Baby, It’s Cold Outside

The classic duet Baby, It’s Cold Outside has always been one of my most favorite holiday songs–but unfortunately it perpetuates the stereotype of men conniving women to spend the night with them even after they’ve repeatedly said “no”.  Nothing screams Christmas cheer like sexual coercion, right?  But I grew up listening to this song with the scent of my mother’s cookies baking and despite the message, I still enjoy listening to it. Well leave it to Lady Gaga to at least reverse the gender roles in her rendition with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  They’re both so talented–it’s just delightful (find out about the original versions here).

By the way– “‘No’ means ‘no'” is not good enough, but only “yes” means “yes”… There’s a debate on college campuses around the country on redefining the standards; read more here and help prevent sexual assault.

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Go Jennifer Lawrence!

I love a good story about someone standing up to the sexual crimes against women that are so widespread in our society.  Jennifer Lawrence isn’t taking her stolen nude photos lightly–and she shouldn’t!  This is a victory for American culture.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/02/jennifer-lawrence-doesn-t-need-to-laugh-this-one-off.html

Ways to Make Extra Cash

moneypiles

Now that school is winding down and I’m about to have an expensive Master’s degree with no job in sight, I decided to be proactive instead of worrying myself to death.  After scouring the internet, I found some extra ways to make money.  I can’t say they’re all appealing, but if your situation is desperate enough, give ’em a shot.

Here are some of the top *realistic* (for most people) ideas I found:

  1. Dog walking/pet sitting
  2. Babysitting
  3. House cleaning or handiwork
  4. Participating in medical/research studies (I already do at Rutgers)
  5. Donating body parts (blood plasma, eggs or sperm, hair, etc.)
  6. Selling my stuff–(get ready for a garage sale guys!  …or eBay, Craigslist, Poshmark, etc.)
  7. Freelance work (oh, wait, my skill set doesn’t really work like that)
  8. Work special events (sounds interesting: read what they said here)
  9. Renting out a room (I already do that, too)
  10. Blog or make websites (sooo… where’s my money from this?)

Some things I found were pretty shocking and some made me laugh.  One of the pages I found was Xfinity Finance, which had a 24-item list, some were ridiculous, while others are worth considering.  DailyFinance.com says “Go Scavenging: 100,000 homeless can’t be wrong!”  Ha!  That’s terrible, but I don’t know if it’s worse than them suggesting you “Head to a Casino” for extra cash.  Money.HowStuffWorks.com had some oddly-career-specific suggestions, like Teleradiology or teaching a college class–really?  Let me just start that tomorrow for some extra pocket cash.  Several sources also suggesting wrapping your car with ads–do people really want to do something like that?

This search has been both intriguing and depressing, but I think I’ll get back to sending out résumés now.

Photo credit: http://coloradopeakpolitics.com/2013/08/02/follow-the-money-initiative-22-funders-in-the-spotlight/money-ii/

Amazing! Must Read: Stop Saying “I Have A Boyfriend” — Eberhardt Smith

I can’t believe how simply and eloquently this is put, but for so many women it’s an unconsidered game-changer.  Whether you’re married, single, gay, straight, or anything else, give this a read and pass it on to all the females you love:

Stop Saying “I Have A Boyfriend” — Eberhardt Smith.

 

Help Eliminate Food Waste

Here’s a really awesome infographic on America’s food waste problem.  Knowledge is power, now you’re armed to fight it. 🙂

Tackling Food Waste Crisis

I found that on UpWorthy, check it out here.

Great Resources for Quitting Smoking

Happy 2014 everyone!  Like so many of us, I have some pretty cliché New Years Resolutions this year–but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to make them happen.  At the top of my list (and most other people’s) is quitting smoking.

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One thing I’ve found comforting and helpful during this process is that I’ve quit before.  There’s some very high average of times that it takes a person to quit for good because many people don’t stay quit after the first try.  A little over a year ago I quit cold turkey and stayed quit for 9 months–I know that I have my own dumb reasons (*cough*excuses) for starting up again, but the first time was so much scarier because everyone always talks about how hard it is to quit; that terrified me.  This time, I’m armed with the knowledge that I’ll have a few days of mild to moderate discomfort and then be back on my merry way.  It’s not actually that bad.  And I’m not some casual or light smoker saying this, I smoked for 11 years, some times up to 2 packs/day.  So if I can do it, so can you (or your mom or boyfriend or cousin, or whomever you’re supporting in this–anyone can do it!)

Other helpful tidbits:

  • Clean your house, car, etc. Get the lighters and ashtrays and smell out of there so you don’t think about it (as much)
  • Avoid people, places, and things that trigger you, or make you want to smoke the most.  Don’t go to the bar the first week or 2 of quitting (if that’s a major issue, maybe cigarettes aren’t your only addiction, seek help), don’t hang around your smoker friends for a little while (just stay home and read or get something accomplished), do things that you couldn’t smoke while doing anyway (like going to a movie theater)
  • Exercise will make you not want to smoke and you’ll feel even better about yourself
  • Food is a tricky reward for some people (like me); not only will I want to eat everything all the time, but then I’ll feel guilty and sad about gaining weight and slacking on my overall goal of getting healthy, and plus I’ll be so full that I’ll want to smoke more after ’cause I’m stuffed.  Food might work as a reward for you if you can keep it in moderation, but if not just stick to chewing gum or pen caps or straws.
  • Vacation – the first time I quit, I was on a trip to my aunt’s house where my boyfriend and I were the only smokers.  It seemed wrong to intrude on her nice, healthy lifestyle with our routine smoke breaks, and she lived in such a lovely area it even felt wrong to throw our butts out.  Not only did we not fit in there, but it was easier to stop while being out of our daily grind.  The triggers and cues weren’t there, so it wasn’t that bad.  Obviously not everyone can get away for a few days, or find an affordable place to stay that’s so lovely and peaceful that smoking feels wrong, but if you can it works.
  • Water … just drink it, a lot of it
  • It gets easier and easier with time!

It’s been 4 days for me now, and I can’t say it’s easy, but I’ve had some help.  Supportive friends and family members can go a long way.  Additionally, I’ve searched the web looking for help.  Here are some great resources I’ve found online in my battle with cigarettes:

“Quit Smoking” Timeline — Maybe you’ve seen this or something like it in a different form, but I find it fascinating.  It’s a timeline of the health improvements that occur when you quit smoking.

Become An Ex — I really liked this website; it’s all about planning to quit and what to expect.  It also helps you target a quit date, identify triggers, and other great tools.  Well done.

SmokeFreeTXT — this text messaging service from smokefree.gov (which is also helpful) was a pretty interesting idea to me, so I signed up.  They check in about how I’m doing and text me various times throughout the day with little inspirational messages, such as “Think about what you are gainign and why you want to leave cigarettes behind.  Stay focued – it will get easier.”  It might not be helpful to everyone, but I really like their little messages.  They send out a few throughout the day randomly (not annoyingly) and it makes me feel a little comforted.

I hope this was in someway helpful to your struggle with quitting smoking.  It’s a difficult time but it’s well worth the payout.  If you have any tips or resources, or a success story, feel free to share them below!

photo credit: http://www.quittingsmokingabc.com/about/

Post-Christmas Purge

I came across this article and it’s a pretty good idea.

Post-Christmas Purge – i Dream of Clean.