Thursday, February 27, 2014

Friday Articles (5)

Obamacare stats still hard to nail down
Obamacare is here to stay
I have a close connection to the Affordable Care Act because I determine eligibility for Medicaid and Food Stamps as my job. It is so easy to say that ACA is a negative thing because it takes money from people who earned it and gives it to people who didn't. In our world, charity is commonplace and worldwide. I believe it is common human decency to offer healthcare to everyone. It breaks my heart when I have to call a client and say I'm sorry but you are not eligible for Medicaid (whatever the reason). Sometimes, people can't work legitimately but were denied social security disability or supplemental security income. Sometimes, the person is 2 years too young. Florida did not change the Medicaid standards - we voted to keep it the way it is and not take the extra government money to provide care to childless people between the ages of 21-65.

Orphans' lonely beginnings shape the brain
I remember reading and feeling heartbroken when I was 11 about orphans in other countries. I have wanted to adopt for a long time. This article doesn't attest to if conditions are different now, so I hope things are different (anyone have any insight?). This article just explains things I knew instinctually.

I am dreaming of the Vatican. And Thailand, and Japan, and Romania, and Poland, and France, and Somalia, and the home of my heart, Malawi.

New Orleans Bars during Mardi Gras
I have a love affair with New Orleans. I want to live there. The city is so gorgeous. I love the French market (where I found a Malawian sister I spoke in Chichewa with) and Jackson Square where I bought beautiful art. I love historic, and it just is history and beauty. Love.

Ways to Save without Coupons
Paycheck Budgeting
I am big on saving lately. So this is a win.

You're Kidding, she's homeless?
More proof of the adage 'Don't judge a book by its cover.' I firmly believe that everyone is worthy of respect and I will always offer what I have to those who might not. Regardless of what I think of their situation, who am I to judge and decide how they should live, spend their money, look for jobs, eat, sleep? I am living my life in my own way and I am sure that people don't agree with how I do - I know people don't. You never know where someone is coming from until you ask them.

Buzzfeed Photoshops real women
Ugh, fascinating and horrorifying. I hate beauty ideals. I struggle to get past them; I think I mostly have but then not so long ago, I cried when thinking about getting on the scale in front of my boyfriend. It is so frustrating and degrading. At times, I feel so much shame for the way I look. It is not a good place to be. It is something I work on daily.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Honesty is the best, and scariest, at times, policy.

Hello Blog World and Blog Readers (who may or may not read this regularly),
I am gonna get some honesty going. There is a stigma in my mind behind admitting things particularly about weight and sex. So this is my corner of the blogosphere to get this out and admit it. It feels very public to me.

I have an eating disorder. I am overweight.
I said it. I am a chronic, compulsive binger and I can't control it. I have many issues with food, and the biggest one is that I am a secret, shameful, compulsive binger. I am coming out and admitting it because that is the first step to getting better, to coming to terms with my food problems and learning to love food again in a pure sense, rather than a shameful, guilty pleasure.

I emotional eat. It is a huge part of why I am overweight - I don't deal with stress or anxiety. I eat instead. And I feel a lot of stress and anxiety. Instead of finding healthy outlets, I binge on candy or cookies (or just the dough too) or pasta. I am anxiety ridden and I can't let go because I eat my feelings instead (hello, mean girls).

My heart is terrified to push publish. My fingers are honestly trembling and my eyes are watering. This is a major fear and a major step for me.

Here's to a new me, one baby step at a time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Articles (4)

This is so cool! I love the ocean and scuba and have always wanted a kickass underwater camera like that. Totes jealous. Anyways, this is just a sweet video of an octopus.

LGBTQ Microaggressions   
Racial Microaggressions
These are very interesting to me. I find I am curious and want to understand people, not because I see differences as a problem, but simply because I find people fascinating. I enjoy seeing how other people think and react and feel and it's enthralling to me. I have asked/done some of these things without realizing or thinking about how it might be on the other side.

"Harry Stiles" on Jimmy Fallon
I was cracking up at this. I love Kristin Wiig and so freakin funny. Just watch it, and love it.

Sugar is scary?
It is worrisome how much sugar affects us. I truly can feel a difference in my body and attitude on days with sugar and days with (let's be honest) less sugar (because I haven't gone without in a long time). I have been postponing doing a full Whole30 (I did a Whole11 before - aka I ran out of money) to save money and eat what is in the house already, so I will have to prioritize this now.

Early Black Feminists
I only knew 3. Sad. I am glad that I was able to educate myself a little more though!

Sexual Assault at a "Christian" college
I will get angry and start a rant if I comment, so I won't, but this is a worthwhile read (and it's short - but it still made me mad).

Why some are renouncing US Citizenship
This provoked some thoughts. I was interested in seeing why people would give up citizenship. I would consider expatriating for a time (and was a Peace Corps Volunteer), but the benefits to being a US citizen always outweighed the benefits of being of different citizenry. So it is interesting to see the other perspective that I was missing and not seeing.

