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Remember This?: Charms

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Me wearing my charms at my favorite lighthouse

Me wearing my charms at my favorite lighthouse

This post will only be appealing to Gen X girls. And actually I was only at the very tail end of Gen X, so am not even sure how accurate that assessment is.

When I was in elementary school, it seemed like there was a new fad every week. I didn’t always understand them at such a young age, but I tried to keep up anyway. I’m sure I mostly failed.

I remember in first grade people had something called “friendship pins.” They seemed to consist of beads on safety pins that you hooked on your shoe laces. I think this was just before the majority of shoes switched over to velcro closure in the mid-1980s. I still have some of the beads I got from them, although I can’t imagine who claimed to be my friend at that time.

I also remember stickers. It seemed as though they lasted longer; long enough for me to fill up five books full. (My favorite was always the scratch’n’sniff cinnamon roll. Yum.) Our local mall had a little store that  sold only stickers–rolls and rolls of stickers hanging off the walls.

Garbage Pail Kids sharing a box with charms and New Kids on the Block cards

Garbage Pail Kids sharing a box with charms and New Kids on the Block cards

I remember Garbage Pail Kids. I participated, but didn’t like them as well. They were harder to get because I only knew one place to buy them and my mom had to make a special trip there so that I could purchase them. And they were more expensive than regular stickers. I had some cards from series 1-4, having the most for series 2, but never a complete set. I had a mother who convinced me that I never needed a complete set of any toy–it was her way of not having to buy me so much stuff. (Pretty genius on her part, actually. Doesn’t seem to work as well on my own child.)

There were friendship bracelets and jelly bracelets. But I think my most favorite fad was charms.

Vintage 1980s charm necklaces

Vintage 1980s charm necklaces

They were these little colored pieces of plastic, shaped into everything you could imagine, that hooked onto a necklace. It was very popular to trade them. I don’t think I traded much, because I liked the ones I had and didn’t want to part with them.

The chains were plastic too, and came in small links and large links and every color of rainbow, sometime on the same chain. Once again, it seemed like stores at the mall were the best place to purchase charms; whatever was the equivalent to Claire’s at that time. Charms came in the shape of radios, headphones (non-functioning, of course), roller skates (this was pre-roller blades), and shoes. I had one of the iconic Coca-Cola bottle. Rumor was that it contained real Coke (for sure it contained a brown-colored liquid). I felt fortunate to have some that were thought to be hard-to-find, such as a toilet, with opening lid and seat, a baby bottle, and a clear bottle with colored pills in it. Ya, seeing as kids were buying these, I never thought the pill bottle was age appropriate. Or the bottle with the Old Grand-Dad whiskey label. But they were fun to possess anyway.

Close-up of my awesome charms

Close-up of my awesome charms

I still have my charms. I have hauled them from my childhood home to my first apartment to my first home. I keep my charms in a shoebox. I know they are silly junk I should have sent to the landfill decades ago. But they are all so pretty and colorful. Some have little bells on them that jingle when you lift them out of the box.

And it is a good thing I still have them so that I can provide pictures for this post.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

What I Learned This Week – 11/10/13

This week I learned that sterling silver might actually be SAFE for me to wear again!

To preface this great discovery, you would have to realize that I have a severe allergy to nickel. If you don’t know what that entails and are too lazy to click on the link, I will fill you in. Nickel has been used as a filler in jewelry, belt buckles, jeans snaps, glasses frames, and every other cheap metal product you can think of for years now. I developed an allergy to it around 1992. It involves a red, itchy rash that develops and if the contact was consistent enough, a weeping ooze.

Sounds fun, right? Why would ANYONE want to avoid that?

But, I try to.

Because of this, I have avoided sterling silver for years. And as I get confused between sterling silver, stainless steel, and surgical steel, I often find myself avoiding them all and only going with what actually states “NICKEL FREE”.

But an article I found on the Internet says that for many reasons, recently produced sterling silver should be considered safe for those with nickel allergies.

Sterling silver, by definition, is only 92.5% pure silver. (That makes sense. If it was 100%, they would just call it “silver”.) The other 7.5% is made up of a mixture of other metals that is constantly changing. (This used to regularly include nickel.) In reality, pure silver is not very desirable for jewelry, because it would be too soft.

What I found out is that since 2000, Europe has had a strict ban on nickel. (I would LOVE to shop there just for that one reason.) So, when making big batches of raw sterling silver, why would a supplier ever make something that he can’t sell in a whole huge market of the world?

Also, nickel is no longer one of the most cost-effective fillers to use.

So, to some up, nickel COULD still be in sterling silver products, but there is a good chance that it will not be.

And what did I do to celebrate this awesome discovery?

You guessed it, I shopped. Retail therapy.

Sooo cute!  I hope it will provide me with years of reaction-free joy.

Sooo cute! I hope it will provide me with years of reaction-free joy.

Ugh. My joy is short-lived.  Here is more info I found…

If jewelry is silver-plated, it might be covered with a metal known as rhodium. But, guess what?  Rhodium doesn’t like to stick to sterling silver. What makes a good “glue” metal between the two? Yup, nickel. So, while a piece may not cause a reaction initially, as the rhodium coating breaks down and the nickel leeches out, it could later.

