Saturday, August 16, 2014

Am I a Feminist?

So let's talk for a minute about feminism. I guess it's the circles I run in. Or maybe it's the audience I have. I get asked a lot if I am a feminist or what/who I support.

I'll give you this answer and I won't speak anymore on it. Here is what I support and believe in.

  • I believe that women and men should be treated equally in the workplace.
  • I believe that we must empower our young women and girls to have the careers they want and be who they want to be. 
  • I believe we must empower our young women and girls to embrace who they are. 
  • I believe we must empower our young men and boys to embrace who they are. 
  • I believe everyone must learn respect from a young age.
  • I believe that World War II began a movement that changed how women in this area of the world are seen.That era showed us that women can choose to work outside of the home or stay home and take care of a family. The bottom line is, we have that choice
  • I believe my choice to marry my husband and have a family with him is fine. 
  • I believe you may have a different choice and that's fine too.
  • I believe that telling young women "there are no women in -this career field-. So go get a career in it!" tells them something negative right away. If we instead encourage them to take up that career field by saying "We need women in -this career field- and here's how you can be part of it!" will give us a much more positive response.
  • I believe that if a little girl wants to be a Disney Princess then fine, let her imagine it. If she wants to be a truck driver with a wrench then fine, let her imagine it. 
  • I believe if a little boy wants to be a Disney Princess then fine, let him imagine it. If he wants to be a truck driver with a wrench then fine, let him imagine it. 
  • I believe that if someone disagrees with you, they aren't wrong. They just have a different opinion. 
  • I believe that women and men have both suffered abuse and sexual assault. Both need to have a safe place to have a voice and get help. 
  • I believe that surviving domestic abuse has made me stronger. I do not hate the people responsible for it. I have forgiven them. I hope everyone who has suffered abuse or sexual assault can feel the same way. 
  • I believe the word "trigger warning" is ridiculous and silly. You must learn to be responsible for your own emotions. You must learn that the internet and the world is full of stuff that might bring back a painful memory. And I would be a horribly selfish person if I made everyone else cater to me. 
  • I believe being afraid of men is ridiculous. I am not afraid of men. I am not afraid to walk down a street by myself. I haven't always lived in suburban Nashville, TN. I used to live in a very bad area of southern Dade County, Florida. I still walked down the street by myself. No one bothered me. 
  • I believe the use of hashtags and online activism can only go so far. You eventually have to do something if you're able to.
  • I believe many "feminist groups" glorify victims and paint men and other women to be villains. The more "battle wounds" you have (real or imagined) makes you "stronger" or somehow more of a feminist. For example, a woman who is divorced is suddenly a "hero" of certain circles because of her terrible marriage and meanie ex-husband. Or, a woman who blogs angrily about being cat-called is suddenly a "hero" in certain circles for standing up to harassment and men. A woman who disagrees with this is suddenly showing "internalized misogyny" and is written off as a product of the patriarchy. Can I fit anymore ridiculous words in that paragraph?  
  • I believe this "yesallwomen" hashtag that still circulates is an insult. It is not OK for you to speak for me. 
  • Most of all, I believe that everything I listed above pales in comparison to the struggles women in other parts of the world face. I believe that women in this area of the world have the ability to fight for them and help them. I believe we should do that in any way we can. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Activities to do with a young reader

My Step-daughter is a big reader. I love that about her! Still, I wanted to get involved past the point of "Tell me about your book?" Or "Will you read this to/with me?" I checked online and most of the resources focused on getting a young reader to read. She doesn't need any encouragement to read. She does that on her own! I wanted to find some creative ways to keep her engaged in books and engaged with us as well.

Thanks to some advice, here are some things we came up with.

1. A local "trip" based on the book. Maybe the latest book was about a girl working on a farm for the Summer. If there's a local farm nearby, take a trip. Talk about the things you see and how they showed up in the book. Compare characters and real life situations. Or, if the book was about a historic event maybe you can take a trip to the museum and talk about the real events surrounding the book.

2. Crafting the book! This is probably my favorite. My Step-daughter is becoming a fan of fantasy fiction. Her latest book was about a silly candy fairy. Obviously, we need to make a house for a candy fairy! No matter what the book is, think of a craft or something you can make to represent the book. It could be a favorite character or event in the book. Get creative!

3. Make some book marks! A lot of kids read on things like the Kindle and iPad these days. That's OK. Sometime down the road, they will read a book where pages need to be turned. Getting together and making book marks is a pretty neat activity. They can even go a step further and make book marks based on their current favorites.

4. Watch the book and talk about it. Did the book become a movie? Great! Grab the movie on Netflix and watch it together. Get some snacks and make a movie evening out of it. Once the movie is done, take a few minutes to talk about the movie versus the book. Did something change in the movie? Do you think the characters were what you imagined they would be? Get some discussion going!

5. Start a book club. Maybe the "book club" is just the two of you. Maybe some friends are involved as well. Either way, starting a book club together would be a blast. Make up a special sign for your book club and hang it on the door when the club is in session. Come up with a schedule for the "club". Pick out the book(s) you will read and how much you read each week/day.

How ULTA lost and gained me back as a customer

In July, I made an order with ULTA.  During this two week long issue with ULTA, they managed to lose my business and gain it back. How did that happen? With a very attentive representative named Sarah who lost the corporate speak and actually paid attention to me.

I won't go into detail on the issue. I will tell you that I went through three different representatives. Two via email and one on the phone. One of them didn't know where I lived, the other didn't understand the refund policy and gave me wrong information, the third didn't know what was going on. All three of them gave me different answers and provided no help beyond an "Oh, sorry."

Then came Sarah. Sarah is a representative with ULTA who was smart enough to do a few things right. Frankly, if companies took this stance more often you would be far better off.

Sarah dropped the corporate speak. She was professional and still articulate, but she dropped corporate speak. Sarah connected with me on a more personal level. She knew I was angry. She would be angry too! Hey, look at that! My feelings are validated! As a customer, that goes a really long way.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer is least for the kids

It's August already? The kids are back in school? Wow. How did that happen?

My Summer has been a very quiet Summer this year. Most of it was spent without the kiddos which made things far too quiet around the house. That's O.K. Both of them had a blast seeing family members, going to camp and having their first plane ride.

This Summer was also a few large changes for me. I continued blogging and writing. Something I have been doing for the last 12 years in one way or another. I also started to focus on expanding that into more content creation with my YouTube channel. The channel is starting to pick up steam and I have been learning more about promoting and keeping content fresh.

I've also gotten a little addicted to getting deep into analytics on YouTube and analyzing that data. No, I'm not any professional analyst. I have just learned some basics. It's become almost like a hobby for me.

Voice overs still remain a "thing" for me. While I don't actively pursue every job I see, I still do voice overs. In fact, I will be announcing a new project soon. I'm pretty stoked about it.

How was your Summer? Are you ready for school to start? Are you ready for the Fall to be here?

Saturday, August 9, 2014


This is the first post for the new blog I set up. I am going to start blogging random stuff I feel like talking about. Things that don't fit on Harps and Crafts or anywhere else. I hope you enjoy what you read.