War on HIV Stigma
HIV Stigma
Yes. Love. I love that more information is being taught and the old avoidance and fears are being addressed. There should not be a stigma for this. My heart breaks for the 7-year-old little boy in the second story (though I am glad he had a good outcome).

Other interesting articles you may want to read:
Old Norse message decoded

Encouragement to improve welfare in England

Average home rates across the US

Ancient Mammoth Tusk

What tax docs to keep

Presidential Favorite Books


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Refurbishing a chair is dirty business PART ONE

I found this chair at Goodwill. Look at how well-shaped she is. 

The rounded arms, the cushion...

the cute curve to her back...
made for a beautiful chair. 

After removing the animal hair covered and stained fabric (gross), I found the foam to be in poor condition. I have to replace the foam. I was hoping it would be salvageable, but unfortunately not. I have already picked out the fabrics for the replacement and started sewing. A pretty burgundy canvas for the chair, and a taupe with black stripes for the cushion. I finished sewing the cushion and it turned out pretty well. I have to adjust the seams on the main part - the seam turned out a bit awkward. I am also interested to see how I will do the bottom, the chair has a plywood base, but the arms are molded from what I think is polystyrene (which I will attempt to make stable and strong with some sort of paint or glaze or something - any suggestions?). The previous fabric had a cinching bottom, so I am going to do that. I know I can cinch well, but I have never sewed the looping system for the rope to go through. Once I scrub down the chair, spray the leg and feet and replace the foam, this beautiful little chair will find a home in a nook in the house for me to read on.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Influenster and RimmelLondon US Brand Challenge Winner!!!

I love makeup. I don't wear it daily, but I love having it. I still have a giant caboodle (remember those?) filled with my favorite products from my RimmelLondon ScandalEyes mascara to my Mabelline BabyLips (I only have 7 or 8). I love being able to create a new look. So when I found out I was a Brand Challenge winner for Rimmel London, I was especially excited! I got my package today!!!

So, 2 Show-Off Lip Laquers, 2 different eyeliners and a new mascara. So excited to try it all out!!! Thanks Influenster and Rimmel London!
(This is a complimentary prize package and I am in no way compensated for my opinion or the trying out of these products nor am I required to state a positive opinion.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Friday Articles (3)

Malawian Music
Corresponding Music Video
I love Malawian music. This song just warms my heart and reminds me of Lyzineti and Neuton (my bestie Julia's 3 year old twins) dancing with me on my front porch or back patio. I just have such fond memories of Malawian and imported Nigerian music (really anything played on the matolas at extreme volumes so they can watch the azungu with REALLY good balance dance in the truck beds). There is nothing so satisfying to me as a good run with the music to remind me of my second home.

Stopping Deforestation Makes Good Business Sense
I love trees. I am a tree hugger, I suppose. I love green and growing things. I planted a few trees while I was in Malawi and coddled my cute little avocados like children. Love trees. I made compost for trees, not a garden. That, and gardens take lots of work and I'm busy and easily distracted. But I love trees and truly believe that everyone should be planting trees. I have started growing an avocado tree here, and it is about 2 feet tall. It is seriously awesome that Unilever is taking an approach to move in the right direction and help rebuild our planet, and not keep depleting its resources without replacement (side note: I know nothing about Unilever outside of this article).

This is fantastic!
I love her math and the poetry and rhyme. Beautiful spot on economics and immigration by a British woman speaking about the UK, but applies just as easily here in the US. I work for Florida state, in the Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency. I got some shit for taking this job, but it is a beautiful thing. It creates more spending power in the hands of people, of businesses, of workers like me. It is not without its flaws, of course, but the fact is that there is so much misrepresented by welfare in general. In Florida, ineligible noncitizens (read: those with no INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) status) have NO rights to benefits, no social security, no medicare, no pensions or retirements or 401ks. I find this horrifying. These people are beneficial to the US. I won't go further into it than that, because her math explains it all.

Humans of New York
I had planned for another article, but I found this page and browsed it for forty minutes. Sorry not sorry (also, you're welcome).

List of more articles I don't have time to comment on, but loved reading:
3 Economic Lessons

Poor women and marriage

Fight like the Peace Corps

Beautiful, beautiful NFL reporter - exposing the contradiction

Candy and Politics

So this week was fun...