There is also jewelry with such terms as alpaca silver, German silver, paktong, and new silver. It turns out there is a HUGE CHANCE that all of these will indeed contain nickel.

I just found an article about how many foods contain Nickel.

Just shoot me now.

Right Side Only

I’m weird.

My brain works in weird ways.

This should not be news to anyone who has read any of my blog posts. (If you haven’t, then what the f*ck are you waiting for!)

We have already established that I mismatch my socks.

YOU:  Why DON'T you match your sox?  MY REPLY:  Why SHOULD they match?

YOU: Why DON’T you match your sox? MY REPLY: Why SHOULD they match?

I wore jeans to my own wedding.

At certain points in time, I have had pink hair.

But I have another quirk as well…

I prefer to wear jewelery only on the right side of my body.

Now, I am right-handed. My mom says that right-handed people usually wear watches on their left wrists, so that they will not be in the way.

That doesn’t work for me. I can wear jewelry on my right hand or wrist without it bothering me. But if I wear jewelry on my left hand or wrist, it drives me crazy all day. I feel like I am being tied up and held prisoner. I just can’t stand it.

When I turned 18, I wanted to do something rebellious. Being a goody-goody, my desires never took me further than the ear piercing chair at the nearest mall. I already had my ears pierced, with the standard one hole in each of my two lobes. But I wanted to do something my mom would not approve of and get them double pierced (a second set of holes in my earlobes).

But to be even edgier and more different, I decided to just get one ear done. If you are keeping count, that means I would have three piercings total. Because of my aversion to jewelry on the left side of my body, I got it in my right ear. Now, I know, at least back in 1994, getting an ear pierced in one ear or the other had special meaning. If you got a single piercing in one ear as apposed to another, it might mean that you were gay. I had my reasons for getting it in the ear I did. I decided not to allow the external factors of the world affect my decision. Then again, I hope it wasn’t the gay side because at that time I was very much trying/hoping/praying to get a man into my life.

It was my first body modification to demonstrate to the world that I am not the complete goody-two-shoes that I seem. I hate that I look like a big giant geeky plain Jane, with my glasses and crooked teeth and nothing remarkable to speak of. (I AM INTERESTING, DAMMIT!) This is very important to me in my life. I would later get two tattoos as well for the same purpose.

I was worried about my mom’s reaction to my new earring. I wore my hair up, down, whatever. She may have colored my hair in that time. Six months, and she never said a thing. I figured she must have seen it, and just decided to say nothing.

Then one day she did notice. She was all mad–AFTER 6 MONTHS! Her discovery sort of lumped together with other unpleasant events at the time. I actually used that all as a jumping off point to write a story back then. I hope to release it in a short story collection someday.

FYI–I do not ever recommend getting a piercing done at an accessories store at the mall. My eighteen year old rebellious earring was done too close to the existing hole. (Although I guess it wasn’t too bad because I have kept it all these years.) Many years later I tried to get a cartilage piercing in my right ear as well at Icing. The piercing gun literally got stuck on my ear. Then the piercing never did heal up correctly. I ended up having to take the earring out and let it grow shut. There is still a small lump there where it was for such a short time. I think that is when I switched to tattoos.

God, I do love the feel of a needle through or against my skin.

Pain is sexy.

OK, where was I?

So, everyone in the Western World is probably asking the same question right now:

“Funnygurl2, what about your wedding ring?”

I will tell you the truth, that I wear it on my right hand every day. And I realize that society puts certain connotations on that as well. Screw society! I was up front with my husband about which hand I would wear it on before we were married, and he had no problem with that. And I am not a beauty who has to beat off other guys anyway, so he has nothing to worry about.

My right hand

My right hand

Occasionally, I will put my ring on my left hand.

For brief periods of time.

When I want to remember something.

You know, like the old “tie a string around your finger so that you will remember” type of thing. The ring annoys the Hell out of me, so I usually take care of whatever it is I needed to remember quickly.

Yes, it’s weird. I am weird.

But it is only after I began to embrace my weirdness that I have started at the very beginning of the path at being happy with myself. That could have started the day I got my third earring. I have learned by sharing my weird views on the world, I can often make others laugh. I REALLY LIKE to make others laugh (Note: Different from laughing AT me.). And now I think we have come full circle to my blog 😉

What I Learned This Week – 9/26/13

I have learned that Claire’s, the popular mall accessory store, has converted almost all their store-brand earrings to be known as “Sensitive Solutions”. I have personally tested several pair over the past few weeks and I am happy to say this means NICKEL FREE!!!

Yes, I have a little bit of an international theme going on, although the hearts with the arrows through them have proven an early favorite.

Yes, I have a little bit of an international theme going on, although the hearts with the arrows through them have proven an early favorite.

This also means I had to purchase several pairs to test.  But they are so cute, that I don’t mind.  I didn’t realize how much I really missed wearing earrings.  I gave up years ago trying to find nickel-free earrings, especially affordable ones.  I need to see if Claire’s sister store Icing has sensitive earrings as well.

