Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vantel Pearls/"Those Pearl Parties"

My coworker Jim and I had a few discussions about "those pearl parties"; making fun, not really understanding what they were about. Well, on St. Patty's Day I caved and played into one of those parties. Haha!

I received my pearl yesterday.

I was looking around on Facebook on St. Patty's and someone had shared a lady having a party at that present time. It was a live stream video and she was doing a contest to "find the golden oyster". It sounded fun; you get a pearl and, if you got a golden oyster, you'd get an additional $20 gift card to Starbucks. I thought, "What the hell...let me look at this catalog and see what's up"

My first take was: damn this shit is expensive. So, while perusing, I tried to find the most simple yet inexpensive thing I could find that I actually liked. I found what they call the "twister necklace" which was a sterling silver "cage" in which your pearl is put in.

So backtrack to how pearl parties work:

 1. When there is a live stream party ( because you only get to open an oyster if it's live--you CAN, however, shop anytime if you want to ) you shop the online catalog for what product you want. They have rings, necklaces, keychains, charms, etc. Prices vary, but they aren't cheap. I chose what I did because I knew sterling wouldn't flake away, it was simple so could be dressed up or down and it wasn't the most expensive thing in the book. Once you purchase, your name goes into a list and when it comes up on her screen, your hostess will shuck an oyster on the video and that will be "your pearl".

2. They show you your pearl up-close, go over color and size of your pearl and then put it in an envelope to be sent to Vantel Pearls for placement in your jewelry. Pearls come in numerous colors, but I think when you buy from the catalog and not a live show, it always comes with a white pearl. 

3. Your hostess ships all the party's pearls to the company, placement is done, they ship it BACK to the hostess who then ships it out to you.

4. You receive your jewelry within 2-4 weeks.
This is how my package came yesterday

Close up of my twister necklace with snow white pearl

I think the necklace is very cute; simply and classy. It will go with many different looks, which I like. 

Would I recommend Vantel Pearl parties? Sure. It was fun, but I think it's more a "one and done" type of thing. I most likely won't be purchasing any other items. I'd rather spend my money on LulaRoe or Coach bags.

Where can you find Vantel Pearl consultants? They probably come up on your Facebook feed periodically, but the lady that I purchased from is named Alicia Harmon and you can find her at She seems to have frequent parties and is very nice.

Can I possibly shuck my own pearl? You CAN! They have kits through Vantel where you get an oyster and a necklace and you can shuck your own at home ( I did see elsewhere, though, that you can buy the same types of kits on Amazon for cheaper ) It sounds like an awesomely unique gift to give for a birthday, Christmas or other special occasion.

Alright, so that is my review on Vantel Pearls. Leave a comment if you've ever purchased and let us know what you think! 

Thanks for reading! :)


A Thank You

As some of you may know, once we were told that Haley was misdiagnosed ( she was not in CHF but actually had laryngeal paralysis ) I set up a GoFundMe page. The surgery was estimated to cost $3k-$5k. This was an expense that completely caught me off-guard and would wipe my savings account clean. I know...woe is me..."At least you have a savings account"...etc, etc. But one of my biggest anxiety triggers ( one I frequently talk about in therapy ) revolves around money. And thousands of dollars out due to the error of the vet threw me into a slight mental breakdown. So, to offset some of the financial stress, I went to the kindness of strangers. 

Since I ( somewhat ) work in rescue, I thought the best place to go was my fellow pet lovers.

What surprised me was the mix of people who were kind enough to help during this crisis.

I know that it's hard in 2017. We all pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. My savings account isn't for fun, but to be available "for the next disaster". So to have so many people makes my heart melt. Friends, coworkers, strangers; all coming together to help Nathan keep his dog for a while longer.

If you've read my previous blog, Nate lost his sister to a drug overdose on March 13th. In my last blog, I described the emergency visit to Rossmoyne because Haley was struggling to breathe. It was a lot on his plate. And although some people think that the GFM was asking for a "handout", I see it as: Nathan and I are two people who are trying to get our lives in order, and a $5k bill would throw a monkeywrench right into our progress. Neither of us have a money-spending habit ( ie. "keeping up with the Jones's", gambling, drinking, drugs ) nor have either of us had to file bankruptcy or anything of that sort. We don't spend money that we don't have, we don't try to take out loans for anything and we are just trying to make a good life for ourselves.

When I met Nate, he was separated and amidst a divorce. I wasn't planning on meeting him, it just happened...and it happened at a bad time in his life. Anyone who's gone through a divorce knows that it can be emotionally and financially draining. And they know it takes time. Nate doesn't always have "extra"...and he's very kind about bills, so I tend to have a little more "extra" than he does. 

It was also a bad time in my life when we met, and I was financially drained after my accident. I didn't have a car for a while. I completely drained all but $250 from my savings ( that was the "next disaster" ) But we made it work, and here we are 2 and a half years later.

So I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who donated to help with Haley's medical bills and who shared her page. After fees, we will end up with about $880 to go right towards the Care Credit bill. We also had a generous donation called into the vet hospital and we were blessed enough to have the bill a few hundred dollars less than the smallest quote they gave us. In times of disaster, you have to the be thankful for the small victories.

And to those naysayers that think it's absurd that we asked for help, that they would've just "put their dog down if they couldn't afford it", or said Haley is JUST a dog...fuck you. I don't want children; that's my choice. So all that love that I would give to a child, I put into pets. Would you say the same thing to someone who can't have children? Who knows...maybe I can't. How insensitive. And "going into debt" over a dog is just as "bad" as buying a $50k truck you don't need or ATVs/boats/fun things you can't afford or hundred dollar pairs of shoes you'll wear once or just...objects to make you look good to outsiders. 

How about this? mind your own fucking business and don't worry about what we spend our money on. Or if we ask for help or not. It's not like I'm asking strangers to help us build the porch we've been wanting to build for a year and a half...we asked for help to save a dog.

And an update on Haley: we picked her up yesterday and she's doing well. She's on about half a dozen pills and on limited activity for about 10-14 days. She's been sleeping a lot ( she's on Tramadol and Trazadone, so of course she's zonked ) and they shaved her neck, as the surgery was slightly invasive. She's got a dry cough from sedation but she's still a hog when it comes to her food and wagging her tail all over the place. Nate is a happy dog-dad and relieved to have his baby home.

I will be shutting down the GFM page probably Friday. If anyone else would like to make a contribution, I thank you ahead of time. 

And to everyone else who sent well-wishes, prayers and monetary donations: thank you SO much, from the bottom of our hearts!