Or the complete opposite really. Sunday, my car's right rear wheel was squeaking. Not badly, just a little bit. Monday, I drove from work to school over the Howard Frankland (major Tampa bridge) and about 2 minutes after passing the last turn-around-in-case-of-emergency, I pull over to see why my car is super loud and pulling. Turns out something or other was wrong and because I ignored the problem, I damaged the rotor as well. 600+ in the hole. Thank you, car, see you later, paychecks. I called Doug and burst into tears. When he was got to the point where he just didn't know what to say anymore, I called my mom. Sometimes, a girl just needs her mom. Luckily, I could only drive about 10 miles an hour for most of the bridge. Cause my face was red and swollen from crying so hard. I finally get to class, walk in, turn my paper in and turn right back around and leave again. I didn't want to get in an accident in the dark! I get home and my brother agreed to drive me to Doug's, who had agreed to walk to work so I could borrow his car.
Some weeks are like this. I didn't post because I was too stressed about my car. And disappointed that my savings would be blown again. But that's okay now. I got the emotion out and now, it is back to saving and setting goals.
Soon, I will be meeting them.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Behavior Modification update

I tracked my eating for the past week and just saw how and why I eat what I do.
In order to develop a baseline understanding of how I deal with food and my motivations behind eating, I wrote down everything I ate, how I felt before and after I ate and why. Included is a graph depicting the levels of stress versus the level of hunger. I discovered that I eat when hungry, stressed and I eat too much particularly when I stressed. I realize that I need to learn to eat properly and adjust my disordered eating habits and replace them with healthier habits.
It is easy to see that I have very disordered eating and I am very unhealthy with the way I eat.
Let's see how this goes!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Friday Articles (2)

Look! I am following through. This week, I found some interesting videos, as well as articles.

Cracking me up
Now, I hate sexism, but these were still funny, despite that.

Project Cupcake
I have been reading Cupcakes and Cashmere for a LONG time. Years, really. Emily just bought a new house, and I am in the ready-to-buy-but-waiting-for-a-nice-chunk-of-savings stage of buying a house. Here is how her kitchen got remade!

Literary Valentines
I love these. So adorable, and perfect for even Valentine's grinches like myself.

I am a big fan of traveling of any sort. All of these trips sound magical.

Advice from older women
I love articles like this.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Explains so much!

Woody Allen Article

The above article is SO explanatory of our culture in America today. The blame lies on the victim, who wore slutty clothes, or said yes with her body. No means no. No never means take advantage of me. I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with having been raped. It was hard to admit. I assumed people would think I was lying. It was scary for me to admit it, but it was scarier thinking that I would be locked in a cage of deceit, never able to tell the whole truth, my truth. I still struggle with that. I still struggle with admitting who raped me, and how, and my guilt sometimes eats me alive. I am still not over it. It is better. I don't often think about it, but I do think about it. I do think about how I was "complicit" (I wasn't) and I have to talk myself through it, more often than I wish I had to. It is so easy to put the blame on the victim. Rape is a horrible crime. There is a damn good reason that prisoners, murderers in particular, are known for despising and wanting to (and attempting to kill rapists/molesters - see this article as an example - this is a trigger for me, so I don't look often for articles such as these - though I found that one quite easily).
Our culture is a terrifying thing that mutes victims in favor of the perpetrators. I believe that we live in a society that is inherently a "boys club" by nature. "Boys clubs" are the loyalty and protection men offer one another; not a literal club, it is a description of the nature of how men and boys get along in the world. Societally, it is easy to note that boys are socialized to be masculine, fighters, protectors. It is scarier to note that boys grow into men who will protect another man who is violating another human (see Sandusky).

The Woody Allen article calmed me to a degree. I felt less alone after reading it. And that is a step in my right direction, my path to freedom and peace.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kiss Nails RoseVoxBox UPDATED

I am so excited! I won the Brand Challenge for Kiss! I LOVE painting my nails. I have a drawer dedicated to my various polishes, polish stickers, files, clippers, etc. I probably paint my nails 2-3 times a week. It is a relaxing thing for me, so this is a perfect prize when I am in the midst of a new job, being back in school for the first time in 3 years, and trying to figure out some good time management skills.
So this challenge prize is a set of imPRESS press-on manicure and a KISS Nail Artist Kit. I am so stoked to use these! I l-o-v-e painting my nails.
I videoed opening my package, even though it is just an envelope! I will definitely show some nail styles in the future!
Woo! Youtube Video

Kiss Facebook page


Broadway Nails Facebook Page

Follow +Influenster +KissProductsInc +BwayNails on google+
On twitter and Instagram, @kissproducts, @influenster, @bwaynails

(If you want to follow me, my twitter handle is @lindquistcait.  instagram is @caitybug829. )

How to Use imPRESS nails! - my personal tutorial
I am officially impressed. I usually am not a fan of press-on nails, to be honest. I like these. They are short, which is perfect (but come in other lengths for the different strokes). They don't look natural, but whenever you get a full set in a nail salon, those don't look natural either. So I am a-okay with that. The pattern is cute and fun. They seem to be pretty well-adhered, and the shape is rather fitting with my cuticles. I am a fan so far. I will let you know how they hold up and how long they last. :)
Here's some pics to show em off!