Velveeta Spicy Queso Dip with Veggie Crumbles (Crockpot Style)

Ok. This is a masterpiece lol I don’t snack often, but every few days or so I’ll have something snack-like. I usually just go with spicy salsa and some chips, but I haven’t had queso dip in FOREVER. Seriously. So, I decided to make some in my crockpot. Best decision of the day. lol

Ingredients:

Velveeta Cheese Block (I used 16 ounces; half of the whole block)

Salsa: I prefer the chunky salsa, less runny. I used the hottest salsa I had in the house. I love my mouth to feel like it’s peeling.

Morning Star Veggie Crumbles (or any other brand you prefer).

Jalapeno Peppers (Optional)

Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper, Garlic Powder.

Instructions:

Cut up Velveeta into chunks and place in crock pot. Add Salsa, as much as you prefer. Turn crockpot on high and let cook for two hours; stirring occasionally. Once melted, I cooked the crumbles in a skillet and added to the pot along with the spices (to taste).. Enjoy!

 

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Before

After!

After!

 

<3

 

Enjoy!

 

Morning Star Tacos

I love Morning Star  meatless products. ❤ I made these a few days ago and they were too amazing not to share. So, here it is:

Morning Star Tacos

Ingredients:

2 Taco Shells or Flour/Corn Tortillas.

2/3 Cup Morning Star Meatless Crumbles

Shredded Cheese (I used a Mexican Blend)

Salsa (I used Hot…very very hot)

Whatever other taco ingredients you like

Spices: I used cayenne pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes for mine, until it nearly burned the roof of my  mouth off. Love it ❤ This, of course, is optional. Add whatever spices you like, to your liking. I just happen to like mine unimaginably hot.

Directions:

Mix the Crumbles with your spices in a bowl, and add to a skillet. Cook Until Hot. Heat your tortilla, if you choose to. Add the crumbles, cheese, salsa, and all other ingredients. Enjoy 😀

 I also cooked some corn on the side...and of course I had cooked it with some cayenne pepper for flavor. Mmm mmm

I also cooked some corn on the side…and of course I had cooked it with some cayenne pepper for flavor. Mmm mmm

It makes me sad when people stare at me blankly when I say I had meatless/soy tacos.  How do you have tacos without meat? Easy. People manage to find ways to eat the same things everyone else does without having to have meat as the base of it all. Lol Think outside the box. Morning star is wonderful ❤

 

 

Cocoa Canella Caramel Tea Latte

So. After being 1.6 pounds down this week, I’m feeling pretty stellar. So, I wanted to share something super delicious with you all today. ❤ I love coffee and tea. Coffee is my first love, and will always be my preferred choice. I’m a frequent customer at Starbucks, but I do enjoy other cafes. I do like to mix it up with tea quite often and my Keurigs kcups are a mix of both coffee AND tea. So, it is natural that I have some tea latte recipes to add some variety to my usual coffee-dominated life. Here’s one that I really like.

Ingredients:

Tea: I used my Cocoa Canella Loose Leaf Tea I got from Davids Tea in Canada. You can use any tea you prefer.

Warm Milk (I find vanilla Soy or Almond to be the best. But regular cows milk works too, in a pinch).

Caramel: I made some caramel sauce at home. It’s pretty easy. Take a unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, put it in a crockpot (with the label off!), fill the pot with water to cover the can and let it cook on high for 3 hours. Done. Instant Caramel. I used about two tablespoons…

Cinnamon: To Taste. I just added a pinch or two. It all depends on your pallet. Nutmeg is also tasty on occasion.

Procedure:

1. Steep your tea! Follow the directions for your preferred tea.

2. Heat up Milk

3. Add Tea, Milk, Caramel and Cinnamon (or nutmeg) into a blender and give it a pulse or two to mix. You’ll also get a nice foam~

4. Sip and Enjoy. It’s…so….good.

It isn't Starbucks, but it'll do.

It isn’t Starbucks, but it’ll do.

