Friday Five – May 22, 2015

Friday Five

1. Red Nose Day

Yesterday was Red Nose Day. Red Nose Day started in the UK to raise money for children’s charities worldwide and yesterday was the first Red Nose Day in the United States! American charities include the Boys and Girls Club of America, OXFAM America, and Feeding America. I made a donation last night and even though the official day was yesterday, I hope that you all consider donating today! Just $10 can vaccinate a child from five fatal diseases… so that means $50 could protect five children for life. Donate HERE.

2. Yard Sale

I love going yard saling and looking for treasures! But putting one on? Ugh. We’re having a yard sale tomorrow and I am dreading it. I can’t wait for someone to offer me a dime for something that is marked a quarter. SIGH.

I hate this lady.

I hate this lady.

3. Game of Thrones Musical

Last night on Red Nose Day there was a hilarious skit featuring Coldplay and the Game of Thrones cast…worth the watch, GoT fans!

4. Reading List

A new Book List is coming soon to the blog because I have been reading a TON of new, great books lately! Can’t wait to share them with you.

A Library and a Cat? Cailyn's Life Goals.

A Library and a Cat? Cailyn’s Life Goals.

5. Tomorrowland

When I first heard there was going to be a movie based on Tomorrowland (one of the lands in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, for those not in the know) I got a little bit nervous. Sure, Pirates of the Caribbean was great (the first two anyways)…but Haunted Mansion (getting a reboot, what a surprise) was definitely not awesome. I haven’t seen it yet (though it will definitely be my reward this weekend for surviving this yard sale) but my friend Patty over at My No Guilt Life got a chance to go to an early screening and I am happy to report she was pleasantly surprised! #crisisaverted Read her review HERE.

disney ecard

I’m ready.

Alright, there’s the Five! Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, and be sure to remember what the holiday is about…thank a soldier!

Are you going to see Tomorrowland this weekend? How about yard saling?

Friday Five – May 15, 2015

Friday Five

1. Birthday Week

It was my birthday on Wednesday and I was completely spoiled!! Josh took the day off of work and catered to my every whim – we saw a movie, went to the bookstore and he was entirely patient during a trip to Target. I received tons of cards and gifts from my wonderful friends and family and I could not be more grateful for all the love. Also – cards featuring cats are clearly perfect for this crazy cat lady and I can’t believe I didn’t get any doubles! Well done friends, well done.

Spoiled.

Spoiled.

2. The Tonight Dough

Caramel and chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. I feel like that’s an #enoughsaid. But I’ll add: It’s delicious and everything I ever wanted and more.

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3. Patriots Respond to the Wells Report

Brady officially filed an appeal for his suspension and the Patriots released their own response to the Wells Report about the same time I was releasing mine yesterday. I quickly linked theirs at the bottom of my post, but in case you missed it, you can find it at http://www.wellsreportcontext.com. I mean, I’m sure everyone that already decided the Patriots were guilty will definitely go read it. PS: Their response was 20,000 words. So if you thought MINE was long ūüėČ

4. Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not in a Pool

My friend Caitlin asked for something guaranteed to make her laugh the other day – and this is what I sent her, so I figured I’d share.

5. Split Image

Split Image is a beautifully written article by Kate Fagan on ESPNW.com and it is worth your time. Fagan writes about Madison Holleran, a track star who lost her battle with depression at 19 while attending the University of Pennsylvania last year. Fagan looks at Madison’s Instagram account and social media presence to compare the difference between what was publicly displayed versus Madison’s inner struggles.

“Young women growing up on Instagram are spending a significant chunk of each day absorbing others’ filtered images while they walk through their own realities, unfiltered.”

The article is well-researched and supported by the Holleran family. In memory of Madison, the family has dedicated a Facebook page to ending the stigma of mental illness and suicide prevention. Madison excelled in both academia and sports, while also being beautiful and popular and having a strong family life. It seemed like Madison had everything going for her Рbut that is why mental illness can be a silent and vicious foe. It is our job to spread understanding so people can come out of the darkness and survive.

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:¬†http://www.afsp.org/
  • Out of the Darkness:¬†http://www.afsp.org/out-of-the-darkness-walks

matters

Ending the Friday Five on a serious note, again. But I felt like that article needed to be shared, even if the subject is uncomfortable.

