Add It To My List: May 2017

 Link-up creators are Lauren from Eat, Drink, & Be Lauren and Bre from Bre Writes. Basically, they are always recommending things to each other- podcasts, television shows, music, blah blah blah. And they figured- why not share even further? So they created this link-up where bloggers can share basically anything they've been enjoying lately.
  • Steph's post about rape culture
  • Jen's post: I love my kid, but...
  • One Bad Mother podcast
    • So funny, and non-judge-y, and they believe you are doing a good job. This has been massive for me this past month.
  • Self-Care Action Plan video from How to Adult
    • This hit the day after the AHCA vote, which basically makes me hate my life and feel like the rest of the world will be happy when I no longer exist because I'm a stupid money-hungry bitch who had the audacity to have faulty plumbing and then get knocked up (in case you haven't heard, irregular periods and pregnancy are both "pre-existing conditions" that insurance companies can charge me more money for, because in today's America no one gives a flying fuck about anything other than money but especially not pathetic bitches like me). 
    • That turned into a rant, and I ain't fucking sorry for it. FUCK THIS ADMINISTRATION. Anyway, obviously I need this video and to take care of myself since no one else is interesting in my well-being, yet despite that I still know I'm fucking important.
  • This video where Hank Green talks about the difference between compensation and gratitude
  • This super old post about becoming a mother, that makes me want to cry but like also explains a lot about my life and is making me realize I have some...realizing to do.
These next two are ones I can't believe I didn't post last month! They are fantastic resources for introverts who want to voice their opinion to the government but are also super introverted or just too stressed to form logical sentences. They are both liberal-leaning, although Resistbot will deliver any message including conservative ones.
  • 5 Calls
    • This site encourages you to make 5 calls a day- but what I really enjoy about them is their script. You can look up different issues and they will give you a script in case you aren't quite sure how to voice a concern. Also, if you tell them that you didn't get through on a particular line they will give you alternatives so you can try again.
  • Resistbot
    • This is one of my favorite millennial things. You text this robot and it turns those texts into faxes for your representatives. It's glorious. And if you use it enough you get "perks," like you can choose to write only one representative at a time- today I "unlocked" the ability to send SNAIL MAIL y'all. I can text a message and they will print a letter and put a stamp on it for free and mail it.
      • Pro tip- copy the script from 5 Calls and send it to Resistbot. You're welcome, caring but also kinda lazy/socially anxious person.
What have you been loving lately?

    Show Us Your Books Link-Up: May 2017

    Y'all. It's almost May. Whew. I'm excited about this.

    Anyway. You know the drill by now. Here are all the books I've read since last month's link-up. Feel free to comment and/or link-up yourself :)

    It was a little odd in the beginning because it felt like it was going in two different directions- one part seemed to focus on the hen weekend and personal relationships, and the other part focused on the mystery. Then at some point there were two mysteries- the accident and then the Claire-Le/o/nora relationship. So it was fine, good for it's genre. Definitely worth reading if you like that style, although personally I may be a little over the unreliable narrator thing (and I didn't even read Gone Girl). 

    This book was really good. Each chapter is a person from a different generation of the same family. Some of the family splits and one part ends up staying in Africa while another part is taken to America as slaves. It was really intriguing but a little confusing. Not only with the generational skips (there was family tree in the beginning of the book that helped with that) but with the different tribes in Africa and how they kept coming back together, splitting, coming back together. I do love that it tackled race and sex in so many different ways- there were arranged marriages, marriages for love, cheaters, mixed raced children, someone who passed (meaning a light-skinned black person who "passes" themselves off as white), a gay man who couldn't come was a good variety of the human condition. If I could have sat down and read it through instead of reading sporadically (which is how I have to do it now) it probably would have gotten the 5 stars everyone else gave it instead of 4.

    You may have heard about the incident that sparked this book- Lenora Skenazy let her 9 year old ride the New York subway by himself and was dubbed "America's worst mom." Basically, "free-range" is the opposite of helicopter parenting. She argues that kids are actually safer today than generations ago, even though parents worry way more, and encourages fostering independence for the sake of both parents and children. I really enjoyed this book a LOT and will be writing a separate post for it soon.

    Eh. I liked parts of this story, but it was kind of weird. It's just one of those books where there isn't a specific point- there are big events and small ones and it's basically just the story of a man's life. It's good...but I kind of wish I had known the rhythm going in.

    I feel like I've been reading a lot more than normal...but two of these were audiobooks from the library. And I've been reading Bringing Up Bebe for weeks now (spot reading, remember?) which I enjoy a lot also. The review for that one will be doubled-up with the Free Range book since they share some similar points.

    What are you reading? Link-up & let us know!
    Life According to Steph

    How To Be a Girl's Girl?

    I've been listening to the Girl's Girl podcast for a few weeks now (found through the Add It To My List Link-Up). The title comes from the idea that women need to build each other up- a rising tide raises all boats, right?

    A bunch of other things (including the show 13 Reasons Why from Netflix) got me thinking about this idea- what exactly does it mean to be a girl's girl?

    Growing up, I was not a girl's girl...or a girly girl, which seemed to be the same thing. 

    I mean, until about 5-6 I was into frilly dresses and stuff. But then I went through a bit of a tomboy phase. I don't find that title offensive...although I think you're not supposed to use it today. Who knows. By my teenage years, I was just plain awkward.

    Most of the girls I was friends with ended up moving away...I just never really found a clique. Or even one good friend where we committed to maintaining the friendship.

    So truthfully...I don't know how to be that great of a friend. And I don't know how to be a girl's girl, it seems.

    But the really sad part is, most of the women I know don't seem to be one either. 

    I know so many women who accept the worst of gender stereotypes about themselves. They accept the guilt, the gossiping tendencies, the cat-fighting...

    Maybe because of this, no one seems to want to be my friend, either. At least not as much as they want to be other things- mothers, wives, daughters, sisters...I'm not saying these things aren't important. They are vital. But I don't understand why friendship isn't a priority to the women I know.

    I don't want to do this...I want to learn to be a good friend. I want to set a positive example for my daughter, and I want her to grow up with a supportive tribe.

    So how do you be a Girl's Girl when the girls you are around don't seem to care? 

    I know in my own life, I wish people tried harder. So I want to just keep swimming and supporting.

    I want to believe that I am making a positive little difference for others even when they don't show it.

    But I wish I knew how to do more than retweet and buy fem-positive clothes.

    I wish I knew how to truly get the women in my life to love and support each other.

    How are you a Girl's Girl?

    Erin's Challenge 6.0 Wrap-Up

    So the only one I didn't complete was Read a book by your favorite author. Overall, not bad for my first challenge. Especially since I don't necessarily have a favorite author.

    I started reading Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams by Sylvia Plath, because The Bell Jar is one of my favorite books. But I just read the "short stories" part of the description, not the "diary excerpts" part. And it was a bit of a struggle to get through the diary excerpts...because they weren't meant to be read. So both mentally and emotionally I was struggling- it made me think of the same issues that came up when I read Go Set a Watchman. There is very questionable morality involved in posthumously printing things, or waiting until someone is mentally weak to "encourage" it. So it got put on pause.

    Overall this was an interesting experience. I'm not sure I will repeat it, but I'm not saying I won't either. We'll see what the next categories are and how I feel about them.