Pesto Pizza

I LOVE pizza. As a Chicago native, I am partial to my deep dish pizza…however, there is nothing remotely healthy about it 😛 Though, deep dish pizza is not something I get on a normal basis if I get pizza. It’s usually for something special. On a normal basis, I generally will eat any kind of pizza. Anything from normal to thin crust. Before I started going on my vegetarian health kick, my favorite type of pizza was a thin crust pizza with pepperoni, feta cheese and garlic. Now, I gotta live without the pepperoni for the time being. No biggie, I love veggie pizza. I’ve been experimenting with different pizza recipes and here is one that I enjoyed. I hope you will as well.

Ingredients

  • 10 ozs pizza crust
  • 3 tbsps pesto (commercial)
  • 1 34 cups plum tomato (slices)(I didn’t have any so I used peppers)
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese (shredded)(I used a bit more…)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place pizza crust on a baking pan and spread pesto on top in a thin layer. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on top, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
I added onions and peppers to mine.

I added onions and peppers to mine.

 

Zucchini & Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ever since I got my own apartment, and having the ability to cook whatever I want (not something I was able to do at my University in the dorms…), I have been on a baking frenzy. Somewhat. Alright, maybe not…but I have been able to bake the things I have wanted to. I also love to experiment. Now that I’m not eating meat for the time being…and my quest for better health at the same time, I want to still enjoy the foods that I eat. I believe in balance. So, here is a balance for you guys lol This is a much better alternative to some of the breakfast pastries you could stuff into your oral cavity ❤ Also, don’t be afraid because you see the word Zucchini there. You won’t even taste them in it. Promise.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease muffin pan
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix egg, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in another bowl; stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Add in zucchini, and chocolate chips. Fill each cup 2/3 full.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a utensil inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Enjoy! You won't even know Zucchini is in it, but those chocolate chips...oh, you'll taste those <3

Enjoy! You won’t even know Zucchini is in it, but those chocolate chips…oh, you’ll taste those ❤

They’re like an indulgence…but they’re only about 210 calories per muffin. So I don’t feel bad at all munching on one, and you shouldn’t either ❤ If you try it, let me know how you like it. Or share a recipe if you have one~

Vegetable and Feta Latkes

I love potato latkes. This is a recipe I found on yummly.com, and I decided to give it a try for breakfast. They’re waaaaaaay better than your average potato latkes. I hope you’ll love this too.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cup Grated Zucchini

1 cup Peeled and Shredded Potatoes

1 Cup Shredded Carrot

3 Eggs, Beaten

1/2 Cup Parsley

1/2 Cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup vegetable oil.

3/4 cup Matzo meal or flour

salt

Directions

  1. Place the zucchini, potato and carrots in a colander, place paper towels over the top and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Sprinkle salt over the vegetables and let them drain for 15 minutes. Squeeze vegetable again in paper towels.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, vegetables, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stir in matzo meal or flour, parsley and feta.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Place vegetable mixture, formed into pancake sized cakes in hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. (Cook two to three minutes per side). Add more oil as needed to keep cakes frying up well. Drain fried latkes on paper towels

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Enjoy!

Ready to Eat. <3

Ready to Eat. ❤

Feel free to give these a try and let me know what you think. If you have any similar recipes, share those too! Happy Munchings 🙂

Raspberry Pineapple Tofu Smoothie

I hate bananas.

 

Okay, glad I got that out of the way. I will not be posting any smoothie recipes that have bananas in them lol Sorry guys. I know its good for potassium and thickening the smoothies….BUT, Spinach has lots of potassium (and I add them quite often) AND I can easily use other things to thicken my smoothies. So no bananas. 😛 Now, onto the recipe itself.

Raspberry Pineapple Tofu Smoothie ❤

1 cup raspberry (fresh or frozen)

1 cup silken tofu

1 cup soy milk (or almond, or cows milk if you want, but the other two makes it smoother)

1/4 cup orange Juice

Blend!

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Nutritionally, this is a good way to start your day. Though, sometimes I have smoothies for lunch or a snack after dinner. Raspberries are low in calories and saturated fats but are rich source of dietary fiber and antioxidants. Raspberries contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. The berries contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fats. So basically, they’re fucking awesome.

