokers to pick up as a beginner level set up, as starter kits are super affordable, and these can be recharged with a great lifespan. This utilizes a plastic cartomizer tank, containing wicks within the chamber. You do not need to change any coils with this system, but you probably want to replace your cartomizers semi-frequently. This type of vaping system is filled with e-liquid from a bottle, that you purchase separately. This beginner level system sets itself apart from the cig-a-like as there are tons more flavor options for e-liquid when they are not pre-filled. However, only certain types of e-liquid, or juice, may be used in the type of tank or you risk the plastic cracking.

3. Clearomizer // Variable Voltage Spinner Battery

This set-up, while seemingly similar to the cartomizer, is actually quite an upgrade. This clearomizer is both glass and wick-less, and thusly can handle much thicker e-liquids (which many vapers come to prefer).  It also requires that you change coils semi-frequently, which must be purchased separately and cannot be built by hand. This system garners a much deeper “throat hit”, something many ex-smokers find a requirement, if not just satisfying. It also produces much more vapor, another component many papers find themselves craving with unsatisfying setups. Lastly, the battery is much larger than the simple one paired with the cartomizer, as you can control the voltage (to an extent), and produce cooler, thinner vapor or warmer/denser vapor with a simple twist. These larger batteries with higher mAh also tend to hold more of a charge than their smaller counterparts, coming in handy if you forgot your spare. Also, always have a spare.

4. Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA) // Mechanical Mod

The final(ish) rung on the ladder is the mech mod. So called because once upon a time, in the not-too-distant past, vapers looking for more built their own setups by modifying flashlights. As it does, technology moved quickly and flooded the market with much less frightening options. The mechanical mod is a metal tube that houses one single rechargeable battery. That’s it. And on top is another metal tube (basically) that houses positive and negative contact pins that you build coils for, which complete the current. You thread a bit of cotton through the coils, juice ‘er up, and go! HOWEVER, again, this is a very basic run-down of the different setups, this is not a tutorial, and you should not attempt to rebuild without proper research and education of Ohm’s Law. That said, once you have those things, it is a very simple and FUN way to not smoke cigarettes.

13th Floor Elev

And there is one more half-step but I haven’t even gotten there myself (yet), and that is box mods. Similar to the mech mod, it generally houses two batteries and is most commonly square shaped (like a… box). They can crank up your power even higher, and fully commit you to the crazy world of cloud chasing.

But that’s for another day.

And pretty pretty please, ask questions.

Now She Vapes

I quit smoking in September of 2013.

I lasted many months, but ultimately came crawling back to the sweet, sweet nectar of disgusting fucking cigarettes.

It was disappointing and I felt utterly defeated.

Conquering cigarettes is nearly impossible.

I started smoking when I was fourteen.

After realizing I had reached the milestone where I had officially smoked longer than I didn’t, it was time to get with the program.

I hope that you smart people have not picked up the addiction, but if, like me, you have– have a seat and let Haiku tell you a story.

Processed with VSCOcam with h2 preset

After my brief months of success in quitting smoking, I found the cravings, temper, and desperation to be mounting.

I bought a pack and smoked them all.

This continued for another few months until my frustrations with smoking came back and sat in the corner slowly shaking their head at me.

I went to Walgreen’s and bought a pack of FIN e-cigarettes; a variant of the popular Blu e-cigarette (but in my opinion, 100x better tasting).

I was back on the wagon.

These types of e-cigarettes are commonly referred to as cig-a-likes, as they most mimic the tactile sensation of a cigarette, complete with a little LED light to mimic a burning cherry.

But they aren’t that cheap, and ultimately the kind I liked the best were discontinued .

Yet again, I threw my hands up and bought a pack of cigarettes.

Totally. Bogus.

I was ready to quit, I wanted to quit, I HAD ALREADY QUIT!

So I did what any American does in a time of crisis and I took to the internet.

And as it is wont to do, the internet answered with an entire niche community devoted to the cause.

My thanks are 100% directed to this reddit community, and this reddit community alone.

Little did I know that the Vaping movement had grown to such a scale as to now include things I never could have possibly imagined.