How was your week? 

Deflategate – Let’s Get Generally Aware of Some Facts

The Wells Report and Deflategate penalties came down this week and it has caused QUITE the ruckus on my Facebook page with every hater of Patriots nation being very vocal about the report and results. And while I didn’t like the punishment or the report, I really, really didn’t like how many people only read the headlines and ignored a lot of the facts. So here’s a not-quick-at-all-can-barely-be-called-a-summary of what people are getting wrong:

1. Football tampering is SUPER important to the integrity of the game

Instances the NFL did not care about football tampering:

Panthers at Vikings, 2014 – Sideline cameras showed (Evidence! Actual evidence!) both Panthers and Vikings football attendants warming up game balls on the sidelines with a heater. That is changing the air pressure in the footballs and considering tampering and illegal. Both teams were issued a warning. A warning.

San Diego Chargers, 2012 – The Chargers were investigated for having an adhesive substance on towels and using those towels on the game footballs. They were fined $20,000 after the equipment manager did not give over the towels. Hm…an uncooperative equipment manager? The Patriots equipment manager was accused of being uncooperative in the Wells Report because he was not available for a FIFTH interview. He has a day job and offered to do it by phone, but Wells refused. And the Chargers were merely fined 20K and this story was never covered by The Today Show.

Patriots vs Colts, 2015 – What’s that you say? The NFL didn’t care about football tampering during The Game? The Colts went to the NFL to warn them about under inflated footballs and the NFL didn’t take the accusation seriously. They didn’t even record the footballs original PSI! No recordings even after they had been warned something might be up? And speaking of PSI levels…

And please don’t tell me about the junk science article you read about the¬†Patriots fumbling record.¬†Not everything you read on the internet is true.

lincoln2

2.The Science of PSI

Facts:

  • The football pressure was not recorded before the game. Even after the heads up. So we have to take their word for it that the Colts started at 13 PSI and the Pats at 12.5. What if the Colts started at 13.5 or 13.25? Then the difference between the Patriots and the Colts PSI isn’t significant and definitely attributable to weather.
  • One of the Colts footballs measured at 12.95 at half time. And we’re supposed to believe it started at 13? Every other Patriots AND Colts football dropped significantly in the cold weather except that one? In my opinion, it’s more probable than not that the Colts football started at higher than 13 PSI.
  • Two different gauges were used, and the official (Anderson) couldn’t recall which one he used for sure, but “believes he used the logo gauge” (the logo gauge is the one that recorder higher, .3-.45). But the Wells Report states “it’s more probable than not that Anderson used the non-logo gauge.” The gauges were different by .3 to .45. A huge difference when you’re talking these numbers. So The Wells Report decided to report what fit THEIR narrative even though its printed in the report that when interviewed, Anderson said he thinks he used the Logo gauge.
  • Eleven of the Patriots footballs were retested. Four of the Colts were retested, AFTER the Patriots were done. So for almost 15 minutes the Colts footballs were warming up in the nice, heated locker room while the Patriots footballs were checked. If you are currently thinking, “oh come on, you’re reaching…” add that small temperature change in PSI, with the change of using different gauges, with the change of not knowing exactly where the Colts footballs started? It adds up. Also. Small sample size much?
  • In conclusion: No baseline was established for the footballs, different gauges were used, subjects tested at different times, and a different amount of test subjects. My seventh grade science teachers says that is NOT how you prove a hypothesis.

3. Text Messages

Facts:

  • There is absolutely no mention in those texts that Brady instructed anyone to go less than 12.5 PSI on the footballs. Zero. In fact, the only time a PSI is mentioned, the equipment manager says “I just measured some of the balls. They supposed to be 13 lbs‚Ķ They were like 16. Felt like bricks”
  • The texts are from months before the AFC Championship, and mostly concern a Jets game were Brady was angry at the equipment manager for not getting the footballs to where Brady preferred. The texts indicate the footballs were closer to 16 PSI. No wonder Brady was angry. Numerous NFL quarterbacks have come forward and said that it is totally normal to want the footballs exactly how they feel best. Aaron Rodgers even admitted to wanting them OVER the legal amount, and purposely pushing the limits.
  • If you read the texts and are convinced Brady asked the equipment managers to go below 12.5 PSI, that can be concluded by what you read. If you read the texts and assume he is just riding them hard to get the footballs exactly like he wants them (12.5) then you can conclude that as well.

