1. Thanks to the suggestion by Alexi Wasser on her podcast Love Alexi, I watched the documentary Miss Representation on Netflix earlier this week. It’s about how women are portrayed in the media, especially about the idea that their entire value is based upon appearance and sex appeal. It leads to things like a huge lack of women in powerful positions (only 17% of Congress is currently female. Feel free to work on changing that on Nov 8!) to half of girls ages 6-8 already thinking they should be thinner.
I teared up a couple of times during the movie, but I definitely lost it when my beloved Rachel Maddow spoke about how often she hears that shes just too hideous to be on TV. Amazing Rachel, the Rhodes scholar, the BA from Stanford and doctorate in politics from Oxford, the person who has RT’d pics of my cat and called me awesome on a really rough day. Warm, funny, blindingly brilliant Rachel, told on a regular basis that she shouldn’t be doing the news because she’s not attractive enough. Because male news hosts are all so attractive. (Ok, so I know a couple who are.)
I posted a clip on my Instagram that really stood out to me, both in terms of absurdity and just how true it is. (Hopefully posting it was legal since it’s less than 30 seconds? If not… oops?)
2. These two little bottles were my Debate Night Supplies for Wednesday:
I grabbed the Godiva without noticing that it was the white chocolate kind, but it ended up being super tasty, especially mixed with pretty much any kind of coffee beverage. A+ way to make PSLs more fun.
I neeeeever drink whisky, but I was curious about this apple cider flavored one and was surprised it was actually pretty tasty. Was also surprised that it hit me pretty hard, despite only having a couple of sips. I guess my body totally knows what to do with vodka, but this confused it. (These were procured at my fav local liquor store for like $2.50 and $1 respectively. Yay for tiny booze!)
3. Last month, Chewy.com sent us a big box of Natural Balance Chicken & Green Pea cat food, because they are awesome and like to spoil my cats with yummy things and new boxes to curl up in.
Mom’s cat Pepper volunteered to be the model for this one. Is America’s Next Top Cat Model a thing? I think she’d win.
I don’t often buy food that comes in little cans like this since I have a whole herd of cats to feed, but it’s awesome for spoiling them with now and then! (And ooh, I just saw that it’s also available in the more standard size 5.5 oz cans. Yay!) Tennyson wasn’t a fan, but he’s by far the pickiest and not that into pate style foods in general. Everyone else loved it! It’s a little…stickier? in texture than the average pate, so it sticks to a spoon really well if you just want to let your kitty have a spoonful as a treat. (Am I the only one who does that?) That lickable texture could come in really handy if you have an older cat with chewing issues or kittens just learning to do the solid food thing, though!
This particular food is part of Natural Balance’s LID (Limited Ingredient Diet) line, which is designed to be super easy to digest, grain free, and full of protein from a single source, so it’s perfect if your pets have food sensitivities. After recently realizing that if all goes well (and we’re not hit with another unpredictable tragedy like a few weeks ago), most of my cats could easily still be around into my 50s, it’s made me even more committed to seeking out the healthiest food as often as I can to help keep them around as long as possible! (Bear is almost 5 and I’m almost 35, so he has been informed that living into his 20s is now expected of him.)
4. Amazon gets a HUGE thumbs up from me this week. I ordered one of their Amazon Basics iPhone chargers because it was $5.99 with free Prime shipping (compared to at least $10 for a charger almost anywhere else) and my old one is literally falling apart. The charger I got is ok, but if I don’t wiggle it into the USB drive juuuuuuust right, it won’t connect and charge. Not a huge frustration, but pretty annoying when you plug in your phone, come back an hour later, and discover it was never charging. I’ve never returned anything to Amazon before, so I was freaking giddy when I learned that I have 30 whole days to send the defective one back, but they’d ship out a new one ASAP. Without me even needing to ASK if I could hang on to the current one a couple of days so I could keep my phone charged in the mean time. LOVE THAT. Then I got an e-mail informing me that it had shipped, and that because it’s one of their store brand products it automatically has a one year warranty. My actual Apple charger only lasted about 10 months before it started falling apart, so a 1 year warranty included on a $6 charger is pretty awesome! Of course, if the 2nd one is troublesome, too, I’ll probably be a little less excied about the actual product, but at least I know I can return it with zero hassle. I’m still just blown away that I bought what must be one of the cheapest iPhone chargers in existence, and it came with badass customer service AND a warranty. Amazon, will you marry me??