Now, I will condense the story here, as there was definitely a great amount of time spent researching and educating myself. It was a surely time consuming, but anything is better smoking.

Ultimately, I landed on what is referred to a Mechanical Mod, with a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (or RDA for short). This is basically a stainless steel tube which encases a battery, topped with an atomizer (which vaporized the liquid, or juice) that I build coils and wicks for.

I know, it sounds really complicated.

And frankly, it kind of is. But again, it is worth it.

And guys, I am just scratching the surface here. If this is something you are interested in learning more about, PLEASE ask questions. This is ‘advanced vaping’ and should not be attempted without proper education of Ohm’s Law, or proper safety gear such as an ohm reader.

I really wanted to get the conversation started and give anyone the chance to ask questions if you are looking to quit smoking.

Vaping has changed my life and I want to share the wealth. It’s now been three full months and I am not looking back.

Getting yourself a proper, satisfying vape set up is crucial to success.

I plan to post more about this lifestyle change, so check back in this category for more, or follow my vaping alter-ego on instagram: @nowshevapes

AND THE WINNER IS…

The wait is finally over, pop tarts!

The winner of the First Ever Haiku Ambulance (x Dresslily) Giveaway is:

Dresslily Giveaway Winner

Haiku Ambulance

Haiku Ambulance

Haiku Ambulance

ESREF!

Congratulations, Esref. I will be emailing you shortly for details.

And a big thank you to the gals at Dresslily and all of you wonderful creatures for playing.

I promise you’ll win next time.

Some Things You Probably Haven’t Seen But Should

Well, hello.

I wanted to share some quick little gems with you since it’s been cold as balls lately and you’ve probably been spending some legitimate quality time with your couch.

This first one we can all thank my father for. A few years ago he would not shut up about OSS 117 (that’s cent dix sept, you yankees). “You have to watch it. Have you watched it? Watch it. It’s hilarious. Ohmygod it’s so funny, tell me you watched it.” Ryan and I finally got around to watching them a year or so ago (there are two total) and seriously: WATCH THIS SHIT. It’s Jean DuJardin as a ridiculous, crass, joke of a James Bond, set in the sixties. They could not be funnier and I would give away my savings if they would make more. We’ve watched them each at least twice.

Both movies are available on Netflix streaming.

And I swear to God, if this poster doesn’t convince you then just go ahead and close this tab right now.

OSS 117

Now, I give you the strangest little trinket that Ryan and I happened upon the other night when trying to remember who the fuck sang that 90s song that goes:

AND I SAID HEEEEEEEEEEEEYYY

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

I said HEY.

WHAT’S GOIN’ ON.

You know the song.

Well. It’s Four Non-Blondes and the song is called What’s Up and none of that matters, because this:

You’re welcome.

And since we know each other so well, I am pretty stinkin’ sure we’re all watching Sherlock, but just in case we aren’t watching Sherlock, this is a really great time to remind ourselves that we should definitely be watching Sherlock.

Sherlock

Definitely.

And finally, as we as a planet mourn the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman, my pick for your PSH retrospective is Happiness by Todd Solondz.

060424_happiness2_hmed_2phmedium

It’s not for the squeamish, intolerant, or children.

But holy hell is it a good fucking movie.

Enjoy your couches, friends.

And let me know your weirdo viewing recommendations.

Please.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway, you beautiful creature, you.

Get Ready To Get

Oh, you guys I’m so excited I could just squeal.

 drumroll please

It’s time for the first ever Haiku Ambulance Giveaway.

The folks at Dresslily.com have been kind enough to offer one of my delightful readers a very sweet treat.

So get comfy, take your shoes off, and take a look at these fine items hand picked by yours truly.

Here’s how to win:

1. Choose your favorite item of the following six

2. Leave a link to it in the comments

3. Don’t forget to mention your color choice (if applicable) and size

4. Be sure to include your email so that I may contact you when you win!

Option 1: These freaking adorable gloves for keeping winter fingers warm.
Fashion Button Embellished Colored Gloves For Women

Option 2: A feminine, floral scoop neck blouse for the lady in you.

Floral Blouse Giveaway

Option 3: Your new Weekend Hoodie (it has thumb holes!).