mockingbird

4. Uncooperative Patriots and Brady?

The NFL seems to be touting this line from their penalty letter that “the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation” was one of the reasons for the harsh penalty. And that seems silly because the Wells Report stated “The Patriots provided substantial cooperation throughout the investigation.” Huh. So this must be all about Brady’s reluctance to pass over his cell and emails? Because if I was Brady there is no way I would ever give over my cell and emails. We live in a world where everything leaks. The CIA gets hacked and you want me to trust you my personal cell records because you’re on a witch hunt? Absolutely not. His right to privacy is just as sacred as yours or mine.

5. Draft Picks and Fines

The Wells Report clearly states that Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization as a whole did nothing wrong: “We do not believe that the evidence establishes that any other Patriots personnel participated in or had knowledge of the violation of the Playing Rules or the deliberate effort to circumvent the rules described in this Report. In particular,¬†we do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated.” So…why the exorbitant fine and TWO draft picks targeting the entire organization? The Atlanta Falcons AS AN ORGANIZATION cheated for TWO seasons by pumping in crowd noise. That is something that effects every single play called by the opposing offense if they cannot hear. And the Falcons were fined a mere $350,000 and a fifth round draft pick. And those charges were proven. Not “probably.” Not “generally aware.”

6. A Culture of Cheating

This one REALLY bothers me, primarily because most people haven’t even bothered to read this blog post all the way through and educate themselves about what they’re talking about. First off, most people get the facts of SpyGate so wrong that it’s absurd. Opposing fans love to throw it around and yet most have no clue what happened. I still have people, who I used to think were at least informed NFL fans, posting on my Facebook wall that the Patriots taped an opposing team’s practice. That is unequivocally false. In fact, the Boston Herald had to publish a full, front page story apologizing for printing that story without any evidence. I might need to write an entire “Facts about SpyGate” post because people still don’t get it. Anyways. Culture of cheating? Do the Ravens have a culture of felonies because Ray Lewis was accused of killing someone about ten years ago too? And Ray Rice then knocked out his fianc√© in an elevator (this is where I insert the obligatory: And Ray Rice originally got a two game suspension for it?!)? And if you think whatever team you are a fan of has never done any against the rules? You’re wrong.

7. Media and Public Opinion

As I stated in February, the public and media care more about the Patriots than any other team because they win. A lot. So this story is going to make The Today Show, and casual fans are going to decide the Patriots cheated. Because they’re not reading the Wells Report. They’re reading the headlines. And the opposing fans are forgetting “innocent until proven guilty” because it’s convenient. The Wells Report, with language like “more probably than not” and “generally aware” is not convincing and nor should it be. But they didn’t have to convince – they had to construct a narrative that makes sure the NFL doesn’t look stupid (not recording the original PSI? really? I’m stuck on that) because the NFL is their boss (millions of dollars of billable hours to this company that once “proved” in court that tobacco doesn’t cause cancer) and enable the NFL to once again make an example of the Patriots. Tom Brady was absolutely not caught cheating.

brady

Here’s the thing. Bill Belichick was made an example of because he made a mockery of Roger Goodell by disobeying a rule that has been put in place THAT YEAR that prohibited videotaping from the sidelines. So Goodell made an example of him. I understand. Tom Brady is being made an example of because of two things – he did not take this seriously enough at first. He laughed and the NFL did not. He probably had a PR guy in his ear that said “admit nothing, say nothing, this will go away.” And it did not. And he did not cooperate by handing over his cell and email, even after submitting to a six hour interview, in person. So that’s apparently not cooperating.

witch hunt

My parting general questions:

  • Seriously though – you were warned the footballs might be altered and you didn’t record the PSI? Really.
  • Where are the other quarterbacks now? Don’t want the NFL to come knocking on your door? Because Rodgers made that comment about wanting his footballs above the legal limit BEFORE deflategate was ever a thing. He flippantly talked about it with an NFL commentator like it was no big deal. Because altering a football isn’t a big deal apparently if Rodgers, the Vikings, the Panthers or the Chargers do it.
  • Most importantly: The equipment manager and ball boys never said they deflated the balls after they were checked. Why not? They had said terrible things about essentially their boss (they really, really hated on Tom Brady in those text messages because he was so demanding) and admitted trying to take free sneakers and clothes. They must have known as soon as those texts were released they’d lose their jobs. Why not admit it? One of them is a part time employee! Surely if he deflated footballs in a bathroom he would just admit it when he had nothing to lose.