Compare that to my ex-bank, Regions Bank, who I’ve been going back and forth with for almost a MONTH because they charged me a $36 overdraft fee on a 9 cent charge, which I am pretty sure is illegal (they claim the policy changed last year) but is DEFINITELY immoral. I messaged them a few times through their website, starting with just asking what the charge was for, then the “Uhh, isn’t an overdraft fee on something under $5 against the law?” and then letting them know I needed to close my account because there’s no way I’d continue to work with a bank that would treat customers that way… and now *magically* their online messaging system gives me an error every time I try to reply to them, and just keeps telling me to call instead. I tried their customer support email, they replied asking for a number to call me at. It’s a whole long stupid story, but man does Amazon’s quick, awesome problem resolution make them look amazing in comparison.
5. We all know that the refugee crisis is awful, and I’d guess that most of us have thought at least briefly about what it would be like to have to flee home with only what we can carry and give up everything we know in order to save our lives and our families. That’s the big picture, but there are so many little details of everyday life that we take for granted that displaced people really miss.
A lot of Syrian refugee women and girls currently in Lebanon are working on farms and making a few dollars a day, so you can imagine what a drain on household resources buying period supplies is. Many who can’t afford them just fold up some cloth, wear a dark colored dress that won’t show stains, and hope for the best as they toil in the fields for long hours. (Even the “real” pads available for purchase in the area are mostly super low quality with no barrier to prevent leaks.)
Days For Girls creates reusable cloth underwear/pad combos that are hygienic and can last for three years. What I really love about this charity, though, is that they don’t just send women the reusable pads. They bring in sewing machines and supplies, and teach them how to make them themselves. So not only do they have their own set to use, but they can make them for friends and family, earn some extra money, learn new skills, and generally feel more empowered in such a helpless situation. They’re even teaching the girls and women marketing skills so that they can sell the kits to NGOs (non-government organizations) so the supplies can get to even more refuge women, and the ones making them have less stress around affording basic needs. Win-win!
So far, they’ve set up two sewing teams in Akkar, Lebanon, a city which is currently home to over 100,000 refugees, but they need funds for more supplies, equipment and training. They also provide education when they hand out the kits – everything from menstrual hygiene to how their cycle related to reproduction. (Many of the refugee women and girls they’ve worked with had never received any form of education on how the whole process works before.)
So… reliable period products that require minimal maintenance and are designed not to irritate skin, the feeling of freedom that comes from no longer needing to ask a male family member for money to buy products every month, new skills that they can continue to use even when they’re finally able to return to their home country, important education, and the empowerment that comes from learning something useful? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY, CHARITY! You can donate securely here – anything helps!
Special bonus item shout-out to Zofran and my fancy combo headache pills, which reduced yesterday’s Headache of Doom to just a couple hours of “OMG how can anything hurt this much?”, compared to the usual 24+ of absolute misery that often result in an ER trip because it just becomes unbearable. YAY DRUGS. (It’s funny, I usually don’t even take Tylenol when I hurt or don’t feel good, but as soon as the first signs of one of these headaches pops up, I will happily take ALL THE PILLS because I know what the alternative is like!)
My goal for this weekend is to focus on health and relaxing. I realized while feeling awful yesterday that I’ve had a LOT of stress on my shoulders lately, so I need to take a couple of days off from trying to accomplish all the things and just like… rest and eat good things and go for a walk. Wish me luck in actually *doing* that! Ha!
Unrelated to favs: I need your suggestions for a good Instagram widget for WordPress! Looking for something that will show a couple of recent pics in the sidebar. Nothing I’ve tried yet has worked out, but I know most of my readers are bloggers, so hopefully I can draw on your wisdom!
ICYMI – I posted my review of the Graze subscription box yesterday, including how you can get a box filled with delicious healthy snacks for freeeee! You’re gonna want to try the peach cobbler snack mix, trust me.