Hoodie

Option 4:  This neon, Serious Statement necklace to make all of your shirts more exciting.

Neon Statement Necklace

Option 5: Everybody’s favorite trendy Origami Skorts.

Origami Skort

Option 6: This gorgeous Anthropogie-esque Gem Necklace.

Big emerald gem necklace

Now, take one more look at those rules to be sure you’ll be properly entered and then leave a comment below so that you can win!

And before you go, let’s all give a big THANK YOU to our friends at Dresslily and peruse their amazing deals here while we wait to find out who won.

This giveaway will be open until Thursday, February 20th (you have a whole month, guys!) and a winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, February 21st.

Some Things That Are Haunting My Brain

Hi.

Here are some things that are haunting my brain lately.

1. David Lynch on Louie. This scene has played in my mind at least once daily since I saw this episode (S3, Ep11). It is so perfect, so surreal. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

2. Joe Lo Truglio

Guess what? It’s Joe Lo TruGlio

All my life, he has been Joe Lo Trulio, pronunciation-wise. WRONG.

The G is not silent.

Joe lo TruGlio

And in related news…

3. It’s Yorma Tackoney

NOT Jorma Taconne.

So.

Yikes.

It's Jorma Taccone, but forget English while I explain this.

Wonder how many people I’ve said those names to who knew the truth but didn’t tell me.

Ewwwwww.

Drinking Thanks

 

Hello friends.

I hope you are all well and warm and full from the holiday.

Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite days of the year and this year was no exception. In fact, it was maybe the best yet.

And I must say, the icing on the cake was the holiday cocktail that Ryan and I created for the festivities.

Seeing as the entire Holiday Season officially starts when Santa floats by in the Macy’s Day Parade, it was only right that we paid homage to our favorite, most-likely-sauced-each-year anchorman, Al Roker.

So it is with great pride that I present to you:

THE ROKER:

The Roker \\ Stetson Bourbon

TO MAKE IT:

1.5 oz Stetson Bourbon

1 0z Apple Cider

1 tsp Brown Sugar

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Dash of Cinnamon over ice

SHAKE

Strain into your favorite rocks glass with ice ( and optional, but highly recommended: candied ginger)

Garnish with rosemary sprig and three whole cloves

\\\

You guys.

This drink is so herbaceous and wintry it smells like the christmas of your dreams.

The unique Stetson Bourbon is really the MVP here, so I highly suggest grabbing a bottle.

Might as well buy a hat for the bartender, while you’re at it.

CHEERS!

Sneaks

 Hello and howdy.

Two days and counting, my friends.

Thought I’d share two little sneak peeks into our Thanksgiving plans.

Chanterelles \\ Haiku Ambulance

I just picked up these gorgeous chanterelle mushrooms and cannot wait to use them in my gravy, and maybe share some with the salad.

They were just so sexy I couldn’t resist.

Hand-Embroidered Napkins \\ Haiku Ambulance

And I’ve been dusting off my embroidery skills to personalize everyone’s napkin.

I think it’s a nice touch and you can save them for your guests to use each year, adding names as your family grows.

I can’t wait.

And if I don’t see you before the Big Day, please have a fucking awesome Thanksgiving and/or Hanukkah.

Please.

Mini Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cakes

Two weeks to the day, folks.

We’re almost to The Big Day.

This means I’ve been spending my evenings testing out gluten free sweet treats that will be suitable for Thanksgiving.

I’ll save you the grudge work and present you with the winning recipe.

There was no question.
Mini Pumpkin Spice Cakes \\ Gluten Free

Mini [Gluten Free] Pumpkin Spice Cakes

This recipe has been adapted from Country Living to be gluten free and miniature. The original is here.

WHAT WE NEED:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown Sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée (PRO TIP: Buy a big can so you have enough for the frosting)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Betty Crocker Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

WHAT WE DO:

Preheat to 350˚

Generously coat the sides and bottoms of 8-20 small ramekins or brulee cups with softened butter. I used these, which are available at Crate and Barrel for a mere $1.95 ea. I made eight mini cakes, PLUS one 9″ sheet cake with this recipe.