I stick by this thought, originally from February:

And just to make this clear ‚Äď if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime‚Ķ and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it ‚Äď because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

Has the punishment fit the crime? Absolutely not. Has the crime been proven? Absolutely not.

This is a big deal because it is the Patriots. End of story. You’re deluding yourself if you think otherwise. Because I didn’t see this kind of coverage during the Falcons or Browns investigations this year. I didn’t even see this much coverage after the original Ray Rice video was released. Or Adrian Peterson. A man can beat his fianc√© or child? But something that typically comes with a warning or a $25,000 fine is more important and warrants a several million dollar investigation? Where are the priorities?

Priorities.

Priorities.

Based on the evidence you’ve read above, do you think it’s fair to ruin a man’s reputation? Tom Brady’s legacy is forever tarnished by THIS? That makes me sick to my stomach because of the injustice. This is a media driven story with a narrative developed by a dislike for a team and fostered by an organization (NFL) that needed a scapegoat after¬† a season of bad decisions. The NFL has gone so far off the rails that I personally think other NFL fans should be upset (they’re not, because #patriothate). And I think Roger Goodell will eventually lose his job over this. Because you can’t make up the rules as you go and expect to just lay the hammer down on the last guy you happen to want to make an example of after an entire season of mishandling sensitive subjects like child abuse and domestic violence.

rice

Obviously I am a Patriots fan. But I’m also an educated adult who believes I can see clearly. The “crime” is equivalent to using pine tar or stickum. It’s a misdemeanor. It should not be done, but I’m not calling Brady a cheater any more than I’d call Jerry Rice a cheater for stickum. If the equipment manager or ball boy someday comes forward and says, “Yes, I let air out of the footballs in the bathroom after they were checked and Tom Brady specifically told me to” then I’ll come right back here and say Tom Brady did it, without a need for a videotape or text message. But right now? The evidence is not there. And if I am going to ruin a Hall of Fame quarterback’s reputation and brand him a cheater, I’m going to need more than “generally aware” and “more probable than not.”

Like I said. Not a brief summary. But then again, the Patriots didn’t exactly summarize their defense either. If you got this far, thanks for sticking around.

Friday Five – May 8, 2015

Friday Five

1. Hug it out!

The world waited for years to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao hug for a half hour rather than actually box. Mayweather is known for his defense (and his numerous offenses against women), while Pacquiao apparently had an injured shoulder before the fight. So basically it was just really boring. Below is my favorite take on the fight!

2. Universal Studios Meets Mario

Universal Studios announced¬†the Nintendo characters and games are coming to their theme parks! Um, I can’t even contain myself. My lifelong dream of playing actual Mario Kart could come true!! Dream photo op: Finding the Princess in another castle… Hogwarts Castle!

mario kart

Kristin, we are so ready.

3. Flat Friend Visit

My friend Mary is working with a group of second graders and needed someone to be a pen pal to a child and have a Flat Friend visit. For those not in the know, Flat Stanley is a character in a series of books who goes on adventures and the Flat Stanley Project helps encourage literacy through letter-writing. So I got my own Flat Friend in the mail, along with a letter from a second grader. The one question my second grader asks me? “Is it true that Virginia had slaves?” …Sigh. Of COURSE I got the kid who wants to ask about slavery. Why don’t I go ahead and clear up some questions about religion or politics too? Anyways, I have taken my Flat Friend on a run, to the store, the post office. It’s been unreasonably fun for me.

Flat Friend 1

Fun Flat Stanley Fact: The Flat Stanley project has been around for ten years…there was even a Flat Stanley on the plane that landed in the Hudson. He was in a briefcase of the friend he was visiting.

