Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Best Online-Shopping, Money-Saving Secret!

Ok, so it is no secret to my friends, family and UPS delivery man that I am obsessed with online shopping. Like basically everything else, the internet has revolutionized consumerism and changed shopping habits globally. I started to seriously shop online because I was busy, always sitting at the computer and needed to save money (while still keeping up with my shoe habit). 

The more research I did the more I found that unlike traditional shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, shopping online gives much more power to the customer and with unlimited competition from retailers, the deals are endless! Power to the people! If you are willing to put up with an extra step or two of research then you can save ridiculous amounts of money online.  I just want to pass along the best kept online shopping secret I have found so far, especially since the holidays are here and you my already be thinking about what you want to get for gifts. 

Ebates. This site is genius. It has partnered with thousands of online retailers to offer cash back bonuses and special discount codes to it's members. As long as you start at Ebates and shop from one of their partner sites you will earn cash back. Then every quarter, they will mail you your cash back check or deposit directly into your PayPal account. My first cash back bonus was over $100! And I swear I only bought things that I was already planning on buying. Everyone that I have told about this site loves it! My friend recently saved a few thousand dollars using this site while she was planning and buying things for her wedding. 

Make sure to always start at Ebates and find the store you want to shop at OR search for the item you want to buy and Ebates will give you options from all the sites that carry that item and you can decide what the best deal is. 
Here is a screen shot of some of the clothing store cash back options:

There are other similar sites but from all my research I have found this to be the best, with the best selection of online stores (Amazon, Target,, and literally thousands more, even health food sites, flower sites, Groupon!). It is free to have a membership, no strings attached. Sounds to good to be true right? I swear it isn't. 

Sign up here and happy shopping! 
Let me know what fab items you find! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dove Self Esteem Weekend 2012

Happy Friday y'all! I wanted to make sure you all knew about the Dove Self Esteem Weekend that starts today. In support of their corporate mission to help women and girls with body image and appearance issues they are holding this 3 day campaign to help people start a conversation about self- esteem with younger girls. I am a HUGE fan of corporate social responsibility and think this is an awesome campaign from Dove.

Join women across the country, October 5-7, when Dove will be holding a nationwide rally to talk about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. Commit to talk to the girl in your life during the weekend and beyond - it all starts with a conversation. If you can't share over the weekend, any time is a good time to start the conversation. Not sure where to start? Download the Let's Talk Toolkit using this link.

Dove research shows that it is still important for us to address girls' anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls' confidence as they grow older.
Key findings from the latest research include:

- Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
- Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
- 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
- More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic*

Created with Jess Weiner, Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador, this is a great resource for all women on starting a conversation in a simple way. Ask, Share, Listen and Act -- you'll find unintimidating ways to make these a natural part of your talk about self-esteem. The Dove Facebook page offers a lot of cool tools and downloads to help you get the conversation started.

You can share your commitment to girls' elf-esteem with your friends on Facebook! Visit Dove's Facebook Page or use Send a Note of confidence Link to select your message and share with your friends. Send a note of confidence to the Dove community wall here.

And of course you can follow Dove on Twitter too.

This is the very touching campaign video. 

You are all beautiful to me! 

*Source: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited.

Sponsored Content. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why I Love and Hate Professional Sports

Giddy from the incredible Broncos win yesterday (woo!)  I got to thinking about why I simultaneously love and hate professional sports. Like so many topics, industries, and issues, I have mixed feelings about professional sports so, like all good bloggers, I compiled a list to help sort this out...

LOVE: Being a fan of a sports team build community and appreciation around a city/town/college. As I walked around the Sports Authority Field parking lots yesterday, Broncos fans were hanging out, having fun, meeting new people, sharing stories and beers all because we have one thing in common, a mutual interest in our team. Often just wearing a sports team t-shirt can garner you high-fives and hellos from perfect strangers. The mutual love for a team breaks down barriers, unites people together in light-hearted fun and reminds us all why we love our city.

HATE: Sometimes this hometown pride and adoration are taken too far. After so many major league wins fans somehow translate their excitement into debauchery, destruction and violence (examples here, here and here, just to reference a few). I first noticed this ridiculous reaction when I was in high school and the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. Drunken fools took to the city, looting, rioting and harassing police officers to celebrate the win. Cars were burned, businesses were damaged, and people were injured ---um seriously!? See video:

People feel so strongly about their favorite team and place so much value on winning that they lose sight of actual reality and what is socially acceptable adult behavior. Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of fan on fan violence that occur every year. Just because some dude is wearing a shirt from an  opposing team does not mean you get to beat him up (and possibly leave him permanently brain damaged i.e. Brian Stow). C'mon son.

LOVE: Athletes are hot. Sports are erotic. I am not above oggling the spandex encased, buns of steel that most NFL players are sportin' or the rock hard, tattooed arms of every NBA player. Yes, I objectify athletes. But I am doing so with the utmost respect for their talent and all of the hard work they have had to dedicate to obtaining their statuesque physiques. I appreciate your muscles and your spandex - go team!

HATE: Female athletes and women's leagues are not treated equally by fans, industry or higher education. Just like every other industry female athletes are paid less and have fewer educational, promotional, and career opportunities than male athletes and are neatly kept in sexism's confines even when they are kicking ass and taking names in their respective sports (this can and will be it's own blog post one day). Let's just say sexism and the constructs of the traditional gender binary are alive and well within professional and collegiate sports and I know the matriarchs of the modern feminist movement are turning over in their graves whenever another lingerie bowl is televised.

LOVE: Athletes are idolized for being great at a sport. They have to not only be in great physical shape, but they make health and fitness their number one priority, as it is their lifeline and profession. Professional sports and athletes influence their fans to exercise, play games and adopt healthier lifestyles. Even if little boys are only working out and practicing their sport so they can obtain their dream of becoming a rich dude who gets to date models, then whatever, at least they aren't contributing to the horrifying American obesity epidemic.

HATE: Americans are obsessed with sports and hold them sacred, above many other, more important things. How many of us can quote our favorite player's college stats but don't know who our last Secretary of State was? You may keep abreast of the latest famous athlete gossip (who cheated on who, who has a gambling problem, who is running an illegal dog-fighting ring in their backyard, etc.) but have no idea what female genital mutilation, sex-trafficking, or honor killings are. The average American teenager probably knows more about professional sports history than they do about American history. If we had half as much interest in real world issues that we do in professional sports then major problems would get the attention they deserve (and fans may take to Twitter to protest ballot issues, health care problems and civil rights violations, not just to complain about the shitty NFL replacement refs.)

Professional sports are meant to be entertainment! Fun, community events, that people can enjoy with friends and loved ones. They are not an excuse to act like a fool, destroy property, hurt others or disregard every else that is happening in the world.