Pineapples are loaded with vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is also rich in fiber and calories. On top of it all, this fruit is low in fat and cholesterol. All the nutrients it contains promote good health. Since pineapples are rich in vitamin C, it can fight off viruses that cause cough and colds. Even when you are already infected with such ailment, pineapples can help you. These fruits have bromelain, which is effective in suppressing coughs and loosening mucus. Eating pineapples while taking the right medications prescribed by the doctor for your sickness can help you recover more quickly! A Bonus! Pineapples are also popular for their ability to build and maintain strong bones. This is because these fruits contain manganese, which is a trace mineral that your body needs to build bones and connective tissues. In fact, if you consume a cup of pineapple, you can already get 73 percent of your total body requirement for manganese.

Consuming tofu regularly helps lower bad cholesterol, alleviates symptoms associated with menopause and even lowers the risk of cancer. Other major health benefits of tofu compared to meat include making middle-aged bones stronger and delaying the ravages of age. Tofu has been found to be a great source of calcium and vitamin E as well.

And most importantly, it tastes good. What other reason do you need?

If you give it a try, tell me what you think. Or if you have any recipe suggestions for me to try, share those too. I’m always searching for new smoothies to sip. Till Next Time.

Sip On my Lovelies, To Good Health ❤

Lean N’ Green. “The Hulk” Smoothie

I have a soft spot for smoothies. They are essential to my day to day life. I love that I can get so much nutrients in a glass of awesome. I like a variety of fruits (except bananas, I hate the little bastards) and ‘greens’ and…other misc things in my smoothies. Since I started becoming vegetarian and eating better, I have been experimenting with different combinations. I have also been drinking more Green Smoothies. This is my favorite so far. If you like Avocado…I HIGHLY recommend you try this. You won’t regret it. I give you…The Hulk.  *Cue Applause*

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • Half a ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 cup spinach. Or more!
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk (can be substituted with almond or soy milk…I recommend almond or vanilla soy)
  • 3 tsp honey (I generally just use stevia. But you can use either)

1) Combine avocado, spinach, yogurt and honey into a blender.
2) Blend

Optional: You can put it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to let it thicken up. I’ve tried it and it was so indulgent. But either way you do it, it’s drool worthy and packed with so much goodness.

Why they’re good for you:Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy kind. Avocados are loaded with a variety of antioxidants, including familiar disease-fighting compounds such as lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. They are considered one of the best fruits for you, health wise!
Spinach is a very nutrient dense green. It’s low in calories yet very high in vitamins and minerals. This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, fiber and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Of course you get your calcium from the dairy as well. All of this packed into one glass. It’s sexy. Well…I find it sexy…no judgement.

And it's pretty too. If that helps.

And it’s pretty too. If that helps.

I got myself a tall glass. All that was missing was a beach and a hammock…and my boyfriend fanning me with a large feather ❤

Don’t fear the green, embrace the green! Every smoothie enthusiast should have a “go to” green smoothie ❤ It will be my job to convert you all.

Challenge Accepted.

~Sip on my lovelies: To Good Health~

 

 

 

Carrot-Thyme Cream Soup

Since I have decided to be vegetarian for the next couple of months, for both fun and health reasons, I have been using yummly.com like it’s going out of style to find great vegetarian meals. Soup has been on of the staples for me as of late. I love soup, especially the creamy kinds that kind of sit in your stomach. With it being winter, it’s perfect for dinner and it lasts me a good 4 days. I don’t have to cook as often, so I save money. That aside, I want to share the recipes I have tried and liked. Starting with this one. It is amazing. If you like carrots, you’ll enjoy the taste of this.

Carrot-Thyme Soup with Cream (This is for a Serving of 8. Adjust accordingly)

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs baby carrots
  • 2 qts vegetable stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 13 cup honey (I used less)
  • 12 cup heavy cream (I used less)
  • 1 dash salt

1. Add Carrots to the Pot

2. Pour in Vegetable Stock (I used Imagine Organic Broth)

3. Add in Thyme

4. Bring this to a quick boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer it for a good 45 minutes.

5. Throw it all into a blender. If you can’t fit it all, you can always do it in two batches.

6. Blend Until Smooth

7. While the soup is still in the blender, add in honey and cream. Give it another pulse or two. Walla!

All Done

All Done

The Color Is Lovely...and the taste is even better. It's very filling too~

The Color Is Lovely…and the taste is even better. It’s very filling too~

You’re ready to Serve~

~Wannabe Chef~

 

Journey to 00 Gauge: Starting on a Good Foot…ear, whatever.