4. Once Upon a Time Thoughts (skip if you don’t watch)

My favorite show is gearing up for its two hour season finale this week and I can’t wait. Season Thoughts:

  • Why must they turn Belle into an idiot? I mean really. She’s supposed to be smart. And this entire season they’ve been dumbing her down. So strange.
  • Love Regina’s full arc and path to redemption
  • Zelena is really starting to annoy me. I am not a fan.¬†…and pregnant? I call shenanigans. Or at least I hope so.
  • The hair and makeup team has been doing a phenomenal job of making Emma look like she is becoming more of a villain every day. Her heart is going dark? More like those circles under her eyes! Throughout the season I have noticed she is less bright eyed and hero-esque and more pale and villain-esque. Do you think they are prepping us for Rumple to die…and Emma becomes the new Dark One? ¬†<gasp> Or am I reaching because I just can’t understand why her makeup team has let her down?

5. Ya Burnt!

My favorite Seth Meyers skit is back! Royal baby, May Pac fight, Mother’s Day, ya burnt!

 

How was your week? Excited about Nintendo at Universal Studios? The Once Upon a Time finale? Comment below!

Friday Five – May 1, 2015

Friday Five

Happy May! Can you believe it’s already May? It’s my birthday month!

1. Oodles of Zoodles

I have been spiralizing up a storm since getting my Spiralizer last week and I’m happy to report they’re delicious! This tool is both super easy to use AND clean which means I think it’s the greatest thing ever. I am way less likely to use a kitchen gadget if it is hard to clean, I hate that. And I am happy to report that Josh enjoys zucchini noodles, though we’ve been easing them into the menu by combining them with a few cheese tortellini! Keep an eye out for an all Spiralizer themed List in the future!

20150422_182804

Here’s the one I bought:
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

2. The White House Correspondent’s Dinner

President Obama gave his usual speech to kick off the dinner and he did not hold back! Honestly, watching the entire thing is worth it. It’s hilarious, self-deprecating and the satire is spot on. But it’s 21 minutes so I completely understand most people don’t have the patience for that length of a video so here’s a two minute highlight reel. Everyone’s got two minutes:

View the entire speech here. It really is worth your time.

3. NFL Draft Day should be a National Holiday

I love Draft Day! It means football is creeping closer and that’s always a good thing. Plus, I root for a team that manages to always do great things on draft day, which is nice. If you didn’t stay up for the last first round pick yesterday, the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots selected defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. Great pick.

NFL

4. Cat friends vs. Dog friends

This YouTube has been around a while, but in case you missed it…here’s a look at what it’s like to have a friend that acts like a dog versus a friend that acts like a cat!

5. Shut up and Dance!

I love a good dance movie. It all started with Save the Last Dance, which Megan and I saw at least three times in the theater in high school. But the love continued with Center Stage, Step Up and the cinematic classic You Got Served. Below is a mash up of scenes from different movies (not just “dance” movies) where the main characters dance. I guarantee it will make you smile!

 

Are you ready to jump on the Zoodle wagon and buy a Spiralizer?

More importantly, are you ready for some football?!

Everyone Knows J. Lo

TWHS

Josh and I were catching up on episodes of Lip Sync Battle (again, if you’re not watching, you should be!) last weekend and Josh decided to show off his pop culture knowledge by naming everyone on stage. I tried to grab a quick photo of what we were watching and who was on stage:

20150425_112915From left to right, Josh pointed at the screen and named each celebrity as follows:

Josh: “Okay, that’s Tia Tequila…”

Me: “It’s TiLA Tequila and that’s definitely not her. That’s Chrissy Teigen. She’s married to John Legend? I told you that when he was on this same show last week.”

Josh: “Then the girl from The Devil Wears Prada.”

Me: “Nope. Again. That was the girl on this show from a few weeks ago, Anne Hathaway. This is Anna Kendrick. From Pitch Perfect?”

Josh: “Then Jennifer Lopez, everyone knows J. Lo – Enough, Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner. She’s awesome.”

Josh: : “L.L. – N.C.I.S. – L.A.”

Josh: “The Office and Chuck.”

Me: “Again, still not¬†Chuck. His actual name is John Krasinski. Chuck Bartowski was a character in a show and played by Zachary Levi.”