Next, cream the butter until smooth in a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed- if you have a standing mixer (yay!) then use it. Add the sugars and mix until smooth. Add your eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until the mixture is smooth and light. Set it aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, buttermilk, and vanilla and set that shit aside, too. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In thirds, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, blending well after each addition until smooth. This step can get a little messy, so be an adult and move your machinery out of the way (lift your paddle attachement before adding ingredients) before half of your stuff flies onto the walls and you have to start over.

Pour your beautiful batter into your ramekins/cake pans. I filled the ramekins nearly to the top.

Put those puppies in the oven for  30-40 minutes or until the cake gods say it’s done. We appease the cake gods by inserting a toothpick into our cake. The cake gods bless us with a clean toothpick. If they give us crumbs on our toothpick, it is foretold the cake needs another 3-5 minutes.

When they’re ready, let them cool on racks for at least 45 minutes before frosting.

FROSTING?!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake

 

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

WHAT WE NEED:

1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted Butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh orange (or lemon) juice
1 teaspoon grated orange (or lemon) zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, SIFTED

WHAT WE DO:

Blend the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, butter, orange (or lemon) juice, zest, and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and creamy — about 5 more minutes.

Once the cakes have cooled, begin to gently lift them out of the ramekins. I did some light lifting and then turned them over, having the cakes gently fall into my hand.

Once loosened, fully remove the cakes and cut each in half, horizontally.

Reinsert the bottom half into the ramekin and spread a good spoonful of the frosting onto it, spreading it evenly so it covers the entire layer. Top it with your “cake top” and frost away.

While this layer-cake step is optional, it will give your guests a little surprise and a lot of extra yumminess.

Now hide them from your family and eat them all.
Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Spice Cakes

And feel free to take some stress off your plate and make them in advance because they’re safe to live in the fridge for up to four days.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Spaghetti Squash Ratatouille Bake [Gluten Free + Vegetarian]

Welcome to what is now a food blog?

I don’t quite know.

Does it really matter?

Gluten Free Ratatouille Bake \\ Haiku Ambulance

So, this year will be my first time hosting Thanksgiving.

It’s all on me, folks. And I am so fucking excited.

And I guess I’m pretty blessed to be part of the generation that gets to host Thanksgiving after the invention of Pinterest.

I’ve got all sorts of awesome ideas rattling around.

 But one of our guests is a vegetarian and so I’m in the process of testing out veg-friendly entrees on his behalf.

I refuse to serve him just a bunch of side dishes, so I want to find an amazing entree that is warm, comforting, hearty, and autumnal.

Veg Test Round One:

Spaghetti Squash Ratatouille Bake

WHAT WE NEED

1 small-medium spaghetti squash

1 small eggplant, chopped

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, cut into small wedges

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2/3 cup button mushroom, sliced

2 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp water

1tsp olive oil

1 tbsp shredded basil to garnish

2-4 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

Gluten Free Ratatouille \\ Haiku Ambulance

WHAT WE DO

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400˚

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and eggplant, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.

Add the peppers and zucchini and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, get all of your frustrations out by stabbing the shit out of that spaghetti squash, all over, with a fork. Then maybe stab (pierce) it 4-6 times with a paring knife as well. Then pop that puppy in the microwave for 20 minutes and faghettaabouttit. Once done, let it sit for about five minutes before slicing it lengthwise and removing the seeds.

Now mix your tomato paste and water together and add to your pot, bringing to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and mushroom and let simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once ready, drain the ratatouille using a wooden spoon or spatula– what I’m saying is: get as much liquid out as you can by pouring, there’s no need to use a colander. Once you have gotten as much liquid out as you can, add the spaghetti squash to your ratatouille pot. I used pretty much all of my squash for a drier end result, but you could use less for a more stew-like bake. Totally up to you, dude. Stir it up so that it’s all incorporated and then you can put it into one big casserole dish, or several smaller ones for you and your cats.

Using a spoon, make a divot into the bake and crack and egg. If using one big casserole dish, or crock, make several divots and add several eggs.

Sprinkle goat cheese and bake for 12 minutes.

Garnish with basil and probably more goat cheese.

YUM.

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