So. *Insert Awkward Hand Gestures Here*

This is a blog segment I have been meaning to start months ago but never got around to it. I suppose it was for the best considering I didn’t have the knowledge to really blog about it. To start, I adore body modification. I love both tattoos and piercings. I have 10 piercings so far: two in my lips, a hoop in my nostril (but I sorely miss my septum piercing), and the rest in my ears (one being an industrial). I also have 4 tattoos, and counting. So, body modification is nothing new to me. I can say it is something I really enjoy because I like to express myself in such a matter. Now, I know people have their opinions on this sort of thing. There are plenty of people who feel that your body is a ‘temple’ and that a person should not treat it in such a way. I have heard many reasons why it’s a bad idea, and I can say that they are legitimate reasons. However, if the body is MINE…I can do with it as I please. If it affects me in the future somehow, then let that fall on me.

I say THAT to say this. I will be posting blog posts as I go through this ear lobe stretching journey; which will take awhile because it’s a slow process if you want to do it right. Uh. And I know people have their strong opinions on ear stretching and I know many people think it’s stupid and yadda yadda. I have heard it already. Yes, I know it’s silly and Yes I know you wonder…Why would she do that to her ears? They are my ears and it’s something I want to do. I did not just wake up one day and think I’ll do it.

Regardless…the point I’m trying to make is: You are free to express your opinion on each segment that I post. However, that is not an excuse for you to be insulting or gang up on me because you think I shouldn’t do it. Just as you are entitled to your opinion on it, I am as well. To be frank, don’t be an asshole 😛 I don’t care if you want to tell me you think it’s a bad idea and the reasons why. You are certainly free to do so and I do mean that.  But if you come at me nasty (and some have), I will have little respect for you. So, to end. Don’t start. If you don’t have anything nice to say, I highly advise you keep it to yourself. There. There’s my disclaimer, and that’s the last I’ll speak on it.

But, I will be fair and say that it is not something you should just do. Unless you want to. Don’t do it cause everyone else is doing it, or someone is trying to convince you. I do it because I love body modification, not because all my friends are doing it. I also don’t do it to come off as “bad ass” or whatever. That’s lame. Don’t do that. Nobody will take you seriously if you come off as a wannabe. Just be yourself. lol Getting off my soap box now.

Now, on to the point of this whole thing. I want this blog segment to be both a slight experience and also informative to both those who may want to try and even for those who don’t. It can just be for the curious mind all the same. So don’t feel as if you can’t read this simply because you don’t want to make your earlobes the size of coins 😛 It is for all audiences. I decided, after a bit of researching and thinking, that I wanted to stretch my ear lobes back in November, give or take. It is something I had seen enough times to know the basics of what it was and it was something that I liked. I found it attractive, if you will. I also found it to be a new way to pursue my enjoyment of body modification, within what I’m willing to do to myself. But I didn’t want to just do it simply because it looked nice enough, without knowing anything about it or how it was done. I researched online and asked a friend of mine, who had 00 gauged lobes about it. After awhile of thinking, I figured I’d give it a shot. If i didn’t like it, then I’d just stop when the holes were still small enough and let the holes shrink back. So, i bought myself an inexpensive “kit”, and the journey began.

When I purchased my kit, I had already decided that 00 gauge was as large as i wanted to go. That still stands today. I think it’s large enough that I can see the results of my patience, but without being too large. It was the perfect size for me. I, at the time, didn’t know of the other forms of stretching. I only knew of what I think is the most common: the tapering method. So, I got a kit that consisted of both steel tapers and plugs in the sizes 14 g to 00 (however I won’t be using the tapering method past 2 gauge, but I’ll get into that later). So far, zero problems. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. You get the idea. I attribute it to my patience, and the information that I discovered both before I started…and the information I found during.