The reason I kept saying “again” is because¬†I promise you I have answered these exact “who is that?” questions in the past.

Now, I’m aware some of you may not know who some of these people are either, because I’m not in your living room to repeat myself every single day. So, to review:

Teigen and Tila

These are not the same people.

These are also not the same people.

These are also not the same people.

And these are not the same people.

Also not the same people.

I purposely tried to choose photos in which both celebrities looked alike – enough to see Josh’s confusion. The sticking point in his pop culture fail is the number of times I answer him on who is who. It is at the point where I can’t watch Game of Thrones with him anymore because he doesn’t remember any of the characters, faces, plot lines…It makes for a frustrating hour of television.

In conclusion, later that same day we went and saw a movie.

In which, John Mayer has a cameo:

Josh leans over and whispers: “He’s married to Tia Tequila.”

They could be twins.

They could be twins.

But the good news is I never have to help him identify a J. Lo film!

What celebrities do you always mix up? Should I do an entire post comprised of the numerous celebrities Josh always misidentifies?

Friday Five – April 24, 2015

Friday Five

 

1. Starburst Jellybeans FaveReds

You guys. You can buy a bag of Starburst Jellybeans that are only the red flavors – watermelon, cherry and strawberry. Best invention ever. Just wanted to report on my excitement.

Starburst Jellybeans

 

2. Cats Playing Patty Cake

Crazy cat lady alert! This is worth a watch just for the funny voice overs.

3. 90s Disney with 90s R&B

The perfect mash up – Disney songs and 90s R&B songs. Well done.

4. Pandora’s New Commercial

Ohmygoodness did Pandora get this one right! They blindfolded six kids and told them to find their Moms. It’s adorable.

5. Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s broke up with me last night. I had thought this season was too sad and I was getting a little bit exasperated because it felt like the writers needed some more sunshine in their life – so I was contemplating a break up myself. But they beat me to it. Nothing left for me to see there and I predict many viewers will agree. I don’t want to watch the aftermath of this because I find nothing enjoyable about watching that level of grief and sadness. You can make good television without it.¬†And I am purposely not posting what happened, in case you have taken a vow of social media/television/radio/internet silence and haven’t heard what happened…though I am impressed if you watch the show and haven’t heard/seen/read about it!

Bones

How was your week? Are you still recovering from Grey’s?¬†

Friday Five – April 17, 2015

Friday Five

1. Dane Michael Stamper

Our Godson was born on Tuesday and we are SO excited. Greg and Brandy are going to be wonderful parents and we can’t wait to watch their bundle of joy grow up. I’m not going to lie – it’s my first time being a Godmother and I don’t think there’s enough fairy dust in the world to stop me from spoiling that little boy a ridiculous amount.

2. Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth won the Masters last weekend at 21 years old and broke quite a few Masters records along his way. And it was a wonderful sight to behold.¬†Watching someone achieve their lifelong dream is what sports is really all about. If you don’t understand sports or why they can be important, here’s my advice: Watch someone reach the pinnacle of their sport after years of hard work. Envision the early mornings and hard workouts and Pop Warner games. And the blood and the sweat and the tears. And it all leads up to this one moment. Where their parents are crying, their high school coach is there, their siblings are bursting with pride. Heroes are born and somewhere an aspiring athlete is learning that hard work, works. It’s a beautiful thing.

jordan

3. Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day was April 14th. The day¬†symbolizes how far into the new year the average woman would have to work in order to equal the pay of what the average man earned in the year prior. Women make about 78 cents to a man’s dollar when doing the same job with the same abilities, results and experience. That’s infuriating. And this problem follows women their entire lives – Women are almost twice as likely as men to retire in poverty. Change is necessary and it starts with us. We must change the “women are inferior” mindset on a ground level and it starts with women respecting themselves and their own capabilities. Which brings me to number 4 of my Friday Five ūüôā

equal pay

4. Like a Girl

That ground level I spoke of? The Always company attempted to start there and explain the “like a girl” concept in a commercial last year in which they asked both teenage girls and young girls to “throw like a girl” or “run like a girl.” Young girls? Ran fast and threw with all their might. They didn’t perceive an insult because they have yet to realize the accepted notion that women are the weaker gender. Teenage girls pranced and threw funny. Our strength begins inside ourselves, and raising young women to continue to believe they are equals. Watch the full commercial below and let’s start making the phrase “like a girl” mean something amazing. Fun Cailyn Fact: I got in my first and only physical fight over this phrase. I was 8 and at recess.¬†

5. An Epic Sunday Run

The folks over at SoulPancake decided to observe April Fool’s Day by celebrating runners in the park with a fun surprise…and the result was amazing. If anyone wants to come cheer me on during my training run this weekend, please feel free to bring some water cups and “Go Cailyn” posters!