The Story

The Story

I also learned that Noah was 600 years old when he built The Ark!  What the f***?!

The church I sometimes hang out at because my friend goes there and I like the people and the activities but I don’t call it my church because I don’t really believe in the same beliefs has started reading a book called “The Story”.  It is like a Cliff Notes version of the Bible.  They are basing all their services and lessons off of it for the next several months.

I am reading it because all my knowledge of The Bible comes from watching the movie The Ten Commandments on Easter.  I am an entertainment/pop culture/trivia buff.  Since The Bible fits into all those categories (in my mind, anyway), I need to expand my general knowledge of it.

And so far, I am not impressed.  I just started, but so far it is the most unrealistic book I have ever read in my life.  I have trouble understanding how millions of people across the planet base their entire belief system off of this book.  I respect that, but I don’t get it.  (I enjoyed Twilight a lot more!)

Maybe I just haven’t gotten to the good part yet?


I didn’t give a rat’s ass about my appearance for, oh, let’s say the last 5 years.

In 2009, I was like, “Well, I might get pregnant soon, so I won’t worry if I gain a few pounds.”

In 2010, I was all, “I’m pregnant.  I’m tired.  Why should I bother to gussy myself up.”

In 2011, I was like, “I have an infant.  If I wear jewelry, he may rip it off.  If I wear nice clothes, he may puke on them.”

In 2012, I was all, “I don’t have a job.  When I leave the house, I have a tiny terrorist with me.  Why bother to look good.”

Now I find myself in 2013.  I have a job, albeit a part-time one.  I have a uniform shirt I am required to wear there, and black pants.  But I can still express my personality through my jewelry, shoes, and hair choices.

Problem is, all my clothes and jewelry are about 10-15 years old.  Some is from my “I am in my 20’s and just discovered Goth” phase.  Most of my clothes are from my pre-baby smaller boobs.

Oh, and I’m getting old.  It used to be fun when people guessed my age and they guessed way too low.  Now people are guessing closer to my actual age.  I no likey that so well.


I miss my pink streaks.  And I miss the hedgehog.  But I don't miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

I miss my pink streaks. And I miss the hedgehog. But I don’t miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

When I started my job, I dyed my hair blond again.  I started out blond as a child.  In 6th grade I whined to my mom that I didn’t like how dark my hair had gotten.  She bought me some hair color.  So, from 6th grade through college, my mom dyed my hair blond for me every few months.  It was blond in my wedding pictures.  I experimented with pink and purple and red and black.  Most recently I kept doing blond highlights, because they were not as time-sensitive to keep up.  But I let them go when I got pregnant.  I really like my hair blond again, and so does my husband.  It is a pain to keep up with though.  I even bought special shampoo to try to keep the color more vibrant longer and keep it moisture-filled.

Before and after hair cut & color

And I keep reading in magazines how guys like “beach waves”.  My hair is mostly on the straight side, only showing signs of curl when the humidity gets above 85%.  I bought a weird curling iron contraption to try to give me the beachy look.  I haven’t found time to try it yet, and am afraid it will dry out my colored hair.

Medieval torture device?

Medieval torture device?


I have never had a very good skin care regimen.  Dove soap is often my face cleaning product of choice.  For a short time I tried the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty products.  I liked them, but found I was using less and less of them.  Then they changed the moisturizer and added more SPF.  I got a terrible skin rash and discontinued it’s use.  It wasn’t long before I gave up buying the face wash as well.

A few months ago, I had to take my mom to the dermatologist for a skin rash thingy on her hand.  They had lots of free samples in the office, so I grabbed them all.  One I used and liked was CeraVe foaming facial cleaner.  It leaves your face feeling weird after you wash it, but I think that is because it isn’t stripping every single last drop of oil from your skin.  I have tried many moisturizers.  Without wanting to get pricey, the best I have found is Lubriderm body lotion.  It does the trick.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser


I bought myself 2 new watches the other day.  This can be tricky, due to my intense nickel allergy.  I also bought a new pair of earrings I haven’t had time to try yet.  The saleswoman claimed they were nickel-free, but she may just get paid to say that.  All my cool nickel-free jewelry I bought from Avon a few years ago is already tarnishing/losing color.  Makes me kind of sad.  I didn’t even hardly get to wear it much.


Other than a few new T-shirts and a few new pair of non-jean pants, I haven’t bought much.  I have a desire to have a few clothes that aren’t jeans or T-shirts.  But all that stuff just looks terrible on me.  It just looks like I am playing dress up or wearing the clothes of someone’s grandma.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something--or not.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something–or not.

I have managed to score some new footwear, courtesy of thrift stores and garage sales.  Unfortunately, most are not comfy enough to wear for a full day of work.

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

So, ya.  My husband probably thinks I am a crazy, spendy mess.  And I am.  But I also may be going through a mid-life crisis.  (I have low expectations about my own life expectancy.)  When I was younger, I used to try to picture getting old.  I could never picture myself older than 26.  Ugh.  I am 11 years past that now, quickly approaching 12.

Hopefully some of these things will make me look younger/feel more confident/not frighten small children.  Time will tell.


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