That is the other reason I am going to be making blog posts like these. I found out probably MORE helpful information after I started. I can say one thing. Everyone seems to have different and opposite opinions on various aspects of stretching, and it became a bit overwhelming to figure out what the right way is. I don’t think there is a definite RIGHT way to go about it. However, there are definite WRONG ways to go about it. It is my hope to inform you of the various opinions I have found about different portions of stretching (Dos and Donts), and then inform you of what has worked for me. Not to say that you have to do it the way I did, but perhaps it may enlighten you. I’m just some random Oreo from Chicago, and this is how I did it and I’ve had zero issues. Perhaps it may help you single out a way in which you want to proceed. I hope, at least.

So. To start, I started my first stretch using a size 14 gauge taper.

Oh, that reminds me. Some people may not care, but I care a tiny bit. People say they have “gauges”. No. They don’t. Gauge is a unit of measurement. It is the SIZE. Your ears aren’t gauged, they’re stretched. The jewelry you have in the ear, if you have stretched lobes, is not a gauge. It is a plug. Or a spiral, etc. So. If you asked me about where I’m at right now, I would say: I have size 4g plugs in my stretched ears. Or something like that. I hope that clears that up. Back to what I was saying before…

I was pierced MAAAAANY years ago at 16 g. I started this whole stretching thing back in November, when I was 23. I got my ears pierced for the first time when I was in 6th grade. So, they’ve been healed for forever. 😛 I say that because if you are going to go stretch your ears, PLEASE make sure that your ears have healed fully before you start. This is for those who don’t have their ears pierced and go out to GET them pierced in the idea that they will stretch them at some point. If they are healed,or you got those holes pierced long enough ago that you know they’re fully healed (like my case), then disregard. Otherwise, let them heal.

Anyway. Since my ears were pierced at 16 g, I began my first stretch with a 14 g taper and plug. For those who don’t have an idea about sizes, here is something so you’ll get the idea. The sizes are given a number, but is measured in millimeters as you can see.

Ear-Gauge-Sizes2

Real Steel Tapers and Plugs. From Left to Right: size 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2. Not shown: Size 2 Plugs

Real Steel Tapers and Plugs. From Left to Right: size 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2. Not shown: Size 2 Plugs

I put one single taper of each size next to each other so you can see the progression. Again left to right: 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2. I am at size 4 g and my aim in May is to go up to size 2.

I put one single taper of each size next to each other so you can see the progression. Again left to right: 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2. I am at size 4 g and my aim in May is to go up to size 2.

To Compare: The Left is a size 4 g Taper. The Right is a Size 2. That should show the difference between where I'm at, and where I will be next time...Yeah, I know.

To Compare: The Left is a size 4 g Taper. The Right is a Size 2. That should show the difference between where I’m at, and where I will be next time…Yeah, I know.

Plugs side by side for Comparison. From Left to Right: Size 4, 2, 0 and 00. 00 g is my goal.

Plugs side by side for Comparison. From Left to Right: Size 4, 2, 0 and 00. 00 g is my goal.

This is what a 00 g plug looks like in an ear. That's not my ear, clearly :P

This is what a 00 g plug looks like in an ear. That’s not my ear, clearly 😛

I started off at 14 g (1.63 mm) and I am currently at 4 g (5.19 mm). This took time, patience, and a bit of research on my part. You can’t just shove tapers into your ear and hope for the best. No, you’ll fuck up your ears something awful. So, perhaps this is a good time to go into the slight tedious stuff: the basics. I will be speaking about tapering for the time being since that is what I have used thus far.

How to begin! First, you will need a taper of the appropriate size. In my case, it was a size 14 g. Do NOT skip sizes. Please. It won’t end well. You’ll get a blow out, it’ll suck and you’ll have to backtrack. It’s ugly business. So just don’t do it. Enough of that. Once you have the taper (and plug too, I guess) of the next size up from where you are, you are basically read to go. This is what a typical stretch for me is like:

1. I generally wait until I’m in the shower because it helps loosen up your lobes.

2. I wet the taper (or I use my stretching balm I got free with the kit) and slide it into the hole. Sometimes it goes in right away, sometimes it doesn’t. It is normal to feel tightness, and maybe a slight prick at the ear. It will certainly feel warm, but it should not bleed and it should not really hurt. If it does, you’re not ready to stretch. Take it out, and leave it be until it is. So, when it goes through, I generally leave it in for a few more minutes.