 How was your week? Which of my Five was your favorite?

In Someone Else’s Shoes

I’ll just start with this: I am not Gwyneth Paltrow’s biggest fan – Don’t love her, don’t hate her, don’t read her blog. But she was recently challenged by Mario Batali to participate in the Food Bank New York Challenge to walk a week in someone else’s shoes and only eat $29 worth of groceries in a week, an estimate of what people on food stamps (now it’s called SNAP) live on in a week. Below is her photo of what she bought:

29 paltrow

The photo now has hundreds of comments and thousands of shares. Many of which are negative. And, surprise, surprise, I have a few things to say about it:

1. A Poor Vacation

Articles have been written about her taking a “poor vacation” and slamming her for insulting the poor by choosing to live on a $29 grocery budget for just a week when poor people don’t have a choice. Why can’t we praise her (or ANYONE participating in this challenge) for attempting to bring awareness to a pressing worldwide issue? She literally can’t win – if she ignored the Challenge, she’s a terrible person who doesn’t care. She does the Challenge, and now she’s insulting the poor by making the choice. Maybe her week of $29 living will make her a better person. And is she not using her celebrity status for good by making a donation and encouraging others to do so? We tell children all the time to “put themselves in someone else’s shoes” and yet when someone chooses to, it’s an insult because it’s a “poverty vacation.” So instead she should forego this experience and pretend hunger doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist to her?

compassion

2. Only $29

Are there people that get more than $29 in SNAP assistance a week? Of course there is. Are there people that only get $29 or less a week? Of course there is. It’s determined by state and the margins are wide in this area. I fail to see the problem in her attempting to replicate the weekly food budget on the lower end of the spectrum. It exists. *It should also be noted Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t choose that figure – the Food Bank New York City Challenge did because Congress has cut food stamp budgets twice since 2013 and food pantry and soup kitchen traffic immediately increased.

3. Food Choices

The comments advise her to “buy Ramen noodles” and “don’t buy so many limes.” Who cares if she bought food that is fresh or nutritious? That’s how she actually eats and we fault her for not buying additive-laden snack foods because that’s not realistic to how a poor person might spend their money? The point being most cheap food is junk food. The irony should not be lost on us that there is BOTH a hunger problem AND an obesity problem in America. I have no idea why she likes kale. I have no idea why she needs seven limes. Maybe her child won’t drink water without lime in it and she wants him to stay hydrated. Who. Cares. The bottom line: She went grocery shopping and only spent $29. She bought things she likes and eats. Of course Ramen Noodles are cheaper. So now we’re mad that a person that has never had to eat like a poor person doesn’t know how to eat like a poor person?

4. Get a job!

The overwhelming sentiment in the comments section of this photo is that most people on welfare or food assistance are lazy or taking advantage of the system so this Challenge is worthless. The people milking the system? They’re outliers. You hear about them because the story is there. The media isn’t going to report on the 97.33% (that’s a real number – fraud was only found in 2.67% of welfare recipients in a three year study of numbers, on average) of welfare recipients who are just trying to get by and feed their children. You’re not going to see a meme or read an inflammatory forward about a mom that works two jobs and needs the extra assistance to put food on the table for her three children. And this thought, that welfare recipients are living it up on lobster and champagne is pervasive (and yet, no proof) and results in a punishment of those in need. In general, I am all for welfare reform to continue to tweak the system so those who abuse it can no longer do so. I am specifically bothered by unnecessarily making it harder for a child to be a child. For example, Kansas has drafted up a new bill prohibiting welfare recipients from using their EBT cards on movie theaters or swimming pools, as well as limiting them to $25 a day withdrawals. If this isn’t an example of rich people not understanding what it’s like to be poor, I don’t know what is. How should they pay for their child’s field trip if they already used the $25 from that day for the electric bill? And get hit with a mandatory $1 transaction fee every withdrawal, in addition to any additional ATM fees? A huge inconvenience and takes money out of their pockets. Why are they making it harder to be poor? It’s already hard. And children shouldn’t get to enjoy the rare luxury of swimming in a pool or seeing a movie?¬†They’ve been punished enough – they’re POOR. And trust me, they know.

