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November 2016

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The Weekend in Shopping

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Happy Cyber Monday!

If you’re anything like me, you worked all of that extra turkey and stuffing off by spending the weekend exercising your serious shopping skills. I decided to do a quick roundup of the things I found worth a few of my hard earned dollars over the weekend. Some of these deals are still happening, and they’re too good to pass up!

TOMS

I got the black and white wool women’s classics. They’re currently running up to 40% off, plus an additional 15% off your entire purchase. Get another 10% cash back when you go through Ebates.

Tory Burch

I’ve been stalking the Sidney Boot for years, and they finally dropped it own to a price I couldn’t resist. Shop 30% off straight from the Tory Burch website.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Sherpa everything this winter. I can’t stand being cold, so when cozy is in fashion you’ll find me layering in it every day the temp drops below 50 degrees. I already have a striped sherpa pullover sweatshirt, but with the entire store 50% off, I may or may not have snagged one in every color. Size up for an extra cozy fit.

J.Crew Factory

This fair isle crewneck sweater might be the prettiest thing I have in my closet.  The colors are infinitely brighter in person than in the photo, so toss this one in your cart and just trust me. Everything is 60% off today.

Barnes & Noble

For the book worm, make sure to hop on the BN website and get 15% off your entire order, which never happens. Stay tuned in the next week for a rundown of my 2016 book recommendations. For the collector, head to your nearest store to get one of the signed editions they’re carrying this holiday season. I’ve been on a celebrity memoir kick lately, so my top picks for signed books were Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Littler Nobody and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime.

Bonus: Book of the Month

A monthly book club subscription, Book of the Month is a great holiday gift for someone who loves to read. You get a featured new book and a special little gift delivered straight to your doorstep every month. You can even add additional books for only $9.99. Most of the add-ons are new releases, so that’s a hell of a deal. Use my referral link to get your first 3 months for $9.99 each: https://www.mybotm.com/moukmaxjo22zkt9

Where have you been finding your best deals for holiday shopping?

 

Much Love,

Beth

 

The Week in Words

The Week in Words

One week ago, Donald Trump shocked the nation with his historic win of the electoral college, and the presidency for the next four years. Tears were shed, relationships were severed, fear was induced, and we have begun to both heal and brace ourselves for the wounds to come. Some of us find solace in anger, some in action, some in education, and some in inspiration. Regardless of your preferred method of self-care, every type of medicine can be found in the written word. Here are some links that have helped me begin to reset, and I hope at least one of them is able to make a similar impact on you.

 

BuzzFeed contributor Mira Jacob described what she is telling her son about Trump’s America.

The editor of Poetry magazine discusses why so many people have turned to verse to come to terms with the election.

Escape the darkness with some thing darker by diving into these crime reads.

Photo: LitHub

Photo: LitHub

 A list of activist organizations that need your support.

 Advice on how to survive a disaster.

 Things we were all told because we were girls.

Literary voices react to the results of the election.

Photo: LitHub

Photo: LitHub

Why people are looking to Harry Potter for answers.

The New Yorker discusses what normalization really means.

A discussion of the play Rhinocerous by Eugène Ionesco.

Do you have any resources that have helped you grow and recover after this year’s election? Share them in the comments!

Much love,

Beth Ann

Personal

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night: Kicking and Screaming My Way Out of 2016

Photo: QuotesPics.com

Photo: QuotesPics.com

I promised myself that I’d hold back from writing anything political on this blog, for fear of dividing my readership, but last night the results of this election sliced through me in a visceral, painful way. When I woke up, I tainted every room I walked through with sobs of disbelief, but after I sat with it for a while I realized that part of the reason this happened is because of complacency. So here, I fight with the strongest weapon I have in my arsenal: my words.

Before last year I identified as a straight, white, middle-class woman, so apart from my gender I was fairly privileged. Over the last 20 months, by realizing I am a member of a marginalized, minority community, I have become a more compassionate person. A better person. I still attempt to attract listening ears with honey rather than vinegar, but this election has hardened me as I’ve watched that bitter, painful to swallow vinegar take over our country.

The news that Donald Trump was elected President shook me to my very core. The only emotion I managed to feel all morning was fear. Fear for the future of our planet. Fear for the future of our country. Fear for the future of our children. Fear for the future of minorities. Fear for the future of my family as a unit. Fear for the future of my own place here and the state of the open mind, positive temperament, and sympathetic heart I’ve always been able to maintain, because my fear has begun to translate into a deep hurt and a bubbling anger.

My social media timelines were sprinkled with positive sentiments and frustrated comments encouraging people to either unite themselves and come together, or to get over it, accept the results, and stop whining. These comments struck me in an unexpected way. My world as I knew it had just shattered around me and people want me to just get over it? How does an LGBT person who doesn’t know how many years left of marriage equality they’ll get to enjoy just get over it? How does an immigrant child whose parents are now likely to be deported just come together with someone who wants to build a wall? How does a parent of an unarmed child who was murdered because of racial stereotypes just accept the results? And how does a woman who has been raped, sexually assaulted, or even harassed or cat-called in the office just stop “whining” about waking up in a nation who has decided it doesn’t care about these things as long as their insurance deductibles are low and their taxes don’t get raised?

if-you-are-neutral-in-situations-of-injustice-you-have-chosen-the-side-of-the-oppressor

Claiming that you voted for Trump because he’s “the lesser of two evils” or “anti-establishment” or “a symbol of change” isn’t an excuse. Sending a messing to Washington isn’t an excuse. Insisting you’re not racist, homophobic, xenophobic, or bigoted doesn’t absolve you from the blame of what’s to come. This morning a kindergartener was told by one of her classmates that she would be sent away because Trump was President now and he would deport people like her. A young child told another, “Mr. Trump is President but he doesn’t like people with disabilities.” A teenager was told by two girls that she needed to start sitting in the back of the bus. Members of (or those who want to be members and had dressed as such) were photographed standing on a bridge in North Carolina. Swastikas and Nazi propaganda was written on windows in Philadelphia.