3. I take the single or no flare steel plug on the end of the taper that’s sticking out, and push it until it pushes the taper out and the plug (should) follow through and sit in the hole, in it’s place. Sometimes the back of my ear doesn’t always open up immediately, so I may have to do it twice to get the back of the plug to go through the back of my lobe lol

4. Walla! You have successfully stretched to the 14 g! (Or whatever gauge up to 2)

I don’t like myself on film, or pictures of myself at all really. So I have not made a video showcasing myself doing this (yet…maybe in the future). So for now, here’s a good video of someone doing what I just described. Note that she did say it hurt, but it will sting going to a 2 g because it is a larger size. But it shouldn’t be that painful and it shouldn’t bleed. Keep that in mind.

Aftercare: Which is incredibly important.

I generally leave the damn lobes alone after a fresh stretch. I don’t pick with them, or turn the plugs or anything like that. I leave them be in that aspect. I generally give my ears 2 weeks to heal. In those two weeks, I will run some soapy water over the lobes (don’t take the plugs out). By soapy, I mean water with some anti-bacterial soap like Dial. Nothing scented, it could irritate the ear. That’s about all I do, once or twice a day for two weeks. I can usually tell that it’s healed when I can tug, gently, on the ear and feel nothing. Sometimes I can even see that there is a bit of space between my ear and the plug. So it’s loose. I know then that it’s healed. At that point, I can take the plugs out and start being a bit more thorough in my care. At this point, once my ears have healed I do the following daily:

1. Take my plugs out once a day (with CLEAN hands. Never handle your ears with dirty hands. Bacteria. That’s all I should have to say. It’s as if you just got them pierced…you don’t want to get an infection, do you?)

2. Wash the plugs and my lobes with anti-bacterial soap or do a sea salt soak on the lobe.

3. Massage the lobes with Jojoba Oil-Which I will get into later when I talk about the different oils and balms/butters you can use to stretch or use for massaging/after care. Everyone has an opinion on which works best. In reality you can’t go wrong really with the options, they just all seem to do slightly different things. However, I wouldn’t recommend using Vaseline…it can trap bacteria. Some people do it with no problems. I’m a Biology Major, so as much as I LOVE Microbes…I do not want them trapped in my ear. So call me paranoid, and I probably am. But that’s just my opinion. 😛

4. Leave the plugs out for awhile, so that they can breathe. Right now, I’m at a 4g and I am able to leave the plugs out overnight with no problem. I worked up to this point by leaving the plugs out a little bit longer every other day or so. It’s good to let the holes breathe as much as you can. The combination of the massaging and letting them breathes promotes circulation and promotes new growth of tissue. So you’ll get thick and healthy lobes which is good for future stretching. Especially if you want to do larger sizes. Either way, you don’t want your lobes to thin out.

5. I do this on repeat until I am ready to go up to the next size. The time can vary. At first, for the smaller sizes, I waited about a month in between. But once I hit size 8, i waited 2 months in between each stretch. Some may find this tedious and time consuming, but it helped. I waited the extra time and every time I put the taper in, I could pop the plug in no problem because it was very much ready. It pays to wait it out. I am in the waiting process for the net size up, which is size 2. I am waiting 3 months for this one because it is definitely a bigger size compared to 4 and I want to be extra sure my lobes will be ready for it. Everyone’s body is different, but this is a general consensus it seems. Either way, listen to your body. If it’s been two months and you can’t seem so stretch up a size…stop, put the smaller jewelry back in and wait. You don’t want to rush it, get a blow out and then have to downsize because you messed up. It’s not a race. Don’t compete with your friends because they may be able to heal faster than you. Just….yeah. Sorry for all the Don’ts…I just want your ears to NOT be infected and blown to hell. And I’m sure you don’t either.

So, to recap:

Use Taper, follow through with Plug, leave alone for a few weeks (but rinse ear daily), once healed you can take them out daily to : clean, massage and let breathe. Easy Stuff huh? If you do it right, it really isn’t that complicated. The people who say it’s complicated, well, they make it that way.

