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Showing posts from December, 2013

#365FeministSelfie -- Are you in?

2015 UPDATE: This challenge will continue on into 2015. I started something that can't go back into the bottle, so let's do this! Read more at my EOY post.  When Jezebel posted a ridiculous piece about selfies being a "call for help," I was well aware that the selfie was under attack from other parts to society. A few days ago the amazing Nina Garcia , of Marie Claire & Project Runway, shared an infographic over Twitter about selfies making us more narcissistic. President Obama looked like he got in trouble over a selfie. Selfie is the word of the year. The funeral selfie apparently is the worst we can get.  But what about positive selfies? Yesterday I saw a mom and her maybe-5yo-daughter taking a selfie. They were making silly faces and snapping pics. Those were memories being made, moments of love that both will likely remember forever. I take those with Ella for the same reason - we are marking a moment in time. Then there are the countless pieces

2014 brings hope to end parental rights for rapists

As we approach January 1st, the Tribune reminds us of new laws such as a statewide ban on tanning beds for those under 18, increased penalties for using social media to organize "flash mob attacks" and that sex education must include discussion of birth control (schools can still opt to not teach sex ed at all). But the new law I am excited to see is a law that better restricts rapists parental rights : On January 1, 2014, IL Public Act 098-0476 becomes effective. This new law has many added benefits to victims of sexual abuse who give birth to a child conceived of that abuse. Public Act 098-0476 amends 750 ILCS 45/6.5 by broadening the restrictions to include “men who father through sexual assault or sexual abuse” rather than only “sex offenders.” This important amendment means that victims no longer have to have to wait for a conviction of their attacker, which may never come, in order to terminate parental rights of a rapist. To protect against false accusation

Saving P.L. Travers from Walt Disney

Ella & I saw the trailer to "Saving Mr. Banks" before "Frozen"...I think...anywho, we saw it, looked at each other and knew we had to see the movie. We were so sold on it, due to our love of "Mary Poppins," that I didn't even do research on the movie. So when we went to see it we were unprepared for the actual movie. We went in expecting to see a funny & sweet movie about how a control-freak author deals with Disney's team of screen & song writers to create the masterpiece Ella & I love. And in all honesty, this is kinda what you get with the movie. But within the first five minutes, I smelled a rat. I know, I know, what else should I expect from Disney? I'm not that cynical. But the depiction of P.L. Travers, the author of the series of Mary Poppins [disclaimer: that's an affiliate link there] books, was just down right one-dimensional that I knew too much was missing from her side of the story. Since our viewing t

Review: EOS Hand Lotion & Lip Balm

A few years ago a weird looking lip balm was in the Blogher swag bag. I remember thinking, "This is too weird to take off." Cause who would want a lip balm that is shaped like a ball. You can't tuck that into your pocket! Well, I was super wrong. According to Ella, my 10yo daughter, a lot of the girls at school have EOS lip balm. And well, I finally tried mine and fell in love. It's not too greasy, just enough moisture. I buy another line for my super chapped lip days, but my daily lip balm is EOS mint . This is why I responded with a resounding "YES!" when I was asked if I wanted to do a review of their new line of hand lotion (that's me holding " fresh flowers "). Winter is tough on my body. My skin gets dry very easily and the fact that I adore hot showers doesn't help. I keep lotion in my office desk and in most of my bags. It's one of those items I am always on the hunt for the "perfect one." EOS hand lotion is

4 songs that prove Dolly Parton is a genius

I grew up listening to country & western music in the late 70s and early 80s. I still feel like it is a classic period for this genre and Dolly Parton is certainly one big reason. While people only see a walking Barbie doll, I see a lyrical genius. And yes, this is totally a result of me seeing all the other lists posted on people's FB pages and me thinking, "Oh, these should be a list of..." So here you go: 1) Coat of Many Colors:   "My coat of many colors that my momma made for me, made only from rags, but I wore it so proudly." 2) Jolene: "Your beauty is beyond compare, with flaming locks of auburn hair, with ivory skin and eyes of Emerald green. Your smile is like a breath of spring, your voice soft like summer rain, and I cannot compete with you, Jolene." 3) 9 to 5: So many great lines in this one! "Pour myself a cup of ambition" "For service and devotion, you would think that I would deserve a fair promotion"

Dining ethically is more than just a good tip

Anyone who has ever eaten out knows that you should tip your server. But most of us most likely do not know WHY we need to leave a fair tip. For the record, I usually tip around 20%. The closest I have been to being a restaurant server was my summer at Santa's Village putting french fries and pizza puffs on people's trays. I did not wait tables to make my way through college. Why? Cause I knew I would totally and utterly suck at it. Thus, I tip as generously as I can, especially when very much earned, because I admire anyone who can remember my order, check on me and all that jazz that makes a meal out a happy event. I was shocked to learn, a few years ago, that because servers work for tips, their minimum wage is $2.13 . What the WHAT?! And that hasn't changed in 22 years. I did know that most of them do not have access to paid sick days . Which of course means people who serve you lunch have to decide to go to work sick (possibly making you sick) or staying home and los

Today in rape culture...