This is the America we have chosen to live in as a result of an election where people claimed they just wanted a tax break and the repeal of Obamacare. If Donald Trump for some reason is unable to perform his duties, a man named Mike Pence who is a proponent of electric shock therapy and conversion camps for those on the LGBT community would be our President. Letting this sink in very nearly broke my spirit. Those are the long-term consequences. The short-term ones involved the decision I have to make to sit at the dinner table across from family members who proudly voted for this man. This man who aims to take away my rights and the civil rights of so many others in order to ensure they and anyone who, mental health issues or not, can buy a gun whenever and wherever they want. How do I do that? How do we do that? We the people have spoken, and we have decided that hate in our country is acceptable. We have just chosen a leader who mocks the disabled, sexually objectifies and assaults women, and discriminates against anyone who isn’t a white, straight man. We have just made the choice to raise our children in a country where this is not just acceptable, but preferred, because you can be President if you act like this.

My fiance’s daughter learned that Hillary lost this morning, and she was saddened by the idea that “a girl like her” wasn’t going to be President, but that maybe she could be next time. She also said that Donald Trump and his friends must just need to have more love in their hearts. As 2016 comes to a close and a new, terrifying chapter in history begins, I hope that she doesn’t lose that sense of enlightenment and optimism, and I hope that we can find a way to have more love in our hearts. Until then, do not go gentle unto that good night.

Best of the Month

Best of the Month: October

Being the total nerd that I am, I love to keep track of things. Planners, lists, color coding my closet, you name it. Another thing I love is getting suggestions from others, whether it’s a place to eat, a book to read, or a movie to watch. If it makes someone else happy, I’m more than willing to try it out myself! Why not, right? I used to think no one cared about what I thought, but when I began writing movie reviews for Audiences Everywhere, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who appreciated that sense of community and vetting. So, as a regular feature to this blog, at the end of each month I will do a rundown of the best things I experienced. Here we go!

The Best Thing I Watched

Amanda Knox, Netflix

Netflix

Netflix

October, for many people, means more of a reason to seek out ways to be terrified by the creepy, mysterious, and unknown. I’m not a huge horror buff, although I do appreciate a quality scare, but I am, well, obsessed with, dare I say it, murder. When I was in college a big group of us went away to party in a cabin for the weekend, and every day I tried to bring out the board game Clue, waltzing out of my room with the box held high, proclaiming Miss Scarlet’s guilt while I sipped my screwdriver. Obviously I was vetoed in favor of a game of cards or a round of karaoke, but nevertheless, I tried.

11 months out of the year, my obsession with death might translate as a bit morbid, but in October, it’s right on trend. The beginning of this month brought with it the release of Netflix’s original Amanda Knox documentary. This story of a young woman who found herself in prison convicted of killing her roommate in Italy captivated the world. Amanda was pretty, naive, slightly quirky, and, *gasp*, sexually active. The shit storm she experienced following her accusation was exploited by the media, and it’s even more appalling to watch broken down in this documentary years later. Go watch it right now, then read my review here.

The Best Thing I Read

The Poptart Diaries – Jamie Scrimgeour

Yesterday morning while I was getting ready my fiance asked me to read an article she had stumbled across on Facebook entitled “An Open Letter To The Woman Who Accused Me Of Trying To Replace My Step-Children’s Mom“. I shrugged my shoulders and picked up her phone to skim the essay. About a minute and a half later, I was fighting off tears to keep from smudging the second coat of mascara I had so delicately just applied. Although Jen and I aren’t married yet, we’ve lived together since February and I’ve loved her daughter as my own since the moment I met her.

Not that my role as a stepmother is any more difficult than either Jen’s or her ex partner’s roles as her designated parents, but it is definitely more scrutinized by outsiders. I analyze and second guess almost every move I make. Should I stay out of this photo? Should I discipline Mia? Am I showing too much affection? Not enough? Does Jen’s ex think I’m trying to take her place? At my age I know now one else who is in this position, so it’s difficult to find those who can relate and ask them if I’m making the right decisions or worrying too much over the wrong things. Discovering this article both brings to life and calms the fears I have on a daily basis. It’s beautifully written, immensely helpful, and worth a read even for those who don’t find themselves in a blended family.

The Best Thing I Heard

A Small Foreign Faction – My Favorite Murder – Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Feral Audio

Feral Audio

I stumbled across the My Favorite Murder podcast several months ago while searching for something to listen to during my commute to and from work. Finally, I have discovered two hilarious humans who are equally (okay probably even more) as obsessed with murder than I am. To ease you in to this podcast where the two spent a little over an hour telling each other all of the grisly details of their selected murder of the week, I’ve recommended one episode to get you addicted. We just passed the 20th anniversary of the JonBenét Ramsey’s tragic murder, which was recognized by several revisits to the unsolved investigation. Karen and Georgia break down all we need to know about these specials, which ones are worth watching, and which theories they favor. Murderinos, unite.

That’s all for October everyone! What were your favorite things you discovered in October? Did you try out any of these? Let me know in the comments!

xo

-Beth

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