children

5. Something to Chew On

  • 805 million people on this planet combat hunger every single day.
  • In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households.
  • 2.6 million children die of hunger-related causes every year.

Facts: www.worldhunger.org and www.feedingamerica.org

Learn more about the Food Bank New York City Challenge. I’ll be making a donation to our local food pantry this week, and I challenge you all to do so as well.

mother teresa

Is walking in someone else’s shoes not an excellent tool for awareness? Is deepening your understanding of millions of your fellow humans’ plight ever a bad thing? Knowledge is power.

I, for one, applaud her reality check.*

What do you think about the Food Bank Challenge? How would you spend your $29?

fighting a battle

 

¬†*But I still wouldn’t buy 7 limes.

Friday Five – April 10, 2015

Friday Five

1. Nivea In Shower Body Lotion

A new product to love! I gave this a shot after seeing it was on sale and clipping a coupon, doubting it would work because I just didn’t understand the science of it – body lotion that you put on in the shower…but then wash off? How does that translate to moisturizing later? But, #becausecoupon and #becausesale I obviously bought some. And I have no idea how it works, or why it works, but it definitely works! It feels like you’ve already put lotion on ¬†– and after I get out of the shower, I can feel the difference. Plus, it’s quicker than doing it outside of the shower, which I constantly forget to do anyways. It’s a brave new world.

20150410_102109

2. Bingo!

I had the best time ever this week with my mother in law in West Virginia and learned a lot about the social dynamics of a Bingo crowd (I was practically begging Judi to go with me, as I find it both fascinating and super entertaining. She does not, but loves me and goes with me anyways). Want to make 58 people angry? Yell “BINGO”! And then do it again five Bingo cards later. I actually heard cursing in the Knights of Columbus cafeteria this week…and a LOT of people were glaring at me while I eyed their troll dolls and lucky rabbit’s feet. They don’t take kindly to outsiders. Just a little FYI.

All set up for Bingo! I forgot my troll dolls :(

All set up for Bingo! I forgot my troll dolls ūüôĀ

3. Lip Synch Battle

I tweeted last week that this was the best new show on television, and this week’s episode didn’t let me down with Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. But in case you missed the premiere, here’s Dwayne The Rock Johnson lip synching to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

4. ESPN Bracket Winner

A 12-year-old named Sam Holtz tied for the best March Madness bracket and was only allowed to receive a Best Buy $1,000 gift card (due to his age) and decided to buy himself an XBox One. And then promptly used the rest of the gift card to buy a second XBox One to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He had a cousin that once had a wish granted and he wanted to repay them for granting his cousin’s wish (his cousin survived his illness, by the way). In a world of stories about children’s ugly behavior or bullying, here’s a heartwarming story that renews my faith in the next generation.

kinder than necessary

5. Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Concluded

I was relieved to read this week that the Boston Marathon bomber was found guilty on all 30 counts and sentencing would begin next week. His conviction won’t bring back the victims or heal the wounded, but my hope is that it provides some closure to those most effected by this terrible tragedy. And let his conviction and the justice that has been served¬†be a reminder of how his terrible attack ultimately failed.¬†Bystanders ran towards smoke and debris to carry, push, pull and haul survivors from the wreckage without knowing if they were still in danger. Marathoners that had just finished finished running 26.2 miles? Continued to run another two miles so they could donate blood at local hospitals.¬†Terrorism is designed to strike fear in our hearts. And Boston did not kneel.

boston strong

Alright, ending on serious note for this Friday Five, but it can’t be helped.

Let me know in the comments if you’re watching Lip Synch Battle or heading to the store to pick up some Nivea In Shower Body Lotion this week!