A Woodstock, Illinois police officer has been given a 30 day suspension (that he can take one day at a time over the course of a year) for texting his then-girlfriend's preteen daughter and asking for sexy pics: The girl's parents are furious about what they say is light punishment for a city insider who they think should have been fired. Her father, who the Tribune is not naming to avoid identifying the girl, accused law enforcement officials of hypocrisy. "He's no better than who he's arrested," the father said. And sadly it appears that the fact he used an official database to do a background check on the ex-girlfriend may be more illegal than trying to sext a 12-year-old girl.  Then people wonder why women don't trust the police. It's not just the action of this man, but the fact his superiors weight his years of service versus his violation of this girl's personal space. Good gawd, I'm so furious I can't even find the righ

Book Review: The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie

Making dinner is a chore for me. I hate having to figure out what to make every...single...day. Ugh! But baking ? Oh, that is where I shine. Cupcakes, cookies, brownies...oh, my! And of course when I was asked if I wanted to review " The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie: Recipes, Techniques, and Wisdom from the Hoosier Mama Pie Company " by Paula Haney and Allison Scott, I said "YES!!!!" First of all, the book is beautiful and sturdy. You won't have to worry about it being on your counter as you bake up a storm. But while I was excited to get the book, once I opened it and started to read through the recipes, I started to feel overwhelmed. The only time I've tried to bake a pie I have used store bought crusts. And well, the results were so bad that I haven't tried making a pie in ages. But I'm committed to bringing you, my dear readers, reviews based on my experience! And then something happened...Ella took over. Yes, my sweet 10-year-old daughter to

Book Review: The Book of Jezebel

The Book of Jezebel, edited by Anna Holmes and written by Kate Harding and Amanda Hess has been called a feminist text/coffee table book that will be on the coffee table of every third-wave feminist . NPR suggests you choose it over the latest Bridget Jones book! I suggest that you should instead send the $27 to your local abortion fund, Planned Parenthood or other fave feminist organization. I rarely ever write a negative review of a book. But I feel compelled to write this review because: The site Jezebel is the current crown-holder of feminist sites according to mainstream media; Anna Holmes says this book was conceived to " brand the site in book form" ; and People who might not claim feminism as a label, but are discussing feminist issues because of the blog or book most likely see Jezebel as representative of today's feminist movement. Basically, I wanted there to be a review that said, "We can do better feminism." Is Jezebel

This and That Tuesday

This is what you get when I'm trying to clean out my inbox and no time to write a lengthy piece about these stories: Voto Latino and Planned Parenthood Federation of America convened a panel discussion on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Latino community. The event was especially timely as the federal government and community partners on the ground prepare for the rollout of the Spanish language enrollment website, www.cuidadodesalud.gov , this month. Every year, more than 600,000 Latinos -- mostly Latinas -- visit Planned Parenthood health centers to access health care services, including important preventive services like well-woman exams, breast health services, and cervical cancer screenings. Soroptimist, the global women's organization, presents the annual Women’s Opportunity Awards, which provides cash grants to women for education and training. The 2013 Women’s Opportunity Award winner is Aziza Kibibi .  Aziza wa

Music Review: Wise Girl

I always chuckle when I get a pitch to review music. I think I have a weird taste in music that often goes for the most commercial sounds, as I listen to more music on the radio than hitting clubs to discover something new and indie. Yet I also love rock music that is mostly guitar and screeching boys (see: The Offspring) and folk music (see: Dar Williams). Which is why I rarely do music reviews. Anyone I do review means that they touched me in some way. For Wise Girl , they made me dance! I was identified as a reviewer because in a guest blog post for Infectious Magazine , Abby admitted, "It is tough being a woman running the show, especially on the business side of things," and in an article for The Sound Alarm , she advised women to "love yourself for who you are no matter what shape or size, don’t listen to what the media says is standard." I especially loved her definition of "being one of the boys." So crank up your speakers or plug in your e

Giving Tuesday

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and CyberMonday is Giving Tuesday . It started a few years ago by people who thought the focus on consumerism was getting out of control. So let's give back on Tuesday! As always, I have compiled a list of my favorite non-profits, charities and even a few crowd-funding projects that are worthy of your time. Some, like the Chicago Abortion Fund , may be simply a reminder to donate to your local abortion fund. Others are unique and deserve your love.