That brings me to a few points:

Some people swear against tapering and I get why. Compared to the other methods that i’ll mention at a later date, it runs the greater risk of blow outs because it’s more of an “all or nothing” type of stretch. However, I believe that if you take it very slowly and don’t stretch until your ear IS ready, that tapering is a successful method. That being said, for the bigger sizes…well any size past 2 g, I would not (and will not) be use the tapering method. I will be switching to the taping method instead.

Another point I’d like to make is, don’t stretch with any flare other single or no flare. Do not use double flare eyelet because that will essentially stretch you two sizes at once and you’ll probably get a blow out. Not good. You wait until after your ears are healed to use double flare.

I won’t go into a long explanation or introduction on the various materials you can encounter when it comes to both stretching materials or plugs. I am going to save that for a separate blog post because there’s a lot to say on that. However, so that I get it out there…I will say this now. Do NOT go to Hot Topic, Spencers, or any such place and buy Silicon or Acrylic materials. Don’t do it. Don’t use organic materials like Wood for stretching either. Silicon and Acrylic will trap bacteria like a mofo. And Wood is very porous, and some have said that their ear HEALED onto the wood plug. I don’t want to think of how that felt trying to get the little bastard out of your ear. You should really only use materials like steel. I’ve heard glass is fine, but steel is cheaper and I’d rather deal with that. You use those other materials once your ear is already healed, but not for stretching. The same goes for those really pretty custom spirals made of clay. Those are AWESOME……to wear after your ears have healed.

That also reminds me. If you are using the tapering method. The taper is not meant to wear as jewelry. It is simple the tool to stretch with, and the plug is what you wear. Don’t wear the taper as jewelry. It is heavy and will weigh your ear down and will probably thin your ear out. Which you don’t want. Which makes me wonder why places even bother making attractive tapers. It’s misleading. Either way, don’t do that shit.

So. I think this is a good place to start, and stop…somewhat. I did not want to go through EVERYTHING in one post because that’s a bit much (and nobody would want to read all that). I think it’s far more helpful to break down the whole thing into segments. If you are curious, here are the segments I will be posting over the next few months or so:

1. Dos and Donts of Stretching (as far as I can tell)

2. Stretching and Jewelry Materials (the many you’ll find, when and where to use them) and some Aftercare stuff you may want to use. (oils, etc)

3. Trouble Shooting aka Shit, I think I got a blow out. Or. Fuck, I think I got the dreaded catbutt. What to do, and how to even avoid these in the first place….

4. The Many Methods of Stretching.

5. And of course I will be posting a blog post when I am ready to stretch to 2 g and beyond (next size being 0, and then ending with 00). I am going to try to stretch to 2 g in the first bit of May, it will have been 3 months by then (my ear was healed early February). There will be photos and an explanation of the process, etc. I will of course do this for every size I end up stretching to.

And at the end of each, I will just showcase some cool jewelry I really want lol Like…right now! Oh, I’ll note that I am at the point where I don’t mind buying a few pieces of jewelry once I’m at 2 g. That is because once I am at 2 g, it’s a good 5 month wait to 0 and possibly a bit longer to 00…and I want something a bit more alluring than normal steel plugs to wear. So, once I’m at 2 (and onward) and my ear has healed, I will probably buy a few plugs or spirals to wear during the wait.

Just a few to start with. I have found a crap ton of spirals and plugs I want to get. I have a problem 😛 Oh, and I do apologize for all the “Dont do that” and “None of that shit”s you have been forced to put up with this entire post. I get it out of the way because it’s important. I assume that if you want to do this, or at least know about it, you need to know the good AND the bad. Mostly the bad because that’s how you prevent problems. Unless you think having a blown out and infected ear lobe is fun. In which case, I can’t help you.

Otherwise, I find it’s important to stress how to avoid these hassles so that your stretching journey can be as painless and easy as possible. But the rest of the posts will be more positive ;). The next post in the segment should come later this week and it will address the many methods of stretching. I did mention that I am using the tapering method and will be switching. It would only be fair to go into more detail. So that’s for next time, my lovelies. Until next time, happy stretching.

~Pierce all the things~ ❤